Thursday 21 September 2017

Suarez could face FIFA probe

Rex Gowar

Luis Suarez will miss Uruguay's crucial World Cup qualifier in Venezuela and could face further punishment from FIFA if he is investigated over striking a Chilean opponent in an off-the-ball incident.

Suarez, who has scored eight goals in the qualifiers, picked up a second booking of the campaign for a separate offence in Tuesday's 2-0 loss to Chile in Santiago and is suspended for their next match in June.

The Liverpool striker could face further disciplinary action after punching Chile's Gonzalo Jara as they tussled in the penalty area at a corner. The referee missed the incident, but FIFA may act if it is mentioned in the fourth official's report.

Uruguay have taken only two points from six matches – a paltry return for the 2011 Copa America winners and 2010 World Cup semi-finalists.

However, the twice world champions, who have so often punched above their weight, have become accustomed to scraping into World Cups via play-offs.

Meanwhile, Robin van Persie says the fact that Manchester United have a track record in valuing older players such as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes may persuade him to see out his playing days at Old Trafford too.

Van Persie said: "For the next few years I will be at Manchester United – and maybe longer. United could be my last club."

The former Arsenal striker's current contract will end when he is 33 but, with 39-year-old Giggs and Scholes (38) for inspiration, the Dutchman may be tempted to extend his time at the club.

Van Persie scored twice for Holland against Romania on Tuesday night to overtake Johan Cruyff's international goals tally. Cruyff scored 33 goals in 48 appearances of a curtailed international career, and Van Persie is now on 34 goals from 74 caps.

Van Persie is second in the Premier League scoring charts this season with 19 goals, three behind Suarez.

Irish Independent

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