The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has released its decision in the appeal of Luis Suárez, FC Barcelona and the Uruguayan FA against FIFA. The CAS Panel has partially upheld the appeal. The sanctions imposed on the player by FIFA have been generally confirmed. However, the 4-month suspension will apply to official matches only and no longer to other football-related activities (such as training, promotional activities and administrative matters).
On 24 July 2014, Luis Suárez, FC Barcelona and the Uruguayan FA filed an appeal against the decision of the Appeals Committee of FIFA. The Appellants requested that the sanctions be reduced and more particularly that the 4-month suspension be lifted. The case was conducted on an expedited basis and the hearing took place at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on 8 August 2014. The player was present and gave a statement to the Panel of CAS arbitrators: Mr Bernhard Welten, Switzerland (President), Professor Luigi Fumagalli, Italy, and Dr Marco Balmelli, Switzerland.
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.
Accordingly, the following sanctions have been confirmed by the CAS:
1. Luis Suárez is found guilty of violation of art. 48 par. 1 lit. d) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code for having committed an act of assault during the match between Italy and Uruguay played on 24 June 2014 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
2. In application of art. 11 lit. c) and art. 19 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, Luis Suárez is banned for nine (9) consecutive official matches of the national team of the Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol:
• The first ban was fulfilled in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil match Columbia vs. Uruguay of 28 June 2014;
• The remaining bans will be fulfilled in the future official matches of the national team of the Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol based on art. 38 par. 2 lit. a) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
3. Based on art. 11 lit. c) and art. 19 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, Luis Suárez is declared ineligible to play in official matches at any level for a period of four (4) consecutive months, starting on 25 June 2014.
4. Based on art. 10 lit. c) in connection with art. 15 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, Luis Suárez is sanctioned to pay a fine in the amount CHF 100,000.
The full arbitral award, with the grounds, will follow at a later date and will be published by the CAS.
(CAS Press Release)