31 May 2024 - 3:06 PM


IMAGO | Pedro Proença has gone from refereeing at the highest level to being at the top of football administration

Profile: Pedro Proença the meticulous former-referee and the looming battle for control of football’s match calendar

  • In early summer 2012, Pedro Proença officiated the Champions League and Euro 2012 finals, cementing his reputation in European football.
  • His career transitioned from refereeing to football administration, and he is now poised to lead European Leagues, where his leadership will be critical in navigating the renewed power struggle between clubs, leagues, and FIFA.
  • Why it matters: A huge row has broken out over the international match calendar with FIFA’s unilateralism over the new Club World Cup and 2034 World Cup host award to Saudi Arabia inflaming leagues and many clubs.
  • The perspective: The CJEU Super League verdict called for a more transparent, objective and non-discriminatory form of professional football governance. But is anyone listening?

A six week period in the early summer of 2012 saw the career of the Portuguese referee Pedro Proença reach the summit of European football. 

With his long gaunt face and brillianted black hair, the referee was already recognisable far outside his home country. Regular watchers of the Champions League and international football would have been familiar with his theatrical flourishes of red and yellow cards

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