FIFA referee’s boss Jim Boyce has hit out at Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s criticism of Jonas Eriksson following the Sky Blues’ Champions League loss to Barcelona.

The Chilean manager slammed the official for awarding a contentious penalty that contributed to his side’s 2-0 home defeat.

Eriksson adjudged Martin Demichelis to have chopped Lionel Messi down in the box, although replays indicated that initial contact was outside of the area.

The Argentine was dismissed for his challenge, which, alongside other incidents, enraged Pellegrini.

The City chief questioned whether or not Swede Eriksson was suitable for the job given his nationality and slated numerous decisions he made.

But Boyce feels that such claims were unfounded and that he felt Eriksson had performed well:

“It is absolute nonsense to say a referee should not be chosen because he comes from a smaller country,” he is quoted by The Express.

“If the referee has proved himself at the top level it should not matter what country they come from.

“All the referees who have been chosen for the World Cup have been assessed by experienced officials who have been involved at FIFA and UEFA level and marked on their performances in the World Cup and confederation competitions at a high level.”

“I read the remarks that were made by the Manchester City manager. I saw the game and my own personal opinion is that I thought the referee had a good game. He is a very experienced referee who has been chosen for the World Cup because of excellent reports of his performances in Europe.”

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