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Howard Webb to make history as World Cup final referee

| 09.07.2010

England’s Howard Webb has been named as the referee for Sunday’s World Cup final, and Holland and Spain players will need to be on their best behaviour.

Webb has handed out an average of 5.67 bookings per game so far in South Africa – the second highest total of the World Cup – though he has kept his red card in his pocket.

Despite his constant harassment of opponents, Mark Van Bommel has somehow only received one yellow card at the World Cup. He is the 7/1 favourite to get the game’s first card.

At 9/1, Sergio Ramos is among the likeliest Spanish players to be cautioned first, as he will have to contend with Holland’s tricky winger Arjen Robben, whose tendency to fall over easily often leads to the punishment of opposition players.

Webb has yet to award a penalty at the World Cup, though there have been five of them in the matches involving Holland or Spain, and you can bet on a penalty to be scored inside 90 minutes at 2/1.

All three of the spot-kicks in Spain’s fixtures, however, have been missed (by Spain’s David Villa and Xabi Alonso, and Paraguay’s Oscar Cardozo), and a penalty to be missed in normal time on Sunday is priced at 9/1.

Webb has already taken charge of a Spain fixture in South Africa, as he oversaw La Roja’s shock 1-0 defeat to Switzerland.

The Premier League official will be the first Englishman to referee the final in 36 years, since Jack Taylor took charge of Holland’s defeat to West Germany in 1974.

And history beckons for the Rotherham-born Webb, who will become the first man to officiate both the Champions League final and the World Cup final in the same year.

Who do you think will be crowned world champions? Spain are 11/10 to win. See the full Holland vs Spain market.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.