Good news, Napoli fans: the outcome of the appeal hearing for Gonzalo Higuain's four-match suspension was a good one for the club. His ban was reduced to three matches, leaving him available for Napoli's pivotal upcoming match against Roma.
The result isn't as good as Higuain and Napoli were hoping for -- they were aiming for a two-game reduction to halve his suspension. But based on the weight of the personal testimony presented by Higuain and his outstanding disciplinary record, having only ever been shown a red card one other time in his career, as enough to reduce the ban by one game.
The news is still a big boost, coming at a time when they need as much good news as they can get. Last weekend's win over Hellas Verona, coupled with favorable results elsewhere, helped boost Napoli's flagging morale quite a bit -- but the meltdown loss to Udinese that saw Higuain earn his suspension was still a bitter blow to the club that will take a little more time to ease the sting of.
Still, Napoli seem disappointed despite the positive outcome, with the club releasing a statement that the Court of Appeal's decision lacked "courage to truly ensure clarity and give justice" to Higuain and the club. They felt that this was an opportunity to grant credibility to Italy's disciplinary process in sports, but that this decision lacked any such credibility.
Still, the important thing is that Higuain's suspension was reduced, and that he will be available for a crucial game when Napoli will be in dire need of him. Let's take the victories we can, while we can.