Iniesta free to face Real in Europe

MADRID - Barcelona's Andres Iniesta can play against Real Madrid in next Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg after UEFA accepted an appeal against a proposed one-match ban, the club said on Wednesday.

European football's governing body was looking at sanctioning the midfielder for deliberately collecting a yellow card in the first leg of Barca's quarter-final against Shakhtar Donetsk, which the Spanish club won 5-1.

The booking meant he missed the return game in Ukraine and officials at the match alleged he provoked the booking so he could serve the standard one-match ban in the second leg and have a clean slate for the semi-finals.

However, UEFA said it would not suspend Iniesta after the club appealed against a possible ban, Barca said in a statement on their website on Wednesday.

"UEFA have also announced that he will not face any financial penalty," the club added.

"That means the player will be available for selection by Pep Guardiola in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final tie with Madrid (at the Bernabeu)."