Luis Suarez bite: Suarez’s Liverpool career in jeopardy after bite

Club may consider offers as striker’s lawyer flies in to prepare his defence

Luis Suarez’s career for club and country was in jeopardy last night as Fifa prepared its case against the disgraced striker following his latest biting incident.

The Uruguayan striker is facing disciplinary action following his bite on Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s Group D game against Italy on Tuesday afternoon. It is the third time he has bitten an opponent in recent years and Liverpool could be running out of patience with the striker who nearly guided them to the Premier League title last season.

UPDATE: Luis Suarez banned for nine matches

While Liverpool fought hard to keep Suarez at the club last summer, with the player agitating for a move after a bid of more than £40m from Arsenal, they may not be quite as keen this summer after his latest indiscretion, amid firm interest – and a far higher likely transfer fee – from Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Read more: Suarez denies bite, says Chiellini bumped into his shoulder
Suarez tried to bite Chiellini last year

Suarez’s lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, flew to Rio de Janeiro yesterday to prepare his defence. “We’re polishing off a defence argument,” said Balbi, who is also on the board of the Uruguayan FA, and who defended Suarez’s actions. “We don’t have any doubts that this has happened because it’s Suarez and secondly because Italy were eliminated. There’s a lot of pressure from England and Italy.”

Suarez is likely to face a hefty punishment after Fifa announced, in the early hours of yesterday morning, that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against him. The case will be overseen by the chairman of the Fifa disciplinary committee, Claudio Sulser, a Swiss lawyer and former professional footballer. The disciplinary committee will assess all the video evidence before making its judgement. The Uruguayan Football Association had a deadline last night to respond to the charge.

 

Fifa promised to move as swiftly as possible, with Uruguay due to play Colombia in the last 16 on Saturday evening, although it could not promise it would act before the match. “The disciplinary committee understands the urgency of the matter and is working to make a decision as soon as possible, particularly as Uruguay are still in the tournament,” said a Fifa spokesperson.

Suarez scored 31 Premier League goals last season, earning him PFA and FWA Player of the Year titles, despite missing the first six games of the season because of his previous biting ban. Liverpool had hoped that the striker had turned a corner after biting incidents in the past. Suarez was handed a 10-game ban in April last year for biting the Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a game at Anfield. Liverpool and Suarez described themselves as being “shocked and disappointed” with that punishment.

Tuesday’s incident with Italy defender Chiellini was reminiscent of the clash with Ivanovic, which Liverpool had hoped would be a turning point in the striker’s chequered career. It also recalled when Suarez bit PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in November 2010 while playing for Ajax, after which the Dutch FA banned him for seven games.

Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez (R) clashes with Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic (L) Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez (R) clashes with Chelsea's Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic (L)  

There were not many voices in Brazil condemning Suarez’s actions last night but one came from Alcides Ghiggia, who scored the winning goal when Uruguay won the World Cup in Brazil in 1950, and who called for Suarez to be punished.

“I think a punishment should be applied because this isn’t rare, it’s not the first time he’s done something like this,” said Ghiggia. “I don’t know what this lad thinks or what he has in his head. If you’re from Uruguay or anywhere else, you always have to punish these things on the field of play – it’s not a war.”

Two of Suarez’s main sponsors distanced themselves from him last night, with 888poker announcing that it was “seriously reviewing its relationship” with Suarez, as it “will not tolerate any unsporting behaviour”. Adidas executives also met in Rio de Janeiro yesterday to discuss the incident, and said they would wait for Fifa’s decision before responding.

There was also fierce criticism from the Liverpool legends Phil Thompson and Robbie Fowler, suggesting a change of mood on Merseyside after the continued indiscretions of the club’s best player.

“It’s a real, real tough predicament that most Liverpool fans are in,” said Fowler, who predicted the striker’s departure from Liverpool this summer. “They love him as a player, but what he does, he’s continually dragging the club’s name through the mud.

“It’s not right, especially after what they did with him last time when they’ve come out and supported him and tried to rehabilitate him. You can’t defend him,” said Fowler. “Off the pitch he’s a lovely fellow. He does so much work for charity, does so much in the community for Liverpool, and I love him as a player, but you cannot condone what he has done. It’s just not right, is it? I wouldn’t be surprised if he went now.”

Thompson denounced Suarez’s behaviour in just as strong terms. “You think of the support the guy has had from [manager] Brendan Rodgers, [owner] John Henry and the majority of the fans at Liverpool,” Thompson said. “He’s had massive support. It was like a kick in the face.”

Uruguay's defender Diego Lugano speaks during a press conference in Natal Uruguay's defender Diego Lugano speaks during a press conference in Natal  

But Uruguay captain Diego Lugano rallied behind Suarez last night, insisting that Chiellini was not bitten. “What incident?,” he said when asked about it. “The pictures don’t show anything. They show an approximation.”

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices