Former Chelsea and Liverpool star and current Fenerbahce midfielder has finally got his eleven matches’ suspension reduced to just four matches. The relaxation he got is warranted by his club Fenerbahce who appealed against his prolonged ban judgment by Turkey football association. He got an extended ban after he was alleged spitting on match referee in a clash against archrival Galatasaray last week. However, he and his club both refused to accept spitting allegations as leveled against the midfielder. Turkey’s football arbitration board, after hearing player’s defense, sustains his initial three matches ban along with one match extra ban for showing unethical conduct on the pitch. The said relaxation came after he successfully convinced the disciplinary board that he can never deliberately spit on referee, perhaps whatever happened was just a matter of confusion. CCTV footages also helped him in proving his side of defense; hence he got his ban reduction by Turkish Football Federation.
Professional Football Discipline Committee, who analyzed the video footages from various angles to find out the exact cause of spat, issued an announcement mentioning his shortened ban period along with a statement that reads as, “Raul Jose Trindade Meireles spoke to the referee in an enraged manner from close distance during the incident in contention.
“The words he used towards the referee are intelligible however, it’s clear that he was using strong words. It’s possible that fluid from his mouth could have hit the referee while speaking however, he did not spit at the referee during this engagement, it’s physically impossible that he could have spat during that time.
“Therefore the eight match ban given as a result of breaking rules 42/3 35/4 do not apply, Raul has however, been found guilty of breaking article 36/1-a due to his unsportsmanlike behaviour and punished with a one game suspension.”
It has never been so easy for the midfielder to prove his innocence should his colleagues have not supported him right from the moment he was sentenced eleven matches’ suspensions. Meireles also aggressively objected his ban saying he has mistakenly been taken as spitting on the referee while the actual confrontation was not so. Though, he accepted the three matches ban for his unwarranted actions when referee showed him a Red Card in the match. Meireles joined Yellow Canaries this season with €10 million price tag and registered two goals along with assistance in his 18 matches’ appearances this season.