The Honduras manager has created a new refereeing controversy at the World Cup by declaring that the Brazilian referee for his team’s game 3-0 defeat to France had been influenced by French journalists’ reports that his players are “violent.”
Luis Suarez was asked to comment before last night’s match on reports by the Canal Plus TV network that the central American team were overly aggressive. Three days after the Croatia manager said Japanese referee Yuichi Nishinura was biased in favour of Brazil to compensate for sending off one of their players at the 2010 World Cup, Suarez said those reports had influenced official Sandro Ricci, who sent off Wilson Palacios.
“It’s the first red card we had in an official game,” Suarez said , referring to his three-year tenure as Honduras boss. “We had none in all our qualifiers. So some comments might have influenced the decision of the referee.”
However Suarez still said Stoke City midfielder Wilson Palacios deserved to be sent off for his two bad challenges on Frenchman Paul Pogba in the Estadio Beira-Rio. Palacios was dismissed after a second yellow card, for pushing Pogba in the back in the penalty area, minutes after stamping on him.
France 3 Honduras 0 player ratings
France 3 Honduras 0 player ratings
1/22 Hugo Lloris 7/10
What little he had to do, he did with ease and class and never looked in the slightest bit of trouble.
2/22 Debuchy 7
Honduras going down to ten man meant he could fly forward and did so well. Helped set up Benzema’s second.
3/22 Evra 7
Did well up and down the wing and was solid at the back.
4/22 Cabaye 8
Looked classy and never rushed and produced a great pass in the lead up to France’s second.
5/22 Varane 6
Was fine at the back and had relatively little to do. Nearly gave away a penalty late on for tackle on Costly
6/22 Sakho 6
Was a touch suspect early on but settled down and managed with everything Honduras could muster.
7/22 Pogba 6
Guilty of getting carried away in clash with Palacios and could have been sent off for Beckham-like kick out. Good touch to win penalty.
8/22 Matuidi 6
Was powerful in the middle of the pitch but really should have scored from Evra’s crossed.
9/22 Banzema 9
Scored two, nearly had three and could have got a hat full more. Looked superb and well be key to France’s WC chances.
10/22 Valbuena 9
Skilful, tricky and a threat all night. Set-pieces were a danger throughout and went close to scoring on more than one occasion, a real highlight for France.
11/22 Griezmann 7
Played well but not has much of a threat as his attacking team-mates.
12/22 Honduras: Valladares 6/10
Despite shipping three goals, including an own goal, the goalkeeper actually played quite well. Several good saves and the save of the tournament so far from Matuidi’s effort.
13/22 Beckeles 4
Helpless to stop France and looked out of place at this level.
14/22 Izaguirre 4
Equally unable to deal with France and should have been red carded for lash out at Valbuena.
15/22 Palacios 3
Awful, awful night for the Stoke man who deservedly received an early bath.
16/22 Bernardez 6
Did better than his teammates in keeping France at bay before picking up a nasty looking knee injury.
17/22 Figueroa 4
Another Honduran who could have been shown a red card after scything down Valbuena, poor.
18/22 Najar 6
Did OK for half an hour but had no chance in stopping France after his team went down to ten.
19/22 Garrido 5
Also guilty of some awful tackling and escaped the referee’s red after horror tackle on Evra, bad night.
20/22 Costly 6
Could have won a penalty late on but referee said no, very little to go on other than that.
21/22 Bengston 4
Very little chance to get into the game in an attacking sense and was replaced at half-time.
22/22 Espinoza 5
Was a threat in the first ten minutes but nothing after that.
“The referee has to take a decision and he thought it was right. Playing with ten men made it very difficult for us,” Suarez said. “Sometimes you lose and of course we have to learn from this. Today the result would have been different if we hadn’t played with ten men for so long.”
As French manager Didier Deschamps celebrated his side’s victory in the face of “high aggressivity” from the central American team, Suarez insisted his team had not overstepped the mark.
“We didn’t cross the line,” he said. “We always respect the rules. We have a strong, intense style but we always respect the rules of the game. If at some point we don’t then the ref has to take a decision and give us a red card. And we have to accept the consequences.”
Deschamps has criticised Fifa for confusing goalline technology which correctly ruled ruling that the Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares had scrambled the ball over the line after Karim Benzema’s shot rebounded off the post, along the goalline towards him. The confusion was caused by the machine registering two decisions in quick succession.
The big screen message initially stated ‘no goal’ because the ball did not rebound from the post across the goalline after striking the post. It changed to ‘goal’ when Valladares juggled the ball over the line.