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Australia's Kewell to Play in Crucial World Cup Match Against Croatia


Australian striker Harry Kewell has been cleared to play in his team's crucial World Cup match against Croatia, following an animated argument with the referee after the Aussies' 2-0 loss to Brazil in Munich on Sunday.

FIFA head of communications Markus Siegler said Tuesday, the disciplinary committee for football's world governing body cleared the Liverpool striker because of inconsistent reports from the referee.

Match referee Markus Merk of Germany had complained that Kewell insulted him during a confrontation that lasted several minutes. Merk called 25 fouls against Australia but just nine on defending champion Brazil.

Kewell characterized his exchange with Merk as "heat of the moment stuff." Australia is making its first World Cup appearance in 32 years and needs at least a draw against Croatia Thursday in Stuttgart to advance to the second round.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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