Luis Suárez turned into the global villain of the 2014 World Cup after he apparently bit an Italian defender, but Uruguay's President Jose Mujica said it is unfair for everyone to judge the soccer player for the controversy since other incidents weren’t reviewed, Reuters reported Wednesday.
"We didn't choose him to be a philosopher, or a mechanic or to have good manners -- he's a great player," Mujica said, in defense of the player. "I didn't see him bite anyone. But they sure can bash each other with kicks and chops," he added to reporters.
He might not have seen him bite anyone, but that’s what the masses thought after Tuesday’s World Cup game. Endless memes began to flood the Internet and taunts were hurled at Suárez. Some of the insults were unjustly aimed at an Argentine TV programmer with the same last name, who asked (in both Spanish and English) that people stop sending him pictures of “d*cks and butts” because they had the wrong Suarez.
Suárez, the real one, is one of the best forwards in the world. His team is in the last 16 of the World Cup. Currently, he is waiting for FIFA to review the “bite,” which shows his mouth very near the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini.
If reprimanded, it wouldn’t be the first time for Suárez. He’s been punished twice in the past for biting, and also racism. The 27-year-old player could face an international prohibition of up to two years if soccer’s governing body doesn’t rule in his favor.
Uruguayans, for the most part, believe the global backlash against the player is hypocritical. "In football, I was taught that you obey what the referee says," Mujica said.
"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."
Suárez’s teammates are also on his side. Uruguay captain Diego Lugano protected the player when he spoke to an English journalist. "It's clear that Uruguay's triumph doesn't make you happy, it's obvious on your face," Lugano said, according to Reuters.
"I understand that the figure of Suárez 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."
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