Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has seen his Champions League suspension reduced from three games to two by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The Brazil international was stung with a three-match ban after being found guilty of insulting match officials on social media.
He aired his frustration after seeing PSG dumped out of Europe by Manchester United in March.
A dramatic last-16 encounter at Parc des Princes saw the Red Devils overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit to progress on away goals.
Marcus Rashford converted a stoppage-time penalty to fire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side through, with Neymar left less than impressed by the performance of the match referee and his assistants.
The 27-year-old played no part in the game, as he was injured, but still managed to earn a suspension that he must serve in 2019-20.
He will sit out a group-stage opener against Real Madrid on Wednesday and a trip to Galatasaray on matchday two, but will be free to return to continental action at Club Brugge on October 22.
A statement released by CAS read: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its final decision in the appeal filed by the French club Paris St-Germain and the player Neymar Da Silva Santos Jr. against the decision taken by the UEFA Appeals Body on 18 June 2019.
“The player was found to have insulted match officials through social media at the end of the Champions League match Paris St-Germain vs Manchester United on 6 March 2019 and sanctioned with a 3-match suspension from UEFA competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible.
“Following an appeal filed on 18 July 2019 by both Paris St-Germain 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.”
PSG will be looking for Neymar to make a positive impression in their Champions League campaign.
He was acquired in an effort to push the Ligue 1 giants into contention for European football’s top prize, but they have continued to fall short across his two seasons in France.
It appeared at one stage as though Neymar would not get a third shot at glory with PSG, as he pushed for a return to Barcelona over the summer, but he is back in Thomas Tuchel’s plans.
A stunning stoppage-time bicycle kick was recorded in his first outing of the new season on Saturday, with that effort going some way towards building bridges with a disgruntled fan base that have made it clear that they were not happy with the South American’s actions in the transfer window.
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