PORT ELIZABETH - Switzerland cried foul over Chile's Arturo Vidal's theatrical performance on Monday that saw their team reduced to 10 men and led to their 1-0 Group H World Cup defeat.
Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami was sent off in the 31st minute for violent conduct, an acrimonious dismissal that exposed the record-breaking Swiss defence and allowed Chile to take sole lead of their group.
"Vidal fell down with a lot of drama, it was quite a performance," Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said after the ill-tempered match full of tough tackles, free kicks and colourful Chilean dives.
"It clearly wasn't a red card it wasn't even a yellow card. It was unfair of Vidal to roll around on the floor and simply ask for a red card."
The German coach said the referee's decision was a major blow to his team's defence.
"Eleven against 11, we would have had our chances and Chile would have had to open up. We would have had great breakaway opportunities and we would have been much more stable in our defence," he said.
His comments were echoed by Guy Roux, a former manager of French club Auxerre.
"The red card was way too harsh, it could have been yellow as they were far from the goal... it completely changed the game after that. You can't compare a team with 11 men with one with only 10," he said.
Behrami said he was disappointed by the referee's decision who he said mistook a brilliant acting performance for a foul.
"Soccer is a physical game but what happened there today was nothing of the sort. I was simply defending, and lost against great acting," he said.comments