Former FIFA World Cup final referee Howard Webb was approached by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to oversee the improvement and restructuring of refereeing in the Arab state and he has decided to take up the role.
A statement from the Saudi Arabian Football Federation read: "The Saudi Arabian Football Federation is pleased to announce the signing of international officiating expert, Mr. Howard Webb, as the head of the refereeing department in the Federation. Howard Webb was a professional football referee for 12 years, refereeing almost 300 matches in the English Premier League. He was also a FIFA international referee for 10 years and was appointed to referee in nine major tournaments, including the FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014. He has taken charge of many high-profile finals, including the English FA Cup Final in 2009 and English League Cup Final in 2007. In 2010 he achieved the unique honour of being appointed as referee for both the UEFA Champions League Final and FIFA World Cup Final and in doing so became the first referee in the history of the sport to take charge of both finals in the same year. He retired from active refereeing in 2014 to take up the position of Technical Director of PGMOL which oversees refereeing matters in the professional game in England and also became a FIFA referee instructor. As head of the Refereeing Department, Mr. Webb will be in charge of developing, training, evaluating, and appointing referees. In addition, Mr. Webb will be responsible for long and short-term strategies and plans to improve refereeing level in the Kingdom. The Saudi Arabian Football Federation would like to take the opportunity to welcome Mr. Webb and wish him the best of luck in his new journey".