Fred insists referee right to award a penalty against Croatia

Fred has defended himself against criticism and insisted the referee was right to award Brazil a penalty against Croatia.

The Brazil striker has been accused of going to ground too easily to get his side a spot-kick following minimal contact in the box from Croatia defender Dejan Lovren.

Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura has also been blamed for a poor decision by the Croatia manager and players, but Fred insists he did nothing wrong.

He told CBF TV: "€œIt was a clear penalty. There isn’€™t more or less a penalty.

"FIFA told the Referees’ Committee to guide the players, so that there would be no shirt-tugging in the penalty area as the referees would award penalties."

Fred added: "I controlled the ball with my right foot and I was turning left when I was bumped into the shoulder, I couldn’t reach the ball, lost balance and fell.

"€œI am not the kind of player that falls down. The same thing happened in the (friendly) game against Serbia, and even on the ground I reached the ball to score a goal.

REMEMBERING ALFREDO DI STEFANO

"I heard many people saying it wasn’t a penalty, but I was bumped into and that was enough to prevent me from reaching the ball and scoring."€

Fred insists that any negative reaction to Brazil’€™s 3-1 win will cause no disruption to the squad, who are looking to follow up their opening-night success with a second straight win against Mexico on Tuesday.

"€œNothing will take our focus away, everyone is well prepared,"€ he said.

"€œNothing will take away the shine of our win, which was well deserved and very tough."