Belfast Telegraph

Luis Suarez gets right kick in the teeth as ban is upheld

By Robert Jones

Luis Suarez's four-month playing ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after an appeal, but he will be allowed to train with his new club Barcelona – and could make his debut in a friendly on Monday.

CAS said in a statement that it had removed the clause which banned the 27-year-old striker from "any football-related activity" following an appeal by the Uruguayan Football Association on Suarez's behalf.

The Barcelona player remains ineligible to play in official matches during the four-month period, and his nine-game ban for competitive international matches also remains in place.

However, a spokesman for the world governing body Fifa said he could play in friendlies, which could allow him to make his debut for Barca against Mexican side Leon on Monday.

A Barcelona spokesman said yesterday: "The player will join the first team's training session scheduled for tomorrow.

"Likewise, the public presentation of Suarez as a new Barcelona player will be held on Monday at the Nou Camp."

In a statement outlining the judgement, CAS said: "The sanctions imposed on the player by Fifa have been generally confirmed.

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

"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."

Suarez's legal team said they had successfully argued that Fifa had misapplied its own rules when considering the case in June and the sanction it imposed on other football-related activities was disproportionate. "As a result, Suarez 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.

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