Police Investigating Ear Biting Incident Involving England Fan

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2014

People watch the group D World Cup soccer match between Uruguay and England at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014.  (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Police in Brazil are investigating an altercation during England's match with Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup that left one fan with part of his ear bitten off.

Rob Harris of The Associated Press tweeted out a link the statement made by Chief Supt. Rachel Barber. It read in part:

We were made aware during the England vs Uruguay match in Sao Paulo that an incident had taken place which resulted in an England fan having a portion of his ear bitten off by another England fan.

In the immediate aftermath, we managed to make contact with the victim and offered advice and support. The day after the attack, the victim chose to make a formal complaint to the local police, and they opened an investigation.

Our team made a careful inspection of the England fans at the stadium in Belo Horizonte, in case the assailant travelled to England's final match, but it appears he did not travel to that game.

Efforts are ongoing to identify the suspect and bring him to justice either in the UK or, if possible, back in Brazil where the offence occurred.

According to Dean Jones, Pamela Owen and Patrick Hill of the Sunday People, the victim was Robert Farquharson. Jones, Owen and Hill also featured video of the incident, which shows Farquharson and another England fan becoming entangled.

The video is a bit grainy, but you can see in the aftermath exactly what has happened. A visible chunk of Farquharson left ear lobe is missing.

Another fan, Billy Grant, filmed the whole episode and shed a little bit more light on what happened.

"Everyone who witnessed what ­happened to the kid was absolutely disgusted," Grant said. "The guy who attacked him was an idiot. He attacked another England fan, racially abused him and then bit his ear off. It was appalling."

Former footballer and current broadcaster Stan Collymore was one of the first to learn of the news and view the footage. He sounded off on Twitter:

The irony of this situation is that it happened during a Uruguay match that featured Luis Suarez. Five days after La Celeste's win, he found himself embroiled in controversy after biting the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini. Suarez was subsequently suspended for nine matches and banned from any official football activity for four months.

Incidents like these give football supporters a bad name. Outsiders use stuff like this as a stick to beat both the sport and its fans for being uncivilized and violent, when it reality, these types of events are only outliers and not representative of what happens at football grounds on a regular basis.

You can't judge the game by only its lunatic fringe.

Here's to hoping that this is the last instance of biting at the 2014 World Cup.