Updated 05:33 AM EDT, Tue, Apr 20, 2021

Luis Suarez Barcelona Training Continues Amid Playing Ban

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has recently upheld Luis Suarez's four-month ban, but the player may still train and play with Barcelona in exhibition games.

The soccer player has earlier appealed his suspension which was served by FIFA when he bit Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup game last Aug. 24.

According to Sky Sports, Suarez can now "play for Barca in the Joan Gamper Trophy against Mexican side Leon Guanajuato on Monday." 

But the report noted that Suarez will still miss Barcelona's first eight matches along with the first three group games in the Champions League. Sky Sports added that Suarez could possibly start playing again against Real Madrid on Oct. 26.

In a statement released to media outlets, CAS explained its ruling.

"The sanctions imposed on the player by FIFA have been generally confirmed. 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).

"The CAS Panel found that the sanctions imposed on the player were generally proportionate to the offence committed. 

"It has however considered that the stadium ban and the ban from 'any football-related activity' were excessive given that such measures are not appropriate to sanction the offence committed by the player and would still have an impact on his activity after the end of the suspension," the statement read.

In an interview with Sky Sports, CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb, shed more light on the panel's decision.

"It is my understanding that friendlies are not considered official matches in accordance with FIFA regulations. The FIFA decision probably went a little too far - the player being unable to train would probably be effective for longer than four months so the panel thought it was fair to limit the ban so that he can be ready to play at the end of October," Reeb added.

New York Times reported that Suarez's teammates have shown their support for the athlete after the biting incident in Brazil but FIFA maintained their decision to punish Suarez. He was forced to leave the tournament just before his team was eliminated when it lost to Colombia during the World Cup.

In an apology posted on his Facebook page, Suarez expressed his sincere apologies to Chiellini.

"The truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me," Suarez said in his statement. "I deeply regret what occurred. I apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family." .

His comments, according to the New York Times, was almost synonymous to his admission of guilt which made his appeal of the punishment more difficult.

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