The Italian Referees Association (AIA) have appointed former World Referee of the Year Pierluigi Collina the job of selecting referees for matches in Italy's top two divisions.
The 47-year old was almost universally acknowledged as one of the world’s best referees before his retirement in 2005 and was always strong favourite to claim the task of choosing the officials for next season's Serie A and Serie B matches.
The post of referee designator gained a raised profile during the Calciopoli scandal last summer when it emerged that former Juventus managing director Luciano Moggi had been ordering Paolo Bergamo and requested certain 'friendly' officials.
"I know that there’s a lot expected of me, but I don’t want to be seen as the nation's saviour," Collina told journalists after the announcement. "There’s a big task ahead, but we have to think big. I want to use my experience from 28 years in the game to help the AIA.
"I always try and appear calm, but I can assure you that I’m feeling very emotional at the moment," the Bologna native concluded.
Collina was World Referee of the Year six years running between 1998 and 2003 and took charge of the FIFA World Cup final between Brazil and Germany in 2002.
The chief of the AIA Cesare Gussoni - a strong advocate of Collina - also took the chance to talk about possible reforms including foreign referees. "It’s something we should look into. There are teams in Serie A who don’t have a single Italian so I don’t see why referees have to be exclusively Italian."
Source: C4 Football Italia & Reuters