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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Suárez appears at CAS appeal

Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez signs autographs after his hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Barcelona forward told to expect a verdict next week

The world players’ union FIFPro called for Luis Suárez’s ban for biting to be reduced yesterday as the Uruguay and Barcelona forward’s appeal was heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Luis Suárez gave evidence at sport’s highest court yesterday and was told to expect a verdict next week in his appeal against a FIFA ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup.

The Uruguay and Barcelona forward signed autographs for young fans waiting outside the Court of Arbitration for Sport after a six-hour hearing, then left in a car without speaking to reporters.

CAS said Suárez gave a statement in court. The player, who dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans for the case, is trying to persuade a three-man judging panel to reduce his ban of four months from all soccer activity, along with nine Uruguay matches in official competitions.

The panel “informed the parties that it will issue its decision as soon as possible, probably before the end of next week.”

Barcelona, which signed Suárez from Liverpool after the World Cup ended, begins the Spanish league season in two weeks.

FIFA’s sanction, which currently runs through October 25, bars Suárez from training with his new teammates. Lawyers for soccer’s world governing body declined to comment on the case.

Daniel Cravo, a lawyer for the Uruguay federation, told reporters he would not predict the outcome.

“We know that it’s a hard case so it’s impossible to make a prognosis on it,” Cravo said after the hearing.

Suárez has admitted biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during Uruguay’s 1-0 win in Natal, Brazil. Because Suárez acknowledged the incident, his legal team separately representing his club and national federation were unlikely to challenge FIFA on the facts of the case.

“I deeply regret what occurred,” Suárez 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, Suárez’s lawyers from the Uruguay soccer association and Barcelona were expected to focus on persuading the panel that the sanctions are too severe.

The international group of soccer player’s unions, FIFPro, has criticized the four-month ban as an infringement of Suárez’s right to work.

Suárez has trained alone with a private coach while he is barred by FIFA from Barcelona’s stadium and practice grounds. FIFA did allow the Uruguayan to take a medical to complete his reported US$126-million transfer from Liverpool last month on a five-year contract.

Herald staff with agencies

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