The head of UEFA referees: "We studied the patterns of the teams to avoid surprises and errors. The foul on CR7 in the final? Maybe it was yellow, but the trend was random".
It had nothing to do with the heat. The invasion of moths during the Euro 2016 final has an illustrious "guilty": Pierluigi Collina. The head of the UEFA referees had somehow invited them before the tournament when he told his referees: "You have to fly like butterflies and sting like a bee". A clear homage to Ali (who died on 3 June), but also expressing a wish: to see them as positive actors in France. The final of 10 July marked the victory of Portugal, but also the great of the European match officials.
- Are you satisfied?
- We have received many compliments, for example the words of praise expressed by prominent coaches like Ferguson and Wenger.
- The work of the referees and assistant referees. They have been joined by other professionals who took care of the physical and tactical preparation. We introduced an important innovation: to know the schemes of the teams and the technical characteristics of the players, which is critical to predict situations that might otherwise take you by surprise, a condition that often leads to error. On this point, we have made a quantum leap thanks to two match analysts, Cristiano Ciardelli and Gianvito Piglionico, both coaches with UEFA A Licenses. Each national team that qualified for Euro 2016 was studied in detail.
- Can you give us an example of a tactical situation analysed for the referees?
- Italy and Switzerland were playing the ball by the central defender (Bonucci and Schar) not to develop the game sideways, but to go deep with a long pass to favor the inclusion of a midfielder.
- The teams were explained the referee guidelines and what would not be tolerated. Was that a successful prevention work?
- Here I respond with significant numbers: from a total of 205, only 9 yellow cards for dissent, one for simulation and, again, one direct red, in France-Ireland, due to a clear chance on goal denied. It means that we thought of play and very little of anything else. Even dangerous interventions have been minimal.
- But there was Ronaldo's injury in the final...
- Payet? It was a foul. Did he deserve a yellow? It is debatable. But the dynamic of the battle, knee to knee, was accidental. It is an unfortunate episode. Payet did not want to hurt him.
Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport