Yesterday, the Court for Sports Arbitration (CAS) announced that it will not be reducing Luis Suarez’s four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez’s international ban will also remain intact and he will miss next year’s Copa America with Uruguay. However, the bad news arrived with some good news as well.
Suarez’s ban from “all football related activities” including a ruling that forbidden him from training or even entering a stadium has been limited to competitive fixtures now. Basically this means that firstly, Suarez can finally be presented as our new player and secondly that he will now get the chance to play with his new teammates, including Monday’s friendly match against Mexico's Club Leon at the Nou Camp.
This may seem like only a small concession to a monstrous ban, but it’s actually really good news. Suarez will miss our first XI games of the season, but he will be available to play in “the big one”.
That’s right, the weekend his ban ends is the same weekend that we will take on our eternal rivals, Real Madrid. Suarez will undoubtedly be lacking match fitness for the game, but he will also probably be in peak physical condition. There is no doubt that he will be rearing with excitement at the chance to get back onto the pitch, and there’s no doubt that Real will be suffering the wrath of a four-month spell of what I can only imagine will be utter frustration.
Hopefully Suarez will slot right in on day one and he can punish Madrid in the first el Clasico clash of the season.