FIFPro, the world union for professional players, on Friday called for Luis Suarez’s ban for biting to be reduced after the Barcelona and Uruguay striker’s appeal was heard by the European Union’s Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). According to Reuters, FIFPro said the ban was excessive and that Suarez had been "trialed and vilified in public" for biting Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s World Cup match against Italy in June.
Following the incident, FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, handed Suarez a four-month ban from all soccer-related activity and suspended him for nine international matches, causing the Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) to take the case to CAS, the EU’s highest court for sports, after the striker lost his appeal to FIFA. On Friday, CAS heard Suarez’s case and said a decision would likely be made before the end of next week.
In a statement, FIFPro said the Suarez sanctions represented “a disproportionate response to the offense," adding: "The four-month ban from all football-related activity... is unfair for Suarez as it infringes his right to work at club level. In the international arena, where the offense was committed, a nine-match ban for Uruguay is also too strong as it effectively equates to a two-year sanction."
If upheld, the ban means Suarez could not make his Barca debut until the end of October, while the international ban means the former Liverpool star would miss next summer’s Copa America in Chile, as well as several 2018 World Cup qualifiers.