World Cup: Croatia's Vedran Corluka and Dejan Lovren criticise referee after Brazil loss
Last Updated: 14/06/14 10:46am
Vedran Corluka and Dejan Lovren have vented their fury after Croatia’s controversial defeat to Brazil on the opening night of the World Cup.
Croatia were defeated 3-1 by the tournament hosts in Sao Paulo, but were left disappointed with Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura over a series of key decisions.
Neymar was given an early yellow card after using his elbow to fend off Luka Modric and went on to score twice, including a penalty after Fred fell to the ground following the slightest contact from Lovren.
Croatia had a second goal disallowed when they trailed 2-1 and Corluka has criticised Nishimura’s performance, insisting that another major problem was the official's lack of English skills.
“If this continues then no-one should play against Brazil,” said Corluka. “We should just give them the World Cup and everyone can go home. I think it is embarrassing.
“I have never seen a referee in a World Cup that doesn’t speak English. He was trying to speak to the players in Japanese. It is ridiculous.”
Asked if Nishimura favoured Brazil, Corluka said: “Everyone saw that, not just Croatian players. Every 50/50 decision went to Brazilian players and I think Neymar elbowed Luka. After that, he gives the penalty. We scored a goal, he disallowed a goal.
If this continues then no-one should play against Brazil. We should just give them the World Cup and everyone can go home. I think it is embarrassing.
"It was quite embarrassing. It was the opening of the World Cup and you expect something more. He was keen to give the penalty. 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.”
Nishimura has been defended by FIFA but Southampton centre-back Lovren feels that he should be made to sit out for a couple of games after making mistakes.
Lovren said: “It is not just difficult for me to take, but for everyone who watched this game – I think it was two billion people. Of course I am angry. I want to cry now. I was asking the referee 'How can you do this to us’? He didn’t know what to say. The problem is that the referee doesn’t speak English.
“It is a shame that he cannot explain to me or to anyone else in English. How can any referee be in the World Cup for that? It is like when a player gets a red card and he will be out for two or three games. I think it [should be] the same.”
Asked if Brazil were favoured, Lovren added: “Maybe yes, maybe no. If it is like this then we can give the World Cup directly to Brazil.”