The Netherlands winger feels people should accept his admission of diving in the last 16 game against Mexico, stressing that he does not fear any repercussions after the incident
Arjen Robben believes that he has been “honest and fair” over his diving in Netherlands’ game with Mexico and it is time to move on.
The 30-year-old was put under scrutiny after winning a decisive penalty in the Oranje’s 2-1 second round win, particularly after he admitted that he had tried to earn a free kick despite feeling no contact in the first half of the encounter.
However, despite expressing regret for his dive, Robben was adamant he was fouled by Rafael Marquez for the penalty and feels that a line should now be drawn under the affair.
“I can only repeat what I said after the match,” the Dutchman said in an interview with the Times of India.
“I really must apologise as in the first half I took a dive and I really shouldn’t do that. That was a stupid thing to do but sometimes you’re expecting to be struck, then they pull their leg away at the last minute and I went to the ground without a touch.
“But I was fouled by Marquez! You can see it on television. So the one at the end was a penalty.
“Everyone is allowed to have their opinion. I said it before the game, I also say it now that I will say what I think is honest and fair. Not everyone has to agree with me, they just need to respect whatever happened.
“I am an honest guy and said what I did was wrong. That should be the end of the story. Maybe sometimes you are punished for honesty but I always prefer to be honest!”
Netherlands now face Costa Rica in their quarter-final in Salvador on Saturday and Robben admits that he regrets the fact his comments have overshadowed his side’s achievements.
“It is a shame there is so much discussion because we put on a great performance as a team,” he acknowledged.
“That should be the main thing. Sometimes, you know, I like to be honest and I again apologise for this action in the first half but that is football. It had nothing to do with the result of the game.
“It was a lot of hard work and some work and some luck for us in the end to turn things around so late in the game against Mexico. It was a deserving win in the end and we are proud to reach the quarter-finals.
“Costa Rica are difficult opponents, otherwise they wouldn’t have ended up in a quarter-final topping a group with Uruguay, Italy and England, and then beating Greece. It won’t be easy for us.”