Elleray praise for Webb

“For me it recognises not just the contribution of the tens of thousands of referees who are vital to the fabric of our game, but also all those individuals and organisations, including The FA, The Referees’ Association and County FAs, who work so hard developing and supporting our referees.

“It also recognises the referees’ families and friends who support and make sacrifices so they can officiate.

“Finally, we should all be proud of the unequalled success of our international refereeing where across men’s, women’s and disability football and Futsal in the last four years England has had officials involved in two World Cup finals, two Euro finals, two Champions’ League finals and two Olympic andParalympic finals – a record no other country can come anywhere near.

David Elleray was awarded an MBE for services to football

“I am honoured and thrilled that refereeing in this country has been recognised in this way”, he added.

Four years after taking charge of the World Cup final in South Africa, Webb will oversee the Group C encounter between Colombia and Ivory Coast on Thursday evening in Brasilia.

The Rotherham official will be joined by assistants Mike Mullarkey and Darren Cann, who were also part of Webb’s team in 2010.

FA chairman Greg Dyke has also praised the ‘world class’ standard of English match officials.

He said: “Howard, Mike and Darren are rightly regarded as among the best in the world. 

“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 no surprise that he was one of our most important ambassadors for The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2013.

“Howard, Mike and Darren are rightly regarded as among the best in the world”

Greg Dyke 

“It is not only Howard. 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.

“English refereeing is world class. And it is not just football, either. As a nation we may still be finding our feet in the small-sided world of futsal but Marc Birkett is one of the top officials on the planet. He was involved in February’s UEFA Futsal EURO Final after officiating in the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup showpiece.

“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 while the first two UEFA European Championship finals had Englishmen in the middle.”