Luis Suarez to fight 'fascist' ban in highest court
Lawyer says they will try to reduce sanction for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in Court of Arbitration for Sport
Uruguyan striker Luis Suarez will appeal a "fascist" four-month ban for biting a World Cup rival, his lawyer said.
Fifa had rejected an appeal on Thursday by Uruguay and the 27-year-old over the severity of his punishment.
But now Suarez is going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to try to reduce his sanction for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in a group D game on June 24, his lawyer said.
“We knew the decision of the corporation that is Fifa would not be favourable,” the player’s lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, told Spanish radio Cope.
“We are going to appeal to the CAS. We are going to actually do it in the next few hours.”
Balbi said he hoped the sports tribunal would revoke “a draconian sanction, which is of a totalitarian and fascist hue, by any reckoning”.
Hours after the interview, Barcelona announced they had bought Suarez from Liverpool, signing him for five seasons despite the biting uproar.
Neither club gave financial details of the signing, which Spanish media said was worth 81 million euros (US$110 million).
Suarez had initially denied any wrongdoing in the biting. He later issued an apology admitting Chiellini had “suffered the physical result of a bite” as a result of Suarez’s actions.
It was the third time Suarez had been found guilty of biting an opponent in his career.
If Fifa’s four-month ban on all football activity is upheld, Suarez will not play football again until late October.
A nine-match international ban also means he will miss all or most of Uruguay’s campaign in the 2015 Copa America.
Balbi said Fifa’s disciplinary committee had failed to take into account Suarez’s apology.
“We think it was an important element. But we have seen it mattered little to the gentlemen of Fifa that he had confessed and repented,” he said.
“The nine matches could seem over the top. But not being able to see a game of football, or train and carry out your work, is extremely unpleasant,” Balbi said.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard paid an emotional tribute to Suarez, taking to Instagram to post a picture of the pair celebrating together.
“On an emotional day for me would just like to say what a pleasure it has been playing with an amazing talent such as Luis,” Gerrard wrote along the picture.
“I would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution on the pitch during his time liverpoolfc and to wish him and his family all the best on his new adventure in Spain. lfclegend.”
The 27-year-old’s transfer brings an end to his controversial stay at Anfield, which included suspensions for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
While Gerrard was clearly frustrated to see Suarez leave, his former Liverpool teammate Jamie Carragher believes now is the right time to cash in on the former Ajax forward.
Carragher played alongside Suarez for two and a half years before retiring last year and admits that while it is a blow to lose a striker who scored 82 goals in 133 appearances, it was the end of the road for him at Anfield after biting Chiellini.
“Luis was the best LFC player I played with bar Gerrard. Gutted he’s gone but was inevitable he would go to Spain one day,” Carragher wrote on Twitter.
“It was the right time for everyone he wanted to go we got a good price considering incident at WC (World Cup).
“I would sign one striker as we have [Rickie] Lambert and hopefully a promising Belgian [Lille’s Divock Origi] alongside Sturridge – you need four.
“I like [Wilfried] Bony but with all attacking mdf’s (midfielders) looks like it will be one striker most of the time Sturridge main man, so price important.”