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Beckenbauer Laments Amount of Play-Acting

June 29, 2006

World Cup organizer Franz Beckenbauer on Thursday criticized players for trying to get their opponents sent off by play-acting, a practice known as 'simulation'.

"Players are simulating and doing whatever they can to make it difficult for the referee," Beckenbauer told a press conference at the World Cup. "This is something we need to look at after the World Cup."

Beckenbauer, who led West Germany to World Cup glory in 1974 and guided his nation to the 1990 title as coach, also criticized Russian referee Valentin Ivanov's handling of Portugal's stormy last 16 game against the Netherlands.

Ivanov handed out 16 yellow cards and four reds, a World Cup record, as Portugal won 1-0 but both teams ended the match in Nuremberg with just nine players on the pitch.

"Clearly he was too quick to blow his whistle and too quick to give yellow cards," Beckenbauer said. "That meant that for the next little incident another yellow had

to be shown. But the players make mistakes so let us allow the referees to make mistakes as well."

Ivanov was not among the 12 referees selected by FIFA on Thursday to take charge of the matches from the quarter-final stage.