World Cup - 'Just give Brazil the trophy now,' say bitter Croatia stars

Croatia defender Vedran Corluka says Brazil should be awarded the World Cup now if the “embarrassing” refereeing from the tournament’s opening game continues.

Football - 'Outright thuggery': The best quotes of the World Cup so far

View photo

Referee Yuichi Nishimura is pursued by Darijo Srna, Sime Vrsaljko, Vedran Corluka and Dejan Lovren of Croatia after awarding a penalty kick

Corluka was left furious with match official Yuichi Nishimura after a string of contentious decisions helped Brazil to record a rather undeserved 3-1 win in Sao Paulo.

Neymar could have been sent off for an elbow on Luka Modric, Fred was fortunate to win a penalty under pressure from Dejan Lovren and Croatia were also unlucky to see a goal disallowed.


Corluka, once of Tottenham and Manchester City, led the condemnation, saying: “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.

View photo

Fred's dive, as captured by Chris Edser,

Fred's dive, as captured by Chris Edser,


 “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.”



Team-mate and defensive partner Lovren was also scathing in his assessment of the official’s display.

“If it is like this, then we can give the World Cup directly to Brazil,” said the Southampton star. “It is not just difficult for me to take, but for everyone who watched this game. I think it was two billion people. I think it is a shame. A big shame for this mistake. I cannot agree with this.


“Of course I am angry. I want to cry now but what can you do? If you saw the game you saw everything so I don't need to explain. I was asking the referee how can you do this to us? And then it was a shame. 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?”



View comments (70)