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PRO general manager takes blame for blown call in Hudson River Derby

The referee organization admits that Alan Kelly’s lack of communication was costly

New York Red Bulls v New York City FC: MLS Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Yup. You done fucked up.

Speaking to Glenn Crooks of Pro Soccer USA, Professional Referee Organization (PRO) general manager Howard Webb admitted that Alan Kelly’s lack of communication with New York City FC players on the game-changing call that cost the team points against the rival New York Red Bulls this past weekend was not the right judgement call.

“With hindsight, the referee should have stopped the game at that point and indicated to everybody to give clarity that the restart was going to be a throw-in,” Webb told Pro Soccer USA.

The call in question came in the 62nd minute when assistant referee Corey Rockwell signaled for a Red Bulls corner after a defensive clearance. Instead of taking said corner, however, NYRB winger Alex Muyl restarted play with a throw-in that lead to a headed goal from Daniel Royer which ultimately turned out to be the game-winner in a 2-1 win for the Red Bulls.

Expanding further, Webb stated that Rockwell should not have signaled for a corner kick “because it was always going to be difficult for him to know whether it was a corner kick or a throw-in because the ball more or less went over his head.”

If Howard Webb — the GM for for one of the most opaque referee organizations in the footballing world — is calling foul on the decision made by Kelly and his crew, then you know shit is way off.

Webb has contacted NYCFC personally to acknowledge that the play wasn’t handled with the most care by the officiating crew.

For many, this is too little too late as the result will stand as a loss. But for those like me who just want some people to take responsibility, it’s refreshing. Let’s hope we never have to see anything like this again.