Luis Suarez loses appeal against bite ban; ...but clear to train with Barcelona

The court of arbitration for sport (Cas) has upheld Luis Suárez’s ban and fine for biting the Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini but the Barcelona striker has been cleared to train with his new team-mates.

The 27-year-old remains ineligible to play in official matches during the four-month period, and his nine-game international suspension remains in place. “The sanctions imposed on the player by Fifa have been generally confirmed,” Cas said in a statement, meaning the earliest the striker can return for Barcelona is 26 October.

“However, the four-month suspension will apply to official matches only and no longer to other football-related activities (such as training, promotional activities and administrative matters).

“The CAS Panel found that the sanctions imposed on the player were generally proportionate to the offence committed. It has however considered that the stadium ban and the ban from ‘any football-related activity’ were excessive given that such measures are not appropriate to sanction the offence committed by the player and would still have an impact on his activity after the end of the suspension.”
Suárez’s legal team said they had successfully argued that Fifa had misapplied its own rules when considering the case and the sanction it imposed on other football-related activities was disproportionate. “As a result, Suárez is now permitted to train and attend matches with his Barcelona team mates in preparation for the new season,” his lawyers said in a statement.

Fifa imposed a four-month ban on all football-related activity, plus a nine-match international ban and a £66,000 fine after Suárez bit Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win on 24 June. Fifa’s appeal committee later upheld the sanctions.

The forward, who joined Barcelona in a £75m transfer from Liverpool in July, then took his case to Cas, with his lawyer and adviser Alejandro Balbi saying there was scope for the four-month ban to be reduced on the grounds that it infringes the player’s “fundamental rights” and was excessive.

Suárez has been banned three times for biting opponents. In April 2013 he was banned for 10 matches after biting Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield. He was also banned for seven matches by the Dutch FA in November 2010 for sinking his teeth into Otman Bakkal of PSV Eindhoven.

In 2011 Suárez was given an eight-match suspension by the FA for racially abusing the former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra.