Arjen Robben has apologised for diving during the first half of Netherlands’ 2-1 win against Mexico at the 2014 World Cup.
Robben was denied a penalty on two occasions before a late foul on the winger by Mexico captain Rafael Marquez saw referee Pedro Proenca point to the spot, allowing Netherlands to complete a dramatic late comeback.
After the game Robben admitted diving on one of the first two occasions, when fouls were not given, but claimed the third time was a legitimate foul and said it is a tendency he must curb.
“The one at the end was a penalty, I was fouled,” he told Dutch television channel NOS.
“At the same time I have to apologise in the first half I took a dive and I really shouldn’t do that.
“That was a stupid, stupid thing to do but sometimes you’re expecting to be struck and then they pull their leg away at the last minute.”
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera blamed Robben for his side’s elimination from the tournament and questioned the appointment of a European referee for a game involving a European side.
He said: “Out of the four matches here in all of them the refereeing was disastrous.
“Robben did three dives and he should have been cautioned. You should caution a guy who is trying to cheat, and then if Robben did it again he would be sent off.
“And why did FIFA choose a referee from the same confederation as Holland instead of one from South America, Asia or Africa?
“The doubtful decisions were always against us. We have to say it in capital letters, in three matches we had horrible refereeing. The man with the whistle knocked us.
“I want the referee committee to take a look and that the referee goes home just like us.