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Uruguay alters Olympic travel plans after needing 7 1/2 hours to get to London from Manchester

07/28/2012 01:34 EDT | Updated 09/27/2012 05:12 EDT
WEMBLEY, England - Uruguay will alter its travel plans to avoid further headaches at the Olympics after the team needed 7 1/2 hours to reach London by bus from Manchester.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said the South Americans will look at other forms of transport after being forced to cancel a team walkthrough at Wembley Stadium due to the travel problems a day earlier.

"There was a lot of traffic and the bus barely moved on the highway. I don't know what happened, I imagine it was a result of the games," Tabarez said after arriving at Wembley late on Saturday due to London traffic.

Uruguay travelled on Friday so the players could take part in the opening ceremony, something Tabarez was not going to deny his players the chance to do so. That meant an extra three hours on their feet, forcing him to order them to take a nap on Saturday instead of visiting Wembley following a morning practice.

"We have a historical and very important relationship with the games and every player wanted to take part in the ceremony," said Tabarez, whose team is participating for the first time since winning their second Olympic title in 1928.

"It would have been very weird to have stayed in the Olympics village and not taken part."

Britain and Spain were the only other football teams to take part, with Tabarez indicating Spain's players were probably even more fatigued after travelling to Newcastle after the ceremony, which ended about 1 a.m. local time.

Tabarez didn't expect the fatigue to affect preparations for Sunday's match against Senegal, although it may alter its travel method for its Group A finale against Britain in Cardiff on Aug. 1.

"It's very important to take advantage of our time so how we spend it getting around could be very important," said Tabarez, who said Luis Suarez will lead the attack again despite being hounded by jeers at Old Trafford in the opening 2-1 victory over United Arab Emirates.

"That's something we expect to see in coming games. It's a result of what has happened in the past," Tabarez said of Suarez, who was banned for eight matches last season for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during another Premier League match in October. "We're not going to focus on that, we're not going to ask for action on that. We'll just adapt to the situation."

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Paul Logothetis can be reached at: www.twitter.com/PaulLogoAP

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