Skip to Content

Despite record FIFA ban, Suarez will keep Adidas sponsorship

Luis Suarez (left) after his famous World Cup bite. Photograph by Daniel Garcia — AFP/Getty Images

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan who appeared to bite Italian defender Giorgi Chiellini’s shoulder during a World Cup game on Tuesday, will keep his contract with Adidas, according to a company spokeswoman on Thursday. That’s despite a record ban from FIFA matches for nine matches and for four months.

The sports gear company will, however, stop using Suarez for advertising activities during the World Cup.

“Adidas certainly does not condone Luis Suarez’s recent behaviour and we will again be reminding him of the high standards we expect from our players,” said the company in a statement. “We have no plan to use Suarez for any additional marketing activities during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”

888poker announced yesterday that they would be “reviewing” their relationship with Suarez and they will “not tolerate unsporting behavior.” The betting company was not immediately available for comment after inquiries about the latest news.

“With Suarez now out of the World Cup, and out of his first nine English Premier League matches, his marketability vanishes as well,” said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert for the California advertising firm Baker Street, via email. “While biting is not an impossible transgression to recover from — just ask Mike Tyson — it’s hard to imagine any of Suarez’s current or prospective sponsors wanting anything to do with him, at least until he’s back on the pitch and has proven that he’s fully rehabilitated.”

He added, “It’s just too risky for a marketer to sink big bucks into a loose mouth who could go vampire at any time. There are plenty of other soccer stars out there who are much safer investments.”

The investigation, which was completed on Thursday morning, found Suarez guilty of “upon sorting behavior towards another player,” pulling him out of the upcoming Colombia and Uruguay match on Saturday.

“Such behavior cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field,” said FIFA’s Claudio Sulser, the chairman of the FIFA disciplinary committee, in a statement.

Suarez has also been banned in the past for two previous biting incidents, including in 2010 for seven games and in 2013 for 10.

The Uruguayan, who plays for Liverpool in the English Premier League, faces the longest ban in World Cup history, according to various media reports. The previous most being eight games back in 1994.