UEFA Announces New Documentary Series on Champions League Referees

Jamie Spencer
Nov 12, 2020, 11:00 AM GMT
Champions League final referee Daniele Orsato features in 'Man in the Middle' on UEFA.tv
Champions League final referee Daniele Orsato features in 'Man in the Middle' on UEFA.tv | LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

UEFA has announced a new four-part documentary series following 16 Champions League referees on and off the pitch over 18 months between February 2019 and August 2020, giving fans a rare insight in what it takes to be a match official at the highest level.

The first episode of the weekly series, titled Man in the Middle, will be available on UEFA.tv on 16 November and is the first original documentary series produced for UEFA’s own digital platform.

Beginning at the knockout stages of the 2018/19 Champions League and concluding with the 2019/20 finals mini-tournament in Lisbon at the end of a campaign disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Man in the Middle features both candid footage of interactions with players on the pitch, as well as personal interviews covering the pressures of such a high profile job.

The episodes will even see officials giving their personal opinion on key VAR incidents.

“[Man in the Middle] highlights the professionalism, motivation and dedication of some of Europe’s best officials, as well as showing the human beings behind the figures seen by players and supporters on the pitch,” Roberto Rossetti, UEFA’s Chief of Refereeing, said.

“The introduction of VAR and the COVID-19 pandemic have brought new challenges for our community of officials, but we are extremely proud of how they have adapted and continue to set the standard for football officials around the world.”

VAR now plays a prominent role in UEFA refereeing
VAR now plays a prominent role in UEFA refereeing | Lars Baron/Getty Images

Referees featured in the Man in the Middle

Cuneyt Çakır (Turkey), Willie Collum (Scotland), Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spain), Ovidiu Hategan (Romania), Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain), Bobby Madden (Scotland), Danny Makkelie (Netherlands), Szymon Marciniak (Poland), Michael Oliver (England), Daniele Orsato (Italy), Gianluca Rocchi (Italy), Damir Skomina (Slovenia), Anthony Taylor (England), Clement Turpin (France), Felix Zwayer (Germany).

How to Watch Man in the Middle on UEFA.tv

Access to UEFA.tv is free but requires registration and is available on Android and iOS smartphone and tablet apps, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Hisense VIDAA Smart TVs. UEFA Digital users can sign in to watch on UEFA.tv with existing login details.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!