POZNAN: Croatia coach Slaven Bilic slammed English referee Howard Webb after his side's 1-1 draw with Italy at the European Championships on Thursday.
The draw put Croatia a step closer to reaching the knock-out rounds as they now have four points, level with Spain, compared with Italy's two.
However, had they won they would already be in the quarter-finals.
And Bilic felt his side should have had a penalty when Thiago Motta dragged down Nikica Jelavic in the box at a corner.
Webb booked Motta for the foul but as the ball was not actually in play at the time, he just allowed the corner to be subsequently taken.
Croatia were trailing 1-0 at the time but would equalise 15 minutes later through Mario Mandzukic.
"I don't agree with coaches who don't comment on referees. This is very important for my job," said Bilic.
"He's so important for my job. We can talk about whether or not I'm objective or subjective and of course I'm not objective.
"But that was a clear penalty on Jelavic, I'm sure of it. The referee was not good.
"I didn't like his performance, he helped Italy. I can't say he was good, he wasn't good for us."
Italy totally dominated the first half and took the lead through a delicious Andrea Pirlo free-kick.
But a one-goal lead was scant reward for the chances they had created, and spurned.
Italy could not repeat that performance in the second period and Croatia came back into it, eventually equalising after a mistake from Giorgio Chiellini.
Bilic felt his side deserved the point for their second half showing.
"When you're playing against a big team it's not easy to have the ball," he said.
"We waited for our chances. They were better in the first half but even then we played well and had chances, as we did in the second period.
"In the first half we were a little overawed because there was a lot of pressure on us.
"We didn't play our best, we can do a lot better, as we showed in the second half.
"Sometimes we lacked patience and shot from outside the box, we needed to be more aggressive to try to have more of the ball and control in midfield.
"At half-time we changed a few positions, Mandzukic dropped deeper, (Ivan) Rakitic went onto the wing and I pushed up (Luka) Modric.
"He pressed their defence and tried to play in Rakitic and Mandzukic. We dominated them, we were the better team.
"We made triangles, we were passing the ball, we were compact in that area.
"We've got top players, (Ivan) Strinic played really well, as did (Darijo) Srna.
"We came close to winning, I have to congratulate both teams, it was a good match and I'm satisfied with the result.
"My players showed character, they're good quality players." AFP