Howard Webb to referee World Cup final

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pretoria - Howard Webb has been named head referee for Sunday's World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

The English who passed his refereeing course when he was 19 will be assisted by his countrymen, Michael Mullarkey and Darren Cann.

However, the Spanish are not happy with the appointment of the English Premier League referee whom they accused of denying them two penalties when they lost 1-nil to Switzerland in their group matches.

Webb began his international refereeing career in 2005 when he handled a match between Northern Ireland and Portugal.

He made his Premier League debut in 2003, when he refereed the match between Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In 2007, the 39-year-old was in charge of the Carling Cup final, refereed his first UEFA Champions League tie and took part in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.

He also presided over five matches including the semi-final between Austria and the Czech Republic.
In the 2007/2008 season of the English Premier League, he was also chosen to referee, the Manchester derby.

Webb, who used to play tennis at regional level, was selected to officiate at UEFA EURO 2008, where he also covered two first-round matches.

Despite the unhappiness by the Spaniards, Webb and his assistants were hailed for their error-free refereeing when former World Champions, Italy were defeated by Slovakia as well as the Brazil and Chile match.