FIFA dismisses referee leniency claims

Jorge Claros (C), Oscar Boniek Garcia (2nd R) and Carlo Costly (R) of Honduras appeal to referee Benjamin Williams during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match against Ecuador on June 20, 2014
© Getty Images
FIFA denies claims that referees at the World Cup have been told to be lenient in order to make matches more entertaining.

FIFA has denied claims that referees at the World Cup have been told to be lenient with yellow and red cards in order to make matches more entertaining.

It was reported in the German media over the weekend that referees chief Massimo Busacca had ordered officials to be lenient during games, something which world football's governing body strongly refutes.

"[The story] that there is a secret plan from FIFA telling the referees not to sanction with yellow or red cards in order to have more entertainment or television shares," spokesman Walter De Gregorio told reporters.

"In other words that FIFA is risking and tolerating that players like Neymar and others are injured. This is just unacceptable.

"This is part of the game and we accept that, but what we can't accept is the question on an ethical level, that there is a hidden plan from FIFA."

The tournament continues tomorrow with hosts Brazil taking on Germany in the semi-finals.

Colombia's defender Juan Camilo Zuniga (L) fouls Brazil's forward Neymar during the quarter-final football match on July 4, 2014
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