In a Friday hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, lawyers representing Luis Suarez will argue that the star striker's four-month suspension stemming from a biting incident at this summer's World Cup should be cut in half.
CAS is expected to announce a decision "some days after the conclusion of the hearing."
Suarez's legal team is also expected to contend that the suspension should not apply to club soccer because the incident occurred while Suarez was playing for his national team.
FIFA issued Suarez the suspension and a fine worth approximately $110,000 after he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 80th minute of a 2014 World Cup group stage match. Chiellini later said he thought the punishment was "excessive."
In July, the governing body rejected Suarez's appeal of the suspension, leaving an appeal before CAS as a final legal recourse.
Suarez's lawyer and adviser, Alejandro Balbi, spoke to a Uruguayan newspaper about the possibility of a reduced suspension. From The Guardian:
Balbi told the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador: “It would be more logical to reduce the sanction by a few months than to reduce the ban concerning international games, because legally it’s easier to contend against the terms of the suspension that forbid him from training and from being at the club, because they violate fundamental rights.
“The other ban [the nine-match ban for Uruguay] is more a question of the level of the punishment.”
Suarez left English club Liverpool to join Spanish club Barcelona for a reported fee of $128 million this summer.
If the the FIFA suspension stands, Suarez will not be eligible to play for Barcelona or Uruguay until Oct. 25.
Suarez, 27, scored 31 goals in the English Premier League last season and two at the World Cup.
- Chris Johnson