2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Ronaldo apologises for moment of madness

    Three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised to Cordoba defender Edimar for the kick that saw the Portuguese sent-off for the ninth time in his career in Real Madrid's 2-1 win on Saturday. "I apologise to everyone and especially to Edimar for my rash act in the game today," Ronaldo wrote on his official Twitter account. Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure throughout arguably Madrid's worst performance of the season as relegation threatened Cordoba enjoyed the better of the chances. He was bailed out by his teammates as Gareth Bale's free-kick was handled inside the area by Fede Cartabia two minutes from time and, in Ronaldo's absence, the Welshman took responsibility from the spot to send Madrid four points clear at the top of La Liga.

  • Iran's protest over Iraqi player rejected
    Iran's protest over Iraqi player rejected

    Iran's protest that Iraq fielded an ineligible player in their stormy Asian Cup quarter-final was shot down following lengthy deliberation by tournament organisers on Sunday. Iran lodged a formal complaint, claiming that midfielder Alaa Abdulzehra failed a drugs test while playing for an Iranian club last year, but it was rejected by the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) disciplinary committee. "Iraq tomorrow can play ... tomorrow morning we fly (home)," he added. An AFC statement released later said that the protest was "unfounded", without giving further details.

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