Webb will not spin match in Brazil’s favour

The Herald - Herald Sport - - WORLD CUP - GABRIELA GAR­CIA

BRAZIL have brushed off claims in the Chilean me­dia that English ref­eree Howard Webb might favour the hosts in the all-south Amer­i­can show­down in Belo Hor­i­zonte to­day.

Webb was also the man in charge when Brazil beat Chile 3-0 at the same stage of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. There was no con­tro­versy in that game – in fact the only crit­i­cism of Webb was that he might have awarded Brazil a penalty – but none the less me­dia out­lets in Chile fear the hosts will get an easy ride.

That feel­ing has been do­ing the rounds since the open­ing match of the tour­na­ment against Brazil when the hosts were awarded a penalty by Ja­panese of­fi­cial Yuichi Nishimura for what was a bla­tant dive by Fred.

Brazil team spokesman Ro­drigo Paiva said any such sug­ges­tions were dis­re­spect­ful and “im­ma­ture”.

He said: “This kind of pres­sure I think is ridicu­lous. Brazil don’t need a ref­eree to win the match and you should re­spect a lit­tle bit more the Brazil­ian na­tional team and the Brazil­ian people.”

Mean­while, Luiz Felipe Sco­lari, the coach, is un­der grow­ing pres­sure to pick Fer­nand­inho in his start­ing line-up. Sco­lari’s side looked un­con­vinc­ing in long spells in their Group A games, but their best pe­riod came in the sec­ond half of the 4-1 win over Cameroon when Fer­nand­inho was sent on – he scored and cre­ated an­other – for Tot­ten­ham’s Paulinho.

“I’ve al­ways dreamed of play­ing in the World Cup and wear­ing the Sele­cao jersey, but I knew how dif­fi­cult that was, what with me play­ing in Ukraine for Shakhtar,” said the Manch­ester City player.

“Last year, though, when I moved to Eng­land and be­gan play­ing in a much big­ger league with a much higher pro­file, I could see things com­ing to­gether for me.

“I fought hard, chased my dream and got the call-up for the friendly with South Africa in March.

“Ev­ery­thing I did from June 2013 on­wards was with the goal of mak­ing it here to the World Cup.”

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