Like it or not, the Euro 2020 referees will play a massive role at this tournament (just ask England fans old enough to remember any tournament before the 2018 World Cup).
Here, we've put together a handy guide on the Euro 2020 match officials.
Who are the Euro 2020 referees?
The list of 18 official Euro 2020 referees are as follows:
Felix Brych (Germany)
Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
Carlos Del Cerro Grande (Spain)
Andreas Ekberg (Sweden)
Orel Grinfeeld (Israel)
Ovidiu Alin Hategan (Romania)
Sergei Karasev (Russia)
Istvan Kovacs (Romania)
Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)
Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
Michael Oliver (England)
Daniele Orsato (Italy)
Artur Manuel Ribeiro Soares Dias (Portugal)
Daniel Siebert (Germany)
Anthony Taylor (England)
Clément Turpin (France)
Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)
There was some debate over whether both Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver would be appointed. Two Premier League referees have gone to past tournaments but it isn't a certainty.
How were the Euro 2020 referees chosen?
The criteria for selecting referees for the tournament is thus:
1. Experience hosting at a previous international tournament, such as a Euros or World Cup
2. A record of officiating high-profile Champions League and Europa League fixtures
3. Track record in domestic football (match performance, level of discipline, number of mistakes made)
3. Experience working with video assistance domestically
4. Languages spoken (a good grasp of English is a must)
5. Ability to control players and clearly explain decisions
6. How many referees from same nation already selected
UEFA Referees Committee chairman, Roberto Rosetti - a former referee who officiated at the 2010 World Cup - discussed the selection criteria in February this year.
“We’ll be looking at the performances of our first-category referees in view of the various duties required at the finals," he said. "Experience will obviously count as a criterion for our choices, but we’ll be closely monitoring everybody in the coming matches before taking our final decision."
Rosetti also offered advice to any referees hoping to force themselves into the reckoning before the announcement is made in the coming weeks.
“Take strong action in cases of mass confrontation between players on the field, as well as when you are being mobbed by players,” Rosetti said. The 57-year-old also highlighted the importance of consistent action in cases of holding, pushing and physical contact in the penalty area, especially at free-kicks and corners. The referees were advised to show understanding of the spirit of the game in taking decisions on potential handball situations in the area.
Euro 2020 referees: Will VAR be in use at Euro 2020?
For the first time in competition history, video assistants will be on duty for every game. A unique VAR will be assigned to each of the 18 referees selected for the tournament, forming part of a four-strong team alongside the assistant refs and fourth official. In all, there will be 72 match officials overseeing matters… so best behaviour.
Euro 2020 referees: Where will the VAR room be at Euro 2020?
The 22 video match officials will be stationed at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
Two rooms have been set up, and the officials have been given a comprehensive briefing ahead of the tournament.
According to UEFA: "At each of the 51 EURO matches, the main video assistant referee (VAR) will be accompanied by an assistant video assistant referee (AVAR), and offside video assistant referee. The VAR is the leader of the team who will be the main point of contact with the referee, with the task of focussing on incidents. The AVAR will concentrate on following the match, while the offside VAR will evaluate all potential offside situations. The team will be accompanied by three operators, as well as a VAR support assistant who will act in a coordination capacity."
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