Tim Cahill's World Cup salvaged - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tim Cahill's World Cup salvaged

By Guy Hand 18/06/2010 04:45:51 AM Comments (0)

Socceroo officials' Save Tim Cahill campaign has worked.

Now the players have to save their World Cup without their star midfielder with victory over Ghana on Saturday in Rustenburg.

Cahill was given a one-match ban rather than two for his red-card against Germany, and is now free to take part in Australia's final Group D match against Serbia on June 23.

FIFA's disciplinary committee decided on Thursday not to increase his automatic one-match ban after a successful submission by Football Federation Australia.

But the Everton midfielder will still miss the Socceroos' must-win clash with Ghana, robbing Australia of their most reliable route to goal.

Written witness statements and proof of Cahill's previous good disciplinary record were included in the submission along with a recording of post-match comments by the man he fouled, Bastian Schweinsteiger, telling Cahill: "It wasn't a red card".

"Tim has been given the minimum penalty available which is what we argued for in our detailed submission to FIFA over the incident," FFA head of national teams John Boultbee said.

"A straight red card constitutes a minimum of a one-match suspension and it is only in extreme circumstances like mistaken identity that a suspension is ever overturned.

"We are glad that they did not deem the tackle serious enough to warrant anything further."

The team held a closed training session on Thursday.

It followed media only being allowed in for the first 15 minutes of training on Wednesday, as coach Pim Verbeek circles the wagons to mount his World Cup salvage operation.

Hammered 4-0 by Germany in their opening round match, Australia are likely to need to win both remaining group matches to qualify for the second stage and match their 2006 achievement.

Verbeek's selections - widely panned for the match against Germany - will be watched closely for the Ghana match, especially whether he plays Harry Kewell.

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