Howard Webb is widely recognized as one of the top soccer referees of all-time. But even he remains haunted by a call he got wrong.
After Nigel de Jong of the Netherlands flattened Spain’s Xabi Alonso early in the 2010 World Cup final, Webb gave De Jong a yellow card — though replays clearly showed a vicious, studs-up kick to the chest that deserved a straight red. Nearly a billion TV viewers worldwide knew the referee had made a mistake but Webb, the only person who could fix that, didn’t have access to the video.
“I would absolutely overturn that call,” Webb says now. “That was an example of clear error.”
The experience helped make Webb both a vocal proponent of video...