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The Liverpool forward could face a lengthy ban from football after being accused of biting an opponent for the third time in his controversial career

Fifa has announced it will open an investigation into allegations Uruguay striker Luis Suarez bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder in Tuesday's World Cup encounter in Natal.

The two clashed late in the Group D fixture which Uruguay went on to win 1-0 to eliminate the Azzurri. Chiellini immediately drew the attention of referee Marco Rodriguez, pulling down his shirt to display his skin. However, no action was taken by the Mexican official.

Pictures and videos of the incident quickly spread on social media and Fifa, the world game's governing body, later confirmed it will look into the matter further.

A Fifa spokesperson told Goal: "We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter."

Fifa have the authority to ban the Liverpool star for up to two years and their disciplinary code allows the use of video evidence.

The spokesperson added: "The Fifa Disciplinary Committee is responsible for sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials' attention. Furthermore, any type of proof may be produced, reports from referees, declarations from the parties and witnesses, material evidence, audio or video recordings."

There is a precedence of video evidence being used at a World Cup before - in 1994 when Italy defender Mauro Tassotti was banned for eight matches after the on-field officials missed an elbow to the face of Spain's Luis Enrique.

Suarez has been banned for biting twice before.

At Ajax, he was handed a seven-game ban for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal. Last year he was given a 10-game sanction for biting the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League game at Anfield.

Chiellini was certainly in no doubt as to what had happened.

"Suarez is smart because Fifa allow it because they want to their champions to play," he told RAI. "The referee saw everything, but did not have the courage.

"There are episodes that affect the game. The action is clear, they say that the referees are informed on the players, but obviously they are not."

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