Euro 2020 came to an end on Sunday evening and Jason Pettigrove caught up with legendary referee Keith Hackett for the last A Referee’s View of the tournament.
To be appointed to officiate the Euro 2020 Final is a huge accomplishment for Björn Kuipers, a multi-millionaire supermarket owner.
He certainly doesn’t need the money or the hassle, which is probably precisely why he officiates with such common sense.
His company also sponsor Max Verstappen so it goes without saying that, at the moment, life is good for arguably the world’s number one referee.
"I was very emotional when I heard that I'd been given this final – it's really a milestone, a dream, an unbelievable moment and a big honour."
Referee Björn Kuipers discusses his #EURO2020 final assignment:
— UEFA (@UEFA) July 9, 2021
He’ll be rightly happy with his own performances throughout the tournament prior to the final, and with the way he stamped a quiet authority on the Wembley showpiece.
When you are officiating a huge event like this final, you are guided by UEFA and their minute-by-minute countdown clock.
The timing of teams and match officials leaving their hotels is carefully co-ordinated.
Designated halves for the warm-up on the field of play are planned carefully to ensure no clash of the team’s players before kick-off.
The kick-off time is planned to the second and this resulted in fans around the world able to enjoy that brilliant strike by Luke Shaw.
All of this goes on away from the glare of the watching public but is essential in order to bring some flow to proceedings.
If nothing else, the officials want everything to run as smoothly as possible, and Kuipers is the master planner, making sure that everything, right down to the last detail, is correct.
The referees in this tournament have been outstanding allowing games to flow applying some astute advantages. Even the management and control of players has been terrific.
Our own referees, Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver, delivered some outstanding performances of their own.
Whilst it’s right to praise Kuipers for his handling of the final, I do believe that Italy’s Jorginho was fortunate to stay on the field of play.
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 11, 2021
Kuipers was close enough to the incident when Jorginho committed a serious foul play offence on Grealish, and should therefore have penalised the Italian with a red card.
One can only believe that the VAR saw it differently to me.
I have said before that replays in slow motion can distort, but even looking a second and third time it was still a red for me.
Refereeing, like a lot of things in football, is often about opinions with the referee on the field having to judge the outcome of a tackle (in this instance) in a split second.
That’s refereeing, and many officials up and down the country will disagree with the lack of action over this challenge.