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 By Ian Holyman

Mamadou Sakho: I didn't elbow Minda

France defender Mamadou Sakho has claimed he was the victim, not the perpetrator after being caught on camera appearing to attempt to elbow an opponent in the goalless draw with Ecuador.

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The Liverpool defender, 24, could face FIFA disciplinary action after TV pictures showed him appearing to throw an elbow at Ecuadorian midfielder Oswaldo Minda after seven minutes.

Although his actions went unpunished by Ivorian referee Noumandiez Doue, Sakho could still face minimum two-game ban -- but he told reporters Minda had been the guilty party.

"When we jumped, he elbowed me. That can be dangerous," he said. "He could have opened up a cut above my eye. The referee took his decision, and I respect it.

"If they [FIFA] think that it deserves a punishment, they'll take their decision. I always play to respect my opponents, and I would like my opponents to respect me."

When told he appeared to have been the culprit, he responded: "Me? Oh, really? It was to protect myself then. I'm not here to hurt anyone or injure people."

Sakho left the Maracana pitch injured just after the hour mark after suffering a leg wound. He was replaced by Raphael Varane, but is confident he will be fit to face Nigeria in the round of 16 on Monday.

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