Neymar Out of World Cup After Horror Challenge
This is some of the worst news I could have heard, both as a fan of the referees and a lover of the game:
Neymar, one of the true talents and bright spots of this World Cup, is out with fractured vertebrae.
Read that again: fractured vertebrae.
Make no mistake about it, Juan Zuniga – the player who went over his back and kneed him in the spine – is responsible.
But so is Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.
Velasco had lost such complete control of the game by that point that there had been over 40 fouls. And those were just the ones he caught.
This one was actually not amongst them, and – like Mark Geiger before him – Velasco left the culprit on the pitch while his victim was carted off on a stretcher.
To me, this is the worst kind of offense: Omission that gets a player hurt.
I do believe that the referee committee has to step up here and take responsibility. They’ve given directives that have prevented the referees from handing out yellow cards early and thus doing their jobs, part of which are protecting players from bad challenges.
However, it can be argued that Velasco – who’s not been fantastic – should never have been called upon. With only 25 referees, it’s made it unnecessarily difficult, and FIFA have had to roll the dice on some of the refs. This time, the roll went badly for them. (Though, to be fair, Velasco is one of the more experienced European referees out there; there’s no excuse for him being this bad.)
With fewer choices and two of their best tied by their teams’ performances (Sandro Ricci of Brazil and Bjorn Kuipers of the Netherlands), FIFA may have to rely on less experienced referees for the last four games.
Now, the pressure on the next two quarterfinal referees is immense.
Nicola Rizzoli of Italy, fearless and mean as a cobra (or a honey badger!), probably has the best chance of coming out of it okay. Interestingly, Rizzoli was the first referee up after the issues on opening day, as well.
Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan had two shaky performances – with missed handballs, bad positioning, knocking over a player and poor advantages to his resume. He’s also had one very good match. But he’s the one I’m most wary of at this point.
Either of these referees has a bad game tomorrow – and it happens to the best of them – and the conversation is right back to refereeing and not on the game.
If it isn’t already.
Featured Photo: Fabrizio Benschi/Getty
Technically he DID see the foul, but allowed the advantage to play out (which was ended by yet another foul, if I remember correctly). But he could and should have pulled yellow later on. Hell, he should have never lost control in the first place – if he ever had it.
It is a little bit ironic because everybody was discussing the Schuhmacher incident due to the France/Germany game, and now there is a player seriously hurt in another quarter final.
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I completely agree that the referee is at fault for Neymar’s injury – I wrote about it here – http://wildamericangooner.com/2014/07/04/how-neymars-devastating-injury-could-have-been-prevented/. Letting a game get out of control is frankly dangerous. Yellow cards must be shown, regardless of when the tackles occur. An early yellow sends a message, and that’s necessary sometimes.
I think that we just have to pray for solid performances from here on. Both Irmatov and Rizzoli are extremely capable, and I am hoping that they will perform.
I think we need to be careful about judging the way the fouls are handled by the resulting injuries. Zuniga was guilty of a reckless challenge, but it wasn’t excessively forceful. No way I would call it serious foul play. I found his earlier challenge (cleats to the knee) on Hulk more troubling.
The thing that made the foul stand out was the horrible result; this kind of jumping at foul is common.
Velasco wasn’t doing the man – management he needed to do (and yes, that includes cards) to create confidence as the match grew heated as Columbia was running out of time.
But think of it this way: if Naymar shook it off with a bad bruise, we might not be calling for a send-off.
At the time of impact I thought yellow. He had no chance at getting the ball.
I agree…I really feel for Neymar, but I admit, I can’t help thinking that Karma is a bitch. It was the Brazilian team which decided to play rough (for the whole tournament btw), they set the tone for the match and it could have just as well being a Colombian player who ended up in the hospital – instead if ultimately backfired.
Not that this makes Velasco in any way innocent, it was reckless and most likely motivated by the desire for some payback, but it bothers me how some people try to set him up as the fall guy and how the fifa is now “looking into his case” instead of admitting their own mistakes in the whole affair.
I’m not sure who you mean when you say “looking into his case” – Velasco or Zuniga’s?
Ooops…I naturally meant Zuniga.
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No disciplinary actions: http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/y=2014/m=7/news=disciplinary-update-on-matters-relating-to-brazil-colombia-match-2401371.html
No big surprise there.
Only big surprise is that they admitted CVC saw the foul and did nothing, but they kept him in the final list anyway…
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