FIFA probe after Argentines lose game . . and the plot
FIFA's disciplinary committee are set to investigate the scenes of violence which marred Germany's quarter-final victory over Argentina last night.
At least one German player was left lying on the grass after being kicked while there was also widespread punching and pushing following the end of the quarter-final.
Relations had soured during the shoot-out itself and spilled over at the end as players and officials from both sides clashed and FIFA should confirm today that it will investigate.
German midfielder Torsten Frings condemned Argentina's behaviour after the final spot-kick. "It was typical Argentinean," he said. "They are bad losers and the pictures just show it. They completely lost their minds. We tried to calm them down but I just saw them being all over [German defender] Per Mertesacker.
"It just shows they are bad sports and are badly behaved. I hope their players get suspended."
Argentina's Leandro Cufre, an unused substitute, was shown the red card by the referee for his part in the melee after he was seen kicking Mertesacker. "They are no choirboys, that's for sure," said Mertesacker ruefully. "One of their players attacked me even though I did not do anything, and he got the red card. I have three or four red marks on my thigh and then he kicked me again in the groin.
"I cannot understand that it turned into so much aggression. He behaved very unsportsmanlike and I asked him why he did that and then he completely lost it again."
German team manager Oliver Bierhoff, caught in the middle of the melee which immediately followed the penalty shoot-out, said he had intervened after seeing Mertesacker targeted.
Bierhoff said: "Per was angry about what was a very unsporting thing to do and the players started going at each other. I saw that and wanted to put myself between them so the players didn't do anything stupid."
Meanwhile, Argentina coach Jose Pekerman resigned following the defeat with criticism being aimed at him for taking playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme off against the hosts with 18 minutes of normal time remaining.
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