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updated: 6/27/2014 5:23 PM

Uruguay coach quits FIFA position over Suarez ban

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  • Uruguay's head coach Oscar Tabarez makes a statement during a press conference the day before the round of 16 World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, June 27, 2014.  FIFA banned Uruguay striker Luis Suarez from all football activities for four months on Thursday for biting an opponent at the World Cup, a punishment that rules him out of the rest of the tournament and the start of the upcoming Premier League season.

      Uruguay's head coach Oscar Tabarez makes a statement during a press conference the day before the round of 16 World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, June 27, 2014. FIFA banned Uruguay striker Luis Suarez from all football activities for four months on Thursday for biting an opponent at the World Cup, a punishment that rules him out of the rest of the tournament and the start of the upcoming Premier League season.

 
Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has quit his role in FIFA's strategic committee in protest at the ban that football's governing body imposed on his team's star striker Luis Suarez for biting.

"It is not wise, at least it is not prudent" to stay within FIFA, Tabarez said Friday at a news conference before his team plays Colombia in the World Cup Round of 16.

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Tabarez used the mandatory pre-match media event to make an often rambling 15-minute speech with no mention of the game on Saturday.

In his monologue, Tabarez also blamed English-speaking media for creating pressure on the FIFA disciplinary panel to punish Suarez.

"The severity was excessive," Tabarez said of FIFA's panel banning Suarez for nine international matches and four months for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in a group-stage match on Tuesday. Uruguay won 1-0 to advance.

FIFA seems to have "values very different from those that I have," said Tabarez, describing Suarez as a scapegoat.

"Who wins, who loses? Who benefits, who is harmed? Who ended up getting things their way?" the coach said in Spanish.

Tabarez, a former member of coaching advisory groups at FIFA tournaments, said he must leave those positions with the sport's governing body.

He left the news conference after his statement and did not take questions. No Uruguay player attended, breaching FIFA's World Cup guidelines.

The FIFA strategic committee is chaired by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and deals with "global strategies for football and its political, economic and social status."

It meets no more than twice a year and has largely symbolic status within FIFA.

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