Montevideo (AFP) - Uruguay's President Jose Mujica has slammed FIFA leaders as "sons of bitches" for banning the country's star striker Luis Suarez over his infamous World Cup bite.
Mujica called the four-month ban on all football activity imposed on Suarez for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini "fascist sanctions".
The president made the comments to a state-run TV sports show which asked Mujica his opinion of the World Cup as he welcomed the defeated Uruguayans on their return from Brazil late Sunday.
"Those at FIFA are a gang of old sons of bitches," Mujica said. He gasped and put his hand to his mouth in an I-can't-believe-that-I said-that manner, but smiled.
The journalist asked if he could publish the remark.
"For my part, sure," Mujica shrugged.
"I support the president's remarks," added his wife, Senator Lucia Topolansky, who was standing next to him.
"They could have sanctioned him," said Mujica, a 79-year-old ex-guerrilla, "but not with fascist sanctions."
Suarez bit Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 win over Italy to secure a place in the last 16. It was his third offence for biting an opponent.
FIFA slapped Suarez with a four-month ban on all football activities, a nine-match international suspension and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000, 83,000 euros).
Without Suarez, Uruguay lost 2-0 to Colombia on Saturday.
The Suarez sanctions have been harshly criticized in Uruguay. Mujica welcomed Suarez at Montevideo airport when he arrived Friday ahead of the team.
In his weekly radio address on Friday, Mujica said the Suarez punishment would be "an eternal shame" in the history of the World Cup.
At home, the opposition backed Mujica's position -- but questioned his choice of words.
?We disagree with FIFA. It has acted in a fascist way, and imposed sanctions without respecting human rights. But a president cannot offer such insults,? National Party senator and former foreign minister Sergio Abreu said on Twitter.
Another opposition senator, Ope Pasquet of the Colorado Party, said: ?Another quality contribution to the public debate from the president.?