LONDON: Luis Suarez’ is to take the qualified risk of appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over his FIFA bans – even though thise could confuse further his arrival at Barcelona.
Liverpiol have confirmed the £75m club record sale of the Uruguay striker who learned on Thursday that the world federation’s appeals panel had rejected his protest against bans of fourth months from all football and nine competitive internationals for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez’s lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, said: “We hope CAS revokes this sanction that is blatantly draconian, totalitarian and fascist.
“The right of a footballer to work is being violated, and football should be worried about that. The nine (international) games may seem excessive, but the fact that he can’t watch a game of football, or train or carry out his job, we are talking about unpleasant things.”
Although Suarez initially denied biting Chiellini, claiming in his defence that he “lost balance” and “hit my face against the player”, he later issued a public apology to the Juventus defender – but only after the initil disciplinary hearing.
CAS, initially, could suspend the ban. However, if it then upholds the suspension Suarez will miss even more of his initial season in Spanish football.
Talks between Liverpool and Barcelona began 10 days ago and Suarez is expected to be confirmed formally as a Barcelona player next week.
A Liverpool statement said: “Liverpool FC confirms that Luis Suarez will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barcelona. The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities, which will then conclude the transfer.
“We would like to thank Luis for his contribution and the role he played in helping bring Champions League football back to Anfield. Everyone at Liverpool Football Club wishes Luis and his family well for the future.”
Suarez said: “It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain. Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city but most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans.
“You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters.
“I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife’s family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.
“I wish Brendan Rodgers and the team well for the future. The club is in great hands and I’m sure will be successful again next season.
“I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League.
“Thank you again for some great moments and memories. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Manager Brendan Rodgers said he was confident the revenue from the transfer could be used to strengthen his squad.