Barcelona striker Luis Suarez's four-month worldwide ban has been upheld after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was rejected but he is now allowed to train with the club and take part in friendlies.
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Suarez, 27, was suspended from "all football-related activity" for four months by FIFA in June after he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini while playing for Uruguay in a World Cup match.
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An appeal against the ban was rejected by the world football governing body in July, before Suarez, Barcelona and Uruguay's football association (AUF) took their case to CAS. The former Liverpool striker attended the latest appeal hearing in Lausanne, Switzerland, last Friday as lawyers put forward his case.
But issuing judgement on Thursday, CAS ruled that the ban should remain in place but he will be able to train with Barcelona, attend matches and take part in friendlies immediately.
"The sanctions imposed on the player by FIFA have been generally confirmed," the court said in a statement.
"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)."
CAS will publish its full reasons for the verdict -- which also upholds his nine-match suspension from international matches -- in the coming weeks.
Barcelona responded to the announcement with the following statement: "Following the announcement of the verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding the appeal against the sanction imposed on Luis Suarez by FIFA, FC Barcelona hereby announces that the player will join the first team's training session scheduled for tomorrow Friday at 9.30 a.m. CET in the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.
"Likewise, the public presentation of Suarez as a new FC Barcelona player will be held on Monday at the Camp Nou, on [the] occasion of the Joan Gamper Trophy match."
The first match in which he will be eligible to play for the club could be el clasico, the league meeting with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, if the match is set for Sunday, Oct. 26, when the Spanish league announces that weekend's schedule.
Suarez was punished by a FIFA disciplinary committee after biting Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 Group D win over Italy in the Brazilian city of Natal on June 24.
Two days after the incident, the striker was banned from all football activity for four months, given a separate nine-match suspension from international football and ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs (around $110,000). That decision, at the time, effectively ruled him out of all football activity until the last week of October.
LUIS SUAREZ 2013-14 SEASON IN NUMBERS
• 31 - Premier League goals, winning the Golden Boot.
• 12 - Most assists in the Premier League.
• 24 - Scored the most goals from inside the box.
• 4 - Scored the most goals from counterattacks.
• 9 - Had the most shots that hit the woodwork.
• 3 - Most penalties won in the Premier League.
• 237 - Attempted more dribbles than any other player.
Suarez initially claimed he lost his balance and fell on Chiellini, claiming that there had been no intentional bite. He subsequently apologised, but an appeal against the severity of the ban was rejected by FIFA on July 10.
Despite covering all "football-related activity," the suspension did not apply to transfers, allowing Suarez to complete a 75 million pounds move from Liverpool to Barcelona on July 16.
But the striker was not allowed to train with his teammates or enter any football stadium under the terms of the ban, and was also barred from attending the news conference at which the Catalan club confirmed his arrival.
It is the third time in his career that Suarez has been involved in a biting controversy. He was suspended for seven matches after biting PSV midfielder Ottman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in an Eredivisie game in November 2010, and after joining Liverpool, he received a 10-game domestic ban for doing the same to Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in 2013.