In Luis Suárez’s letter of defense to the FIFA disciplinary committee, the Uruguay striker insisted that the now infamous incident – in which he collided with the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini, with the Italy defender immediately peeling away his kit to show what appeared to be bite marks – was not a bite.
Writing in Spanish, Suárez insisted that “in no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite.” He went on to describe his version of what happened on that pitch in Natal:
After the impact … I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.
As you might guess, this statement, released by the Associated Press, is already providing plenty of mirth to those circulating it on social media. It also did not sway the disciplinary panel, who stated that the bite was “deliberate, intentional and without provocation.”
Suárez’s attempt to justify his actions on the pitch certainly did not tempt the FIFA to go easy on the forward, particularly considering this was his third offense. He was banned from nine international matches and from all of soccer for four months, and fined $112,000.
Want more? Listen to Eric Wynalda give his perspective on Suárez’s mental state, on the Dan Patrick Show:
Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.
The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).
Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.
Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.
On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).
Mesut Ozil is on international break, and bristling at reports that Arsenal is going to sell him.
The midfielder’s absence from the lineup last week had plenty speculating on his future, even more than usual. His contract expires in 2018, and several reports claimed he’d join Alexis Sanchez as players destined for elsewhere.
“And you think Wenger tells the journalist before he tells me? Then I know him differently,” Ozil told German outlet Welt.
“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”
Metro notes that Ozil also said he wants to win the Champions League, something that can only happen with Arsenal remaining in the Top Four. We suppose you could make snarky inferences from his “comfortable in London” phrasing, but we’ll leave it there.