By Brian Homewood
Uruguay forward Luis Suarez’s four-month playing ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but he can now train with his new club Barcelona, CAS said on Thursday.
Suarez remains ineligible to play in official matches during the four-month period, and his nine-game international ban remains in place.
“The sanctions imposed on the player by FIFA have been generally confirmed,” CAS said in a statement.
“However, the 4-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.”
Suarez’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, 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.
Suarez was suspended after sinking his teeth into Chiellini during the second half of Uruguay’s 1-0 win in a World Cup group game on June 24.
After losing an appeal with football’s world governing body FIFA, Suarez took his case to CAS, which conducted a hearing on the matter last Friday.
Suarez was a Liverpool player at the time of the biting incident but has since joined Barcelona for a fee reported to be £75 million.