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FIFA Suspends Five Uzbek Players for Deliberate Yellow Cards

Five Uzbek players picked up five 'dubious' yellow cards in a qualifying match against Tajikistan.
World soccer's governing body, FIFA, has banned five Uzbek players from one more World Cup qualifier in addition to an automatic one-match ban which they had been subjected to under FIFA rules.

The five players had all received yellow cards in earlier qualifiers before all being booked again for time-wasting late in a 3-0 win over Tajikistan in Tashkent last November.

Uzbekistan was sure to advance from its group to the next qualifiying round, and the players hoped to wipe clean their disciplinary records by missing only the next match -- against Japan -- which would not affect the team's advance.

According to football rules, a player with two yellow cards gets an automatic one-match suspension.

The five players and Uzbekistan's Football Federation were ordered to pay financial penalty.

Football authorities have tried to crack down on players and coaches seeking to orchestrate the timing of suspensions.

Compiled from agency reports