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Rivaldo escapes ban

RIVALDO will not be banned for feigning injury during Brazil's opening World Cup game, and was handed a fine of just £5,000.

The Barcelona star has been widely condemned for taking a dive during the lively clash with Turkey Fifa have not hit him hard despite saying before the tournament that diving would be one of the offences they were planning to stamp out of the game.

Turkey's Hakan Unsal did kick the ball at the samba star as he prepared to take a corner but Rivaldo collapsed on the floor holding his face and writhing in apparent agony, leading to Unsal receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

Many had anticipated a ban for Rivaldo in a bid to cut down on play-acting during the tournament, but football's governing body have decided that a fine is enough punishment.

"The FIFA disciplinary committee today announced that they had imposed a total fine of 11,500 Swiss francs (£5000) on Rivaldo for an incident in the June 3 match between Brazil and Turkey," said Fifa.

Rivaldo had earlier scored from the penalty spot as the Brazil's won an entertaining clash with the Turks 2-1.

The decision has already attracted criticism from those saying that Fifa should have taken a stronger stance on diving, and that the sum of money is a mere drop in the ocean to a player like Rivaldo. Rivaldo was unrepentant over his actions and admit he dived to get Unsal sent off, and had regrets over his actions.

"I don't want to talk much about it to avoid creating more headlines," said the Brazilian. "This is something from the past. I'm now looking ahead.

"These things happen in football and if I spend time thinking about what happened it's not going to help anyone.

"I don't regret anything. This is something that will never end in football.

"It is the kind of thing that is going to happen a lot in this World Cup."

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