The sportswear brand has stopped short of giving the Uruguayan its full backing after taking almost a day to respond to the incident that saw him bite Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder yesterday (24 June). FIFA is investigating the alleged incident with the Liverpool FC striker likely to face a lengthy ban if found guilty.
In a statement Adidas said: “Adidas is aware of the issue involving Luis Suarez. We await FIFA’s full investigation into this matter and will respond accordingly.”
It has left the business in a dilemma on how to proceed regarding its multimillion pound deal with the player after putting him at the front of its biggest global marketing campaign for the World Cup. Adidas could cut its losses on the footballer who has repeatedly courted controversy in the past, with the business known for coming down hard on its athletes who step out of line.
Golfer Sergio Garcia’s deal with the brand was reviewed after accusations he made a racist ‘fried chicken’ joke about rival Tiger Woods. Ultimately, the business opted to continue sponsorsing the golfer.
Fellow Suarez sponsor 888Poker was more certain in its response to the incident. The online gambling firm said it is reviewing its deal with the player in light of the allegations, a move that comes just a month after signing him as a global brand ambassador.