Meireles has 11-match ban for spitting reduced to four games after lodging successful appeal
22:43 GMT, 27 December 2012
Fenerbahce midfielder Raul Meireles has had his 11-match ban reduced to four matches on appeal.
The former Chelsea player was hit with the suspension after being accused of spitting at the referee following his red card in the Istanbul derby with Galatasaray.
But the Turkish Football Federation's disciplinary committee ruled the Portugal international did not deliberately spit at Halis Ozkahya.
Scroll down for the video of the incident
Feisty: Raul Meireles remonstrates with the referee and was banned for spitting
It said it was 'physically impossible' for him to have spat as he berated the referee for his sending-off as he was speaking throughout the incident.
The 29-year-old will still have to serve a four-game ban because of his verbal attack on the referee.
Meireles confronted Ozkahya after he was given a second yellow card in the second half of the 2-1 defeat. It was claimed then that he spat at the official while also making a homophobic gesture.
Cleared: Meireles will still have to serve a four-match ban for his verbal attack on the referee
Speaking after the match, the 29-year-old vehemently denied the claims.
He said: 'I'm really annoyed at being accused of spitting at the referee. I have an eight year old kid, can you imagine if kids at school start saying your father spat at a ref, this could ruin my reputation in the eyes of my child.
'I have many gay friends who I deeply respects. The hand gesture I made is directed at the referee caving in to the pressure of the home fans.
'That hand gesture was to tell him he was scared. Look at my hairstyle, what I wear, I'm not a prejudice person, my hand gesture was in no way, shape or form a homophobic one'
Meireles, who joined Fener from Chelsea in the summer, had vehemently denied the accusations and vowed to prove his innocence.
VIDEO: Watch the incident during the Istanbul derby