Euro 2021 final: Bjorn Kuipers to referee Italy vs England
48-year-old Bjorn Kuipers, who is also the "world's richest referee", will be the first Dutch official to whistle a European Championship final.
When England and Italy face each other at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 11 July, 48-year-old Bjorn Kuipers, an international referee since 2006, will become the first Dutch referee to officiate a European Championship final.
"I was very emotional when I heard that I'd been given this final - it's really a milestone, a dream, an unbelievable moment and a big honour."— UEFA (@UEFA) July 9, 2021
Referee Björn Kuipers discusses his #EURO2020 final assignment:
Outstanding experience in big tournaments
In terms of his career as a referee, Kuipers has huge experience in big tournaments. Although this will be the first time he officiates a Euroropean Championship final, Italy vs England will be his seventh final in UEFA competition. Kuipers has previously taken charge of the 2018 and 2013 Europa League finals, the 2014 Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, the UEFA 2011 Supercup final and two other UEFA youth tournament finals, one of them including England’s U21 national team.
Kuipers was also part of the refereeing team at Euro 2012 and 2016, as well as at the FIFA World Cups in 2014 and 2018.
His most important game before Euro 2020 was the Champions League semi-final between Manchester City over PSG. Kuipers is probably well-remembered by the Ligue 1 for sending off Angel di María and engaging in a heated discussion with PSG midfielder Marco Verratti, who claimed Kuipers directed some industrial language towards him.
🗣️ "The referee also told me 'f*** you' twice. For them it's normal, if you say that it's ten matches ban..."— SPORTbible (@sportbible) July 10, 2021
Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers and Veratti have previous... 👀 https://t.co/bAzLFtF8Ab
Kuipers: the world’s richest referee
Kuipers is a businessman outside the lines of the football pitch: the owner of a supermarket chain, and Max Verstappen's sponsor, he is known as the “world’s richest referee," with a 2016 report estimating his wealth to be more than 12 million euros.
Kuipers' debut at Euro 2020
Kuipers has already been the man in the middle in three games at Euro 2020: Denmark- Belgium, where he allowed the game to be stopped in the 10th minute as a tribute to Christian Eriksen’s shirt number, Spain's 5-0 win over Slovakia and the quarter-final between Czech Republic and Denmark.
Although he hasn’t officiated any of the Three Lions’ matches so far, he acted as fourth official for England’s win against Croatia.
Team of officials for tournament’s final
Kuipers will be joined by Dutch assistants Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra. Bastian Dankert will serve as video assistant (VAR) referee, together with Pol van Boekel, Christian Gittelmann and Marco Fritz. Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez will act as assistant reserve referee.
Spanish Carlos Del Cerro Grande will be fourth official.
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