BERNE - Switzerland's Massimo Busacca,
who refereed at the last two World Cups and took charge of the
2008 Champions League Final, was named as the head of FIFA's
refereeing department on Wednesday.
Busacca will also join FIFA's Task Force, headed by Franz
Beckenbauer, which is looking at ways of making the game more
attractive, football's governing body said in a statement.
The 42-year-old took charge of last season's Champions
League round-of-sixteen tie between Barcelona and Arsenal when
he infuriated the Premier League side by sending off Robin van
Persie and was involved in an angry clash with Arsene Wenger
He was also involved in controversy at the last World Cup
when he awarded Uruguay a penalty for an alleged foul on Luis
Suarez, who fell theatrically, and sent off South Africa's
goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in the same incident.
Uruguay, leading 1-0 at the time, went on to win 3-0 to
leave South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira fuming.
Busacca's other stormy moment was in 2009 when he was banned
for three matches after making an insulting gesture with his
finger at Young Boys Berne supporters who were barracking him
during a Swiss Cup match.
Busacca's international career spanned 12 years, including
Euro 2008 and the UEFA Cup final in 2007. He refereed more than
250 Swiss League matches.
"As I have said on many occasions, I have made refereeing
one of my main priorities," said FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
"Massimo Busacca's experience will prove to be particularly
useful to our mission and to our efforts to continue the
groundwork we have put in place with the confederations and
member associations in this particularly important area."
Busacca will work on the administration and development of
refereeing, implement decisions taken by FIFA's referees
committee, carry out tasks related to the logistics of
refereeing and organise courses.
He will report to the referee's committee.
"I now intend to pass my knowledge on to my refereeing
colleagues to ensure that refereeing continues to improve and to
help it to prepare better for the future.
"This is something that I am very passionate about, and it
is a role that I have accepted with great pride and pleasure."
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