Uruguay striker Luis Suarez should be banned for “as long as possible” if it is proved he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, according to former England captain Alan Shearer.
The Liverpool forward appeared to bite Chiellini just before Uruguay scored their winning goal on Tuesday, and Chiellini pulled his shirt down to show an apparent mark on his shoulder afterwards.
Shearer said: “The pictures are damning and I don’t see how he can get away with it.”
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said: “It looks really clear. Suarez has clearly got a short fuse. It was 0-0 at that stage, with not long to go and Suarez was obviously getting frustrated.
“And his reaction is the thing he obviously does in those circumstances – he wants to bite people when he goes mad.”
Former Wales midfielderRobbie Savage said: “It is a disgrace. Suarez should never play international football again.”
Suarez has been involved in similar incidents twice before –he was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013 and received a seven-game suspension for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while at Ajax in 2010.
Here, BBC Sport’s World Cup pundits react to the latest controversy surrounding the 27-year-old, whose handball on the line to prevent a Ghana goal in the quarter-final of the 2010 World Cup helped Uruguay reach the semi-finals.
‘Disgraceful and disgusting’
Alan Shearer: “It is staggering because it is pretty clear what happened. It is disgraceful and disgusting and there is no place for it. Suarez did exactly the same after the Ivanovic incident too – he feigned injury and pretended he was hurt in order to distract the referee.”
Former England midfielder Danny Murphy: “For no reason, Suarez sinks his teeth into Chiellini and then plays the victim. No matter what has been said or done to him beforehand, there is no excuse for that, but nothing had even happened that was that bad.
“There is something not quite right with him – it just shows he has a tiny trigger and a little thing sets him off.”
Robbie Savage: “The Italian defenders had clattered into Suarez a few times but for him to react like that is a disgrace. The first time I saw it, I thought Suarez had headbutted Chiellini but, when you slow the replays down, you see him go into his shoulder.”
‘Lock him up for ever’
World football’s governing body Fifa will evaluate the matter when it receives the referee’s report, and can take retrospective action. Fifa’s disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years.
Alan Shearer: “Suarez was found guilty at Ajax, he was found guilty at Liverpool and if he is found guilty here, Fifa should give him as long a ban as they can. Three bites and you are out – they should absolutely hammer him.”
Robbie Savage: “He has done it on a world stage and he should never play international football again. He knows what he has done.
“After the England game he was celebrating so much that he was in tears but this time he was really subdued at the final whistle, as if he had realised what had just happened.”
Chris Waddle: “Suarez has to get severely punished. Let’s see how strong Fifa are. There will be people who will defend him, but I don’t know why. I’d make him wear a gumshield.”
Danny Mills: “It has to be the longest ban in football ever. A worldwide ban, not just an international ban.
“These are exceptional circumstances and they must be able to ban him worldwide for this. It is the third time it has happened and it is a clear bite this time, in a tournament of this magnitude, the most watched tournament in the world. I am sorry but they have got to throw him in jail and lock him up for ever.”
‘Liverpool will be panicking’
Suarez asked to leave Liverpool last summer but, after returning from his ban for the Ivanovic incident, he signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract at Anfield in December. Despite that, and Liverpool’s qualification for next season’s Champions League, he continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Robbie Savage: “Liverpool are not going to sack Luis Suarez over this. But if they want to sell him then his price tag might go up if he does get an international ban.
“If he cannot play for Uruguay in qualifiers or at major tournaments then Real or Barca might be thinking, well he is not going to be travelling around the world and he is going to be fit and healthy for every domestic game.”
Danny Mills: “Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be panicking, thinking we have got this player worth £60m and he could be banned for 20, 30 games or even the whole of next season.”
Danny Murphy: “We don’t know yet if an international ban can be transferred into club football. But, even if it can’t be, it could mean he is staying at Liverpool because I don’t think anybody would take a risk on him after this.”
Alan Shearer: “The big-hitters, Real and Barca would still come in for Suarez. When you look at last season, what he achieved and the ability he has, then there will always be someone prepared to take a gamble on him.”