Howard Webb, who refereed last year’s world cup final between champions Spain and runners-up Holland, has been chosen as one of the 12 referees short-listed for Euro 2012.
Howard Webb (England), Stephane Lannoy (France), Wolfgang Stark (Germany), Viktor Kassai (Hungary), Nicola Rizzoli (Italy), Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands), Pedro Proenca (Portugal), Craig Thomson (Scotland), Damir Skomina (Slovenia), Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain), Jonas Eriksson (Sweden) and Cuneyt Cakar (Turkey).
Belgium’s Frank de Bleeckere, 45, retired at the weekend and is conspicuous by his absence, on the list.
For the first time ever at the Euro tournament, the referees selected will also be provided with goalline assistants for the 31 matches of the tournament after the International Football Association Board (IFAB) decided on continuing with the experiment being used in UEFA’s club competitions.
Enlish referee Webb who is a former police officer has refereed international matches since 2005. He set a record by booking 14 players with yellow cards at last year’s World Cup final, inviting criticism from some observers, especially the Holland team management. However, the English referee’s contribution has been acknowldeged by refereeing chiefs and has been invited to go to Poland and Ukraine at the end of the season.
Scotland’s Thomson is also on the list published by the UEFA Referees Committee who met at Nyon on Tuesday to make the selections.
Other referees on the list include Hungarian Viktor Kassai, who officiated in the 2011 Champions League final won by Barcelona against Manchester United, and German veteran Wolfgang Stark.
Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic), Tom Harald Hagen (Norway), Marcin Borski (Poland) and Viktor Shvetsov (Ukraine) have been named to act exclusively as the four fourth officials; an announcement on the full referee teams is expected to be made in due course.
UEFA also has plans to impart training instructions and fitness training plans to the seected referees via various courses and training activities they will be required to attend in the months leading up to Euro 2012.
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