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Robben says he won’t change despite penalty furor
Question of the Day
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Arjen Robben said sorry for one first-half dive against Mexico. Just don’t expect another apology from the Netherlands forward just for being himself.
Robben said Monday he won’t change his playing style or personality after winning the decisive stoppage-time penalty in the Netherlands’ 2-1 win against Mexico.
Robben provoked a furor after Sunday’s second-round match by telling Dutch broadcaster NOS he had dived in a first-half incident, though not for the penalty when he was challenged by Mexico captain Rafa Marquez.
“I don’t change myself, that is my personality. I think it’s good,” Robben said Monday, appearing calm, smiling and relaxed at a team news conference.
The Dutch forward simply said he had been “very honest” in the television interview.
“Sometimes you are punished for honesty,” said Robben, acknowledging it had been “a stupid action” to fall without contact.
“There was one foul in the first half where I went to the ground because I thought he would tackle me. It didn’t have any influence on the game,” he said.
FIFA called for fair play on Monday, but declined to take any retrospective action for the dive or subsequent comments.
FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said its disciplinary committee only “will look into serious infringements.”
“We ask the players to play in the spirit of fair play,” Fischer said. “It’s up to the referees to manage a match.”
Asked if he feared disciplinary action from FIFA, Robben said: “Not at all. Why?”
Robben’s fall in the penalty box earned the penalty which substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar converted in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
It ensured that the Netherlands will play Costa Rica in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Salvador.
The Robben incidents reignited a debate on diving, flopping and falling that began in the opening match of the tournament - a subject which seems to unite fans in anger and players in accepting it is part of the game.
On June 12, Brazil forward Fred won a penalty by falling under minimal contact from a Croatia defender. His action created the chance for Neymar to score the spot-kick, and take a 2-1 lead in an eventual 3-1 win.
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