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CONMEBOL suspends officials over missed elbow assault

South American football‘s governing authorities on Wednesday suspended two Uruguayan referees for missing a blatant elbow strike during the Argentina-Brazil clash the night before in a World Cup qualifier.

On 33 minutes, Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi caught Brazil winger Raphinha in the face with a swinging elbow as he tried to shield the ball.

Raphinha was left with a bleeding mouth and some reports said he needed five stitches at half-time.

But referee Andres Cunha did not sanction the incident, nor did VAR official Daniel Ostojich bring his attention to it.

The refereeing commission of South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL said the pair “made serious and manifest errors in the exercise of their duties.”

The commission said Otamendi was guilty of “endangering the physical integrity” of Raphinha with his swinging “arm to the face.”

The dull match finished 0-0, allowing Argentina to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Qatar. Brazil had already secured their passage to the finals last week.

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