SAINTS defender Dejan Lovren has hit out at the Japanese referee who awarded an ultra-soft penalty against him last night.

Croatia were holding World Cup hosts Brazil 1-1 with 20 minutes left when match official Yuichi Nishimura ruled that Lovren had pulled down striker Fred.

Television replays showed Lovren had barely touched the player.

In addition, Croatia had a goal ruled out and a penalty shout turned down by Nishimura.

“This referee should not be at this World Cup,” said Lovren. “It wasn’t a mistake, it was a scandal.

“It's really disappointing for us because we were playing a good game against a big team.

“Two billion people I think saw that it was not a penalty. I didn't touch him.

“We're really disappointed but what can you do against 12 players?

“You can't do anything.”