By CARL SETTERLUND
Luis Suarez’s long-awaited debut for Barcelona is set to be a whopper.
The Blaugrana’s big-money summer transfer has been cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to return for El Clasico against Real Madrid on Oct. 25.
The Uruguayan forward’s ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup will end at midnight on Oct. 24, while La Liga announced the official date for El Clasico on Wednesday.
Suarez had the terms of his original ban reduced by CAS and has been able train with Barcelona and play in friendlies, which means he should be match fit for his return.
Here are some more news and notes for your Wednesday afternoon:
SIRIGU SIGNS PSG EXTENSION
Italian goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, thought to be the Italy’s successor to Gianluigi Buffon, has signed a three-year extension with Paris Saint-Germain, the club announced on Wednesday.
“We are very proud to extend the contract of Salvatore, an exceptional goalkeeper and a remarkable human being,” Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi said. “He is a symbol of the Paris Saint-Germain project: to build one of the most successful clubs in Europe.”
Sirigu has made over 100 appearances as PSG’s first-choice goalie since joining the club in 2011.
The Ligue 1 champions will need the 27-year-old at his best to advance out of a tough Champions League group that also includes Barcelona and Ajax, facing both squads in the next three weeks.
“I wanted to continue this incredible adventure, both on a sporting and on a human level, with Paris Saint-Germain,” Sirigu said. “I know we are only at the start of something exceptional. We are going to win a lot of titles together!”
INTERPOL SAYS SOCCER HAS MOST MATCH-FIXING
Mark Abbott, the head of a joint initiative by Interpol and FIFA to fix corruption in soccer, spoke Wednesday at the Soccerex Global Convention, and his words were harsh.
According to Abbott, soccer has the most match-fixing of any sport in the world, with between 60 to 80 countries reporting alleged match-fixing in each of the last three years.
“It is a global problem and it is showing no signs of abating,” Abbott said.
Abbott projected that the amount of money at stake in match-fixing each year goes into the billions.
“It’s not acceptable that sporting fraud is considered a crime in only five European countries,” said Emanuel Medeiros, the head of the International Centre for Sport Security and former chief executive of the European Professional Football Leagues. “We need concrete, robust regulation of the sports betting market which at the moment does not exist.”
What do you think of these reports? What do you expect from Suarez’s debut? How do you see PSG faring in the Champions League? How concerned are you with match fixing in the current game?
Share your thoughts below.