Oranje will face a Portuguese referee

The first match of the Dutch national team at the European Championship, against Poland, will be officiated by Artur Soares Dias on Sunday. The Portuguese referee has officiated an Oranje match three times before.

Oranje will face a Portuguese referee Embed from Getty Images

The last time was also at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, where the kickoff will be at 3:00 PM on Sunday.

Back then, in 2019, Oranje won 4-2 against Germany in a European Championship qualifying match. This victory was significant, as it showcased the strength and resilience of the Dutch team against a formidable opponent. Previously, Soares Dias officiated the Dutch national team's friendly matches against Ireland in 2016 and Belgium in 2018, both of which ended in 1-1 draws. These matches were crucial in providing valuable experience and preparation for the team ahead of major tournaments.

Next Sunday in Hamburg, only the captains of Poland and the Netherlands will be allowed to discuss with Soares Dias. A new UEFA rule stipulates that other players who complain will receive a yellow card. This rule aims to maintain discipline and respect for the referees on the field. Virgil van Dijk will wear the captain's armband for Oranje, bringing his leadership and defensive prowess to the team. Piotr Zielinski will do so for Poland in the absence of the injured Robert Lewandowski, who is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. Zielinski's role as captain will be crucial in guiding the Polish team through this important match.

Soares Dias, at 44 years old, officiated his first European final last month: the Conference League final between Olympiakos and Fiorentina, which ended in a 1-0 victory for Olympiakos. This achievement marks a significant milestone in his refereeing career, highlighting his competence and experience on the international stage. He is one of the oldest referees at the European Championship: only Daniele Orsato, 48, and Anthony Taylor, 45, are older. The selection of experienced referees like Soares Dias is crucial in ensuring the smooth conduct of matches at the tournament. A total of eighteen referees have been selected for the European Championship, including Danny Makkelie, 41, who is another highly regarded referee from the Netherlands.

The presence of these experienced referees is expected to contribute to the high standards of officiating at the European Championship, ensuring fairness and integrity in the matches. As the tournament progresses, the role of referees will be under constant scrutiny, and their performance will be critical in maintaining the competitive spirit and sportsmanship that defines the European Championship.

Updated: 10:34, 14 Jun 2024

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