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FIFA PUTS 2 PLAYERS ON HOLD

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Maybe Miguel Nadal would like to take in a Cubs game. Perhaps Marco Etcheverry would like to hit the beaches of Cape Cod.

However they choose to relax, they have plenty of time on their hands. They were suspended Sunday for the rest of the first round of the World Cup in a continuing crackdown on rough play.The disciplinary committee of FIFA, soccer's governing body, decided to impose two-game minumum suspensions in the World Cup on any player who receives a red card, which means automatic expulsion, for a single offense.

That's twice as long as the traditional penalties for red cards on fouls that do not leave a player severely injured or show a gross lack of sportsmanship, such as spitting at the referee.

"We want to crack down on violent action," said Joseph Blatter, general secretary of FIFA. "The committee adopted the principle that a direct expulsion will automatically buy a two-match suspension and fine."

The Spanish and Bolivian soccer federations were fined $3,570 apiece, the minimum under red-card rules.

On Friday, Etcheverry, Bolivia's star scorer, was thrown out of the tournament's opening game against Germany in Chicago after he took a kick at German captain Lothar Matthaeus.

A spokesman for the Bolivian delegation said coach Xabier Azcargota was "very upset" with the suspension ruling, and that Etcheverry was cited for "aggressive behavior."

In Dallas on Friday night, Nadal, Spain's captain, was sent off in the 26th minute when he brought down Kim Joo-sung as the South Korean zeroed in alone on the Spanish goal.

"I think it's totally unfair and out of proportion," Spain coach Javier Clemente said of FIFA's actions. "I don't understand it."

So for the next week or so, Nadal can enjoy the sights and sounds of Chicago while his teammates work out in suburban Lisle, Ill., and Etcheverry is free to ramble through New England as his team trains at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth near Cape Cod.

The disciplinary panel, chaired by Pablo Porta Bussoms of Spain, also declared that two yellow card warnings for one player on first-round games would mean automatic one-game suspensions. And because of that the committee decided the usual one-game suspension for a red card was not enough.