France's Koscielny cleared to play in World Cup opener

France's Laurent Koscielny, being shown red against Ukraine in the first leg of their UEFA World Cup qualifying playoff, will not face further punishment and will be available for the start of this summer's World Cup.
Sergei Chuzavkov/AP

ZURICH (AP) - France defender Laurent Koscielny has been cleared to play from the start of next year's World Cup after FIFA only gave him a one-match suspension for his red card against Ukraine in the first leg of their playoff.

Koscielny was sent off in injury time of the 2-0 loss in Kiev after pushing Oleksandr Kucher in the face and knocking him down. FIFA said Monday that its disciplinary committee decided against a longer suspension than the automatic one-match ban, which Koscielny served in the return leg. That means the Arsenal defender will not have to miss any games at the World Cup in Brazil.

Without Koscielny, France won the return leg 3-0 last month to go through 3-2 on aggregate.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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