Thursday 4 April 2013

Trendsetting: Referee Shirts

Referee Nicola Rizzoli with his name printed on his shirt collar. Pic courtesy Imago/Actionplus

This picture was spotted because of the send off incident in the Serie A match between Inter Milan and Juventus on Saturday 30 March 2013. The match finished 1—2.

The send off was an obvious SFP because Inter Milan's Esteban Cambiasso (blue/black 19) used "excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play". Cambiasso endangered the safety of an opponent.
(Compare this with Nani's send off which produced mixed responses, as opposed to near universal agreement for Stepanenko's challenge).

The Daily Mail news article reported Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso's challenge on Sebastian Giovinco to be similar, if not worse, than Callum McManaman's shocking tackle on Massadio Haidara. Although there are similarities including the end result of studs forcibly landing on an opponent, there are also differences between the two challenges. However, the media will use any "trick" to grab the headlines!

Anyway back to the main point of this post: will this become a trend for top Referees? Shirts with Referees' names. It is interesting that this is currently happening in Serie A, where Pierluigi Collina and his Referees Committee at UEFA appear to have an influence. For instance Collina and UEFA already have an influence in Italy because Serie A adopts UEFA's view in using Additional Assistant Referees (or EARs), unlike in other top domestic leagues such as the EPL, Bundesliga and La Liga which do not use EARs. UEFA obviously insist all Champions League and Europa League matches must use EARs because those are its own competitions.

Furthermore, during EURO 2012, Collina also promoted Shirt Swapping between Referees and players. This is a stupid idea but it appears that if top Italian Referees now have shirts with their names printed on them, then Collina may yet see his Shirt Swapping idea take off. HKRef disagrees with the idea where Referees swap shirts with players.

HKRef admires Collina's achievements on the pitch. However, so far many of Collina's off-pitch decisions (e.g. referees swapping shirts, supporting the use of EARs, dismissing goal-line technology) have been poor and unconvincing.


  1. Sorry, but this trend is in Serie A for more than 2 years.

  2. OK thanks Anon.

    I just wonder whether this 'trend' will take off in other countries?

    Or perhaps UEFA will start introducing customised Referee shirts in its competitions (since Collina advocates shirt swapping between Referees and players).

  3. This has been going on since when Collina refereed in Serie A.

    It's what the Italian Referee Federation has done for years.

    Not a trend at all.

    See this photo.

  4. HKref's point stands however.
    Where will we see this next?