BELO HORIZONTE: Thiago Silva is bitter about Camilo Zuniga’s escape from any punishment for clumping Neymar out of the World Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Silva is suspended from Brazil’s semi-final against Germany after collecting a second tournament yellow card for what he thought may have been his only foul in the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia.
But he had no doubt that Zuniga had deliberately targeted Neymar in the second-half incident which saw the Barcelona carried off with a serious back injury.
Silva described the incident in which Zuniga put his knee into Neymar’s back as “a kind of coward’s tackle.”
Brazil’s captain added: “Some people saw it as normal but I am a defender and I know how to mark a player and that isn’t done. There’s no way you can put a knee behind [a player] and get the ball in front of him unless you want to cause a certain situation.”
No FIFA action
Earlier in the day world federation FIFA’s disciplinary committee had rejected a demand for punishment of Zuniga submitted by the Brazilian confederation. The committee ruled an intervention impossible because referee Carlos Velasco had reacted to the incident with the award of a free kick.
Silva insisted that referee Velasco had also misinterpreted, but too harshly, his own clash with Ospina. He said he was being extra careful out of awareness that he was on one yellow card.
Silva said: “At no time did I have any intention of removing the ball from the goalkeeper’s hands. I’m not a youth player. I was always avoiding making fouls to as not to have a yellow card.
“I think that was the only foul I did. It’s the only one I remember.”
Silva thought he would find it “very difficult” to miss the semi-final “but I trust the team and the players who will be on the pitch.”
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