Lugano: Suarez ban is a 'breach of human rights'

The Uruguay captain has lashed out at FIFA after the penalty imposed on the striker, calling the suspension a "barbarity."

Diego Lugano has lashed out at the sanctions imposed on his Uruguay teammate Luis Suarez, describing his record ban as a "breach of human rights."

FIFA imposed a nine-game international ban and suspended Suarez from all soccer-related activity for four months after finding him guilty of biting Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's final Group D clash Tuesday.

The Liverpool forward was absent for Saturday's 2-0 second-round defeat to Colombia and, following La Celeste's World Cup exit, Lugano fumed at the injustice he saw in the punishment.

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"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," the 33-year-old defender said during a news conference. "He has committed a crime, but this [ban] is barbarity. Not even a criminal would receive this penalty."

Uruguay struggled without Suarez in the Maracana against Los Cafeteros, offering little response to James Rodriguez's two strikes, and Lugano stressed that he was not surprised that his side encountered difficulties without its star.

"He is irreplaceable," the center back 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."

Edinson Cavani, however, denied that the controversy around Suarez had distracted the Uruguay camp leading up to the game.

"From the moment we knew about the sanction, we only thought about Colombia," the Paris Saint-Germain striker 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."