Meireles ban reduced to four matches

The former Chelsea midfielder has seen the initial 11-game suspension cut down, after successfully appealing the sanction following his red card against Galatasaray.
Fenerbahce's Raul Meireles has had his ban reduced to four matches by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).

The 29-year-old Portuguese midfielder was handed an initial 11-game suspension after he was accused of spitting in the face of the referee following his red card in the 2-1 defeat to Galatasaray. Following an appeal by the player, the TFF ruled that it was "physically impossible" for Meireles to have spat at the official while berating him for the decision as the former Chelsea midfielder was constantly talking during the episode.

Meireles, who had strongly denied the charge, was pleased to have seen the ban reduced.

"Justice is done. They blamed me for a thing that I didn't do. I would never spit on a referee," Meireles said in a statement on the Portuguese FA's website.

Galatasaray, meanwhile, has condemned the decision by the court of arbitration, branding it "a disgrace for Turkish football" in a statement released on its official website.

"By reducing Raul Meireles' ban to four games, the committee has basically snubbed the obvious evidence," the statement read. "This reduction which came despite the referee's actual report is a big blow, not only for the sense of community, but also for refereeing itself. The Turkish FA has once again cast a slur on the reputation of Turkish football."

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