[REACTION] English referee Howard Webb, who booked 13 different players and sent off Dutchman John Heitinga, says he and refereeing team were satisfied with doing a tough job in difficult circumstances in Sunday's World Cup final won by Spain, 1-0.
“We don’t feel that we had much choice except to manage the game in the way we did,” Webb said in a statement released by the Premier League on Tuesday. “We came away feeling satisfied that we’d done a tough job in difficult circumstances to the best of our abilities.
“From early on in the match, we had to make decisions that were clear yellow cards. We tried to apply some common sense officiating given the magnitude of the occasion for both sides—advising players early on for some of their tackling, sending players away when they were surrounding the officials, and speaking to their senior colleagues to try and calm them down.”
Dutch star Arjen Robben was furious Webb did not send off Spain defender Carles Puyol after he appeared to impede Robben, who had broken clear in the 82nd minute. Moments later, Robben was shown a yellow card for dissent.
Webb insisted he and his crew kept the focus on the soccer.
“It was an extremely challenging match to handle, but it would have been so for any referee,” he said. “It is one of the toughest games we will ever be involved in and we feel that we worked hard to keep the focus on the football as much as possible.”