Chile accuse refs of favoritism towards Brazil at World Cup


Head games are nothing new in sports, but the head games being played between South American rivals Brazil and Chile are stepping it up a notch. Ahead of the matchup on Saturday Chile took to the media to accuse refs at this World Cup of favoring the host nation.

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“I’m very happy to be playing against Brazil,” Chilean forward Alexis Sánchez said. “But what worries me most is the refereeing.”

According to The Guardian, the worry isn’t necessarily about Howard Webb himself, but more about the potential for him to be influenced by the host nation like they claim other referees have done.

It took just one game for the conspiracy theories to begin to develop, as Brazilian forward Fred appeared to dive in the box in order to get a call. The ref fell for Fred’s acting and the Brazilians slotted home the penalty for a 2-1 lead late against Croatia.

In the next game the fans of conspiracy theory were flamed again as Fred scored with a header goal that should have never been. Replays showed him to be well offsides, a call that was never given on the field.

Chile had its own issues with officiating, especially in the 2-0 loss to the Dutch, where the Chilean FA president took to criticizing the referee in the post match press conference.

For its part Brazil hit back at the accusations of preferential treatment pretty harshly, claiming it an insult to all of Brazil.

"“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 of 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.”"

All of this rancor is a bit ironic as Webb took control of the last World Cup match between the two South American sides, drawing no criticism following Brazil’s 3-0 win.