Uefa withdraws appeal over Keane suspension

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The Independent Football

Roy Keane will be free to play in Europe from the start of next season after the sport's European governing body, Uefa, withdrew its appeal against its own disciplinary sanction against the Manchester United captain.

Keane 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 stamping on goalkeeper Vitor Baia late in the game.

At the time, the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, claimed Baia had made the most of the incident, which brought about the 11th red card of Keane's United career.

The Uefa disciplinary panel subsequently opted to hand Keane a one-game ban. European football's governing body reacted by launching an appeal against that verdict, raising the possibility that Keane could serve a three-match suspension.

However, the Uefa disciplinary inspector Gerhard Kapl has now confirmed the action has been abandoned.

"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," he said.