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 Posted by Dermot Corrigan
Jul 1, 2014

Pinilla upset by one-game Paiva ban

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet met the World Cup squad on their return from Brazil on Sunday.

Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla has reacted angrily to reports that Brazil press officer Rodrigo Paiva will get just a one-match ban for assaulting him at half-time in last Friday's World Cup round of 16 game between their countries.

- McNeice: Pinilla's career epitomised by one shot

Pinilla claims he was struck by Paiva during a scuffle at half-time in the game in Belo Horizonte, with tempers flaring on both sides after Brazil striker Fred slapped Chile's Gary Medel on the back of the head as the teams walked towards the dressing rooms after a feisty first 45 minutes.

Players and staff from both sides quickly became involved in a confrontation, which continued into the tunnel. FIFA confirmed it was investigating the matter, and its spokesperson Delia Fisher has told AP that Paiva will get a one-match ban, covering Brazil's quarterfinal against Colombia on Friday.

Cagliari forward Pinilla -- who was a substitute in the game -- reacted to reports of the ban in a series of tweets showing he considered a much more serious punishment was merited.

"This mister Rodrigo Paiva, Brazil's chief press officer, attacked me for no reason with a punch in the tunnel," Pinilla said. "FIFA cannot put up with this delinquent."

"One game for Rodrigo Paiva?" Pinilla also tweeted. "They should be ashamed for this delinquent disguised in a suit."

Pinilla went on to claim double standards, given FIFA have banned Uruguay's Luis Suarez from all football activity for four months for what he suggested was not as serious an offence.

"Suarez for a bite has his career put at risk... A press chief [gets] one game for a punch in the face? FIFA??"

"I demand FIFA make an example of Rodrigo Paiva with their punishment, just like they did with my comrade Suarez!!! This is even more serious! The images are there."

For his part, Paiva has denied such a serious assault took place, telling Brazilian reporters -- in quotes picked by El Publico -- that he had only pushed Pinilla during their confrontation.

"There were shoves on both sides," the CBF official said. "I was not the only one involved. Pinilla provoked me and I just defended myself. I just pushed him."

Brazil progressed to the quarterfinals on penalties, having been given a real scare through the 120 minutes and appeared low on ideas and inspiration for long periods. Underdogs Chile were inches away from going through themselves -- with Pinilla hitting the crossbar with a fierce long-range shot late in extra time.

BrazilBrazil
ChileChile
(3) 1
(2) 1
ESPN3, ABC FT-Pens
Match 49
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Speaking at the official reception on the squad's return home to Santiago, La Roja coach Jorge Sampaoli said in Ole that Brazil's "great players" had suffered from "stage fright" and been "confused" by Chile's tactical approach.

"[Brazil] had stage fright," Sampaoli said. "In the second half they did not push up their full-backs, in extra-time they were letting the minutes pass by, they were pretty confused.

"We knew we could make them uncomfortable, they have great players and are obliged to win the World Cup. We had our chance, over the 120 minutes, in the final play when Pinilla almost broke the crossbar."

Meanwhile, Pinilla has taken the unusual step of immortalising his last-gasp miss against Brazil in tattoo form, with the inscription "one centimeter from glory" written alongside it. 

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