Luis Suarez has had his 4 month ban from competitive football upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, they have removed the restriction that meant the Uruguayan cannot train with his new club Barcelona.
The original ban handed down by FIFA included all “football-related activity” which banned him from the training ground and the stadium to watch his teammates in matches. This means he will also be eligible to take part in Uruguay’s friendly games too but will still have to sit out of competitive international action for the 9 fixtures previously stated by FIFA.
The sanction was of course originally imposed after Luis Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during their World Cup clash in Brazil this summer. In a career filled with controversy this was his third ban for biting an opponent and he has also seen an 8-match suspension for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in 2011.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport found the ban from all football-related activity “excessive”, especially because it would harm Suarez’s ability to return to action promptly after he served his time. This means worries that he won’t be fit to face Real Madrid in El Clasico on October 26 may be allayed.
Suarez completed his £75m move to Barcelona in July from Premier League club Liverpool and has been handed the number 9 shirt. However, he will miss at least 8 Barcelona La Liga clashes beginning with Elche on August 24 as well as a number of Champions League games too.
The length of suspension and restrictions applied to the players has split opinion, many feeling FIFA acted too harshly whilst others believed the punishment was not strong enough.
What about you? Do you think this is a fair ban for Luis Suarez or has CAS let helped get him somewhat off the hook?