Howard Webb reveals plans for referees to EXPLAIN decisions to fans

‘We’re going to do everything we can to draw the curtain back’: Howard Webb reveals PGMOL’s plan to have referees EXPLAIN their decisions to fans during and after matches… with his revolutionary scheme set to develop ‘in the coming weeks’

  • Howard Webb has revealed new plans for referees to explain decisions to fans  
  • It comes as the ex-referee hopes to provide more ‘transparency’ to supporters 
  • Webb suggested that refs could explain decisions during and after matches 

Howard Webb has reportedly revealed new plans for referees to explain their decisions to fans during and after games, in a bid to ‘draw the curtains back’ for supporters in the stadium and at home. 

According to talkSPORT, the PGMOL chief refereeing officer claimed that the organisation were hoping to implement the new plans ‘in the coming weeks’ in a bid to improve the transparency around some of the decisions that are being made by officiating teams. 

Webb, who took over as chief refereeing officer at PGMOL back in August 2022, has had to deal with a lot of issues in his first year at the organisation. 

One point that has been discussed at great length this season is how VAR is used, with fans often being left in the dark around the decision process that officials are making. 

But changes seem to be coming pretty soon, according to the 51-year-old, who admitted that the PGMOL were working at great length to make things clearer for supporters.

Howard Webb has revealed new plans for referees to explain their decisions to supporters

VAR has become a big discussion point  with fans being left in the dark over some decisions

The PGMOL have had a lot of controversy this season, apologising to several clubs for bad calls

‘We’re doing everything we can to be as transparent as we can,’ he told talkSPORT at the EFL Awards on Sunday. ‘But there’s some parameters that we have to work within that FIFA set, but we’re going to push those.

‘We’re going to do everything we can to draw the curtain back, we’re going to do some stuff post-game that’s not been done before fairly soon and then if we can do stuff in-game we’ll do it.

‘We’ll see what we can do post-game, even in-game with the stadium audience, that’s certainly my intention and hopefully you’ll see some developments in the coming weeks.’

Webb also admitted that some decisions are taking too long and that they should not go on for longer than three minutes. 

Match officials have come under some criticism for the length of time taken to make calls this year, while Webb more recently summoned all referees to Stockley Park, after several errors were made in games back in February. 

Two weeks ago, the PGMOL issued their third apology of the season to Brighton, after an incorrect decision was made after Kaoru Mitoma was fouled by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, during Brighton’s 2-1 loss to Tottenham.

While VAR has become a controversial subject this season, it seems the organisation are going through a period of change to help improve how the system is used.

Webb has recently appointed a new technical director and has also created a pool of ‘VAR specialists’ too to help improve and speed up the decision-making process.

Webb hopes to improve transparency between supporters and officials with the new system 

The PGMOL chief implied the new system could operate in a similar way to Cricket and Rugby

But it seems his latest change is to improve the communication between referees and fans and implied the new system could adopt a similar approach to Rugby and Cricket, where referees are linked up to a mic so that fans can listen into the calls they make. 

‘Since I came here I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the communication with the officials,’ he said. 

‘We’ve started showing broadcasters how good the communication is and that’s been really well received, we want to give that to the public and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see it.’

‘It’s quite tough in the stadium to get that narrative out in the more complex situations but we need to do everything we can to have the stadium audience go along with us because when you show the rationale for a decision, you might still disagree with it but when you understand it you’re much more likely to accept it.

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