Dutch media blame 'chump' Webb for defeat

Press Association
Monday 12 July 2010 11:42
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Webb handed out 14 yellow cards
Webb handed out 14 yellow cards

The Dutch media today labelled English referee Howard Webb a "chump" following his controversial display in Holland's 1-0 defeat to Spain in the World Cup final last night.

Webb issued nine yellow cards to Holland players, two of which were shown to defender John Heitinga, whose dismissal left Bert van Marwijk's men to fight out the final 11 minutes of extra-time with 10 men.

They could not see it out with Andres Iniesta firing home in the closing stages to deny the Dutch and hand Spain the world crown to add to the European Championship trophy claimed two years ago in Austria and Switzerland.

The general feeling in the Dutch press was that the best side won but that did not spare Webb from their wrath.

AD Sportwereld wrote: "The Dutch national team perished in the World Cup final - thanks largely to a chump of a referee.

"It was a riveting battle, emerging through the tension but the Philistines were helped by Howard Webb, a controversial referee from England.

"He hopped across the pitch, handing out cards, each time preceding the act with an irritating address of the culprit.

"The teams deserved a referee in top form but that was certainly not the case with Webb.

"Spain's winning goal was understandably celebrated passionately by the Spaniards but the blunder by Webb which came before - he missed an obvious corner for Holland, took the shine off it, at least for the Dutch."

De Telegraaf noted: "The referee failed to calm the mood in 120 minutes.

"That he was booed at the final ceremony by both the Dutch and Spanish fans was significant."

De Telegraaf was disappointed with a final which was a niggly, fractious affair.

It said: "The tone was often unpleasant.

"Nasty with violations that had nothing to do with football.

"Too few goals, too much tension.

"It was not helped by referee Webb.

"But from a technical point of view the game ended with the right team as world champions."

De Telegraaf columnist Jaap de Groot also finished by praising Spain.

"In 1974 (when Holland lost to West Germany in the final) we were the best team," they said.

"In 1978 (when they lost to Argentina) we were the better team.

"In 2010 we were just not good enough."

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