Scolari: Brazil and Neymar singled out by referees

The former Portugal boss was unhappy at the treatment dished out to his star man in Saturday's World Cup penalty shoot-out win over Chile
By Ben Hayward in Belo Horizonte

Luiz Felipe Scolari feels his Brazil side, and Neymar in particular, are being singled out for special treatment by referees.

Barcelona star Neymar was on the receiving end of some heavy tackles from Chile in Saturday’s World Cup round of 16 clash.

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Although Scolari was delighted his players had emerged victorious in a tense penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw after extra-time, he was less enamoured by the performance of English referee Howard Webb.

He said: “I remember when I was Portugal coach and, in the fifth minute of the game, Netherlands defender Khalid Boulahrouz broke Cristiano Ronaldo in half and he had to go off 10 minutes later.

“When I saw Neymar after the game today I remembered that. Some people say Neymar falls too easily. He fell three times. There were 15 fouls on [Alexis] Sanchez and after 12 he went down.

“We have four or five days to get Neymar in shape for the next match. It is a big problem, his thigh is swollen.”

There was a lot of talk early in the tournament that Brazil were receiving preferential treatment from officials, most notably after the questionable penalty which enabled them to see off Croatia in the opening game.

Scolari believes things have now turned full circle, adding: “Everything that is wrong is with Brazil. We always see how things happen and how hesitant referees are when it comes to Brazil.

“If we are going to be champions it can’t be like this, it has to be the same for everyone. We’re starting to doubt that.”