Diego Godin’s late goal gave Uruguay a 1-0 win over 10-man Italy, a result that saw them advance to the knockout stages, but the match was overshadowed by an incident in which Luis Suarez took a bite out of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez, who served lengthy bans for biting opponents while playing for both Ajax and Liverpool, clashed with Chiellini in the 79th minute. Television replays showed Suarez moving his head towards Chiellini who responded by swinging an arm, before chasing the referee to apparently insist he had been bitten on his shoulder.
The Italian were furious that Suarez was not sent off, and to rub salt into their wounds, two minutes later Godin rose highest to head home a corner and send Italy home early.
After the match, Juventus defender Chiellini called Suarez’s action “a disgrace” on Sky Sport Italia and called for FIFA action.
“Suarez gets away with whatever he wants because FIFA want the top players involved,” Chiellini said. “He bit me, and the sign is there. Now [FIFA] have got to have the courage to take action.”
FIFA regulations allow Suarez to be punished retrospectively and it has said it
“will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter.”
The bite overshadows what was a remarkably turnaround by Uruguay. Without their talisman Suarez they were ripped apart by Costa Rican just over a week ago, so to rebound and beat both England and Italy is impressive.
The big question now is how will they handle the upcoming suspension of Suarez, as FIFA will surely suspend him for the rest of the tournament.
As for the Italians, there will be an inquest after this. To not pick up a point after beating England, and not score a goal in their subsequent two matches was unthinkable after their opening match performance.