Euro 2008 – The Referees!

The men in the middle might just turn out to be the men that decide who wins Euro 2008. With no specific teams looking like world beaters, more and more is likely to come down to the breadth of a hair decisions that seem to determine the outcome of more and more matches these days. UEFA have selected twelve of Europe’s finest (so, no place for Uriah Rennie, then) and twenty-four assistants to keep an eye on proceedings in Austria and Switzerland this summer. Each referee has two assistants that will act as linesmen and there will be two further reserves at each match. They all attended a seminar last month at Regensdorf in Switzerland last month, and will be accompanied to the finals by a support group that contains a physiotherapist, a doctor and a fitness coach. In other words, they’re taking it all very seriously. So here are the twelve that will be booking players for taking their shirts off after they score, either not playing enough or playing too much injury time and being chased around the pitch and harangued by swarthy foreigners. Konrad Plautz (Austria): Representing one of the host nations, 44 year old Plautz has been officiating at UEFA level since 1996, and in the Austrian Bundesliga since 1992. He was strongly (and wrongly) criticised by Rafael Benitez over the amount of time that...

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