SYDNEY, June 16 – Australia's foreign minister Wednesday hit out at the red card handed to star player Tim Cahill which deepened the Socceroos' World Cup woes during their 4-0 drubbing by Germany.Stephen Smith said Cahill’s late challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger deserved only a yellow card rather than a straight red and called for FIFA to limit his suspension to one game.
"I’m never critical of referees, but I did believe that the Cahill challenge was a yellow card rather than a red card," Smith told reporters.
"I’m sure they will bounce back in the finest traditions of Australian sporting endeavours," he added.
Everton match-winner Cahill is set to sit out Saturday’s vital clash with Ghana and will learn in coming days whether his suspension will extend to Australia’s final Group D fixture against Serbia on June 23.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is appealing to governing body FIFA to bar Cahill for one game only, and Smith said Canberra would "certainly hope his appeal is successful."
The 4-0 loss devastated Australian fans, while Cahill’s dismissal evoked grim memories of 2006 when a dubious penalty decision saw Australia knocked out in the last 16 by eventual winners Italy.
Australia, who are bidding to host the World Cup in 2022, are likely to need a win against Ghana to progress from their group.