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‘Players let us down’

sports Updated: Jul 13, 2010 00:48 IST

FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted on Monday that he was let down by the behaviour of the players in Sunday's World Cup final between Netherlands and Spain. "The final was not exactly what FIFA, and what myself, had expected, in terms of fair play," he told reporters. "The refereeing trio had a really hard task on the field and I can say they were not helped in this task." Blatter declined to comment on the much-criticised performance of English referee Howard Webb but reiterated his view that controversy was one of the game's attractions.

Webb showed 13 yellow cards in a bruising encounter -- a record for the final -- and sent off Dutch defender John Heitinga in extra time. "This is the human aspect of our game," Blatter said. "If our game was perfect, if our game was scientific, and controlled only by technology, by science, there would be no more discussion. "This is football. We have to live with the errors, the errors of the players and the errors of the referees.

Cruyff slams ‘dirty’ Dutch

Madrid: Former Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff slammed the style of play of his compatriots during Sunday's final as "dirty" and "ugly". Cruyff, a losing finalist at the 1974 WC, wrote in El Periodico that the Dutch showed themselves to be particularly aggressive on the pitch and played "appallingly and sadly in a very dirty manner".