SALVADOR, Brazil — Croatian players just won’t forgive Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura, who awarded Brazil a controversial penalty in the World Cup opener with the score 1-1.
Now, they are taking a gibe at his English. Or rather, his alleged lack of knowledge of the language.
“During the match I asked him something in English, he replied in Japanese,” Croatia defender Vedran Corluka said.
“It is unbelievable that throughout the game, he communicated with us in Japanese,” Corluka said. “For me it is unthinkable that a World Cup opener is refereed by a person who does not speak English or any other major international language.”
Croatia lost 3-1 against Brazil on Thursday after a series of questionable decisions by Nishimura.
That left the Croats furious.
“After this game, it would be better if Brazil was immediately given the World Cup trophy and the rest of us go home,” Corluka said. “It is now clear that no one can beat Brazil at this tournament.”