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FIFA selects English official

Webb to referee World Cup final

July 8, 2010
By Soccernet staff

England will have a representative in the World Cup final, after FIFA confirmed referee Howard Webb had been selected to take charge of Sunday's clash between Netherlands and Spain.

Howard Webb: Premier League referee
GettyImagesHoward Webb: Premier League referee

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Webb is held in high regard by football's powerbrokers and his efforts both in the Premier League and Europe earned him a place among the elite panel for the World Cup. He went about his work during the tournament with the minimum of fuss and FIFA's panel have decided to hand him the most high profile game in football.

The 38-year-old will be aided by his assistants Darren Cann and Michael Mullarkey during Sunday's final in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium.

Webb, who has taken charge of three matches in the World Cup so far, will become the first Englishman to referee the final since Jack Taylor in 1974 - when Netherlands were beaten by West Germany.

Webb was in charge for Spain's shock defeat to Switzerland, but has not taken charge of a Netherlands game.

The South Yorkshire policeman will make a little piece of football history in that he will become the first person to have refereed the Champions League or European Cup final and the World Cup final in the same year.

Premier League referees chief Mike Riley praised Webb and his assistants. Riley, general manager of Professional Match Game Officials said: "It's not only recognition for their excellent tournament in South Africa so far but also the progress they have made internationally over the last four years.

"As a team they've worked incredibly hard to get to this stage, starting back at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 2007, then Euro 2008 and last year the 2009 Confederations Cup. It's just rewards for all their efforts."