Suarez blasts British fans for 'lack of respect'

Suarez blasts British fans for 'lack of respect'
By Eurosport

02/08/2012 at 18:08Updated 02/08/2012 at 19:15

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has criticised British fans who booed him and his country's national anthem during Wednesday night's match in Cardiff.

Team GB captain Ryan Giggs had expressed concerns before the match about the crowd in the Welsh capital booing God Save The Queen. In the event, the Millennium Stadium gave a rousing rendition of the song which doubles as both the anthem of England and Great Britain, but the Uruguayan anthem was booed by a significant number of people inside the ground.

Once the match kicked off, Suarez was treated to similar abuse when he was on the ball, as had happened in Uruguay's previous two Olympic matches at Old Trafford in Manchester and Wembley in London.

Suarez, who plays his club football in England for Liverpool, insisted after the match that he was personally used to such treatment, but that the home crowd's booing of his nation's anthem showed "a total lack of respect".

Suarez was quoted by The Guardian as saying: "I think they jeer me and they boo me because they must be scared of facing a player like me.

"They fear me, but that doesn't affect me. I'm just hurt because we lost and we are going home.

"I can take the abuse … but I think it was a total lack of respect from the crowd to boo when we were trying to sing our national anthem. I think those things should not happen."

Suarez has been a controversial figure ever since his deliberate handball on the goal-line denied Ghana an almost-certain winner in their World Cup quarter-final clash in 2010, six months before he joined Liverpool.

Upon arriving at Anfield he quickly established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League, but he was suspended by the FA for eight matches after he was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and has been a target of enmity for rival fans ever since.

Suarez's international and club team-mate Sebastian Coates said the treatment the forward receives is unwarranted.

"I'm tired of this situation with Luis," Coates said. "I think it has gone too far and I don't like to see him 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 a whole country are fully behind him and I think fans over here should leave him alone."

Team GB needed a point to reach the quarter-finals and eliminate the two-time Olympic champions, but they went through with a win at the Millennium Stadium courtesy of Daniel Sturridge scoring the only goal of the game.