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World Cup: Disgraced Suarez begins to count financial cost

Disgraced Uruguay star Luis Suarez's pocket started to take a hit on Friday as a major sponsor terminated his contract with immediate effect for biting Italian opponent Giorgio Chiellini which also saw him expelled from the World Cup.

RIO DE JANEIRO: Disgraced Uruguay star Luis Suarez's pocket started to take a hit on Friday as a major sponsor terminated his contract with immediate effect for biting Italian opponent Giorgio Chiellini which also saw him expelled from the World Cup.

Gibraltar-based gambling website 888 only signed up Suarez after his outstanding season for his club Liverpool but felt the actions of the player on Tuesday left them no choice but to end their relationship.

Their move followed that of sportswear giant Adidas, who on Thursday dropped him from all World Cup advertising but said they would review the wider deal after the finals are over.

Suarez had exited the World Cup in shame Thursday after being hit with the heaviest suspension in the tournament's history.

Suarez, who has become a serial biting offender having already served two long suspensions for previous offences, was slapped with an immediate worldwide four-month ban and fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000).

"Such behaviour 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," FIFA Disciplinary Committee chief Claudio Sulser said.

Football's governing body imposed a four-month ban on all football activities, a nine-game international ban and the fine. The punishment took immediate effect, meaning Suarez misses Uruguay's second round match against Colombia on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

It will also hit his club career with Liverpool in England's Premier League as he cannot play until the end of October.

The nine-match ban is also likely to rule Suarez out of Uruguay's defence of the Copa America in 2015.

The sanction was the toughest ever handed down for foul play at a World Cup, surpassing the eight-match ban against Italy's Mauro Tassotti in 1994 for elbowing Spain's Luis Enrique.

Uruguay football officials, who insisted Suarez had not bitten anyone, said they planned to appeal, describing the punishment as "totally exaggerated."

The country's Sports Minister Liliam Kechichian also railed against the verdict. "This disproportionate sanction hurts us," she said on Twitter.

But the speed and severity of FIFA's punishment reflected the widespread revulsion throughout the football world at an incident captured clearly on television footage.

FIFA had faced mounting calls to issue a heavy sanction given Suarez's previous disciplinary history.

Adidas responded to the punishment by saying it "fully backs" FIFA's decision.

"We do not accept the recent behaviour of Luis Suarez and shall remind him of the high standards we expect of our players," an Adidas spokeswoman said.

888's move came a day after they said they were reviewing the situation following the disturbing images being shown worldwide.

"888poker signed Luis Suarez following a fantastic season for which his achievements were widely recognised," the company said in a statement on Friday.

"Regrettably, following his actions during Uruguay's World Cup match against Italy on Tuesday, 888poker has decided to terminate its relationship with Luis Suarez with immediate effect."

Suarez was also ordered to leave his team's hotel after his accreditation was revoked.

Mystery surrounds his destination as crowds of flag-waving spectators, who gathered at Uruguayan capital Montevideo's international airport were left disappointed, as he failed to show up.

On the pitch, Germany and the United States clinched their places in the last 16 at the expense of crisis-hit Ghana and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.

Ghana's chaotic World Cup came to an end just hours after revelations of turmoil inside the African giant's camp.

The Ghana Football Association said star players Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng had both been axed from the squad after a bust-up with team officials.

The suspension came one day after the Ghana government said it was airlifting $3 million (2.2 million euros) to Brazil to resolve a financial dispute with players, who boycotted training Monday.

In later games, Belgium clinched first place in Group H after beating South Korea while Algeria reached the last 16 for the first time after drawing 1-1 with Russia.

Argentina suffered a blow ahead of next Tuesday's last 16 clash with Switzerland as one of their so-called Fab Four Sergio Aguero was ruled out with a leg muscle injury.

However, team management refuted rumours it was a tournament-ending injury for the 26-year-old, who has been off form and failed to score in his three appearances.

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