Dutch team slates referee

2010-07-12 08:17

Referee Howard Webb was heavily criticised by the Netherlands team

for awarding Spain its winning goal and his failure to send off defender Carles

Puyol last night in the most ill-disciplined World Cup final in history.

Webb booked 13 different players and sent off John Heitinga after

showing the Netherlands defender a second yellow card in extra time of the Dutch

team’s 1-0 loss at Soccer City.

But the English official failed to show a second yellow card to

Puyol when he appeared to impede Arjen Robben in the 82nd minute, allowing

Robben to play on and miss his chance to score.

Instead, Robben saw yellow after furiously chasing after Webb to

remonstrate with him.

“He has to send him (Puyol) off and give a free kick. In the end,

there is no advantage,” Robben said. “For me, it is very clear: that after such

a game when you sit in the dressing room there is only talking about the

referee, and I think that’s a bad point.

“If you play a World Cup final, you need a world-class referee. I

don’t know if today was a world-class performance from the referee.”

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said he didn’t think Webb

controlled the game well.

“I don’t look at referees but if I look at the ... chance of Arjen

then (Puyol) should have been given a second yellow, too,” Van Marwijk


The 14 yellow cards, one leading to a red, was a record for a World

Cup final, beating the six collected by Argentina and West Germany players in

1986. Eight different Dutchmen were booked, five from Spain.

At the final whistle, Netherlands midfielders Mark van Bommel and

Wesley Sneijder headed directly toward the referee.

Robben, who was booked for protesting that he was fouled by Puyol,

joined in as defender Joris Mathijsen rushed over to gesticulate angrily at the


All were upset at a decision which indirectly led to Spain’s

winning goal.

From a Dutch free kick, Sneijder’s shot was deflected wide but Webb

awarded a goal kick and Spain broke forward to score through Andres Iniesta with

four minutes left in extra time.

“We don’t have the Cup and that’s the reason why we’re here,”

Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg said. “You can blame the referee.

Everybody outside the stadium can see it was a corner, but he didn’t and the

assistant also (missed it).

Sneijder agreed that the goal came from a clear incorrect


“First the wall touched it, and after that the goalkeeper touched

it, so it was a clear corner kick,” Sneijder said.

Webb was subjected to more Dutch derision when he went to collect

his cup final medal.

A chorus of jeers and whistles rained down from the stands when

Webb led his assistants Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey to receive their gifts

from President Jacob Zuma and Fifa president Sepp Blatter.


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