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World Cup notes: Arjen Robben sorry for dive, but not for being himself

Published June 30, 2014 6:41 pm

Notes • Dutch forward says he won't change playing style.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.

Suarez apologizes for biting opponent

After a few days of reflection, Luis Suarez acknowledged what millions saw on TV — he did bite an opponent during a game at the World Cup. In addition, he said he's sorry about it, and promised it will never happen again.

Ending a unified protest in Uruguay by everyone from Suarez to teammates, fans and even the country's president that the star striker had done nothing wrong, the Liverpool player on Monday offered an apology to Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

"I deeply regret what occurred," Suarez said in a statement posted on Twitter. "I apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family. … I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like [this]."

The Uruguay striker was banned for four months from all football by FIFA for biting the shoulder of Chiellini during the team's 1-0 win over Italy in their group-stage game in Brazil. The incident was not spotted by the referee, and the Uruguayans' victory sent them through to the second round while Italy was eliminated. It is the third time Suarez has been banned for biting an opponent, after similar incidents at both Ajax in the Dutch league and Liverpool in the English Premier League.

Chiellini responded on Twitter shortly after Suarez posted his statement, accepting the apology.

"It's all forgotten," the Italian wrote in English. "I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension."

Suarez had originally denied wrongdoing in a written response to FIFA, and had been staunchly defended by teammates and Uruguayan officials. His apology could be taken into account by FIFA when it considers an appeal of the ban, which the Uruguayan federation has said it will file.

 

 

 

 

 

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