FIFA eyes quick Suarez row resolution

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FIFA will work as quickly as possible in its investigation into Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez who apparently bit an Italian defender in a World Cup match on Tuesday, the world soccer governing body said.

"The Disciplinary Committee understands the urgency of the matter," FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer told reporters in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

"It is working to get and assess all elements in order to make a decision as early as possible, particularly given the fact that Uruguay are still in the tournament."

Uruguay will play Colombia on Saturday in Rio in the first knock-out round.

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini said on Tuesday that he had been bitten by Suarez during the South Americans' 1-0 Group D victory at the World Cup which sent Uruguay into the last 16 at the expense of Italy.

Photographs showed what appeared to be bite marks on Chiellini's shoulder.

Fischer said the Disciplinary Committee's proceedings were still at "an early stage" and she said FIFA would not comment on possible outcomes or any potential punishments for Suarez.

Meanwhile, Suarez's lawyer believes there is a European campaign against the controversial striker, who was preparing his defense following the biting claims.

"We don't have any doubts that this has happened because it's Suarez and secondly because Italy was eliminated," said Uruguay FA board member Alejandro Balbi, who is also Suarez's lawyer.

"There's a lot of pressure from England and Italy," he told Uruguayan radio. "We're polishing off a defense argument."

Balbi and FA boss Wilmar Valdez were travelling to Rio yesterday to present their case. Valdez told local radio that Suarez would not be speaking at the meeting.

Suarez, twice previously banned for biting, could be hit with another lengthy suspension despite escaping punishment during the match.

"There is a possibility that they ban him, because there are precedents, but we're convinced that it was an absolutely casual play, because if Chiellini can show a scratch on one shoulder, Suarez can show a bruised and almost shut eye," Balbi said.

"If every player starts showing the injuries he suffers and they open inquiries for them everything will be way too complicated in the future."

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