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Wednesday 16 Aug 2023
Collina applauds Irish FA’s ‘very important initiative’ aimed at protecting refs

The chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee has applauded the Irish Football Association for its new campaign aimed at tackling abusive behaviour towards match officials in football in Northern Ireland.

Pierluigi Collina, once named the world’s best referee, said the ‘Catch Yourself On’ campaign was “a very important initiative”.

‘Catch Yourself On’ is encouraging players, coaches, club officials and supporters, as well as parents, to think about their behaviour towards referees to eradicate abuse and protect the safety and wellbeing of match officials.

Collina said increased levels of verbal abuse towards officials and physical assaults on referees are unacceptable and could harm the future of football.


He said FIFA and FIFA Refereeing applaud initiatives such as ‘Catch Yourself On’ for making the protection of referees a priority.

The now retired Italian referee began his career in Serie C2 in 1988. He was appointed to referee in Serie A in 1991 and joined FIFA’s list of referees in 1995. He was a FIFA referee for a decade before retiring in 2005.

Among the games Collina officiated were the Olympic Games final between Nigeria and Argentina in 1996, the UEFA Champions League decider featuring Manchester United and Bayern Munich in 1999, the FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Brazil in 2002 and the UEFA Cup final in 2004 (Valencia v Marseille).

For more information on the Irish FA’s ‘Catch Yourself On’ campaign visit: