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Suarez ban upheld but can train with Barcelona

ESPN staff
August 14, 2014 « Kompany: Young English players should go abroad | Day 6: Maria Ho eliminated, 68 left »
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore says he is not sorry to see Luis Suarez leave England

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez's four-month worldwide ban has been upheld after a failed appeal to the Court for Arbitration in Sport - but he has been cleared to train with his new team-mates.

FIFA suspended the Uruguay international from all football activity in June after he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match.

An appeal against the ban was rejected by the world football governing body in July, before Suarez, Barcelona and the Uruguayan FA took their case to CAS.

The 27-year-old attended the latest appeal hearing in Lausanne, Switzerland, last Friday as lawyers put forward his case.

But issuing judgement on Thursday, the CAS ruled that the ban should remain in place but he will be able to train with Barcelona immediately.

CAS says FIFA's sanctions against Suarez are "generally proportionate to the offence committed". However, the court's panel has ruled that the ban on any football-related activity is "excessive".

The first match in which he will be eligible to play for the club will be the following day's El Clasico, the league meeting with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium.

Luis Suarez was banned for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup © Getty Images
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Suarez was initially punished by a FIFA disciplinary committee after biting Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 World Cup Group D win over Italy in the Brazilian city of Natal on June 24.

Two days after the incident, the striker was banned from all football activity for four months, given a separate nine-match suspension from international football and ordered to pay a fine of £65,000.

That decision, at the time, effectively ruled him out of all football activity until October 25.

Suarez initially claimed he lost his balance and fell on Chiellini, claiming that there had been no intentional bite.

He subsequently apologised, but an appeal against the severity of the ban was rejected by FIFA on July 10.

Despite covering all "football-related activity", the suspension did not apply to transfers, allowing Suarez to complete a £75 million move from Liverpool to Barcelona on July 16. But the striker was not allowed to train with his team-mates or enter any football stadium under the terms of the ban, and was also barred from attending the press conference at which the Catalan club confirmed his arrival. This has now been upturned.

It is the third time in his career that Suarez has been involved in a biting controversy. He was suspended for seven matches after biting PSV midfielder Ottman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in an Eredivisie game in November 2010, and after joining Liverpool, he received a 10-game domestic ban for doing the same to Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in 2013.

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