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Football: Suarez a 'scapegoat', says Uruguay coach Tabarez

Published on Jun 28, 2014 5:45 AM
Uruguay's head coach Oscar Tabarez speaks during a news conference in Rio de Janeiro on June 27, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said on Friday that Luis Suarez had been made a "scapegoat" for biting an opponent at the World Cup, lashing out at the "excessive severity" of his four-month ban.

"Many times you forget that the scapegoat is a person, who has rights," said Tabarez, who read out a pre-prepared statement during a press conference ahead of Uruguay's last-16 game against Colombia on Saturday.

"In this specific case of Luis Suarez, despite the faults he may have committed, he has made significant contributions to football from the pitch." Tabarez also said the punishment was "of excessive severity" and claimed that it was "more focused on the opinions of the media".

Suarez was handed a nine-game international ban and suspended from all football-related activity for four months by Fifa on Thursday after sinking his teeth into the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D game in Natal on Tuesday.

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