• World Cup

Scolari hits out at Webb's leniency

ESPN staff
June 30, 2014
Neymar winces after a strong challenge from Chile's Charles Aranguiz © Getty Images

Luiz Felipe Scolari has hit out at Howard Webb's leniency and claimed referees are not giving Brazil the same level of protection as other countries at the World Cup.

The head coach was particularly incensed by the English referee's failure to caution any of the Chile players he believes targeted Neymar during their last-16 clash in Belo Horizonte last Saturday.

"We couldn't understand how somebody hits with that strength and gets no card," Scolari said.

"Some people say Neymar falls too easily. He fell three times. There were 15 fouls on [Chile's Alexis] Sanchez and after 12 he went down.

"We always see how hesitant referees are when it comes to Brazil. If we are going to be champions it can't be like this, it has to be the same for everyone. We're starting to doubt that."

Neymar, who has scored four goals in the tournament so far, is a doubt for Brazil's quarter-final against Colombia on Saturday after picking up a thigh injury against Chile.

The forward suffered a bruised thigh following heavy challenges from Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel and Charles Aranguiz. Neymar received treatment during the first half and Scolari described the player's condition as "a big problem".

Neymar went on to complete the 120 minutes as the clash went to extra-time and converted his penalty in the shootout as Brazil edged Chile 3-2.

"We have four or five days to get Neymar in shape. It is a big problem. His thigh is swollen," Scolari said.

"I remember when I was coaching Portugal against Netherlands [at the 2006 World Cup] and, in the eighth minute of the game, Khalid Boulahrouz almost broke Cristiano Ronaldo in half. Ronaldo had to go off soon after. When I saw Neymar after the game today, I remembered that."

Neymar however, did not discuss the severity of the injury, instead focusing on the mental and physical demand of playing 120 minutes.

"We really suffered, but our desire to win was huge," he said.

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