Friday 15 December 2017

Robben: I am an honest guy

HOLLAND winger Arjen Robben hopes everyone can move on from his dive against Mexico after avoiding retrospective punishment from FIFA.

The Oranje required a remarkable late comeback to overcome El Tri 2-1 on Sunday, with substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar striking from the spot in stoppage time to secure a 2-1 win. Robben was taken down by Rafael Marquez for the deciding spot-kick and insisted after the last-16 clash it was "definitely a foul", but courted controversy by admitting he had taken a tumble earlier in the match.

It was a "stupid action" he reportedly apologised for before and after avoiding punishment from FIFA, with head of media Delia Fischer saying the disciplinary committee would only look retrospectively at "serious infringements" - a decision the winger had expected all along.

Asked if he thought he would be sanctioned, Robben said: "No, not at all, why? No. I was not afraid, no. I am an honest guy. Nah, nothing. It had no influence on the game."

Before speaking to the media, the Dutch FA (KNVB) felt it necessary to issue a statement insisting Robben's comments to NOS had been misinterpreted.

Robben and team-mate Wesley Sneijder, however, preferred to focus on Holland's collective success ahead of Saturday's quarter-final against Costa Rica.

"The Central Americans are doing very well," Sneijder said. "After a hard game against Mexico, this will be another one.

"They will have more fans than we have."

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