Euro 2020 referees reflect on ‘praise we have never seen before’

Referees chairman pleased with the referees applying a light-touch approach to VAR

Uefa Referees Committee chairman Roberto Rosetti has praised the performances of the officials at Euro 2020.

The Italian former referee said: “I believe the refereeing was a real success at Euro 2020. We saw great performances on the field of play from referees and the assistant referees.

“We saw correct support from our VARs based in Nyon. The final result was 51 seamless matches which left very, very limited room for critics.

“On the contrary, it raised a consensus and praise (such) as we have never seen before. The referees were always in control at the games, always reliable and always accurate.”


The stats behind the matches show that there were 98 yellow cards at Euro 2020 compared to 129 at Euro 2016, an average of 2.7 per match.

There were twice as many red cards at this summer’s tournament, with six men sent off this time around.

Three of those dismissals were via VAR, which Rosetti said were “100 per cent correct interventions”, while there were 17 penalties awarded — compared to 12 at Euro 2016 — with six of those spot-kicks given after a VAR check.

Overall at Euro 2020 there were 18 VAR corrections — 10 direct and eight after an on-field review — with 276 incidents checked overall, meaning 93.5 per cent were correctly awarded on the pitch.

And Rosetti believes all of the 18 corrections were “100 per cent correct and reliable”.

There was only one VAR correction from the quarter-finals onwards, which took place during the Belgium v Italy game, where a goal was given on the pitch but ruled out for offside after a VAR check.

Rosetti was pleased with the referees applying a light-touch approach to VAR.

He added: “We don’t want to investigate in all the small details. If we do, VAR can be dangerous if it is not used appropriately, and we saw this in some countries.”