Dortmund star Lewandowski to face Hanover after ban reduced

01 March 2013 05:56

Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski is free to play in Saturday's Bundesliga clash against Hanover 96 after the German Football Association (DFB) reduced his three-game ban on appeal.

The 24-year-old had his suspension reduced to two games by the DFB's supreme court in Frankfurt after an initial appeal against his ban had been rejected and Dortmund took a second appeal to the DFB's highest authority.

"That was a fair trial, we are very grateful," said Borussia chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke, with Dortmund second in the Bundesliga and 17 points behind Bayern.

"During the last appeal, we had a vague feeling of how things would go, but we are very happy that Robert is allowed to play on Saturday."

Lewandowski was shown a straight red card on February 9 in the 4-1 home defeat to Hamburg after going into challenge Norway midfielder Per Skjelbred with his foot up.

"It was without question a rough game with a reckless action, but in the final phase of the challenge, Robert Lewandowski clearly pulled back," said Goetz Eilers, head of the DFB court.

"Moreover, there was no injury to the opponent, so we therefore believe the penalty of a two-match suspension is appropriate."

The Poland striker, Dortmund's top scorer, had already missed Borussia's 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on February 16 and last Sunday's 1-1 draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach.

With 14 Bundesliga goals this season, he is the league's third top-scorer behind Bayer Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling and Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic, who both have 15 goals.

Source: AFP