Luis Suarez, the fantastically gifted and stunningly flawed Uruguayan striker, has finally offered up his account of the June 24 encounter with Italian defender Giorgi Chiellini.
My apologies to Chiellini: pic.twitter.com/CvfkkjxzlM
— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) June 30, 2014
To recap, there was little doubt in anyone’s mind (except Uruguayans convinced of the far-fetched notion of a Euro-centric conspiracy to deny them another World Cup) that Suarez had chomped on Chiellini’s left shoulder. Indeed, given the number of TV cameras that documented the moment, and the rather toothy marks showing on Chiellini’s skin, the bite was pretty much an accepted fact. Of course, Suarez didn’t help his case by holding his teeth in pain as he sat on the ground immediate after. Nor did the fact that he had at least two previous Close Encounters of a Toothy Kind in European competition.
FIFA, to its credit, responded swiftly, handing down a 9-match ban, among other things, and thus kicking Suarez out of the tournament, and casting serious doubt on Uruguay’s ability to advance.
Suarez may have figured that contrition would help his rehabilitation, as he returns to club play with Liverpool FC where he recently signed a contract extension that pushed him up among the world’s top-paid footballers.