Australian goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has had his nine-month ban for manhandling referee Mark Shields reduced to six months and split to allow him to represent his country at the Beijing Olympics.
Vukovic, who plays for the Central Coast Mariners club, was initially suspended for 15 months after being sent off during the A-League final in February. The ban was later reduced to nine months on appeal.
An independent committee hasnow ruled that his suspension be further cut, Football Federation Australia said in a statement.
“The effect of the appeals committee decision means that Vukovic will not be eligible to play in the A-League competition again until Oct. 6, but he is eligible for selection to the Australian Olympic team,” the FFA said.
The 23-year-old will also be on probation for three months until Jan. 25.
Vukovic, who was fined A$10,000, was sent off after striking Shield on the arm.
Vukovic’s club chairman said he was pleased with the verdict.
“I am delighted for Danny, who is a tremendous young man, that he is eligible for selection for the Olympic team,” said Mariners executive chairman Lyall Gorman.
“Danny …is an integral part of the team, having played every minute of all 14 qualifying games that secured Australia their berth in Beijing.”