Jara being investigated for provoking Cavani at Copa America
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — South American football officials will look into the actions of Chile defender Gonzalo Jara, who was caught on video poking Edinson Cavani’s behind to provoke a red card in the Copa America quarterfinals.
Alberto Lozada, a member of CONMEBOL’s disciplinary panel, said Thursday that the local governing body “will open an investigation” into Jara.
Cavani, Uruguay’s top striker in the tournament, was sent off after the 63rd-minute provocation by Jara, and Chile went on to score the only goal on Wednesday, and reach the semifinals for the first time in 16 years.
Cavani slapped Jara in the face immediately after the Chilean put his hand on him, but the referee punished only Cavani, giving him a second yellow card. While the slap appeared to be light, Jara dropped to the ground with his hand to his face.
Cavani’s first yellow was for complaining to the linesman in the 30th.
Uruguay captain Diego Godin said after the match that Cavani “reacted the way he did” only because of what Jara did.
The striker entered the match enduring a personal ordeal back in Uruguay, where his father was detained after allegedly driving drunk and being involved in an accident that killed a motorcyclist.
It wasn’t the first time Jara was seen provoking another player. In 2013, Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was sent off from a World Cup qualifier for punching Jara in the face after a similar provocation from the Chilean.
If Jara has a hearing and is suspended, it could be costly for the hosts, who are trying to win the Copa for the first time. Chile will play either Peru or Bolivia in the semifinals.