Robben in the clear after diving comments

Netherlands forward Arjen Robben will not face retrospective action for admitting he dived against Mexico, FIFA have announced.

Bayern Munich star Robben won the decisive penalty, converted by substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, as the Dutch completed a dramatic last-gasp comeback to earn a 2-1 win in the FIFA World Cup round of 16 on Sunday.

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera raged against Robben's conduct, claiming the player dived on three occasions - including when he appeared to draw contact from veteran defender Rafael Marquez before going to ground somewhat theatrically.

Speaking after the match, Robben apologised for taking a dive earlier in the contest but maintained the penalty awarded for Marquez's challenge was legitimate.

The comments might have landed the 30-year-old in hot water, given article 57 of FIFA’s regulations state it can "sanction those who violate the principles of fair play".

But speaking at a press conference in Rio on Tuesday, FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer confirmed Robben was in the clear as he would only have received a yellow card had Pedro Proenca opted to punish him for diving.

"Simulation is not something we want to see on the field of play but the referees are trained to identify these simulations and punish them by showing yellow cards," Fischer said.

"The disciplinary committee will look into serious infringements. We appeal to the spirit of fair play which is the over-arching message we have."

Robben is set to give a media briefing of his own later on Tuesday following the furore caused by his comments and, in a statement on their official website, the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) criticised media interpretations of the winger's interview.

"KNVB is unpleasantly surprised by publications in the media about the Dutch penalty in the match versus Mexico," the statement read.

"Media have interpreted statements from Robben in a Dutch post-match interview completely wrong.

"In a studio interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS, the forward stated that the decision of the referee to give a penalty in the second half of the game was perfectly right. 

"However, in the same interview Robben referred to two situations earlier in the match (first half), when he was brought down. The striker stated that in one of those situations he should have been granted a penalty, but that in the other case he was falling too easily."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter called for retrospective action against unsporting acts such as diving in the ruling body's official magazine this February.

He wrote: "Video evidence can be used for serious breaches of the principle of fair play such as brawling, spitting at opponents, verbal insults and racist slurs, or for incorrectly awarded red or yellow cards. 

"In cases such as these we must make use of the avenues already open to us and intervene after the event if necessary. In this context, we should include the faking of injury, intentional diving or time-wasting in our considerations."

Netherlands' next World Cup match is a quarter-final against surprise package Costa Rica on Saturday.


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