Neymar has had his three-match Champions League ban for insulting match officials reduced to two games by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The 27-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star was punished over social media comments made in the wake of his side’s controversial 3-1 home defeat by Manchester United in March which denied them a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
PSG challenged the decision and, after UEFA had initially dismissed the claim, the Ligue 1 champions appealed to CAS – who ruled on Tuesday that the Brazil international will now serve a two-match ban.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its final decision in the appeal filed by the French club PSG and the player Neymar Da Silva Santos Jr. against the decision taken by the UEFA Appeals Body on 18 June 2019,” a CAS statement read.
“The player was found to have insulted match officials through social media at the end of the Champions League match PSG vs Manchester United on 6 March 2019 and sanctioned with a three-match suspension from UEFA competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible.
“Following an appeal filed on 18 July 2019 by both PSG and the player, this CAS procedure was referred to a sole arbitrator, Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany). A hearing was held at the CAS headquarters on 13 September 2019, during which the parties and their legal representatives were heard.
“In application of Art. 15 (1) lit. b of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations which provides for a minimum suspension of two matches in case of “abusive language” directed at a match official, the sole arbitrator partially upheld the appeal and reduced the suspension imposed by UEFA on Neymar Jr. to two (2) UEFA competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible.”
Neymar was injured for the game at the Parc des Princes as Marcus Rashford’s controversial late penalty, awarded via the use of the video assistant referee, saw the Red Devils overturn a 2-0 home defeat to advance on away goals.