Suarez ban upheld by Fifa, but Barcelona consider new appeal
Spanish club could try and get punishment overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Luis Suarez is considering one more attempt at overturning his punishment for biting an opponent at the World Cup as he inches towards a big money move from Liverpool to Barcelona, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The unruly Uruguayan star was banned from all football for four months after his attack on Georgio Chiellini during the game against Italy last month, and yesterday Fifa announced that his appeal against the punishment had been rejected.
However, the forward has one more option – taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS], which has the authority to quash or soften Fifa's ruling. In addition, the CAS could also suspend the punishment while it considers its verdict, which would allow Suarez to resume playing in the interim.
In announcing its rejection of the appeal yesterday, Fifa foreshadowed the CAS option. "The relevant decision is not yet final and binding, an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) is still possible by the player and/or the Uruguayan FA, subject to certain conditions," said a spokesman.
Suarez's attitude has changed considerably since the incident. He initially issued a widely mocked denial of any wrongdoing and returned to Uruguay a hero, where even the country's president lent his support.
But when it became clear that Barcelona were interested in buying the Liverpool forward he admitted his guilt and issued a mea culpa. That small act of contrition prompted the Spanish club to describe the forward, whose charge sheet includes three bans for biting as well as racist abuse, as both "honorable" and "noble".
However, Suarez's apology failed to secure him a reduced sentence from Fifa's appeal committee yesterday, as it upheld the decision of the disciplinary committee "in its entirety".
It is believed that the decision on whether to take the CAS route will be taken not by Suarez himself but by Barcelona, who are on the brink of a £75m deal for the wayward wonder.
Metro says that the Catalan club will get their man next week. Quoting a report from the Catalan radio station RAC 1, the newspaper says Barca have set his official unveiling for next Wednesday. Where that will take place remains to be seen as Suarez is banned from all football stadiums until October.