Lack of fair play spoiled final – Blatter

JOHANNESBURG, (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp  Blatter admitted yesterday that he was let down by the behaviour  of the players in Sunday’s World Cup final between Netherlands  and Spain.

“The final was not exactly what FIFA, and what myself, had  expected, in terms of fair play,” he told reporters.

“The refereeing trio had a really hard task on the field and  I can say they were not helped in this task.”

Blatter declined to comment on the much-criticised  performance of English referee Howard Webb but reiterated his  view that controversy was one of the game’s attractions.

Webb showed 13 yellow cards in a bruising encounter — a  record for the final — and sent off Dutch defender John  Heitinga in extra time.

“This is the human aspect of our game,” Blatter said.

“If our game was perfect, if our game was scientific, if our  game was controlled only by technology, by science, there would  be no more discussion.

“This is football. We have to live with the errors, the  errors of the players and the errors of the referees.

“I don’t think perfection exists.”

Blatter denied he had been booed by the crowd at Soccer City  stadium when he went onto the pitch before Sunday’s match, which  Spain won 1-0.

“The only thing I was aware of was that there were less  vuvuzelas,” he said.

“I don’t know about this. In this country and everywhere I  have been, I have always been received as a friend, as an  African.

“Yesterday, it was the same, we went on the field of play  and I can say it was a great moment.”

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