Uruguay rages against Suarez soccer ban for bitingFans of Uruguay's national soccer team await the arrival of Uruguay's player Luis Suarez with a sign that reads in Spanish "FIFA Corrupt, Luis, we support you", at Carrasco International Airport in the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday, June 26, 2014. The Uruguay forward, widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, was banned by FIFA from all football for four months on Thursday for biting an Italian opponent in an incident that marred the team's victory and progression to the second round. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) -- Several hundred Uruguayans gathered at a Montevideo airfield Thursday night waiting on the expected return of soccer player Luis Suarez after his banning from the World Cup for biting an Italian player.
But the Uruguayan Football Federation announced that Suarez was still in Brazil. The statement on its official twitter account gave no explanation for why he had not left.
Uruguayan President Jose Mujica had been at the international airport at one point, but his office said he returned home because Suarez's flight had been delayed.
After the report of the flight delay, the crowd of about 1,000 fans was moved from the airport's terminal to an adjacent air force base to await Suarez's arrival.
They waved the national flag and carried banners criticizing the international soccer governing body FIFA for the suspension of Suarez for four months for biting Giorgio Chiellini during a match Wednesday.
Uruguay will now be without its best player for its second-round match against Colombia on Saturday.