Howard Webb of England is World Cup final referee
English referee Howard Webb will get an early birthday present as the ruling body FIFA has chosen him to officiate the World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain on Sunday, dpa reported.
Webb, who turns 39 on Wednesday, was picked on Thursday from 10 remaining referees at the tournament. His assistants are Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey.
The top honour comes after Webb was in charge of the Champions League final in May between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. Webb has officiated important Premier League games and the 2009 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton.
With England knocked out in the Round of 16, the former police officer from South Yorkshire was a top candidate.
"It is the ultimate goal for everyone in world refereeing," he said last week after officiating at Brazil's 3-0 victory over Chile in the Round of 16.
Spain will hope that Webb's appointment won't mean bad luck for them, as he was the referee in their opening group stage shock defeat against Switzerland. He was also in charge of the Italy v Slovakia group game in which Italy were knocked out as holders.
Polish fans vilified him after he awarded a penalty to Austria in stoppage time at Euro 2008, but Webb maintained afterwards it was the right call and was backed by the ruling body UEFA at the time.
FIFA also said on their website that Benito Archundia of Mexico will be the referee of Saturday's third-place match between Germany and Uruguay.