FIFA have blocked Barcelona’s plans to unveil new signing Luis Suárez to a packed crowd at the Camp Nou. While serving out his ban for biting, the club may not introduce him in such a manner.
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.
Suárez’s move from Liverpool, for a fee estimated at around $128m, is to be completed in the next few days. The last high-profile signing, Neymar, was unveiled in front of 90,000 Barcelona fans at the Camp Nou last June. Suárez, meanwhile, may be introduced in a ceremony at the city’s L’Auditori building.
The forward scored 33 goals in 34 games for Liverpool last season, which is precisely why Barcelona are willing to put up with all these headaches. Earlier today, we learned about reports that Suárez would see his salary docked should he bite yet another player. Now, the club are having to rearrange ceremonies meant to show off just how fantastic their new signing is.
Then again, Barcelona may be a bit desperate. By their standards, they had a bit of an off year last season. After winning La Liga four of the past five years, they came in second last season. Real Madrid pipped them to the Copa del Rey title. Atlético Madrid knocked them out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals (and took the title, for goodness sake).
Barcelona need to do something to get themselves back into winning ways. They’ve chosen Suárez, despite his four-month ban from all soccer-related activities. But will this signing continue to backfire?