RIO DE JANEIRO: The disciplinary committee of world federation FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings over yesterday’s incident in which Italy alleged that Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini in the closing stages of their Group D tie in Natal.

The incident prompted Jim Boyce, the British vice-president of FIFA who heads the referees committee, to say: “Suarez is a fantastic footballer but once again his actions have left him open to severe criticism.”

The world federation said, in a statement, tht proceedings had been opened and the Uruguayan federation and Suarez had until 5pm Brasilia time today (9pm BST/20.00 CET) to submit evidence on behalf of the player.

FIFA has wide latitude over the range of evidence it can consider.

The first step after any incident is to collate reports from the referee, match delegates and other officials.

This is particular relevant in cases where the referee has not seen a particular incident which appears to have been the case in the goalmouth clash between the two players in the action which led on to the Uruguayan winning goal.

A FIFA spokesperson said: “Speaking generally, according to Article 77 of the FIFA disciplinary code, the disciplinary committee is responsible for sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials’ attention.”

The evidence it considers does not only have to come from official FIFA sources. Other witnesses’ evidence can be considered as well as audio or video recordings.

In the 2010 World Cup finals Suarez was suspended for one game after being sent off for punching a shot by Ghana’s Asamoah Gian off the goal-line in the final seconds of the quarter-finals.

Uruguay, without the banned Suarez, lost 3-2 to Holland in the semi-finals.