BUENOS AIRES: Fernando Mitjans, Argentinian deputy chairman of FIFA’s appeals committee, has said Giorgio Chiellini admitting to over-reacting on being bitten by Luis Suarez’s at last year’s World Cup to have the Uruguay striker sent off.
Barcelona forward Suarez was banned subsequently from playing in competitive matches for four months and was also suspended for nine international matches by the world football federation.
Mitjans, as a judiciary member from the same continent as Suarez, was recused from the appeal hearing at which Suarez’s initial punishments were eased.
However, discussions with colleagues persuaded him that Italy and Juventus defender Chiellini had also been cheating.
He told Fox Sports Radio Argentina: “When they asked the referee what happened, he insisted that he didn’t see anything. They asked Chiellini, who was the victim, and the victim said: ‘Sir, he didn’t do anything to me.’
“You know what Chiellini said?- ‘It was a kiss that my girlfriend gave me and I did it to get him sent off.’
“Chiellini didn’t travel to the [appeal] hearing. He didn’t even answer the tribunal’s questions by mail . . . the Swiss couldn’t believe it.”
Mitjans also claimed that FIFA’s disciplinary committee, chaired by former Switzerland forward Claudio Sulser, had been wrong to take into account Suarez’s previous biting incidents. The Uruguayan bit Otman Bakkal in 2010 during his time at Ajax and Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in his Liverpool days.
He said: “It was regulatory madness to take into account previous actions. I want to state that the standards for sporting tribunals are not criminal standards. But they used criminal standards against Suarez.
“They took into account what he did in the Netherlands, what he did in England and what he did at the World Cup in Brazil. If it’s like that you would have players who would never play again.”