Montevideo: The disgraced Luis Suarez and ageing veterans Diego Forlan and Diego Lugano are all missing from the first post-World Cup Uruguay squad announced on Thursday for two friendlies in Asia next month.
Suarez is technically allowed to play friendlies after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport succeeded in getting some terms of his four-month suspension from all football-related activity changed.
But the striker has seen only 15 minutes of action in a Barcelona friendly since being handed a nine-match ban from competitive internationals after biting an opponent during a World Cup match in June.
Uruguay play Japan on September 5 in Sapporo and South Korea in Seoul four days later.
There was no official reason given for the absence of World Cup captain Lugano, released by West Bromwich Albion in May, and striker Forlan, now playing in the J-League.
They have not formally retired but with both well into their thirties, their international careers are all but over after Uruguay’s last-16 elimination at the Brazil finals.
Coach Oscar Tabarez, who picked the squad, is close to being confirmed as staying in charge for another four-year World Cup cycle but since he is recovering from back surgery, the team will travel with Uruguay under-20s coach Fabian Coito as caretaker.
There are 18 members of Uruguay’s World Cup squad among the 29 players named but seven of the other 11 had never before been called up as Uruguay begin the process of renewal.
The other missing players from the June-July Brazil tournament are midfielders Diego Perez of Bologna and Southampton’s Gaston Ramirez.
Uruguay, whose next objective is to defend their Copa America title in Chile next year, also meet Saudi Arabia in a friendly in Jeddah on Oct. 10.