Parreira blasts ref


PRETORIA, June 16 – South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira blasted Swiss referee Massimo Busacca for reducing his team to 10 men in a 3-0 loss to Uruguay that crippled South Africa's dream of World Cup advancement.Busacca drew the wrath of the Brazilian for issuing a red card to goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, only the second ever given a keeper in World Cup finals history, in the 76th minute.

"He is the worst referee in this competition," Parreira said. "I hope we don’t see his face again in any game anymore. He probably does not deserve to be here."

Khune was trying to take the ball from Ajax star Luis Suarez but caught the front of the Uruguyan’s left boot with his foot and was immediately dismissed, a sending off that ruled him out for Tuesday’s key final group match against France.

"The referee ‘discovered’ a penalty," Parreira said. "We regret the performance of the referee. It’s the worst performance of the tournament.

"It was very unfortunate the way he was from the beginning against our team. Our players were quite aggravated."

Italy’s Gianluca Pagliuca was the only goalkeeper to be red carded in a World Cup finals match, that coming in 1994 against Norway, FIFA said.

Forlan, who had scored earlier, smashed the resulting penalty past reserve goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, who came on in place of Steven Pienaar, and the outcome was all-but settled.

"I think we have to blame ourselves, not the referee," said Pienaar, a star at Everton. "We lost, not the referee."

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said the call did not decide the outcome of the match and was in no hurry to criticize Busacca.

"I never talk about the referees. I talk about the circumstances of the game," Tabarez said.

"I certainly can’t agree (with Parreira). I even laugh at the suggestion Uruguay won this game because of the referee. My opinion is Uruguay won the game deservedly. South Africa really didn’t generate any risk to us."

South Africa must now upset France next Tuesday or face becoming the first host that fails to advance past the first round of a World Cup.

"If we don’t advance we will be letting down the whole country’s expectations," Parreira said. "I’m very sad. I’m very frustrated."