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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 February, 2003, 16:46 GMT
No nonsense from Collina
Top Italian referee Pierluigi Collina
Pierluigi Collina lays down the law
Top referee Pierluigi Collina talks to World Football's Nigel Adderley about his no-nonsense style and how he keeps players on his side...

Despite Fifa's attempts to ensure that the referee's decision is and remains final, their decisions and apparent inconsistencies remain as controversial as ever.

And, of course, provide us all with a great deal to talk about.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter maintains that human error is part of what makes football the game it is. Others say technology should be used to iron out the inevitable errors.

But has the games best ref been swayed by any of the arguments since he appeared as one of our first ever guests on World Football?

We caught up with the World cup final referee Pierluigi Collina to see how he deals with the ever increasing pressure. He explained to World Football's Nigel Adderley how he keeps players on his side...

"It is one of the referee's roles to help the player follow the rules" he said.

"So I think the relationship between players and referees has to be very good. It's a matter of credibility.

"When a player accepts the referee's mistakes even when they know they have made one it is the sign of a top referee.

"I try to make no-nonsense decisions" said Collina.

"Of course sometimes you can have an off-day - it happens. So we try every time to prepare and work as hard as we can.

"We don't have a large number of rules - only seventeen" he went on.

"The difficulties come in interpretations of different referees around the world.

"If everything was black and white it would be very simple, but there are large grey areas. That means interpretations can be different, and it's not easy to be consistent.

"When we are gathered together like at the World Cup it's very important and useful to us to be able to get together and discuss these matters, to aid consistency.

"Consistency is the goal all referees aim for" he said.


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