Football: Top ref Howard heading off to Brazil

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World Cup Final referee Howard Webb looks to be a strong candidate to make the 2014 finals in Brazil.

He has been selected to officiate at the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June - an eight team competition which acts as something of a ‘rehearsal’ for the country hosting the main event 12 months later.

The Rotherham referee has had another excellent season and will be delighted to have got the call from FIFA asking him to head to South America.

The teams taking part are drawn from FIFA’s six confederations along with the hosts (Brazil) and the World Cup holders, in this case, Spain.

Howard refereed the final of 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa and then was selected as England’s representative for the World Cup Finals the following year where, of course, he got the ultimate accolade of taking charge of the final.

The countries taking part, in two groups, are Brazil, Japan, Mexico and Italy in Group A with group B comprising Spain, Uruguay, Nigeria and Tahiti who qualified as Oceania champions.

Howard, Champions League Final referee in 2010, recently refereed the Real Madrid/Borussia Dortmund semi-final, second leg.