Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Referee Busacca Banned for Three Matches

Referees make mistakes but even news that Massimo Busacca, Switzerland’s top referee, gave the “middle finger” gesture to fans came as a complete surprise.

Subsequently, the Swiss Football Association (SFA) has banned Busacca for 3 matches for his unsporting gesture at fans during a first-round Swiss Cup match between FC Baden and Young Boys on Saturday 19 September 2009.

There is no excuse for such behaviour, particularly for match officials. But at the same time, we should also acknowledge that 'to err is human'. Busacca has said he regretted his unsporting gesture and accepts his punishment.

[Note: The BBC story’s photo caption: “Mr Busacca is more used to giving red cards than receiving them” is wrong. He did not receive a red card, only a three-match suspension.]

Massimo Busacca officiated the 2009 Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United in Rome and, as Switzerland’s best referee, is set to referee World Cup matches in South Africa in 2010.

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