Luis Suarez ruling 'disappoints' FIFPro
FIFPro, the world football players' union, said it is disappointed with the ruling handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Luis Suarez's appeal of his four-month ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Suarez was banned for four months from "all football-related activity" after the biting incident with Chiellini in the group stage match between Italy and Uruguay.
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CAS upheld the ban, meaning that Suarez still has to serve a four-month ban from club football,miss Uruguay's next eight international games and pay a 100,000 Swiss franc fine.
One aspect of the ruling that did work in Suarez's favour is that he will be able to return to training with his new club Barcelona and can also be formally unveiled to fans ahead of Monday's preseason Joan Gamper Trophy match at the Camp Nou.
FIFPro published a statement on its website that expressed disillusion with CAS for not strongly diminishing the sanctions imposed on Suarez by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
"CAS has not published the grounds for its decision," it read. "FIFPro is awaiting these grounds, to make a thorough statement.
"Nevertheless, FIFPro wants to express its disappointment with the decision. FIFPro -- the voice of all professional footballers worldwide -- remains of the view that the current sanctions are disproportionate in relation to his violation of the FIFA Disciplinary Code."
"Likewise, the public presentation of Suarez as a new FC Barcelona player will be held on Monday at the Camp Nou, on occasion of the Joan Gamper Trophy match (against Mexican side Club Leon)."
It remains to be seen whether Suarez will play any part in Monday's friendly against Mexican club Leon, but it seems likely the club will organise other matches to help get the player up to speed while he sits out eight Primera Division matches and three Champions League games.
Suarez's first competitive game could be el clasico against arch rivals Real Madrid if that match is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 26.
CAS stated Suarez's ban broadly fitted the crime -- having "committed an act of assault" -- but believed extending it beyond the pitch was excessive, even taking into account it was the third time he had been found guilty of biting an opponent after incidents with PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.
LUIS SUAREZ 2013-14 SEASON IN NUMBERS
• 31 - Premier League goals, winning the Golden Boot.
• 12 - Most assists in the Premier League.
• 24 - Scored the most goals from inside the box.
• 4 - Scored the most goals from counterattacks.
• 9 - Had the most shots that hit the woodwork.
• 3 - Most penalties won in the Premier League.
• 237 - Attempted more dribbles than any other player.
"The CAS panel has partially upheld the appeal. The sanctions imposed on the player by FIFA have been generally confirmed," a statement read. "However, the four-month suspension will apply to official matches only and no longer to other football-related activities (such as training, promotional activities and administrative matters).
"The CAS panel found that the sanctions imposed on the player were generally proportionate to the offence committed.
"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 offence committed by the player and would still have an impact on his activity after the end of the suspension."