2 August 2012 04:36
Uruguay forward Luis Suarez insists the abuse he received during Wednesday’s defeat to Great Britain was borne out of fear of his ability.
Suarez was roundly booed every time he touched the ball in the 1-0 loss at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and was well below his best as the South Americans were knocked out of the Olympics football tournament.
But the Liverpool striker insists he was unaffected by the reception he received, although he branded the crowd’s decision to boo him during the Uruguay national anthem as ‘a total lack of respect’.
“I think they jeer me and they boo me because they must be scared of facing a player like me,” he told reporters.
“They fear me, but that doesn’t affect me. I’m hurt because we lost and are going home. We all had a dream and that was to win the gold medal here.
“I can take the abuse. I don’t mind. But I think it was a total lack of respect from the crowd to boo when we were trying to sing our national anthem. Those things should not happen.”
Suarez’s reputation in English football reached an all-time low as a result of his perceived lack of contrition after being found to have racially abused Manchester United striker Patrice Evra during a Premier League clash at Anfield back in October.
He re-opened the row with Evra last month with comments made to Uruguayan television, in which he alleged that both the Football Association’s judgment against him and the eight-match ban he subsequently received were the result of United’s ‘political power’.
But Sebastian Coates, Suarez’s team-mate with club and country, believes the abuse the striker receives in England has gone too far and needs to stop.
“I’m tired of this situation with Luis,” he said.
“I think it has gone on too far and I don’t like to see him being treated like this.
“I know the kind of person he is and I think the abuse he gets is very unfair. He knows all his team-mates and the whole country are fully behind him and I think fans over here should leave him alone.”