Croatia coach Niko Kovac is angered by referee Yuichi Nishimura's decision to award a penalty for Dejan Lovren's challenge on Brazil forward Fred and suggested that his team should as well "go home".
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.
'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.'
about respect, that wasn't respect, Croatia didn't get any. If that's a
penalty, we don't need to play football anymore. Let's play basketball
instead. It's a shame.
"If you continue like this you will have 100 penalties. I think 2.5 billion people watching on TV saw this was not a penalty.
"If that's how we start the World Cup, we better give it up now and go home," Kovac said.
"This was ridiculous and if we continue in this way we will have a circus."
The decision came at a pivotal moment in the match with the sides level at 1-1.
Brazil were dominating possession with Croatia holding out for what would have been a respectable opening draw for Kovac's side.
But in the 69th minute Fluminense striker Fred received the ball in the
middle of the box with his back to goal and went down under the
challenge of Lovren.
"Fred is an 85kg man and I don't believe he can be brought to the ground in such a manner," added Kovac.
cannot blame Fred at all - everyone tries it on. Like it or not, this
is part and parcel of football. What I want is for referees to stick to
the laws of the game and apply them equally to both teams."
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.
Croatia took the lead through Marcelo's own-goal but Neymar pulled the hosts level just before the half-hour.
Neymar scored Brazil's second with their controversial penalty before Oscar poked in his team's third.