FIFA says Frings decision should have come sooner
FIFA's decision to ban Germany's Torsten Frings for Tuesday's semi-final clash against Italy should have come sooner, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said.
"The decision should come more than a day before the match," Blatter told reporters.
"FIFA has learnt something from this experience. We accept responsibility that it took so long."
World soccer's governing body ruled on Monday that Frings could not play in the semi-final after reviewing video footage that showed the midfielder grazing Argentina forward Julio Ricardo Cruz with his fist during a fracas that followed Germany's penalty shoot-out win in the quarter-finals.
FIFA had initially said it was taking no action against any Germany players but changed course on Sunday after the video footage was played on Italian and German television and opened a probe into Frings's role in the incident.
Although Frings may not be irreplaceable, his absence was felt against Italy, particularly in extra-time.
In the quarter-final, he superbly anchored the German midfield and had a key role in containing Argentina playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme.
Frings had said he was innocent and Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport quoted Cruz saying he had not received or felt any punch.
But FIFA's disciplinary committee ruled on Monday that his actions were "tantamount to an assault".