UEFA reduces Mourinho ban and fine

MADRID - UEFA has reduced on appeal a fine and two-match ban given to coach Jose Mourinho after allegations that two of his Real Madrid players engineered deliberate red cards in last month's Champions League game with Ajax Amsterdam.

European football's governing body, which originally ruled Mourinho, the club and four players guilty of "improper conduct", cut the Portuguese's fine to 30,000 euros from 40,000 and Real's to 100,000 euros from 120,000.

It also reduced the coach's suspension to one match - Wednesday's Group G game at home to Auxerre - from the initial punishment of a one-game suspension and a second game deferred for a probationary period of three years.

Fines of 20,000 euros and one-match suspensions for Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, who were shown second yellow cards near the end of the match for wasting time, will stand, UEFA said in a statement on its website.

Captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas and reserve keeper Jerzy Dudek, who appeared to relay messages from Mourinho to Alonso and Ramos, were fined 10,000 and 5,000 euros respectively and those sanctions will also stand.

Spain internationals Ramos and Alonso will serve their bans against Auxerre - a 'dead' game as Real are already assured of first place in Group G and qualification for the last 16.

Both players had accumulated two yellow cards in the group stage before they were sent off and a further caution in a subsequent game would have meant a one-match suspension during the knockout rounds.

The pair will start the knockout stage with one yellow card each against their names as the cautions picked up before the Ajax game still stand.

Mourinho last week called UEFA's decision a "medal" and not a punishment and complained there was one rule for him and another for other coaches.