Kuipers: “A wrong decision could have cost my career”

Referee Bjorn Kuipers (NED) had a very special 2013. He had some very good matches and officiated the 2013 Confederations Cup final, a Champions League semi-final and the Europa League final. He talked about his most important matches from 2013 in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant.
Borussia Dortmund – Real Madrid, Champions League semi-final (April 2013). Dortmund won this first round match with 4-1. Kuipers talks about a penalty incident in the 41st minute: “Borussia was leading with 1-0. Attacker Marco Reus runs with the ball into the penalty area and falls. Penalty or not? I saw it well. Reus made himself fall. He touches the opponent’s leg. And watch how play continues. A throw-in. A counter-attack. Real scores the equaliser, just before half-time. Everyone’s crazy. Reus shouts that it was a 100% penalty kick. Jurgen Klopp, the trainer of Borussia, is raging. With 82.000 fans whistling, I went into the tunnel. The feeling you have at that moment. Was it a penalty kick then? Back in the dressing room, I found about 80 messages on my phone. How fantastic the call was. That’s something I could use”. The Volkskrant reporter asked Kuipers whether he got lucky by making the call. “No, I was 80% sure that I was right, because I saw the defender made no offence”.
Brazil and Spain played the Confederations Cup final (
June 2013). “It was not an easy match. Two yellow cards, one red, a penalty kick for Spain. Crucial moments, all well assessed. The release afterwards was huge. We ended up in a jacuzzi, with a glass”. Kuipers still has the ball used at the Confederation Cup final. “I whistled for the end of the match when the ball was nearby. I couldn’t deny myself such an opportunity”.
Poland – Montenegro, World Cup Qualifier (September 2013): “A very important match. In the 93rd minute, Poland scored the 2-1 goal. The whole stadium went crazy. Players were lying on top of each other. The winning goal! Ecstatic joy. My assistant was holding up his flag in that madness. He called: “Bjorn, offside! Offside!” I had no choice and followed him. 30 seconds later, I whistle for the end of the game”. The refereeing team made the right decision. “If someone on my team makes a crucial mistake, it will influence me. I’m responsible. If this decision was wrong, it could have cost my international career”. Kuipers is now waiting for FIFA’s final selection for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Source: Volkskrant / Dutch Referee