RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – FIFA officials on Thursday refused to be drawn on any possible punishment Luis Suarez could face if found guilty of biting as disciplinary chiefs prepared to decide the Uruguay striker's fate.
FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said the governing body's disciplinary panel would meet after a 5pm (2100 GMT) deadline to gather evidence it had been passed. Suarez faces expulsion from the World Cup if he is found guilty of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D match on Tuesday.
However, Fischer said she would not comment on possible punishments for Suarez until the disciplinary panel had reviewed the evidence. "The disciplinary committee does not yet have all the elements," Fischer said. "The disciplinary committee is working to get a decision as early as possible.
“We cannot anticipate what could or could not happen.” Fischer said while Suarez had the right to be heard the player was not expected to travel to Rio de Janeiro to address disciplinary officials. Fischer declined to say whether any potential punishment of Suarez could extend to club football as well as international football.
"It's the disciplinary committee which decides the scope of any potential sanctions," she said. She also suggested FIFA could take into account Suarez's chequered disciplinary history when mulling the case. The 27-year-old striker has twice been hit with long bans during his club career with Ajax and Liverpool for biting opponents.
He also served a long ban for racially abusing Manchester United Patrice Evra in 2011. Asked if past offences could be taken into consideration, Fischer replied: "The disciplinary committee can take all elements into account as it deems necessary."