Luis Suarez bite: Uruguayan star arrives home in Montevideo to hero's welcome after four-month ban
The Uruguay international returned to his native Montevideo after being sent home following his four-month worldwide ban
Luis Suarez arrived home to a hero's welcome in Montevideo on Friday following his four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.
The Liverpool striker was banned for a total of nine international matches on Wednesday for his bite on Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini and was sent home immediately from Uruguay's training camp.
But instead of returning to England, Suarez opted to travel to Lagomar, near to the capital Montevideo. And the 27-year-old looked as chirpy as ever, despite the ban meaning he cannot play competitively until October 26.
He gave a thumbs-up to the crowd of Uruguay supporters as he held his children Delfina and Benjamin.
Suarez's team-mates face Colombia in the World Cup second round clash on Saturday, with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.
But the forward himself may be thinking about his next move, having been strongly linked with a big-money move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
An £80 million fee has been mooted, suggesting Liverpool are willing to keep the forward at the club, but with his latest controversy being heavily criticised by the English media, he may seek to move elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez launched a rambling defence of Luis Suarez tonight, claiming the player was a “scapegoat” who had been treated with “excessive severity” by Fifa which had been encouraged to do so by the “English-speaking” media.
Oscar Tabarez has launched a strong defence of Luis Suarez, and claims he has been made a 'scapegoat' by the media
Having spoken for around ten minutes, he finished with a personal message to Suarez, whose ban starts with tomorrow's round of 16 game against Colombia at the Maracana. “To Luis Suarez, the person. The person who has always lived with us, someone we know better than anyone else.
“He will never be alone. To the fans, they, like us, are moved by the severity of this punishment: I want to let them know that we are hurt, but we desire more than ever to do well tomorrow and we will do our utmost.”
Having seen the incident against Italy again after the match Tabarez admitted that the Uruguayans “were awaiting a punishment”. He added: “But we never imagined the severity of the punishment meted out. In a decision which, obviously, is much more focused on the opinions of the media - the media who immediately drew their conclusions at the game. There were journalists who concentrated solely on that topic at the post-match press conference. I don't know what their nationality was, but they all spoke English.
“With that media pressure, we were some way from the data shown by these video images at the match. When I speak of the media attack, the topic they concentrated on was the history of Luis because of things that happened in the past. He was sanctioned, he complied with these sanctions, in the past. Despite these harassments that continued. We all know where power lies. The power is in the hands of the organisers. But I will not discuss that.
We agree with the principle, but there is a danger proceeding this way. We forget the scapegoat is a person who has rights. In this specific case, of Luis Suarez, besides the mistakes he might have committed, he's made significant contributions to football on the pitch, the essence of World Cups. They depend upon the contributions by such great players.”
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