Tabarez quits FIFA role

  • Last Updated: June 28 2014, 0:13 BST

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has resigned from FIFA's Technical Study Group in protest at the "excessive" four-month ban imposed on Luis Suarez.

Oscar Tabarez leaves Friday's press conference
Oscar Tabarez leaves Friday's press conference

In a 15-minute statement read out at a press conference in the Maracana, Tabarez launched an attack on FIFA for giving Suarez a lengthy ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

Tabarez said he was resigning from his position on FIFA's Technical Study Group (TSG) - an expert panel which analyses international matches - because he believes Suarez's punishment was unfair.

The Uruguay coach also accused the English media of pressuring FIFA into making Suarez's ban so long.

Tabarez told a packed-press conference room in Rio: "It is not wise or prudent to be in an organisation with people, those who exerted pressure to promote this decision and those who rendered the award, who managed procedures and values very different to those I have.

"Therefore, in the coming days, I will file my resignation to that position formally."

FIFA handed the punishment down to Suarez as it was the third time he had been caught biting an opponent.

But Tabarez bizarrely appeared to claim the English media were also to blame for the hefty punishment.

The Uruguay coach said English reporters who were present at the match - and asked him about the incident after - stoked up the issue, which led to such a big punishment from FIFA.

"(It is) a decision which, obviously, is much more focused on the opinions of the media - the media who immediately drew their conclusions at the game - the journalists who concentrated solely on that topic at the post-match press conference," Tabarez said.

"I don't know what their nationality was, but they all spoke English.

"They concentrated on the history of Luis because of things that happened in the past.

"He was sanctioned, he complied with these sanctions, in the past."

In another part of Tabarez's lengthy ramble, the Uruguay coach claimed FIFA should have punished Chiellini even though he was the one that was bitten.

"We saw the (images of the bite) afterwards and saw that there was a certain possibility of punishing the participants in that action: both Chiellini and Suarez. Both would be punished," he said.

"I don't deny that we were waiting a punishment. But we never imagined the severity of the punishment meted out."

Tabarez then went on to claim FIFA was biased against Uruguay.

"We have seen things measured with a different meter," he said.

"Things are measured with a different rod, which leads to exaggeration with the punishment."

Although the AUF has appealed the decision, Tabarez will be without the striker for Saturday's World Cup second-round clash against Colombia in Rio.

Suarez returned to Uruguay on Friday where he was given a hero's reception by thousands of Uruguayans.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke claimed earlier on Friday that Suarez needed "treatment" for biting three players during his career.

Tabarez admits the latest controversy surrounding Suarez is bound to affect the player.

"We forget the scapegoat is a person who has rights," Tabarez said.

"In this specific case, of Luis Suarez, besides the mistakes he might have committed, he's made significant contributions to football on the pitch, the essence of World Cups. They depend upon the contributions by such great players.

"I'm not justifying anything. I don't think one should not sanction.

"But always, because this is between people, you have to give an opportunity to the one who makes the mistake.

"We know the mistakes he's made, but there's another side to this person. The severity was excessive."

Tabarez said the AUF would do everything it could to help the 27-year-old Liverpool striker.

Ending his lengthy rant, the Uruguay coach said: "To conclude, to Luis Suarez, to Luis Suarez the person who has lived with us and worked with us, someone we know better than anyone else. He will never be alone (in his attempts to be better)."

The majority of Uruguayan journalists in the auditorium rose to their feet and applauded the coach as he left.

Chiellini, meanwhile, has expressed his sympathy for Suarez. He said in a statement on his website the punishment was "excessive", adding: "At the moment my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult time."

Betting website 888poker announced on Thursday that it had ended its arrangement with Suarez following the incident.

Liverpool, who are looking into whether they can legally challenge the ruling, want to hold on to Suarez, even though he will not be able to play until the end of October under the rules of the suspension.