FORTALEZA (Brazil): Mexico’s captain Rafael Marquez said Arjen Robben had admitted to him that the Dutch forward should not have been awarded the penalty that decided Sunday’s last-16 clash.
With extra time looming, the pacey Robben went down in the box under a challenge from defender Marquez, giving the Netherlands a penalty that won the game 2-1 but brought accusations of play-acting from Mexico.
Robben told him after the game in the players’ changing area “that it wasn’t a penalty, though one of the previous (tackles) was,” Marquez told journalists in comments that were translated from Spanish.
The Dutch forward went down several times in the box during the match with replays suggesting at least one of the incidents could well have been given as a penalty.
“I believe it was not a penalty,” Marquez added of the last-gasp action that lost his team the game. “I felt I touched the ground but I didn’t touch him, maybe he touched me.”
The Mexico captain said Robben, 30, who has had a brilliant career but often been accused of diving, had abused the spirit of the game. “For 10 fouls that he receives, he lets himself fall over for five, and that’s not fair play,” Marquez said.
“That has to change. Unfortunately in this World Cup it wasn’t just once or twice that these things affected us, but I don’t want to make excuses.”
Reuters | June 30, 2014
“Robben turned the World Cup, a sport event, where athletic merit and skill are rewarded, into a cheap game, where all you need to do is trick your opponent, and the referees. Holland, Robben in particular, scored more goals but they lost the respect of millions who could see with their own eyes. In the case of Chile vs Brazil, both teams played until the end. Chile had their chance. In the case of Mexico vs. Holland, Mr. Robben took something prematurely, disrespecting the true lovers of the sport. Arjen Robben should apologize not only to the press, but to every child, that believes this is an honest sport, played by athletes; to the Mexican team who out-played them, and to his countrymen.”