Friday June 27 2014
Tabarez: 'Suarez a scapegoat'

Uruguay Coach Oscar Washington Tabarez quit his FIFA post in protest at Luis Suarez’s ban ahead of the tie with Colombia.

The Round of 16 tie against Los Cafeteros is on Saturday evening at 21.00 UK time, though all focus remains on Suarez and his four-month ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Tabarez attended the usual pre-match Press conference in Rio de Janeiro, but refused to take questions and instead only read out a statement.

“This is an excessively severe decision and caused by the media attack that started right after the game with Italy,” said Tabarez.

“The journalists only speak about this issue. I don’t know what country they were from, but they all spoke English...

“With this ban, who wins? Who loses? Who benefits? Will it avoid incidents like this from happening again? I doubt it very much, because they’ve happened before.

“In this tournament we saw similar incidents to those of Suarez and Chiellini, but they were punished differently. We expected a ban, but not this severe and were also surprised Chiellini wasn't punished too.

“We all know where power lies. The power is in the hands of the organisers. But I will not discuss that. That doesn't mean we should accept it and agree with the discriminatory nature of that power.

“I have been a teacher in my life and I present the theory of the scapegoat: you know about the psychology of it all.

“When giving a punishment to someone who commits a transgression - not a crime - so that the whole group will know what is good, what is bad, what is wrong, what is correct, what ought to be done, and what shouldn't.

“We agree with the principle, but there is a danger proceeding this way. We forget the scapegoat is a person who has rights.

“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.

“In conclusion, our vision is obviously very subjective, but we know the protagonist of this incident well, not just through the profile that is painted of him, and the decision is excessively severe.”

Tabarez also announced he was quitting his role within FIFA in analysing international matches in protest at the ban.

“As a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group, at this moment I don’t think it is wise or prudent to be in an organisation with people who exerted pressure to promote this decision, who managed procedures and use very different criteria and values to my own.

“For this reason in the coming days I will file my resignation to that position formally. I tell the Uruguayan fans that we are hurt, but with an incredible desire to prove ourselves.”

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