World Cup referee Ali Bujsaim accused FIFA on Tuesday of bowing to pressure in nominating Pierluigi Collina for the final between Brazil and Germany.
"We thought the referee in the final wouldn't be from Europe since Germany is a European country, but FIFA nominated an Italian for the job," the United Arab Emirates official told Reuters on arrival in Dubai from the Korea/Japan tournament.
"It all happened because Europeans started putting pressure on the FIFA referees committee to name European referees for the semi-finals and final after top countries likes France, Spain and Italy made an early exit," he said.
"FIFA was not strong enough to stand against the continued pressure from the Europeans, who were determined to keep referees from smaller nations in their place."
Following an outcry over bad refereeing decisions which went the way of co-hosts South Korea in particular in their matches against Italy and then Spain in the knockout stages, world body FIFA named European officials for the last two rounds.
"I have nothing personal against Collina. He is one of the top referees in the world and handled the final very well," said Bujsaim, adding: "I had a chance of supervising the final, but only if Italy had made the final."
Bujsaim was in charge of two matches in the tournament, the opening game between France and Senegal in Seoul and the group F decider between Argentina and Sweden in Oita, Japan.
"Overall the standard of refereeing was pretty good at the World Cup. Most of the major mistakes were committed by assistant referees (linesmen), who represented continents other than Asia," he said.
"There were some goals disallowed, but then the percentage of linesmen making errors in judging offsides was just two to four percent. Spain, for instance, needlessly blamed the referee (Gamal al-Ghandour of Egypt) for disallowing a golden goal against South Korea, it was the fault of the linesman.
"It's not easy for linesmen to judge an offside when the difference is just 20 to 30 centimetres," said Bujsaim, who made headlines when he red-carded Argentina's Claudio Caniggia on the bench during their match against Sweden.
"His words may not mean much to some, but if I had allowed him to go unpunished, I would have lost control of the match," Bujsaim said without elaborating.
Caniggia admitted afterwards that he swore at the referee as the Argentine bench protested a decision by Bujsaim that went against their team near the end of the first half.
Bujsaim said he supported the idea of using technology to assist the referees.
"I support the use of technology, but it will take a long time before it is implemented in football," he said.