Venezuela’s president has weighed into global controversy over Uruguay striker Luis Suarez’s World Cup expulsion, saying he had been unfairly punished for helping eliminate Italy and England.
“They can’t forgive Uruguay that a son of the people has eliminated two of football’s big nations, so they invented a whole case,” Nicolas Maduro said late on Friday.
Suarez scored two goals against England in a 2-1 victory, and helped his team to a 1-0 win over Italy in the group stages, meaning Uruguay and Costa Rica made it to the next round while the humiliated Europeans went home.
- Mumbai’s Haji Ali Dargah Trust to SC: Ready to give women access to sanctum sanctorum
- Samajwadi Party Crisis: 5 Quotes By Mulayam Singh Yadav At Press Conference
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Vs Shivaay: What Delhites Pick
- Supreme Court Directs Vijay Mallya To Fully Disclose Foreign Assets In 4 Weeks
- 5 Reasons To Watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
- BSP Supremo Mayawati Criticises PM Modi Over Triple Talaq: Here’s What She Said
- Google Pixel XL Phone Review: Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Says Army donation Is Voluntary
- Rock On 2 Trailer Launch: Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Prachi Desai On Their Roles
- Cyrus Mistry’s Career Timeline
- Stalker Kills Woman At Metro Station In Gurgaon: Here’s What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 October 24 Review: Seven Contestants Nominated For Evictions
- Power Struggle In Mulayam’s Party: Here’s What People Reacted
- 1 Dead, 5 Injured In Low Intensity Explosion In Delhi’s Naya Bazaar Area
- Delhi: Naya Bazar Explosion Cctv Footage
It was in the Italy game that Suarez bit defender Giorgio Chiellini, earning him a nine-match ban from international games and a four-month suspension from football altogether by world governing body FIFA.
“It’s very painful this disproportionate punishment that FIFA has taken against Luis Suarez, a great striker who belongs to all of us in South America,” said Maduro, the populist successor to late Venezuelan socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez.
“No one denies some corrective measures were needed, but to suspend him for four months from football where he shines? To take him out of the World Cup? Latin America views this with outrage and we reject it totally.”
Suarez’s actions did provoke widespread international shock, but there is also a growing chorus of criticism of the punishment as excessive, including from Chiellini himself.
The strongest comments have come from Latin American leftists, ranging from Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica to Argentine footballing great Diego Maradona who have cast the affair in terms of an international conspiracy.
Maduro, a former bus-driver who calls himself Venezuela’s “worker-president”, said all Latin Americans felt for Suarez, especially given his humble background.
“We send him a greeting of solidarity and brotherhood. A son of the people, a son of a simple woman who worked as a house-help, who lived in great poverty and rose from that,” he said on state TV.
Suarez has returned to Uruguay to be with his family.
Though Venezuela has more of a baseball tradition, its 29 million people have embraced football more in recent years and been glued to the World Cup despite the disappointment of their own national side not making it in a spirited qualifying campaign.