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PalaceFan in Alabama
26-05-2002, 09:51 AM
The Sunday Mirror gives us this little gem:

Ali Bujsaim of the United Arab Emirates is another ref with a tough assignment - the opening game between holders France and former French colony Senegal. I think they deserve each other :eek:

The rest of the article is as follows:

PIERLUIGI Collina, the highest-profile referee in the world, will take charge of the highest-profile group game at the World Cup - England v Argentina.

FIFA have turned to the Italian official, famous for his bald head and bulging-eyed stare, for a fixture which has seen a number of flashpoints down the years.

From Antonio Rattin's controversial sending-off at the 1966 World Cup, through Diego Maradona's 1986 "Hand of God" goal to David Beckham's dismissal at France '98, the games have never been short of controversy.

If either team can read any omens into the appointment, then England should be happier. Collina took charge of their 5-1 win over Germany in qualifying and also oversaw the Euro 2000 clash in which England beat Erich Ribbeck's men 1-0.

The man who sent Beckham off for lashing out at Diego Simeone in France - Kim Milton Nielsen - has also been handed a big game. The Dane will oversee the key Group E match between Germany and the Republic of Ireland.

Nielsen famously red-carded the Manchester United midfielder for his back-heel kick on Simeone in the second-round game, which Argentina won on penalties.