Soccer

Peru celebrates as Swiss tribunal lifts Paolo Guerrero ban for World Cup

AFP-JIJI

Peru rejoiced Thursday after captain Paolo Guerrero won a last-ditch legal appeal to play at the World Cup despite being suspended for doping.

The decision by Switzerland’s highest court sparked scenes of joy thousands of miles away in Lima, as well as an outpouring of gratitude from the 34-year-old striker.

“It’s a triumph for Peru because we have united our efforts,” Peru President Martin Vizcarra said, before calling Guerrero to congratulate him in person.

“This decision does justice, at least partially, and I thank the Swiss court,” Guerrero said on his Facebook page, thanking God, his family, the fans for their “overflowing affection.”

Guerrero said he was now going to join the Peruvian squad “and with my teammates, I commit myself to the greatest effort to give greater joys to my country.

“There are no limits, there are no more impossible dreams, because when we Peruvians unite, everything is possible.”

The Swiss federal tribunal, Guerrero’s last recourse in a lengthy legal battle, announced it had cleared Guerrero to play, overturning a ruling by the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport that saw him suspended for 14 months.

The Swiss federal tribunal effectively “suspended” the CAS ban and said: “Guerrero can now participate at the next World Cup.”