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Worst World Cup Call Against Croatia Goes To…

May 8, 2020




These days, we’re obviously taking long strolls down memory lane with no sports being played. Today’s topic: What has been the worst World Cup call against Croatia?



Four moments come to mind right off the bat. Unfortunately, two of them occurred in the 2018 World Cup Final against France.


4 Worst Calls Against Croatia At The World Cup



Your nominees are:



1. Antoine Griezmann flops outside the box in the 1st half of the 2018 World Cup Final. He is already falling down before Brozović touches him. The ensuing free kick leads to the game’s first goal.



2. The Ivan Perišić handball in the 1st half of the 2018 World Cup Final that was originally not called – but after a lengthy VAR review – gave France a penalty kick minutes before halftime. France took a 2-1 lead and never looked back .



3. Brazil’s Fred flops in front of Lovren in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup. Croatia was playing extremely well against hosts Brazil – and with the match tied 1-1 in the 70th minute – Fred had an obvious flop which led to a Neymar penalty. Brazil would add a garbage goal in injury time to win 3-1. The penalty changed the entire course of the match. A draw against Brazil on their home soil would have changed the entire course of the group stage for Croatia.



4. Harry Kewell banged home the equalizer in the 79th of Australia’s 2-2 draw with Croatia in the group finale of the 2006 World Cup. Croatia needed a win to go through and make the Round of 16 for the first time since 1998. It’s clear that Kewell was at least a yard offside on the goal but nothing was called.



ESPN Analysts Agree On Perišić No Penalty Call



In my opinion, the worst individual call – with all things being equal – was the Fred flop in the Brazil game. Lovren didn’t even touch him and he went down like a house of cards. Just awful refereeing.



However, the worst “momentum shifting call” has to be the Perišić handball in the World Cup. Was it a handball? Yes. And I would’ve been okay with a penalty for France IF it was originally called in the line of live play; but it wasn’t.



That call should have remained whatever the referee decided originally on the field. Instead, he spent what seemed liked an eternity consulting VAR. On top of that, the ref went back to the screen one more time for God knows what reason. He changed his original mind, gave France a penalty, and you know the rest.



You have to agree with the ESPN pundits in the video above. This is THE WORLD CUP FINAL! Any goal shifts momentum but this was an absolute soul jerker for the Vatreni. Croatia had just equalized. They were playing much better than the French. And then you give them this cheap PK right before halftime. Lame.



As Croatians, we will never forget this call. We will live with it forever.





Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 57 comments

  1. Suba says:

    All were horrible decisions in equal measure which costed us progression each time but 2 in one game in a final that’s inexcusable fuck Pitana

    U don’t get used to being butt raped each time do you

  2. Soul Champ says:

    That handball was treachery.

    You take that long and go back you know it’s not definitive.

    Bang bang play arm is by his side.

    Phantom foul on cheezman.

    People know who are the real champions.

  3. Miloš Hvar says:

    the image of the Japanese ref pointing and running in the Brazil game is forever ingrained in my brain. that one was so bad

  4. Maminjo says:

    The Brazil 2014 call was the worst.

    The whole world was watching that game, and the whole world knew what was up.

    What’s worse, is that we actually equalized after that…when Olic headed a 50:50 ball with the Brazilian keeper back to Perisic for a goal, but the ref disallowed that one.

    Brazil was garbage that year, and FIFA simply could not allow for them to lose (or draw) their first World Cup game at home.
    This gave Mexico the advantage against us.

    Brazil were incredibly lucky to have gone as far as the semifinals that year…unfortunately, it caught up with them, and Germany and Holland humiliated them.

  5. Maminjo says:

    However, despite the terrible 2014 Brazil game…it wasn’t the most impactful poor call.

    We weren’t playing well that tournament, and we wouldn’t have gone far (not with Pranjic and Kovac at the helm).

    Same goes for Australia in 2006. We were mediocre that tournament as well (for some reason).

    It would have been interesting to see if Italy could finally beat us in that Round of 16 match since we’re their Achilles heel.
    It might have cost Italy their World Cup trophy. But either way, we weren’t winning anything with the way we were playing in ’06.

    This 2018 France game was bad because it literally cost us a World Cup trophy.

    Similar to the Euro ’96 Germany game (riddled with bad calls against us) in that it cost us a good run in a year where we were playing incredibly well.

  6. BZ says:

    One could argue Lovren’s left hand pulled Fred away enough to merit the call (even with Fred’s embellishment.)

    One could argue Brozovic kicked Greaseyman even though Greaseyman was in the process of flopping.

    One could argue Perisic’s arm was away from his body and hit the ball.

    But nobody can argue that Rebic blew past Schmeichel and was 1 v 1 with the net, when the Denmark defender hacked him from behind.

    If you are 1 v 1 with the goalie and you get chopped, it is supposed to be a straight red

    1v1 with the soccer net is the no brainer Red card of the century. If that is not an “obvious goal scoring opportunity” then I don’t know what is.

    Should have been 8.5 mins left of 11v10, where:
    a)Croatia could have scored before penalties, which we were underdogs.
    b)Denmark would have had less chance to score and win before penalties (they squandered a few good opportunities in those last few minutes.)

  7. Razbijač says:

    Rip “El Trinche” Carlovich

  8. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I just read about El Trinche and never knew about him before today. Altough is a commie site, they do have some decent articles on sports sometimes.

    Maradona said Carlovich (Tomas Felipe Karlovic) was even better than him…thats definitely a compliment.

  9. Razbijač says:

    “El Trinche” Karlovic, the son of Croatian immigrant parents, this diaspora Hrvat was one of best players to ever play in the Argentinian league.

    He was tall, powerful and technical..Maradona even saying that he was better than him.

  10. Slavonac from Canada says:

    with regards to the “bad ref calls” against us. I could have lived with the penalty against Perisic, even if it wasn’t a penalty but the Griezmann dive was complete bullshit and will go down as the biggest scandal call in World Cop history in my eyes.

    No matter what angle you look at that play, Griezmann was diving before he made any contact and it was NOT a foul. That play changed everything and even before and after, we are the far better side. If we went into the changing room tied at half, we would have won the game. We had everything going in our favour and France knew we were the better team. They were like scared kittens, looking for help and their coach was nervous as well!

    There has not ever been a more impactful call against us than the call Griezmann got. Yes, Perisic’s handball call was terrible but the ball did touch his hand and there is an argument…albeit a shitty one. Griezmann wasn’t touched and that was the injustice, the ref fucked us, Griezmann cheated and not even VAR could help us.

    when we look at the entire game, having two goals being scored against us from two very questionable calls, its not that we were unlucky…we were cheated!

  11. Anonymous says:

    What we should have done is bomb rushed the field. Maybe if it wasn’t in Russia we would have. We need to make sure these calls stop. Occupy the FIFA headquarters or something. Fuck up an offical pretty good. Fly a plane into Brussels.

  12. Maminjo says:



    I think the ref was trying to give France a lifeline and keep them in the game.

    They were being dominated and there should have been a penalty called against Mbappe full-on bodycheck on Strinic in the 7th minute and at least ONE call against Pogba’s wrap-around grabs on Mandzukic (the one at around the 25th minute was a clear penalty too).

    He gifted France a free kick when they FINALLY managed to venture into our half (but lost the ball almost immediately).
    So he wanted to extend their time in our half, and gave them the call (which sadly, resulted in a stupid goal).

    Then we easily tied it up 1:1….only for that handball on Perisic to happen shortly after.

    He didn’t make the call immediately, because he wanted the game to be even (even though it was such a one-sided first half).

    But FIFA was calling him on his headset to force him to review, and he was incredibly hesitant to overturn his call (which you can’t do according to VAR has to be beyond doubt).

    His incompetence in trying to keep the game even, in favor of keeping France in the game, resulted in him gifting them two goals off of zero shots on net!

    That first half would have been 2-0 or 3-0 if he made the right calls early, or just simply let them play. France would not have had a shot on goal, and would have collapsed under the growing pressure.

  13. Maminjo says:

    Sorry, I meant to say above…

    “He didn’t make the call immediately, because he had ALREADY prevented himself from calling multiple fouls and penalties in favor of Croatia”

    That bastard knew that he ignored at least two penalties in favor of Croatia and gifted France a goal already.

    He didn’t want to look bad in having to gift France another undeserved goal from an accidental handball (after ignoring actual fouls in the box in the other direction).

  14. Maminjo says:

    I just checked which position “El Trinche” Karlovic played.

    It’s midfield.

    Maradona’s story checks out.

  15. Poglavnik says:

    What about the Mandzukic own goal off that phantom foul on Griezmann?
    If Mandzukic doesnt get shoved as hes heading it that doesnt go in our net. And I believe Pogba (who shoved him) came from an offside position.
    Fuck it! Getting sick of reliving the negatives. Real fans know bullshit when they see it.

  16. Maminjo says:

    Karlovic never wanted to leave his house and town.

    When he got called up to the World Cup in Germany in 1974, he declined after saying this:

    “a gdje vi to idete? u Njemacku?
    Ne idem vam ja ni gdje iz svoje kuce, grada, i kluba. Dovidenja.”

    The guy already had plans to go fishing with his buddies that summer and didn’t want to go to the World Cup, end of story.

    Typical Dalmatinac haha

  17. Elviss says:

    That Pedar Griezmann should have had his clock cleaned after he did the L for loser after the PK. As a people we looked weak allowing that. Maybe close to end of match someone should have judo chopped his throat. We looked Beta male stupid.

  18. Elviss says:

    I have heard rumors of a Pavard handball. Did anyone see it?

  19. BZ says:

    Elviss, haven’t heard that one, but vs Brazil there was a handball off an Olic header attempt that changed the trajectory of his attempt.

    If VAR existed with the 2018 rules, that handball would still not have been called, not because it wasn’t a handball, but bc the fix was in against Crotia.

  20. Soul Champ says:

    Each and everyone of these plays was BS.

    @ Slavonac

    That is great point!

    That phantom call was bizarre, as the ref seemed over enthusiastic to make that call before the play transpired.

    Once he does that his mindset is shown and has lost impartiality. Now every call is a mind fuck because he played himself. Clearly not up for the final.

    I am peace knowing that we are Soul Champions.

    @ BZ

    That is a big time point as well.

    That is a clear red card.

    We save our tired legs and who knows?

    @ Svima

    “El Trnche” is yet another example that we are the best footballers on the planet.

    I can imagine him like a bigger Prosinečki type way before his time.

    When does the bundesliga start?

    We should have a Hrvati to watch from the bundesliga list somewhere.

    I wonder if Perišić will look and if Brekalo can take a step forward?

    5 subs means more opportunities for our boys.

  21. Maminjo says:

    We’ve been a contender these past two tournaments (Euro 2016 and WC2018) and we were only stopped by the refs.

    If none of our players drop off in the next year or so, we will be contenders in the next two tournaments (as they will be a year apart).

    There’s only so many times they can fix it against us, until we get by and win a tournament anyway.

    I just hope that Modrić and Perišić can still play near the level they did in 2018.

    I have no doubt that the rest of the team will be the same or better.

  22. Z says:

    I think Brazil was worse. Those were blatant bad calls that were either complete incompetence or corruption.

    The world cup calls were bad, but even then the initial no call on the penalty was correct, etc.

  23. Soul Champ says:

    @ Maminjo

    In a strange way this pandemic pause lines up well for Modrić to play in the next World Cup in 2022.

    He will be a young 37 year old I feel if there is one guy who can contribute to us at that age it is him.

    Plus he will have horses all around him.

    His game is based on intelligence.

    His quickness and strength will still be at a decent level.

    At that point players like Rebić, Brekalo, Vlašić, Kovačić and Brozovic are hopefully at a new level.

    Vrsaljko and Barišić providing that width.

    Modrić doesn’t need to carry us anymore and he can just play his creative role without being tripled teamed.

    What a way to retire.

    He should position his club career to keep fresh for Croatia these next 30 months.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Interesting comment on that El Trinche article by Mate Perčin,

    “Hrvata ima svuda osim u Hrvatskoj!”

    Whose fault is that?

    Which reminds me of this great song where the question is asked of God, whose fault is it that the Croats have been scattered abroad?

    You’re not a Croatian person if you don’t feel that song. Great clip!


  25. The truth says:

    Non bad call: greizman fall was not a flop. I know there are angles that make it look like such, but the guy was clearly still going to stay on his feet and brozovic knocked into him… so it goes… unfortunately modric did the same the game before and both times it ended up hurting

    Most consequential call for being poor: Perisic handball. There is a strong argument perisic hand was in a natural position especially given his proximity to where the ball was deflected from.. but more so, as people said here, the evidence has to be conclusive to overturn the on the field call…

    taking a long time in the booth…walking away…and then going back and spending more time before finally awarding the penalty does not seem conclusive

    it seems manipulative…in that you got this referee that keeps getting told by this committee to look at this “potential” missed call….the guy walks away…and that committee clearly calls him back to look again from another angle

    seems like that committee is too involved in the game…and the referee is isolated feeling the pressure that a whole room of other refs are seeing something and he’s not

    given indecision the call has no place being made in the world cup final and altering the game so much.

    it will serve as one of the more shining examples of ways that perhaps var has to be improved…but ultimately…var will not go away

    worst call: fred flop…. it was a flop plain and simple… little contact from lovren…but geeze you’d be calling penalty shots on every play if that warranted a whistle

    rebic foul resulting in non read: pretty sure that’s double jeopardy rule…not sure I agree with it…but think its what they were doing

    side note on that brazil game: as mentioned, Croatia did have two additionally large call/no calls go against them… one was the disallowed goal, which was questionable… the other way on the third goal, when rakitic was thrown off the ball and no call was made

  26. The truth says:


    here is a clip of the bad brazil calls… I almost forgot how blatant that final goal was …. I was wondering if I was crazy that I was the only one that saw that

    also a chance to be reminded of pletikosa’s terrible goal keeping

    also, the second goal being disallowed also seems suspect… olic seems to jump vertically without putting hand contact on the goalie, who is jumping back into him and actually mishandles the ball

    it was pretty clear that brazil – Croatia was fixed…but we all know that

  27. Maminjo says:

    The 50/50 ball between Olić and the Brazilian keeper was clean.

    Olić literally jumped straight up, with both arms flat along his sides. The keeper jumped directly into him.

    You could argue that it was a foul against Olić, but refs will rarely call that. However, it definitely wasn’t a foul by Olić.

    That should have resulted in a game tying Perišić goal.

    But whatever.

  28. Suba says:

    What a song and film clip

    Brought tears to my eyes

    Why isn’t anyone talking about the calls against us v Spain at euro 12

    Fuck the cards are always stacked against us

    Only should make us stronger and keeping coming back again at the fuckers at the establishment

    Za dom spremni i kvarternik

  29. Nick Nizic says:

    Just heard of El Trinche wow but figures with this site , your Croatian heroes only wear sports jerseys haha fuck me
    Za Dom
    Bog I Stepinac

  30. Nick Nizic says:

    Yea against Spain a fucking clear header off the the corner, straight got to Corluka’s head only to have his shirt pulled really fucking badly coulda I think won the game right there but…..
    Bog I Hrvati I Licani

  31. Suba says:

    What about the zillion fouls on the Hrvati by the Portugalci in the round of 16 match at euro 16and fuckin not one yellow issued and then those pricks go on and win the whole thing

    There’s a conspiracy against us people they can’t fathom how good we are for such a small Narod
    Za dom i Budak I starcevic

  32. Soul Champ says:

    Rakitic is the goods and has two more major tournaments in him.

    Now that his jaje have returned maybe he can turn the page at Farca and write his own final chapter of his world class career.

  33. Anonymous says:

    After the embarrassment we put forth on the Argentinian’s – followed by there lack of class after the match (Messi I will never look at the same that steroid taking ugly mother fucker) and legend (not su much anymore, how the mighty have fallen lol) dyson/hoover cokeheas maradona and his disrespect couldn’t admit you just got the shit kicked out of you ! Point being – how do they let an Argentinian ref – ref the final when we diagraced their country! He shouldn’t of been bear that match – like letting a cetnik ref the final ! Shoulda been biased from the get go !

  34. Anonymous says:

    I’ll take a Cetnik over a Communist or any other religious fanatic any day because Cetniks are Nationalists who in the end want the same thing any loyal Croat wants – Independence: which means ‘we’ll take of our affairs and you take care of yours’. That’s not to say you won’t have territorial squabbles here and there but people who are Wordists, who practice “the only true faith that will unite mankind” cannot tolerate loyalty to any other faith, or your own kind.

  35. The Real Deal says:

    If people don’t believe that race is important, you would have to tolerate that, yes?

    I believe mixed race marriages are a good thing!

  36. Anonymous says:

    @”The Real Deal”, a country based on words can’t tolerate free speech. A nation based on race can’t tolerate treason. You’re a traitor. You have to be a real sicko to want your people melted into a melting pot.

  37. Anonymous says:

    “I’ll take a Cetnik over a Communist”

    Both killed Croats. Only a Serb would say that.

    I’d take a Catholic black person over a white schismatic Serb.

    Crnca bi uzeo ako je Katoličke vjere. Budući da mi ne smijemo igrati u crnim dresovima, bilo bi dobro kada bismo barem imali crnog igrača.
    – Stjepan Spajić

  38. Anonymous says:

    Moron, I explained why I’d take one over the other. Catholics killed Croatians too, so what’s your point moron? There is something morally sick about any people who welcome their own disappearance.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you say Catholics killed white communists? You dumb little shit!

  40. Anonymous says:

    The Wordist says “I’d take Black person who believes in the right words over a white person who believes in the wrong words.”

    Us “Tribalists” say You’re a fucking TRAITOR. Treason is the WORST crime any social animal can commit.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I posted that paragraph a few ones ago about the biasy having a Argentinian ref in final and drew comparison to cetniks only because that was bullshit and not right as that pinata fuck face knew what he was doin before the game started !!-(Fuxkin us that is cause we embarrassed his country)
    Screwed us up the guzica! Nor would it be right if the cetniks ever made a major final and there was a cro ref involved (lmao when Fuxkin pigs fly) haha not a chickens chance in hell in other words they make a soccer major tourney final !- whether or not we’re inter related or not (some of us have cousins or such who married into Serb families pre/postwar and they have no ill will regard towards cros – then I’m fine with them to extent ) but when they start flapping their gums about their ignorant disrespectful shit they been chewing on for hundreds of years then that’s when they should shut their Fuxkin pie hole and know there place as a mongaloid looking male race lol ! Never forget summer Cro 2015 I found this hot cetnik (their broads are hot, I give em that, but so are ours)! I made her wear my Croatia jersey as I laid her the pipe) ! Irina loved it and took it like a Croatian champion even tho she was serb-she respected and admired our talented cultural identity – admitting djokovic is as much cro as Serb and fully acknowledging our athletic prowess as a nation! That prick who spitting his nonsense after my paragraph over taking cetnik over communist anyday- douchebags pretty much the same and last comment “only a Serb would say that “ Takodjer brate !!!

    Za Dom spremni !!!

  42. Anonymous says:

    How the fuxk this end up about religion lol u fags need to check ur self – bottom line and point- no ref that we dismantled his home country in group stage where maradona almost OD’d on blow In the stands lol cause he couldn’t handle the beating we laid on his country shouldnt be able to ref against us in a major final period – (that was cherry on top for maradona and blow escapades, not like he hasn’t been there before but he shoulda took it easy that match as his country was up against the wall in talent (ala..modric, rakitic, perisic, brozovic)- hell even strinic played excellent game and frustrated whiny baby Messi !

  43. Anonymous says:

    The guy who is afraid to talk politics, which is the same thing as saying you have no problem other people ruling over you, is calling those who do talk politics “fags”. Haha, yea okay buddy.

  44. Anonymous says:


    Who gives a shit about the ref when muppets like you believe Fifa is corrupt and they wouldn’t allow Croatia to win. If the ref was taking orders from others, blame them you dickhead, and stop watching football you loser.

    Croats should know about taking orders from others, it’s in your genes. Just ask your masters in the EU.

    Criatia is the poorest country in the EU lol! And you muppets are complaining about a ref lol!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Fuxkface on last comment – that’s one thing (and a small but major one that is overlooked) not major compares to the 2 bullshit calls that come down to that dickface ref – so call us muppets all year long cetnik- your mongaloid race won’t make a major soccer tourney ever ! EVER!! Don’t be jealous of our genetics – whether or not we poor country – u landlocked douchebags have the ugliest country goin lol and I’d u ain’t Serb- admit ur nationality pussy although u must be cetnik to get so riled up cause your a limeball human beings and who’s the loser hahaha ur pathetic race who couldn’t do shit without us !

    2nd last comment – this ain’t political website although u wanna get into it – sure – but is that all u got cause u can’t stick to the truth and facts of this being a sports website lol –
    Can’t deal and comprehend with the fact on who’s better athletically eh! Fuxk it must sting -! If I was cetnik I’d blow my brains out lol Cros over Serbs all fucking day ! Slow Joe elbow to that muppet gypsy cetnik lol

    Ubi ubi ubi srbinja !!!

  46. Anonymous says:

    “How the fuxk this end up about religion lol u fags need to check ur self.”

    “but people who are Wordists, who practice “the only true faith that will unite mankind” cannot tolerate loyalty to any other faith, or your own kind.”

    That’s how, because of @Pro white guy.

  47. Anonymous says:

    “so call us muppets all year long cetnik- your mongaloid race won’t make a major soccer tourney ever ! EVER!!”

    Lol, so @Pro white guy prefers mongoloids to white communists. He is a confused individual.

  48. Anonymous says:

    I prefer no cetniks period lol just remember those words and don’t cry based on the truth that Serbia will never ever make a major soccer tourney final – prolly even semi final if I had to say- why?? Cause no cohesion and a bunch of self absorbed scumbags who like to fight and can’t play as a team ! You wanna fight cetniks !? Join the war and ask Gotovina and Clinton who bombed you fuckers good ! Only problem is you didn’t get nuc’d off the world map! Then what would there be though to laugh at comparing our athleticism with yours lol hahahahaa pathetic – time to go play some footy against some serbs – pce our cetniks! Slide tackles- why not but why yes as we prefer to show our talent as opposed to dirtiness when it comes to sport;)

    Ubi srbinja
    Za Dom Spremni !!!

  49. Anonymous says:

    And final comment – I ain’t pro white guy – ain’t racist – got color tv ;))

    Ubi srbinja
    Za Dom Spremni !

  50. Anonymous says:


    I know. I just thought you were drunk.

  51. Anonymous says:

    @pro croatian guy, how can you be pro Croatian and anti White at the same time? Is your head stuck up your rear end?

    Imagine a pro-Zambian guy being anti Black, he wouldn’t belong in a mental institution?

  52. Anonymous says:

    I love how the white traitor keeps saying “why don’t you like white traitors or white communists, are you anti white?”

    What an absolute moron. How do you explain treason to a traitor?

  53. Anonymous says:

    ” I ain’t pro white guy – ain’t racist”

    That says it all, if you’re pro-white you’re “racist”. That’s why we say ‘anti racist is a code word for anti white.’

    It’s okay to be biased in favor of Croatians, but not okay to be biased in favor of whites, even though Croatians are white? Right MORON?

    You’re such a little coward, you run with the crowd instead of sticking up for your own kind. You think you’re “sophisticated”, right?

  54. Elviss says:


    In that Portugal match Luka
    Was stomped on. No red ?

  55. Anonymous says:

    @Pro white guy

    “how can you be pro Croatian and anti White at the same time? Is your head stuck up your rear end?”

    Wrong question American idiot.

    How can you be pro Croatian and prefer cetnik wordists to communist wordists, who both fought against Croatia?

  56. Anonymous says:

    @Pro croatian guy, you dodged my question because it exposes what an absolute moron you are.

    The question you’re asking me is already answered in my original comment – I already explained why I’d take one over the other and then said it AGAIN in another comment after.

    And I see now you’re using my term ‘Wordist’ but you obviously have no idea what it means.

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