Luis Suarez Could Lose Endorsement Deal With 888Poker

Luis SuarezUruguay has progressed through the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, but they may be without their gun striker Luis Suarez, who is under investigation for a biting incident in the third group World Cup match against Italy.

This is not the first time Luis Suarez has been accused of biting a player during a game. Last year he was suspended from the EPL for 10 matches for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

The Liverpool striker just last month became an ambassador for one of the world’s leading online poker brands, 888Poker, which would be worth millions of dollars. With Suarez being such a prolific footballer not just in the EPL, but in world football, the news spread like wildfire.

Itai Pazner, a senior vice-president at 888, said Suarez “was an incredible sporting talent – passionate, competitive, technically gifted, and emotionally invested in the game. It’s those qualities that make him an exciting player to watch, in poker as well as football. It’s fantastic to have him on board.”

However, the online poker giant is “reviewing” its relationship with the striker saying in a statement that “we will not tolerate any unsporting behaviour.” Not being the first biting incident only paints a more dire picture for Suarez and the impact it has on the company.

Following the Uruguay and Italy game that decided which of the two teams progressed through to the knockout stage of the World Cup, Chiellini called on FIFA to take action on the matter. Even though Chiellini remonstrated with the referee during the game straight after it happened, no action was taken.

FIFA’s rules allow the use of any evidence to support claims including video footage of the game, and the video evidence appears to show Suarez leaning forward towards Chiellini appearing to bite him. Images also surfaced of the incident which show bite marks on Chiellini’s shoulder.

Even though FIFA’s investigations into the biting incident are ongoing it is looking very likely that given the damning evidence against Suarez he is going to be hit with a hefty suspension despite pleading his innocence. When asked about the incident that occurred in the last 15 minutes with the game still in the balance at 0-0, Suarez said post match that, “These situations happen on the field. I had contact with his shoulder, nothing more, things like that happen all the time.”

Suarez has been defended by Uruguay’s captain and coach, Oscar Tabarez, who said that although he didn’t see the incident, he complained that the striker was being unfairly targeted. He was quoted as saying: “It seems there is this animosity toward him and he is being persecuted by past events.”

Many Uruguayans share the coaches opinion. Luis Suarez and the rest of Uruguay will no doubt have an anxious wait to see whether or not he is found guilty of biting the Italian defender.

The FIFA rules state that in the occurrence of such a violation he should be banned for a minimum of two matches, which includes international games, so he could be absent for the next Uruguay match, but it’s possible he could be suspended for a much longer period.

A ruling by FIFA must be made before Uruguay faces off in the round of 16 game against Colombia. If found guilty, two things are guaranteed to happen. Uruguay will definitely struggle in their next game, as they did in the first game that was played against Costa Rica without Suarez, and 888Poker will be sure to terminate their endorsement deal with Suarez.

Latest Update: Luis Suarez has been banned for 4 months. See the related news on