Thursday, 8 July 2010

World Cup: England In Final

Howard Webb will referee the World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain in Johannesburg on Sunday. The 38-year-old Yorkshireman has had a great tournament. Webb will be the first Englishman to referee the final since Jack Taylor in 1974. He's refereed three World Cup matches in South Africa, and has neither shown a red card nor awarded a penalty.

Webb made his World Cup finals debut in Spain's shock 1-0 defeat by Switzerland. He also took charge for Slovakia's 3-2 victory against Italy - which saw the defending champions knocked out - and was praised for his handling of the match's dramatic finale. In the last-sixteen stage Webb refereed Brazil's 3-0 win over Chile, but he missed out on the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

For Webb to be chosen to officiate the biggest game in football in his first World Cup finals is a great achievement. His performances have boosted English officials' standing around the world after the debacle at the 2006 World Cup, when idiot referee Graham Poll handed out three yellow cards to one player during the match between Australia and Croatia.

Howard Webb has been a Premier League referee since 2003 and took charge of the 2007 Carling Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal - won by Chelsea 2-1 - and the 2009 FA Cup final, also won by the Blues, that time against Everton. In his spare time Webb enjoys sailing his luxury yacht, and is a keen supporter of Chelsea.

No comments: