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Brazil 2014

Suarez 'a victim of persecution' over bite

Uruguay player's captain says Suarez has been targeted by media, after he apparently bit an opponent in the World Cup.

Last updated: 26 Jun 2014 05:52
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If found guilty of biting Chiellini [R] Suarez could be banned for two years [AP]

Luis Suarez's lawyer and captain say the Uruguay footballer is the victim of persecution, a day after he was charged with biting an Italian player in a World Cup match.

Suarez faces an international ban of up to two years after FIFA launched an investigation into his apparent attack on Giorgio Chiellini during the Italy-Uraguay match on Tuesday in Natal, which Uraguay won 1-0.

Suarez's teammate and captain, Diego Lugano on Thursday dismissed the incident as "totally irrelevant" and accused British media of "persecuting" his teammate.

What incident? Which incident? I don't know what incident you're talking about.

Uruguay captain Daniel Lugano, when asked about the Suarez bite allegations.

"What incident? Which incident? I don't know what incident you're talking about," the defender said when asked by a British journalist about Suarez.

"British media are persecuting Suarez, everybody knows it. It sells newspapers over there. You wouldn't be here if that wasn't the case," he told journalists in Natal.

Lugano said he had seen "much more violent plays" than the alleged bite at the World Cup.

"It was a normal taunt in football, and the world press ends up talking about something totally trivial,'' he said.

His lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, said the situation was inflamed by European media reports.

"This happened because there have been campaigns launched by the media in England and Italy," Balbi told Uruguayan radio station, Sport 890.

Uruguay's FA meanwhile said there was insufficient proof to sanction Suarez.

Wilmar Valdez, the FA's president, told Channel 10 television: "It has to be clear and on the video that FIFA gave us we think that it is not really clear.

Football's world governing body FIFA will decide on any punishment before Uruguay plays Colombia on Saturday. Suarez could be banned from international football for a maximum of two years.

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