Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has denied the allegations of Holland boss Louis van Gaal that late kick-off against Cameroon on Monday would give his team a World Cup advantage.
Brazil will be playing either against the runners-up or the winners of Group B in the next round. The games of Group B are scheduled to finish prior to the start of Brazil’s group. And considering this in mind, Holland boss Louis van Gaal had alleged earlier that FIFA has designed the schedule in such a way to benefit hosts Brazil.
Scolari has reacted angrily to the claims of Holland boss and has denied that late kick-off enables them to “choose” their opponents. Scolari has said that the remarks of Van Gaal are “stupid or ill-intended”.
Earlier in the day, Van Gaal had criticised the Fifa’s schedule. Van Gaal had said that: “Fifa, for every match they have this advertisement around fair play. Fifa plays these tricks. It’s not a good thing. It’s not fair play. We’re going to focus on a victory tomorrow against Chile and I don’t think that will be affected by the fact Brazil will play after us. I am just assuming Brazil will do their sporting duty. Why on earth are they [Fifa] doing that? That is the question.”
A draw will be enough for Brazil to make progress into the next round and they will know even before the start whether winning the group or coming second would secure an encounter either against Holland or Chile.
Answering the allegations of Van Gaal, Scolari said that: “We have to win. Some people sometimes make comments without understanding things, saying we’re going to choose our opponents; either they’re stupid or ill-intended. Fifa chose the schedule. When people say Brazil can choose their opponents, they put us in a very difficult situation, it’s disrespectful towards Cameroon and I don’t like it. I don’t have to choose my opponent, I have to play and win.”
Scolari also expressed his views over the team selection. The selection of Scolari has been criticized by the Brazilian media. Questions have been raised over the selection of striker Fred and midfielder Paulinho. But Scolari refused to change his team for the game against Cameroon.
“I’m not going to change my team,” Scolari said. “I really trust the lineup I had in the first game [against Croatia]. If I do make some kind of change, the person I take out will get other opportunities. We are a group, we’re together in this. So I will continue with the lineup I started in the first match.”
The Brazil boss said that Paulinho is a good player and he has complete faith in the Tottenham midfielder. “No, he has been improving his performance. What he had been doing in the past … we have to allow Paulinho to grow as a player; I trust him blindly. I think he’s a wonderful player, I admire him profoundly. He might not be at his best moment but he is a player I fully trust.”