Barcelona win appeal against extra Andres Iniesta ban

Andres Iniesta
Iniesta scored the opener against Shakhtar before being cautioned

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta is free to face Real Madrid in next Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg

Uefa has cleared the Spain midfielder of deliberately getting himself booked in the first leg of the quarter-final against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The 26-year-old was suspended for the second leg against Shakhtar as Barca sealed a 6-1 win on aggregate.

He had faced an additional ban for allegedly provoking a yellow card but has escaped that as well as a fine.

Iniesta recieved his third booking in the competition in the 5-1 first-leg win over Shakhtar for failing to retreat the required distance at a free-kick at the Nou Camp on 6 April. His side were leading 3-0 at the time.

If he had been found guilty, the standard one-match ban could have been extended to cover the first leg of the semi-final at the Bernabeu on 27 April.

Having served his suspension during the 1-0 win in Ukraine on 12 April, the Spain international is now available for the first leg against Real Madrid without the threat of missing the return at the Nou Camp if booked.

A previous Barca statement had claimed that "the good faith of the player and the disproportionate nature of the proposed sanction will be sufficient to rebut the allegations."

The Catalan side's semi-final opponents have already fallen foul of Uefa for a similar offence, earlier this season.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, as well as midfielder Xabi Alonso and defender Sergio Ramos were all found guilty of improper conduct.

Both players were sent off in their Champions League group game against Ajax in November 2010, which Real won 4-0.

Xabi Alonso sent off against Ajax
Alonso is dismissed by Scottish referee Craig Thomson against Ajax

Alonso and Ramos incurred suspensions for the fixture against Auxerre, which was effectively meaningless as Real had already qualified as group winners, but it also meant that both then had a clean slate for the last 16 round of matches.

The two players received fines of £16,700 and Mourinho was initially banned for two games, with one suspended, but this was reduced to one match on appeal.

The former Chelsea manager resisted the temptation to do the same to protect his players ahead of their first-leg game against Barcelona next week.

However, Mourinho's side will be without suspended central defender Ricardo Carvalho, who was shown a yellow card against Tottenham in the second leg of their quarter-final.

Speaking after that game, and after Iniesta had served his suspension, Mourinho suggested that Uefa were guilty of double standards.

"Maybe you have to find a reason why Mourinho cannot clean yellow cards and other coaches can," the Real coach said.

"To be honest, as I always am, when we scored the fourth goal against Tottenham at the Bernabeu, my assistant told me, 'Yellow card to Cristiano Ronaldo and to Ricardo Carvalho'.

"And I told him, 'No way, because, if we do it, I am suspended for the semi-finals and my players are suspended for the semi-finals'.

"The next day, we are at home. Another coach did it, another player did it."

Fellow Spanish side Villarreal have been fined £53,054 after two of their players appeared to deliberately provoke yellow cards in the 5-1 win over FC Twente in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Nilmar and Santi Cazorla both received personal fines of £17,685 each, but Uefa opted not to ban them from the first leg of their semi-final against Porto.

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