Luis Suarez has been punished enough by the public response to his latest bite incident, FIFPro has claimed as the striker awaits a decision on his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The Barcelona forward was banned by Fifa from all football-related activity for four months and suspended from national duty for nine games following his bite on Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 World Cup Group D win over Italy in Natal on June 26.
But Suarez and the Uruguayan FA decided to appeal the sanction and the 27-year-old was present at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne on Friday to give a personal statement to the three-man panel who will decide whether to reduce his punishment.
And he has received significant backing from the international footballers' union in a statement released after the hearing.
"FIFPro, the World Footballers' Association, agrees a sanction is needed. The question, however, is whether the combination of sanctions that FIFA imposed on the player is an appropriate way to deal with the case," the statement began.
"That Luis Suarez has been trialled and vilified in public, ever since the incident, is a sanction in itself. On the other hand, it has been remarkable to see the response from his fellow professionals and the victim himself, Giorgio Chiellini. Many agree the sanctions are excessive. This is an important signal for the CAS panel to consider.
"The sanctions are a disproportionate response to the offence. Especially the four-month ban from all football-related activity, which is unfair for Suarez as it infringes his right to work at club level."
'Punished enough' | Luis Suarez arrives in Lausanne to appeal his four-month suspension
CAS announced following the hearing that its panel, made up of Bernhard Welten from Switzerland, Italy's Professor Luigi Fumagalli and another Swiss, Dr Marco Balmelli, would now take time to decide whether the four-month ban should be reduced or upheld.
"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," a statement read.
"The full arbitral award, with the grounds, will follow at a later date and be published by the CAS."
Suarez has previously been banned for seven games by the Dutch FA after sinking his teeth into Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax and a 10-match suspension was imposed following another bite on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during his spell with Liverpool.
The 27-year-old has yet to be unveiled by the Camp Nou club due to the ban, which is currently due to end on October 26.