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Scrap ban on Silva: Brazil

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil stoked controversy ahead of the World Cup semi-finals here on Sunday by calling on Fifa to scrap the suspension which has ruled captain Thiago Silva out of the host nation’s clash with Germany.

The Brazilian football confederation (CBF) said it wanted Fifa to rescind the yellow card awarded against Silva during Friday’s bruising quarter-final win over Colombia.

The card against Silva was “unjustly shown” and the defender should therefore be allowed to face the Germans in Belo Horizonte, the CBF said in a statement. “I can confirm we have received an appeal from the CBF and this is being analysed,” said Fifa spokeswoman Delia Fischer.

Fifa now wipes all existing yellow cards from the slate from this stage of the tournament meaning players booked in the semi-finals are not suspended for the final unless they are sent off.

The Brazilian association also demanded Fifa launch an investigation into the “violent challenge” by Colombia’s Juan Zuniga which saw star striker Neymar ruled out of the tournament.

Zuniga has apologised for the tackle but insisted there was no intention to injure the opponent.

If Brazil’s appeal of Silva’s suspension fails, they will line up against Germany missing two key players after Neymar’s injury exit.

Tuesday’s match is only the second meeting in World Cup history between Brazil and Germany.

The previous meeting was the 2002 World Cup final won by Brazil in Japan.

The semi-final line-up was completed on Saturday with Argentina beating Belgium 1-0 to set up a showdown with the Netherlands, who defeated Costa Rica 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Meanwhile, the CBF said left back Marcelo’s grandfather has died, but that the player will remain at the training camp.

The confederation said Pedro Vieira da Silva died early Saturday in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 78.

The death came a few hours after Brazil beat Colombia 2-1 in the quarter finals in Fortaleza.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari gave Marcelo permission to return to Rio de Janeiro to be with his family, but the player said he preferred to mourn alongside teammates.

The Real Madrid defender had said in the past that his grandfather was his greatest supporter in football since he was a kid.