- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - Asian soccer player of the year Nassir Al Shamrani had his 8-match Asian Champions League ban for spitting and head-butting cut to six Monday on appeal.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport panel deferred the other two matches of the Al Hilal forward’s sanction for a two-year probationary period.

CAS gave an urgent ruling ahead of Al Hilal’s group match at Lokomotiv Tashkent on Tuesday.

Al Shamrani already served two matches of the ban. He will miss two group matches and the Round of 16 if the Saudi Arabian club advances. Al Hilal will go through if it wins on Tuesday.

The Asian Football Confederation banned Al Shamrani for clashing with Western Sydney Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic after the second leg of last season’s final, played in Riyadh in November. Al Hilal drew 0-0 at home and lost 1-0 on aggregate.

Al Shamrani was named the AFC’s best player of 2014 four weeks later.

The court said that six matches of the ban would be applied for the spitting offense, with two of those deferred. The FIFA disciplinary code calls for spitting to be punished with bans of at least six matches.

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