Tevez free to face Brazil after ban reduction

January 10, 2008

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Argentina striker Carlos Tevez can play against Brazil in June's World Cup qualifier after his international ban was cut from two matches to one.

The decision was announced by the Argentina Football Association (AFA) on its website.

Tevez was banned after being sent off against Colombia in November's match in Bogota for petulantly kicking Ruben Dario Bustos in an off-the-ball incident. Colombia won 2-1.

The AFA said world soccer's governing body FIFA had halved the ban following an appeal and Tevez will only have to sit out the World Cup qualifier at home to Ecuador on June 14.

Argentina visit Brazil three days later.

Manchester United striker Tevez's recent Argentina performances have been disappointing, leading to speculation that coach Alfio Basile could favour Hernan Crespo or Sergio Aguero to partner Lionel Messi in the team's next games.

Argentina are second in the South American group with nine points from three games, one behind leaders Paraguay.