Serial human biter Luis Suarez appeared to chomp again during Uruguay's match against Italy. With the Italians down to 10 men following Claudio Marchisio's 60th-minute sending off, Suarez and defender Giorgio Chiellini scuffled off the ball. Suarez buried his face into Chilleini's back and the Italian instantly tried to shake him off as they both went to ground.
Chiellini then stood up and pulled down his shirt to show the referee the possible bite marks in his flesh while Suarez held his teeth.
Suarez was not punished for the bizarre incident, though. And moments later Uruguay's Diego Godin scored the match's only goal to send Uruguay to the knockout stage at Italy's expense.
[Slideshow: Did Luis Suarez bite Giorgio Chiellini?]
If Suarez did intentionally bite Chiellini, it would be the third time he's done so to an opponent during a match. The first came in 2010 when he bit PSV's Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax. That resulted in a seven-match ban. The second came when he bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic while playing for Liverpool in 2013. That resulted in a 10-match ban, which extended into this past season. When he returned, he matched a Premier League record with 31 goals in 33 appearances to earn the Professional Footballers' Assoccation Player of the Year award.
Despite the surreal biting incidents and a ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra in 2011, Suarez's undeniable talent helped him rehabilitate his image in recent months. He has tried to portray himself as the victim of a bias in the English media against foreigners and a family man like any other who sometimes gets a little too passionate in the heat of battle.
Just before the World Cup, he told Sports Illustrated, "I want to change the bad boy image that has stuck for a bit because I don’t think I am at all how I have been portrayed. [...] On the field, sometimes passion overwhelms you and you do things you regret afterward. I think I have been a role model since last summer."
But as the saying goes, "Bite someone once, shame on you. Bite someone else, shame on you again. Bite someone a third time, and what is wrong with you?!?! Stop biting people!"
[Slideshow: World Cup Group Stage: Uruguay vs. Italy]
After the match, Chiellini said that he was bitten and accused FIFA of protecting Suarez. From Football Italia:
“Suarez is a sneak and he gets away with it because FIFA want their stars to play in the World Cup. I’d love to see if they have the courage to use video evidence against him.
“The referee saw the bite mark too, but he did nothing about it.”
FIFA announced that it will investigate the incident. But given FIFA's unimpressive history of investigating things, this hardly guarantees justice.
Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez, meanwhile, fell into the trap of trying to defend Suarez's behavior that too many otherwise rational and upstanding people have fallen into before.
More World Cup coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- Sports & Recreation
- Luis Suarez
- Giorgio Chiellini