icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
13 Apr, 2021 18:54

‘Was Fergie best man?’ World Cup final ref marries German lover who is also an official – and fans mock him with Man United jokes

‘Was Fergie best man?’ World Cup final ref marries German lover who is also an official – and fans mock him with Man United jokes

Ex-Premier League referee Howard Webb has met his perfect match by marrying a female trailblazer working in German top flight the Bundesliga, leading to inevitable jokes about the Englishman's supposed bias towards Man United.

Webb, who became the first official to oversee the World Cup final and Champions League final in the same year in 2010, has married Bibiana Steinhaus, who made history as the first woman to referee in a European top flight.

The pair are in a long-distance relationship because of Webb's role as manager of VAR operations in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US, which required him to relocate to the New Jersey and New York area.

"Yes, it's true," 42-year-old Steinhaus confirmed to Bild, revealing that she exchanged vows with her lover last month. "We got married during the last international break and are very happy.

"Unfortunately, due to coronavirus regulations, Howard and I were only able to take this important step [alone] in a pair.

"Not even groomsmen were allowed. [And] of course, there wasn't a honeymoon."

As the news made its back over the English channel to the former South Yorkshire Policeman's compatriots, wisecracks harking back to accusations of bias towards one particular club began to pour in.

"I bet Fergie was on the guest list," remarked one reader on Twitter, as another asked if legendary Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson – known as 'Fergie' and renowned for his volatile relationship with referees – had been best man. 

Another questioned if the wedding "was overruled by VAR", namechecking the Video Assistant Referee technology that has been introduce to divisive effect since Webb stepped down being the man in the middle himself in 2014. 

Also on rt.com Ref off! No British referee chosen for Russia 2018 World Cup