Luis Suarez’s plan to get back on the soccer pitch as soon as he can took a step forward on Friday as the Uruguayan forward gave evidence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Suarez, 26, was banned for four months from any soccer related activity, plus nine matches for Uruguay, after biting the shoulder Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup. It was the third time in his career that he had bit an opposition player but Suarez has gone to CAS to launch an appeal against FIFA’s lengthy ban.
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The Barcelona forward, who transferred to the Catalan club from Liverpool for a whopping $126 million earlier this summer, was told he should expect a decision next week.
If the ban is overturned it could see Suarez return for the beginning of the new La Liga season which begins in two weeks. The more likely outcome is that Suarez’s ban is reduced by a few months after he has apologized and stayed out of the spotlight since the incident occurred back in June. Despite FIFA President Sepp Blatter and even the man he bit, Chiellini, trying to defend Suarez’s actions and admitting the ban was harsh, it seems as though his appeal to CAS won’t bear much fruit.
Suarez’s hearing lasted for six hours on Friday as he tried to convince a three-man panel that his ban should be altered.
On Friday the international players union group, FIFPro, urged the court to ease the ban and to include rehabilitation, plus other conditions, in the sanction.
“The educative nature of the sanction mentioned by FIFA in the (disciplinary) ruling can be much better achieved by making it partially conditional, including the obligation for Luis Suarez to receive treatment.”
This is all well and good but since the event Suarez has shown little remorse about what happened.
His rather tame and pathetic “apology” was all we have publicly and the fact that he is using a personal trainer in the Pyrenees mountain range to get himself ready to play for Barcelona means he isn’t really suffering total exile. Yes, he is not allowed to meet or practice with his new teammates at Barcelona until October 25, but that’s the consequence when you bit another player.
Suarez needs to learn his lesson the hard way. FIFA’s ban should stand and he has to reflect on making changes rather than trying to worm his way out of yet another ban.