The striker had a heated exchange with a coach and punched a wall after he started to warm-up, only to then be left out, as the 15-times winners lost to Venezuela.
Luis Suarez reacted furiously on the Uruguay bench, shouting at a coach and smashing his hand into the dug-out wall, after beginning to warm-up to come on against Venezuela, only to be overlooked in the dying moments.
Suarez picked up a hamstring in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey final victory against Sevilla at the end of May and, in fear of missing his country’s Copa America Centenario campaign, cried tears of devastation on the bench at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium.
He recovered enough to be named in Oscar Tabarez’s final squad, but missed his country’s opening defeat to Mexico on Sunday and watched from the sidelines as Venezuela took a 1-0 first-half lead that threatened the 15-times winners of this tournament with group-stage elimination.
Although he sat on the substitutes’ bench with his teammates in Philadelphia, he had been listed as “injured” on the pre-match team sheets, rather than as a sub, and was therefore unable to play any part in the match.
But it appears as though some kind of administrative error on behalf of the Uruguay technical staff led to Suarez being asked to warm-up as La Celeste chased an equalizer that would have given them hope of qualifying from Group C.
The striker was put through his paces as he prepared to help his country out of danger, only to see Mathias Corujo introduced as the third and final replacement with 10 minutes remaining.
He was then seen in a heated exchange with a Uruguay assistant coach Mario Rebollo before once again taking his place on the bench and striking his hand against a plastic wall.
After the match, Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabarez backed up his decision, saying: “I’m not going to play a player who isn’t 100 percent.”