The World Cup – Opener

Controversy

Despite continued demonstrations over the resources spent on the World Cup by Brasil, when education and other necessities are not being invested in, Brasil’s World Cup is under-way. FIFA shows no signs of going home. Riot police have already been deployed and violent scenes pock-marked the opening of the tournament. Meanwhile, Brasil controversially beat Croatia 3-1.

Marcelo’s own goal gave Croatia the lead after 11 minutes.  Barcelona’s Neymar equalised before controversy reigned after 71 minutes. Dejan Lovren was penalised for fouling Fred. The forward’s blatant dive was rewarded not just with the penalty that Neymar just converted, but Lovren was booked for dissent.

Sepp Blatter gets a lot of criticism – much of it deserved – but Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura’s shocking blunder is exactly the type of decision that Blatter’s call to follow cricket’s system of allowing the manager to review decisions would have benefited. The replay would have shown that it was no penalty and that Lovren was the wronged party. A booking for Fred would have been the right decision – something the replay could have shown. 

Such a system would have prevented Nishimura being surrounded by irate Croatian players too, as it would simply have been reviewed. The blunder affected the course of the game as Croatia had to chase an equaliser, leaving them vulnerable to counter attack. Chelsea’s Oscar ensured a Brasilaian victory in added time with the third. The Samba Party is in full swing.

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