Rio de Janeiro, June 26 (IANS) South American football's governing body Conmebol will probe an incident that led to the dismissal of Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani during a Copa America match.
TV images showed Chile defender Gonzalo Jara poking his finger in Cavani's backside, causing the Paris Saint-Germain striker to react by lightly slapping his opponent's face. Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci had his back turned and upon seeing Jara on the ground, promptly sent the Uruguayan off, reports Xinhua.
The scores were tied at 0-0 at the time of the incident, but Chile went on to win the quarterfinal 1-0 after Mauricio Isla scored in the 81st minute. The result eliminated Uruguay from the tournament.
"A process is going to be opened and work is being done now so that the matter is passed on to the tribunals," Conmebol spokesman Alberto Lozada said on Thursday. Cavani's Uruguay teammate Diego Godin called on Conmebol to issue Jara with a hefty penalty.
"More than the verbal provocation that was clearly there, the unfortunate thing is where he shoves his finger. Everyone's seen what happened, there should be no need for me to spell out what he did. You know what happened. Edi doesn't hit him with his fist, it's just a push to his face with his hand," Godin said.
"And the referee called him out on it. I hope Conmebol acts the way Fifa acted against Suarez last year. I do not know if there will be sanctions. I'm trying to bite my tongue, but hopefully there will be."