Uruguay captain Diego Lugano issued a statement supporting Suarez, a key member of the team fighting for a berth at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"All of us who compete at a thousand revs and maximum adrenalin are prone to some mistakes," Lugano said on his personal website (www.diegolugano.org). "Luis is the most competitive of all. He made a mistake and said sorry.
"In the same way that a defender makes a mistake going for the attacker's leg instead of the ball or when coaches, referees, journalists or even directors make mistakes without the adrenalin of competition.
"The (Uruguay) squad support him because you see people's quality in everyday things. The people who work with him like, respect and protect him, as much in Uruguay as Holland or England. That's the most important thing in life."
The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) is also defending Suarez from punishment by world soccer's ruling body FIFA for punching Chile defender Gonzalo Jara in a South American World Cup qualifier in Santiago last month.
FIFA opened an investigation after Argentine referee Nestor Pitana missed the incident when Suarez and Jara, who also plays in England for second-tier Nottingham Forest, tussled at a corner.
The AUF said Suarez reacted to provocation from Jara.
- Sports & Recreation