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Suarez's Barcelona unveiling blocked

ESPN staff
July 13, 2014 « Rose seals back-to-back victories | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains how Luis Suarez's move to Barcelona is a chance to redeem himself.

Barcelona will not be allowed to publicly unveil new £75 million signing Luis Suarez while he remains banned for biting, FIFA has confirmed.

Suarez, 27, is due to complete his move from Liverpool in the next few days, and the Catalan club have previously introduced star signings, including Cesc Fabregas and Neymar, to a packed Camp Nou. Some 90,000 filled the stadium for the unveiling of the latter in June 2013.

There have been suggestions Barcelona could hold a similar event for Suarez in a non-football venue to get around the four-month ban imposed on the Uruguay international for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

However, FIFA has now confirmed that any such event will not be permitted while the ban remains in force.

Barca expect ban reduction

Luis Suarez cannot play for Barcelona until October © Getty Images
  • Barcelona will help Luis Suarez "successfully integrate back into football" following his four-month ban from all football activity, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said.
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FIFA's head of media Delia Fischer told a news conference: "The ban relates to all football-related activity. He cannot be in a football-related public event irrespective of the venue.

"He cannot even be involved in a football-related charity event.''

Suarez had his appeal against the four-month ban, plus a nine-match international ban and a 100,000 Swiss franc fine, rejected outright by FIFA's appeals committee.

He is expected to take his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a final bid to reduce the sanctions that, as they stand, will keep him out of club football until the end of October.

Suarez can also ask CAS to put his ban on hold pending its final decision, but that would risk him missing more matches rather than a chunk of preseason if the court upholds the sanctions.

FIFA's original ban took into account that Suarez had shown no remorse for the biting incident, his third such attack in less than four years.

The player then issued an official apology but it did not lead to any change of mind by the FIFA appeals panel.

Suarez's lawyer on Friday claimed the punishment was "blatantly draconian, totalitarian and fascist.''

Alejandro Balbi told Spanish radio station Cope: "The right of a footballer to work is being violated, and football should be worried about that.

"The nine [international] games may seem excessive, but the fact that he can't watch a game of football, or train or carry out his job, we are talking about unpleasant things.''

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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