Sportswear giant Adidas said Thursday it would stop using Luis Suarez, one of its key promotional stars, for World Cup adverts after his four-month ban from football activities for biting Italian Giorgio Chiellini.
“Adidas fully backs FIFA’s decision,” a spokeswoman told AFP. “We do not accept the recent behaviour of Luis Suarez and shall remind him of the high standards we expect of our players.
“We have no plan to use Suarez for any other marketing activities during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”
FIFA banned Suarez for nine internationals and from football for four months and also fined him 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000).
As well as being a major FIFA sponsor for almost four decades, the German company is a personal sponsor of Suarez, now set to serve the third suspension of his career for biting.
Mariana Ramos, Adidas spokeswoman in Sao Paulo, told AFP Suarez was to have featured in all of Uruguay’s sponsorship-related World Cup activities but would no longer play any role.
“Future plans for after the World Cup will be revised once the tournament is over,” she explained.
Uruguay are still in the tournament and face Colombia in Rio on Saturday in the second phase having knocked out fellow former champions England and Italy in the group stage.
Suarez appeared to bite Chiellini in the closing stages of his side’s win over Italy in Natal on Tuesday.
Television replays showed him approaching Chiellini from behind and appearing to lean into the Italian’s shoulder.
Chiellini pulled down his shirt to show what appeared to be bite marks on his shoulder following an incident which went unseen by the referee.
Suarez served bans of seven and ten matches for biting after an incident while playing for Ajax in 2010 and current side Liverpool last year.