Rosetti named referee for final

Regensdorf, June 24:

At least one Italian has benefited from his country’s failure at the European Championship. Roberto Rosetti was announced on Monday as the referee for the final.

With his country losing to Spain in the quarter-finals, any chance of bias on Rosetti’s part was removed and UEFA put him in charge of Sunday’s match at Ernst Happel Stadium. Almost up to midnight before the announcement, Rosetti was rooting for the Azzurri to beat Spain, even though the result would have ruled him out of one of the most important games a referee can handle.

Switzerland’s Massimo Busacca will take charge of Wednesday’s semi-final match between Germany and Turkey, while Belgium’s Frank De Bleeckere will run the second semi-final game between Russia and Spain the following day.

The final will be the 40-year-old Rosetti’s fourth game at Euro 2008. He took charge of the Czech Republic’s 1-0 Group A win over Switzerland in the opening game, Russia’s 1-0 victory against Greece in Group D, and then quarter-finalsmatch between Croatia and Turkey.

It is the biggest match awarded to an Italian referee since Pierluigi Collina retired in 2005. Collina officiated the 2002 World Cup final and was considered the best referee in the world. “It is a great acknowledgment of the quality of Italian refereeing,” he said.

Rosetti, a Turin-based hospital manager, will again be assisted by Alessandro Griselli and Paolo Calcagno. Sweden’s Peter Frojdfeldt will act as the fourth official. Rosetti has plenty of top level experience. He earned his FIFA badge in 2002 and took charge of four matches at the 2006 World Cup, including a tense second-round meeting between Spain and France.

Germany’s progress cost Herbert Fandel the chance of running the final, despite his good performances throughout the tournament that included his firm handling of Sunday’s quarter-final match between Spain and Italy.