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Lawyers hoping for Suarez ban reduction

Updated: Friday, 08 Aug 2014 08:07 | Comments

Luis Suarez's bite on Giorgio Chiellini  landed him a four-month ban from all football-related activity
Luis Suarez's bite on Giorgio Chiellini landed him a four-month ban from all football-related activity

Luis Suarez's appeal against his four-month ban for biting an opponent takes place at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday with his legal team confident of securing a reduction in the suspension.

The Barcelona striker's lawyers have travelled to CAS headquarters in Lausanne ahead of the hearing and are expected to argue that as the biting incident took place while playing for Uruguay in the World Cup then the ban should be limited to international football.

The legal team are hopeful of CAS halving the ban to two months, meaning the former Liverpool striker would be available to play from August 25, and for him to be allowed to train with Barcelona while he is suspended.

CAS has said a final decision is likely "some days after the conclusion of the hearing" but there is a chance it could be immediately after the appeal is over.

FIFA imposed a four-month ban from all football-related activity, plus a nine-match international ban and a £66,000 fine after Suarez bit Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 win on June 24. FIFA's appeal committee later upheld the sanctions.

Suarez's lawyer and adviser Alejandro Balbi, who is also a member of the Uruguay FA's (AUF) executive, admitted there was less chance of over-turning the nine-match ban, but said there is scope for the four-month ban to be reduced on the grounds that it infringes the player's "fundamental rights".

Balbi told Uruguyan newspaper El Observador: "It would be more logical to reduce the sanction by a few months than to reduce the ban concerning international games, because legally it's easier to contend against the terms of the suspension that forbid him from training and from being at the club, because they violate fundamental rights.

"The other ban (the nine-match ban for Uruguay) is more a question of the level of the punishment."

Barcelona paid Liverpool £75million for Suarez after he received his FIFA ban, which as it stands keeps him out until 25 October.

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