Russia appoints foreign referee to clean up disputes

January 9, 2020

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has hired a Hungarian referee who once officiated the Champions League final after a string of high-profile disputes over the standard of decision-making in the Russian league.

The Russian Football Union says it's appointed Viktor Kassai to run its refereeing department.

He's best known for refereeing the 2011 Champions League final, when Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-1, and has still been officiating in the Champions League this season.

Leading Russian clubs were critical of former refereeing chief Alexander Egorov, who resigned last month, over what they saw as poor calls in games and problems adapting to the video assistant referee system.


CSKA Moscow president Evgeny Giner was suspended for three months for insulting Egorov last month and saying the standard of refereeing was holding back Russian soccer's development.

Russia has experimented with foreigners in charge of its refereeing before. Italian Roberto Rosetti was in charge of the country's referees from 2011 until 2013.

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