Kaka: I'll be more careful with refereeing at WCup

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Even Kaka's 70-year-old grandmother had harsh words for the referee who gave him a red card in Brazil's match against Ivory Coast.

The star midfielder also pledged to be more careful because of the "severe" refereeing at the World Cup.

The playmaker said his grandmother, Vera, was just as upset as he was with the red card late in Brazil's 3-1 victory at Soccer City Stadium on Sunday.

"I can't repeat here what she said about the referee," a laughing Kaka said Tuesday. "She was happy with the way I played, but sad with the sending off. With all the respect that she has, she launched a bit of a tirade at the referee."

But Kaka is taking the incident as a lesson for the following matches, saying he will be more careful to avoid getting into a difficult position with the referee.

"It's an uncomfortable situation. From now on I will police myself on the field because we have seen that the refereeing has been very severe," Kaka said. "In such an important moment, at a World Cup, you want to avoid certain (situations)."

Kaka was ejected after receiving a contentious second yellow card in the 88th minute when Ivory Coast's Kader Keita ran into him while going for the ball. The Brazilian dropped his elbow to protect himself and Keita fell to the ground as if being hit in the face. Kaka moved away as players from both teams started shoving each other.

Kaka said it was only his third career red card, and the first with the national team.

"If I had been irresponsible, I'd be the first to come here and apologize," Kaka said. "But that's not what happened. It was a normal play followed by simulation."

Kaka is disappointed he won't be able to play Friday in Durban against Portugal and Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

"It's an important match and of course I feel for not playing in it, but that's what happened," Kaka said. "I've been talking to Cristiano frequently and the last thing he told me was that my sending off was unfair."