- World Cup
Suarez could have ban suspended
Luiz Suarez and Uruguay have had appeals against his punishment for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini rejected by FIFA.
The Liverpool striker and his country's football association still have the option of taking their arguments to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a route Uruguay had previously indicated they would take.
However, with Barcelona apparently waiting for the issue to be resolved before completing their £75 million purchase of Suarez from Liverpool and the player having made a fulsome apology, the Uruguay FA may change its mind.
The FIFA decision to reject the appeals on Wednesday was explained in a statement. It said: "The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to reject the appeals lodged by both the Uruguayan player Luis Suárez and the Uruguayan FA, and to confirm the decision rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on 25 June 2014 in its entirety.
"The terms of the decision taken by the FIFA Appeal Committee were communicated to the player and the Uruguayan FA today.
"The relevant decision is not yet final and binding, an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) is still possible by the player and/or the Uruguayan FA, subject to certain conditions."
Suarez was banned for nine Uruguay matches and four months from all football as well as being fined £65,000 for the incident during the 1-0 win over Italy in the group stages of the World Cup.
The incident was missed by match officials, and FIFA's disciplinary committee studied video evidence before charging the Uruguay forward.
The ruling to uphold the sanctions was expected, as FIFA's appeals panel seldom changes disciplinary verdicts.
Suarez can now ask the CAS to freeze his sanctions during his appeal process.
Barcelona lawyer Juan Jose Pinto is in contact with Uruguay lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, who is defending Suarez and could take the case to the CAS, according to Mundo Deportivo. But there was no confirmation on Thursday night whether the player would pursue the option to have his ban suspended.
If Suarez went ahead and CAS granted his request, he would be allowed to train and play with his club until a final verdict is reached, likely in several months.
As it stands now, Suarez would miss 18 matches on the Barcelona bench should his transfer be made official.
The potential matches he would miss if he were a Barcelona player: Five friendlies on the team managed now by Luis Enrique from July 19-August 18 and 13 official matches with three Champions League matches, including one in the round of 16; one Copa del Rey match and nine La Liga matches (season start is August 24).
There is the potential that Suarez could miss one fewer match since the ninth La Liga date is October 26, the exact date of his four-month suspension. This is contingent on FIFA's clarification as to whether he can return on October 26.
In the case that he remains with Liverpool, Suarez would miss 18 matches as well, including the first nine Premier League dates beginning on August 16 versus Southampton at Anfield.
On the Liverpool bench, he would miss five pre-season friendlies the Reds have set. He would also miss the first three matches of the Champions League group stage and one Capital One Cup match, but could rejoin in time for matches the week of October 27, depending upon the Capital One Cup match date. Otherwise, he would rejoin Liverpool on November 1 versus Newcastle United, thus missing a total of 19 matches.