BARCELONA (AFP) – Luis Suarez will start training with his new Barcelona team-mates on Friday after getting the green light from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Spanish giants confirmed.
A statement released by the Catalan club read: “Following the announcement of the verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding the appeal against the sanction imposed on Luis Suarez by FIFA, FC Barcelona hereby announces that the player will join the first team’s training session scheduled for tomorrow Friday at 9.30 AM CET (0730 GMT) in the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.
“Likewise, the public presentation of Suarez as a new FC Barcelona player will be held on Monday at the Camp Nou, on occasion of the Joan Gamper Trophy match.”
The CAS upheld Suarez’s four-month ban from playing in competitive games as well as his nine-match international suspension, but it did allow him to train and play in unofficial matches.
And that means he could make his debut against Mexican club Leon in the Gamper Trophy, the traditional curtain-raiser to the season at the Camp Nou.
CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb confirmed to AFP that the ban ends at midnight on October 24.
“Mr. Luis Suarez remains ineligible to play in official matches until that date, i.e. in matches organised under the auspices of a football organisation for all of the teams or clubs in its sphere of operation (art. 5 para. 5 FIFA Disciplinary Code).
“It means that he is eligible to play in friendly matches which do not correspond to this definition.”
There will be a temptation to give him a run-out against Leon as it will be Barcelona’s final friendly before their first league game of the new season against Elche next weekend.
Suarez has reportedly been training on his own in an unknown location in Catalonia since completing his 95 million euros (£75 million, $127 million) move to the Camp Nou from Liverpool last month.
He will be available to play in competitive matches from Saturday, October 25, meaning his official debut could come in the first Clasico of the campaign against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, which has been scheduled for that weekend.