Suarez 'persecuted' by authorities
Watch Luis Suarez punch Gonzalo Jara
Luis Suarez is "persecuted" by football's authorities, according to the Uruguayan Football Association, as FIFA launches an investigation into claims he punched an opponent during an international match.
A probe has been launched into allegations that the striker hit Chile defender Gonzalo Jara during a World Cup qualifier in March.
The incident during the 2-0 win for Chile in Santiago was missed by Argentine referee Nestor Pitana, allowing the world governing body's disciplinary committee to act. The AUF has until April 17 to respond to FIFA.
AUF president Sebastian Bauza gave Suarez his backing, claiming that Nottingham Forest player Jara had provoked him by grabbing his genitals, and that the Liverpool forward is regularly treated unfairly by football's authorities.
"Suarez is being persecuted by different football leagues, mainly the English, and we think this is unjust because it's a normal action in football," Bauza was quoted as saying on South American governing body CONMEBOL's website.
"We will defend him very strongly. We are working with all the videos and pictures showing Suarez reacted to an initial aggression from Jara."
Suarez is no stranger to controversy. He was sent off for his infamous handball on the line in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup which stopped a certain goal for Ghana, who then lost the subsequent penalty shootout. While at Ajax he received a lengthy ban for biting an opponent's ear, while last season he was suspended for eight matches for directing racist language at Manchester United captain Patrice Evra.
The 26-year-old received his second booking of the campaign in the match against Chile for an unrelated incident, ruling him out of Uruguay's next qualifier, away to Venezuela on June 11.
Uruguay are currently sixth in the table, just outside the qualification places.