SANTIAGO: Brazil coach Dunga launched a stinging attack on referee Enrique Osses after the Chilean whistler sent Neymar off at the end of Wednesday's tetchy clash with Colombia at the Copa America.
Colombia won the match 1-0, leaving Brazil needing a result from their final Group C match against Venezuela to be sure of making the knock-out stages of the competition.
Brazil will have to play that match without Neymar, who was booked by Osses just before halftime and then shown the red card after the final whistle when pretty much every player on the pitch was shoving and jostling near the centre circle.
Colombia’s Carlos Bacca was also given a red card and will miss his side’s final group clash against Peru.
“It’s never a good thing when at the end of a match we’re talking about the referee,” Dunga said. “I think if you look at what happened, including at the end, you have to conclude it has something to do with the referee.
“There was a similar problem at a Corinthians match when the same referee was in charge,” Dunga said, referring to a recent Libertadores Cup tie when Osses sent off two Corinthians players in a match against Paraguayan side Guarani.
“It’s more than just coincidence.”
Asked how he would prepare for the Venezuela clash without Neymar, Dunga said: “We’ll think about that tomorrow.
"We’ve played matches before without Neymar. We’ll just to play in a way that makes up for his absence.”
Neymar looked a shadow of the player who tormented Peru inBrazil’s opening Copa America match. His normally sublime first touch often let him down and he grew frustrated with the constant attention he received from his Colombian markers.
Dunga said the Colombians had provoked his side and that Brazil did not employ such tactics.
His counterpart, Jose Pekerman, refused to criticise Osses, recalling only that last year’s World Cup clash between the two sides was also characterised by some controversial refereeing decisions.
Neymar was stretchered off in that match with a fracturedvertebrae and Colombia had what they regarded as a legitimate goal disallowed in a 2-1 defeat that ended their World Cup.