Italy's former international referee Stefano Farina, who took charge of the 2006 UEFA Super Cup match, has passed away at the age of 54. He was ill for some time but his family wanted to protect his privacy. A distinguished career brought Farina assignments in major European competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, and he was appointed to take charge of the 2006 UEFA Super Cup match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at the Stade Louis II in Monaco. Born in Ovada in 1962, Stefano Farina took up refereeing at the age of 16. He made his debut in Serie A in January 1995 and became an international referee in 2001.
The AIA President, Marcello Nicchi, posted an open letter on their website:
Your game, the most important one, ended in an unexpected way, prematurely, without giving you the opportunity to recover. It is very hard, in these moments, to write or say something... even more so for those who, like me, have had the opportunity to share a life long experience with you. We will remember you as we have known you: a meticulous professional, a very good referee and a great manager, a master of training. An exemplar father, husband and friend. Your family and the refereeing family lose a point of reference. The world of football loses a great sports man.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has asked for a minute of silence to be observed in memory of Farina at all matches in Italy over the coming days. Referees will also wear black armbands, along with Italy’s national teams. Italy play San Marino in a senior friendly in Empoli next Wednesday.