FIFA’s referees’ chief Massimo Busacca, has leapt to the defence of Yuichi Nishimura, who handled the 2014 World Cup opening match between hosts Brazil and Croatia.
The Japanese referee made a few questionable calls, awarding a very controversial penalty to Brazil, which Neymar scored to give Selecao a 2-1 lead. Neymar himself was lucky not to be sent off, while Ivan Perisic’s goal was incorrectly ruled out for an infringement.
Busacca has however said Nishimura was right to give the game-changing penalty.
“The referee is concentrating on the situation and the gesture [of Lovren putting his hands on Fred],” he said at Friday’s Fifa daily briefing.
“How much was the gesture? How much was he really holding? Black and white is something we can discuss. Many say yes, many say no. It is important to keep your opinion.
“The referee had a very good position and from there he saw. On the pitch he has one second to make the decision.
“Unfortunately, the referee is not the defender or the attacker to understand or to know how much it was or was not [a penalty].
“We made it clear we did not want to see holding.
“There was contact. We are not here to discuss that. That’s why we are working on prevention.
“[He made contact] with the left hand and the right hand. If you make contact you permit the referee to go in one direction.”
Busacca also refused to confirm if Nishimura would be assigned to any more World Cup games.
“It is impossible to say, we have not fully analysed his performance yet,” he added.
“The game is 90 minutes long, not just one situation.”