Spain and Netherlands Fined For Dirtiest Final
Wednesday, 4th August 2010 at 08:58am
2010 Fifa World Cup Champions Spain and runners up the Netherlands have been fined by the games' governing body for ill discipline in the tournament's showcase final in Johannesburg on July 11.
A total of 13 players were shown yellow cards in the 120-minute final, five from winners Spain and eight from the Netherlands, who also had Johnny Heitinga dismissed for a second bookable offence on a bad tempered night.
The Dutch football federation must now pay Fifa 9,080, while their Spanish counterparts have been fined 6,053.
Many of the Dutch players were critical of English referee Howard Webb after the final but Fifa and his fellow referees were quick to back the Premier League whistle blower.
Things could have been far worse for the Netherlands had Webb chosen to send of Nigel de Jong instead of issuing just a yellow card following a 'karate kick' to the chest of Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso, a challenge he later described as, it "one of the worst tackles" he had ever been on the receiving end of.
Oranje legend Johan Cruyff directed most of his ire at the Dutch players and their style of play in the final, branding it as 'anti-football'.
"Sadly, they played very dirty," Cruyff told Spanish newspaper El Periodico.
"This ugly, vulgar, hard, hermetic, hardly eye-catching, hardly football style... If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they lost."
The final between Spain and Holland now has the unwanted distinction of holding the record for the most cards shown in a final but fell short of the 16 yellows and four reds issued in the 2006 second round match between Portugal and Holland in Germany.