Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been the victim of jealousy whilst playing for his club and for Uruguay, according to the president of his country's football association, Sebastian Bauza.
Suarez has been the subject of a great deal of criticism for his behaviour since joining Liverpool in 2011, much of it connected with two lengthy suspensions.
In December 2011 he was banned for eight games for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and he picked up a 10-game ban at the end of last season for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.
However Bauza believes that opposition teams have created a false impression of the 26-year-old by constantly accusing him of being a cheat.
"In the case of Suarez, those who have to play against Liverpool or the Uruguayan national team, in the first place they try to protect themselves off the pitch, saying, for example, that he’s a diver, as a way of pressuring referees before matches," said Bauza.
"Besides, there’s a lot of jealousy, and they say the same about Neymar. But on the pitch, it can’t be ignored that the great stars of world football get kicked a lot, trying to prevent them from having an impact.
"I’m fully aware of the atmosphere with referees, as in the end they’re also football people and I can assure you that Suarez is an idol on and off the pitch and even the referees themselves admire him, as they’re conscious of all the blows he receives in every game.
"In English football, Liverpool’s rivals are jealous because they don’t have a player of Suarez’s class, as he’s one of the best strikers in the world."
Suarez completed his ten-game biting ban at the weekend and is available for Liverpool's Capital One Cup tie against Manchester United on Wednesday evening.
His only recent competitive football has been with Uruguay earlier this month when he was accused of diving twice in a World Cup qualifier against Peru.
And Bauza is very critical of the way the Peruvians went into that match.
He said: "In Peru they said Suarez is a diver, but they also tried to make a war of the match beforehand, so the media published a photo of the Peruvian player [Juan Manuel] Vargas holding a revolver and pointing it at a celeste [Uruguay’s light blue] shirt, with a title 'kill or die'.
"Football is a game and not a war. However in Lima they didn’t understand it that way."
Suarez was the subject of a great deal of transfer speculation over the summer with the former Ajax man linked with a move to Arsenal.
However he stayed put at Anfield and Bauza does not believe his compatriot will ever move to another English club.
"I’m convinced that the day Suarez changes club, he can’t do it to another club in England, in which case he will have to go and play in another country," he added.
"As for the decision to continue at Liverpool, he feels protected, so it’s good that he stays. It’s a good response from Suarez to those who love him and protect him, in a hostile environment born of jealousy."
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