Brazil fume over refereeing decisions

MOSCOW • Brazil's Football Association has written to Fifa's referees' commission complaining about the officials' decisions in their 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

The Brazilians were incensed that the video assistant referee (VAR) failed to intervene when Steven Zuber gave a slight push to their defender Miranda before heading in the equaliser.

They also claimed that they should have had a penalty for a foul on their striker Gabriel Jesus.

Fifa, however, has backed all the interventions of VAR so far in this tournament and said the video official had agreed that in both the Brazil incidents, the referee had not made a clear and obvious error.

That has not satisfied Brazil and their federation, the CBF, which has submitted a written complaint.

Fifa also believes the absence of red cards (before Colombian Carlos Sanchez's sending-off yesterday against Japan), and referees not being surrounded by players, is a testament to the VAR's influence.

A spokesman told The Times: "In the incident with Switzerland's goal, you can see there is a push but it is a really small touch. Miranda was not jumping and it would not have been regarded as a penalty if the defender had pushed an attacker in the same way.

"There was a silent check by the VAR and he agreed with the referee's judgment to award the goal.

"There was also a silent check for the penalty claim and the VAR looked at it in super-slow motion but he agreed there was no clear and obvious error by the referee.

"We believe it is so far so good, but we also underline the behaviour of the players as there have been much fewer yellow cards at this stage compared with previous tournaments."

The first 14 games saw eight penalties awarded, more than one in every two games, but only three of those involved a VAR review.

In 1990, a spot kick was awarded every 3.25 games.

David Elleray, technical director of the International FA Board which led the introduction of the VAR system, said: "The good thing is that it has not intruded into the game, it has worked well in the background."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2018, with the headline 'Brazil fume over refereeing decisions'. Print Edition | Subscribe