at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London - The Italian defender whose shoulder he sank his teeth into probably still doesn’t see the funny side.
But Luis Suarez’s extraordinary attack on Giorgio Chiellini has become the inspiration for dozens of joke images and videos on the internet.
One mock-up that proved popular around the world had Suarez as Hannibal Lecter, the cannibal criminal from the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs.
The Uruguay striker was also pictured as Dracula and even as the shark from the Hollywood film Jaws.
Suarez’s sponsors, who include Adidas, do not see the player’s third biting outrage as a laughing matter however.
The sportswear firm’s executives met in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday to discuss the incident. A spokesman said: “Adidas is aware of the issue involving Luis Suarez. We await Fifa’s full investigation into this matter and will respond accordingly.”
Adidas took the unusual step of issuing a statement condemning Suarez’s ‘unacceptable’ actions when he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League game last year.
Poker brand 888, which also has a deal with the player, said it would not tolerate unsporting behaviour and was seriously reviewing its relationship with the star.
Liverpool fans are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the investigation by Fifa. The global governing body has the power to ban Suarez from club football as well as from international games. The Uruguayan, who scored the two goals that effectively ended England’s World Cup hopes, was watched by millions of TV viewers plunging his mouth towards Chiellini’s shoulder on Tuesday night.
The Italian player pulled down his shirt to reveal a red bite mark, but the referee took no action and Suarez was allowed to continue playing. Uruguay then scored to go through to the tournament’s knock-out stages at Italy’s expense.
Suarez’s lawyer on Wednesday claimed that European football chiefs were trying to have the striker banned. Alejandro Balbi told Uruguayan radio: ‘We don’t have any doubts that this has happened because it’s Suarez and secondly because Italy was eliminated. There’s a lot of pressure from England and Italy.’
The lawyer, who is a board member of Uruguay’s football association, also suggested Suarez was being targeted because he threatened other nations’ chances of winning the World Cup, including those of hosts Brazil. Suarez, a married father of two, was suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder while playing for Dutch club Ajax in 2010.
He received a ten-game ban in England for biting Ivanovic.