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Caravario: Messi abandoned in final

Argentina
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Argentina fined for skipping interviews

RIO DE JANEIRO -- FIFA has fined the Argentine Football Association 300,000 Swiss francs ($340,000) for failing to bring players to pre-match news conferences at the World Cup.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee said Thursday that Argentina, who play in the World Cup final against Germany on Sunday, had breached the competition's media and marketing regulations.

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The rules require teams to bring at least one player along with the coach to official news conferences held one day in advance of each match.

Only coach Alejandro Sabella has appeared for Argentina at the last four such news conferences.

FIFA said the purpose of the regulations is to "allow media, and ultimately fans, to have an opportunity to follow a team's preparations, while also allowing each team to have the best possible environment for those preparations."

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