Gonzalo Higuain's suspension reduced to three matches for Napoli

Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain has had his suspension reduced on appeal from four to three matches, enabling him to play in a key match against Roma later this month.

The Italian football federation issued the decision on Friday.

The Argentina international was suspended for severe protests with the referee during Napoli's 3-1 defeat to Udinese earlier this month.

Higuain, who has scored 30 goals in 31 matches, pushed referee Massimiliano Irrati and had to be restrained by his own teammates and led off the field by Napoli staff, whom he also pushed away as he headed down the tunnel.

Coach Maurizio Sarri was also handed a one-game touchline ban after also being sent to the stands during the Serie A fixture.

Higuain already missed Napoli's 3-0 win against Hellas Verona last weekend. He'll also sit out games against Inter Milan and Bologna. But he can now return at Roma on April 25.

Second-placed Napoli hold a six-point lead over Roma in the race for the final direct Champions League berth.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis said he hopes he does not have to sell the league's top scorer in the summer.

"I have not received any offers for Higuain," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. "If they arrive I will evaluate them and there is the issue of the release clause.

"Obviously we will be competing in the Champions League so it's very important that we retain players of Higuain's calibre."