Croatia coach Niko Kovac launched a broadside at referee Yuichi Nishimura after his side lost 3-1 to Brazil in the World Cup opener.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac launched a broadside at referee Yuichi Nishimura after his side lost 3-1 to Brazil in the World Cup opener.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac launched a broadside at referee Yuichi Nishimura after his side lost 3-1 to Brazil in the World Cup opener.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac launched a broadside at referee Yuichi Nishimura after his side lost 3-1 to Brazil in the World Cup opener.

Kovac was fuming after Neymar escaped a red card for elbowing Luka Modric in the first half and the hosts were awarded a soft penalty when Fred was fouled by Dejan Lovren in the second.

And his team saw a late goal disallowed when the Japanese official adjudged Ivica Olic to have fouled Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar while challenging in the air.

Fuming: Croatia coach Niko Kovac argues with fourth official Alireza Faghani after his side lost 3-1 to Brazil in their opening World Cup match in Sao Paulo
Fuming: Croatia coach Niko Kovac argues with fourth official Alireza Faghani after his side lost 3-1 to Brazil in their opening World Cup match in Sao Paulo

‘If that’s a penalty, then we can just stop playing football right now,’ said Kovac after the final whistle in Sao Paulo.

‘Let’s play basketball instead. It’s shameful. We talk about respect, but there wasn’t any respect for Croatia.

‘If that’s how we start the World Cup, then we may as well give up and go home now.’

 

He added: ‘I must say the referee was completely out of his depth. If someone’s not up to scratch to referee the first game then find someone else. Two-and-a-half billion people saw this wasn’t a penalty.’

Kovac also claimed that Nishimura was a ‘bad choice’ for the match because he had sent off Felipe Melo in Brazil’s 2-1 defeat to Holland in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final.

After being gifted an early advantage when Marcelo put through his own net, Croatia ultimately succumbed to defeat following Neymar’s double and a late third by Oscar.

They head to Manaus next to play Cameroon next Wednesday.

Source: Daily Mail, UK

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