Holland coach Marco van Basten was critical of Russian referee Valentin Ivanov after his side were knocked out of the World Cup 1-0 by Portugal.
"It is a pity the referee made a mess of this game," reflected Van Basten.
The Dutch finished the second round tie with nine men in a match that featured 16 yellow cards and four red.
"There could have been a yellow card for the referee," said Fifa president Sepp Blatter. "He was not at the same level as the players."
The number of bookings equalled the World Cup record which was set in 2002 when Germany played Cameroon.
The four dismissals set a new tournament benchmark, eclipsing the three sendings off witnessed in the matches between USA and Italy (2006), Denmark and South Africa (1998), Brazil and Hungary (1954) and Brazil and Czechoslovakia (1938).
"This was a game of emotion, with exceptional drama in the last instant, with a deserved winner," Blatter added.
"It was a great show with intervention by the referee that was not consistent and (had a) lack of fair play by some players."
The Portuguese had the smarter team - our missed opportunities made the difference
It was Van Basten's first competitive defeat as Dutch coach and leaves Holland still waiting for their first win against Portugal since 1991.
The coach added: "It was an open and very spectacular game but we could not score a goal.
"I think in the second half we only played 20 or 25 minutes of football. There was little playing time with all the injuries and the players going down all over the place.
"What is also regrettable is that the refereeing has such an influence on such an important match.
"They stopped the game from being a pretty spectacle."
The Dutch had 22 shots on goal, eight on target, and captain Edwin van der Sar was frustrated by the number of chances that his strikers wasted.
"The Portuguese had the smarter team," the goalkeeper said. "Our missed opportunities made the difference.
"Falling a goal behind was no problem but then you have to score the first chance you get and that one we missed.
"And at the end when we played 10 against nine we didn't get the ball where it should be."