We might have another biting incident on our hands, courtesy of the Euro 2021 tournament.
Germany defender Antonio Rudiger appeared to lean in and take a bite out of Paul Pogba’s back as he was staying close to mark him.
Pogba approached Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande, apparently to alert him to the episode.
The video of the bite is making the rounds on social media, as are the reactions from fans and media:
Former English and Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg, who is serving as ESPN’s rules expert during the Euros, gave his analysis on-air as to how the officials likely handled it, especially with video review available to them:
“It’s very difficult to see what Rudiger actually does. He opens his mouth. He could’ve said something. There could’ve been banter between the pair of them,” he told ESPN commentators Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman. “It’s very difficult to prove that he sunk his teeth into Pogba’s back. Therefore, the VAR would have looked at it, checked it and then informed the referee that there was nothing that the pictures told that it could’ve been a red card.
“Very difficult to prove,” he continued. “Very, very difficult to prove.”
Memories of Uruguay’s Luis Suarez
Uruguayan star striker Luis Suarez became infamous for multiple biting incidents during his career.
First he did it in a Dutch league match in 2010 and was suspended for seven games. He then did it again in the English Premier League in 2013 and was banned for 10 games.
But the most prominent episode involving Suarez occurred on the biggest stage of them all: the FIFA World Cup. Suarez was found guilty by FIFA of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup and he was suspended for four months from playing official soccer matches, in addition to a nine-match international ban.