Concert Pianist to Referee European Champions League Soccer Final

Classic Arts News   Concert Pianist to Referee European Champions League Soccer Final
 
Herbert Fandel, a 43-year-old concert pianist from Kyllburg, Germany who runs his own music school, will referee tonight's UEFA Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool FC in Athens.

UEFA is the umbrella organization for Europe's professional soccer leagues; the Champions League is UEFA's large-scale tournament for the top professional teams in a number of countries.

Fandel has refereed 69 international games since 1998, including 17 in the Champions League, according to UEFA.

"The feeling you get before doing a piano concert and the feeling before refereeing a big match are about the same, actually," he told uefa.com. "You don't quite know what awaits you, but you prepare yourself in the anticipation that everything will turn out alright on the night!

"My music school is going very well," he added, "but obviously with a full football program at the end of the season, there isn't the time I would like to run things."

According to the London Guardian, Fandel is "controversial" as a referee and his decision-making skills were recently described as "laughable" by Rio Ferdinand, a prominent British player.

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