Featured Matches
Previous
Colorado
Chivas USA
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Atlas
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Cruz Azul
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Argentinos Juniors
9:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Talleres de Córdoba
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Standard Liege
Royal Charleroi SC
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Queen's Park
Berwick Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Queen's Park
Berwick Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Standard Liege
Royal Charleroi SC
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Vestsjaelland
Odense BK
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
UCD
Derry City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bohemians
Cork
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Shamrock
Drogheda Utd
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Colorado
Chivas USA
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Atlas
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Cruz Azul
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Argentinos Juniors
9:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Talleres de Córdoba
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Altamira
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
Necaxa
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
Luverdense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
América RN
América Mineiro
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Boa MG
Bragantino
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Antofagasta
Audax Italiano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Real Garcilaso
Melgar
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nacional
Deportivo Capiatá
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Western New York Flash
Boston Breakers
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Stephan Uersfeld
Jul 8, 2014

FIFA denies refereeing leniency claims

Ahead of his team's semifinal with Brazil, Germany coach Joachim Low has called on Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez to clamp down on the "brutal" challenges he believes characterised the hosts' quarterfinal match with Colombia.

FIFA has rejected reports of issuing a directive to referees to issue fewer cards at the 2014 World Cup.

Suarez referee gets World Cup semi

In the wake of Neymar's vertebra injury, it was claimed by media in Germany that FIFA urged referees to be more lenient and only issue yellow and red cards as a last resort.

German tabloid Bild alleged that FIFA was to blame for the Brazil star's injury, as well as Colombia's Juan Camilo Zuniga who committed the challenge.

In a piece headlined "Referee scandal at the World Cup," the German tabloid Bild picked up the story which had been reported on established referee blogs like Collinas Erben and The 3rd Team since the beginning of the 2014 World Cup.

"There is a story today... that there is a secret plan from FIFA telling the referees not to sanction with yellow or red cards in order to have more entertainment or television shares," FIFA's chief spokesman Walter De Gregorio said in quotes reported by Reuters.

"In other words that FIFA is risking and tolerating that players like Neymar and others are injured. This is just unacceptable.

"This goes into the core business -- protecting the main actors, the players, it's the most important thing we have to do at FIFA.

"We have to protect the players. If Neymar isn't playing the semifinal or the final, it's not good for us too."

De Gregorio added, according to German wire dpa: "This report is a declaration of bankruptcy for a journalist."

While the Bild report was without quotes, people like the former FIFA referee Urs Meier and the German referee boss Herbert Fandel have also hinted at the possibility of the existence of a directive in recent interviews.

"Sadly, they avoid the public like the plague. There's a good reason, to not make certain things public. But the lack of transparency only fires up the discussion about the alleged directive," Alex Feuerherdt of Collina's Erben told ESPN FC.

"It's a fact that referees are briefed ahead of the tournament."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.