Fri, Jun 27, 5:53pm by Brad McGrath
AT AustralianGambling, we’re all about the love of the game.
Sure, we love a punt and we certainly love picking a winner and collecting some cash, but, first and foremost we’re all about what brings us together – the game.
There’s no game that brings the globe together like soccer.
When the FIFA World Cup rolls around every four years, people that otherwise couldn’t care less about soccer become experts. We wake up at ridiculous hours, we fill our hearts with irrational hope and we watch on as the best players from around the world assemble to represent their nations.
When you take away the embarrassing amount of diving that goes on, the ridiculous amount of medical attention players need for small boo boos and the over-enthusiastic way opposition players seem to touch each other every 45 seconds, the World Cup is sporting bliss.
Every four years, it proves that it’s worth the wait.
The 2014 Brazil World Cup has been one of the greatest sporting events in living memory.
We’ve absolutely loved having a punt on it, we’ve seen goals galore, dramatic finishes, incredible upsets and, of course, the absolute brilliance of Australian hero Tim Cahill.
The tournament has delivered on every level. We’re not even half way through and there’s hardly anything else we can demand.
Then, one little weasel with the mental capacity of a child had to go ruin it for everyone.
The striker from Uruguay took a bite out of Italian opponent Giorgio Chiellini.
He bit him. He bit him at a World Cup.
Let me say that again… I’m having trouble believing it myself.
Luis Suarez took a bite out of an opponent.
Chiellini, completely shocked that another adult, let alone a world class athlete, would bite him, showed off his new bite marks on his shoulder immediately after the incident – the world was stunned.
But not too stunned, because what we’ve since learned is that Suarez has a history of biting.
With those huge beaver-like teeth of his, he’s been caught twice before this latest incident – that we know of.
So, for the last three days, the attention has been on Suarez – the grown man, getting paid millions of dollars, who sometimes bites opponents.
Let me put this into context for you: a well-trained dog stops biting people after a couple of years. Humans stop biting at some stage during childhood when they realise it’s a horrible thing to do.
The only adults who are biting other adults are those in a fist-fight to the death with nothing left to lose… and cannibals.
Why hasn’t anyone interviewed his parents? Surely some blame must go to them for raising a child that is still biting at the ripe old age of 27.
Are we still hoping that he can grow out of this phase?
Is he not being fed well enough?
Is anyone advising him on a non-human diet?
Maybe we’re the ones missing out? Human flesh could just be incredibly delicious?
This is one of sport’s greatest mysteries.
FIFA has handed down its verdict on the charge and while we’re happy Suarez will take no further part in the World Cup, we’re not completely satisfied with the suspension.
Suarez has been banned for four months for biting, meaning that he’ll miss the rest of the Brazil World Cup and the first 13 matches of the EPL season with Liverpool.
This is the biggest suspension ever handed down at any World Cup – which is appropriate for the most disgraceful act ever completed at any World Cup.
FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said that ban does not include transfer activity, so Liverpool are free to sell him during the upcoming EPL transfer window. She also added that Uruguay were free to appeal the ruling.
Uruguay FA president Wilmar Valdez said the nation would appeal.
“It feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup,” Valdez said.
Should Suarez somehow get out of this predicament, whatever credibility FIFA has left will be gone forever.
Instead of appealing the decision, perhaps you could direct your anger at the biter Mr Valdez? The man has embarrassed his country on the biggest stage.
Thankfully, many of Suarez’s commercial partners are considering terminating their sponsorship of the flesh-thirsty striker.
888 Poker is the first to take a stand for fair sportsmanship, announcing that it would immediately review its relationship with Suarez.
Adidas, another major sponsor, has said that it will wait for FIFA’s investigation before considering its options.
Make no mistake – this World Cup will continue to dazzle us, it will continue to inspire us, it will continue to amaze us – but for a brief moment, Luis Suarez made it all about him.
Suarez turned the attention away from what we love – the game – and stole its thunder.
Then, brilliantly – a bunch of clever punters from all the way in Norway stole it back.
This is our favourite betting story of the World Cup so far.
A number of Norwegian punters were smart enough to see through the true character of Luis Suarez, cashing in on the biter with their online bookies.
Thomas Syverson of Trondhem in Norway was celebrating as Suarez chomped down.
Trondhem threw down a harmless $10 bet that Suarez would bite someone during the World Cup in Brazil.
A Malta-based online gambling site called Betsson were offering up 175-1 odds that Suarez would bite for a third time in his checkered career and Syverson went for it.
Syverson said he put the bet on for a laugh and couldn’t believe his luck.
“I had 32 [Norwegian] Krone on it, so it was just for fun,” he told ESPN.com.
Syverson was not the only one who suspected that Suarez would not be able to resist the temptation of human flesh.
The manager of the sports book, Andreas Bardun, reported that 167 people bet Suarez would crave another human during the World Cup.
The biggest winner took in $3,300.
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott will be hoping Sportsbet is right and he is the leader of the Liberals at the next election.
The latest polls show that senior Liberal figure Malcolm Turnball is twice as popular with the people as Abbott, but this doesn’t mean he will take over the party leadership.
Even with Abbott’s horrendously received budget and latest faux pas, leading bookmaker Sportsbet believes he will lead the Liberals into the next election.
Abbott is $3.50 to face a leadership ballot, but if you think they have got it right you can get $1.25 on no challenge to his prime ministership.
However the online bookmaker believes that if there is a leadership challenge it will come from Turnball, with the current Minister for Communications priced at $1.10 to throw his hat into the ring
Sportsbet believe that if someone other than Turnball was to challenge Abbott’s reign it will be Joe Hockey who is third favourite at $10 to lead the Liberals into the election, behind Abbott ($1.33) and Turnball ($4.50).
INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenaphon believes the proposed Yorkey’s Knob Aquis mega casino will increase the risk of problem gambling.
Xenaphon joined Aquis Aware spokesman Mark Buttrose at an information session in Cairns last week, where he warned about the pitfalls of problem of gambling.
“To say that gambling is going to be an economic saviour for a community is really chasing fool’s gold – all I ask is that the people of Cairns look at this proposal very, very carefully, because it will have the effect of skyrocketing gambling rates and addiction, and also having an impact on small to medium businesses in Cairns,” he said.
“The question is who will end up paying for it in end – the question that needs to be posed is will this make more difficult for the people and small businesses because you’ll have this massive new development almost like a Venus flytrap sucking away the development dollars from small and medium businesses and also having a very significant social impact.”
The pro Aquis team believe the development will pump billions into the local and state economy through increased job opportunities and tourism.
THE Star Casino is set to be upgraded in the coming years as Australian Casino Operator Echo Entertainment prepares for life without a monopoly casino licence.
The Star’s monopoly expires in 2019 and Crown will open its Barangaroo VIP-focused casino which means Echo is preparing to protect its turf.
It has been reported that Echo has applied with Sydney City Council for a $13.7 million extension that will convert one floor into new VIP gaming rooms and make several other improvements.
IF you believe in karma, it might be me time to jump on the $10 on offer for Algeria to beat Germany in their World Cup knockout match next week.
Algeria were controversially eliminated from their very first World Cup in 1982. They opened that tournament with a 2-1 victory over European champions West Germany.
They finished their group matches with two wins and a defeat before West Germany and Austria played their final match.
A 1-0 win to West Germany would take both them and Austria through to the knockout stage, and this is how it panned out.
Algeria screamed that it was rigged, but it was never proven. But current coach Vahid Halilhodzic says they have not forgotten ahead of Tuesday’s match against Germany.
“We have not forgotten,” Halilhodzic told the BBC. “Everybody has been talking about Algeria and Germany from 1982.”
We wonder if the karma gods are about to pay back a long overdue debt.
You can back Algeria at $10 to topple the mighty Germans at Sportingbet. (Sportinget is offering new customers up to $700 in free match bets for the duration of the Workd Cup)
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