Thanassis Stavrakis | AP
The 2014 World Cup kicked off yesterday with Brazil beating Croatia 3-1. But the game was not without controversy: Croatia alleges an early penalty that gave Brazil the lead shouldn’t have been called.
Speaking to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Croatia’s players could hardly hide their anger:
Dejan Lovren was judged to have fouled the Brazil striker Fred, resulting in a penalty. The Southampton defender was the most furious among Croatia players. “I can hardly hold back the tears,” he said. “Why don’t they just hand out the trophy to Brazil right away? Everything is going their way, everyone is saying they must win it, so why do we play then?
“The ref didn’t even speak English. I asked him why did he give the penalty and he just mumbled something. My team-mates tell me the same thing – how can you have an international ref who is officiating the opening match, but he doesn’t speak English and you can’t even speak to him?”