As Luis Suarez faces the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland to appeal the sanctions imposed on him by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee, FIFPro has prepared the following statement:
FIFPro, the World Footballers’ Association, agrees a sanction is needed. The question, however, is whether the combination of sanctions that FIFA imposed on the player is an appropriate way to deal with the case.
That Luis Suarez has been trialed and vilified in public, ever since the incident, is a sanction in itself.
On the other hand, it has been remarkable to see the response from his fellow professionals and the victim himself, Giorgio Chiellini. Many agree the sanctions are excessive. This is an important signal for the CAS panel to consider.
The sanctions are a disproportionate response to the offence. Especially the four-month ban from all football-related activity, which is unfair for Suarez as it infringes his right to work at club level.
In the international arena, where the offence was committed, a nine-match ban for Uruguay is also too strong as it effectively equates to a two-year sanction.
FIFPro states the educative nature of the sanction mentioned by FIFA in the ruling can be much better achieved by making it partially conditional, including the obligation for Luis Suarez to receive treatment.
This can be applied on the number of matches but also on the period of the ban. The FIFA appeals committee missed an opportunity to take this into account. FIFPro expects that CAS will respect these assumptions.