ROME --

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 Friday.

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Higuain was suspended for severe protests with the referee during Napoli's 3-1 loss to Udinese earlier this month.

Higuain, who has scored 30 goals in 31 matches, lost control and placed his hands on the referee's chest after two bookings.

The Argentina international already missed Napoli's 3-0 win over 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-place Napoli holds a six-point lead over Roma in the race for the final direct Champions League berth.