England v Switzerland referee Daniele Orsato burst into tears on the pitch amid announcement

Orsato took charge of England's clash with Serbia last month
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


They made it through by the skin of their teeth, but England could now win a place in the final four at Euro 2024 as they take on Switzerland in the quarter-final.

It took a stunning 95th minute equaliser from Jude Bellingham to force the Three Lions' last 16 clash with Slovakia to extra-time, with Harry Kane's headed effort sealing a remarkable 2-1 comeback win. However, Gareth Southgate's side will have to be much improved against an unbeaten Swiss side on Saturday night after they knocked out holders Italy with ease.

The man charged with overseeing the clash in Dusseldorf is Daniele Orsato, who will be well known to England fans having taken charge of their opening tournament fixture against Serbia. Here's everything you need to know about the Italian referee

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Who is Daniele Orsato?

Born near Vincenza, Italy in 1975, Orsato grew up wanting to become an electrician as he was fascinated by "how lights turned on". He went on to achieve his dream, but later enrolled on a football refereeing course after being encouraged to do so by a co-worker.

He started officiating in Serie C, the Italian third division, in 2002 but rose up to the top flight within four years. He has since overseen hundreds of Serie A matches and become one of Europe's most well-respected referees, known for his strict on-field persona.

After becoming a FIFA referee in 2010, Orsato has also refereed a number of important finals, including the Coppa Italia finals in 2013 and 2015 as well as the 2020 Champions League final between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

In May, he refereed the second leg of the Champions League semi-final between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund, earning praise for his performance on the night. But after he blew the full-time whistle, the Italian referee burst into tears, confirming that he will retire this summer after the culmination of the Euros.

He was named by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) as the world's best referee in 2020. As well these European Championships, Orsato has also officiated at the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and Euro 2020.

Now 48, he was the oldest referee at the last World Cup and was selected to take charge of the opening game of the tournament between Ecuador and hosts Qatar.

He took charge of England's opening Euro 2024 game against Serbia, handing out three yellow cards to the Three Lions' opponents. The Italian referee said he hoped to officiate the final, explaining: "I will end my career as a referee after Euro. I thank all the instructors and assigners who have taught me so much in these years.

"I want to dedicate myself only to my family and my children. I hope that my last whistle will be that of the Euro final, but it's okay if Italy wins".

'Disaster' performance

After overseeing the opening game of the 2022 World Cup, Orsato went on to take charge of the semi-final between Croatia and eventual champions Argentina.

However, his performance was slammed by Croatian captain Luke Modric, who branded him a "disaster" at the full-time whistle, having lost 3-0 to Lionel Messi's side.

The first goal came after Orsato awarded Argentina a debatable penalty towards the end of the first half. Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic looked to have taken out Julian Alvarez in the penalty area, with the Italian official pointing to the spot and Messi converting.

However, many felt that Livakovic could have done very little to get out of the way of Alvarez, rubbing salt in the wound for the Croatians as Modric claimed the goal "killed us".

After the game, the Real Madrid star said: "These things have to be mentioned, I generally don't do them, but today they have to be done. I don't like to talk about referees, but this is one of the worst. I don't have a good memory of [Orsato], he's a disaster.

"For me it wasn't a penalty. Despite this, I don't want to detract from Argentina. The penalty killed us."

England v Switzerland refereeing lineup

  • Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)

  • Assistant Referees: Ciro Carbone (ITA) and Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)

  • Video Assistant Referee: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)

  • Assistant VAR 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)

  • Assistant VAR 2: Bastian Dankert (GER)

  • Fourth official: Daniel Siebert (GER)