Pogatetz gets all clear
By Slava Zaitsev & Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Middlesbrough's Emanuel Pogatetz has been cleared to make his debut for them.Middlesbrough have received a huge boost with the news that Emanuel Pogatetz is free to make his debut for them.
Pogatetz moved to Boro from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer for £1.8 million, but he has been unable to feature for them as the Russian Football Federation (RFU) handed him a six-month worldwide ban shortly after he arrived on Teesside.
The ban was for a challenge on Shinnik Yaroslavl's Jaroslav Haritonskiy, which occurred during Pogatetz's time with Spartak Moscow - the club he spent the last part of last season on loan at from Bayer.
The Russian game was horrified by Pogatetz's challenge, which left Haritonskiy with two broken bones in his leg, and the RFU's disciplinary committee handed out the lengthy ban - which meant the Austrian could not play for Boro until 2006.
However, following an appeal, the RFU have now slashed the punishment to just eight games and Pogatetz is now free to begin his Boro career, due to the fact Spartak have played a number of games since the original incident.
The news will be a huge boost to manager Steve McClaren - who has just lost Ugo Ehiogu to a one-match suspension following his red card against Liverpool in their opening Premiership game.
Pogatetz could now even come into the reckoning for Boro's game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
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