Suarez appeals FIFA ban, bite verdict next week
FILE - In this Tuesday, June 24, 2014 file photo, Uruguay's Luis Suarez holds his teeth after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil. Luis Suarez should get the verdict next week in his appeal against a four-month ban from football for biting an opponent at the World Cup. The Court of Arbitration for Sport says the decision is likely to be rendered some days after the closed-doors hearing Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Luis Suarez’s appeal of his FIFA ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup will be decided next week.
The Uruguay and Barcelona forward attended a six-hour hearing Friday before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and gave a statement to the court. He is trying to persuade a three-person panel to reduce his ban of four months from all soccer activity, along with nine Uruguay matches in official competitions.
The panel “informed the parties that it will issue its decision as soon as possible, probably before the end of next week.”
Suarez has admitted biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during Uruguay’s 1-0 win in Natal, Brazil. FIFA’s sanction, which runs through Oct. 25, bars Suarez from training with his new teammates.
Lawyers for soccer’s world governing body declined to comment on the case.
The international group of soccer player’s unions, FIFPro, has criticized the four-month ban as an infringement of Suarez’s right to work.
Suarez has trained alone with a private coach while he’s barred by FIFA from Barcelona’s stadium and practice grounds.
FIFA did allow Suarez to take a medical to complete his reported $126-million transfer from Liverpool last month on a five-year contract.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter later suggested the disciplinary panel took into account two previous cases of Suarez biting opponents, when playing for Ajax in 2010 and Liverpool last year.
Suarez could later challenge the CAS verdict at the Swiss federal court, which is a much longer process.
Currently, Suarez’s ban expires Oct. 25 — the same weekend that Barcelona will visit Real Madrid in the first “clasico” of the Spanish league season. He’s also set to miss three of Barcelona’s six Champions League group matches.
After being sent home from the World Cup before Uruguay’s second-round loss to Colombia, there’s eight matches of his competitive internationals ban still to serve. That includes Uruguay’s defense of the Copa America, kicking off next June in Chile, and the start of 2018 World Cup qualifying matches next year.