The Paris Saint-Germain striker, Edinson Cavani, was forced to apologise after mistakenly stating that Jamaica,
Óscar Tabárez’s side, who are the holders following their triumph in Argentina four years ago, kick off the defence of their title against Jamaica in Antofagasta on Saturday.
Despite being part of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf), Jamaica are in Chile along with Mexico after winning last year’s Caribbean Cup. However, that fact seemed to be lost on Cavani as he faced the media to preview Saturday’s game.
Asked what he thought of Uruguay’s opponents, the PSG striker said: “As any other African team, Jamaica are going to be strong.”
That led to a hastily-arranged tweet where Cavani apologised if his comments had caused offence. “First I want to apologise to Jamaica and its people,” he wrote.
“I wanted to make a comparison between similar styles and playing characteristics between Jamaican national team and those of African sides but honestly I only put across half that thought and it came out sounding awful.
“In any case I’d like to publicly ask for forgiveness and I hope my mistake will be taken with humour rather than offence.”
Managed by the German Winfried Schäfer, Jamaica are 600-1 shots to win the tournament.
Uruguay beat Jamaica but 1-0 in 2015 Copa America debut game. The lone goal of the game came at the 53rd minute through Christian Rodrigues. The who play without talisman Luiz Suarez will need to up their game in their next outing against Argentina.