Referee, handball player Paul Skorupa
Photo: IMAGO/PETTER ARVIDSON / IMAGO/Bildbyran
Where does regular physical activity end and biting begin?
The rule-keepers of the International Handball Federation (IHF) now have to deal with this question.
On Thursday in the World Cup main round match between the USA and Bahrain, German-American Paul Skorupa, who is playing for the USA, is said to have bitten his opponent Husain al-Sayyad in the arm.
The referees had not noticed the scene at first.
After al-Sayyad angrily presented his bleeding arm to them, they looked at the corresponding video images and sent Skorupa off the field in the 40th minute at 19:21.
They also showed him the blue card, which means that the incident is mentioned in the referee's report and there is a possibility of a ban.
It was a scene reminiscent of the legendary bite by Uruguay's star soccer player Luis Suárez at the 2014 World Cup.
"I didn't see it, but they say he bit him," said US coach Robert Hedin after the game.
"If that's true, then that's a red and a blue card."
Skorupa only wants his chin inserted
Skorupa, who has been under contract with second division club VfL Lübeck-Schwartau since 2021, defends himself against the allegations: "I'm incredibly annoyed by what's being written there.
From Sweden to Bosnia I am the topic now.
But it's not true.
I didn't bite him.
The referee's decision is wrong," said the 23-year-old in an interview with Lübecker Nachrichten.
He wanted to "pinch" his opponent's arm with his chin.
"I've got my mouth shut," Skorupa defended himself.
The controversy caused amusement for Germany's goalkeeper Andreas Wolff: "Of course that's unsportsmanlike, although a bit funny, sorry," he said on Friday in Katowice about the scene.
"I hope that none of the young or growing handball players follow this example."
The IHF now has to decide whether there will be a penalty.
Uruguay's Suárez was banned for nine games by Fifa after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.