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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

July 11, 2010

Kung-Fu football – Ouch!

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s World Cup final had some people complaining again about the quality of the officiating during the tournament.

Spain defeated the Netherlands 1-0 with a goal in the final minutes of overtime play to win the World Cup for the first time. For the Dutch, it was the third loss in a World Cup final 2010 World Cup (the other two losses were in 1974 to Germany and 1978 to Argentina). It was a rough game with the Dutch strategy appearing to be to "fore-check" the Spanish and prevent them from playing an offensive game. In the immediate aftermath of the loss, Dutch star Wesley Sneijder criticized the referee: "From the first minute, we felt that [English referee Webb] was against us." However, that is probably what the Spanish players might have thought, too. "You have to take your chances," Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong said. And did he ever! In a late attempt to wrest the ball from Spain’s Xabi Alonso, de Jong wound up planting his cleats right on the chest of the opposing player. Commentators watching the game wondered why a red card was not given for this attack, which would have meant the Dutch playing the entire second half and the overtime with only ten players. In the final analysis, though, the better team won, as Dutch defender Joris Mathijsen told reporters: "You can’t win the World Cup without scoring a goal in the final. They did, that’s why they’re deserved world champions. We didn’t lose because of all the bad decisions from the referee but because Spain scored a goal and deservedly won."

My two teams (Germany and the Netherlands) played well during the tournament, but not well enough to win the Cup! Oh well, 2014 in Brazil!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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