Bosnia and Herzegovina striker Edin Dzeko described referee Peter O’Leary’s performance as “shameful” after a 1-0 reverse to Nigeria saw them bow out of the World Cup.
A second successive defeat for Bosnia, who lost their opening round clash to Argentina, sent Safet Susic’s side crashing out of the competition, but Manchester City forward Dzeko believes New Zealand official O’Leary should also be leaving Brazil.
Dzeko was denied an early goal by the linesman’s flag, but replays showed the player was clearly onside and Bosnia claimed the referee then missed a foul on Emir Spahic in the build-up to Peter Odemwingie’s 29th-minute winner.
“We should have won the game,” Dzeko said. “But the referee was shameful.
“We are going home, we are sad because of that. But this referee should be going home, too.
“He changed the game. That’s why we lost. It was obviously a foul on our captain and before, when I scored the goal, it was never offside.”
While offering a damning review of the referee’s display, Dzeko admits Bosnia were stunned by Nigeria, who moved a step closer to sealing a place in the round of 16 with victory in Cuiaba.
“We tried to come back after the goal and we fought until the end but we just did not have luck," he added.
“Their speed and agility took us by surprise. Nigeria took the game to us, really wanted to win and deserve to be in a position to reach the knockout stages."