England’s Howard Webb to referee World Cup final
English referee Howard Webb has been selected to officiate this Sunday’s World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain.
The Premier League official has refereed three games at the tournament so far.
The 38-year-old began his World Cup campaign officiating Switzerland’s shock 1-0 victory over Spain in the opening game of Group H.
Webb, hailing from Yorkshire, also took control of Slovakia’s 3-2 win against reigning champions Italy. In the second round Webb refereed Brazil’s 3-0 demolition of Chile.
He has handed out an average of 5.6 bookings per game and is yet to produce a red card in South Africa.
Webb will become the first Englishman to officiate the World Cup final since Jack Taylor in 1974.
It has been an encouraging year for English officials. In May, Webb and his two assistants Michael Mullarkey and Darren Cann, were picked to referee the Champions League final in Madrid.
And both Cann and Mullarkey will join Webb on Sunday for the final in Johannesburg.
The rising reputation of English referees is welcome news in the wake of Graham Poll’s high-profile error in the 2006 World Cup where he famously handed out three yellow cards to Croatian player Ã…Â imuniÃ„”¡ before finally dismissing the player.
Webb now has the opportunity to cement his reputation as one of world football’s top referees.