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UEFA drop Man Utd's Keane appeal
Updated: 2004-03-31 09:38

UEFA have withdrawn their appeal against their own disciplinary sanction against Manchester United captain Roy Keane leaving him free to play in Europe from the start of next season.

Tap dancing Roy's way: Man Utd capitain Roy Keane saw red for stepping on Porto's goalie Baia. [Getty Images]
The Irishman missed the second leg of the Champions League knock-out defeat by Porto earlier this month after being sent off in the opening game for improper conduct after standing on goalkeeper Vitor Baia late in the game.

Although he was automatically banned for the second leg, UEFA had sought to increase the punishment.

But European football's governing body have now abandoned the appeal.

UEFA disciplinary inspector Gerhard Kapl explained: "Given the situation in the European Champions League and taking into account Manchester United have been eliminated we are content to allow Roy Keane to play next season."

United officials are reported to be unhappy with the wording of UEFA's statement.

They feel the implication is that the action would have continued had United advanced to the last eight and do not understand the apparently arbitrary nature of UEFA's disciplinary process.

They have decided however against expressing their concerns publicly and now consider the matter closed.

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