Suarez bite decision expected
Luis Suarez (Getty Images)
Rio de Janeiro - FIFA officials are expected to come to a decision over Luis Suarez's alleged bite incident on Thursday as Germany tackle the United States under the scrutiny of conspiracy theorists.
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A FIFA disciplinary panel gathered evidence Wednesday on Suarez, 27, after the Uruguay striker was accused of biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during a match on Tuesday.
The panel are expected Thursday to reach a decision on whether or not Suarez should face disciplinary action and possibly being thrown out of the Soccer World Cup.
Liverpool forward Suarez's countrymen have been rallying around their star player, who they are hoping will be available for Saturday's last 16 clash against Colombia at Rio Janeiro's Maracana stadium.
"I did not see him bite anyone," Uruguay president Jose Mujica told reporters. "But they give each other so many kicks and blows and normally they put up with it."
Uruguay Football Association chief Wilmar Valdez presented evidence on Suarez's behalf to the panel in Rio.
"We believe that there is not sufficient evidence to truly sanction Luis," Valdez told Uruguay's Channel 10 television.
"It has to be clear and on the video that FIFA gave us we think that it is not really clear."
Video of the incident from several angles did not conclusively show Suarez had bitten Chiellini but there was one angle that appeared to do so.
There is also photographic evidence of Chiellini's bite mark that he tried to show the referee immediately following the incident.
Chiellini himself told Italian television: "He bit me, it's clear, I still have the mark."
FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer said all evidence would be studied to reach a decision on Suarez's case "as early as possible."
"The disciplinary committee can take all elements into account as it deems necessary," she said.
That could include looking at Suarez's previous history. He has already twice before served bans for biting an opponent during a match.
Fischer did not speculate on what punishment Suarez could face, nor whether any ban would extend beyond international football to include the club game as well.
The controversy and imminent decision was taken some of the attention off another unsavoury episode that happened 32 years ago.
Back then, the former West Germany and Austria colluded to play out a mutually beneficial result, a 1-0 win for the Germans, at the World Cup in Spain that saw both sides progress from the group stages at Algeria's expense.