In a post-match interview, Uruguay striker Luis Suarez brushed off the biting incident that became the main talking point of the Italy-Uruguay World Cup game.
In an interview with Uruguay media, Suarez said:
“These things happen in the box. We were in contact, chest against shoulder, and I got a knock to the eye.”
In an interview with ESPN Brazil, Suarez added “you should not make such a big deal about [these incidents].”
Italy defender and biting victim Giorgio Chiellini was quite forthright in what he said after the match to Sky Sport Italia:
“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.
“The referee saw the bite mark too, but he did nothing about it.”
Meanwhile, FIFA said it will investigate the incident.
Aside from the controversial incident, it was a horrible game. Like so many intense, World Cup knockout games over the year, it started out irritating and slow, and then quickly escalated into a contentious, infuriating, classless hate-fest that left everyone who watched needing a cold shower afterwards.
Let’s start with Luis Suarez. He bit Giorgio Cheillini. It’s the third time Suarez has bit an opposing player on the field – once in Holland for Ajax, once in England for Liverpool, and now once at the World Cup for Uruguay.
He’s covered his tracks, you have to give him that. The third time is the charm. Ban him for the World Cup. Then ban him for life.
We’ll be hearing about the fallout from this latest incident for the rest of the World Cup, just as we’ll be seeing the image of Cheillini’s shoulder peppered with teeth marks until well after the final.
Zinedine Zidane has company. Suarez’s biting will be a pop-culture reference and touchstone incident in football history for years to come. But while Zidane made one terrible decision after intense goading, Suarez’s biting is a saga that has to stop.
This wasn’t a league game. This was the World Cup. And just as the scope was hitting Italy for the first time, Diego Godin rose up to head Uruguay into the second round of the World Cup and send Italy home.
In case you’re also coping with the scope for the first time, that’s the end of Andrea Pirlo at the World Cup. That’s the end of Gianluigi Buffon. And one of the classiest men in football, Italy manager Cesare Prandelli – a man who resigned as manager of Roma to care for his ailing wife almost ten years ago – has resigned from Italy.