Luis Suarez loses ‘biting ban’ appeal, but can train

Story highlights

Luis Suarez's "biting ban" is upheld by independent appeals panel

Uruguay forward cannot play for new club Barcelona until late October

However, he can now take part in training and promotional activities

CAS rules that FIFA's sanctions were "generally proportionate to the offense committed"

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CNN  — 

Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his debut for Spanish club Barcelona after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) partially upheld the Uruguay star’s ban for biting an opponent on Thursday.

The striker was suspended from all football-related activity for four months – preventing him from even training – after he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during a World Cup group game in Brazil in late June, and banned for nine international matches.

Switzerland-based CAS heard the 27-year-old’s case last week as he appealed against the punishment imposed by soccer’s world governing body FIFA.

Suarez and his legal team had spent five hours before a three-man CAS appeal panel in Lausanne in an attempt to reduce the suspension, but the ban on playing was upheld along with a fine of $111,000.

Read: Suarez apologies and promises no repeat

However, CAS said he is free to take part in other football-related duties “such as training, promotional activities and administrative matters” and confirmed Suarez would be available to play friendly matches for Barcelona and the Uruguay national team during his suspension.

“The CAS Panel found that the sanctions imposed on the player were generally proportionate to the offense committed,” the ruling stated.

“It has however considered that the stadium ban and the ban from ‘any football-related activity’ were excessive given that such measures are not appropriate to sanction the offense committed by the player and would still have an impact on his activity after the end of the suspension.”

Suarez’s ban from competitive matches expires on October 25, and Barcelona’s next match is the “El Clasico” grudge match with rival Real Madrid the following day.

In a statement on its website, the Catalan giants said Suarez would join a training session Friday morning and will be officially unveiled during Monday’s Joan Gamper Trophy match at the Nou Camp against Leon.

Because he is now free to play in friendly games, Suarez could also make his first appearance for Barca in that match against the Mexican club side.

Uruguay also has three friendly internationals scheduled before the end of October so its star striker is available to play against Japan on September 5.

Read: Do Latin Americans care more about football?

But Suarez will still have eight matches of his nine-game ban from competitive internationals to serve and Uruguay FA president Wilmar Valdez said he was disappointed with the CAS ruling.

“It’s a cultural matter. The way we live football in South America is different to Europe, for us there are things which are normal and which deserve sanctions, but not such harsh ones,” he said.

But leading Spanish sports lawyer Xavier Canal said the CAS decision was to be expected.

“I find it logical that the player is allowed to train with his colleagues and he can be presented by the club,” he told CNN.

“The infraction happened while playing for Uruguay, and I think it’s logical that the ban on playing for his country (in competitive matches) still stands.”

The Chiellini incident was the third time Suarez had bitten a player – he had previously been banned for similar transgressions while playing for Dutch club Ajax and English side Liverpool.

With Suarez sidelined, Uruguay lost its last-16 match to Colombia and was knocked out of the World Cup.

Suarez eventually apologized for his actions, but lost his appeal to FIFA over the sanctions before deciding to take the matter to CAS – an independent “last resort” body that deals with sporting disputes.

FIFA’s punishment did not stop Barcelona signing Suarez from Liverpool in a $127 million deal last month which will give the club a star-studded attack when he finally lines up alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Suarez was top scorer in the English Premier League last season, winning the two major player of the year awards for his outstanding performances in helping Liverpool to second place and a return to the European Champions League.

He suffered a knee injury at the end of the season which threatened his participation in the World Cup. He missed Uruguay’s first game but recovered to score two goals that ended England’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages as the South Americans on 2-1.

But in the final group game, his bite on Chiellini – captured by television cameras – provided the most notorious moment of the World Cup, overshadowing a 1-0 victory by Uruguay that eliminated Italy.

Read: FIFA rejects Suarez appeal

In other football news Thursday, UEFA’s appeals panel has upheld the decision to expel Legia Warsaw from the Champions League for fielding an ineligible player.

Legia won its third qualifying round match against Scottish champions Celtic 6-1 on aggregate, but brought on defender Bartosz Beresynski with four minutes remaining of the second leg.

He had been given a three-game ban after being sent off in Legia’s final Europa League game last season and duly sat out two matches in the second qualifying round and the first leg of the tie against Celtic.

But Legia had failed to officially register Beresynski as a player, leading to the UEFA action.

The punishment means it will drop to the Europa League with Celtic reinstated to the final qualifying round of the Champions League, but Legia club officials said they would be making a further appeal to the CAS to overturn the decision.

Read: Chiellini: Suarez ban ‘excessive’