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Nishimura refereeing display criticised

Former FIFA referee Urs Meier has blasted the performance of referee Yuichi Nishimura in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup.

- World Cup 2014 refereeing profiles
- Croatia coach blasts penalty decision
- Brazil vs. Croatia: The controversial call

The Japanese official made a number of wrong calls, according to Meier -- who now works as a television pundit for German television -- including awarding Brazil a soft penalty when he ruled that Fred to have been fouled by Dejan Lovren in the second half.

"At this level, a referee has to see it. I expect a referee to be above things at this world class level. He should have booked Fred for a dive instead. That would have set a good example," Meier said. "Now, the referees are off to a bad start.

"A referee, who officiates in the Champions League has a different perspective on such a situation. But here the referee stood at the wrong place, did not have any side view on the situation, and does not even try to get one.

Meier also backed calls to introduce video evidence for such decisions, adding: "When you have neutral camera positions like here at the World Cup you could discuss a referee.

"You have to consider finally using it. This again was an obvious case, which will be controversially discussed worldwide. You could solve that."

Former Germany international goalkeeper Oliver Kahn was another voice to criticise the performance of Nishimura for his controversial call which allowed Neymar to give Brazil a 2-1 lead against Croatia.

"There is a certain cowardice with some referees," Kahn said. "This is the opening match in Brazil, and then a situation you can't really judge as a referee occurs and he awards a penalty. Looking at it again it's just ridiculous."

Meanwhile, Southampton forward Pablo Daniel Osvaldo was embroiled in a row with Sky Sport Italia presenter Fabio Caressa on during the game.

Osvaldo tweeted he was "happy not to be part of this farce" which Caressa attributed to be bitterness at his exclusion from Cesare Prandelli's Italy squad.

Contento de no ser parte de esta farsa..

- Dani Osvaldo (@danistone25) June 12, 2014Caressa said: "Once again, Osvaldo hasn't missed the chance to say something ridiculous. He's been doing this for years and he's not let us down this time either."

However, Osvaldo quickly replied claiming: "Mr Caressa should stop saying bad things about footballers, considering he eats and lives thanks to us."

He then added: "And my tweet was in reference to the non-existent penalty which was given to Brazil and was not aimed against Italy, who I hope will win the World Cup!"

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