FANS watching Euro 2020 this summer will get attuned to the curious sight of a referee from Argentina taking charge of games.
Fernando Rapallini is the first South American ever to officiate at a European Championship.
Fernando Rapallini of Argentina will take charge of Euro 2020 games this summerCredit: Gettty Images
Here’s all you need to know about him.
Who is Fernando Rapallini?
Fernando Rapallini was born in 1978 in La Plata, Argentina.
He has been on the Fifa Referees List since 2014 and refereed his first international match, between Chile and El Salvador in June 2015.
Recognised as one of South America’s best officials, Rapallini has refereed some of the biggest finals in his country and on the continent.
These include the 2013 and 2018 Argentina Super Cups, the 2017 Argentina Cup final, the 2019 Argentina Super League Champions Trophy and the 2020 South American Recopa.
Why is Fernando Rapallini refereeing at Euro 2020?
Fernando Rapallini has been appointed as a Euro 2020 official as part of an exchange programme between Uefa and Conmebol.
This programme will see Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano head in the other direction to take charge of Copa America games this summer.
Uefa president Alexander Ceferin said: “The exchange of referees with CONMEBOL for our two flagship tournaments will enrich both competitions, and will enhance the experience of top referees.
“Europe and South America have so much football quality and tradition, including in refereeing.
“This exchange is a defining part of our cooperation programme, which will help us improve our competitions.”
Conmebol president Alejandro Dominguez added: “Among our permanent objectives at CONMEBOL is making our referees more professional and perfectly trained for the use of technological tools.
“We are convinced that a cooperation with UEFA in this field will greatly benefit both confederations. This is just the beginning.
“We will continue working to broaden and strengthen collaboration agreements with our friends at UEFA.”
Which Euro 2020 games has Fernando Rapallini refereed?
Fernando Rapallini made his European bow by taking charge of Ukraine vs North Macedonia.
And both sides kept him busy as he awarded a penalty to each during the game.
Both spot kicks were missed.