17 October 1925|
Palestrina, Kingdom of Italy
|Died||14 January 2002
Born in Palestrina near Rome, Sbardella first got involved in football playing as a goalkeeper at youth levels of the local powerhouse Lazio. However Sbardella never appeared in the Serie A as he failed to rise through the ranks at Lazio, and he eventually finished his playing career at Artiglio, a small Rome-based Serie C club.
He then took up refereeing, and in his domestic career he officiated a total of 167 Serie A matches. Along with Concetto Lo Bello he was considered one of the top two Italian referees of the 1960s and 1970s.
The pinnacle of his career came at the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, in which he refereed two matches, including the third place play-off between West Germany and Uruguay. Sbardella had been designated to referee the final, but was eventually replaced by East Germany's Rudi Glöckner because Italy national football team had reached the final.
In club football his highlights include officiating two Coppa Italia finals (the 1963 final between Atalanta and Torino and the 1966 final between Catanzaro and Fiorentina), and the second leg of the 1967 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final between Leeds United and Dinamo Zagreb.
- "Antonio Sbardella". WorldReferee.com. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- Petrucci, Stefano (15 January 2002). "Sbardella, l' arbitro che fece grande la Lazio". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- "E' morto Sbardella". RaiSport (in Italian). 14 January 2002. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- "European Champions' Cup and Fairs' Cup 1966-67 - Details". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- Antonio Sbardella at WorldReferee.com