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   June 4, 2002 | 1120 IST



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Rivaldo could face ban

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The role of Brazil's Rivaldo in the sending off of Turkey's Hakan Unsal in their group C match will be closely studied by the World Cup disciplinary committee, a FIFA spokesman said on Tuesday.

Hakan Unsal was dismissed in the last minute of Monday's controversial match, which Brazil won 2-1, after kicking the ball at Rivaldo as he waited to take a corner.

The ball clearly hit Rivaldo in the legs but the Barcelona player, who won the game with a late penalty, fell backwards theatrically in apparent agony clutching his face.

Rivaldo The incident was shown in close-up on the stadium's big screen and boos echoed around the ground.

"The disciplinary committee is going to closely look at the videotape.... at the reaction of Rivaldo, at the reaction to him being struck somewhere below the waist," FIFA spokesman Keith Cooper told a news conference.

Rivaldo has said he used his "experience" to get Hakan Unsal sent off.

"My experience counts," Rivaldo said. "I think he deserved to be sent off, of course he didn't get me in a place where I could be hurt. But you don't do the sort of thing he did so he deserved the sending-off."

Midfielder Hakan Unsal picked up the second of his two yellow cards when he whacked the ball at Rivaldo after he was booked in the first half for shirt-pulling.

Turkish officials have said they could appeal to FIFA, which has pledged to cut out play-acting at the World Cup, to review Hakan Unsal's sending off because of Rivaldo's reaction.

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