Luis Suarez football ban lacks clarity, says players' union

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
World Cup moments: Suarez bites Chiellini

The scope of Luis Suarez's four-month ban "from all football-related activity" is still unclear, two weeks after the punishment was handed down.

The 27-year-old Uruguay striker was suspended after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup match.

Players' union Fifpro says the details "lack clarity" and a legal expert says the sanctions will be tough to enforce.

Football's world governing body Fifa has refused BBC Sport's requests to explain the details of the ban.

It did, however, confirm that under the terms of the ban, Suarez, who is also banned for nine international matches, cannot train with his club and is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during his suspension.

Yet the Football Association, Professional Footballers' Association and Liverpool do not understand the full implications of the sanction.

To assess the extent of the ban, BBC Sport sent a list of more than 20 scenarios together to Fifa, as well as the FA, the PFA and Liverpool.

None were able to provide definitive answers or explain how it would be policed, with Fifa declining to comment. But the PFA did provide its interpretation, set out at the bottom of this story.

Fifa has said Suarez cannot play for his club, or Barcelona should a proposed move to La Liga go through in that four-month period, though he would be allowed to have a medical in order for a transfer to be completed prior to the August deadline.

Fifa has sent its findings to the FA, although as the manuscript arrived in Spanish, officials there have had to get it translated.

"We agree that the sanction lacks clarity," said a Fifpro spokesman.

Watch: Fifa spokesperson Delia Fischer announces Suarez's punishment

"The concept of being banned from all football-related activities is not defined."

Specialist sports solicitor Thomas Barnard of Thomas Eggar LLP believes the ban has inherent difficulties in policing and enforcing.

"'Football related activity' should be considered in the context of Fifa's jurisdiction to govern football, since it can only look to prevent Suarez from doing something where it has power to do so.

"Fifa does not have control over amateur football conducted outside of a national federation's control.

"So the ban will not stop Suarez having a kickabout with his friends and there is no need for him to train without a ball."

The case remains subject to appeal.

The PFA's take on what Suarez cannot do during the ban
Train with the Liverpool team.
Enter Liverpool's Melwood training ground.
Use any Liverpool FC fitness facilities.
Attend any professional or international match.
Attend any non-league, reserve and youth football game.
Watch school football games or attend football activities.
Play in a charity match.
Take part in a club visit to a children's hospital.
Hand out awards at a junior football club.
Attend a Football in the Community event.
Speak at or attend a supporters' club event.
Attend a function on behalf of the club.
Be involved in campaigns on behalf of Liverpool FC or Uruguay.
Take part in events with football-based sponsors.
And what it thinks he can do
Sign for another club.
Train on his own away from official club facilities.
Give media interviews.
Play football with his children or friends.
Talk about football on social media.
Attend amateur football games as long as it is not in a stadium.
Watch football on the TV both at home and in public places.
Play football on a games console.

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