FC Barcelona striker Luis Suarez attended a hearing at CAS following his appeal to reduce the four-month ban from football activity.
Luis Suarez was found guilty of biting Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s group stage encounter against Italy and was handed over a four-month ban from all footballing activity along with a nine-match international suspension.
Football’s governing body FIFA initially turned down Uruguay’s appeal against the ban imposed on Luis Suarez, which they deemed to be too harsh. But Suarez and his representatives decided to take this case forward to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as they were confident of reducing the ban.
Suarez, who signed for Barcelona in a big money move from Liverpool this summer, and his representatives attended a hearing yesterday in CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, His lawyers have urged CAS to halve the suspension and allow him to at least train with Barcelona during that period. They argued that the offense was committed while representing Uruguay and shouldn’t affect his right to play club football.
CAS are expected to provide their verdict on this matter in two weeks and released an official statement, confirming the hearing of this case.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today heard the appeal of Luis Suarez, FC Barcelona and the Uruguayan FA against FIFA. The hearing took place at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“The player was present and gave a statement to the Panel of CAS arbitrators: Mr Bernhard Welten, Switzerland (President), Professor Luigi Fumagalli, Italy, and Dr Marco Balmelli, Switzerland.
“At the end of the hearing, the panel informed the parties that it will issue its decision as soon as possible, probably before the end of next week.
“The full arbitral award, with the grounds, will follow at a later date and be published by the CAS.” – Read an official statement released by CAS.
Meanwhile, FIFPro have also supported this appeal insisting the ban is too harsh for the former Liverpool striker.
“That Luis Suarez has been trialled and vilified in public, ever since the incident, is a sanction in itself.
“On the other hand, it has been remarkable to see the response from his fellow professionals and the victim himself, Giorgio Chiellini.
“Many agree the sanctions are excessive. This is an important signal for the CAS panel to consider. The sanctions are a disproportionate response to the offence.
“Especially the four-month ban from all football-related activity, which is unfair for Suarez as it infringes his right to work at club level.
“In the international arena, where the offence was committed, a nine-match ban for Uruguay is also too strong as it effectively equates to a two-year sanction.
“FIFPro states the educative nature of the sanction mentioned by FIFA in the ruling can be much better achieved by making it partially conditional, including the obligation for Luis Suarez to receive treatment.
“This can be applied on the number of matches but also on the period of the ban. The FIFA appeals committee missed an opportunity to take this into account. FIFPro expects that CAS will respect these assumptions.” – Read an official statement published by FIFPro.
If CAS rules in favour of Suarez and reduces the ban to two months, the Uruguayan international will be able to make his debut in Barcelona fixture against Villarreal on 31st August.