Brazil's Home-Field World Cup Advantage? The RefsBy
Refereeing controversies are to World Cups what gaffes are to political campaigns: overly discussed and inevitable. This year’s tournament kicked off yesterday, and already it has its first. In the opening game between Croatia and Brazil—this year’s host and the most soccer-crazed nation on earth—the heavily favored Brazilians played unevenly. They went ahead only on a questionable penalty kick: The Brazilian forward Fred (just Fred, as Pelé was just Pelé) went down after a Croatian defender placed his hand on Fred’s upper arm with all the aggression of an usher at a memorial service.
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