Luis Suarez set to discover if appeal to CAS against ban has been successful
By Bryan Swanson
Last Updated: 14/08/14 3:01pm
Luis Suarez will find out on Thursday afternoon if he has been successful in his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against his four-month ban from football, writes Sky Sports News' Chief News Reporter Bryan Swanson.
It began with a bite in Brazil - now a Swiss-based court has needed less than a week to reach its decision, a month after Luis Suarez’s £75m transfer from Liverpool.
Suarez remains unable to train with his Barcelona team-mates and is banned from entering the Nou Camp or any other stadium in world football.
He was banned for nine Uruguay matches after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in Natal on 24 June and failed with a FIFA appeal.
It was his four-month ban from “any kind of football-related activity” that infuriated his legal representatives the most.
Why, they argued, should world football’s governing body be allowed to prevent a player from training at a club or visiting its stadium, perhaps for community, or even charitable, work?
“They violate fundamental rights.” said lawyer and advisor Alejandro Balbi before last week’s hearing.
Suarez’s ban has been strongly disputed by lawyers representing him, his club and his country’s football federation.
It has been a three-pronged attack against FIFA as Suarez hopes to make his Barcelona debut on the opening game of their La Liga season later this month.
Uruguay’s star striker declined to answer questions to the media as he swept through a scrum outside the Court of Arbitration for Sport last Friday.
A small group of supporters had gathered, wearing replica shirts, as he made a 400-mile trip to give a statement to the CAS Panel in person and spent five hours inside its quaint headquarters (pictured) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport, independent of any sports organisation, is recognised by the majority of sporting governing bodies around the world, including FIFA and UEFA, to settle international disputes.
It was created in 1983 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who initially financed it almost exclusively, before a new body to oversee the court was created a decade later.
CAS has nearly 300 arbitrators (legal experts) from around the world, chosen for their specialist knowledge of sports law.
It is a costly business and losers need deep pockets.
There are considerable legal fees, on both sides, and each arbitrator may charge a minimum of more than £160-an-hour, excluding travel and accommodation costs, and is even entitled to a meal allowance of up to £100 per day.
Suarez’s case has been heard by three arbitrators: Bernhard Welten, Switzerland (President), Professor Luigi Fumagalli, Italy, and Dr Marco Balmelli, Switzerland.
Suarez’s legal team remain optimistic that his ban, for club and country, will be reduced.
“We want the best for the player.” said Daniel Cravo, a lawyer representing the Uruguayan Football Federation, to Sky Sports News last week outside CAS headquarters. “Of course that means being immediately released to train and play for Barcelona.”
Cravo, who is based in Brazil, had yet to be informed of the CAS decision late on Wednesday night.
The court reached an agreement with FIFA for a swift resolution and its decision will be announced around 2pm.
Sports lawyer Daniel Geey told Sky Sports News HQ that Suarez could see his ban on training with Barcelona lifted - but that any other reduction is unlikely.
"At the very best the Uruguay ban may be reduced and his worldwide ban could be cut - but the realistic best he could hope for is that he is allowed to start training with the Barcelona squad in advance of the new season," he said.
"There are two issues with the appeal; when FIFA came down with the decision it was effectively banning him from domestic competition when he was playing for Uruguay in an international competition. That is quite unprecedented. The other question is whether the complete football-related ban is proportionate.
"I think it's pretty unlikely that the Uruguay ban or the football-related ban is reduced significantly. But it may be deemed that he is allowed to start training so he is ready to play once the ban ends."
Sky Sports News HQ will bring you the latest on Luis Suarez throughout the day.