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Jun 28, 2014

Lugano slams 'barbarity' of Suarez ban

Following his side's 2-0 defeat to Colombia, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez refused to make any excuses for the loss.

Luis Suarez's four-month ban is an act of "barbarity" that breaches his human rights, according to Uruguay captain Diego Lugano.

The striker has been suspended by FIFA from all football-related activity for four months following his bite on Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 World Cup group win over Italy on Tuesday.

Uruguay exited the tournament after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Colombia on Saturday in the last 16, with Suarez back in his native country, and Lugano hit out at FIFA after the match.

"It's a breach of human rights that a player cannot go into a stadium where there are 80,000 people or into a hotel with his teammates, that he cannot work for four months," defender Lugano told reporters.

"He has committed a crime, but this [ban] is barbarity. Not even a criminal would receive this penalty."

Diego Forlan had a poor game in Suarez's place while Edinson Cavani struggled to make an impact as James Rodriguez scored both goals to send Uruguay packing.

"He is irreplaceable," Lugano said of Suarez. "Against Colombia we weren't able to replace the skills he has. For years he has been our best player.

"Us losing him is much worse even than Brazil losing Neymar or Argentina losing [Lionel] Messi."

Cavani, who revealed Uruguay had hung up Suarez's shirt in their dressing room before kick-off, said the controversy hadn't distracted his team in the build-up to the game.

"From the moment we knew about the sanction, we only thought about Colombia," Cavani said. "We knew it was a tough penalty, both for him and for us, but from that moment we separated ourselves from it and we concentrated on our players."

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