CARD KING Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) gives us his verdict on who to back to officiate the Euro 2016 final.
Who’ll Referee The Euro 2016 Final?
As usual with big tournaments about to kick-off there are a variety of speciality markets available.
One such market is which referee might control the European Championship final at the Stade de France on 10th July.
Whilst this is clearly a speculative punt, I think we can apply some logic to at least reduce the shortlist.
For example, were Germany to get to the final then Dr Felix Brych won’t be officiating. Applying this same logic, I think it would be foolish to back Clement Turpin (France), Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain) and Brych (Germany).
Mark Clattenburg is the 7/1 (Unibet) favourite in this market but only one referee has previously covered both the Champions League final and Euros final in the same season. History is against him, so I’m ruling him out.
That leaves us with 14 prospective candidates. Some of these are too inexperienced at this point in their careers so I’m discounting William Collum (Scotland), Ovidiu Hategan (Romania), Sergei Karasev (Russia), Szymon Marciniak (Poland), Svein Moen (Norway) and Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic).
I think UEFA will likely opt for an experienced official and someone who has covered major tournaments before. On that basis, I’m also eliminating Martin Atkinson (England) and Milorad Mazic (Serbia).
That leaves six: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden), Nicola Rizzoli (Italy), Bjorn Kuipers (Holland), Damir Skomina (Slovenia), Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey) and Viktor Kassai (Hungary).
This is where is gets difficult because you can make a case for all these guys. This is evidenced by the fact that after Clattenburg, these are the next five favourites in the betting. The exception is Kassai who is strangely chalked up as a 17/1 outsider despite having covered big Champions League finals in his career.
Picking one man is difficult so I’m selecting two. An Italian ref has that covered 2/5 of the most recent European Championships finals and with Pierluigi Collina in charge of UEFA referees, his protégé Nicola Rizzoli must have a great chance at 8/1 (Unibet).
My other choice is another Collina favourite – Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey. He covered two Champions League semi finals this season but was overlooked for the final in Milan. At 11/1 (Unibet) he must be backed.