Strootman ban for derby 'simulation' overturned

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The midfielder had been sanctioned following a scuffle with Danilo Cataldi, but further investigation has deemed he was not guilty of simulation

Kevin Strootman has seen a two-match ban for his part in the brawl in last weekend's Rome derby overturned on appeal, making him available to face AC Milan and Serie A leaders Juventus.

Roma midfielder Strootman opened the scoring in Sunday's 2-0 win over arch-rivals Lazio, before crossing the advertising hoardings and running track to celebrate with fans.

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On his way back to formation, Strootman threw water in the face of Lazio substitute Danilo Cataldi, who reacted angrily and yanked the back of the Dutchman's shirt, prompting Strootman to hit the turf and sparking a shoving match between the two sides.

Once passions had calmed, Cataldi was shown a red card and Strootman was booked. 

However, upon reviewing the incident, Strootman was adjudged guilty of simulation as he fell to the floor and was given a two-match ban.

Roma general manager Mauro Baldissoni said of the incident as the appeal was lodged: "Strootman fell to the floor because he was pulled from behind and was afraid there might be a blow coming. He was back to his feet a second later and moved away from the scene. He certainly didn't simulate anything."

With the footage once again pored over, however, this decision has been reversed, meaning Strootman will be available for huge upcoming matches with Milan and Juve.

Roma sit second in Serie A, level on points with the Rossoneri and four behind five-time defending champions Juve.

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