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Michael Taylor 10th Jul 2010 - 11:05

Is Webb set for World Cup woe?

For one day only, former Rotherham cop Howard Webb has the distinction of being the most powerful man in the world - the question is, how will he use his power?

After a series of impressive showings in South Africa Webb had been heavily tipped to take charge of Sunday's 2010 World Cup final and his dream came to fruition on Thursday when Sepp Blatter revealed he would be handed the whistle.

It marks the perfect end to a great year for the big Yorkshireman after enhancing his reputation as one of the best officials in Europe through taking charge of May's Champions League final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich.

Or at least that's what Webb will be hoping for, a perfect end, where football's the winner not a FIFA official wrecking a showpiece event for the umpteenth time in South Africa.

Offside goals standing, blatant penalties being missed and soft penalties being given and, of course, balls crossing the line by two feet not being counted as equalisers, have all gone to highlight the inadequacies of modern day refereeing systems.

FIFA will review the situation at their next meeting but until then it's up to the likes of Webb to show one man in the middle can oversee a game without.

Do you think England's best performer at this year's World Cup can hold his nerve? Well we have some specials for you to get stuck into - a section of which are listed below:

11/4 to award a penalty (extra time included) - Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca memorably awarded Ghana a last minute of extra time penalty after Luis Suarez handballed on the line to stop Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound effort. Will Webb do the same?

11/4 to send a player off during normal time - eight players have been dismissed during the 90 minutes in South Africa including Ricardo Costa of Portugal against Spain and Brazil's Felipe Melo against Holland. Will Webb be forced to show red?

8/1 to award a goal where a clear handball has occurred in the build-up - The Republic of Ireland were on the receiving end of shocking Martin Hansson decision in their World Cup qualification play-off. Thierry Henry's blatant handball in the build-up to William Gallas's winner was seemingly seen by everyone other than the referee. Surely eagle eyed Webb won't do something similar.

14/1 not to issue a card in the match (extra time included) - Just two games so far in South Africa have seen the referee keep his pocket fastened, including the semi-final between Germany and Spain. Webb would love a similarly fair spirited game - will he get one?

50/1 to fail to award a goal where the ball is clearly shown not to cross the line - Frank Lampard and England felt cheated when Jorge Larrionda failed to award a goal against Germany despite replays showing the ball was two feet over the line. A similar gaff from Webb may be welcomed by Three Lions fans but it wouldn't be his wisest career move.

50/1 to award a goal when the ball is clearly shown not to cross the line - On no occasion has a World Cup final been wrecked by a disputable decision to award a goal. Fact. Webb and his linesman certainly won't want to become the first.

100/1 to issue a single player three yellow cards - Croatia's Josip Simunic enjoyed the type of lenient refereeing rarely even seen in pub league football in 2006 when England's Graham Poll had to issue him with three yellow cards before his dismissal. Poll had been a top level referee for many years, now he's seen a pedantic plonker - does the same fate beckon for Webb?

Follow the link for all Howard Webb specials


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