Euro 2012 news

Collina: We need best from refs

Pierluigi Collina gives officials a pep talk

ESPN staff

Pierluigi Collina gave a stirring speech© Getty Images

UEFA's referees for Euro 2012 have been told to give their all by chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina.

The 31 games in Poland and Ukraine will see a team of seven match officials take charge: the referee, two assistant referees and the fourth official are also being supplemented by two additional assistant referees as well as a reserve assistant referee.

And Collina thinks that they must all be prepared for the challenges that await them.

"Euro 2012 will be a tough challenge," he told the match officials. "It will not only be remembered for the quality of the play, but also for the quality of the refereeing. We need a very high commitment from all of you from now until the end of the competition.

"UEFA has selected the 12 best teams of match officials. You are here because you gave the best performances – so you deserve to be here. Now we need the best from each of you."

The Italian, who was once viewed as one of the best officials in the business, added: "Play as a team, because we can win only if the team wins," he said. "Work as a team if you want to make your team successful. Take decisions that are understood and accepted.

"Today in football, nothing happens by chance. Take care of yourselves. We need athletes today and not just referees. Always know what can happen next, predict instead of following, be focused, learn about teams' tactics, look after your image and be mentally ready for this competition.

"You are our team, and we want to be proud of you and your success. You are UEFA's team, and we are ready to support you. If you work hard and trust in yourselves, then everything is possible."

UEFA Referees Committee chairman and UEFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar Llona added: "We have chosen the best of the best, and on behalf of the UEFA President Michel Platini and general secretary Gianni Infantino, I want to wish you the very best of luck for the tournament."


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