Luis Suarez’s lawyer optimistic the biting ban will be reduced

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Luis Suarez’s biting problems aren’t anything new, but they were thrust onto the national stage at the World Cup in June, when Barcelona’s recent acquisition and Uruguay international was caught biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee then followed up the incident by inflicting upon Suarez a four-month ban from all football related activity, including not being able to enter a stadium and an inability to play in nine international matches

But Suarez’s lawyer, Daniel Cravo, is sure that his client’s lengthy sentence will be decreased, although his attempt to accomplish this task with the Court of Arbitration of Sport (world football’s governing body) failed last month.

This Friday, Cravo will try once more to put Suarez’s biting and on-field issues into perspective. While he hopes to get the former Liverpool standout back onto the field as soon as possible, Cravo believes that FIFA doesn’t have a great deal of backing for this long ban, if one was to observe incidents that took place at the World Cup in years past.

“I think FIFA wanted to show they could take action,” he said, per Radio Globo. “There was dissatisfaction with how other incidents had been treated at the World Cup and Suarez paid for them. Not even the sanction of [Zinedine] Zidane in 2006 or those of Leonardo and [Mauro] Tassotti in 1994 were as severe.

“Is the Suarez incident the worst in the history of the World Cup?

“I believe that the sanction which affects his work at a club level will be revoked. There is no precedent in history to justify it.

“I am going to try and reduce his ban with Uruguay — nine games is too much and would stop him from playing until 2016.

“[The CAS] is totally different and on various occasions in the past they have taken completely different decisions to those which have been taken by FIFA.”

The court may draw upon the Suarez’s two other biting occurrences, both taking place in club competition. In 2010 playing for Ajax, Suarez bit PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder, and in 2013, Suarez was given a 10-game suspension for biting Chelsea man Branislov Ivanovic.

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.

Wenger: Arsenal “complacent, had no ideas” in Ostersunds loss

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Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.

“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.

“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”

With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Batshuayi racially abused by Atalanta fans

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Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.

The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:

Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.

There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.