Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez explained Luis Suarez was “not ready to play” after the Barcelona striker reacted furiously to not being brought on as La Celeste crashed out of the Copa America in a 1-0 defeat to Venezuela on Thursday.
Video footage showed Suarez losing his temper after an exchange with Tabarez on the touchline during the match in Philadelphia in which Salomon Rondon scored the only goal to see Venezuela through to the quarter-finals and eliminated Uruguay from the tournament, per TyC Sports Play:
Tabarez explained afterwards that he was never going to play Suarez because he was not 100 per cent fit having missed Uruguay’s opening 3-1 defeat to Mexico with a hamstring injury picked up in the Copa del Rey final, per Reuters (via the Guardian):
“There is no situation. The situation is what I told you [on Wednesday]. The player is not ready to play. This is an issue about numbers and doctors. Even if the player is upset, I’m not going to play a player who is not 100 per cent. If he got upset, that is something I was not aware of. He didn’t tell me anything.”
Indeed, Ryan Bacic of the Washington Post reported Suarez was not even included in the 18-man squad for the Venezuela match, but clearly the striker was not aware of that as he lost his temper having warmed up for 15 minutes, preparing to be subbed on.