RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil (AP) — France’s Loic Remy has no sympathy for fellow striker and former club teammate Fred, and thinks he should be “punished” for the way he won a controversial penalty in Brazil’s 3-1 win against Croatia.
Fred went down in the penalty area under light contact from defender Dejan Lovren in the 71st minute, allowing Neymar to convert a spot kick that gave Brazil a 2-1 lead in Thursday’s World Cup opener.
Croatia’s players were furious with referee Yuichi Nishimura’s decision, with Lovren saying “we can give the World Cup directly to Brazil” as he struggled to contain his anger.
Remy said Friday that he thought Fred had hoodwinked Nishimura.
“He does it well, throws himself at the right time because you can see that there’s no foul at all. Lovren doesn’t pull him back,” said Remy, who played two seasons with Fred for Lyon from 2006-08. “Experience comes into it, and it’s important to fall at the right time. For me, the striker should be punished for this kind of wrongdoing.”
France opens its campaign against Honduras in Group E on Sunday.
“It’s true that it’s always infuriating to lose to refereeing mistakes, so I hope it doesn’t happen to us,” the 27-year-old Remy said. “I don’t want to be controversial, but when you look at yesterday’s game the Croats played very well and deserved another result. Not necessarily to win, but they deserved a different result. It’s certain that referees make mistakes and you have to pay attention.”
Although Remy will probably be a substitute against Honduras, the speedy Newcastle forward fully intends to seize any chance he gets.
“I clearly stated my ambition during the warmup matches. That remains the case. I think this World Cup will be a big moment in my career,” he said. “I will make the very most of the time I get on the pitch. Maybe Honduras will leave space behind, so it’s up to the coach to decide. But he knows he can use me up front or on the right.”
Remy expects Honduras will try and rough France up.
“We’re supposing that they will get stuck into us,” he said. “We have to respond in the same way, and not let them walk all over us.”
Follow Jerome Pugmire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeromepugmire
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.