SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile defender Gonzalo Jara could be in trouble after television images clearly showed him sticking his finger up an opponent’s backside during his side’s 1-0 win over Uruguay at the Copa America on Wednesday.
Jara grabbed Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani and prodded him after an hour of a bad-tempered quarter-final in Santiago.
Cavani pushed him away gently with the back of his hand but the Chilean fell to the floor as if he had been punched.
The Brazilian referee showed Cavani his second yellow card of the game and sent him off.
“In the Cavani case there are images that are far more graphic than 1,000 words of mine,” Uruguay captain Diego Godin said afterwards. “There’s the gesture, Edi reacts … and the referee decides to send him off.
“There are images that show that he sticks his finger up him.”
The images were all over social media on Thursday and were the main talking point from the match, which sent Chile into the last four of the competition for the first time in 16 years.
“I hope that CONMEBOL takes action,” Godin said, referring to South American soccer’s governing body. “I’m going to hold my tongue ... it’s a delicate situation.”
CONMEBOL or the Chileans themselves could take disciplinary action against Jara. Asked about that possibility in his post-match news conference, Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said he had not seen the images.
Uruguay ended the match with nine men after defender Jorge Fucile was sent off for a tackle on Alexis Sanchez. Television replays suggested the challenge was firm but fair and Fucile won the ball.
The dismissal enraged the Uruguayans and triggered a fracas involving almost every player on the pitch, plus the coaching staff and match officials. The game was held up for several minutes before order was restored.
Writing by Gideon Long, editing by Ed Osmond