World Cup final’s referee reversed a penalty last year

Rizzoli awarded a penalty and then changed his mind after 5 minutes of angry protests during a Serie A game.

By: Agencies | Rio De Janerio | Updated: July 13, 2014 10:42 am

Nicola Rizzoli of Italy will referee the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. With a European and South American team playing, many had expected FIFA to appoint an Asian referee for Sunday’s game. But Rizzoli got the call to work his third Argentina match at this year’s World Cup.

“It is unbelievable for me,” Rizzoli said in a video interview released Friday by FIFA. “I represent Italy in this moment. I want to be one of the best for sure, and I will.”

He is the second Italian to referee the final in the past four World Cups. Pierluigi Collina refereed when Germany lost to Brazil 2-0 in the 2002 final in Yokohama, Japan.

Rizzoli was the referee for the all-German Champions League final in 2013, when Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in London.

Rizzoli has already worked three matches at this year’s World Cup, including Argentina’s quarterfinal victory over Belgium and a group win over Nigeria.

Last season he was involved in an extraordinary incident when he awarded a penalty and then changed his mind after five minutes of angry protests during a Serie A match between AS Roma and Sassuolo.

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