Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has seen his appeal against a four-month ban for biting an opponent upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Suarez, 27, was banned for four months from all soccer related activity by FIFA after being found guilty of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s World Cup campaign this summer. That was the third biting incident of Suarez’s career.
[RELATED: Suarez banned four months]
However despite throwing out his appeal and his lengthy ban still in place, CAS have cleared Suarez to train with Barcelona as he has previously been practicing on his own after his $128 million transfer to Spain from Premier League side Liverpool this summer. After CAS’ ruling Suarez is now allowed to train, play in friendlies (for Uruguay and Barcelona) and be involved in any promotional activities regarding soccer.
Initially both Suarez and the Uruguayan FA appealed to FIFA but lost. The last possible chance to get Suarez’s ban reduced was by going to the CAS.
That has worked, slightly, as Suarez can now join up with his teammates but he still won’t be in action at the Nou Camp until Oct. 26 at the earliest and is still banned for Uruguay’s next eight competitive international matches. Yet he is allowed to play in friendly matches for club and country.
Barcelona have a friendly match against Liga MX side Leon on Monday for the Joan Gamper Trophy which Suarez, technically, can play in. Will we now see Barca organize at least one friendly a week just for Suarez to get match practice in? There’s always some kind of loophole. Following the news Barcelona sent out the following Tweet from their account as Suarez will be unveiled before the game on Monday vs. Leon and will also return to training tomorrow.
Suarez’s exile from soccer until late October has now been confirmed but the striker has been given some leeway to get his career back on track.
Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.
Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]
However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.
Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.
They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.
The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.
Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.
[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]
Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.
The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.
[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]
Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0
Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.
[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]
Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw
Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.
Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.
[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]
Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.
Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.
Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.