Referee Javier Castrilli bio

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The Sheriff


Born in Buenos Aires, on May 22nd 1957, Javier Alberto Castrilli was one of the most admired and controversial Argentinian referees in the last two decades. He imposed his own style: very strict and with eagle eyes, he was also known as "The Sheriff". After refereeing in every South-American and international tournament, he retired in 1998 accusing Argentinian Football Association (AFA) of pressuring young referees in order to favor the big teams from Buenos Aires.

Castrilli was a severe referee. He was almost always OK, but sometimes he showed too many cards. His defenders said that he "fully respected the rules"; his detractors accused him of always trying to be the star. But in one thing both of them agreed: to Castrilli s a referee it didn´t make any difference whether it was a big or a small team, a powerful or a weak one.

Because of that, he became very respected. He got his FIFA badge in 1992 and one year later he refereed his first official "Superclásico" between River Plate and Boca Juniors. He officiated in WC U-17 1993 in Japan and the WC U-20 1995 in Qatar, and also refereed in Copa América 1995 and FIFA Confederations Cup in 1997. Because of his prestige, many South-American clubs often asked Conmebol to nominate Castrilli for their matches. He took charge of the 2nd leg of Copa Libertadores final in 1997 (Cruzeiro-Sporting Cristal) and 1998 (Vasco da Gama-Barcelona).

WC 1998
In 1998 Castrilli was appointed for the FIFA World Cup played in France. He refereed two games: Denmark-Saudi Arabia (1st round), and Romania-Croatia (1st knock-out).

Against violence
After retiring, Castrilli started working against violence in Argentinian football stadiums. In 2003, he was nominated as the Director of a "National Security Program in Football Spectacles". He resigned in 2008.

The Sheriff also works on TV. Every Monday, in a famous TV channel, he analyzes the most important and controversial referee decisions of the previous football day.

From our reporter: Sheriff