In Depth

Suarez loses sponsors but Chiellini jumps to his defence

World Cup whispers: 888.com pulls the plug on Suarez, Ghana punch-up drama, Capello blames laser

SPONSORS TURN ON LUIS SUAREZ...

Banned for four months and sent home from the World Cup in disgrace for biting, things could be about to get even worse for Uruguayan bad-boy Luis Suarez, with reports that his main sponsor, Adidas, is about to pull the plug on him. The company has dropped Suarez from all commercial activities for the rest of the World Cup, says the Daily Mail, and "fully supports" the Fifa punishment. Meanwhile gambling website 888.com has ended its deal with him and Liverpool shirt sponsors Standard Chartered are also said to be concerned.

...BUT CHIELLINI SAYS BAN IS 'EXCESSIVE'

At times like this you need friends, but even Luis Suarez wouldn't have expected his victim, Giorgio Chiellini spring to his defence. But the generous Italian defender, left with bite marks on his shoulder after his run-in with the Uruguayan on Tuesday, believes the four-month ban on his assailant is "excessive". Chiellini said he had "no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez" and added that his thoughts were with him during a "very difficult period". Fellow badboy, Argentine, Diego Maradona said the ban was "shameful".

GHANAIANS HEAD HOME IN DISGRACE

Ghana's World Cup ended in ignominy as midfielders Kevin-Prince-Boateng and Sulley Muntari were sent home in disgrace hours before the Black Stars crashed out of the tournament. Muntari allegedly traded blows with a member of the Ghanaian FA and tried to storm his hotel room during a row over appearance fees, just hours after a government plane carrying $3m in cash flew into Brazil. The GFA described the extraordinary incident as an "unprovoked physical attack". Boateng was ordered home after a separate verbal bust up with coach Kwesi Appiah.

LASER CONTROVERSY AS RUSSIA BOW OUT

Russia bowed out of the World Cup after a 1-1 draw with Algeria, but there was controversy as Russian manager Fabio Capello claimed goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev had been blinded by a laser pen in the build-up to Algeria's equaliser. A green light could be seen on the keeper's face as Algeria prepared to take a free kick, and Akinfeev subsequently missed the cross, which was headed home by Islam Slimani. Whatever the reason for the goal, Capello's World Cup record now reds played seven, won one.

WENGER DOES A VAN PERSIE

Could this be where Robin van Persie got the idea for his audacious header against Spain? Footage of his former manager Arsene Wenger "doing a Van Persie" during a beach volleyball game in Rio has emerged online. Le Professeur took a break from his role as a World Cup pundit to relax at Ipanema Beach, where he pulled off a classy diving-header similar to Van Persie's lob in Holland's 5-1 win over Spain. Less kind observers have suggested Wenger's effort was more like a frog than a forward.

TWITTER WORLD CUP STATS

With the group stage over Twitter has released its own highlights package. Most tweeted moment? Marcelo's own goal in the opening game; Biggest retweet? Mario Balotelli demand for a kiss from the Queen after England's defeat to Uruguay; Most mentioned player? Lionel Messi. All told there's been more than 300 million tweets so far, double the number for the whole of the London Olympics. And if the World Cup was decided by Twitter mentions England would still be in Brazil, out of the 32 teams involved the Three Lions ranked 8th for mentions.

If we beat Costa Rica i want a kiss,obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen.

— Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario) June 19, 2014

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