Champions League Referee, April 30: Nicola Rizzoli
It’s official: Chelsea get the Honey Badger.
Italy’s Nicola Rizzoli, who officiated the 2013 Champions League final, will referee the Chelsea v Atletico Madrid semifinal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, April 30.
This is bad news for Chelsea’s manager, Jose Mourinho, and his band of thugs. Rizzoli is known as heavy-handed with the cards, even internationally, and he has no qualms throwing you out of even a big game. Heck, he just recently carded someone who wasn’t even playing.
He’s fair and tough, but also supremely confident in himself. Mourinho’s usual mind games aren’t going to work here, because…
Honey Badger don’t care.
As for the tournament, I believe this makes Bjorn Kuipers of Netherlands a lock for the final. I’m expecting to see Felix Brych of Germany in the Europa mix, probably as the final referee (although I still have my fingers crossed for Mark Clattenburg).