Luis Suarez on Friday pleaded his case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to halve his four-month Fifa ban for biting.
Barcelona’s Uruguayan striker, in a blue checked shirt and jeans, was tight-lipped as he ran the gauntlet of press photographers on his way into the hearing shortly before 10 am local time (0800 GMT).
He emerged almost five hours later, still refusing to comment on the proceedings. He was ferried off in a black van, but not before stopping to sign autographs for some waiting children.
CAS said in a statement that Suarez had given “a statement to the Panel of CAS arbitrators: Mr Bernhard Welten, Switzerland (President), Professor Luigi Fumagalli, Italy, and Dr Marco Balmelli, Switzerland”.
Suarez was banned from all football-related activity for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during a World Cup group game in the Brazilian city of Natal.
He subsequently left Liverpool for Barcelona in a €95-million deal but will have to wait until late October before he can play for his new club.
His legal team said on Thursday they were confident of obtaining a reduction of the ban to two months, meaning the former Liverpool striker would be available to play from August 25, and for him to be allowed to train with Barcelona for the duration of his suspension.
CAS said: “At the end of the hearing, the Panel informed the parties that it will issue its decision as soon as possible, probably before the end of next week.
“The full arbitral award, with the grounds, will follow at a later date and be published by the CAS.” (supersport.com)