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Webb admits mistakes

World Cup official admits to making mistakes in final

By Razwan Mirza.   Last Updated: 26/08/10 8:25am

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Webb: De Jong should have gone

Webb: De Jong should have gone

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Referee Howard Webb has admitted that he should have dismissed Holland's Nigel de Jong in the World Cup final.

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The Englishman accepts that he should have shown the Manchester City midfielder a red card for an X-rated challenge on Xabi Alonso in the 25th minute.

The Yorkshire official handed out a record 14 yellow cards - two leading to a red - but acknowledges that he should have also sent off De Jong.

"I sensed very early on the field the players were under a lot of pressure, they were very close to winning the ultimate prize for their country for the first time," admitted Webb.

"We wanted to be that steadying hand but equally we wanted to do our job properly and if there was a clear red card we would do it.

"When I look back on the full two hours of that game, which of course I have done, there is not much I would change.

"One of the things I would change is the colour of the card for De Jong's tackle.

"Having seen it again from my armchair several times in slow motion and from different angles I can see that it was a red-card offence."


Webb insists that the decision not to send the player off had nothing to do with the occasion at Soccer City.

"The decision not to red card him was not based on me not wanting to send someone off in the World Cup final, it was based on the viewing angle I had got.

"What I couldn't see was the actual contact on Alonso through his back, with (Mark) Van Bommel just to his right, the view was obstructed somewhat.

"I could see the foot was high and from Alonso's reaction there must have been some contact even though I couldn't see the contact, and being 25 minutes into a World Cup final, I wasn't prepared to guess.

"I wasn't prepared to fill in the blanks in my head to say that was possibly a red-card offence, I wanted to base it on what we could see so therefore I decided to show a yellow card."

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