The Football Association have defended Howard Webb’s performance in Sunday’s World Cup final.
Webb handed out a record 14 yellow cards in the showpiece event, and missed a clear corner in the build up to Spain’s extra-time winner.
But he could conceivably have issued more than the one red card which he did, as the Netherlands adopted an aggressive approach to the match.
Not only has Webb been backed by Fifa, but now the FA have come out in support as well.
The FA’s Director on the Professional Game Match Officials Board, Jonathan Hall, said: “Firstly, we would like to congratulate Howard Webb, Mike Mullarkey and Darren Cann for a wonderful tournament and a very well-handled final in very difficult circumstances.
“Nothing should take away from Howard’s achievement and it is hard to imagine many other officials being able to match his performance or handle such a fixture so well.
I think what this does do is strengthen our resolve to support our excellent network of referees in England and it also shows the real value of the work being undertaken by the Respect programme domestically. We are all thoroughly proud of the fact FIFA chose to recognise Howard at the very peak of his profession. Howard and his colleagues demonstrated why FIFA selected them as the best referee team in the 2010 World Cup and the FA is very proud that Howard, like Jack Taylor in 1974, showed impartiality, strength of character and a very high level of accuracy in the most important match in the world. The team were faced with a very challenging World Cup final and responded in a highly professional manner. Howard, Mike and Darren should look back on this tournament with a sense of pride in their performances, they are a huge credit to our profession and we are all looking forward to welcoming them home.”