Figo escapes ban

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Luis Figo will be available to face England on Saturday after FIFA ruled out disciplinary action against the Portugal forward for his headbutt on Holland's Mark van Bommel.

The Portugal captain was booked for the incident by referee Valentin Ivanov and as the match official took action at the time, FIFA say they will not intervene.

FIFA communications director Markus Siegler told a media briefing in Berlin: "He was sanctioned immediately by the referee at the time.

"The referee's report came in last night and is being analysed by the relevant people but it is very unlikely anything will happen as he has been sanctioned already.

"It is only where there is a clear disciplinary issue which has not been acted upon by the referee that the (disciplinary) committee can look at it."

The match ended 1-0 to Portugal and was a tempestuous affair in which 16 yellow and a World Cup-record four red cards were shown.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was unhappy with referee Ivanov's performance and said the match official deserved a yellow card himself.

Blatter told Portugal's SIC TV station: "There could have been a yellow card for the referee. He was not at the same level as the players.

"This was a game of emotion, with high drama but the referee was not consistent and there was a lack of fair play by some players."

The card tally meant that the overall red-card record for World Cups has already been surpassed before the quarter-final stage has been reached.

There have now been 23 expulsions compared to the previous record of 22 in all 64 matches at France '98.

The number of yellow cards so far is 291 - more than the record total of 272 four years ago.

The 16 yellow cards shown by Ivanov matches the figure in the 2002 game between Germany and Cameroon.

Comments