De Jong: I feared for my safety

De Jong accepts Howard Webb should have shown him a red card for

the chest-high challenge on Xabi Alonso, although he insists he

never intended to harm the Spain midfielder. The Dutch lost an

ill-tempered game after John Heitinga was sent off, and De Jong was

vilified at home and abroad for his attempt at a tackle, which Webb

punished with only a yellow. De Jong told De Volkskrant: “At no

time did I see Xabi Alonso because I was focused only on the ball.

“Actually, when I think back about it, it was not good at all. Of

course the referee should have shown a red card for the foul. That

is obvious.” The incident left De Jong fearing for his safety. “I

had the feeling that there were people who wanted to harm me,” he

said. “I’ve been public enemy number one on many occasions.

Honestly, people treated me like a war criminal. It was an

unpleasant sensation.”