Former 2010 World Cup final referee Howard Webb has claimed that the introduction of video technology could lead to “remote-controlled referees”. Webb was speaking in response to the successful trialing by FIFA of video technology during the Italy-France friendly match, where Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers admitted that the assistance of Video Assistant Referees (VAR), who had access to replays, aided him in two vital decisions. The first of which occurred after just four minutes, when French defender Djibril Sidibe fouled Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Within ten seconds, Kuipers was informed that a yellow card and not a red would suffice. Kuipers used the assistance of one of his VAR’s in another crucial incident during the match involving a possible penalty. “In the second incident, my VAR advised me seven seconds later not to decide for penalty”, Kuipers said. “The players again accepted immediately. This trust by the players gave me a lot of confidence”. The trial was only experimental with strict guidelines that technology can only be used for penalty, red card, and goal-scoring incidents. Afterwards, FIFA president Gianni Infantino claimed: “We have turned a new page in football’s history book”. Yet with all of the apparent positives to come from the trial, Webb (photo) was still skeptical about the topic of technology, despite the fact that almost every major sport has embraced it. “When the idea of retrospective action was first brought in, it was supposed to be for incidents way off the ball, which no official could possibly have seen, but that is no longer the case”, Webb added. “Now FIFA’s position is changing and trials of video technology are taking place. Of course, we should welcome anything which helps get decisions right, but we have to be careful. If all decisions can be reviewed by video, referees on the pitch become nothing more than remote-controlled referees”.