PAUL Dummett has defended the tackle he made on Luis Suarez which may have played a part in ruling the Uruguayan star out of the World Cup.
Newcastle United defender Dummett was shown a straight red card in the last game of the season against Liverpool for a challenge on Suarez.
The striker played on in the game, but it emerged yesterday that he had experienced pain in his knee during Uruguay training on Wednesday, and has undergone an operation.
The Uruguayan FA claimed that the foul by Dummett had caused the original damage, even though Liverpool sent the player off on international duty with a clean bill of health.
But the Newcastle left-back – who saw his red card rescinded on appeal – has defended the challenge, and wished the frontman a speedy recovery.
He said: “The challenge was inadvertent.
“I hit the ball with my left foot and he went down under the challenge.
“I hope he makes the World Cup because he is one of the best players in the world so he should be there.
“Having said that, I injured my meniscus three years ago and I was out for three months so it will depend on the injury and exactly where it is on the knee.”
With the World Cup due to start in three weeks, Suarez’s hopes of playing in the tournament are in the balance.
His absence would be a boost to England’s chances, with Roy Hodgson’s side due to face Uruguay in a Group D game on June 19.
It has led to lurid Internet claims that Dummett intentionally tried to injure the talisman, despite the fact that the defender is part of the Wales national squad, and was called up by the country yesterday for their friendly against Holland on June 4.
Dummett was even subjected to death threats on social media site Twitter yesterday from angry Uruguay fans.
The 22-year-old shrugged off the row, adding: “I was born in Newcastle and went to school here but I am Welshman now in that I am playing for Wales. I qualified through my dad’s dad who is Welsh.
“Suarez thinks he will be back in two weeks – we will have to wait and see how he does.
“He is up there with the best in the world – if he can make it.”