Pazzini ban reduced to one match

ROME - Giampaolo Pazzini's ban for being sent off in Italy's 1-1 draw against Ireland in April has been reduced from three World Cup qualifying matches to one by FIFA.

The Sampdoria striker was partially successful in his appeal against the punishment for using his elbow at the start of the match, the Italian Football Federation said on its website on Wednesday.

Pazzini played for the world champions in a 3-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland on June 6 but was not included in Marcello Lippi's squad for this month's Confederations Cup in South Africa. Italy are one point ahead of Ireland in World Cup qualifying Group Eight with a game in hand.