Luis Suarez, the controversial Uruguayan soccer player who bit rival Italian player Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup match on Wednesday, has an unusual defense for his recent actions. According to The Guardian, Uruguay's football association claims that images of Chiellini's shoulder have been Photoshopped to make the alleged bite marks seem worse than they are. Suarez fell to the ground clutching his teeth after the incident, while Chiellini pulled down his shirt in protest.
Although the referee didn't spot Suarez's lunge on Chiellini at the time, World Cup governing body FIFA has charged the Uruguayan player over the incident, delivering a four-month ban on "any football-related activity" on Thursday. Still, Uruguay has rushed to defend Suarez, the country's most important player and one of the most skilled strikers in the world.
Alejandro Balbi, Suarez's lawyer and member of the Uruguayan FA, claims that Suarez is being victimized. "We’re going to use all the arguments possible so that Luis gets out in the best possible way," he said. "You shouldn’t forget that we’re rivals of many and we can be for the hosts [Brazil] in the future. This does not go against what might have happened, but there’s no doubt that Suarez is a stone in the shoe for many." Uruguay captain Diego Lugano, meanwhile, said that TV images "don't show anything."
"I'd love to see if they have the courage to use video evidence against him."
"These situations happen on the pitch," Suarez said in a post-match interview. "We were both just inside the area, he struck me in the chest with his shoulder and he hit me in the eye as well." Chiellini said "Suarez is a sneak and he gets away with it because FIFA wants their stars to play in the World Cup. I'd love to see if they have the courage to use video evidence against him."
Suarez has prior history, to say the least. He served a 10-match ban in 2013 for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic while playing for Liverpool in England's Premier League, and in 2010 Dutch side Ajax suspended him for two games after he bit PSV Eindhoven player Otman Bakkal. Suarez was also banned for eight games in 2011 for racist abuse directed at Manchester United's Patrice Evra.