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Players skating on thin ice

PORT ELIZABETH, June 30- Kaka is one of a cluster of players treading a yellow card tightrope in Friday's World Cup quarter-final between The Netherlands and Brazil.The Real Madrid playmaker is joined by Luis Fabiano, Juan and Felipe Melo in the group of Brazilians who will miss a potential semi-final against Uruguay or Ghana if he picks up a booking in Friday’s game.

The Dutch are in an even more precarious position with no fewer than seven of their side in danger of missing the semi-final should they prevail.

Kaka has already had to sit out Brazil’s closing group game against Portugal after being sent off for two yellow cards in the 3-1 win over Ivory Coast.

Brazil are anyway without Benfica star Ramires, who misses the quarter-final at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium after earning his second yellow card of the tournament against Chile.

Arjen Robben, booked in Holland’s 2-1 last 16 win over Slovakia, and Robin van Persie are among the group of Dutch players hoping not to suffer anew the wrath of the referee in Port Elizabeth.

On the plus side FIFA has announced that for the semi-finals any bookings received in the first group round, last 16 or quarter-finals, will be cancelled.

That means if Kaka or any other player is booked in the semi-final he will still be able to take part in the final in Soccer City on July 11.

In 1990 Argentina’s Claudio Caniggia missed the final after receiving bookings in the group stage and quarter-final.

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In 2002 Germany playmaker Michael Ballack also had to sit out the big one after bookings in the last 16 and semi-final.

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