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England, Italy campaigning against Luis Suarez, lawyer says

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 - 7:27pm IST | Agency: Reuters
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Luis Suarez's lawyer believes there is a European campaign against the controversial striker, who on Wednesday was preparing his defence after being accused of biting an Italy defender during Uruguay's 1-0 win at the World Cup.

"We don't have any doubts that this has happened because it's Suarez and secondly because Italy was eliminated," said Uruguay FA board member Alejandro Balbi, who is also Suarez's lawyer. "There's a lot of pressure from England and Italy," Balbi told local Uruguayan radio. "We're polishing off a defence argument. We may also opt for a live testimony by Suarez in front of the FIFA disciplinary committee."

Soccer's world governing body is investigating the incident during Tuesday's Group D match in Natal which has made headlines around the world. Uruguay's win took them through to the last 16 where they will face Colombia on Saturday. Suarez, twice previously banned for biting, looks likely to be hit with another lengthy suspension despite escaping punishment during the match for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

"There is a possibility that they ban him, because there are precedents, but we're convinced that it was an absolutely casual play, because if Chiellini can show a scratch on one shoulder, Suarez can show a bruised and almost shut eye," Balbi said.

"If every player starts showing the injuries he suffers and they open inquiries for them everything will be way too complicated in the future. We're going to use all the arguments possible so that Luis gets out in the best possible way."

His argument echoes the sentiment in much of Uruguay, which is jubilant at the team's last-gasp victory and largely backs their key player. The Liverpool forward's lethal finishing is far more important than his straying teeth, say many in the small, sleepy agricultural country vying for a third World Cup triumph.

Local media gushed about the victory over Italy and put the "supposed" bite on the backburner. Abroad however, Suarez's behaviour has sparked outrage and calls for a tournament-long ban. Balbi suggested that may be part of a broader conspiracy to sideline Uruguay, who lost to unfancied Costa Rica in their opening match without Suarez as he battled to complete his recovery from knee surgery.

"You shouldn't forget that we're rivals of many and we can be for the organiser (hosts Brazil) in the future. This does not go against what might have happened, but there's no doubt that Suarez is a rock in the shoe for many," Balbi added.

(Reporting by Malena Castaldi; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; editing by Ken Ferris)




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