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Suarez cleared to make El Clasico debut

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SUAREZ-BARCAMADRID, August 11- Luis Suarez will be available to make his Barcelona debut in the first La Liga clasico of the 2014-15 season at Real Madrid on Oct. 25, the Catalan club has confirmed.

Suarez is serving a four-month ban imposed for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini when playing for Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup.

That game took place on June 24, with FIFA announcing the punishment two days later. That led to reports that the ban would be enforced until Oct. 26, thereby ruling the player out of the first clasico of the season.

However, Barca say the subsequent ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which lessened the punishment by allowing Suarez to train and play in friendly games during his timeout, mandated that the ban was to run from the day of the Italy vs. Uruguay game — and therefore end on Oct. 24.

A club statement released soon after La Liga authorities had set the kickoff times for that weekend’s action said there was no doubt over the availability of the 80 million euro summer signing from Liverpool.

“Luis Suarez can play the clasico which will be played at the [Estadio] Santiago Bernabeu on Oct. 25 at 18:00,” the statement said.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] confirmed to FC Barcelona that the Uruguay forward’s ban ends the day before, at midnight on Friday Oct. 24. Therefore Suarez can make his official debut as a Blaugrana player in the game against Real Madrid, should Luis Enrique decide to do so.”

Barca also said on Wednesday that new centre-back Jeremy Mathieu had missed training with an ankle injury, making the France international doubtful for Saturday’s La Liga game at home vs. Athletic Bilbao.

Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta, who missed matches for Argentina and Spain during the recent international break, are all expected to be fit for the game at the Camp Nou.

-ESPN FC

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