Fifa 'sued' over refereeing decisions
A Colombian lawyer says he is suing world football’s governing body Fifa for £800m (1bn euros) over “moral damages” caused by refereeing at the 2014 World Cup.
Aurelio Jimenez, 74, says Brazil’s quarter-final win over Colombia caused particular “distress” and he was taken to hospital with cardiac problems.
Match referee Carlos Velasco Carballo came under fire after the tie, which saw the most fouls in the tournament.
Fifa said it had no comment to make.
Spanish referee Carballo was accused of not pulling players up on a number of heavy tackles during the quarter-final in Fortaleza on 4 July, many directed at Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez.
Among his critics were former World Cup referee Graham Poll, who claimed Carballo had failed to take charge of the match.
Carballo was also criticised for not booking Colombia’s Juan Zuniga when he kneed Neymar in the back, fracturing a vertebrae in the Brazilian star’s spine and prematurely ending his World Cup campaign.
Jimenez told BBC World Service’s World Football programme he had “evidence” of “wrongdoing”.
He said this included “testimonies of football stars Pele, Diego Armando Maradona, David Ospina, James Rodriguez and international referees who examined the videos of the game between Brazil and Colombia”.
Of the quarter-final tie, he added: “I felt very bad, I was heartbroken, my cardiac rhythm was altered and my relatives took me to the emergency room at the hospital. I was surrounded by my grandchildren who were crying a lot.”
He also highlighted other decisions, including the disallowing of a goal by Colombia’s Mario Yepes.
Carballo’s display was an example of poor refereeing throughout the entire tournament, he added.
I decided to sue Fifa in the Colombian judiciary system because in the past world soccer championship in Brazil, there were many wrongdoings related to referees who damaged many countries and their selections, among them the Colombia team,” Jimenez continued.
“Moreover, Fifa’s referees caused big moral damages and distress to Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, England, Uruguay, Mexico and Costa Rica.”
The day after the quarter-final tie, Carballo declined to comment on the criticism directed at him.
Jimenez said if he won the case, any damages would go to a government organisation to improve the welfare of Colombian children.