FIFA Opens Proceedings Against Uruguay's Luis Suarez for Apparent Bite

PHOTO: Uruguays forward Luis Suarez left, reacts past Italys defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014.
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Just before Uruguay defeated Italy 1-0 Tuesday at the World Cup in the Brazilian city of Natal, Uruguayan star player Luis Suarez appeared to bite an opponent on the shoulder.

After Suarez jockeyed with Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 80th minute in the penalty area and fell to the ground, Chiellini rose while pulling down his jersey, trying to show the referees what he believed to be a bite mark.

FIFA's disciplinary committee later opened proceedings against the Uruguay forward, who's nicknamed the "Cannibal." If the panel finds Suarez guilty of assaulting an opponent, FIFA rules call for a ban of at least two matches up to a maximum of 24 months.

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PHOTO: Luis Suarez, left, appears to bite yet another opponent during Uruguay-Italy match, June 24, 2014.

The match officials did not sanction Suarez for the incident despite Chiellini pulling down his jersey to try and show the referees the bite mark. Suarez said nothing but could be seen touching his front teeth while he was on the ground.

The incident was visible on television replays.

"If it happened, the referee probably didn't see it," Uruguay coach Oscar Washington Tabarez told reporters at the post-game news conference.

PHOTO: Giorgio Chiellini of Italy pulls down his shirt after a clash with Luis Suarez of Uruguay (not pictured) as Gaston Ramirez of Uruguay looks on during the match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.
Julian Finney/Getty Images
PHOTO: Giorgio Chiellini of Italy pulls down his shirt after a clash with Luis Suarez of Uruguay (not pictured) as Gaston Ramirez of Uruguay looks on during the match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.

Chiellini told Sky Italia after the game: "Suarez is a sneak and he gets away with it because FIFA want their stars to play in the World Cup. I'd love to see if they have the courage to use video evidence against him," according to ESPN.

The Associated Press reported that Suarez did not respond to questions after the game, instead walking past them with a smile and a thumbs up.

PHOTO: Italys defender Giorgio Chiellini shows an apparent bitemark by Uruguay forward Luis Suarez during soccer match between Italy and Uruguay in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014.
Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini shows an apparent bitemark by Uruguay forward Luis Suarez during soccer match between Italy and Uruguay in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014.

In 2010, he was suspended as an Ajax player for seven games for chomping on PSV Eindhoven player Otman Bakkal.

PHOTO: Liverpools Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, right, clashes with Chelseas Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic after appearing to bite the Chelsea player during the English Premier League football match.
Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, right, clashes with Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic after appearing to bite the Chelsea player during the English Premier League football match.

Last year, Suarez was suspended for 10 games as a Liverpool player for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Regardless, Italy was eliminated from the World Cup as a result of today's loss. It is the second straight World Cup in which Italy was eliminated in the first round.

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyle said Suarez had let himself down again, according to the Associated Press.

"There is no doubt Luis Suarez is a fantastic footballer but, once again, his actions have left him open to severe criticism," said Boyle, who is also chairman of the FIFA referees' committee. "FIFA must investigate the incident seriously."

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