In Portugal’s World Cup opening game against Germany, Portuguese defender Pepe was sent off with a red card for bending over and putting his head up against Thomas Müller’s. While it put Portugal in a hole being man down, and eventually losing 4-0, it also earned him a one game ban.
Good news for the United States men’s national team who play Portugal in the next game.
On Thursday, FIFA confirmed the suspension, via Sky Sports:
Portugal defender Pepe has been cleared to face Ghana next Thursday after FIFA confirmed his red card against Germany carried a one-match suspension.
FIFA also hit Pepe with a 12,332 euros fine for the sending-off.
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Pepe was ripped by his fellow countryman Jose Mourinho, his former manager at Real Madrid none the less.
“I think obviously the second goal is his fault. He’s on a zone but he has to make contact with the opponents and he left [Mats] Hummels and Sami [Khedira] completely on his own and nobody contacted him, no challenge and Hummels scored the second goal,” Mourinho said, Yahoo’s Global Football Ambassador.
“After that I think the frustration of the mistake comes up and after that loses possession with the pressure of Muller and after that we can say is not a real aggression.
“Maybe he doesn’t deserve a direct red card but because, in spite of not being a clear aggression, there is a body language that many, many times pushes the referees to have these kind of decisions.
“To leave a team playing with ten men for such a long time is obviously a big handicap for the team.
“The fact that is not even a Portuguese man, I think that should put even more pressure on him to behave in a certain way, which he didn’t.”
Again, Portugal’s loss but America’s gain.