MADRID - Barcelona midfielder Sergio
Busquets has been cleared to play in the Champions League Final
after UEFA dismissed Real Madrid's claim he racially insulted
full-back Marcelo in their heated semi-final first leg.
UEFA said in a statement on Monday the chairman of its
Control and Disciplinary Body had ruled there was a "lack of
strong and convincing evidence" that Busquets had twice callled
Brazilian Marcelo a monkey, or "mono" in Spanish during last
month's semi-final first leg.
In a separate ruling, UEFA dismissed Real's appeal against
an earlier decision to reject the club's complaint about what it
said was unsporting behaviour by a number of Barcelona players
designed to influence the referee.
"The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body decision to dismiss
Real Madrid CF's protest relating to the UEFA Champions League
semi-final first leg is upheld by UEFA's Appeals Body," UEFA
said in a statement on its website.
Barcelona, who sealed a third straight La Liga title last
week, face English Premier League champions Manchester United in
the final of Europe's elite club competition at London's Wembley
stadium on May 28.
Spain international Busquets could have faced a five-match
ban if European football's governing body had found him guilty of
abusing Marcelo at Real's Bernabeu stadium.
Barcelona argued in their player's defence that Busquets had
not used the word "mono."
What television images of him addressing the Brazilian
showed was him saying Marcelo had a lot of nerve, or "mucho
morro," the club said.
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