Referee Antonio Sbardella bio

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Intl. since
Palestrina / Rome
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L' arbitro con il sorisso


Manger of Lazio, chairman of the divisione calcio a 5 (futsal), gentleman and famous referee Antonio Sbardella died in 2002. He took charge of 2 matches in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The last one was the 3rd place play-off. He was voted best referee of the tournament.



They still talk about it in Amsterdam, in fact there is an episode of a history programme about this European Championships match. Ajax - Liverpool, December 1966. Liverpool was the English Champion and the Liverpool manager told the Dutch reporter he had never seen Ajax play and by the way he said it it was clear he didn't care. Ajax won 5-1, but that was not the only remarkable thing about the match. Sbardella, after a night on the town with Ajax' referee liaison Leo Horn, let himself be convinced the match could be played although the goals were hardly visible from the centre line.
There are many good stories about that match, from the spectators who had no idea what was going on until they saw the Ajax goalie - who only new about the goal after his team mates had told him - celebrate.
There is winger Sjaak Swart who heard the whistle and was on his way to the dressing rooms for half time when someone told him him they were still playing. He ran back, got the ball, passed a few players, and gave the assist for another goal.
The Ajax medic went 5 times on the field to help an injured player while play went on somewhere else.

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