Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was at the centre of another biting storm after appearing to sink his teeth into the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Reuters photographs show what appeared to be bite marks on Chiellini’s shoulder and pictures also showed Suarez sitting on the ground holding his teeth immediately after the incident.
The Italians were still complaining about it when Uruguay captain Diego Godin scored with an 81st-minute header to secure a 1-0 win that sent them into the second round and eliminated Italy.
“It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off,” Chiellini told Rai TV.
“It is clear, clear-cut and then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn’t have done.”
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez did not see the incident. “I’d like to see the images,” he told a news conference. “I didn’t see that. And if it happened the referee probably didn’t see it. So no I don’t have any more comments to make. We had more important things than this in a football match.”
FIFA rules allow the use of TV footage to punish players for incidents unseen or unpunished by match officials. According to the governing body’s rules, he may get a ban of up to two years.
Liverpool’s Suarez was banned for 10 games last year after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League game and in 2010 he was suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax Amsterdam.
Four years ago he missed Uruguay’s World Cup semifinal against the Netherlands after being sent for a handball on the line that denied Ghana what would have been a match-winning goal in the final minute of extra time in a last-eight match.
His latest indiscretion sent the world’s social media into meltdown and within minutes of the match ending #Suarez was the top trending hashtag on Twitter. A tweet from former Liverpool striker Michael Owen was typical of a wave of reaction from former players and pundits: “Tell me I’m seeing things. Surely Suarez didn’t bite someone again?,” he wrote. “I’m genuinely gutted. I love watching him play more than any other player but he obviously can’t control himself.”
Reuters & AP