Be it the number of goals scored or the goal-line technology being used, the 2014 FIFA World Cup has set the stage of breaking the records set by the previous World Cups.
Be it the number of goals scored or the goal-line technology being used, the 2014 FIFA World Cup has set the stage of breaking the records set by the previous World Cups. But sadly, there have been few controversies that have marred the tournament so far. With the semi-finals on the horizon, we take a look at the controversial moments that took place during this tourney held in Brazil:
Referee Yuichi Nishimura gives controversial penalty during Brazil vs. Croatia game
In the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Croatia, referee Yuichi Nishimura raised some eyebrows with his biased refereeing. In the 71st minute, Croatian defender Dejan Lovren placed his hand below the Brazilian forward Fred’s arm to which he fell in the penalty box. Without giving a second thought, referee Nishimura awarded a penalty. This decision was criticized by football-pundits as the hosts won the game 3-1.
Luis Suarez biting controversy
He did cause a stir in the previous World Cup and now yet again, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez was the ‘talk of the town’ during the 2014 World Cup. In a group D deciding match between Uruguay and Italy, the Barcelona-bound forward clashed with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in what appeared to be a ‘bite’. Even after protesting, there was no card shown to Luis Suarez. But FIFA committee had reviewed the controversy and awarded a four-month playing ban on Luis Suarez.
Green ‘laser’ at the Russian Goalie
In the final game of Group H between Russia and Algeria, saw the latter move forward in the round-of-16. The Russians needed a win to qualify for the next round but controversy struck in the 60th minute when Algeria equalized from a corner, ending the match in a 1-1 draw. Later the Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev protested that a green laser light was shone on his face during the corner was taken and because of that Algeria succeeded.
Ghana Football accused of match-fixing
Even as the beautiful game continued to impress one and all, here was one that brought shame to it. African participants, Ghana were been exposed as agreeing to take part in international football matches organised by match fixers. An expose revealed that the African team had been lined up to play in international fixtures whose results would be fixed by corrupted officials.
Arjen Robben ‘diving’ controversy
Even though the Netherlands have continued to impress with their attacking football on the pitch during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, coach Louis Van Gaal will still be highly unpleased with the controversy surrounding his vivacious attacker. Arjen Robben has been accused of ‘diving’ to win a penalty, most probably against Mexico in the Round of 16 where his last minute theatrics won Dutch the game.
Brazil football were rocked by the news that their talisman forward Neymar sustained a lumbar fracture when he was kneed in the back by Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga late in their quarterfinal match Saturday. Even though Brazil won the game, 2-1, it was announced afterward that Neymar would miss the rest of the tournament. His injury has infuriated the Brazilians and sent shockwaves across the globe.
Even as football fans from around the world might enjoy this year’s World Cup in Brazil, these above controversies might just add a touch of gloom to it!