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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Luis Suarez ban ruling due in August

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta insists that new signing Luis Suarez's ban is unfair but has backed his team mate to thrive at Camp Nou.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport could rule on the appeal by Luis Suarez against his four-month ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup at around the time the Spanish league season begins.

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In a statement to the Associated Press, the court said it was "likely that a final award will be rendered well before the end of August."

However, the statement emphasised that no hearing dates had yet been set, nor any arbitrators appointed.

Earlier, officials said new Barcelona signing Suarez, Uruguay's football federation and Barca had requested a fast-track appeal against the punishment, which also includes nine international matches.

FIFA, which imposed the sanction, must also agree to a fast-track process.

Meanwhile, Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has voiced hopes that the Suarez ban can be reduced.

As things stand, Suarez would be unable to make his debut for Barcelona until Oct. 26 -- which, depending on TV coverage, could be when the Catalans play arch rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Iniesta said the striker, who arrived from Liverpool for 75 million pounds, was "a tremendous signing for us because of his quality, but the other thing [the ban] is something for the club, the courts and FIFA to deal with. We hope that can be resolved and that the ban is reduced as much as possible."

He added: "Right now he's one of the best strikers in the world, and he will bring to us that ambition he has to score goals, his willingness to work hard, that mobility that characterises him.

"It's fundamental for a midfielder to have a player with those characteristics in the team."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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