Nicola Rizzoli earned the congratulations of top refereeing judges including Keith Hackett after Germany’s lifting of the World Cup.
The Italian reinforced the supremacy of UEFA officials during an entertaining but fraught final that demanded expert handling and deserved more than one goal.
The winner finally arrived in brilliant fashion via Mario Gotze in extra time for a 1-0 German win over Argentina.
“Once again European referees have shown the way,” said Hackett, again applauding the work of Pierluigi Collina as well as Rizzoli.
“I’d like to compliment Nicola and his team on their excellent performance.”
Officiating standards have been generally good throughout the tournament and Hackett believes athleticism has been the key.
“You can only stand back and admire the fitness levels of the officials at this tournament,” he said. “A very high standard has been reached.
“Once again, too, as we saw in the final, the assistant referees have been very good on offside calls.”
Across 120 minutes, some dispute is inevitable. Hackett felt Germany’s Benedikt Howedes was fortunate to be spared a red card, having only shown a yellow for a nasty high challenge on Javier Mascherano in the first half.
The game was in danger of tipping over the edge at one stage but Hackett noted: “The referee slowed it down to manage the event. It was a good example of how to come in and impose authority.”
Now join us as You Are The Ref prepares to screen an online debate this Monday evening. Panel members include Hackett, Carlton Palmer and Gary Megson.