Norfolk official still in with a chance of making history at World Cup Final

Darren Cann preparing to jet off to Brazil. Photo: Bill Smith Darren Cann preparing to jet off to Brazil. Photo: Bill Smith

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
6:27 AM

An assistant referee from Norfolk touted as the best in the world by FIFA president Sepp Blatter is still in with a chance of officiating in his second World Cup Final.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Darren Cann, from Poringland, could be teaming up with colleagues Howard Webb and Mike Mullarkey at Sunday’s final in Rio de Janeiro after they were kept in Brazil by FIFA.

The trio are the governing body’s most highly-rated trio, according to Darren’s father Richard, and could be picked for the third-place play-off or final if results go their way.

Mr Cann Sr, from Norwich, said an all-European final between Germany and Holland would provide the best chance for the trio to take charge.

“If it’s a European side and a South American, they’ll be open to being seen as biased, and if it’s two South American sides, FIFA normally say there’s going to be language issues.

“It’ll be tough because they’ve had the final before but Pierluigi Collina is in charge of the referees and he rates our trio as the best in the world,” he said.

Mr Cann was in South Africa at the 2010 World Cup when his son’s team were selected for the final between Spain and Holland in Johannesburg.

No refereeing team has ever officiated in two finals, and Mr Cann said it would be a major feat for the trio to be selected again, but has hope after being told their selection was unlikely in 2010.

“I said to David Elleray at that tournament that if FIFA want the best then they have to pick our boys.

“He told me that they wouldn’t get picked because it was their first World Cup but they got it.

“I know they think a lot of them and I just wonder why they have kept them on,” he said.

The team have been based in Rio during the tournament, flying out a week before the first game.

They train every day and are escorted by heavy security on excursions at all times, in order to deter would-be attackers.

Despite the pressures of the tournament, Mr Cann said his son was enjoying himself.

“We spoke last night and he was saying he’d been able to go to the beach and watch games, and that he thought Brazil was a tremendous place.

“They work hard and there is massive pressure on the games but they are enjoying themselves so much,” he said.

The tournament will be the Norfolk official’s last, with a mandatory retirement age of 45.

He will continue to officiate in the Premier League, with a fitness test the day after he arrives back in England.

His glittering CV includes officiating in the Confederations Cup, 2010 Champions League Final, and the World under-17 and under-19 Championships.

It’s a far cry from his start in the game, taking the whistle in games at Poringland Reserves while in his 20s.

“He’s so highly-rated by everyone, largely because he is so good on off-sides. He very rarely gets one wrong,” Mr Cann said

“In the officials ranking for the league, Darren has topped the rankings for the last eight seasons and Sepp Blatter has said he is the best assistant referee in the world.”

Mr Cann Sr was a referee, and the family tradition looks set to be continued by 15-year-old Adam, Darren Cann’s son.

He has already been officiating at games for Norwich City’s academy teams and lined up alongside his father and Howard Webb at a charity game in Sheffield before the World Cup.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT