Roberto Rosetti, on the protests only of captains in the Euro Cup: “It is a transition phase”


UEFA’s general director of refereeing, Roberto Rosetti, has defined as “a transitional phase” the rule that allows only captains to protest referee decisions, clarifying that “everyone is happy” with this regulation and that they have already ” received requests from national federations that want to follow this line”.

Rosetti spoke to journalists from across Europe on Friday to offer an analysis of the refereeing during the group stage of the men’s European Championship. Over the course of an hour, he addressed a number of issues and offered his perspective behind some of the most important decisions made in matches at this tournament on German soil.

One of UEFA’s main focuses, announced before the tournament, was to encourage referees to open dialogue only with national team captains to explain certain VAR decisions and procedures. Rosetti said the process was working well and discouraged other players from surrounding referees in a sign of disagreement.

“The process is positive. The referees are giving information to the captains, who are responding very positively,” he said. “For the other players it is easier, they don’t go to the referee and harass him, so this is something extremely positive for football,” Rosetti argued in front of the media.

“I spoke with the MVPs after the games and with the coaches, I wanted to know their comments and everyone is happy,” he said. “We have had some sanctions for players who do not respect this, it is a transitional phase, but we have already received requests from the national federations in Europe who want to follow this line. This will be implemented in all UEFA competitions, and we are happy that the national federations want to follow it,” he added.

Rosetti then explained decisions made during the EURO, using video clips and conversations with the VAR to show how the referees had reached conclusions. In total, there were 20 VAR interventions during the group stage, with eight on-field and 12 direct reviews. The average time for a VAR decision was 51 seconds, five seconds faster than in the Champions League.

VAR decisions are shown on giant screens in each stadium, allowing fans to understand what is happening in front of them. “It’s a live technical explanation, it’s not easy to do, but it’s very positive,” said Rosetti. “In the stadiums everything is much clearer because we have an explanation on the big screen of what is happening on the pitch and in the VAR,” he added.

Connected ball technology, which sends precise ball data to match officials in real time, has also had an impact. “It’s working very well and we’ve used it in three VAR corrections,” said Rosetti. “When the images don’t give us a final conclusion, we have a graphic that can help us, which shows the contact of the ball,” added the UEFA official.

During the press conference, Rosetti confirmed each of the referees who will participate in the eight round of 16 matches and considered that the appointment process is one of the most difficult parts of his role, with impressive performances so far in all areas.

“These decisions are made solely based on the quality of performance,” he said. “Some referees will not be appointed not because they have performed poorly, but because other referees did better,” stressed the UEFA general director of refereeing.

“Some referee teams played one game, others two, others will play three and maybe some, four. My only objective is to make correct decisions based on meritocracy, quality and our values,” Rosetti concluded in his press conference.