By Michael Kahn
NATAL, Brazil, June 24 (Reuters) - Uruguay captain Diego Lugano slammed Italy's Giorgio Chiellini for complaining after the defender accused Luis Suarez of biting him late in the second half of an ill-tempered World Cup match on Tuesday.
The injured Lugano, who did not play in the 1-0 win that sent the Uruguayans through to the next round at Italy's expense, said he did not see Suarez bite anybody and that the striker was often unfairly judged on past actions.
"The worst of everything is the attitude of Chiellini," Lugano told reporters.
"He's a great player with an enormous status but it doesn't correspond with Italian football.
"As a sportsman leaving the field, crying and appealing against a rival. As a man, he disappointed me totally."
FIFA is investigating the incident which has become a worldwide talking point and Suarez, twice previously banned for biting, could be slapped with another lengthy suspension despite escaping punishment during the match.
"What do you think?" Lugano asked reporters when questioned on the incident. "What did you see? You saw this, really?
"You need to show me because I didn't see anything. Did you see it today or did you see what happened in other years? You couldn't have seen it today because nothing happened."
A smiling Suarez left the Dunas arena without speaking to reporters about the incident in which the South American and Chiellini collided in the Italian penalty area 10 minutes from the end of the Group D match.
Chiellini furiously pulled open his shirt to show the mark to the referee and Reuters photographs show what appeared to be bite marks on his shoulder.
Pictures also showed Suarez sitting on the ground holding his teeth immediately after the incident.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez also said he did not see the incident but suggested that Suarez was being persecuted.
Tabarez declined to discuss the team's prospects should their talismanic striker receive a ban that rules him out of the tournament but said Uruguay had won in the past without Suarez and could do so again.
"It seems there is this animosity toward him and he is being persecuted by past events," a visibly agitated Tabarez said when repeatedly being asked about the alleged bite.
"There are people hiding behind the tree waiting for something to happen." (Editing by Ed Osmond)
- Sports & Recreation
- Luis Suarez
- Giorgio Chiellini
- Diego Lugano