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Suarez Bite Controversy Pays Off For Gamblers

The odd and violent incident at a World Cup game Tuesday, in which Uruguay's Luis Suarez apparently bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, is under investigation by FIFA, soccer's governing body. But the oddsmakers at a European betting service have seen enough: They're paying gamblers who bet that Suarez would use his teeth in anger in Brazil.

This being the World Cup, everything's up for a wager — including the likelihood that the Uruguayan striker would bite someone. As The Guardian reports, Suarez's actions paid off for more than 100 gamblers. The bet, taken at 175-1 odds, is paying one Swedish man, Jonathan Braeck, around $2,000 on a wager of about $12.

The newspaper reports that Braeck, who works as a substitute teacher, is pleased:

"First I thought I'd bet a little more, but a friend said I was just wasting my money," a delighted Braeck told the SportExpressen newspaper. "When Italy took over the game, you knew that he could go a little crazy," he added. "I didn't think that he would bite, but that he'd do something stupid. Then he did the best stupid thing that he could do."

Braeck says he'll use the money to visit England to watch a game featuring Manchester United — a rival of Suarez's Liverpool team.

FIFA could impose a lengthy ban on Suarez, who has previously bitten opponents — and been punished for it. The organization has given Suarez and his Uruguayan team a deadline of midday Wednesday (ET) to present evidence in his defense.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.