The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Luis Suarez arrives at sport's highest court to appeal FIFA ban for biting World Cup opponent

  • Print

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Luis Suarez has arrived at world sport's highest court to appeal his ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup.

The Uruguay and Barcelona forward did not speak with reporters on arriving at the Court of Arbitration for Sport with his lawyers on Friday.

FIFA lawyers also declined comment heading into court for an expected four-hour hearing.

Suarez is trying to persuade a three-member CAS panel to reduce his ban of four months from all football activity and nine Uruguay matches in official competitions.

"We have to have a controlled optimism because we have to respect the panel," Daniel Cravo, lawyer for the Uruguay federation, told reporters.

The court has said it expects to give a ruling next week after FIFA consented to Suarez's request for a fast-track process.

Barcelona begins the Spanish league season in two weeks.

FIFA's sanction, which runs through Oct. 25, bars Suarez from training with Barcelona teammates.

Suarez has admitted biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during Uruguay's 1-0 win in Natal, Brazil.

Because Suarez has acknowledged the incident, his legal team is unlikely to challenge FIFA on the facts of the case.

"I deeply regret what occurred," Suarez wrote on Twitter June 30, days after FIFA announced the sanctions. "(The) truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me."

Instead, Suarez's lawyers from the Uruguay football association and Barcelona should focus on persuading the three-member CAS panel that the sanctions are too severe.

The international group of football player's unions, FIFPro, has criticized the four-month ban as an infringement of Suarez's right to work.

Suarez has trained alone with a private coach while he is barred by FIFA from Barcelona's stadium and practice grounds.

FIFA did allow Suarez to take a medical to complete his reported 75 million pounds ($126 million) transfer from Liverpool last month on a five-year contract.

Still, Barcelona was denied holding any media events to present its recruit.

Suarez's ban of nine international matches is one more than FIFA imposed at the 1994 World Cup on Italy defender Mauro Tassotti for elbowing a Spanish opponent in a quarterfinal. That incident was also missed by match officials.

Suarez's confession changed his original version of what happened. He had denied biting Chiellini in a June 25 letter to the FIFA disciplinary hearing.

"After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent," Suarez wrote then.

FIFA's disciplinary committee stated in its verdict that Suarez showed no remorse or awareness of having committed an offence. It rejected a proposal to impose a six-match international ban.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter later suggested the disciplinary panel took into account two previous cases of Suarez biting opponents, when playing for Ajax in 2010 and Liverpool last year.

FIFA disciplinary head Claudio Sulser insisted his panel did not made an example of Suarez.

"One thing I mentioned in my capacity as the chairman is we don't need to impose an exemplary sanction," Sulser said at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, "we need to have justice."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.