Refereeing teams from the same country will officiate at matches in the UEFA EURO 2004™ final round in Portugal next summer.
Twelve referees have been appointed by UEFA to take charge at the final tournament. The list, revealed today, includes some of the most experienced referees in the world, and they will be accompanied by 24 assistant referees, as well as four other referees who have been appointed to act as fourth officials only.
Understanding and experience
"The teams of referees are appointed as 'trios' and it is the intention of the UEFA Referees Committee that they will be used as such at the final tournament," UEFA said in a statement. "The teams are composed of referees and assistant referees from the same country, and as a unit they have been active in UEFA competitions already, mainly in the UEFA Champions League, and therefore have a good understanding and experience of working together."
Among the names in the list are Pierluigi Collina, the Italian referee who took charge of the 2002 FIFA World Cup final between Brazil and Germany, and Germany's Markus Merk, who refereed last season's Champions League final between Juventus FC and AC Milan.
They are joined by other members of the European refereeing élite, such as Sweden's Anders Frisk and Switzerland's Urs Meier, veterans of matches at the highest UEFA and FIFA levels, and Lubos Michel (Slovakia), who officiated at the 2003 UEFA Cup final between FC Porto and Celtic FC.
Four referees - Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium), Kyros Vassaras (Greece), Alain Hamer (Luxembourg) and Stuart Dougal (Scotland) - will also travel to Portugal, and will specifically be used as fourth officials.
All 40 of the selected match officials for EURO 2004™ will attend a preparatory seminar in Portugal on 26-29 April, which will be held at the same venue that the officials will use as their base during the tournament itself.
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