Select a team

Card sharp

Card sharp

Howard Webb endured a difficult World Cup final. We look at how the Premier League referee coped.

Back to story

Comments (65)

Moeller Sekante (AC Milan fan) says... pro Hispanic. Such an egotist. So trying to save face for his Spanish/Switzerland debacle. As his wife publicly stated in the English newspapers, "....he cannot even control his own children..." If you are going to go down in history for the ref to give out the most cards in a world cup final, then at least do it fairly, and give the Spanish equally what they deserve and stop them crying and performing like little girls when they cry wolf and the ref didn't even see the fouls, so he went on their little squeals and felt he had to redeem his crap ref skills from Spain's loss to Switzerland and give the little girls an ice cream to appease them. The Spanish, as the Dutch, were no saints in this game, the Dutch didn't whine like girls. They played the game. And Webb looked after daddies girls.

Posted 13:06 12th July 2010

Jim Jeffries (Chelsea fan) says...

Its all well saying that he kept the game flowing with 11 v 11 now that Spain are champions, but what if the Dutch scored that crucial goal? We would have undoubtedly the most hated world champions in history with Howard Webb to blame for it! There should have been countless red cards... Robben kicked the ball away but being on a booking avoided a red but minutes later a Spanish player done exactly the same and found himself in the book! De Jong and Van Bommel are a danger to any players career with the challenges they were putting in. The final was not pleasing on the eye with 11 v 11 for the majority so why leave it 11 v 11 when these players should be off. All Webb was doing was giving Holland a chance they did not deserve. I'm just glad the Spanish done themselves a justice and scored the winner when they did. Well done Spain!!

Posted 13:03 12th July 2010

Adrian Williams (Newcastle United fan) says...

Anyone who berates Howard Webb for his performance last night clearly knows nothing about refereeing. He did an excellent job in keeping control of the game despite the dutch's attempts to ruin a final that could have been a footballing classic. On a few occasions he could have showed a second yellow to a dutch player but kept cool and went with a warning as he knows fans dont want to see players get sent off for needless challenges or dissent. Robben could very easily have gone when he decided to play on after the whistle and kick the ball in the net whilst already on a yellow, so many referees might have sent him off there but Webb just had a word with him, that's a prefect example of a referee NOT making a final about him contrary to what some have said above. Webb did well and it was awful that he got booed at the end, I only wish the Spanish could have had some decency to counter those boos with cheers...

Posted 12:54 12th July 2010

John Logan (Rangers fan) says...

Webb only got the final as a FIFA make-weight for the ball over the line fiasco. His display was shambolic. He is there to apply the rules of the game to the letter. If you examine van Bommel's assault on Iniesta, he was late, from behind and nowhere near the ball. Both van Bommel and de Jong would have been red-carded by any Premier League official. A poor tournament, poor football except for a handfull of games, and a poor final. No disputing Spain being champions though.

Posted 12:50 12th July 2010

David Berry (Aston Villa fan) says...

I thought Webb did a good job, as the Dutch players in particular were dirty throughout the game. He had no choice but to book nearly all of the players he did and it's laughable you can see someone like Van Bommel critiscising a referee when he's been dirty and lucky throughout the tournament. The players caused the game to be stop start, not the referee and he actually tried to keep it alive by not sending off players and ruining the game.

Posted 12:43 12th July 2010

Mark Roberts (Liverpool fan) says...

Howard Webb and his assistants were the best officials for the game.. Both sets of players were asking for cards to be given and these actions should be condonned.... Mr Webb may not be everyones ideal choice of officialdom, but his handling throughout was consistant, and not every incident can be spotted. The Dutch, a talented team were clearly out to spoil the game which in my eyes is no way to play the beautiful game. Well done to Spain, who along with Germany played the most attractive football of the tournament

Posted 12:43 12th July 2010

Colin Rebairo (Southampton fan) says...

I can't actually remember when I've seen a match with Howard Webb as ref and not felt that he's about to make the game more about him than the players on the pitch. Webb has the habit of trying to be in the lime light whenever he can and he did it again on the biggest stage possible. I agree he made some really important and fair calls at the beginning to set the tone but ultimately he slowed the game down with his whistle happy ref'ing. I was proud to see an English Ref in the final but when I saw it was Webb I sadly have to say, he didn't disappoint on my predictions of how he managed the game!!

Posted 10:59 12th July 2010

Alex Mcgeorge (Celtic fan) says...

The cynical way that Holland set out to kick Spain off the park took me back to the bad old days of the 70`s when such tactics were commonplace across World football. Howard Webbs only mistake was to try to prevent the game becoming a shambles by trying to keep all 22 on until the end.In any Premiership game Holland would have been down to 9 men before half time with Van Bommel (persisting in misconduct having been cautioned) and De Jong ( serious foul play ) both up the tunnel early. Spain , too , didn`t help by rising to the bait but I thought the referee had a fair game given the occasion and the pressure he will probably been put under to be lenient in a Final. Any attempt to diminish his performance by pointing to his non-corner decision or the supposed impeding of Elias are merely spin doctoring by the losing side in an attempt to disguise their outrageous behaviour.

Posted 10:58 12th July 2010

Kevin Orato (Manchester United fan) says...

The Dutch should be ashamed of themselves for that brutish display. Mr. Webb gave a good account of himself I think with all the reckless tackling. In the end Spain won it and deservedly so while the Dutch can only mull lost opportunities courtesy of their award-winning actor Arjen Robben!

Posted 10:57 12th July 2010

Marc Matthews (Inter Milan fan) says...

The ref did an alright job, thought the Dutch were lucky to last so long with 11, though Puyol probably should have gone for impeding Robben's 2nd run at goal. With that incident, if he'd had traffic in front of him there's no doubt he would have dived to accentuate the contact; that's the big problem with this game; it's half sport & half theatrics. Once you can accept that you can enjoy it. I follow most sports, but when you put it up against sports like rugby, these players behave like stupid spoilt little crybaby schoolgirls up against grown-ups. It's an embarassment that we call it the world game. Aren't there penalties for diving? If there is, enforce them. Play like men, and accept the ref's decision. A poor example for all the kids who watch and copy these 'heroes.'

Posted 10:55 12th July 2010

Edward Wydmanski (Arsenal fan) says...

Having seen many world cup matches over the last 65yrs I am not surprised that not only the England side are in the dumps but the standard of refereeing as well. How can Mr. Webb be classed as "World Class" despite the fact that 2 red cards should have been shown to the Dutch team he was so pro Hispanic ,that I am tempted to think that this was a FIFA set up.

Posted 10:50 12th July 2010

Dean Barnes (Liverpool fan) says...

i think the main reason why the dutch critisised webb was because he didn't give robben a penalty when puyol made contact with him. first of all it was outside of the box, puyol wouldn't of been sent off and there was another defender covering, second of all webb played the advantage as robben has stayed on his feet (for once) therefore robben was at an advantage as he was one on one with casillias and thirdly webb wouldn't of gone back and given a free kick as he had played the advantage the reason why robben wanted the free kick to be awarded was because he missed not because he felt he wasn't at an advantage. overall i think webb performed well if you take into consideration the magnitude of the game and the fact he tried to be fair with bookings etc, de jong could of easily been sent off and so could have van bommell for the amount of fouls he committed, therefore on reflection i think holland have nothing to complain about and webb done a good job and represented the country well.

Posted 10:41 12th July 2010

Barrie Jackson (Manchester United fan) says...

If a referee has a good game or a bad game depends almost exclusively on the players. The Dutch made it perfectly clear that the only way to stop the free flowing attractive Spanish football was to chop the players down and break up the game. Mr Webb did well to control his patience in a stressful situation and if it had not been a WC Final I'm sure Holland would have finished up with ony 8 players. How on earth can the Dutch players, especially Van Bommel, criticise him, what bad losers. I was frankly disappointed with them, thinking that their football was similar to Spain. I was totally wrong.

Posted 10:39 12th July 2010

Femi George (Manchester United fan) says...

I could not believe what I was watching with the dutch football team and the fact that an average player like Dirk Kuyt will come out today to say that Howard webb is to blame for them loosing the world cup shows the kind of person I have always thought he was. That is the most dreadful game of football I have seen in my life and I personally think that a team like Holland should not be allowed in such a world stage again. What a shame and Howard webb you are a legend and credit to England and your family. God bless you

Posted 10:34 12th July 2010

Harry Martin (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

His performance wasnt at the highest standards. The events leading to the goal, Gregory van der Wiel yellow card was dubious given that Xavi clearly dived upon minimal contact were all talking points. The problem is that Mr Webb was suddenly entrusted unto such a big stage despite his poor season.

Posted 10:28 12th July 2010

Chris F (Bolton Wanderers fan) says...

Webb had a good game, and made good calls. Holland cant complain, they got what they deserved. I like physical football but Holland looked like they were at war!

Posted 10:21 12th July 2010

Phil Morris (Sheffield United fan) says...

Can you believe the Man U fan slagging off Howard Webb - Short term memory failure or what. Remember Man U v Aston Villa cup final last season when Vidic should have been sent off and Villa would have won that game! As a Man U fan you want to think how lucky you are with refs! In my opinion Webb had little choice in the WC final. Yes he made one or two mistakes, but anyone who has played football at a decent level knows that the Dutch players are kidding themselves if they think they had any right to win that game and Webb influenced it. They were lucky to have 10 men at the end, by rights they could have been left with 8.

Posted 10:16 12th July 2010

David Rowan (Rangers fan) says...

Howard Webb and his team should feel proud of the way they handled the game as they did the sensible thing and used the 18th law of the game, 'common sense', Where other referees would have dished out 2nd yellows and reduced the game to a farce Howard actually stood back and decided to give players the benefit of doubt. he will be slated, however, as an earlier post said, no matter how good or bad any referee does in a game, someone will object to his handling. Well done from a retired Scottish amateur referee

Posted 10:15 12th July 2010

Jorge Cardenas (Barcelona fan) says...

I'm Spanish, and seriously impressed that the Dutch are claiming against the referee?¿? Didn't they see the kick to the chest of X.Alonso?? A couple more of tackles? They should have finished with a maximum of 9 players, specially that Van Bommel... i'm ashamed he once played for Barcelona... The referee did quite well, he didn't want to break the final by sending them off on the 1st half... No way they can complain!

Posted 10:13 12th July 2010

Jas Nevin (Manchester United fan) says...

Well done Howard Webb, you may not have got everything right, but, under the circumstances, you did your best to keep 22 players on the pitch so that we could witness a decent final. The Dutch have cheated their way through this tournament. How Van Bommel has got away with his tackles is beyond me and don't get me started on Twinkle Toes Robben. Ultimately football was the winner as Spain continued to play their passing style despite the karate kicks and histrionics.

Posted 10:06 12th July 2010

Latest Poll

Sportswoman of the month

View Results