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 By Ben Gladwell

Italian player's alleged bite unpunished

No action will be taken against Avellino forward Gianmario Comi for allegedly biting an opponent in a Coppa Italia match.

No action will be taken against Avellino forward Gianmario Comi for allegedly biting an opponent in a Coppa Italia match at the weekend since there is no footage of the incident, according to league rules.

Bari's Giuseppe De Luca was the victim of Comi's alleged Luis Suarez-esque intervention during the 2-1 defeat. In addition to his claim of being bitten, the 22-year-old received a red card for his reaction and remonstrations as he tried in vain to show the mark left by Comi's bite to the fourth official.

Bari's president Gianluca Paparesta, a former Italian football referee, posted a photograph of De Luca's arm on the Serie B club's website, but in the absence of any television replays, no action can be taken against the Avellino forward. De Luca, on the other hand, has shown remorse for his reaction which could earn him a lengthy ban.

"I made a mistake by reacting and I apologise to everybody for leaving the team with 10 men," he said. "But I would have never imagined being bitten by an opponent. The game can be violent at times, and that is part of this sport, but vile incidents like being bitten or spat at cannot be tolerated.

"I'm above all disappointed that we've been knocked out of the Coppa because we all wanted to go through."

According to Article 35 of league rules, a player can only be punished retrospectively if the referee has missed an incident during a match, and only if his club can provide evidence to back up their complaint. Due to the lack of that evidence, Comi therefore cannot be punished by the FIGC based only on a picture of De Luca's arm with what could be seen as a bite mark, but does not highlight when that bite may have been made, and by whom.

"We don't want to fuel controversy, but what we are asking for is attention for incidents like Comi's bite of De Luca," Paparesta told Italian media. "Bari warrant respect, like every other club, and I will do what I can to ensure our fans and our players are correct, but nobody can think they can come here and get away with doing whatever they want. Having said that, compliments to Avellino for reaching the next round."


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