Lovren: 'Brazil victory a FIFA scandal'
Dejan Lovren has told Agence France Presse that FIFA should "give the World Cup to Brazil straight away" while his wife Anita posted a doctored picture of referee Yuichi Nishimura in a Brazil shirt on Instagram in a show of anger against the official.
With the score locked at 1-1 in Sao Paulo, Nishimura awarded Brazil a spot-kick 19 minutes from time when Fred collapsed dramatically in the box following a brush with Lovren.
Neymar scored from the spot to tilt the game decisively in the hosts' favour, and leave Lovren and his teammates fuming.
"What can I say? I'm sad, I want to cry. Everyone saw that. It's a scandal for FIFA. They talk about respect, they have meetings before the World Cup, FIFA people talk to us, and in the end, what happens? It's better they give the World Cup to Brazil straight away," said the former Lyon and Dinamo Zagreb man, who was shown by TV replays to have made only the slightest contact with Fred.
"I think we played well, and showed that we have the qualities to match Brazil, but not against 12 players. We now have to keep our heads up. I am sure than we can go through, but I still don't understand how the referee could have given that. We saw the pictures in the dressing room after the game and everyone is still asking themselves that question."
To add insult to injury, Lovren also received a yellow card in the incident, and was left equally mystified as to Nishimura's reasoning behind that decision, too.
"Ask the referee. Well, if you can because he doesn't speak English. Do you find it normal a referee in a World Cup doesn't speak English?"
The Croatian Football Federation reported the game was watched by 1.5 million people in Croatia, a country with a population of just over four million.