Rizzoli to referee World Cup final


The Italian, who was criticised by Belgium coach Marc Wilmots for favouring Argentina earlier in the competition, will take charge of the Albiceleste’s clash with Germany.

Italy’s Nicola Rizzoli will referee Sunday’s World Cup final between Argentina and Germany.

The 42-year-old has already presided over two of Argentina’s games at the tournament in Brazil – the 3-2 win over Nigeria in the group stage and their 1-0 quarter-final success over Belgium.

Rizzoli also oversaw Netherlands’ 5-1 demolition of Spain in Group B’s opening game, and has handed out nine cautions in those three matches, with no red cards.

The Italian’s appointment could cause a stir among the Germany camp, after Belgium coach Marc Wilmots accused the official of favouring Argentina during their quarter-final clash.

“I don’t want to be a cry baby, but I noticed the referee never gives fouls against Argentina,” Wilmots said after the match.

“Every time something happens with Messi the referee gives him a free kick. I notice he made three fouls and no yellow card, we made one foul and got one yellow card.”

Rizzoli will be familiar with many of the Germany starting XI, however, after refereeing the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley last year.

Massimo Busacca, head of refereeing for Fifa, confirmed that Rizzoli will be in charge of the showpiece while Fifa vice-president and chair of the refereeing committee Jim Boyce declared that the Serie A referee was the right man for the job.

“We choose the best referees for the best matches, and the Italian will referee the final,” he said.