Zurich, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - FIFA announced Thursday that it has rejected Luis Suarez's appeal against a lengthy ban for biting an opponent during a World Cup match.
Suarez was banned for nine competitive international matches, four months from all football and fined $112,000 for biting the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 win in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup.
The Liverpool striker appealed the sanction but saw the plea dismissed by football's international governing body. Suarez can still appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"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 on 25 June 2014 in its entirety," read a statement from FIFA. "The terms of the decision taken by the FIFA Appeal Committee were communicated to the player and the Uruguayan FA (on Thursday).
"The relevant decision is not yet final and binding, i.e. an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) is still possible (cf. art. 67 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes) by the player and/or the Uruguayan FA, subject to certain conditions."
It is the third time Suarez has been banned for biting an opponent. He was suspended during his time with Ajax of the Dutch Eredivisie for biting the shoulder of Otman Bakkal and again with Liverpool for gnawing on the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Suarez has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona this summer and FIFA has confirmed that a transfer would be allowed under the terms of his ban.