Holland: Howard Webb robbed us

Holland’s Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie have accused English referee Howard Webb of ‘robbing’ them of the World Cup.

Spain won last night’s final thanks to a late goal from Andres Iniesta. However, the Dutch disputed the goal claiming that Webb made a number of mistakes in the build-up.

‘He has robbed us,’ Sneijder said. ‘This really is a disgrace to football. It really shouldn't have happened. First I shot a free kick that hit the wall and then the Spanish keeper touched it before going behind. What does the referee do? The whistle was not for a corner.’

‘In the following attack, Iniesta is at first offside. Webb doesn't whistle and then Iniesta gets the ball and scores. And earlier there was a moment with Iniesta, he kicked Van Bommel when the ball was not there. The fourth official saw the moment and he said, 'Yeah, I saw it'. I think if you saw it it's a red card.’

The Inter Milan player continued: ‘That's three incidents in a short space of time. It is a scandal it has to end this way. I won three titles (this season) and now I lost tonight the fourth title. It's a pity but I think we can be proud of it, the whole country.’

Van Persie also got stuck into Webb: ‘What was this man doing. He made three big errors in extra time of a World Cup final. Believe me, this really hurts. Even after Heitinga's red card I still felt we could be world champions. With penalty kicks we'd at least have a 50 per cent chance.’

‘He whistled four minutes from time, but not for a corner, and later overlooks Iniesta being in an offside position. Iniesta should not have been on the pitch because he kicked Van Bommel. He also should have shown Puyol a second yellow card for trying to knock down Robben.’

Van Persie acknowledged that Holland had their chances to win the game but put most of the blame firmly on Webb’s shoulders: ‘I don't say it's only down to the referee. We missed a very good chance. But the referee has been decisive. Perhaps it was because Spain were wronged in a group match against Switzerland (which Webb refereed)? Let me say nothing.’

Strangely there was no mention by Sneijder or van Persie of the fact that Webb only gave yellow cards to Nigel de Jong and Mark van Bommel for fouls that were worthy of a straight red.

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