To date, it's been a thrilling World Cup, one filled with heartbreak and heroics, dazzling displays of individual and team skill and, of course, those cool aerosol things. That all changed on Tuesday, thanks mostly to Luis Suarez's insatiable desire for human flesh.
Yes, the talented, toothy Uruguayan struck again, appearing to bite Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during a do-or-die match in Group D (Suarez has a history of this, you see). The chomp was so egregious that FIFA – an institution not exactly known for its swiftness – has already charged Suarez, and turned the matter over to its disciplinary committee.
But he wasn't the only person responsible for marring this beauty of a tournament; oh no, the guys on the Italian side did their part too...and so did the referees in the crucial Greece/Ivory Coast game later in the day.
Yes, it was brutal throughout Brazil; let's get to the carnage right now, in Flagrant 2.
'The Cannibal' Bites, Balotelli Brings the Atomic Knee
OK, so first things first: Diego Godin's late goal gave Uruguay a 1-0 victory over Italy, securing a spot in the round of 16 and sending the Italian coach into early retirement. But following the match, all anyone wanted to talk about was the bite felt 'round the world.
In the 79th minute of what had already been a pretty chippy game (more on that in a second), Suarez and Chiellini got tangled up in the box and the man known as "the Cannibal" more than lived up to his nickname:
CHOMP. Despite Chiellini's pleas, no foul was called, and moments later, Uruguay would score the game's only goal on a corner. After the match, Suarez denied that he'd bitten the defender –"There are things that happen on the pitch," he told reporters, "and you should not make such a big deal out of them" – but it sure looked like he did, and a red-hot Chiellini called his actions "a disgrace" on Italian television.
FIFA must have been watching, because they quickly announced a formal investigation of the incident. Its disciplinary committee gave Italy until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to present evidence, including video of the alleged bite. Suarez (who, in addition to cannibalism, has a pretty solid history of racism) could be suspended for 2 years or 24 matches if soccer's governing body finds him guilty. Make it an even 100.
Then again, Italy were no angels either. Earlier in the match, midfielder Claudio Marchisio justly earned a red card for a cheap-shot chop at the legs of Uruguay's Egidio Rios (take that, femur!) and living Dragon Ball Z character Mario Balotelli went all Super Saiyan on Alvaro Periera, giving him an atomic knee lift:
He earned a yellow card, and a tryout with WWE, for his efforts.
Greece Gets a Gift
Look, we're happy Greece is advancing to the knockout stage for the first time. They definitely outplayed Ivory Coast on Tuesday (they had three shots hit the woodwork), and we enjoy their Fage yogurt. But it was the way they won – converting a penalty kick in stoppage time after a B.S. call in the box – that's got us upset.
Because, seriously, that was a pretty lousy way to decide a crucial match. Look for yourself:
Moments later, Georgios Samaras slammed the penalty home, and sent Ivory Coast packing. That came after the African team had knotted the game at 1 apiece, on a 74th-minute goal from Wilfried Bony. A draw would have put the Elephants through to the round of 16...instead, it's disappointment. More proof that there's no such thing as karma, because this team sure has been through a lot lately. Thanks refs, you're the worst.
Here's to a World Cup Wednesday devoid of bites, bad calls and big knee lifts. We sure could use it.