Uruguay captain Diego Lugano claims team-mate Luis Suarez is being victimised after he was alleged to have bitten Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.
The South American side's dramatic 1-0 win over Italy sealed their place in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday, but the result has been overshadowed by the latest controversial incident surrounding Suarez.
Footage of the game appeared to show the Liverpool striker biting Chiellini in the second half, with FIFA opening an investigation that could mean a lengthy suspension if he is found to be guilty.
Suarez has been sanctioned at club level on two previous occasions for biting and was also suspended following a verbal confrontation with Patrice Evra, when he was accused of racially abusing the Manchester United full-back.
Lugano, however, does not believe the striker has done anything wrong on this occasion, becoming the latest to suggest he is being singled out by the media.
The Uruguay captain said: "The images do not show anything, just a collision between two players. Nothing important.
"The British media persecutes Suarez; everyone knows that. That sells a lot in England; if not, you wouldn't be here.
"I don't get why there's a British journalist here talking about Suarez. It seems this is a story the media loves. There is no other explanation."
Lugano claimed other sections of the world's media were part of the problem too.
He added: "Yesterday (Tuesday) Uruguay achieved an historic victory against a football power and in a common situation of a football match with physical contact, with common provocations. The world's press talks about a totally trivial fact, starting with Brazilian press.
"I've seen a lot of violent scenes in this World Cup. Elbows in the nose, do you remember? Kicks in the tibia and the knee.
"That's dangerous, that's violence. Fights between team-mates. And I never heard anything about that. I don't know if you journalists want to make justice or if you want to take some sportive advantage.
"I can't understand why a situation so trivial, that doesn't bring consequences to anyone, has so many repercussions."
Lugano's comments echo the sentiments of Suarez's lawyer Alejandro Balbi.
"We don't have any doubts that this has happened because it's Suarez and secondly because Italy was eliminated," Balbi, who is a Uruguay Football Association Board member, was widely report to have told a Uruguayan radio station earlier on Tuesday.
"There's a lot of pressure from England and Italy. We're polishing off a defence argument."
Balbi is aware of the possible ramifications, although he suggested there was nothing untoward about Suarez's actions.
"There is a possibility that they ban him, because there are precedents, but we're convinced that it was an absolutely casual play, because if Chiellini can show a scratch on one shoulder, Suarez can show a bruised and almost shut eye," Balbi added.
"If every player starts showing the injuries he suffers and they open inquiries for them everything will be way too complicated in the future. We're going to use all the arguments possible so that Luis gets out in the best possible way."comments