In one of the most hotly contested matches in the World Cup so far, Uruguay got the result they needed to move past Italy into the knockout rounds. Diego Godín, hero for Atlético Madrid’s title run, scored a late goal with his back to give Uruguay the only goal that they needed to advance. Jubilation will most likely be short-lived amongst the Celeste fans, as star player Luis Suarez is likely going to be suspended for biting an opposing player; perhaps for the duration of the tournament, perhaps longer.
The video replay confirms the offense committed by the Uruguayan superstar. It happened around the 80th minute, the game was tied 0-0 and Uruguay was pressing Italy’s defense. Suarez darted into the penalty area, Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini went goal-side of him to keep him away from his goalkeeper. The two players made contact, and then it happened.
Initially, it looked like a Suarez headbutt, followed by a Chiellini elbow. Both players went to the ground in agony, the Italian defender favored his left shoulder while Suarez covered his teeth in obvious pain. A camera on the ground near Italy’s goal shows Suarez deliberately took a bite at Chiellini’s shoulder. Play stopped as the main official tried to sort things out. Chiellini pulled the left side of his jersey down, trying to show the referee the bite-marks caused by Suarez’s chomp.
Godín’s goal came from a corner kick moments later. Italy vehemently tried to equalize, but the result went with Uruguay. The referee made nothing of the biting incident, probably because he didn’t see it and encouraged play to go on, but a suspension is quite certainly looming for Suarez. Even when the final whistle blew and Uruguay was celebrating the continuation of their World Cup campaign, Suarez had a look on his face as if he knew that the bad news was coming.
This isn’t the first, nor the second, time that Suarez has bitten an opposing player. Most notably, the reigning Premier League Player of the Year received a 10-match suspension for biting the right arm of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during an EPL game in 2013. Previously, he was banned for seven games in 2010 when with Ajax in the Dutch league for the same offense.