Sunday June 8 2014
Rizzoli hoping for 'joyous' World Cup

Italy’s refereeing representative at the World Cup Nicola Rizzoli has conceded that he can’t wait for the tournament.

The 42-year-old has been confirmed as the peninsula’s choice for the showpiece event in Brazil which kicks off in four days’ time.

And the man in the middle believes that it will be a good World Cup where referees are not the centre of attention.

“I expect a joyous occasion,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Where speed and technique are on show.

“It’s also important that we fight all forms of discrimination and racism.

“The referees will be getting important aids like the vanishing spray that marks out 10 yards on a free kick.

“And then there’s the technology that will, within a second, say whether the ball has crossed the line or not.

“European referees have been working hard to improve our mental and physical preparation for the tournament.

“Yes, we have to be fit. But we also have to know all the teams.

“Referee the final? I don’t know about that. It’s going to be hard for a European referee, but we’ll see. Hopefully Italy will be there!”

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