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Jun 24, 2014

FIFA announces Suarez investigation

The Last Call crew discuss the measures that FIFA may take against Luis Suarez following his biting incident in Uruguay's 1-0 win over Italy.

FIFA has announced it will investigate the Luis Suarez alleged biting incident with Liverpool's Uruguayan striker likely to face a lengthy ban if found guilty.

Suarez appeared to bite Italy's Giorgio Chiellini towards the end of Uruguay's 1-0 Group D World Cup win, leaving teeth-marks on his shoulder.

A FIFA spokesperson told Press Association Sport: "We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter."

FIFA asked the team to present evidence, which can include video recordings, by 5 p.m. local time Wednesday. A decision must be published before Saturday, when Uruguay plays Colombia in a round-of-16 match at Maracana stadium.

FIFA's disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years, but the longest ban in World Cup history was eight games for Italy's Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain's Luis Enrique's nose in 1994 with an elbow.

Suarez has twice been banned for biting opponents. In 2013, he was banned for 10 matches for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and in 2010 he was given a seven-game ban while playing for Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal.

"These are things that happen on the pitch, we were both in the area, he thrust his shoulder into me,'' Suarez said in Spanish after the game. "These things happen on the pitch, and we don't have to give them so much (importance)."

FIFA's disciplinary code allows action to be taken retrospectively via video evidence even if the incident has been seen by the referee.

Article 77 of FIFA's disciplinary code states the disciplinary committee is responsible for "sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials' attention" and "rectifying obvious errors in the referee's disciplinary decisions."

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli, who went on to resign immediately after the game, confirmed he had seen the bite marks.

He said: "I didn't see Suarez biting him but I saw the bite-marks on his shoulder but the referee's assistants were so busy they didn't see anything. It's a shame, it's a real shame that it turned out like this."

Chiellini said it was "ridiculous" that Suarez had not been sent off while Italy's Claudio Marchisio was for a hard foul on Arevalo Rios.

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"The disparity in judgement has been evident," said Chiellini, who showed the referee the bite marks while still on the field. "Marchisio's sending off was ridiculous but more so the fact that Suarez wasn't sent off. There's an inclination to protect star players but the referee should have shown him a red card."

Jim Boyce, Britain's FIFA vice-president and head of FIFA's referees committee, expressed major concerns about Suarez's actions.

"I have watched the incident several times on television," said Boyce. "There is no doubt Luis Suarez is a fantastic footballer but, once again, his actions have left him open to severe criticism. FIFA must investigate the incident seriously and take whatever disciplinary action deemed necessary."

Suarez's sponsor, adidas, sent a statement on Wednesday saying they are aware of the issue and will await FIFA's full investigation before responding.

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