England fans preview World Cup last 16 tie against Senegal
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Ian Wright had some harsh words for Edinson Cavani after the Uruguay forward was caught on camera punching the VAR monitor next to Qatari officials in the aftermath of Uruguay’s early World Cup exit on Friday afternoon. Cavani and his team-mates managed to claim a two-goal victory over Ghana thanks to Giorgian de Arrascaeta’s first-half brace but were ultimately sent crashing out of the World Cup on goals scored after South Korea’s last-gasp winner against Portugal.
Cavani was denied a huge penalty shout in stoppage time as Uruguay desperately tried to score a decisive third goal, which would have seen them progress to the knockout stages in Qatar at South Korea’s expense. The decision not to award a spot-kick left Uruguay incensed and their players made their feelings known after the final whistle by swarming the referee, who brandished his yellow card at Cavani and Jose Gimenez in the midst of the protests.
A handful of Uruguay players went on to follow the referee and his assistants as they walked down the tunnel, while Cavani took his anger a step further by throwing a punch at the VAR monitor, which toppled over and crashed on the floor next to a group of stunned Qatari officials. Wright was left thoroughly unimpressed with Cavani’s conduct when quizzed on the incident after Cameroon’s victory over Brazil later on Friday evening, with the former England marksman telling ITV Sport: “Wow, what a horrible guy!”
Wright’s views were shared by fellow ITV pundit Joe Cole, who added: “”It’s terrible behaviour. You feel your frustration when you lose games of football, but you have to keep your composure because you have a responsibility.
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“The world is watching, kids are watching. You can accept a little blow up, but four or five players are around the referee, it is not a good luck.”
Cavani, meanwhile, recently spoke about the competitive element of his personality that may have sparked his pitchside fury after the final whistle against Ghana, with the 35-year-old telling The Guardian that his unshakeable desire to win at all costs stems from his tough upbringing as a young player in Uruguay.
“That competitiveness demanded as a professional is already there,” said Cavani. “You’ve been doing it all your life, every day, in the rain, any surface, playing barefoot, breaking a toe, wrapping it up and carrying on. I always say that in football it’s not the same to play as to compete.
“We’ve kept that essence. Look at modern football, which is losing that essence. Maybe I come from that old school. Maybe I don’t fully fit with modern football, in terms of attitudes, what it means to players. That doesn’t mean you can’t say how you feel, does it?”
Friday’s result sealed Uruguay’s first World Cup group stage exit in two decades, with the likes of Luis Suarez and Darwin Nunez spotted in floods of tears on the bench after the news of South Korea’s late goal filtered through the dugout. Nunez was denied a separate penalty claim earlier in the match when he went down under the challenge of Ghana midfielder Daniel Amartey before the referee failed to overturn his original decision after a quick look at the VAR monitor.
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