• World Cup

Brazil angered by Chilean 'pressure' claims

ESPN staff
June 28, 2014
Fred scored a controversial goal against Cameroon © Getty Images

Brazil have voiced their anger at Chilean calls for referee Howard Webb to "show strength" when the two sides meet in the round of 16 on Saturday.

The host nation has reacted angrily to calls from Alexis Sanchez - who urged English referee Howard Webb not to be swayed by pressure - and Arturo Vidal, who has said he hopes to see "balanced" officiating, saying they were disrespectful.

The Chile players spoke out after Brazil were given a highly controversial penalty in their opening 3-1 win over Croatia, while a seemingly offside goal by centre-forward Fred was allowed to stand in the 4-1 victory over Cameroon.

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Chile, meanwhile, were angered by the officiating in their final group appearance - a 2-0 defeat to Netherlands - after which Ghanaian referee Bakary Gassama was heavily criticised by Chilean FA president Sergio Jadue.

However, Rodrigo Paiva, the director of communications at the Brazilian Football Federation, was in combative mood when asked about the issue at a news conference.

He said: "We are going to talk about this only once. The press in Chile have stressed this issue during the week, and it is something that is immature. This kind of pressure is ridiculous.

"Talking about this is not a lack of respect towards FIFA, or to the referee himself or to the Brazilian Selecao or to the people who work here in a very serious manner for a country with 100 years of football history and a winning history - it is a lack of respect to the Brazilian people.

"Brazil doesn't need a referee to win the match, and you should respect a little bit more the Brazilian Selecao and the Brazilian people."

Meanwhile, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has said he believes Brazil are growing in strength as the tournament progresses.

But he warned: "It's normal for us to feel that we have some problems, something which makes us anxious - especially when we start the knockout phase, which is where we can't lose or make mistakes.

"We become more involved in a different manner, slightly more afraid, more nervous. This is normal.

"I can't convey my difficulties to the players when I am with them. When I am alone, thinking about what to do and say, that's when I feel alone and unsafe. But when I'm with them, no. That's when I have to transmit my confidence. No one can be at ease. It's impossible."

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