The Most Controversial Calls in the 2014 World Cup

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  • Brazil-Croatia (June 12, 2014): Fred Falls on Lovren Contact
    In the opening match of the World Cup, Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura faced criticism over his decision to award a penalty kick to host Brazil after striker Fred fell down. In the 71st minute, Croatia defender Dejan Lovren placed his hands below Fred’s arms in the penalty area which aided in the fall of the Brazilian. The referee awarded a penalty kick and Neymar converted for his second goal and padded the lead, 3-1. The call was condemned by different media outlets and former FIFA referees. REUTERS
  • Mexico vs Cameroon (June 13, 2014): Dos Santos's Two Goals Disallowed
    Mexico has two goals disallowed during their Group A game with Cameroon. Mexican Midfielder was able to convert on two attempts but those were nullified for offside when replays showed that the midfielder was in line with the last defender from Cameroon. Upon review, FIFA ruled and disallowed the Colombian linesman who made the call from further officiating in the tournament. REUTERS
  • Spain vs. Netherlands (June 13, 2014): Diego Costa headbutts Bruno Martins Indi
    Much of the attention during the first game of Spain was focused on Brazil-born player Diego Costa who chose to play for defending champion Spain. He was constantly booed during the match and was the subject of controversy when he headbutted Bruno Martin Indi during the game. Spain lost to the Dutch, 5-1. REUTERS
  • Portugal vs. Germany (June 16, 2014): Pepe Gets Red Card for Head-butt
    In the 37th minute of the match, Portuguese defender Pepe headbutted Germany's Thomas Müller and was automatically given a red card by the referee. Pepe argued that the German faked an injury. Portugal side also argued after the game that same kind of headbutt occured with Diego Costa of Spain but the striker was not sent off. REUTERS
  • Uruguay vs. Italy: Luis Suarez Bites Chiellini
    In the most controversial incident of the 2014 World Cup so far, Luis Suarez was sent off and banned for four months from any football activity after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini. It is the third time that Suarez has bitten an opponent and has apologized recently for the incident. REUTERS
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Before the tournament even began , the 2014 World Cup has been embellished with controversy ranging from transport workers going on strike to cripple the mobility of players and fans alike who are eager to view the event to protest rallies questioning the extravagant spending of the Brazilian government amidst poverty and needs for basic services.

All of these slowly disintegrated in obscurity as the first game kicked off and the worldwide attention shifted from the political protests to the actual games.

However, as we near the final leg of the tournament what is telling is the number of countries protesting officiating which has marred the beauty of the game. In this slideshow, we highlight the different questionable calls and controversies which have shaped the 2014 World Cup:

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