Suarez swerves big issue
7:59pm Tuesday 24th June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Luis Suarez avoided the controversy of his latest alleged biting incident as he hailed Uruguay's march into the World Cup knockout stages.
Suarez could face retrospective action from FIFA following a 79th minute off-the-ball clash with Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Television replays and photographs appeared to back up Chiellini's claims he had been bitten by Suarez, who served a 10-match ban for a similar offence last year.
Defender Diego Godin grabbed the goal Uruguay required two minutes later when he rose to nudge home a corner and seal a 1-0 win in Natal which sent the Italians home.
Suarez said in quotes carried by the Spanish newspaper El Pais: "I was relaxed because I knew we'd have chances. And then came the goal.
"Uruguay is celebrating, we have qualified and now we are going to celebrate this moment because next we have to start thinking about our next opponents.
"The truth is that the team worked incredibly hard and we deserve it.
"After making a bad start to the group against Costa Rica, the best we deserved was this and we showed that we deserve to stay in this World Cup.
"The heat was incredible and we were worn out."
For Chiellini, who made his upset known immediately, there was no doubting what had gone on.
Speaking to Gazzetta, he said: "The disparity in judgement has been evident. Marchisio's sending off was ridiculous but more so the fact that Suarez wasn't sent off. There's the will to protect champions but... The referee should have shown him a red card. There's a clear simulation after, a clear sign that he had done something that he wasn't supposed to.
"The gesture is clear. Referees document themselves on players and Suarez has a very clear history. The referee has given a clear address, he hasn't spoken throughout the game. These are episodes that condition. The only way they could have hurt us was from set pieces and so it was.
"There will be talk of failure but I would something to say about it. We are not happy with how things have gone but we were the only ones to deserve to progress to the next round."