Maybe being a tiny country of 3.4 million people sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina does something to the mentality of a nation. Maybe it breeds a certain paranoia about being bullied, and a desire to stand up for yourself.
Or maybe Uruguay’s full of blindly-loyal opportunists who are out of touch with reality. That would seem to be the case at the Uruguayan players’ union, who see the ongoing FIFA crisis as not so much a chance to build a brighter future for world soccer, but a potential opportunity to get Luis Suárez off the international suspension he is still serving for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup last year.
As well as his four-month ban from domestic play, the then-Liverpool, now-Barcelona forward was handed a nine-match suspension from playing for his country, meaning he can’t play in this summer’s Copa America.
Here’s the union on Twitter, per ESPN:
If Luis Suárez is in agreement, we will ask for the end of the suspension… due to [the player] having been suspended by an organ suspected of corruption.
It doesn’t matter that the clubs have withdrawn their complaints because of external pressures, it is time to unite and fight so that justice is done with their funds and the Suárez sanction. He was a victim, without doubt, of this alleged corruption.
Why yes, of course. Suárez was the victim. And now, because a handful of FIFA officials stand accused of kickbacks and bribes related to broadcasting and marketing deals, this must mean that FIFA’s treatment of a guy biting an opponent on the field was also corrupt. Even though the decision was upheld by the independent Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Montevideo is truly the global capital of chutzpah and denial. As it was in the immediate aftermath of the Suárez fang assault, when sky-blue truthers raged about a FIFA conspiracy aimed at scuppering Uruguay’s chances of going deep into the tournament, because the governing body would prefer bigger nations such as Italy and England to progress. (Though clearly, if FIFA was trying to stack the deck in favor of Italy and England last year, it didn’t do a very good job.)
“The immorality and hypocrisy of FIFA has no limits. Neither does Chiellini’s inclination for being a tattle-tale and a fink!” said Luis Puig, a Uruguayan politician.
Remind us, Uruguay, who was one of the 14 men indicted on suspicion of corruption? Ah yes, Eugenio Figueredo, former head of your soccer federation, former president of CONMEBOL, FIFA vice-president and decorative rock salesman who allegedly tried to skip the US citizenship test by claiming he had dementia.
By the union’s own logic, doesn’t this mean we can’t trust anything that happened in Uruguayan soccer on his watch? Don’t we have to invalidate the international team’s results, because teams that played Uruguay might have been victims of alleged corruption?
Sometimes, no matter how hard you want to fight your corner, it’s better just to keep quiet.