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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Frings suspended for semi-final
Torsten Frings
Frings will miss Tuesday's crunch game with Italy
Fifa has suspended Germany midfielder Torsten Frings for Tuesday's World Cup semi-final against Italy.

Frings, 29, was banned for punching Argentina forward Julio Cruz in a fracas which followed the quarter-final between the two countries.

He has been given a two-match ban, but the second match is suspended meaning he will be available for the World Cup final, if Germany qualify.

Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said he was disappointed by the ban.

"We found out about it on the plane on the way to Dortmund (for the semi-final)," Bierhoff told reporters.

"We haven't seen the written reasons but will accept the Fifa decision. Frings will get a special training programme to be completely fit for the final.

"Torsten is obviously not very happy about it. He'll be able to go at full steam for the final, though."

The ban is a blow for coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who would have started the Werder Bremen player had he been available.

Klinsmann said before the verdict that he was confident Frings would be cleared, saying Argentina were to blame.

"I don't think we were the culprits. He should be in the line-up on Tuesday," Klinsmann said.

Fifa had announced on Sunday that it would take no action against the German players.

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Football's governing body is considering action against officials of both teams and cases have already been opened against two Argentine players.

Non-playing substitute Leandro Cufre was red-carded by referee Lubos Michel for his part in the incident.

A Fifa spokesman said Maxi Rodriguez may be punished for an "apparent attack on Bastien Schweinsteiger".

The referee and Fifa officials were caught up in the fighting, with punches and kicks appearing to be thrown during the ugly scenes which lasted 90 seconds.

Confirmation of Fifa's action coincides with news that a clampdown on tackling from behind and the use of the elbow have triggered a fall in player injuries from four years ago.

Fifa chief medical officer Professor Jiri Dvorak said figures from 58 of the 64 games scheduled show the number of injuries have dropped significantly.

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Dvorak said: "From all 64 matches in 2002, there were 171 injuries, compared to 129 injuries from the 58 matches so far.

"The use of the high elbow has dropped and there has only been one serious use of the elbow so far."

He also confirmed that all 228 drug tests carried out so far had been negative.

Dvorak said: "We're very optimistic this will be a third successive World Cup without a doping case."

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