Marco Rodriguez, the referee who failed to act on Luis Suarez's decision to bite Giorgio Chiellini, will take charge of Brazil's World Cup semi-final showdown with Germany, as confirmed by FIFA Media:
Ironically, Rodriguez was the most card-happy official heading into the tournament, having dismissed 51 players during 79 international matches before this year's festivities, according to Sports Interaction (h/t Simon Rice of the Independent).
He has shown one red card during the tournament, dismissing Italy's Claudio Marchisio during the now infamous showdown with Uruguay. The Mexican's failure to deal with Suarez in the same match certainly ranks alongside his most famous on-pitch moments.
Chiellini certainly wasn't impressed with Rodriguez's performance, noted by Sky Sport Italia (via ESPN FC):
The referee decided this game. If either team should have gone through, then it was us. Giving a red card to Marchisio and no red to Suarez decided the game. There was a different treatment for both sides and that decided the game and decided who went through.
Known as "Chiqui Dracula" in Central America due to his slicked-back hair, all eyes will once again be on Rodriguez's influence as he aims to progress through the encounter without major incident, per Rice.
Suarez's bite was punished by FIFA, who slapped the Liverpool striker with a four-month ban from all footballing activity and a further nine-game international exclusion, per BBC Sport.
Brazil's much-anticipated clash with Germany throws together two of the world's footballing giants.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's men head into the Belo Horizonte fixture without poster boy Neymar, who is ruled out of the rest of the tournament after Colombia's Juan Zuniga fractured his vertebrae with a high knee to the back. FIFA is set to investigate the occurrence, reported by ESPN.
Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo has come under the spotlight for his handling of Brazil's match against Colombia, in which both Neymar and James Rodriguez were the recipients of rough treatment from the opposition, per the Observer (via the Guardian).
A total of 54 fouls were recorded during the match by WhoScored.com, with just four yellow cards being issued, the first of which didn't arrive until 64 minutes in. This particular caution is proving to be highly controversial, as Brazil are currently attempting to have Thiago Silva's subsequent suspension overturned for the upcoming semi-final clash with Germany, as reported by the Press Association (via the Guardian).
Both the aforementioned performances from Rodriguez and Carballo highlight the intensity of refereeing at a World Cup.
The modern use of video replays ensures officials cannot get away with making poor decisions, especially if the incident is later punished by FIFA. Although the officials fall either side of the disciplinary line, they are both accountable for missing obvious calls.
Rodriguez needs to keep a lid on his upcoming assignment by setting the tone early. He must continue to be firm, although less so than offering one red card every two games, by ensuring players know they cannot get away with rough treatment.
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