The Uruguayan President, Jose Mujica, has stoked up the Luis Suarez row by calling Fifa "a bunch of old sons of b****s" as the fall-out continues over their decision to ban the striker for four months.
Mujica has already blamed football's world governing body for Uruguay's departure from the World Cup at the last-16 stage with their 2-0 defeat against Colombia on Sunday. They banned Suarez for four months and nine international matches for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's final group game last week.
• Luis Suarez apologises for biting
But speaking at a reception for the Uruguay team after they returned home, he blasted Fifa again. Asked by a journalist what his lasting memory of the World Cup would be, Mujica said: "Fifa are a bunch of old sons of b****s." The President then covered his mouth to feign shock, but when asked by the journalist if he wanted to rectify his comments, he responded: "Publish it."
Mujica conceded that Suarez deserved to be punished for his bite on Chiellini during last week's World Cup Group D game in Natal last week ? the third such incident in the Uruguay striker's professional career - but criticised the severity of the ban. "They could have punished him, but not given him this fascist ban," added Mujica. His wife, First Lady Lucia Topolansky, added: "I support the words from the President."
On Saturday, it emerged that Suarez's defence against a charge of biting an opponent was that he had lost his balance and hit his face on Chiellini's shoulder. Those claims were dismissed by Fifa's seven-man disciplinary committee, who imposed the punishment on the 27-year-old. As part of his suspension, the Liverpool striker is banned from entering any football stadium or training ground.
The Uruguay captain Diego Lugano said: "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 team-mates, that he cannot work for four months.
"He has committed a crime but this [ban] is barbarity. Not even a criminal would receive this penalty."
Suarez's misdemeanours have not put off Spanish giants Barcelona from making a move for him and they hope to exploit the situation by offering Liverpool ?50m for him.
Meanwhile, speaking in his role as Yahoo's global football ambassador, the Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, said: "I think the punishment is deserved because it is an accumulation of the same negative act on the football pitch.
"What I really don't like in football is the stadium ban. What's the problem for Suarez to be in the stadium, in the middle of the Uruguay supporters watching the game between his country and Colombia? It's too hard - it's something that I really don't understand."
Fifa refused to comment.
- THE INDEPENDENT