Photo: Luis Suarez
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Friday it will probably rule “before the end of next week” on Uruguayan international and FC Barcelona striker Luis Suarez’s appeal of his four-month ban for biting an opponent during the World Cup.
In a statement, the CAS said the player and legal representatives of Barça, which signed Suarez from Liverpool in July, and the Uruguayan soccer federation appeared Friday at a five-hour hearing at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the panel of CAS arbitrators informed the parties that it will issue its decision “as soon as possible, probably before the end of next week.”
FIFA suspended Suarez for nine international matches and barred him for four months from all soccer-related activities after he bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a round-robin match at the World Cup in Brazil.
The ban meant that he missed Uruguay’s round-of-16 World Cup match against Colombia, which the Andean nation won 2-0.
FIFA rejected the player’s appeal on July 10, and he therefore has not been able to be formally presented as a Barça player nor train with his new team.
During Friday’s hearing, Suarez and his attorneys sought to convince the CAS panel to reduce the player’s suspension.
FIFA “is at the other extreme” and continues to demand that the ban on Suarez be upheld, one of the player’s attorneys, Alejandro Balbi, told Montevideo’s radio 1010 AM from Lausanne.
“We presented evidence, video footage was analyzed, there were disagreements with FIFA, and it was an unusual trial because it was bilingual: partly in English and partly in Spanish,” Balbi, who also is secretary-general of the Uruguayan soccer federation, said.
Suarez, who was voted by his peers as English soccer’s player of the year for the 2013-2014 season, has been suspended on two other occasions for biting during club-level matches in Europe, including a 10-match ban for sinking his teeth into Chelsea’s Branko Ivanovic last year.