Howard Webb has admitted that he realised he should have sent off Nigel de Jong in the 2010 World Cup final after checking his phone at half-time.
The now-retired English referee was the man in the middle for the major final five years ago when Spain beat Holland 1-0 to become world champions for the first time.
It was a memorable match given the Spanish made history – but it’s also remembered for the physical approach of the Dutch team and de Jong’s kung-fu kick on Xabi Alonso’s chest.
In case you haven’t seen it, let us refresh your memory:
[youtube id=”AcIicsfW660″ align=”center” maxwidth=”680″]
Anyway, de Jong earned just a yellow card from Webb for the challenge – an obvious mistake to almost everyone who watched the game.
And it seems Webb knew he had dished out the wrong punishment at half-time when he checked his phone to see a message from a colleague in the police.
The former referee told the hilarious story on BT Sport show Fletch And Sav this morning:
— Fletch And Sav (@FletchAndSav) January 2, 2016