After returning home from his first major tournament, Russian referee Sergei Karasev (photo) talked about communication and decision-making at Euro 2016.
- That was UEFA decision. We and several other referees were informed that we will no longer stay at Euro. The head of the UEFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, thanked us and said that he was pleasantly surprised, taking into account that this was my first major tournament. More experienced referees will continue. The decision was taken by Collina, Dallas and Batta. All UEFA Referee committee members take part in discussions, but the final decision is made by this triumvirate. We are happy that, along with Tikhon Kalugin, Nikolai Golubev, Sergei Ivanov and Sergei Lapochkin, we represented the Russian refereeing on the international level. The sixth member of our team is Anton Averianov, who was always mentally with us - many thanks to him. Our presence at Euro is also his merit.
- UEFA announced that you are going home on Thursday. Did you return back on the same day?
- Yes. The meeting was planned for 10 a.m. Six teams were supposed to leave the tournament. 15 minutes before the meeting, Pierluigi Collina approached us and explained the decision. After that, the decision was announced at the meeting.
- How long before the game you knew your appointments?
- A group was created in WhatsApp and all information was posted there. For the first time, there weren't any meetings to announce the appointments. Collina said that it is time wasting when 100 people come to the room to find out their appointments.
- In both games, you awarded the penalty kicks...
- Yes. And another very difficult moment was at the end of the game between Iceland and Hungary. We had to decide whether the foul occurred inside or outside the penalty area. The key moment... If you make a mistake, one team will win and the other... You imagine possible aftermath... It was the most difficult moment... Along with Tikhon Kalugin we decided that the foul was outside the penalty area and we were correct.
- The episode with penalty kick?
- The replay on TV was not good - the emphasis was not on the actual action. All of you saw that Kiraly releases the ball, tries to fix his mistake and pushes it to the opponent. However, here he plays the ball and I do not react on this action. But after that, the Iceland player plays the ball forward and a Hungarian player hits his leg. During the video analysis, we had an excellent replay which supported our decision.