TIME Soccer

Soccer Star Says Biting Italian Player Was an Accident

Candidate for the best excuse of all time?

Those deep teethmarks in Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s gnawed shoulder? Those were an accident, Uruguay striker Luis Suarez said in a letter to international soccer officials this week.

Suarez has succeeded in bringing international excuse-making to a whole new level of wild implausibility with his brilliant explanation for Chiellini’s nibbled skin. Suarez’s excuse is more elegant than the proverbial “dog-ate-my-homework” excuse and it’s more sophisticated than the Mike Tyson excuse after he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear off: “He kept [head]butting me … What am I supposed to do? I’ve got children to raise.”

Suarez, in a letter to FIFA appealing the ban he was handed down after the incident, said: “I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent.”

“I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth,” Suarez added. (Ah yes, the absent-minded jaw chomp into a vice-like clench around your opponent’s exposed shoulder.)

FIFA objected, saying the bite was “deliberate, intentional and without provocation,” Bloomberg reports.

After the game, Suarez was banned for nine official games and given a four-month suspension from all soccer activity, meaning that his Uruguay squad enters into the World Cup’s Round of 16 knockout round without its star player.


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