The Mexico national team may have exited Brazil 2014, but the country’s involvement hasn’t ended. Marco Antonio Rodriguez is set to referee the Brazil versus Germany semifinal Tuesday alongside Mexican assistant referees Marvin Torrentera and Marcos Quintero.
Rodriguez, a Christian preacher off the field, is appearing in his third World Cup and is famous in Mexico for his strict refereeing in the Liga MX.
The 40-year-old from Mexico City was under the spotlight in the controversial match between Uruguay and Italy in the group stage of the World Cup, failing to send off Luis Suarez for a bite on Giorgio Chiellini that later led to a four-month ban from FIFA.
“If he didn’t see it, he didn’t see it,” said Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari in Monday’s press conference in defense of Rodriguez. “He was watching the ball, he can’t see everything and because of that he also has helpers."
“Chiquimarco” – as he is commonly known in his homeland - is the first Mexican referee to appear at three World Cups and the fourth to oversee a quarterfinal. Scolari appears to be happy to have an experienced official in charge.
“He’s proven at these types of games,” added Scolari.
Earlier this year, Rodriguez sent off a player after 20 seconds in the Copa Libertadores clash between Atletico Nacional and Nacional. It was the earliest red card in the history of the competition.