World Cup: FA chief salutes England’s referees

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Football Association chairman Greg Dyke heaped praise on England’s “world class” refereeing after Howard Webb received his first appointment of the World Cup.

Four years after taking charge of the final in South Africa, the Rotherham official’s first duty in Brazil will be to oversee the Group C encounter between Colombia and Ivory Coast tomorrow.

Webb will be joined by long-time assistants Mike Mullarkey and Darren Cann for the match in Brasilia, ahead of which FA chairman Dyke sung the praises of refereeing standards in England.

“Howard Webb, Mike Mullarkey and Darren Cann will be England’s refereeing trio in Brazil and are rightly regarded as among the best in the world,” Dyke said.

“Howard has taken charge of the biggest games around - not least the 2010 World Cup final, when he was ably assisted by Mike and Darren.

“It is not only Howard,” he continued. “Mark Clattenburg just missed out on selection, having taken charge of the London 2012 Olympic men’s final at Wembley along with Stephen Child and Simon Beck. There is a good depth to our leading referees’ list.

“Sian Massey’s emergence as a top Premier League assistant referee was furthered by her work at the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup in March which followed her appointment for last year’s UEFA Women’s Euro final in Sweden.

“At grassroots level, we recognise the need to encourage more referees and also to retain those who give their valuable time to the national game.

“This refereeing excellence is not a new phenomenon. No country has had more men take charge of the World Cup final than the FA’s four. English refereeing is world class.”