Uruguay striker Luis Suarez told the FIFA disciplinary committee that sent him home from the World Cup with a suspension for nine international matches and a four-month ban from all football activity that his bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini wasn't a bite at all. Suarez's defense was included in the disciplinary committee's report, which has been seen by the Associated Press.
"After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent," Suarez wrote in his submission to the panel which met Wednesday, one day after Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 in a decisive group-stage match.
"At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth," Suarez said.
But with the television footage clearly showing Suarez's intent to chomp for the third time in his career, the committee didn't buy this excuse, calling the bite "deliberate, intentional and without provocation."
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It's unclear if Suarez thought the "I fell and hurt my teeth on his delicious back" defense would actually work or if even he realized that it's impossible to mount a rational defense of biting an opponent for the third time in four years and decided to just say words. Either way, it's the type of defense one would expect to hear from a young child — which, to be fair, is the group usually associated with biting their peers and complaining about how it hurt their teeth.
On Friday, both Chiellini and Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez said that the punishment imposed on Suarez was overly severe. Even though no other player at the World Cup has slipped and fallen teeth first into someone's flesh. For the third time.
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- Luis Suarez
- Giorgio Chiellini