at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Cardiff, United Kingdom – Uruguay striker Luis Suarez blasted fans who screamed abuse as his team slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Great Britain in the Olympics, claiming it was an indication that they feared him.
Liverpool star Suarez was furious that the Millennium Stadium crowd jeered the Uruguay anthem at the start of a game which eventually saw his side eliminated from the tournament at the first round stage.
“I think they jeer me and they boo me here because they must be scared of facing a player like me,” said Suarez.
“They fear me, but that doesn't affect me. I'm hurt because we lost and we are going home. We all had a dream and that was to win the gold medal here.
“I can take the abuse. I don't mind. 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.”
National team captain Suarez was a regular target throughout the tournament and was booed at Wembley, the Millennium Stadium as well as Old Trafford.
He has been targetted after his infamous clash with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in a Premier League match which resulted in an eight-match ban and a fine for the striker.
“I'm tired of this situation with Luis,” said teammate Sebastian Coates, who plays with Suarez at Liverpool.
“I think it has gone too far and I don't like to see him being 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 teammates and a whole country are fully behind him and I think fans over here should leave him alone.” – Sapa-AFP