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Chile playmaker Valdivia faces 12-game suspension for stepping on opponent in Brazil

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SAO PAULO — Brazil's sports tribunal says Chile playmaker Jorge Valdivia will get a 12-match suspension for stepping on an opponent in a Brazilian league match.

The Palmeiras player stepped on Flamengo midfielder Amaral as he was on the ground following a heated ball dispute in a match Wednesday.

Valdivia, in his first match in nearly a month following a muscle injury, was immediately sent off.

He entered the match after the halftime break and played only about 30 minutes before the red card. He helped Palmeiras erase a 2-0 halftime deficit in a 2-2 draw.

The playmaker apologized and said he regretted his actions. Palmeiras coach Dorival Jr. said the club will punish Valdivia, but did not say how.

Palmeiras is the Brazilian club with most national titles but is currently in the relegation zone.

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