Webb replaces Walton as PRO general manager

Hired last year to oversee implementation of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in MLS, Howard Webb has been named by the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) as general manager.

Webb, 46, takes over from Peter Walton, who had led PRO since the organization was formed in 2014. Walton will continue to work with PRO as a consultant and manager of assistant referees Greg Barkey will continue in that role and also serve as manager of senior assistant referees and video review operations.

“Peter Walton and I have been friends for a very long time, and our respect for one another has only grown stronger as we’ve collaborated to continue the improvement of officiating standards over the last year,” said Webb. “We have great opportunity with the growth of the game here, and I look forward to drawing upon my experiences to provide the best possible training, resources, and technologies as we strive to become the global standard.”
Since Webb joined PRO in March 2017, it ramped up testing of VAR and in August implemented the system for all MLS league and playoff games. A total of 154 games were conducted with a fifth official, the Video Assistant Referee, working with the four on-field officials to oversee play and implement reviews when necessary.

Prior to his hiring by PRO, Webb directed the development and training of professional referees in England and was director of officiating for the Saudi Arabian soccer federation. In his 25 years of officiating he handled more than 500 professional games in England as well as UEFA and FIFA matches.

Walton was hired in 2014 to upgrade the training and education of referees employed to work professional matches in the U.S. and Canada, as well as oversee the MLS Disciplinary Panel, which reviews refereeing decisions and has the power to change them in some circumstances.

“Developing PRO into the organization that it is today has been a tremendous honor,” said Walton. “Our officials have more resources than ever before, and their world-class training has been rewarded with opportunities at the highest levels both in the CONCACAF region and globally. I have incredible faith that Howard Webb will continue to lead this organization with referees reaching even higher standards and realizing many more groundbreaking achievements.”

1 comment about "Webb replaces Walton as PRO general manager".
  1. Albert Harris, January 19, 2018 at 12:47 p.m.

    Maybe with VAR, he would have sent off De Jong. We can only hope.

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