One of the most recognizable referees in world football, Howard Webb, brought an end to his decade long career this summer.
The 44-year old was widely considered one of the best referees over the last few years and boasted an impressive CV, where he officiated in two World Cup Finals as well as a Champions League final.
Howard Webb retired from refereeing this summer
Despite his fine reputation though, Webb had to deal with accusations that he was biased towards Manchester United and was subject to much mockery throughout his career.
Some went as far as claiming that Webb was in fact a United fan and even former Liverpool star Ryan Babel got involved after tweeting a mocked up picture of the referee in a Red Devils jersey.
Upon his retirement, Webb has now finally taken the opportunity to hit back at his critics and has vehemently denied claims that he favoured United.
Breaking news -Howard Webb is the favourite to become the player-referee at MAN UTD next season pic.twitter.com/3U2wWY5oRY
— GIBBO (@TEAMDIFH) May 8, 2013
Webb had been widely mocked for ‘supporting’ United
While conceding that he did make a couple of errors which may have helped the Red Devils, Webb rubbished his ‘connections’ with the club and added that he did not let the criticism bother him too much throughout his career.
Webb said, “There’s no element of truth in it. It’s not something that affected me or played on my mind at all. It wasn’t hurtful. Much of it is tongue-in-cheek, of course.
“What does play on my mind is when I’ve made a mistake, particularly an influential one that has affected the outcome of a game. I’d be dishonest if I said it didn’t bother me.
Webb refutes claims that he favoured United
“One newspaper listed the five games I’d want to forget over the course of my career. Well, there’s more than five. But against the backdrop of more than 500 professional games – I can think of many top professional footballers who have made plenty of mistakes but are still top professional footballers.”
Webb started his refereeing career in 2000 and went on to officiate in over 500 professional matches. Following his retirement, Webb has now taken up the role of technical director of the Professional Game Match Officials Board.
What do you think? Was Webb biased towards Manchester United, or are the accusations unfair?