“Luis Suarez’s lawyer flew to Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday to present his defense after the Uruguay striker appeared to bite a player during his team’s 1-0 victory over Italy, leaving him facing a lengthy ban if found guilty by soccer’s governing body,” Nick Mulvenney reports for Reuters. “Suarez, who has been banned from soccer twice previously for biting, has until 5pm local time (2000 GMT) on Wednesday to present his case to FIFA.”
“The incident came 10 minutes from time in Uruguay’s Group D game against Italy, when television footage appeared to show Suarez sink his teeth into the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, who has publicly accused him of biting,” Mulvenney reports. “Chiellini pulled down his shirt, and Reuters photographs showed what appeared to be bite marks on his shoulder. The referee did not spot the incident during the match, but FIFA’s rules allow the use of video or ‘any other evidence’ to punish players retrospectively… Uruguay could potentially play four more games in the tournament, and it would be a surprise if Suarez were to be given a ban of a shorter duration if found guilty.”
“Whatever the outcome of FIFA’s investigation, the biting accusations could have an impact on Suarez’s commercial value as one of the world’s top strikers,” Mulvenney reports. “Poker brand 888 said on Wednesday it was ‘seriously reviewing’ its sponsorship agreement with him after Suarez became one of the online gambling company’s brand ambassadors last month. Suarez has an endorsement deal with German sportswear company Adidas, and he has also been advertising the Beats headphones worn by many top players.”
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MacDailyNews Take: This time, Suarez may have bitten off more than he can chew.