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Hibernians duo Kristensen, Apap have UEFA bans reduced on appeal

Hibernians duo Bjorn Kristensen and Ferdinando Apap had their hefty ban in UEFA club competitions reduced by appeal.

Kristensen and Apap were two of three Hibernians players that were handed a heavy suspension following their actions at the end of their UEFA Conference League play-off round tie against FK Riga at the Centenary Stadium.

The match was marred by the controversial refereeing of the Irish referee Hennessy who awarded a very dubious penalty to Riga inside the first minute of the match and also annulled a Jurgen Degabriele goal midway through the second half for an inexistent offside position which would have sealed Hibernians passage to the next round.

Kristensen was eventually handed a five-match ban along with defender Andrei Agius while Ferdinando Apap was banned for four matches.

Coach Stefano Sanderra was also slapped with a five-match ban for unsporting conduct while club official Jesmond Abela was suspended for the next five European games was dissent towards match officials.

In addition, the Paolites were fined 13,500 euro for improper conduct of the team and crowd disturbances.

Hibernians lodged an appeal in front of the UEFA Board against the suspensions of Kristensen and Apap and managed to have their bans reduced.

“Following this morning’s UEFA Appeal’s Body hearing, our club players Bjorn Kristensen and Ferdinando Apap had their suspensions reduced,” Hibernians FC said in a statement.

“Club Captain Bjorn Kristensen is now suspended for the next four (4) UEFA club competition matches instead of the original five (5) match ban, whilst Ferdinando Apap’s suspension has been reduced from the original (4) matches to two (2) matches.

“The Club’s Legal Advisor, Dr Chris Bonett LLD ably assisted both players, and presented a strong defence case to challenge the original Disciplinary Decision.

“After seeking legal advice, the club did not have enough grounds to appeal against the Disciplinary Decisions imposed on player Andrei Agius, Club Official Jesmond Abela, Head Coach Stefano Sanderra and the hefty monetary fine.

“We would like to thank Dr Bonett for his dedication and voluntary assistance towards our club throughout the season and especially in such UEFA related matters.”

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