UEFA have announced that Bjorn Kuipers will referee this Sunday’s Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley.
The Dutchman has yet to referee England at this summer’s tournament, though he was appointed as the fourth official for the Three Lions’ opening game as they triumphed 1-0 over Croatia – for any of you looking for a good omen.
The game will be Kuipers’ third as a referee at Euro 2020 having taken charge of Belgium’s 2-1 group stage win over Denmark and Spain’s thumping 5-0 group stage win over Slovakia, while his only outing in the knockout stage of the competition came in the quarter-finals as he oversaw Denmark’s 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic.
The 48-year-old has been an international referee since 2006 and he’ll now make history in becoming the first Dutchman to referee a European Championship final.
Kuipers has never refereed a major international tournament final, though he’s well versed in taking charge of UEFA competition finals having previously refereed seven different showpiece events.
Said games include the 2014 Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and two Europa League finals.
Naturally we’re scraping around for as many good omens as we can find, and the only two UEFA finals he’s refereed involving either England or English teams have had differing results, with Chelsea beating Benfica in the 2013 Europa League final and Germany Under-21s beating England Under-21s 4-0 in the 2009 Under-21 European Championship final – well, we tried.
The announcement regarding who will referee the final was accompanied with details regarding the rest of the officials for the match, with Bastian Dankert of Germany named as the Video Assistant Referee.
Alongside Dankert, Kuipers’ countryman Pol van Boekel will be one of the VAR assistants as well as German pairing Christian Gittelmann and Marco Fritz.
Dutchmen Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra will be the referee’s assistants for the final with Spaniard Carlos Del Cerro Grande on fourth official duty, while Juan Carlos Yuste Jimenez will be the reserve assistant referee on the standby at the game.