Ivory Coast lost their second game at the World Cup 3-1 to Brazil, with the Selaçao’s forward Luis Fabiano scoring a critical second goal after controlling the ball with both arms. The referee of that encounter, Frenchman Stéphane Lannoy, has publicly acknowledged in French newspaper L’Equipe that he had been induced into fault by Luis Fabiano, who said he had used chest instead of arms to manoeuvre the ball that gave Brazil a 2-0 lead and practically demoralized the Elephants of Ivory Coast.
Following Blatter’s public apology to Mexico and England for further officiating mistakes at the World Cup, many Ivorians are asking why the FIFA boss did not extend that apology to Ivory Coast for Lannoy’s wrong decision.
According to Ivory Coast’s sports daily Supersport, Blatter’s attitude shocked many Ivorians who were expecting an appeasing word from FIFA.
“Sepp Blatter shouldn’t have ignored Ivory Coast in his public apology to victimised teams at the World Cup, because the West African nation suffered the same magnitude of cheating from one of FIFA’s referees, and so deserves an apology as well”, Supersport wrote.
Many football fans in Ivory Coast still believe that Drogba and co could have drawn the encounter against Brazil had the second goal not come early. But the Elephants finally succumbed to a 3-1 defeat, with Premier League top scorer Didier Drogba scoring a late goal, which was the first time an African player scored against Brazil in a World Cup.
But a local sport analyst, Julien Kouakou, called up by Goal.com says that Brazil would have won the game even if Luis Fabiano’s contestable goal was disallowed and that Brazil were visibly stronger and therefore deserved the victory, no matter what.
Ivory Coast, one of Africa's favourite teams, composed of a bunch of reigning talents including Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, the Touré brothers of Manchester City and Lille’s Gervinho, were pitted against Brazil, Portugal and North Korea in Group G, widely referred to as group of death.
The Africans drew their first match against Portugal but fell 3-1 to Brazil and couldn’t make use of their 3-0 victory over North Korea to progress to the second round after Portugal drew with Brazil in their last group game.