The 25-year-old was sent off in the 39th minute of the first leg of Chelsea's UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie, following a challenge on Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body used video evidence to reach today's decision, ruling that the red card was not violent conduct and that there were no circumstances which might justify increasing the minimum sanction of a one-match suspension.
"After viewing the video footage of the incident, the [Control and Disciplinary Body] chairman ad hoc estimates that this incident falls outside the scope of violent conduct and he finds it reasonable to reclassify it as rough play since the player, Del Horno, used excessive force without intention to hit," UEFA said.
Chelsea will be without Spanish international Del Horno when they travel to Barcelona on 7 March, trailing 2-1 from the game at Stamford Bridge. Should the English club overcome their deficit, Del Horno would be free to return for the quarter-finals, along with team-mate Michael Essien, who is halfway through serving a two-match ban for gross unsporting conduct.
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