Nigel de Jong says FIFA are at fault for rough World Cup final

Nigel de Jong is putting the blame for Sunday's World Cup final debacle firmly at FIFA's door.

The Holland star has admitted he was lucky not to get sent off for his challenge on Xabi Alonso, which the former Liverpool midfielder has labelled one of the worst he has ever suffered.

Instead he collected one of the record 14 yellow cards dished out by Englishman Howard Webb.

Webb's performance has been condemned in Holland, where they feel the Premier League referee dealt with similarly poor challenges by Spain players in a far more lenient way.

However, De Jong has some sympathy with Webb, someone he knows well from the Premier League, and suggests FIFA are the ones who should be held to account.

"Nowadays the pressure on the referees is so big," De Jong was quoated by the London Evening Standard

"There are so many rules from FIFA telling them what to do.

"It would be easier if they could concentrate on the basics and referee the game.

"Maybe I am a little bit old school. But when you see how football used to be, there were worse fouls then and no-one even whistled.

"It is part of the game. Now FIFA come out with all those rules and the game is not exciting for the players anymore.

"Let football stay as football."

The Holland midfielder planted his studs into the Alonso's chest and left him needing treatment before he was able to continue.

The Real Madrid star was still in pain long after the final whistle and fears he may have broken a rib.

Clearly, the 28-year-old was not impressed by De Jong's conduct.

"It was one of the worst tackles I have ever suffered," was quoated saying by the London Evening Standard.

"It was a tight game, there was respect from both sides and they had to close us down.

"But that challenge was really hard. It was one of the most painful tackles in my life and it was hard to play on.

"I have probably broken a rib, although I am not too worried about that."