Fifa has rejected Uruguay and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s appeal against a four-month ban from all football-related activities for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez was also banned for nine international matches after the incident at the World Cup in Brazil.
The Uruguayan FA had described Fifa’s ruling as an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence”.
Suarez can now make a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Football’s global governing body also imposed a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs (£65,000) on Suarez, who has apologised for his behaviour.
Under the terms of the suspension, Suarez cannot train with his club and is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium, although players’ union Fifpro argue the details “lack clarity”.
Should Suarez and the Uruguayan FA decide to appeal further, ordinarily the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) would sit and hear the matter while the player adheres to the terms of his ban.
However, as the World Cup is still ongoing, they could apply to the Cas ‘ad-hoc’ division, which exists for the duration of the tournament to hear matters such as this.
The ad-hoc division could suspend the sanctions pending a full hearing later in the year, allowing Suarez to play and take part in “football related activities” in the meantime.
Since Suarez was suspended, Liverpool have been in transfer negotiations with Spanish giants Barcelona, who have told the Anfield club they are willing to meet a buy-out clause of £75m to sign the 27-year-old.
The Uruguayan has now been found guilty of biting three opponents in his career.
Suarez was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match in 2013 and was also suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in 2010.
Including this latest punishment, Suarez will have missed 32 games through four separate bans since arriving at Liverpool in 2011.
The ban is the biggest in World Cup history, beating the eight games given to Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for elbowing Spain’s Luis Enrique in 1994.