x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

No room for violent play, says injured Elano

Elano's nagging ankle injury has ruled him out of Brazil's quarter-final with Holland tomorrow, prompting him to criticise World Cup referees for not clamping down on violent play.

Dunga, right, the Brazil coach, and the team's technical staff watch as Elano, left, limps off a training session on Tuesday.
Dunga, right, the Brazil coach, and the team's technical staff watch as Elano, left, limps off a training session on Tuesday.

Elano's nagging ankle injury has ruled him out of Brazil's quarter-final with Holland tomorrow, prompting him to criticise World Cup referees for not clamping down on violent play. Elano had initially shown signs of improvement and had hoped to play on Monday in the second round match against Chile, which the Brazilians won 3-0 despite his absence. But he felt discomfort on the eve of the match, being replaced by Dani Alves, and then limped out of a light training session on Tuesday after again feeling pain in the ankle.

Elano, who was taken off after the tackle in the second half of the Ivory Coast match, complained that the referee did not even give a foul. "I told the referee that he didn't even give a free kick for a tackle which could have broken my leg," he said. "The same player then committed another heavy foul on Robinho for which he should have been sent off. "They have to have another look at this type of violence because the people who are losing out are the ones who get injured. In our team, we have players with different characteristics but you never see our players committing a malicious tackle, in contrast to some of our opponents."

Elano, who scored in each of Brazil's first two games, said he was philosophical about what had happened. "I feel sad occasionally but it passes quickly. I'm very optimistic. I've been through a lot of difficult things in my life and this is just another rock on my path," he added. Meanwhile, Oscar Tabarez, the Uruguay coach, has made two changes to his team to face Ghana in their quarter-final. Diego Godin, a defender, and Alvaro Pereira, a midfielder, who featured in Saturday's 2-1 win over South Korea in the last 16, have been replaced by Mauricio Victorino and Alvaro Fernandez.

Godin suffered a thigh injury against South Korea while the decision to use Fernandez instead of Pereira is a tactical move. Tabarez said he and his side were focused on making sure they did their country proud. "The people back home have aspirations, they have dreams and we have to deliver them," he said. "We all have objectives, both professional and personal, and our objective is to go as far as we can in this tournament."

* Reuters