Uruguay superstar Luis Suárez was caught on camera Tuesday afternoon biting Italian player Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder in an incident that overshadowed Uruguay's 1-0 win over Italy in its much-anticipated World Cup showdown.
The biting incident is the third in four years for Suárez, and that appears to be at least one time too many for numerous soccer fans who demanded that he be permanently banned from the sport.
Suárez's history of biting opposing players is one that no player should envy. In 2010, Suárez, who played for Ajax Amsterdam at the time, bit PSV Eindhoven player Otman Bakkal, getting a 7-game suspension for the move. And last April the striker, playing for his current club of Liverpool, bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanović, earning a 10-game suspension from the Premier League.
It's a stunning trend, and for Suárez to repeat the shocking attack once again Tuesday on the world's biggest sporting stage will likely have major repercussions for the star. Though it appears that the on-field referees didn't see the incident as it happened, replays seem to show it very clearly, and a photo of what appears to be bite marks on Chiellini's shoulder went viral shortly after the incident.
Fans took to Twitter en masse Tuesday shortly after the incident, organizing under the #bansuarez hashtag with many comparing him to boxer Mike Tyson and calling him a cannibal. Both #bansuarez and Mike Tyson were top trending topics in the U.S. on Tuesday afternoon and #bansuarez and even #cannibal were a top trending topic worldwide as well.
Here's a selection 0f the hundreds of tweets by people who want to see Suárez banned for good from playing "the beautiful game" for his biting antics:
— Graham Banzer (@grez868) June 24, 2014
— Sαℓєєηα .♥ (@saleenaXObieber) June 24, 2014
Dear Suarez, you should probably stop reading vampire stories. No, you're not a freaking dog or a vampire so stop biting people. #BanSuarez
— shndany (@shndany) June 24, 2014
Oh God I can't believe I have actually "liked" Suarez on facebook!! UNLIKE THAT CANNIBAL IMMEDIATELY #BanSuarez
— Nina (@Esta_Nina) June 24, 2014
— Kerwin Charles (@KirkoLeaf) June 24, 2014