The 2014 World Cup brought many beautiful moments, goals and matches, but also some bizarre moments. These include Luis Suárez biting Giorgio Chiellini.
Luis Suárez had a “bad boy” image at the time. He had already had a racist incident with Patrice Evra, or had already bitten Ottmann Bakkal or Branislav Ivanovic.
But before this tournament, he launched a PR campaign. He was supposed to be the new Luis Suárez. Not the one who racially abused Patrice Evra, bit Ivanovic and Bakkal or knocked Dominic Adiyiah’s header off the line with his hands against Ghana.
“I want to change the bad-boy image that has stuck to me a bit because I don’t think I’m at all what I’ve been portrayed as. I want to do things right. I really, really want to,” Suárez said in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
Due to knee surgery before the tournament, he was not fit for the first game against Costa Rica, but scored twice in the second game against England to knock Albion out of the tournament.
Uruguay had to beat Italy to advance. But the match was rather uninspiring, with both teams having their strength taken away by the extreme heat in Natal, Brazil.
In the 66th minute, the ball got to Suárez, he passed in front of Buffon, but his telegraphed shot was caught by the legendary goalkeeper.
According to Suárez, it was the germ of what was to follow. In his autobiography, he later explained that in both previous incidents, frustration caused his “teeth” incidents. He bit Bakkal while playing for Ajax when “we were in a bad period that would lead to our manager Martin Jol getting sacked”, while the incident with Ivanovic came after “I caused a stupid penalty”.
And so it was again this time. “If I had scored that goal,” he wrote, “what followed would never have happened. I wouldn’t have done anything. Nothing.” So it was all Buffon’s fault, really.
In the 79th minute, Chiellini half-cleared the ball, and as it bounced to the left, Suárez crashed into it. They both jostled and then fell to the ground. No one in the vicinity seemed to react. Matteo Di Sciglio, who was closest to the situation, only started to protest when he saw a confused Chiellini.
Referee Marco Rodríguez awarded a free kick to Italy. Given that he didn’t even give Suárez a card, it’s unclear what foul he thought he saw.
An enraged Chiellini chased Rodríguez and ripped off his jersey to show him the teeth marks. Uruguay’s Gaston Ramírez tried to cover his shoulder so nothing could be seen. Suárez sat on the ground holding his teeth.
In the stands, it was unclear what had happened. Some thought it was just a headbutt, but within minutes they figured it out. The journalists looked at each other in disbelief: oh my God, he did it again.
Chiellini, of course, was more confident. “It was ridiculous not to send off Suárez,” he said. “Suárez is a backstabber and gets away with it because Fifa wants its stars to play in the World Cup. I’d like to see if they have the guts to use video evidence. The referee also saw the bite marks but did nothing,” the Italian stopper fumed.
Suárez earned a four-month ban from football and a nine-match stoppage in the national team from UEFA, while being fined 100,000 Swiss francs.
Source: The Guardian
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