De Jong blames Fifa for final debacle
Nigel de Jong is laying the blame for Sunday's World Cup final debacle firmly at FIFA's door.
The Holland star has admitted he was fortunate not to get sent off for his challenge on Xabi Alonso, which the former Liverpool midfielder has labelled one of the worst he has ever suffered.
Instead he collected one of the record 14 yellow cards dished out by Englishman Howard Webb, two of which turned into a red for Johnny Heitinga.
Webb's performance has been condemned in Holland, where they feel the Premier League referee dealt with similarly poor challenges by Spain players in a far more lenient way.
However, De Jong has some sympathy with Webb, someone he knows well from the Premier League, and suggests FIFA are the ones who should be held to account.
"Nowadays the pressure on the referees is so big," De Jong said.
"There are so many rules from FIFA telling them what to do.
"It would be easier if they could concentrate on the basics and referee the game.
"Maybe I am a little bit old school. But when you see how football used to be, there were worse fouls then and no-one even whistled.
"It is part of the game. Now FIFA come out with all those rules and the game is not exciting for the players anymore.
"Let football stay as football."
Clearly though, the Dutch camp have been stung by the attack on their tactics at Soccer City on Sunday.
Mark van Bommel, Nigel de Jong and Wesley Sneijder could easily have been sent off in the first half alone such was the aggression Holland showed, which was totally at odds with the Johan Cruyff era of 'total football' that carried the Dutch to the first of what is now three final defeats in 1974.
Senior KNVB official Kees Jansma was rattled enough to launch a stinging attack on England's performances in South Africa after being challenged by a group of English journalists a couple of hours after the final whistle.
"What was the result of England? Did they play in this World Cup?" said Jansma, as he was trying to rush star man Sneijder out of the mixed zone where journalists congregate to speak with players after matches, just as the midfielder was being asked about Holland's negative tactics.
When he was told that was hardly the issue on a night when Holland had just been beaten and been condemned for their approach to the game, Jansma continued: "You can't talk to me like that. I am the boss.
"That's the problem with England. No quality at all. It's why England has so many friends in football.
"The quality of the English football is great is it? Yes that's what I want to see. Football the way England play."
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