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The Italian forward has been successful in his bid to reduce the three-match ban imposed on him for verbally abusing a match official against Fiorentina

AC Milan's Mario Balotelli has had his three-match suspension reduced to two games but will still miss Sunday's clash with Juventus.

The striker was booked for the fourth time this season in the 2-2 draw with Fiorentina, meaning he was given an automatic one-match suspension, but was slapped with an additional two-game ban for verbally abusing an assistant referee.

But a successful appeal means he will now be banned for a game less and having already served one of the suspended matches, he will return for the Serie A game against Catania, though missing this weekend's clash with Juventus.

The Italian Football Federation issued the following statement:

"AC Milan's appeal against the sanction of disqualification for three days of actual competition imposed on Mario Balotelli following the game between Fiorentina and AC Milan on April 7 has been partially successful, as a result, the penalty will be reduced to a two-game ban with a combined fine of €20,000."

The Italy international's availability next weekend means that he will not fly out to New York to attend Time magazine's gala to celebrate the 100 most influential people in the world, with the striker having been named on the list this year.

The former Manchester City man has been in sparkling form since returning to San Siro in January in Rossoneri colours as opposed to his teenage years with the Nerazzurri.

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