Uruguay attacker Luis Suarez has claimed that he did not deliberately bite Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during their Group D encounter on June 24.
Referee Marco Rodriguez failed to spot the incident in the 79th minute of Tuesday's match, but Fifa opened an investigation into the incident after video footage showed the Liverpool forward's teeth making contact with Chiellini's shoulder, reports goal.com
When asked by FIFA's Disciplinary Committee to give his stance on the incident, Suarez wrote that he never intended to bite the Italy defender, but that the incident was the result of a set of unfortunate events.
"In no way [did] it happen how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite," read Suarez's official defence to FIFA, according to AP.
"After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and [making me] fall on top of my opponent.
"At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth."
Suarez was handed a nine-game ban from international football, while he was also suspended from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four months and fined €82.000.
The Uruguayan FA revealed immediately after FIFA's decision was announced that they would appeal the ban.
Meanwhile, Suarez took to social networking website Twitter to thank those who had sent him messages of support.
Hola a todos, escribo este mensaje para dar las gracias a todas las muestras de apoyo y cariño que estoy (cont) http://t.co/2uo0LXaqs2— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) June 28, 2014
"Hi all, I write this post to give thanks to [sic] the outpouring of support and love I am receiving. Both myself and my family really appreciate it," wrote the striker.
"Thank you very much for being by my side and I want you all today to support my fellow team-mates for the match against Colombia."