Spaniard David Fernández Borbalán will officiate the Greek Cup final between AEK and PAOK on Saturday, as the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) aim to make a good impression in order to remain a member of the FIFA and UEFA organisations.
Following the scandal in Thessaloniki during a PAOK - AEK Super League match earlier this year, the EPO are on the verge of being thrown out of FIFA and UEFA, with the federation’s fate depending on the behaviour witnessed in the Greek Cup final. In a last ditch attempt to ensure the EPO’s survival and dismiss all threats of a possible Grexit, the decision was taken to appoint a foreign referee who has experience of working over top level matches in Europe.
On Thursday, it was revealed that 44-year old Spanish referee David Fernández Borbalán will take charge of Saturday’s Greek Cup final with assistants from Spain helping him. However, the fourth official will be Greece’s Tasos Sidiropoulos. Full list:
Referee - David Fernández Borbalán (SPA)
Assistant Referee 1 - Raúl Cabañero Martínez (SPA)
Assistant Referee 2 - José Manuel Matías Caballero (SPA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1 - Jesús Gil Manzano (SPA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2 - Carlos del Cerro Grande (SPA)
4th Official - Tasos Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Referee Observer – Nikos Iosifoglu (GRE)
Interestingly, this could be Borbalán’s final match as a referee. The Spaniard will hang up his whistle following the completion of the 2017/2018 season, moving on to become involved in the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in La Liga in the upcoming campaign.
Borbalán worked in both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League this season, officiating the Olympiacos-Juventus (0:2), Ostersunds-Arsenal (0:3), PSG-Anderlecht (5:0) and Young Boys-CSKA Moscow (0:1) matches. His most recent game in La Liga was Atletico Madrid’s 1:0 away victory against Alaves on April 29.
Over the past 14 years, Borbalán has refereed 284 games in La Liga, the Spanish Cup and the Spanish Super Cup, taking charge of a number of major derbies including Barcelona against Real Madrid. The Spaniard officiated 53 international games in the Champions League, Europa League and qualifying tournaments for the European championship and FIFA World Cup. Borbalán’s also judged league matches in Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic.
by Shaun Nicolaides
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