ROTHERHAM UNITED: Howard Webb to follow Euro 2012 with New York date

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ROTHERHAM United have lined up England’s Euro 2012 referee Howard Webb for their first game at the New York Stadium.

The 2010 World Cup Final referee has been confirmed as taking charge of the opening game on Saturday, July 21, when Rotherham take on Barnsley.

Howard, a lifelong Millers fan and now an official Club Ambassador, was the person chosen to actually announce the name of the new stadium at the official name unveiling a few months ago.

He had previously expressed a desire to be able to referee the first game there but it depended on his own circumstances. He jetted off to Warsaw yesterday to link up with the rest of the referees at Euro 2012 and the referees are expected to learn today which is the first game they have been allocated.

Howard says he was delighted to have been selected again: “We have some very fine referees and it is a great honour to be chosen.”

It will be his second European Championships having also officiated in Euro 2008, his first major championships.

Performances during the tournament will also determine the refs who get to the later stages but Webb, as one of the game’s top referees and with his world class experience, is sure to be on any early shortlist.

The fixture with Barnsley will see the attendance restricted to 6,000 as the opening game has to be played to a half-capacity stadium.

They play Doncaster Rovers four days later at three-quarter capacity and can go to full capacity the following Saturday, July 28, for the game against a Premier League club - Everton are believed to be the opposition lined up.