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Disciplinary proceedings opened against Suarez

The Uruguayan is accused of biting Italian player Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup match last night.

Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Football governing body Fifa confirmed that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez for allegedly biting Italian player Giorgio Chiellini.

The incident took place in yesterday's World Cup match between the South Americans and Italy, sparking outrage from the sporting community.

"The player and/or the Uruguayan FA are invited to provide with their position and any documentary evidence they deem relevant until 25 June 5pm, Brasilia time," said a statement released by Fifa.

Contesting for a ball, Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini collided.

Moments later, the Uruguayan appeared to bite Chiellini's left shoulder.

Outraged, the Italian pulled the collar of his shirt down appealing to Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez to act, but he instead waved play on.

The Italians were still complaining about it when Uruguay's Diego Godin scored with an 81st minute header to secure a 1-0 win that sent them into the second round and eliminated Italy.

"It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off," Chiellini told Rai TV.

"It is clear, clear-cut and then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn't have done."

But Suarez said the incident was just part of the rough and tumble of the game.

"Those are situations that happen on the pitch. We were both just there inside the area. He shoved me with his shoulder, and my eye got left like that also," he said in reference to Chiellini's mark.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said he did not see it.

"I didn't see that. And if it happened the referee probably didn't see it. So no I don't have any more comments to make. We had more important things than this in a football match."

Suarez has already been banned for biting twice before.

Last year, the Uruguayan bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match and received a 10 match ban andwas suspended in 2010 for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax Amsterdam.

He missed Uruguay's World Cup semifinal against the Netherlands in South Africa in 2010 after being sent off for a handball on the line that denied Ghana what would have been a match-winning goal in the final minute of extra time in a quarterfinal match.

Fifa's disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years, but the longest suspension Fifa has imposed for an offence in the World Cup was eight games for Italy's Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain's Luis Enrique's nose in 1994 with an elbow.

Uruguay could potentially play four more games in the tournament and it would be a surprise if Suarez were to be given a ban of a shorter duration.

Meanwhile, Suarez's latest indiscretion sent the world's social media into meltdown and within minutes of the match ending #Suarez was the top trending hash tag on Twitter.

A tweet from former Liverpool striker Michael Owen was typical of a wave of reaction from former players and pundits.

Tell me I'm seeing things. Surely Suarez didn't bite someone again?

I'm genuinely gutted. I love watching him play more than any other player but he obviously just can't control himself.