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Suarez appeals FIFA ban, bite verdict next week

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm •  Published: August 8, 2014

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Luis Suarez's appeal of his FIFA ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup will be decided next week.

The Uruguay and Barcelona forward attended a six-hour hearing Friday before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and gave a statement to the court. He is trying to persuade a three-person 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 Suarez from Liverpool after the World Cup ended, begins the Spanish league season in two weeks.

Suarez has admitted biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during Uruguay's 1-0 win in Natal, Brazil. FIFA's sanction, which runs through Oct. 25, bars Suarez 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, didn't attempt to predict an outcome.

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

Because Suarez acknowledged the bite, his legal team representing his club and national federation were unlikely to challenge FIFA on the facts of the case.

"I deeply regret what occurred," Suarez wrote on Twitter on 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."

Suarez'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 Suarez's right to work.

On Friday, FIFPro urged the court to ease the sanction by making parts of the bans conditional on future good behavior and rehabilitation.

"The educative nature of the sanction mentioned by FIFA in the (disciplinary) ruling can be much better achieved by making it partially conditional, including the obligation for Luis Suarez to receive treatment," the union said in a statement.

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

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

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 altercation also was missed by match officials.

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