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Croatia head coach Niko Kovač refuses to blame Brazil forward Fred following World Cup defeat

Fred went down very easily for the penalty - Action Images

Croatia head coach Niko Kovač refused to blame Brazil forward Fred after the Fluminense man went down easily to earn the host nation a vital penalty in the World Cup opener.

Fred fell to the ground under minimal contact from Dejan Lovren and referee Yuichi Nishimura felt it was enough to award Brazil a penalty.

The scoreline at the time was 1-1 with the match evenly poised and Kovač was disappointed the referee didn’t stick to the laws.

Sky Sports reported the comments from the Croatia head coach, he said: “Fred is an 85kg man and I don’t believe he can be brought to the ground in such a manner.

“I cannot blame Fred at all – everyone tries it on. Like it or not, this is part and parcel of football.

“What I want is for referees to stick to the laws of the game and apply with them equally to both teams.”

Even though the Croatia head coach was aggrieved with the decisions that went against his side and for Brazil, he congratulated the host nation on their opening win.

Kovač concluded: “I would like to congratulate Brazil as they are a great opponent, but I am proud of my team.”

Read more:

> Brazil 3-1 Croatia: Hosts need controversial penalty to secure hard-fought opening day victory
> Luiz Felipe Scolari: Referee was right to give penalty
 

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