Leeds United: Berardi ban reduced on appeal

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Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi will serve a two-match ban for his red card against Rotherham United after the suspension was reduced from three games on appeal.

United successful challenged the length of Berardi's ban after asking the Football Association to review his clash with Rotherham striker Leon Best on Saturday.

Berardi and Best were both shown straight red cards during the second half of Rotherham's 1-0 win at Elland Road.

Berardi was left with a bloodied nose after Best struck him with an elbow to the face and the Swiss full-back reacted by pushing Best to the ground.

The pair faced mandatory three-match suspensions for violent conduct but an Independent Regulatory Commission ruled today that Berardi's ban was "excessive" in the circumstances.

A statement from the FA read: "Leeds United’s Gaetano Berardi has had his three-match suspension reduced to two matches following a successful appeal by the club.

"Leeds contested that the standard penalty for the offence was excessive and this claim was upheld with immediate effect following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing."

Berardi will now miss Saturday’s visit to Queens Park Rangers and next weekend's clash with Hull City but is in line to return for United's trip to Charlton Athletic.

Head coach Steve Evans seemed to accept the red card after full-time on Saturday, saying: "You can’t react the way Berardi did.

"He’s a good kid and he’s been absolutely smashed when you look back at the footage. It’s quite a horrific elbow. He did react but he shouldn’t react. We’ll deal with him in house."

The FA confirmed that is had received United’s appeal and is expected to make a decision on it this afternoon.

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