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Tottenham's Gareth Bale irked by 'diving' yellow cards

Published on Dec 30, 2012 6:12 AM
Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale reacts after being booked for diving during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland in Sunderland, northern England Dec 29, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Gareth Bale says he does not deserve his reputation as a diver, despite being shown his fifth yellow card for simulation in 16 months in Tottenham Hotspur's 2-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday.

Bale was one of the outstanding players on show at the Stadium of Light but he was booked by referee Martin Atkinson in the 81st minute after going down under a challenge from Sunderland's Craig Gardner.

His every touch thereafter was jeered by the home fans but the Welshman, who scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Aston Villa on Wednesday, said the referee had made a mistake.

It was the third time Bale has been booked for diving this season and means he will miss his side's home game with Reading on New Year's Day due to suspension after accumulating five yellow cards.

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