Madrid: FIFA’s choice of Englishman Howard
Webb to take charge of Sunday’s World Cup final has irked
Spain as he was the man in charge of their opening loss to
Switzerland, media reports noted today.
“Bad news - Webb will referee the final,” trumpeted
sports daily Marca, while AS sports daily described the choice
of Webb as “debatable”, given that he had “made two mistakes”
which cost Spain against the Swiss, shock 1-0 winners over the
reigning European champions in their first group match.
Marca noted that Webb had not given what appeared to be a
clear penalty in favour of David Silva and then gave Gelson
Fernandes’ goal despite more than a hint of offside.
Marca said it would thus be a “challenge” to win the
match and take the trophy back to Spain for the first time.
Webb brings back “bad memories for La Roja (Spain),”
noted Barcelona-based sports daily Mundo Deportivo.
Webb, a 39-year-old Yorkshireman and a police sergeant,
is considered to be one of Europe’s top referees.
He officiated in last May’s Champions League final
between winners Inter Milan and Bayern Munich in Madrid.