May 28, 2013

"The players helped me to fade from the spotlight", Rizzoli tells Gazzetta dello Sport

After his presence in 2013 UEFA Champions League final, Italian official Nicola Rizzoli spoke with Italy's biggest sports newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport, about his emotions and impressions collected at Wembley Stadium.

Nicola Rizzoli urging Mario Mandzukic (c)
Gazzetta: Tell us about your feelings during the match.
Rizzoli: There was a quite calm atmosphere. The players were really fair and they helped me to fade from the spotlight, I whistled only 17 fouls. After the final whistle, I cried, I was sure of having shown a good performance on the pitch, but I was waiting for Pierluigi Collina’s words. He came in my room and after a few seconds of silence, he said: “Good, Nicola, you were good along with your whole team. Now it’s time to celebrate and enjoy. You deserve that.“

Gazzetta: You have frequently given advantages.
Rizzoli: Stopping an action is often a pity: football is nice especially when it’s fluent, without interruptions. A referee has not always this chance, but in this match I noticed that it was possible.

Gazzetta: In serie A, it’s different.
Rizzoli: It’s a problem of culture. When our teams play in UEFA competitions, they also change their styles, focusing on the respect for the opponent. A player knows that a red card might mean several matches of ban, so he is careful. There aren’t exaggerated complaints. Everything is easy.

Gazzetta: Hearing your words, it seems that a CL final is easier than a serie A match.
Rizzoli: Yes, it’s true. Of course, we can’t compare the importance and the pressure of this final with other matches, nevertheless in serie A from a technical point of view, I have more difficulties.

Gazzetta: Other memories from “your” Wembley final?
Rizzoli: At the end of the game, Robben talked to me, saying: “You deserved this final, and you were really good.” I’m quite able to play football but sometimes I envy those players, they are really champions. Robben, Schweinsteiger and Reus were my favourite players in this final.

Gazzetta: The most difficult decision of the match?
Rizzoli: Penalty to Borussia Dortmund, even though it can appear clear on TV, it wasn’t. I had not a free view on the pitch, Reus was obstructing me. I was able to understand the situation also thanks to my experience.

Gazzetta: Klopp asked for a second YC to Dante.
Rizzoli: To be honest, he congratulated me. Anyway, I understand that we can discuss about this situation. It appeared to me as an unintentional foul. It was a negligence by Dante, and according to rules, this is not a YC. You must give the second YC only when you are really sure. Some people say that when you whistle a penalty, the card must be mandatory. Stupid and false sentence. Furthermore, the action didn’t appear to me as potentially important for Borussia Dortmund.

Gazzetta: What about the situation between Ribery and Lewandowski in the first half?
Rizzoli: Yes, I might have booked them, but in those cases the referees must calm down the players, not exasperating them. It’s a better choice. They immediately had a clarification and nothing happened. In second half it was different, therefore I booked Ribery and Großkreutz.

Gazzetta: The first goal scored by Bayern is an excellent call due to a very difficult onside position.
Rizzoli: Yes, thank to this man here close to me (Faverani).
Faverani: I have to admit that I was lucky. I was focused on Mandzukic, he was in an offside position. Ribery decided to pass the ball to Robben, at first he also appeared to be offside to me, but I waited because I evaluated the speed of the action, and I thought that he was in a regular position. And that was correct, I decided by intuition.

Gazzetta: Your next goals?
Rizzoli: 200 matches in serie A, and Brazil 2014.

Gazzetta: You are going to fly to Rio de Janeiro with Rocchi.
Rizzoli: Yes, we have a FIFA meeting on the road to WC 2014.

Gazzetta: A lot of time has passed since your first match as referee.
Rizzoli: Yes, and I would like to meet again a man who 25 years ago said to me: “You can’t referee, you are not able to do that. I know important people in our association (AIA). I will make you stop refereeing.”


  1. Mr. Rizzoli seems to be very pleased and content with his performance. Also, reading through this interviewiew it seems he had no intention of sending anyone off.

  2. WC qualification CONCACAF:
    Jamaica-Mexico: Aguilar/Torres/Zumba/Bonilla (SLV)
    Costa Rica - Honduras: Lopez/Lopez/Leal/Reyna (GUA)
    Jamaica - USA: Moreno/Corrales/Williamson/Pitti (PAN/NCA)
    Panama - Mexico: Quesada/Leal/Jara/Solis (CRC)
    Mexiko - Costa Rica: Geiger/Hurd/Fletcher/Toledo(USA/CAN)
    Honduras - Jamaica: Rodriguez/Torrentera/Quintero/Morales (MEX)
    USA - Panama: Garcia/Camargo/Morin/Penaloza (MEX)
    USA - Honduras: Wijngaarde/Louisville/Briere/Santos (SUR/CAN/PUR)
    Costa Rica - Panama: Campbell/Page/Neil/Gantar (JAM/TRI/CAN)

    Many Pre-List referees out there.

    1. Too many matches in CAF, I only write down the ones with pre-listed refs...
      Kenya - Nigeria: Doue/Yeo/Birumushashu/Dembele (CIV/BDI)
      Morocco - Tanzania: Bennett/Siwela/Range/Mfiki (RSA/KEN)
      Zimbabwe - Egypt: Gassama/Ogbamariam/Kabanda/Camara(GAM/ERI/RWA)
      Benin-Algeria: Alioum/Menkouande/Edibi/Effa (CMR/NGA)
      Congo DR - Cameroon: Diatta/Camara/Samba/Ndiaye (SEN)

    2. Haimoudi and Jedidi are both missing. On the other hand there are referees with 2 matches like Otogo-Castane.

    3. Haimoudi is probably missing due to Confed Cup and Jedidi for reasons we only can imagine (suspension?).

      Very good Asian appointments. Bashir is rewarded and Shukrallah gets a huge test.

    4. 2 German appointments

      Montenegro - Ukraine: Manuel Gräfe (GER)
      Iceland - Slovenia: Felix Zwayer (GER)

    5. Complete appointments:
      MON-UKR: Gräfe/Schiffner/Kleve/Meyer
      ICE-SVN: Zwayer/Scheppe/Pickel/Dingert
      28.5.: Turkey-Latvia: Kinhöfer/Borsch/Häcker/Dingert
      31.5.: Turkey-Slovenia: Fritz/Bornhorst/Henschel/Dingert

    6. For some reasons FIFA has deleted Kovalenko's 2nd appointment and also Faghani's appointment. A few hours earlier, they still were listed in the respective games..Perhaps they made an error to assign Faghani for a match on 18 June while he has to be in Turkey one day later for U20 World Cup?

  3. 41st International Tournament of Toulon

    Group A - Matchday 1

    Colombia vs South Korea

    Referee: Murad Al-Zawahreh (Jordan)
    Assistant Referees: Mohammad Alkalaf (Jordan) and Mahmoud Abu-Thaher (Jordan)
    4th Referee: Nikolay Yordanov (Bulgaria)

    France vs United States

    Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal)
    Assistant Referees: Rui Licínio (Portugal) and Inácio Pereira (Portugal)
    4th Referee: Flores Rodríguez (México)

  4. Shame news from South America:
    Diego Abal, Sandro Ricci, Heber Lopes, Raul Orosco, Juan Soto, Carlos Vera, Antonio Arias, Victor Carrillo and Martin Vazquez failed the fitness test from FIFA in Rio de Janeiro,
    Only Wilmar Roldan, Enrique Osses and Néstor Pitana passed the test (25%)

    Shame, shame, shame...

    1. I can't believe.
      And now? What is going to happen?
      They can't replace each referee, I think they will be forced to repeat the tests.

    2. No idea, FIFA has no said what they are going to do, only know that Ricci had an injury during the test and that is why he did not pass. But it's a shame what Conmebol refs are doing there

    3. Shocking that 75% of the referees from one federation failed the tests.

      As Chefren says I think that they'll keep on taking the test untill they pass..

      Maybe not the best solution however I think thats how it will be..

    4. At least there is not consistency, if you allow to repeat the tests only to certain referees, then you have also to give another chance to the previous ones, sent already home (IMHO).
      FIFA should change something in this process of selection for the WC, considering that they have very often this kind of problems.

    5. Remember that Diego Abal and Heber Lopes already failed a test. And we have to see Seneme had two chances same as Silvera...

    6. If so many referees failed it might give a hint that many assistant referees might fail aswell when it's time for their testing..

      My opinion is that the best referees in the world should be at the world cup, simple. The best teams around the world are there, why not referees? That might be unfair to some federations, politics and so on however I think that it would be better than that different federations has X spots to fill.

      Its also quite hard to predict as there isn't much official information about this.. we might see how it is when the referees are chosen.

    7. I also can not believe, how is it possible the top referees in the world do not pass physical tests?
      The Refereeing Commission of CONMEBOL and the Boards of Refereeing of the country of origin of Referees has a lot of explaining to FIFA.

      This only shows that the UEFA confederation remains that best prepare their referees.

      The FIFA Referees can not dispense with the means of preparation for the World Cup 2014.

      What will happen is that FIFA going to repeat physical tests for these referees, but the note that will count for the final evaluation of each Referee is the note of the first physical tests. At least this is what happens in Portugal;).

    8. As far as I know Conmebol they will say: That is the problem when referees are no profis. And they are somehow right, if you see they all have a second job, but I dont see it as an excuse, the truht is that Alarcon is a disaster for South American Football

    9. The problem is also that CONMEBOL had to face a sudden replacement of elite officials due to age limit and other reasons, after 2010 WC: Larrionda, Baldassi, Simon, Ruiz and Pozo had to retire. Five very important names.
      And now I see that behind those names there weren't other good referees ready to take their place.
      Roldan seems to be (in my opinion) the most reliable, young and good referee with a very important future.
      Vazquez should be really experienced having worked as stand-by at 2010 WC, but nothing else.

    10. Carlos, since I don't know much about CONMEBOL can you explain why you consider Alarcon as a disaster for CONMEBOL refereeing?

    11. Alarcón is a disaster to our refereeing because there is simply no work with the referees. This referees test fail is not new, you should remember 2007 when Silvera, Baldassi and Torres failed the test for the u17 WC in Korea and they had to call Buitrago and Fagundes from emergency, remember also that Amarilla was left out from a WC because of his assistant, so we see the problem is not new, but he has not done anything to improve that fail.
      Now, the problem is not only in the physical part. We see he has failed in the way he appoints the referees in our tournaments, one has not to be a wizard to see when he does an appointment that is not in order, and then, when the referees make mistakes, he always says the same: we have no refs for the world cup, but he does not work to do it better. I ask you: how does he want to have WC refs if he appoints without taking into consideration the previous performances? Referees like Amarilla can make two crucial mistakes in a match and the next week they are appointed again, but for him Amarilla is our best ref and without him we have nobody else. I invite you to see one of Amarilla's last performances, for example the Boca Juniors vs Corinthians match, he made 3 crucial mistakes after coming from a 3 bad performances in the group stage.
      Now we will have a crucial WC Qualifiers in a few days, if you see the appointments, the referees who will take charge of the matches are 50% of Brazil, and from them, Vuaden and De Oliveira have 2 previous WC Quali matches, Ricci has one, Marcelo Henrique is going to have a WC Quali match with only 5 international matches outside his land! And the match is crucial since it is the last chance for Peru to get into the fight and its vs Ecuador, a team that is second of the tournament. Take a look into both matches of Argentina, they are playing vs Colombia (3rd) and Ecuador (2nd) the referees for those games are Marlon Escalante and Enrique Cáceres. Escalante has this year only ONE Gruop stage match in Libertadores. Cáceres had 4 this year, but he only has 19 official international matches. I don't know if you get my point, but I dont see any work with the referees and any logic in the appointments, and that is why I think he is a disaster for Conmebol refereeing, the referees have a big potential, you saw Vera doing to good matches at the Club WC, you saw Roldan doing 2 good performances in the Olympics, you also saw how in 2011 Ubriaco, Arias and Seneme did a great u20 WC, but they only learn in those tournaments, but here in Conmebol is simply no work.

    12. Great, thanks a lot.

      You are right about Vera and Roldan. I observed Vera for the blog in Club World Cup and I write in my report that he could have a chance for the WC. He is a good ref.
      As for the June's qualifiers you are absolutely correct. I noticed that with the 4 Brazilian refs and I immediately asked my self "there are no better refs or it is a political appointment?"

      So from what I understand he has his favorite refs and they get most of the matches.

  5. Does anybody know the appointment for tommorow's meeting between England & Republic of Ireland?

    1. The referee is Willian Collum (SCO)
      Don't know the rest of the team.

  6. I found the full appointment:

    England vs Republic of Ireland
    Referee: William Collum (Scotland)
    Assistant Referees: Phil Thomas (WAL), Eamon Shanks (NIR)
    Fourth Official: Steven McLean (SCO)

  7. The full appointment for Italy - San Marino
    Italia - San Marino
    Marco Borg (Malta)
    Ingmar Spiteri - Mitchell Scerri
    Paolo Valeri

  8. Any info regarding Ecuador-Germany?

    1. They will play in Florida, USA.
      Probably a FIFA referee from USA, Canada or Mexico.

    2. Yes. My guess is Terry Vaughn but I have no info.

  9. FIFA is revealing European appointments
    interesting names: Moen, Rocchi.

    1. To save you from some clicks ;) :
      ICE-SVN: Zwayer/Scheppe/Pickel/Dingert(GER)
      FIN-BLR: Hacmon/Nahmias/Shimon/Masiah(ISR)
      LAT-BIH: Dean/Burt/Kirkup/Atkinson(ENG)
      IRE-FAR: Gestranius/Alakare/Haenninen/Antamo(FIN)
      ARM-MAL: Hunter/Shanks/Storey/Courtney(NIR)
      LIE-SVK: Strombergsson/Andren/Gustavsson/Hansson(SWE)
      CRO-SCO: F.Borbalan/C.Martinez/C.Guadamuro/C.Gomez(ESP)
      ALB-NOR: Collum/Conquer/Cryans/Madden(SCO)
      MON-UKR: Gräfe/Schiffner/Kleve/Meyer(GER)
      BEL-SER: Lannoy/Cano/Annonier/Buquet(FRA)
      CZE-ITA: Moen/Haglund/Andas/Edvartsen(NOR)
      AUT-SWE: Rocchi/Di Liberatore/Cariolato/Bergonzi(ITA)
      POR-RUS: Skomina/Zunic/Ul/Vincic(SVN)
      AZE-LUX: Fabian/Albert/Berettyan/Szabo(HUN)
      MOL-POL: T.Vitienes/D.Casado/S.Magan/E.Fernandez(ESP)
      LIT-GRE: Benquerenca/Santos/Santos/Neves(POR)
      SUI-CYP: Mazzoleni/Tonolini/Di Fiore/Banti(ITA)
      SWE-FAR: Yordanov/Valchev/Dobriyanov/Todorov(BUL)
      BLR-FIN: Kovarik/Mencl/Molacek/Matejek(CZE)
      DEN-ARM: Nikolaev/Tselovalnikov/Mosyakin/Vilkov(RUS)

    2. South-American appointments:
      BOL-VEN: Loustau/Bonfa/Rossi/Ceballos(ARG)
      ARG-COL: Escalante/Urrego/Lopez/Argote(VEN)
      PAR-CHI: Pedro/de Carvalho/Santiago/Marques(BRA)
      PER-ECU: de Lima/V.d.S.Fabricio/Correa/Cortez(BRA)
      COL-PER: Ricci/Rocha/van Gasse/Sampaio(BRA)
      ECU-ARG: Caceres/Aquino/Gaona/Quintana(PAR)
      VEN-URU: de Oliveira/Hausmann/Gil/Nascimento(BRA)
      CHI-BOL: Ubriaco/Nievas/Taran/Fedorczuk(URU)

  10. U21 Appointments for 2013-2015 Season

    30.05 Cyprus - Nothern Ireland: Tykgaard (DEN)
    01.06 Bulgaria - Andorra: Casanova (SMR)


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