Some days ago Pierluigi Collina has released an interesting interview to the Italian newspaper "Il Corriere della Sera". Law 5 The Referee has translated it for you.
|Pierluigi Collina has been voted by France Football as best football referee ever|
"When you think about football referees, the first name coming to your mind is surely Pierluigi Collina: he made the history". With this motivation, France Football has elected Pierluigi Collina as best football referee ever.
What are your feelings after this nomination, Pierluigi?
There is a clear difference between receiving an award when you are still active referee and after you have retired. In the latter case, it is a honor that nobody will question, because you have already done everything in your career. I live it with satisfaction, pride, but also a bit of nostalgia. It reminds me on a particular activity I really enjoy: being on a pitch.
Can you say more about this difference?
When you are still active, the award is something that must mean people are expecting more from you. It happened to me that during a week I had to officiate in Champions League a game like Manchester United - Real Madrid, and then some days ago to referee in serie B. A person in that position could say: "Well, today I will take it easy". But not, of course you can't do that! It is not easy, not even for top players, to ensure excellent performances in a row in only few days.
The most difficult game for you?
We must analyze the concept of "difficult", what do you mean by that? The most important game? If so, Champions League and World Cup final are two "difficult" games, importance means also to have some consequences after the final whistle for both two teams and referee. But if the difficulty depends on the context of the game, then one could even say that an amateur game of a very low level can be on paper more difficult than WC final. The final score of such games could be also something "worrying" for the referee, if he is not strong and ready to everything. Then, in addition, there is also the real "technical" difficulty of a game. In this regard, I like to mention a particular Italian football team, Foggia, when they were trained by Zdenek Zeman. They used to play in a very particular manner: long ball by keeper and three players starting an extremely quick counterattack, for a referee it was very difficult if not impossible to follow the action closely until the end.
Changing topic, in 2020 we saw Stéphanie Frappart making her debut in Men's major competitions, culminated in CL group stage assignment. A success or maybe too much rumor for something that should be considered "normal"?
Indeed I would like that people can see this as a very normal thing. If a referee has quality and skills, he / she must be in the condition to show them, regardless man or woman. The rest shouldn't count at all. I would just like to talk about "referees", without any specification to gender. I hope to see many "Frapparts" in future, and I also wish that this will not make sensation. This must be normality.
There have been some LotG changes in the recent two seasons, but there is for sure still something to be fixed. What do you think?
The most significant changes have been allowing the execution of a goal kick inside the box (very positive in my opinion) and considering punishable the touch by hand before a gol scored. Scoring thank to the touch by hand is seen as very unsporting, and even before this new rule, we had this kind of application in past, because people couldn't accept that (remember 2015 CL Final). Then, handball in all its other forms and offside stay both as very critical areas.
Deliberate or not, this is the question...
Somebody claims that nowadays the concept of "uninentional" doesn't exist anymore: that's false . The old rule stated that handball had to be "intentional act", but also in past some unintentional touches were punished. We had some examples of that during EURO 2016, for example the Chiellini - Boateng situation, and WC 2018 as well, with Piqué in Russia - Spain. Being deliberate was and it is still only a case in point together with other criteria, that we could describe as "culpable" but not strictly "deliberate". How many times you can say that a defender is touching the ball deliberately in his area in the real meaning of the term? A very few times, almost never. Most of the handballs are because the players put their arms in unnatural position and they take the risk to hit ball, being punished for that.
But you smile when you see defender jumping like "pins"...
Players shouldn't move like penguins, but this doesn't mean that they should be allowed to have very open arms, otherwise everything is allowed. The final assessment must be at referee's discretion, but surely, it is very difficult to have consistency. Referees must understand whether the movements made by arms are harmonic and natural consequences of what players are doing when this happens. Sometimes an open arm by 30 cm. can be natural, in other cases not, so again, it is up to referee to decide.
About offside, some people are not convinced by extremely tight offsides positions, do you think it is fair to disallow such goals?
If today we are talking about very minimal offside positions, in future, with the further development of technology, maybe we will go even deeper on that. GLT has 6 millimeters as margin of error, but it is accepted by all people. If the same will happen with offside, then we will have to discuss whether this will be relevant or not.
Some people say that VAR needs too long time to decide in some situations.
It is considered by people as "long" mostly because they were not used in that in football games. In other sports, there are more breaks, and fans accept that without problems. We can work for decreasing this time, but it is not easy to match quickness and accuracy. Only important thing at the end of process, is to have the final correct decision.
In 2020 we have lost many sport champions like Maradona, Rossi, Bryant...
They were different in their greatness. Paolo Rossi was great in his apparent normality, on the pitch and out of it. The greatness of Kobe was the talent, mixed to a maniacal attention to every detail. Maradona, well, he was the opposite: how to be a great champion, despite of all the rest.
Your expectations for the new year.
2020 ended without any single FIFA tournament: now in a short time we will start again with 2020 Club World Cup in Qatar. Having selected the officials for this tournament is already a return to a kind of normality. I think that wishing a "normal" 2021 should be already a big success, if compared to what we lived in 2020. Nowadays being normal can be considered as extra-ordinary.
Source: Il Corriere della Sera 02/01/2021, page 43