Euro ref Webb fine missing final if England shine

A sterling performance by England at Euro 2012 would be such a boost that it would be worth missing out on overseeing the tournament's finals for, English international referee Howard Webb said on Wednesday.

Webb, who refereed the tough 2010 World Cup final between Holland and winners Spain, said it was normal to dream of being in charge at top-level games.

"Any of the referees here would say the same thing. It's the ultimate goal," he said during a week's training for Euro 2012 match officials in Warsaw, capital of tournament co-host Poland.

But if England clear their European championship group in fellow host country Ukraine, neutrality rules would limit the 40-year-old former policeman's options in the knockouts.

"I'm a proud Englishman, and I guess everybody in this team of referees will be watching the progress of their national team," he said.

"And I understand that if the English national team do well here in this tournament, then that will have a real boost for people back in my home country. So of course I hope they do well," Webb said.

"I hope they do well. If the progress of the England team means that I can't go further in a certain stage of the tournament, then so be it," he added.

Besides Webb, 11 other top referees have been selected by UEFA for Euro 2012, which kicks off in Warsaw on June 8 and ends with the final in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on July 1.

His fellow referees hail from France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

The names of the referees for the first 12 matches - half of the group stage - will only be made public three days before Euro 2012 starts.

"Somebody will referee the final, but my attention is really only on that first game, and to deliver a good performance," said Webb.

After assessing their performance, UEFA will decide on June 20 who is to stay on for the quarter- and semi-finals, and the final, with the nationality of the teams involved also a factor.

Polish fans have bitter memories of a stoppage-time penalty Webb awarded against Poland in the Euro 2008 group stage that enabled co-hosts Austria to draw 1-1.

It was Poland's first-ever European championships, and fans' high hopes were dashed by a lacklustre showing, raising the pressure to perform on home soil next month.

But Webb said he had encountered nothing but goodwill since arriving in Poland earlier this week, boding well for Euro 2012.

"I'm delighted to be in Poland. Of course I'm looking forward to his wonderful tournament," he said.

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