Italian referee Rosetti hails positive and fair Euro 2008

June 29th, 2008 - 1:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 29 (DPA) Italian referee Roberto Rosetti praised a fair Euro 2008 tournament on the eve of the final between Germany and Spain. Rosetti, who will referee the final match in the Ernst Happel stadium here between Germany and Spain, said: “I think this European Championship has been very correct.

“I don’t think I have seen many violent clashes which perhaps we had seen in a few past competitions. So far the approach has been very positive.”

There have only been three red cards in the tournament to date while the UEFA referees’ committee had wanted particularly to clamp down on violent conduct and the holding of players in the penalty box from corners and free-kicks, Rosetti said.

“We have worked towards that goal and I think we have been successful,” he said.

The German and Spanish players in the final also have important parts to play in showing respect to opponents and referees.

“The players are heroes, icons and symbols and their attitude is a very important example for millions of people.”

Rosetti said he was looking forward to “a great final.”

“The two teams are very important from the history point of view and on top of that have shown that they deserve to be in the final.”

Rosetti said he was against the showing of controversial scenes on stadium screens during the match.

“I am not saying this because the crowd will boo or whistle but because it could become dangerous,” he said.

“There are many people in the stadium. Most are calm but there might be some people who might not be so calm and cause a problem.”

Rosetti, a 40-year-old hospital director, who speaks French, English and Italian, also refereed the first game of the tournament between Switzerland and Czech Republic and two other games at the tournament.

Rosetti did not mind admitting he was dismayed at seeing Italy go out of the tournament to Spain in the quarter-final although that gave him the chance to officiate at the final.

“We are fans of the game first and foremost which is only right because that’s what gets you started in the first place,” he said.

“Every time there is a bit of green on the monitor I stop to watch a game.”

His selection along with assistants, fellow Italians Alessandro Griselli and Paolo Calcagno, was an honour for the Italian referees’ federation.

Since 1996 he has handled matches in Italian professional football and achieved his FIFA badge in 2002, being called up to the European Under-17 Championships in Denmark in the same year.

The Italian then officiated at the 2003 Under-20 World Cup, the 2005 Confederations Cup and the 2006 World Cup, where he was given four matches - more than any other Italian referee before him.

“I never planned on becoming an international referee. I do this because I am passionate about it,” he said.

“I really advise refereeing for young people because it shapes your character and makes you become a better man.”

Rosetti said part of the preparations for Sunday’s final would be to study the characteristics of the teams and players.

“We are men before we are referees so it is only natural to be tense on the eve of a game, just like the players, but it is a positive tension,” he said.

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