Bolivian leader sides with Uruguay, Suarez

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 2, 2014
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Bolivian President Evo Morales Tuesday expressed his solidarity with Uruguay and its embattled footballer Luis Suarez, who was ousted from the Brazil World Cup for biting an Italian rival on the field.

Morales said the severe penalties imposed by world soccer body FIFA, including a four-month ban from football and a more than 100,000 U.S. dollar fine, points to possible favoritism towards European teams at the World Cup.

"I feel the directors of FIFA are taking revenge on some players, so the South American teams don't continue to eliminate those from Europe, the great World Cup champions," Morales said at a public event in the southwest city of Potosi.

Morales, who plays football, said South American teams have knocked out former World Cup champions Spain, England and Italy at this World Cup, probably to the chagrin of the Swiss-based International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).

"They were eliminated, so they punish Suarez for supposedly biting, but suspiciously (they impose) three penalties: an economic fine, he can't play with the national team for nine games and for several months, he can't play football," said Morales.

On Tuesday, Switzerland was knocked out by Argentina 1-0.

Uruguay lost to Colombia on Saturday, exiting the World Cup shortly after their sports hero was ousted.

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