Colombian lawyer sues Fifa for $1.6 billion over bad refereeing

Colombians take their football very seriously.

But 74-year-old lawyer Aurelio Jimenez is taking that to another level. He’s suing Fifa for about US$1.3 billion (S$1.62 billion) - after things turned against Colombia’s favour during a World Cup quarter-final match against Brazil, the BBC reports.

“I decided to sue Fifa in the Colombian judiciary system,"  Jimenez told the BBC. "Because in the past world football championship in Brazil, there were many wrong-doings related to referees (whose decisions) damaged many countries and their selections, among them the Colombia team.”

“I felt very bad, I was heartbroken, my cardiac rhythm was altered and my relatives took me to the emergency room at the hospital. I was surrounded by my grandchildren, who were crying a lot,” he added.

Colombia's players react after being defeated by Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014. Photo: AFP

Jimenez pins particular blame on Carlos Velasco Carballo, the Spanish referee who oversaw the Colombia v Brazil quarterfinal on July 4.

He told BBC he even has has “evidence”, seen in “testimonies of stars (like) Pele, Diego Armando Maradona, David Ospina, James Rodriguez and international referees who examined the videos of the game between Brazil and Colombia.”

Jimenez isn’t alone in his criticism of Carballo.

Critics say his lack of more serious disciplinary action is what led to Colombian player Juan Camilo Zuniga’s sloppy challenge on Neymar. And we all know what happened next: The Brazilian’s back was fractured.

Colombia's Juan Camilo Zuniga (L) injures Brazil's Neymar during 2014 FIFA World Cup. Photo: AFP

With football refereeing being subjective, it seems Jimenez is unlikely to succeed.

But his case adds to increasingly loud calls demanding a change in how football games are called.

The Netherlands has been leading the charge, developing technologies and systems. They recently announced they would be introducing their innovations to Fifa, calling instant replay “video referees” the “future in football.”

If Jimenez does succeed, he tells the BBC he'll donate any payout to projects that improve the welfare of Colombia’s children. - Washington Post

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