Widely regarded as one of the best referees in the country, Howard Webb was a professional football official for 12 years, taking charge of almost 300 matches in the English Premier League. He was also a FIFA international referee for 10 years and was appointed to referee in 9 major tournaments, including the FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014.
Starting out in the lower leagues around his home county of Yorkshire he was well known for his fantastic knowledge of the laws of the game and being able to comfortably deal with high-pressure situations. He quickly rose through the divisions and ended up taking charge of some of the biggest games in the world.
These include the FA Cup Final in 2009 and League Cup Final in 2007, he achieved the unique honour in 2010 of being appointed as referee for both the UEFA Champions League Final and FIFA World Cup Final, and in doing so became the first referee in the history of the sport to take charge of both finals in the same year.
He retired from refereeing in 2014 to take up the position of Technical Director of PGMOL which oversees refereeing matters in the professional game in England and also became a FIFA referee instructor. Howard is also currently working with broadcaster BT Sport on their Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup coverage providing his expert insight on the latest issues in the game, offering the referee’s perspective.
He also worked for ITV on their coverage of the European Championships in 2016. Additionally, he is still actively working within the game, and currently works with the MLS (Major League Soccer) in the US overseeing the development of their VAR technology (Virtual Assistant Referees).
Aside from his role in the game, Howard’s latest book, ‘The Man in the Middle’, was published by Simon & Schuster on 20th October. Having been an Amazon bestseller following a serialisation in The Times, the autobiography gives an insight into the modern-day game and Howard’s journey from local lad from Rotherham to the biggest stage in world Football.
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