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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blatter Criticizes Russian Ref

APVan Bronkhorst, left, being sent off by Ivanov in Nuremberg on Sunday.
NUREMBERG, Germany -- Russian referee Valentin Ivanov was given a resounding vote of no confidence by players, coaches and even FIFA president Sepp Blatter after he lost control of Portugal's 1-0 win over Netherlands on Sunday.

Ivanov produced his yellow card 16 times and his red card four times as both teams were reduced to nine men in their second round clash -- a record for any World Cup.

This increased the number of red cards for the tournament to a record 23 just midway through the second round and five days before the quarterfinals begin Friday.

Portugal, which had two players sent off, five cautioned and also lost winger Cristiano Ronaldo through an injury inflicted by a high tackle, meets England in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday.

"I consider that today the referee was not at the same level as the participants, the players. There could have been a yellow card for the referee," Blatter told Portugal's SIC television channel.

"This was a game of emotion, with exceptional drama in the last instant, with a deserved winner," he added. "It was a great show with intervention by the referee that was not consistent and [had] lack of fair play by some players."

Ivanov, a 45-year-old music-loving teacher, attempted to establish his control from the start when he cautioned two Dutchmen in the opening seven minutes.

But instead of gaining command of the game, he sent the contest into a spiral of chaos as Portugal took a 23rd minute lead, thanks to a well-taken goal by Maniche, and defended it with every trick in the professionals' book.

In the end, Ivanov sent off Costinha and Deco of Portugal, each for two yellow cards, and Khalid Boulahrouz and Giovanni van Bronckhorst of the Netherlands, both also for two cautions. He also handed out yellows to Portugal's Maniche, Petit, Luis Figo, Ricardo and Nuno Valente and the Netherlands' Mark van Bommel, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart.

"I must say it was a pity that there was no football in the second half," said Dutch coach Marco van Basten.

But Ivanov has received full backing from his most loyal fan, father and former top international striker Valentin Ivanov Sr. The elder Ivanov, who played in two World Cups in 1958 in Sweden and 1962 in Chile, where he was the joint top scorer, said his son had done a good job.

"It was a very difficult game to officiate and I think he handled himself quite well considering the circumstances," he said in a telephone interview on Monday. "It was a very intense match, both teams were considered title contenders, thus no one wanted to lose and go home.

"The referee tried to set the tone right from the start to keep tempers under control by showing yellow cards. If he didn't do it, the match would have ended in a mass brawl. I have heard that Blatter had criticized my son," said Ivanov Sr., who also played on the Soviet Union team that won the 1956 Olympic gold in Melbourne.