Croatia’s stars were upset with the quality of the refereeing in their match in the World Cup opener against Brazil and the questionable penalty given. Referee Yuichi Nishimura was questionable throughout the match starting by giving an unnecessary yellow card to Neymar then making stranger decisions as the match went on.
The first decision was the penalty given to Fred when he had very clearly flopped in the box to win the penalty. He backed down Dejan Lovren and as soon as he felt the slightest tug, the striker went down like a ton of bricks and the decision was made. Neymar stepped up and converted the penalty and the Brazilians never looked back.
Croatia’s Verdan Corluka on the referee in the match against Brazil:
“I think it is embarrassing. I think if this continues then no one should play against Brazil. We should just give them the World Cup and everyone can go home.
Everyone saw that, not just Croatian players. Every 50/50 decision went to Brazilian players and I think Neymar elbowed Luca (Modric). After that he gives the penalty. We scored a goal, he disallowed a goal. It was quite embarrassing. Because it was the opening of the World Cup and you expect something more.
He was keen to give the penalty, it happens, it is over now. After that he wanted to give something to us, it was quite funny. I don’t think he should be allowed to referee another game.
The players are disappointed. But the coach said we need to think about the second game. I congratulate Brazil but they didn’t deserve to win today.
I don’t blame them but I have never seen a referee in a World Cup that doesn’t speak English. It is quite, I don’t know how to say it, amazing. He was trying to speak to the players in Japanese. It is ridiculous. He was speaking Japanese but no one could understand him because we don’t have Japanese players.”
The next decision was to disallow a goal because of a very soft contact from Ivica Olic on Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar. It would have equalized the match but instead Brazil won 2-1 and the narrative of the powerhouse home country winning continued. Nishimura had a shocker of a match and just as Corluka said, he should not be allowed to referee again at this year’s World Cup.
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