Luis Suarez’s four-month biting ban has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but the forward will be allowed to train with new club Barcelona.
The Uruguayan took his appeal to the CAS, the final recourse in the appeals process, in a bid to overturn the four-month ban from all football activity he was given for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
The first match Suarez will be eligible to represent his new club will be the first El Clasico of the season at Real Madrid on 26 October.
The Uruguay striker will continue to serve a nine-match international ban but, having previously been banned from all “football-related activity”, he can now train and attend matches.
“The sanctions imposed on the player by Fifa have been generally confirmed,” Cas said in a statement, meaning the earliest the striker can return for Barcelona is 26 October.
“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.”
Suarez was a Liverpool player at the time he bit Chiellini but has since left Anfield to join Barcelona in a £75m deal.
The 27-year-old has been suspeneded three times for biting opponents. He was banned for seven matches by the Dutch FA in November 2010 for biting Otman Bakkal of PSV Eindhoven. In April 2013 he was banned for 10 matches after biting Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield.
He was also banned for 8 matches in 2011 for racially abusing the former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra.
Barcelona’s season starts at home to Elche on 24 August, meaning Suarez will miss eight games before he can make his debut for his new side.