Podcast: Howard Webb on video replay and its influential future in soccer
Video replay is set to take on a bigger and more influential role in soccer worldwide, and former referee Howard Webb discusses just how transformational it can become on the new episode of the Planet Fútbol Podcast.
Webb, who is currently based in New York as the head of the Professional Referee Organization's Video Assistant Replay (VAR) program, explains the implementation of video replay and the circumstances under which it would be used in his chat with SI's Grant Wahl.
Part of the conversation involves past controversial instances in history in which replay would have been used to overturn calls and make the right decision. Some of those would have included Thierry Henry's uncalled handball that helped France qualify for the 2010 World Cup; Nigel de Jong's flying kick to the chest of Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup final (for which Webb was the referee); Cristiano Ronaldo's uncalled offside exploits in decisive moments against Bayern Munich in the second leg of last week's Champions League quarterfinals; and, yes, Torsten Frings's uncalled handball on the line in the 2002 World Cup that helped Germany beat the USA in the quarterfinals.
Replay has already been used in some experimental instances, including recently in France's friendly against Spain, when two calls went favorably–and correctly–in Spain's favor in a 2-0 win.
Webb also discusses his own journey, which included refereeing the final of the UEFA Champions League and World Cup in the same year, and his work since hanging up his whistle and leaving the field.
Listen to Webb's full interview in the podcast above and subscribe to (and review!) our podcast on iTunes for more in-depth interviews with some of world soccer's most fascinating and important people.