Shock as racism ban overturned10 December 2006

Germany Under-21 player Aaron Hunt's two-game ban for “gross unsporting conduct” during a game against England has been overturned by Uefa.

England's Anton Ferdinand and Micah Richards both alleged they received racial abuse during October's European Under-21 Championship play-off.

Werder Bremen striker Hunt denied the accusations but was found guilty by governing body Uefa in November.

Hunt said there had been “some fierce verbal exchanges” but denied that he used any racist terms.

The news of Hunt's appeal being upheld has shocked anti-racism campaigners in both Germany and the UK, who had originally welcomed the two-game ban as sending out a clear message to players and supporters that racist noises, chants and abuse would not be tolerated.