Argentine World Cup legend Diego Maradona has said referee Carlos Velasco Carballo allowed Brazil free reign to foul without sanction in their World Cup semi-final win over Colombia. Monaco star James Rodriguez was continuously fouled when he got on the ball as Brazil won the fouling battle, 31 fouls to Colombia’s 23 in the quarter-final.
“I think they picked the right referee for the occasion, when Colombia looked like they had a better chance than ever of beating Brazil,” said Maradona on Venezuela’s Telesur broadcaster and added that FIFA were keen that the hosts “had to advance”. The 1986 World Cup winning captain’s press credentials were revoked by FIFA and following Brazil’s win was also critical of Brazilian defender David Luiz.
“(David Luiz) systematically tried to kick James Rodríguez off the pitch but wasn’t so much as booked. It was the worst refereeing performance I’ve seen in 10 years. (The officials) let Julio César and Hulk off the hook (as both) should have been sent off.”
Meanwhile Brazil Coach Luis Felipe Scolari wanted to focus on the fouls made on Brazil’s star Neymar who said “Everyone knows he’s going to be hunted. for three matches that has happening.” The Barcelona striker fractured a vertebrae during the match and is ruled out of the semi-final and final with Scolari adding there wasn’t a yellow card for the foul on Neymar.