Suarez braces for bite ban
Luis Suarez (AFP)
Rio de Janeiro - Football disciplinary chiefs have gathered evidence against Luis Suarez on
Wednesday as calls mounted for the Uruguay star to be kicked out of the
World Cup after his latest biting storm.
The Liverpool striker
shocked the footballing world when he sank his teeth into Italian
defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 victory over the Azzurri
Suarez, banned twice before for biting opposing players, could be expelled from the tournament if found guilty.
and Uruguayan officials have until 5:00pm (2000 GMT) to submit evidence
to a disciplinary panel set up by football's governing body FIFA.
disciplinary committee is working to get a decision as early as
possible," FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said when asked if a decision
would likely be made before Uruguay's last 16 match against Colombia on
Fischer would not speculate on the possible terms of any
punishment, although she confirmed Suarez's previous offences could be
taken into account.
"The disciplinary committee can take all elements into account as it deems necessary," she said.
Suarez had "a right to be heard", he was not expected to travel to Rio
from Uruguay's training base to address any disciplinary hearing,
Suarez was nowhere to be seen early Wednesday as his Uruguay team-mates trained in Natal amid the raging controversy.
who plays in the English Premier League for Liverpool, is one of the
world's biggest stars, and could theoretically be banned for up to 24
games under FIFA rules.
Fischer declined to say whether any
potential punishment of Suarez could extend to club football as well as
"It's the disciplinary committee which decides the scope of any potential sanctions," she said.
has already received long bans for biting during his club career as
well as racially abusing Manchester United player Patrice Evra during a
game in 2011.
The latest flashpoint occurred towards the end of Uruguay's clash with Italy.
Replays showed Suarez biting Chiellini's shoulder as the two players made contact in an off-the-ball incident.
angrily remonstrated with Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, pulling his
shirt off his shoulder to show red marks on his neck.
Afterwards, Chiellini told Italian television: "He bit me, it's clear, I still have the mark."
Suarez sought to play down the incident in comments to Uruguayan television, claiming Chiellini had barged him.
"There are things that happen on the pitch and you should not make such a big deal out of them," Suarez said.
- 'Suarez needs help' -
the damning video evidence drew almost blanket condemnation on
Wednesday across the globe, with many stating that Suarez required
"This is behaviour that's happened two times
(before). You cannot justify it. I seriously think he needs help," said
Everton manager Roberto Martinez.
Former Liverpool striker Robbie
Fowler admitted he was "flummoxed" by the case and said the Anfield club
should now seek to sell Suarez.
"You can't defend him," Fowler said. "I love him as a player, but you cannot condone what he has done."
Taylor, the head of England's players union the Professional
Footballers' Association, expressed dismay over the incident.
"It was just so disappointing really," Taylor said.
Former England captain Alan Shearer, working in Brazil for the BBC, said FIFA should impose a lengthy global ban.
"I would give him a worldwide ban for as long as I could," Shearer said.
not the first time, it's not the second time, it's the third time -- to
actually bite someone on a football pitch in front of millions. It's
Many in Uruguay defended Suarez, echoing suggestions by coach Oscar Tabarez that he was being unfairly persecuted.
a notable exception was ageing national hero Alcides Ghiggia, who
scored Uruguay's World Cup-winning goal against Brazil in the 1950
tournament in Rio.
"This boy's clearly not right in the head. That's just not something you do on the pitch,' said Ghiggia.
"He already did it before in England and now he's done it again. It's abnormal. It's a football match -- not a war or a fight."
daily El Observador said the incident was "the return of Suarez's
madness." Suarez had tried to improve his image after the earlier bans,
it said, but "against Italy the evil version of Suarez reappeared."
the Suarez controversy dominating the off-field headlines, it was left
to Argentina captain Lionel Messi to put the focus back on football.
scored two goals -- taking his tournament tally to four in three games
-- as Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 to finish top of Group F.
also reached the last 16 for the first time since 1998 despite the
defeat after Iran were beaten 3-1 by already eliminated Bosnia.