Robben escapes punishment

Andover Advertiser: Arjen Robben, left, will not face retrospective punishment Arjen Robben, left, will not face retrospective punishment

Arjen Robben has escaped punishment from FIFA after he admitted diving during Holland's late win over Mexico - a "stupid action" the winger hopes everyone can move on from.

The Oranje produced a remarkable late comeback on Sunday to deny Mexico a first quarter-final in 28 years, with Wesley Sneijder levelling before substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar struck 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 match it was "definitely a foul", although he made headlines by admitting he did dive earlier in the match.

The Bayern Munich winger apologised immediately after the game for taking a tumble and did so again at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, just hours after FIFA confirmed no action would be taken against him.

FIFA head of media Delia Fischer said the disciplinary committee would only look retrospectively at "serious infringements" of fair play rules and that Robben would face no action - 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.

"It's a shame because yesterday in an interview after the game I was very honest. Maybe sometimes you are punished for honesty, but I always prefer to be honest.

"I said there was one foul in the first half where I went to the ground because I thought he would tackle me, but he took his leg away at the last moment and I went to the ground without a touch.

"It was a stupid action from me, but it had no influence on the game, had nothing to do with the penalty kick.

"In the first half we should have had a penalty kick in the second half the penalty at the end was a clear foul.

"It is a shame there is so much discussion because we put on a great performance as a team. That should be the main thing.

"Sometimes, you know, I like to be honest and I apologise for this action in the first half, but that is football. It had nothing to do with the result of 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.

There was no chance of misconstruing Mexico coach Miguel Herrera's comments, though, as he accused the winger of committing three dives during the match in Fortaleza.

Robben had no problem with such opinions and will remain as honest as ever, despite uproar following his comments.

"I don't change myself," he said, speaking at the Dutch training base. "That's my personality.

"I think it's good. I apologised for one stupid action, but it didn't have an influence in the game.

"We had two clear penalties, one was given. That is it. I don't think we should talk about it any more."

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

Los Ticos have been the World Cup's surprise package and having won Group D ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England, overcame Greece on penalties on Sunday.

"The Central Americans are doing very well in this World Cup," Sneijder said. "After a hard game against Mexico, this will be another one. They will have more fans than we have.

"Yesterday it was the same, but it's something nice as well: better than having nobody here.

"We can expect more fans of Costa Rica, but it's good. It's good. We are in South America, so it's a perfect situation."

While Holland look to reach their second World Cup final in a row, Mexico return home boosted by a strong performance in Brazil - one which goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa believes they should be proud of.

"There'll be plenty of time later for analysis and to think about what we need to do next," the man-of-the-match said.

"What's clear to me right now is that we can leave here with our heads held high. We need to keep working hard and come back even stronger for the next World Cup."

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