Uruguay star Edinson Cavani sent off for slapping Chile defender who 'inserted finger into his anus'
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez leapt to the defence of Edinson Cavani last night as footage appeared to show a Chilean player attempting to provoke the star by inserting a finger into his anus.
Cavani was sent off midway through the second half after receiving a second yellow card for flicking a hand into the face of Chile defender Gonzalo Jara.
But Tabarez said Cavani - who has been linked with a move to the Premier League this summer - had been the victim of provocation by Jara which should have been spotted by the match officials.
Post-match camera footage of the altercation appears to show Jara shoving a finger into the back of Cavani's shorts.
"For the expulsion of Cavani, you can see what happened and what the challenge was. I refer you to the television and photos of it, it is all there," said Tabarez.
"I can see that the referee has not seen it, but the linesman had to be able to see it from his position."
It is not the first time Jara has been involved in controversy involving a Uruguayan opponent.
In 2013 Uruguay striker Luis Suarez punched Jara after the Chilean reportedly grabbed his genitals during a World Cup qualifier.
Tabarez said the dismissal of Cavani, when the match was finely poised at 0-0, had turned the tide against his team.
"We had the game under control but when we were left with 10 men it became a little more difficult because it limited our opportunities to attack," said Tabarez.
A miserable night for Uruguay got worse for the 2011 champions when Jorge Fucile was sent off late in the game for a rugged challenge on Alexis Sanchez.
That sparked a prolonged confrontation between players and officials from both sides including Tabarez.
Sanchez later revealed one unnamed Uruguayan player had said sorry to him for the rough treatment he had been given during a bruising encounter.
"They like to fight, argue, go forward all out; one player told me in the first half 'Move you wimp' - but then later he said to me: 'I am sorry'," Sanchez said, without identifying the opponent in question.
"He said to me, 'That'll do, I kicked the shit out of you'. And I said, 'Alright but you could have caused an injury and that's not what football's about,'" Sanchez said.