RUFC - Howard in with chance of Soccer City Final?
Rotherham United fan, and International Referee, Howard Webb, must feel he's a long way from watching his beloved Millers at Don Valley as he waits to see if he is given the nod to be the man in the middle for the football world`s International showpiece on July 11th.
Howard, along with his colleagues Mike Mullarkey from Devon and Darren Cann from Norfolk, are the last English representatives in South Africa following the England football teams pathetic showing and exit, and speculation is quite high that they could be favourites to take charge of the World Cup Final.
If this happens, Howard will be the first English referee since Jack Taylor in 1974 to be in charge of the Final and the fact that the English trio haven't been given a quarter final game can only heighten the speculation.
Speaking to Paul Rickett of the Rotherham Advertiser, the former policeman said, 'It would be fantastic to get to the final.`
But, he knows he faces tough competition for the game at Soccer City in Johannesburg and said, 'There are some really good officials here and they are all in contention but we haven`t been given a quarter final but, on the other hand, the Brazil-Chile game might have been our last involvement.
'Everything has gone well so far and there is a good relationship between myself and my two assistants, Mike and Darren. We know each other inside out because we work together in the Premier League.`
Howard is a proud Englishman and was disappointed when England were knocked out but said, 'they were beaten by a better German side on the day. But it`s really disappointing that they didn`t go further.`
There are a couple of things that might count against the English trio being given the Final, one being that they officiated this year's Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan and no referee has ever been in the middle for both that and the World Cup Final in the same year.
Another thing is that, as Howard said, they haven`t been given a quarter final game so could well be given a semi-final clash which would definitely rule him out of the Final.
Vital Rotherham want to wish Howard all the best for the time he has left out in South Africa and let`s hope to see him in the Final game, flying the flag for Rotherham.