Luis Suarez’s lawyer believes that the Barcelona forward will have his four-month ban cut when he lodges an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.
Suarez was suspended from from “all football-related activity” by FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini while representing Uruguay at the World Cup.
His appeal has been fast-tracked, although the ban that did not prevent him from completing his £75 million move from Liverpool to Barcelona last month.
An appeal to world football’s governing body, FIFA, was rejected last month.
A decision on the appeal by CAS is expected next week. That means Suarez could be training with his new teammates within the next two weeks and be available for their first match of the season in La Liga at home to Elche on Sunday, August 24.
The Uruguayan football Federation employed Brazilian lawyer Daniel Cravo to lead the appeal against the suspension, which also bans Suarez from nine international matches – a suspension that will seem him excluded from international football until 2016.
Cravo told Radio Globo that based on previous precedents, he has a strong case to have the ban reduced.
“I think FIFA wanted to show they could take action,” he said. “There was dissatisfaction with how other incidents had been treated at the World Cup and Suarez paid for them. Not even the sanction of [Zinedine] Zidane in 2006 or those of Leonardo and [Mauro] Tassotti in 1994 were as severe.
“Is the Suarez incident the worst in the history of the World Cup?
“I believe that the sanction which affects his work at a club level will be revoked. There is no precedent in history to justify it.
“I am going to try and reduce his ban with Uruguay — nine games is too much and would stop him from playing until 2016.
“[The CAS] is totally different and on various occasions in the past they have taken completely different decisions to those which have been taken by FIFA.”
Indeed they have, but the salient point in Suarez’s case is not the bite per se – indefensible though that was – but that this was the third time he had bitten an opponent. in that context, the four-month ban, while deemed harsh by some, has to be seen as an exemplary punishment.