LAUSANNE: Portugal coach Fernando Santos has persuaded the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce the suspension ordered by world federation FIFA after he was sent off during the World Cup second round tie in Brazil.

The 60-year-old was sent from the dugout after extra time of Greece’s 1-1 draw with Costa Rica. Greece lost the penalty shootout and Santos was subsequently found guilty of improper conduct by FIFA. He was later appointed by Portugal.

CAS has now cut the “excessive” eight-match ban to four games, with two matches of the sanction deferred for a probationary period of six months. It has also halved the original fine from 20,000 Swiss francs to 10,000 Swiss francs.

Santos filed an appeal with CAS on last October 3 and his ban was set aside pending the hearing so he could undertake his duties with Portugal.

On January 9 a hearing was held at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne at which the parties, their legal counsel, witnesses and experts were heard by CAS arbitrators Prof. Luigi Fumagalli (Italy, president), José Juan Pintó (Spain) and Herbert Hübel (Austria).

The panel confirmed that Santos “held an improper conduct on the occasion of the match, such as protesting against the referee and casting doubts on his impartiality, but that other facts retained by FIFA were not sufficiently established.”

A statement added: “As a consequence, the CAS panel found the original sanctions to be excessive and decided to reduce them by imposing on him a four-match suspension and a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs, with two matches suspended for a probationary period of six months.”

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