In what was one of the most boring World Cup finals, Howard Webb cheated the Netherlands and made Spain world champions after displaying one of the worst, most pathetic refereeing displays in his abysmal career.
The game was slow, boring, and lame. Holland played aggressively while Spain passed a little more than they should have. But the worst of all was the disgraceful Howard Webb.
FIFA needs to acknowledge the importance of replays and implement them in the game, but then again they are the biggest beneficiaries from the scandals and errors made in big games.
Webb's mistakes not only proved crucial, but they were ridiculous as well. De Jong should've been sent off for playing kung fu on Xabi Alonso , while Puyol should've been sent off for the challenge preformed on Robben, while the Dutchman was one-on-one with Casillas. Robben later ran furious at Howard Webb, demanding to know why Puyol wasn't sent off, only to be booked by Webb.
Spain and the Netherlands wasted unbelievable chances, most notably Robben, who should be criticized for wasting such chances, and most important of all, hogging the ball more than needed. He could've changed the game had he been more generous with his teammates.
Webb later sent off Heitinga for tackling Iniesta. Replays showed that the Spaniard took a dive after being merely touched by Heitinga, and to add insult to injury, the Dutchman was raising his hands when Iniesta dived to show that he wasn't making a challenge and that he wasn't even the last defender in Holland's defence, as replays show .
However, Webb thought otherwise. Iniesta fooled Webb with ease, and Holland were 10 men with less than 10 minutes to go.
The worst part was Heitinga's first yellow card was a very soft one, and Iniesta made a tackle no less insulting than that of Heitinga's seconds later against Sneijder, only for Webb to give only the foul.
But the highlight of Webb's mediocre performance was the goal that the Spaniards scored. Holland had a foul, Sneijder shot the ball, which hit the wall in one of the most obvious deflections in the World Cup, later to be saved by Casillas into a corner.
Webb gave it as a goal kick, and it was unimaginable how someone would miss something so obvious. Seconds later, Elia was fouled by two Spaniards, Webb amazingly waved play on, while Spain played on and scored from Webb's mistakes.
Holland's players must be respected for their ability to hold their temper in what was yet another display of how Spain and Barcelona seem to get it easy in their games—Ballack running furious at Overbro when Chelsea played against Barcelona was the exact reaction displayed by Robben against Spain, both players furious by the referees call (Pique handball with Barcelona, and Puyol's foul on Robben).
To make matters even more annoying on Webb's behalf, he started giving the Spanish players yellow cards after they scored, as if it was going to make any difference. Iniesta made many rash tackles, and should've been sent off along with Puyol and De Jong. However, Iniesta received a yellow card after scoring the goal for talking his shirt off.
Spain are currently the second team to win the World Cup after the European Cup—West Germany being the first—and are the third team to hold both titles simultaneously. They were the better side overall.
They were lucky not to get one or two players sent off, whereas Holland got the wrong man sent off. The Spanish wasted more chances than the Dutch, but perhaps they were overall lucky as Webb's inadequacy as a referee proved vital.
Holland have faced yet another heartbreak, and at an even worse manner. Poor Heitinga left the game when he did not deserve to, and Webb has ruined the ending of a tournament that occurs once every four years.
This leaves the fans and critics wondering how is it that FIFA chooses these idiots as referees for a final, especially one of the most hated and controversial referees in England, known for his generosity with Manchester United at Old Trafford and his mistimed yellow and red cards.
Congratulations to the Spanish fans. Overall, their team was better. This generation of theirs is Spain's golden generation, and one is certain that Spain won't be able to give birth to a new Xavi (no matter how weak his sportsmanship is when he is on the losing side), a new Puyol, or a new David Villa, who is the most likely to win the Ballon D'or, along with Sneijder.
Holland fans are going to have to get used to being called "greatest team to have never won the World Cup," along with the fact that they got screwed to some extent in all three finals they've reached.
Webb has broken the record for most bookings in a final. The previous record was set in the 1986 final, with six yellow cards, while Webb has issued 15 yellow cards and one red.
In conclusion, FIFA must reconsider their replay policy, and should start punishing referees who make such horrendous mistakes. This is a game that earns them billions, and they should treat it as such.
To go out on a high note, here is Sepp Blatter's moronic explanation on why video technology should not be allowed.