When Uruguay’s best player, Luis Suárez, bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match on Tuesday, this most compelling of tournaments was nearly eclipsed in the news by Suárez’s act of barbarism. FIFA, which protects its brand like an eight-handed goalkeeper, reacted swiftly, banning Suárez from playing football for four months. During the ban the biter is also “prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium.”
Suárez has bitten two players before. The most famous incident (until now) was in 2013, when Suárez bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanoic as they tussled for possession in front of the goal (during a 2-2 draw). Suárez privately and publicly apologized for his “inexcusable behavior,” and Ivanoic accepted. Suárez was fined $63,000. Back in 2009 former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson finally officially apologized to Evander Holyfield after biting part of his ear off during a brutal fight in 1997. Both boxers went on The Oprah Winfrey Show to make it official—and Holyfield forgave Tyson. Tyson may have done a lot of crazy stuff after that (see tattoo on face and his singing in The Hangover Part 2) but he never bit in the ring again. Perhaps it was the $3 million fine (and legal costs) he was forced to pay. Suárez, who makes an annual salary of 10 million GBP (USD $17 million), has been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 100,000 (or USD $111,818) for biting Chiellini.