A furious Giorgio Chiellini said he had been bitten by Suarez
during the South Americans' 1-0 Group D victory at the World Cup on
Tuesday, and Reuters photographs showed what appeared to be bite
marks on his shoulder.
Pictures also showed Suarez sitting on the ground holding his teeth
immediately after the incident.
The probe means Suarez, twice previously banned for biting, looks
set to be hit with another lengthy suspension despite escaping
punishment during the match.
"FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened
against the player Luis Suarez of Uruguay," the world soccer body
said in a statement late on Tuesday.
FIFA said Suarez and the Uruguayan soccer association had until 5
p.m. Brasilia time (2000 GMT) on Wednesday to "provide their
position and any documentary evidence they deem relevant".
FIFA is probing what it called an apparent breach of two articles of
the organization's disciplinary code. One covers infringements and
the other offensive behavior and fair play.
Suarez and Chiellini clashed in the Italian penalty area 10 minutes
from the end of the match which sealed Uruguay's progression and
Italy's elimination from the tournament.
Chiellini furiously pulled open his shirt to show the mark to the
referee, while a Uruguayan player attempted to calm the situation
and pull the shirt back in place over the mark.
The Italians were still complaining about it when Uruguay's Diego
Godin scored with an 81st-minute header to secure the win.
"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."
Suarez contested the Italian's version of events, however.
"Those are situations that happen on the pitch. We were both just
there inside the area. He shoved me with his shoulder, and my eye
got left like that also," he said in reference to Chiellini's mark.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said he did not see the incident, and
complained that the forward was being persecuted.
"It seems there is this animosity toward him and he is being
persecuted by past events," a visibly agitated Tabarez said when
repeatedly being asked about the alleged bite. "There are people
hiding behind the tree waiting for something to happen."
Liverpool's Suarez was banned for 10 games last year after biting
Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match and in 2010
he was suspended for seven games for a similar offence against PSV
Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax Amsterdam.
He missed Uruguay's World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands
four years ago after being sent off for a handball on the line that
denied Ghana what would have been a match-winning goal in the final
minute of extra time.
FIFA's rules allow the use of video or "any other evidence" to
retrospectively punish players.
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FIFA's disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two
years, but the longest suspension FIFA has imposed for an offence at
a World Cup was eight games for Italy's Mauro Tassotti for breaking
Spain's Luis Enrique's nose in 1994 with an elbow.
Uruguay could potentially play four more games in the tournament,
and it would be a surprise if Suarez were to be given a ban of a
SUPPORT AT HOME
Opinion in Uruguay, a country of around three million people
sandwiched between soccer powerhouses Argentina and Brazil, was
divided over Suarez's latest antics.
The 27-year-old is regarded as something of a hero at home, having
grown up in a poor family in the northwestern city of Salto, where
he looked after parked cars to help support his siblings after his
parents split up.
"We needed to win, so if you have to hit you hit, if you have to
bite you bite," said Barbara Giordano, a 26-year-old law student in
Some Uruguayans, however, were furious.
"This kid can't control his biting and attacking issues," said Luis
Lara, a 52-year-old shopkeeper. "That makes all of us Uruguayans
Suarez's indiscretion sent the world's social media into meltdown
and within minutes of the match ending '#Suarez' was one of the
top-trending hash tags 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."
Suarez, England's Footballer of the Year, scored both goals in
Uruguay's 2-1 victory over England having missed the opening match
as he recovered from knee surgery, and until the incident had kept
control of his temper during a bruising game.
(Writing by Mike Collett-White and Ossian Shine, additional
reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Justin Palmer and John
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