World Cup 2014: Uruguayan FA defends Luis Suarez

The Uruguayan Football Association has gone on the offensive in an effort to save Luis Suárez from a lengthy ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini, claiming he is the victim of a smear campaign by the Italians, the English media and the Brazilian hosts.

As Suárez came under pressure from his sponsors, fellow professionals and Fifa’s disciplinary committee after sinking his teeth into Chiellini’s shoulder, the Uruguayan FA attempted to circle the wagons.

Executives from Adidas, the sportswear company that said when he previously bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and earned a 10-match ban that it would be “reminding Suárez of his responsibilities”, met in Rio on Wednesday for crisis talks. The poker firm is also reviewing its contract with Suárez.

Fifa’s disciplinary committee, chaired by the former Switzerland striker Claudio Sulser, was meeting on Wednesday night having given the Uruguayan FA and Suárez a 5pm deadline to submit evidence.

Suárez’s lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, said he was preparing a case to show Suárez had been unfairly targeted and would use “all the arguments possible” to clear his client. “We don’t have any doubts that this has happened because it’s Suárez involved and secondly because Italy have been eliminated,” he told Uruguayan radio. “There’s a lot of pressure from England and Italy. There is a possibility that they ban him, because there are precedents, but we are convinced that it was an absolutely casual play, because if Chiellini can show a scratch on one shoulder, Suárez can show a bruised and an almost closed eye.”

The Uruguayan FA also claims that images of bite marks on Chiellini’s shoulder had been Photoshopped to make them appear worse than they were. “If every player starts showing the injuries he suffers and they open inquiries for them everything will be way too complicated in the future,” Balbi said. “We’re going to use all the arguments possible so that Luis gets out in the best possible way.

“You shouldn’t forget that we’re rivals of many and we can be for the hosts [Brazil] in the future. This does not go against what might have happened, but there’s no doubt that Suárez is a stone in the shoe for many.”

The Uruguayan FA president, Wilmar Valdez, told local media the proof against Suárez is not “convincing.”

“We’ve prepared another video of the game in which we discovered there was other behaviour similar to Suárez’s in the game which did not generate a similar reaction from the press,” Valdez told the leading newspaper El Observador.