Luis Suárez delivered his farewells back at the beach-front Sehrs Grand hotel in Natal. There were emotional embraces with medical staff and management, the forward a picture of misery as he contemplated a flight home to Montevideo when all roads should have been leading to the Maracanã.

Team-mates, recently returned from their morning training drills at Estádio Maria Lamas Farache, queued up to offer Luisito their sympathy, support and solidarity as the true weight of Fifa’s unprecedented ban sank in. The captain, Diego Lugano, eventually took to social media to speak of “outrage” and an overriding sense of “helplessness”. Then the familiar accusations of injustice reared once again.

“We would like a fairer world, but that world simply does not exist,” wrote the West Bromwich Albion defender. “The people who are in charge are in charge, and the strong are strong. They do not judge us by the same law. Embrace Luis who, as always, will get back on his feet again. And especially embrace his family who are always the ones who suffer most in cases like this. They should still be proud of him. He deserves that.”

Never mind this was the third incident of biting an opponent in four years to have blighted Suárez’s career. Rather, the established order was ganging up against this team and their talisman. The suspicion is that the striker will be greeted in his homeland as a returning hero rather than a pariah whose latest spasm of indiscipline has most likely wrecked Uruguay’s chances at this World Cup.