Luis Suarez bite: Uruguayan President Jose Mujica joins home support for Suarez as he claims 'I didn't see him bite anyone'
Suarez is set to learn his fate of his alleged bite on Giorgio Chiellini today
Thursday 26 June 2014
Uruguay's President Jose Mujica weighed into the global controversy over footballer Luis Suarez on Wednesday, saying it was unfair to judge him retrospectively for biting an Italian player when other incidents went unreviewed.
"We didn't choose him to be a philosopher, or a mechanic, or to have good manners - he's a great player," said Mujica, echoing the protective attitude towards the brilliant but volatile striker felt around his homeland.
"I didn't see him bite anyone. But they sure can bash each other with kicks and chops," he added to reporters.
Suarez, one of the world's best forwards whose team is in the last 16 at the World Cup, is awaiting global soccer body FIFA's judgement on Tuesday's incident when TV footage showed his mouth on the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.
The Liverpool player has been punished twice in the past for biting, and also for racism. He earned notoriety at the last World Cup for a handball on the line against Ghana, denying the Africans a certain goal and spot in the semi-finals. Uruguay President Jose Mujica has defended Suarez
Read more: Suarez's Liverpool career in jeopardy
Comment: Move past the shock value and get some perspective
Has Suarez harmed Liverpool's reputation one too many times?
Many Uruguayans believe the global reaction against him, though, is over-the-top and hypocritical.
"In football, I was taught that you obey what the referee says," Mujica said.
Chiellini claims he has been bitten by Suarez, who holds his teeth in pain "If we're going to take decisions in football based on what TV says, then there are loads of penalties and handballs you'd have to give that weren't given, so bad luck."
Read more: Lugano - What incident?
Sponsors distance themselves from Suarez
Bruce Springsteen wades into Suarez criticism
Uruguay captain Diego Lugano, at a news conference in the Brazilian city of Natal after a training session, was equally protective of Suarez and tackled one English journalist head on.
"It's clear that Uruguay's triumph doesn't make you happy, it's obvious on your face," said Lugano.
"I understand that the figure of Suarez sells because he's very charismatic ... I'm calm because I know that Luis will pick himself up and is going to have success in the World Cup. That's what people fear. They're right to fear that."
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Tottenham combined XI: Hugo Lloris or Thibaut Courtois? Willian or Christian Eriksen? Who makes the final cut?
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Eden Hazard exclusive interview - All is rosy in the garden of Eden
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
Carl Frampton vs Chris Avalos; Tyson Fury vs Christian Hammer; Dmitry Chudinov vs Chris Eubank Jr - boxing on TV this weekend
Robbie Savage avoids driving ban - because he would get 'accosted' too much if he had to use public transport
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it