herald

Friday 20 October 2017

Mujica: Fifa are a bunch of old sons of bitches

The Uruguayan President, Jose Mujica, has stoked up the Luis Suarez row by calling Fifa "a bunch of old sons of bitches" as the fall-out continues over their decision to ban the striker for four months.

Mujica has already blamed football's world governing body for Uruguay's departure from the World Cup at the last-16 stage with their 2-0 defeat against Colombia on Saturday night. They banned Suarez for four months and nine international matches for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's final group game last week.

But speaking at a reception for the Uruguay team after they returned home, he blasted Fifa again. Asked by a journalist what his lasting memory of the World Cup would be, Mujica said: "Fifa are a bunch of old sons of bitches."

The President then covered his mouth to feign shock, but when asked by the journalist if he wanted to rectify his comments, he responded: "Publish it."

Mujica conceded that Suarez deserved to be punished for his bite on Chiellini during last week's World Cup Group D game in Natal - the third such incident in the Uruguay striker's professional career - but criticised the severity of the ban.

"They could have punished him, but not given him this fascist ban," added Mujica. His wife, First Lady Lucia Topolansky, added: "I support the words from the President."

On Saturday, it emerged that Suarez's defence against a charge of biting an opponent was that he had lost his balance and hit his face on Chiellini's shoulder. Those claims were dismissed by Fifa's seven-man disciplinary committee, who imposed the punishment on the 27-year-old. As part of his suspension, the Liverpool striker is banned from entering any football stadium or training ground.

Meanwhile, Suarez has been offered a short-term sanctuary in Kosovan football while he serves his ban.

Hajvalia, who won last season's Kosovar Cup and finished sixth in the league, have made an opportunistic offer to take Suarez on loan.

Director Xhavit Pocolli told Kosovan daily Sport Plus: "Suarez can't play in the next four months. As we are not part of FIFA yet, I think he can play in Kosovo, so we have an offer that we will send to Liverpool.

"We offered e30,000 (£24,000) and a salary of e1,500 (£1,200) for each month. This might sound ridiculous to him, but that is all we can do.

"If he is willing to come and play for us, he is welcome. As we are not part of FIFA, it would be ideal for him."

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