24-match ban for Luis Suarez?

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Luis Suarez holds his teeth after the biting incident
Natal (Brazil), June 25: FIFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Uruguay's Luis Suarez for his alleged biting of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during their Group D World Cup 2014 match yesterday (June 24).

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"FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the player Luis Suarez of Uruguay following an apparent breach of art. 48 and/or art. 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil match Italy-Uruguay played on 24 June 2014. The player and/or the Uruguayan FA are invited to provide with their position and any documentary evidence they deem relevant until 25 June 2014, 5pm, Brasilia time," a statement from FIFA said today.

"According to art. 77 lit. a of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC), the FIFA Disciplinary Committee is responsible for sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials' attention. Furthermore, according to art. 96 of the FDC, any type of proof may be produced (par. 1), in particular are admissible, reports from referees, declarations from the parties and witnesses, material evidence, audio or video recordings (par. 3)," it added.

According to reports, the maximum ban as per FIFA's disciplinary code is up to 24 matches or two years. In World Cup history, the longest ban was 8 games on Mauro Tassotti of Italy for breaking Spanish player Luis Enique's nose with his elbow in the 1994 tournament.

Suarez appeared to have bitten Chiellini's left shoulder during their 1-0 victory yesterday.

Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez did not notice the offence. Uruguay defeated Italy 1-0 to advance to the knockout stage.

Here is what FIFA Disciplinary Code states:

Article 48 - Misconduct against opponents or persons other than match

1. Including the automatic suspension incurred in accordance with art. 18 par. 4, any recipient of a direct red card shall be suspended as follows:

a) one match for denying the opposing team a clear goal-scoring opportunity (particularly by deliberately handling the ball);

b) at least one match for serious foul play (particularly in the case of excessive or brute force);

c) at least one match for unsporting conduct towards an opponent or a person other than a match official (subject to art. 53, 54 and 57-60);

d) at least two matches for assaulting (elbowing, punching, kicking etc.) an opponent or a person other than a match offi cial;

e) at least six matches for spitting at an opponent or a person other than a match official.

2. A fine may also be imposed in all cases.

3. The right is reserved to punish an infringement in accordance with art. 77 a).

57 Offensive behaviour and fair play

Anyone who insults someone in any way, especially by using offensive gestures or language, or who violates the principles of fair play or whose behaviour is unsporting in any other way may be subject to sanctions in accordance with art. 10 ff.

Article 77 - Specific jurisdiction

The Disciplinary Committee is responsible for:

a) sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials' attention;

b) rectifying obvious errors in the referee's disciplinary decisions;

c) extending the duration of a match suspension incurred automatically by an expulsion (cf. art 18, par. 4);

d) pronouncing additional sanctions, such as a fi ne.

Article 96 - Various types of proof

1. Any type of proof may be produced.

2. Proof that violates human dignity or obviously does not serve to establish relevant facts shall be rejected.

3. The following are, in particular, admissible: reports from referees, assistant referees, match commissioners and referee inspectors, declarations from the parties and witnesses, material evidence, expert opinions and audio or video recordings.

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