The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has upheld Luis Suarez four-month ban for biting at the World Cup, but clears the Barcelona striker to train.
The 27-year-old was served a four-month ban from all “football-related activities”, for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during a group stage match at the 2014 World Cup. He is also banned from nine international fixtures.
The striker completed a £75m move from Liverpool to Barcelona last month and has since not been presented at the Camp Nou, since the initial punishment prevented him from entering the confines of a stadium.
Suarez’s lawyer says: “The player remains ineligible to play in official matches during that period, and his nine-match international ban remains in place”
His legal team, new club Barcelona and the Uruguay Football Association, argued to Cas that Fifa’s extension of the ban to apply to domestic matches was preposterous.
“The sanctions imposed on the player by Fifa have been generally confirmed,” Cas said.
The Court added that Fifa’s four-month ban is “generally proportionate”, but has allowed Suarez to continue his development as a player, as it considers his suspension from “all football-related activity” as “excessive” and “not appropriate”.
“As a result, Suarez is now permitted to train and attend matches with his Barcelona teammates in preparation for the new season,” his legal team added.
They say the new terms of the suspension will also allow the striker to play in friendly matches.
Uruguay have an upcoming friendly internationals against Japan and South Korea in September and Saudi Arabia in October and that could free him to play.
Barcelona play against Mexican side Club Leon in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Monday and, it is understood the Uruguayan could make his Catalan debut in the fixture because it is not classed as a competitive game.
Suarez will miss eight La Liga games- Elche (H), Villarreal (A), Bilbao (H), Levante (A), Malaga (A), Granada (H), Rayo Vallecano (A), Eibar (H)- and three Champions League group-stage matches. He will return on the weekend of the Clasico fixture against Real Madrid (October 26).
Full details of the court’s decision are not yet known, but will be published in the coming weeks.
Cas had fast-tracked the hearing, held last Friday, ahead of the Spanish club’s preparation for the new season.
Suarez’s legal team confirmed the possibility of appealing against the Cas decisions at the Swiss Supreme Court, the grounds for appeal are “very restricted.”
It means Suarez is still not allowed to play in any official matches for club and country until October 25- when the period of the ban fully elapses.
The Fifa ban is the longest in World Cup history.
Suarez apologised few period after the incident. He has a long history for biting an opponent, having been suspended for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal and Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
He also received eight-game suspension and a £40,000 fine for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in 2011.