Gravina meets with referees: “We need a new vision for football's future”

The FIGC President visits the Italian Referees' Association for Serie A and Serie B ahead of the return of Serie A. Rocchi nominated to lead VAR project

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Gravina meets with referees: “We need a new vision for football's future”

This morning, FIGC President Gabriele Gravina met with referees affiliated with the National Refereeing Committee for Serie A and Serie B ahead of the start of the Serie A season. He started his customary speech before the start of the season by expressing his gratitude: “Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us, especially at this difficult time for Italian football. Today is really emotional as we gear up for the new season, which is just around the corner now.” The FIGC President also addressed the issue of innovation in football: “The Italian Referees’ Association have shown real adaptability in response to the changes we’ve faced. We have a responsibility to start again with a new approach this season. You’ve invested so much in the future of this sport, and I think that in the future, the other constituent organisations of the Federation have much to learn from you. Referees are setting a shining example for a new beginning. You can make a real contribution to restore stability to Italian football.”

“We’ve shown that we can work to schedules and fulfil our objectives,” stated Marcello Nicchi, the President of the Italian Referees’ Association, achieving everything that the Federation has asked of them thanks to the use of technology: and as we prepare for the inauguration of the VAR Centre at Coverciano, the introduction of VAR and the development of our team of VAR officials have been especially pleasing. The reunification of the National Refereeing Committees of Serie A and Serie B is a big step in the future of refereeing at the highest level. Not to mention our adherence to health protocols, which is far from easy given the number of staff involved in officiating matches.”

Nicola Rizzoli, the representative for the National Refereeing Committee, shared echoed President Gravina's expression of gratitude: “Our [the Committee’s] goal is to spread the word about who we are. We’re a lovely group of people, and I would know, considering I had the honour of representing you. I’m not used to expressing gratitude, but this year, it’s absolutely imperative that I do so: President Nicchi, the National Committee of the Italian Referees’ Association, and Serie A and Serie B have all worked together to make this a success. I hope that fans will be able to return to the stadium as soon as possible. We’ll be careful and considerate in our work, and we’ll together with Gianluca Rocchi and the Clubs to make sure we implement the regulations correctly.

Gianluca Rocchi, a former referee who retired at the end of last season, was nominated to lead the project working on the development of the VAR system.