Uruguay leaves Luis Suarez off its international friendlies team


(Gustau Nacarino/Reuters)

Uruguay has left renowned striker and World Cup biter Luis Suarez off its preliminary roster of players scheduled to play in two international friendly matches next month, the Associated Press reports. The new Barcelona star’s exclusion comes as a bite bit of surprise, since FIFA cleared Suarez to play in non-competitive international matches after Suarez appealed his four-month ban on “all soccer-related activities” earlier this month. Suarez received the original ban after getting caught biting his Italian opponent during the World Cup in Brazil earlier this summer.

Suarez missing on the roster doesn’t necessarily signify any bad blood between the ex-Liverpool striker and Uruguay, however. Uruguay stood firmly behind Suarez throughout the World Cup ordeal, after all.

Instead, the decision to leave Suarez at home could be because the team wants to give players who would be eligible to play in competitive play some extra practice against Japan and South Korea. Uruguay is readying to enter next year’s Copa America, as well as play the first few World Cup qualifying matches, without Suarez due to his ban.

Suarez, meanwhile, doesn’t seem too phased by the news. He’s been busy settling into Barcelona, where he recently debuted alongside the team’s other superstars, Lionel Messi and Neymar. The Uruguayan also found time to take the Ice Bucket Challenge today. Can you tell if his teeth were chattering?

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.

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Marissa Payne · August 21, 2014

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