Winning a World Cup semifinal against Germany was already going to be a challenge for Brazil, but the difficulty of reaching that goal was compounded during the home team's 2-1 win over Colombia.
The whole world knows by now that Brazil's star striker Neymar will sit out the Tuesday match against Germany -- as well as the Sunday final if the team makes it that far -- after sustaining a broken vertebra during the Colombia match. During the same contest, key defender Thiago Silva was issued a yellow card and will have to sit out the Germany match as well, since that was his second card in the tournament, resulting in an automatic one-match ban.
Neymar's broken vertebra will keep him from playing for the rest of the World Cup. But the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) still petitioned the FIFA Disciplinary Committee after the Friday match to take retroactive disciplinary measures against Colombia or the team's Juan Zúñiga -- who was not booked for the foul that left Neymar hurt -- in connection with the injury.
The results of that push for FIFA to take disciplinary steps was rebuffed in a Monday statement issued by the organization on behalf of its chairman, Claudio Sulser of Switzerland.
"After an analysis of the matter and the extensive submission and documentation received from the CBF [the Brazilian soccer federation] the chairman came to the conclusion that the FIFA Disciplinary Committee cannot consider this matter in light of the conditions outlined in the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) for the Disciplinary Committee to be able to intervene in such a situation," the statement read.
It went on to explain that such retroactive action cannot be carried out because the incident "did not escape the match officials' attention" and "neither a yellow card nor red card" was shown to Zúñiga. Both of those factors have to be satisfied under the FIFA Disciplinary Code in order for the Disciplinary Committee to take retroactive disciplinary action.
"It is important to note that the conditions by which the FIFA Disciplinary Committee can intervene in any incident have to be considered independently of the consequences of that incident, such as an unfortunate injury suffered by a player," the statement continues, stating later, "We wish Neymar a prompt and complete recovery as we wish the same for all players who have sadly been ruled out of the World Cup through injury."
The CBF also asked the committee to overturn Silva's yellow card, which would thereby allow him to play against Germany on Tuesday. Again, the committee denied Brazil's entreaties.
"With regard to CBF’s request for the cancelation of the caution shown to the player Thiago Emiliano da Silva during the match played against Colombia, the chairman came to the conclusion that the FIFA Disciplinary Committee cannot consider the matter given the fact that there is no legal basis entitling it to grant such request," the statement said.