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 By Chris Wright

Man sues FIFA over World Cup refs

Carlos Velasco Carballo was so poor during the World Cup that it's prompted a billion-euro lawsuit.

A Colombian lawyer has filed an enormous lawsuit against FIFA after claiming that the lapse standard of refereeing at the 2014 World Cup hospitalised him with heart problems.

Aurelio Jimenez, 74, is suing world football's governing body for a billion euros (about 800 million pounds or 1.33 billion dollars) with his case centred around the controversial performance of Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo while overseeing Colombia's quarterfinal tie against Brazil.

During the game, Carballo let a number of heavy challenges on Colombia talisman James Rodriguez slide as well as infamously allowing Juan Zuniga's vertebrae-fracturing knee lunge on Neymar to go unpunished.

Indeed, Jimenez reckons that the official's performance was so egregious that it left him hospitalised with ... a broken heart.

"I felt very bad, I was heartbroken, my cardiac rhythm was altered and my relatives took me to the emergency room at the hospital," Jimenez told the BBC World Service.

"I was surrounded by my grandchildren, who were crying a lot."

To bolster his case, Jimenez has also collected a raft of evidence to prove that the refereeing out in Brazil was substandard and therefore a potential health risk to the millions of fans who tuned in to watch the tournament around the world.

"I decided to sue FIFA in the Colombian judiciary system," he continued, "because in the past world soccer championship in Brazil there were many wrongdoings related to referees who damaged many countries and their selections, among them the Colombia team.

"Moreover, FIFA's referees caused big moral damages and distress to Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, England, Uruguay, Mexico and Costa Rica."

Jimenez apparently has gathered testimonies from the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona, David Ospina and James Rodriguez as well as several top international referees whom he claims all criticised Carballo's health-endangering leniency during the quarterfinal.

However, as if to prove that he's not merely lodging a frivolous lawsuit against FIFA in the hope of an easy payout, Jimenez has also announced that if he wins the case, any damages he receives will be donated to a Colombian children's charity.

Best of luck with it all, Aurelio. You'll probably need it.


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