| Bank manager|
| Serie A|
| May 23, 1933 (age 82)
Asti, Italy (1933-05-23) |
Sergio Gonella ([ˈsɛrdʒo ɡoˈnɛlla]; born 23 May 1933, in Asti, Italy) is an Italian businessman (Bank Manager) and a noted football referee. He was the first Italian appointed to referee the FIFA World Cup final, which occurred when he took charge of the 1978 final between hosts Argentina and the Netherlands. He is one of only two persons (the other being the Swiss Gottfried Dienst) to have refereed both the European Championship final and the World Cup Final. In 2013, he was inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame.
Gonella's professional career began in 1965 when he debuted in the Italian Serie A. In 1972, he was promoted to the UEFA. In 1975, he refereed the Super Cup final match. At international level, he refereed in the 1976 European Championship. He also later refereed in the 1978 FIFA World Cup, after which he retired, having refereed 175 matches in Serie A.
Gonella garnered media attention when he delayed the start of the 1978 World Cup final. This occurred when the Argentinians protested an arm bandage worn by Dutch defender René van de Kerkhof. The Dutch team argued that the bandage was passed by FIFA and had already been worn by Van de Kerkhof during earlier matches in the tournament, and they threatened to walk off the field. Finally an extra layer of padding was applied to the bandage as a solution, and the match was started.
Sergio Gonella Wikipedia