On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the four-month ban given to Luis Suarez by FIFA for the bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 win over the Italians in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Suarez will miss the first eight matches of the La Liga season and will make his Barça debut in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu on matchday nine against Real Madrid. Suarez will also miss three UEFA Champions League games, with the schedule still set to be announced.
Luis Suarez will be allowed to train with Barcelona, and Luis can play in the upcoming Joan Gamper Trophy game, as it is not an official game. Suarez is allowed to play in friendly games for both Barcelona and the Uruguay national team. Suarez can be presented as a Barça player as well, which the club is expected to do so very soon. Suarez is allowed to attend games and allowed to be a part of promotional activities (interviews, etc.).
*UPDATE*: FC Barcelona officially announced on Thursday that Luis Suarez will attend and train with the first squad on Friday morning in Barcelona. Suarez will be presented on Monday at the Camp Nou, the day of the Joan Gamper Trophy match.
Read the Court of Arbitration for Sport's media release here (but after you read this article).
While I would have like to have seen Luis Suarez's four-month ban reduced, I can't say I'm surprised that the ban was upheld. While I do feel the punishment by FIFA was excessive, Suarez put himself in this position by his actions. It is what it is. I'm happy, as all Culés are, that Luis can train and finally be a part of the team instead of being some footballing prisoner in solitary confinement. Of course I'd like to see Luisito play in the Liga opener against Elche, but at least Suarez gets to train, interact, get-to-know, and bond with his Barça teammates. I'm sure Luis and Lionel Messi will become good friends, as well as Neymar and Suarez. The South American "triple threat" can now work together in training, waiting until the "three amigos" can play on the pitch together. The sooner Luis can work on building on-the-pitch chemistry with his teammates, the better (given it's on the training ground). Luis Enrique will be happy to have Suarez join the team in training, and I'm sure Lucho will work with Suarez to help him adjust and learn the system. I don't see Luis having a hard time getting to know Lucho's system.
My hope is that as many Culés as possible can go to Luis Suarez's official presentation. Not that it's the most important thing, but quite frankly, Culés in the city of Barcelona have been a bit disappointing as far as attending some of the presentations. Luis Suarez is part of the Barça family, and it would be nice to see Culés come out and support and embrace a man who, as I previously mentioned, has been in a footballing solitary confinement. Come on, Culés in Barcelona. Take a day off work or just get up and go to Suarez's presentation.
We'll have to wait until October to see Luis Suarez in an official game, but the silver lining is that Luis can join in all other FC Barcelona activities and finally he can feel like he's a part of the team. The team will welcome him with open arms.
The Camp Nou awaits you, Luis, for your official presentation. The Bernabeu will be there to witness your Barça debut.
The countdown begins now.
Xoel, The Voice of Els Culés and host of "This Week in Barça" every Monday on SB Nation.