Collina urges '25th team' to shine at Euro 2016

The 18 referee teams at UEFA Euro 2016 have been encouraged to make their qualities count at the tournament, and to meet a series of challenges to achieve success. Europe's leading referees, assistant referees and additional assistant referees are counting down the days until their assignments at UEFA Euro 2016 in France, and have been urged to perform to the very best of their ability to leave a positive mark on the tournament.
"Good performances are the primary route to success," UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina told the 18 referee teams as they gathered at Enghien-Les-Bains near Paris for the Euro referees' preparation workshop, which involves crucial fine-tuning ahead of the big kick-off on 10 June. "You have already achieved success because you are here," Collina said. "Now is the time to be successful as the 25th team at Euro… UEFA's team…our team." Collina asked the referees to show consistency in performance and decision-making during the tournament. "We don't need top performances delivered by just a few of you in some matches. We want to see top performances by all of you in every match." The match officials were reminded of several important factors at UEFA Euro 2016, including the increase in the number of participating teams from 16 to 24. "This will have a big impact on the competition, which will be very balanced because many teams will have a chance of qualifying for the round of 16," Collina reflected. "The four best third-placed teams in the group stage will also go through – this means that, most probably, all of the group phase matches will be meaningful. Each match could be decisive, and this presents a major challenge not only for the teams, but also for the referees. "The Referees Committee will do everything possible to help and support you to do your best," Collina added, "and never try to stop improving. The day that you stop improving is the day that you start losing..." The match officials were told that one of the major challenges facing them would be in applying the revamped Laws of the Game, which have undergone a major overhaul recently to address anomalies and inconsistencies, and which will be in force at UEFA Euro 2016. They were also briefed about the introduction of goal-line technology at the final tournament in France. The system will work alongside additional assistant referees who will continue to monitor all activity in and around the penalty area. At the workshop, the match officials will examine several topics, including handball, offside and teamwork, and will also undergo fitness testing under the supervision of UEFA's referee training expert Werner Helsen and his team.
In another presentation, the referees were addressed by UEFA intelligence officer Graham Peaker, who told them that match-fixing is a criminal offence in France, and that French law would apply for Euro 2016 matches. "Anyone found to be involved in fixing matches will be dealt with by UEFA, the French police and prosecutors," he said. "Match-fixing is a real danger to our game, your game, the fans' game,” Peaker explained. "UEFA has a zero-tolerance policy, and those found guilty could face life bans. We cannot be too careful." A new mobile app means that UEFA has simplified the process for reporting any approaches, and the referees were asked to apply the 'three Rs' principle if they were approached to manipulate a match: "Recognise what is happening – Reject the approach – Report the approach to someone".

Source: UEFA