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Suarez has home support

2014-06-25 10:25
Luis Suarez (AFP)

Cape Town - While the rest of the world is up in arms about the latest incident involving Luis Suarez's infamous dietary habits, he has found some support.

Opinion in Uruguay, a country of around three million people sandwiched between soccer powerhouses Argentina and Brazil, was divided over Suarez's latest antics.

The 27-year-old is regarded as something of a hero at home, having grown up in a poor family in the northwestern city of Salto, where he looked after parked cars to help support his siblings after his parents split up.

"We needed to win, so if you have to hit you hit, if you have to bite you bite," said Barbara Giordano, a 26-year-old law student in Montevideo.

Some Uruguayans, however, were furious.

"This kid can't control his biting and attacking issues," said Luis Lara, a 52-year-old shopkeeper. "That makes all of us Uruguayans look bad."

Suarez's indiscretion sent the world's social media into meltdown and within minutes of the match ending '#Suarez' was one of the top-trending hash tags on Twitter.

A tweet from former Liverpool striker Michael Owen was typical of a wave of reaction from former players and pundits: "Tell me I'm seeing things. Surely Suarez didn't bite someone again?," he wrote.

"I'm genuinely gutted. I love watching him play more than any other player but he obviously can't control himself."

Suarez, England's Footballer of the Year, scored both goals in Uruguay's 2-1 victory over England having missed the opening match as he recovered from knee surgery, and until the incident had kept control of his temper during a bruising game.

Suarez has little time to build his defence as Uruguay are expected to provide their version of events by the end of today.

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