FIFA rejects appeal by Suarez

RIO DE JANEIRO — FIFA has rejected Luis Suarez’s appeal against his lengthy ban for biting an opponent in a World Cup match.

Soccer’s international governing body on Thursday said its appeals committee rejected the appeal by Suarez and the Uruguay football federation in its entirety. Suarez can still appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Liverpool star was banned for nine competitive international matches, four months from all soccer and fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000) for biting the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy in a group-stage game in Brazil.

It is the third time Suarez has been banned for biting an opponent, after similar incidents at both Ajax in the Dutch league and Liverpool in the English Premier League.

The incident was missed by match officials, and FIFA’s disciplinary committee studied video evidence before banning 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.

If granted, Suarez would be allowed to train and play with his club until a final verdict is reached, likely in several months.

Suarez is reportedly negotiating a move from Liverpool to Barcelona. FIFA said his transfer could proceed despite the ban.

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