Suarez official 'unveiling' blocked by FIFA during ban

Suarez official 'unveiling' blocked by FIFA during ban

Barcelona will not be allowed to publicly unveil new £75m signing Luis Suarez while he remains banned for biting, FIFA has confirmed.

Suarez is due to complete his move from Liverpool in the next few days, and the Catalan club has previously introduced star signings including Neymar and Cesc Fabregas to packed stadiums.

There have been suggestions Barcelona could hold a similar event for Suarez in a non-football venue to get around the four-month ban imposed on the Uruguay striker for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, but FIFA has now confirmed that any such event will not be permitted while the ban remains in force.

FIFA’s head of media Delia Fischer told Press Association Sport: “The ban relates to all football-related activity. He cannot be in a football-related public event irrespective of the venue.

“He cannot even be involved in a football-related charity event.”

Suarez, 27, had his appeal against the four-month ban, plus a nine-match international and an 100,000 Swiss franc (£66,000) fine, rejected outright by FIFA’s appeals committee.

He is expected to take his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a final bid to reduce the sanctions that, as they stand, will keep him out of club football until the end of October.

Suarez can also ask CAS to put his ban on hold pending their final decision but that would risk him missing more matches rather than a chunk of the close season if the court upholds the sanctions.

Some 90,000 packed the Nou Camp stadium for the unveiling of Brazil forward Neymar in June 2013.

FIFA’s original ban took into account that Suarez had shown no remorse for the biting incident, his third such attack in less than four years.

The player then did issue an official apology but it did not lead to any change of mind by the FIFA appeals panel.

Suarez’s lawyer on Friday claimed the punishment was “blatantly draconian, totalitarian and fascist”.

Alejandro Balbi told Spanish radio station Cope: “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.”

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