Liverpool forward Luis Suarez was again at the centre of controversy last night, lashing out at an opponent during Uruguay’s 2-0 World Cup qualification defeat in Chile. Although the referee didn’t spot the episode, a booking later in the match will see him suspended for the Copa America holders’ crunch clash with Venezuela next time out.
The incident occurred towards the end of the first half, and after tussling for much of the opening period, Suarez and Gonzalo Jara had a heated exchange after a rare Uruguay chance. The Chilean defender was tasked with marking the divisive striker from the resulting corner, and Suarez punched him out of view of the officials.
The incident seems likely to be investigated by Fifa with a lengthy ban for Suarez a possibility.
The hosts eventually wrapped up the game with goals from Esteban Paredes and Eduardo Vargas to add to the congested nature of the group, while the visitors haven’t recorded a win in seven competitive attempts, leaving their chances of qualification severely hampered.
An eight game ban last season for racially abusing Patrice Evra, and his unsportsmanlike handball on the goal-line against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup created an infamous persona for the undeniably talismanic striker. The unsavoury nature of this event will do Suarez’ already soiled reputation very little good, and after hinting his future may lie away from Anfield last week, a growing list of such events may warn potential suitors against his signing despite his obvious talent.
The ramifications of the defeat and suspension means that Uruguay could miss out on a place in Brazil next year. Chile leapfrog them into the fourth and final automatic place in the South American qualification group, while the meeting with fifth place Venezuela may decide the intercontinental playoff place up for grabs.
Watch the incident below (skip to 5:44)...
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