Luis Suarez could be on track to spark yet more World Cup controversy according to countryman Gus Poyet, who claims that the striker and his teammates would be willing to go to any lengths to beat England this summer.
La Celeste and the Three Lions will meet in their second Group D fixture on June 19, and Sunderland manager Poyet is quoted by the Daily Mail's Sam Cunningham saying that Uruguay's players would even go as far as replicating the Suarez handball that helped save their 2010 World Cup campaign.
Back then, Suarez deliberately stopped Ghana's surefire winning strike on the goal line, and then he celebrated when the resulting penalty from Asamoah Gyan was missed. Poyet said:
I know that for you a handball on the goal line is cheating. But not for us. It’s part of the game. Like if I’m the last man and you’re running and I pull your shirt and you go down and I get sent off – is that cheating? No it’s not cheating.
You guys take it as a last man red card, fine. We take the same reaction [for what Suarez did]. I know it was massive in England, I know. But England’s reaction came as a surprise for us.
We thought, “Why?” Suarez had saved it. He was sent off. It was a penalty. It’s true. It’s worse for us when you do something that no-one sees, like punching someone. But a handball on the goal-line is a handball on the goal-line.
It's a fine line between the will to succeed and the will to go about it with the correct morals, or at least what are perceived to be correct morals, which Poyet reveals can differ greatly depending on one's heritage.
Uruguay will also meet Italy and Costa Rica in Group D, and it's possible that dirty tactics may be what's required to qualify from a group that contains three such viable candidates for only two advancing spots.
Having undergone knee surgery a little more than a week ago, a question mark remains over Suarez's fitness counting down to the Brazil tournament, but The Guardian reports that he joined back up with his squadmates at the start of the week:
The World Cup is viewed as the biggest team honour that any player can achieve in their career, but Poyet's comments raise the debate of exactly what lengths one should be willing to go to in the hunt for glory; where is the line drawn?
In any case, the Black Cats' boss appears as eager as any to see Uruguay better their fourth-place finish four years ago, apparently willing to see his compatriots literally claw their way to victory.