FIFA have today rejected Luis Suarez and the Uruguayan Football Association's appeal of the striker's nine-match international and four-month blanket ban from all football-related activities. With many believing Suarez' recent apology for biting Giorgio Chiellini would help to pave the way for reducing a ban that appeared somewhat of an overreach by FIFA, that the appeal was rejected out of hand is a minor surprise.
"The FIFA appeal committee has decided to reject the appeals lodged by both the Uruguayan player Luis Suarez and the Uruguayan FA and to confirm the decision rendered by the FIFA disciplinary committee in its entirety," FIFA head of media Delia Fischer told press gathered in Rio. "The terms of the decision taken by the FIFA appeal committee were communicated to the player and the Uruguayan FA today."
Though there had been rumours in the early going that Suarez would be given a relatively lenient punishment, the decision by the player and his Uruguayan FA advisors to deny clear evidence of his bite landed the striker a severe, far-reaching ban. Shortly afterwards at the behest of Barcelona, whose representatives had made clear to Suarez they wold not go ahead with attempts to sign him without one, he apologised.
It appears that apology and his likely move to Barcelona have not been enough to sway FIFA, and his punishment will stand. With no further options to appeal with FIFA, it means Suarez will have to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if he is to have any chance of having his lengthy ban reduced.