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Offline AB.Trini

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FIFA crackdown: serious stuff for Frings
« on: July 03, 2006, 04:17:04 PM »
                                         Frings to miss World Cup semifinal
03/07/2006 5:21:35 PM 


With files from The Associated Press

Germany will have to do without starting midfielder Torsten Frings for its World Cup semifinal Tuesday against Italy after he was suspended for his role in a post-game melee last week.

CBC News

Germany's Torsten Frings, centre, looking left, is seen in the middle of a melee after Friday's quarter-final World Cup soccer match between Germany and Argentina, which Germany won 4-2 in a penalty shootout. Frings was cited for throwing a punch at an Argentine opponent and will miss his team's semifinal game against Italy on Tuesday. (Thomas Kienzle/Associated Press) 
FIFA's disciplinary committee found that Frings punched Argentina forward Julio Cruz during a scuffle following Germany's 4-2 penalty shootout victory in Friday's quarter-final.

The 29-year-old midfielder was banned for two matches - with one suspended for six months - and fined $4,075.

That means Frings can return for either the World Cup final or the third-place game, but has a six-month probation period. If he commits any other kind of misconduct, he would have to serve out the rest of his punishment.

"We are disappointed," Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said. "Our opinion was that we laid down the reasons for an acquittal.

"All we can do now is accept the decision. We will now concentrate on the Italy game and we are optimistic that Frings will return for the final," Bierhoff said.

German officials had argued that Frings retaliated because he was provoked, but FIFA's disciplinary committee condemned his reaction as "tantamount to an assault."

The loss of Frings is a big one for Germany. The midfielder is strong both offensively and defensively and has great chemistry with captain Michael Ballack.

It's expected German coach Jurgen Klinsmann will replace him with Sebastian Kehl, who plays his professional soccer with Borussia Dortmund.

Initially, Argentina players Maxi Rodriguez and Leandro Cufre were the only players cited from Friday's scuffle, but FIFA started an investigation into Frings's involvement after television footage was broadcast in Germany and Italy.

FIFA had to review footage from the 24 cameras at Berlin's Olympic Stadium because the incident did not appear on the official match broadcast, said FIFA communications director Markus Siegler.

Reports that the Italian soccer federation had probed FIFA to look into the video footage involving Frings were not true.

"Let me make it clear, there was no attempt whatever from the Italian federation to incite FIFA into doing something," Siegler said. "The footage was not presented to us from Italian TV stations, it was shown in Germany."

Cufre and Rodriguez have until Wednesday to present their cases to FIFA's disciplinary committee, while England's Wayne Rooney, who was red carded for violent conduct in his squad's quarter-final loss to Portugal on Saturday, has until Thursday to make a statement.

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