Darwin Nunez going nowhere despite Copa America exit and ban threat hanging over Liverpool man

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JULY 10: Darwin Nunez #19 of Uruguay during the first half of the semi-final match between Uruguay and Colombia in the CONMEBOL Copa America USA 2024 at Bank of America Stadium on July 10, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez’s Copa America campaign is not over yet despite Uruguay suffering a semi-final defeat to Colombia.

Jefferson Lerma scored the only goal of an ill-tempered affair as Colombia, who played the entire second half with 10 men after Daniel Munoz was sent off and featured Reds winger Luis Diaz, won 1-0 to set up a final showdown with Argentina on Sunday.

Scenes turned ugly after the final whistle as Nunez was caught on several videos brawling in the stands with Colombia supporters.

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At the end of the match a fight appeared to break out between a number of people in the stands with a shirtless Nunez eventually becoming heavily involved in the scuffle. It has been suggested that he was stepping in to defend his family after initially climbing up to the area where his partner, Lorena Manas, was watching the game.

Nunez is staring down the possibility of a significant suspension for his involvement in the brawl. Liverpool are set to reach out to the 25-year-old when the time difference allows them to check in on his and his family's welfare after a distressing evening in Charlotte.

The club will also speak directly to the Uruguay Football Federation to get their version of events and it's understood no official statement will be imminent with Anfield officials keen to establish all the facts around the incident before determining the best course of action.

While what happens next is unclear at this current time, should Nunez not be handed a swift suspension, his tournament is not actually over.

Unlike the European Championship, the Copa America has a third-place play-off, with Uruguay next in action against Canada in the early hours of Sunday morning (UK time). As things stand, Nunez is free to play in the game.

Liverpool traditionally give their international players a three-week break following close-season excursions with their countries. Therefore, Nunez is not expected back to start pre-season until the start of August. Consequently, he is set to miss the Reds’ tour of the United States.

Whether such an absence is extended should he be handed a suspension, and it is extended to club football, remains to be seen. But given the unsavoury end to Uruguay’s Copa America hopes and the current cloud hanging over Nunez’s head, it is somewhat surreal that he has one game still to participate in.

Nunez has started all five of Uruguay’s matches at the Copa America so far, scoring two goals in their opening two group games against Panama and Bolivia.