Luis Suarez is still awaiting word on any action to be taken against him by FIFA after allegedly punching Chile defender Gonzalo Jara, but has received strong backing from his native Uruguay, reports the Liverpool
The incident took place during a World Cup qualifier between the two nations last month, but Uruguay FA president Sebastian Bauza launched a stern defence of the Liverpool star.
“Suarez is being persecuted by different football leagues, mainly the English, and we think this is unjust because it’s a normal action in football. We will defend him very strongly. We are working with all the videos and pictures showing Suarez reacted to an initial aggression from Jara.”
Uruguay have until April 17 to present their response to FIFA, at which time the case will be fully considered and potential sanctions, should they be deemed required, distributed.
In another Suarez-related story today, the Liverpool Echo reports that manager Brendan Rodgers has backed the Uruguayan hitman to return to his “magical best” when the Reds travel to Reading on Saturday afternoon.
Suarez had a bad game against West Ham last weekend, sparking fears that he may be suffering from fatigue following a grueling season.
Should he find the net against Reading, he would become the first Reds player to score 30 goals in a season since Fernando Torres achieved the feat in 2007-08. He is also presently three goals ahead of Man United’s Robin van Persie in the hunt for the Golden Boot.
Rodgers, however, rebuffed claims that Suarez is suffering the effects of a long season, saying: “Luis is fine and he isn’t tired.
“This is a guy who I’ve seen all year and I’ve got big admiration for him. He’s a player who travels a long distance for internationals but when he comes back he always displays that sheer will and desire to play for this club.
“He’s a boy who has played magnificently for us this season. He has been brilliant in nearly every game. What the West Ham game showed is that he’s human. From time to time he will have an off day.
“Give credit to West Ham for the way they defended and blocked a lot of spaces. It just one of those games where it just didn’t go for him.
“But what you get with Luis Suarez even on an off day is seven out of 10 because of his work and his intensity.”
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Reading v Liverpool