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Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi has been suspended for four matches after being sent off for elbowing U.S. striker Brian McBride last week.

“FIFA told us they gave him a four-match ban rather than a five-match ban because they appreciated the letter De Rossi wrote them apologising for his actions,” said the Italian Football Federation’s media spokesman Antonello Valentini.

The four-game suspension means that the midfielder will not be available until the final.

Italy and the U.S. fought out a 1-1 draw in a bruising encounter last Saturday.

De Rossi was dismissed in the 28th minute for an elbow on McBride right in front of referee Jorge Larrionda.

Italy said they would not appeal against the decision.

Giancarlo Abete, head of Italy’s World Cup delegation, said: “If you make a mistake it is right that you pay.

“FIFA’s decision needs to be respected and accepted calmly.”

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