Football: Suarez to learn bite appeal ruling

Luis Suarez will learn on Thursday whether he has won his appeal to halve a four-month ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

The 27-year-old Uruguayan striker last week pleaded his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after one of the most shocking events of the summer sporting extravaganza in Brazil which has also delayed his Barcelona debut.

The CAS, based in the Swiss city of Lausanne, said it would announce its decision at 3:00 pm local time (1300 GMT).

Its three judges -- two Swiss and one Italian -- are not set to issue a detailed ruling immediately.

"At the request of the appellants and with the agreement of FIFA, the CAS has conducted an expedited arbitration procedure. As a consequence, the CAS panel has accepted to render its decision within a short period of time but with grounds to follow later," it said.

Suarez, who has a record of bans for biting opponents, was barred from all football-related activity for four months after biting Chiellini on the shoulder during Uruguay's June 24 World Cup group game against Italy in the Brazilian city of Natal.

He was also suspended for nine matches with his country and fined 100,000 Swiss francs (112,000 dollars).

World football's governing body FIFA had ordered the punishment because Suarez at first showed no remorse, though its boss Sepp Blatter later dubbed the sanction harsh.

But after being sent home from Brazil, Suarez apologised.

"The truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me," Suarez said in a message posted on Twitter on June 30.

"I deeply regret what occurred. I apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family," he said, vowing that there would never be another incident.

Suarez subsequently left English giants Liverpool for the Spanish league, after a 95-million-euro ($127 million) deal with Barcelona.

But as it stands, he will have to wait until late October before he can play for the Catalan club.

Suarez and the Uruguayan Football Association turned to the CAS after a failed appeal to FIFA.

- 'Disproportionate' -

Barcelona, anxious to tap the striking skills that saw Suarez notch up 31 goals in 33 matches with Liverpool last season, are also parties to the CAS case.

The CAS is the final court of appeal in the world of sport and can override decisions by individual federations.

Suarez has been backed in his appeal by world players' union FIFPro and his lawyers said last week they were confident of getting the ban slashed to two months.

That would make the striker available to play from August 25, thereby only missing Barcelona's opening fixture of the season, at home to lowly Elche the day before.

Suarez's lawyers also want him to be allowed to train with Barcelona for the remaining days of his suspension.

"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," FIFPro said earlier this month.

Suarez was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 and sidelined for seven matches for the same offence against PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal when he was with Dutch club Ajax in 2010.

On Wednesday, English Premier League boss Richard Scudamore said that while Suarez was a great footballer, he was also "an accident waiting to happen".