Massimo Busacca

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Massimo Busacca
Massimo Busacca, Referee, Switzerland (10).jpg
Born (1969-02-06) 6 February 1969 (age 45)
Bellinzona, Switzerland
Other occupation Business proprietor
Years League Role
1996–2011 Swiss Super League Referee
Years League Role
1999–2011 FIFA listed Referee

Massimo Busacca (born 6 February 1969 in Bellinzona) is a Swiss former football referee. He lives in Monte Carasso, Ticino, near Bellinzona, and is also the proprietor of a business.[1]

Busacca used to play football in a lower division in Ticino, then he worked for a petroleum company in the Middle East. He became a referee in 1990.[2] He has been a referee in the Swiss Super League since 1996, and a FIFA referee since 1999.


2006 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Busacca in 2011

Busacca was chosen to be a referee at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

While refereeing a World Cup match between Ukraine and Spain, Busacca made a decision against Vladislav Vaschuk, giving the player a red card and awarding a penalty kick against Ukraine in the 47th minute of the match. Multiple angles of the infraction showed no physical contact inside the penalty area, preceded by a tug on the pants of Fernando Torres in the penalty area by Vladislav Vaschuk. David Villa of Spain slotted home the resulting penalty against Ukrainian keeper Oleksandr Shovkovsky. It is unlikely that the outcome of the match might have been altered as, before that penalty kick, Spain were up 2-0 and dominating the game both in possession and goal chances. In a similar situation involving Ukraine's Andriy Voronin and the Spanish defence, the referee decided no foul had occurred.

In a later match in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Busacca did not show the red card to Argentinian defender Gabriel Heinze after an errant throw by Argentinian goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri resulted in a breakaway by Mexican striker Francisco Fonseca and a subsequent foul by Heinze. Bussacca instead gave Heinze a yellow card.

Busacca was one of the twelve referees who remained in the play-off rounds from the quarter finals onwards.

2006 Basel hooligan incident[edit]

Busacca refereed an infamous Swiss Super League match on the last day of the 2005–2006 season between FC Basel and FC Zürich at St. Jakob Park in Basel. Basel, who hadn't lost at home in the past 59 league matches at St. Jakob Park, only needed a draw to secure their fourth championship in five years. The game was still tied at the 90-minute mark, but at the end of the very last minute of stoppage time, Zürich defender Iulian Filipescu scored the winning goal, immediately followed by Busacca's final whistle. At that point, many fans, mostly Basel fans, stormed the field. Basel supporters attacked Zürich players and fought with Zürich supporters. More trouble continued outside the park throughout the night.

2007 UEFA Cup Final[edit]

Busacca took charge of the 2007 UEFA Cup Final at Hampden Park on 16 May, one of the biggest appointments for a UEFA referee. Busacca sent off RCD Espanyol midfielder Moisés Hurtado for a second bookable offence during the match.

16 May 2007
20:45 CEST
Espanyol Spain 2 – 2 (a.e.t.)
(1 – 3 pen.)
Spain Sevilla
Riera Goal 28'
Jônatas Goal 115'

Hurtado Yellow cardYellow cardRed card 13', 68'
(Report) Goal 18' Adriano
Goal 105' Kanouté

Booked 62' L. Fabiano
Booked 82' Kanouté
Booked 115' Puerta
Luis García Penalty missed
Pandiani Penalty scored
Jônatas Penalty missed
Torrejón Penalty missed
1 – 3 Penalty scored Kanouté
Penalty scored Dragutinović
Penalty missed Dani Alves
Penalty scored Puerta
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Attendance: 52,000

UEFA Euro 2008[edit]

Busacca was selected to referee at the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament in Austria and Switzerland.[3]

At the tournament, Busacca was the referee for the:

  • Group C game between Netherlands and Romania.
  • Group D game between Greece and Sweden.
  • Semi Final match between Germany and Turkey.[4]

2009 UEFA Champions League Final[edit]

Busacca was selected to referee the UEFA Champions League Final in Rome on 27 May 2009 between FC Barcelona and Manchester United.

27 May 2009
20:45 CEST
Barcelona Spain 2 – 0 England Manchester United
Eto'o Goal 10'
Messi Goal 70'
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Attendance: 62,467[5]

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup[edit]

He was chosen as a referee for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, refereeing the final game between the United States and Brazil match on 18 June 2009 in which Busacca showed Sacha Kljestan a red card and Brazil went on to win 3-2.

FC Baden v Young Boys Incident[edit]

On 19 September 2009, Busacca was the referee in a Swiss Cup match between FC Baden and BSC Young Boys. After crowd trouble disrupted the game after home side Baden took an unlikely lead, Busacca raised his middle finger to the crowd.[6] Busacca had initially denied making the obscene gesture but was handed a three match ban by the Swiss Football Association and was forced to issue an apology.[7][8]

On-Pitch Urinating Incident[edit]

Just a few days after the Swiss Cup match between FC Baden and BSC Young Boys, Busacca was accused of urinating on the pitch whilst officiating a game in Qatar.[9][10] The referee appeared to urinate in the middle of a game between between Al-Khor and Al-Gharafa when the ball went out for a corner kick.[11]

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

He was selected as a referee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and refereed the South Africa vs. Uruguay game.

He awarded a penalty and showed the red card to the South African goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune, in the 77th minute, for tripping the Uruguay striker, Luis Suárez. South Africa went on to lose the game 3-0, and Khune became just the second goalkeeper to be sent off in World Cup history. South Africa boss Carlos Alberto Parreira claimed that "Myself and everyone else said it was the worst refereeing performance in this competition so far".[12] This proved to be Busacca's only match at the tournament, as he was released after the Round of 16.[citation needed]

16 June 2010
South Africa  0 – 3  Uruguay
Report Forlán Goal 24'80' (pen.)
Á. Pereira Goal 90+5'
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Attendance: 42,658

2010–11 UEFA Champions League, Barcelona vs Arsenal[edit]

In the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League tournament, Busacca was appointed to referee the second leg of the round-of-16 tie between Barcelona and Arsenal, with Arsenal taking a 2–1 lead into the match from the first leg.

In the 55th minute and with the score tied at 1–1 and Arsenal holding the aggregate advantage, he issued a second yellow card to dismiss Arsenal's Robin van Persie for time wasting.[13] Van Persie had been cautioned for a foul in the first half; then, in the process of an attack in the second half, he was flagged offside but took a shot at goal after Busacca had blown his whistle signalling the offence.[14][15] Van Persie claimed not to have heard the whistle over the noise of the crowd, having shot at goal a second after the whistle had already been blown.[16][17] Despite being within the rules of the game, the decision was heavily criticized by Arsène Wenger and Arsenal players for sending off a player for such a perceived minor infraction.[18] Many football critics also criticised the decision, one of the biggest points made by critics was that the match was only in the 55th minute and time wasting wouldn't make sense if it was actually Van Persie's intention.[19][20] Rio Ferdinand was on the other side of opinions and praised Busacca as "the best around".[21] Arsène Wenger and Samir Nasri both were banned for one match by UEFA due to improper conduct following their criticism of Busacca after the match. Wenger was also fined €10,000.[22] Following the game, Van Persie called the sending-off and the referee a "joke".[23] Johan Djourou of Arsenal called him "a shame to Switzerland" which also can mean a disgrace to Switzerland after the incident.[24]

Retirement and subsequent ventures[edit]

It was announced on 14 July 2011 that Busacca had taken up the position of Head of Refereeing Development with FIFA, retiring from active refereeing duties in the process.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Busacca is a devout Catholic and was crowned Switzerland's non-smoker of the year in 2006.[8]


  1. ^ Factsheet 2 - Korrektur
  2. ^ - referee - Massimo Busacca - bio
  3. ^ Referees named for EURO 2008,, December 19, 2007
  4. ^ Referee Rosetti gets Euro 2008 final, Agence France-Presse, June 24, 2008
  5. ^ "Full Time Report" (PDF). Union of European Football Association. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Wilson, Steve (22 September 2009). "Swiss referee Massimo Busacca banned for giving fans the 'finger'". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Swiss ref banned over fan insult". BBC News. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ Wheeler, Chris (9 March 2010). "Oh no, not you again! Sir Alex Ferguson reunited with controversial referee Massimo Busacca for AC Milan return". Daily Mail (London). 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Busacca fa la pipi in campo (Busacca Urinates on the Field)". La Gazzetta dello Sport. 23 September 2009. 
  12. ^ Beckles, Kieran (8 March 2011). "Referee Massimo Busacca is no stranger to controversy". The Sport Review. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "Barcelona do enough and qualify for the Champions League quarter finals". 8 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  14. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Barcelona 3 - 1 Arsenal (agg 4 - 3)". BBC Sport. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  16. ^ Van Wijk, Jim; Sport, Pa (8 March 2011). "Van Persie off as Barca beat Gunners again". The Independent (London). 
  17. ^ Williamson, Laura (9 March 2011). "We were Rob-ed! Arsenal vent anger at referee Busacca after Van Persie red card". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Arsenal criticise referee after defeat by Barcelona". BBC Sport. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  19. ^ Chhan, Marcus (8 March 2011). "Refereeing, no laughing matter". ESPN Star. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  20. ^ Samuel, Martin (9 March 2011). "Bungling referee Massimo Busacca makes it easier for Barcelona masters". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  21. ^ Custis, Neil (10 March 2011). "Tweet 'n sour as Rio praises ref". London: The Sun. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  22. ^ Jacskson, Jamie (March 17, 2011). "Arsenal's Arsène Wenger and Samir Nasri banned for one match by Uefa". Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

This article incorporates information from the revision as of June 14, 2006 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
Preceded by
Germany Herbert Fandel
UEFA Cup Final referee
Switzerland Massimo Busacca
Succeeded by
Sweden Peter Fröjdfeldt
Preceded by
Slovakia Ľuboš Micheľ
UEFA Champions League Final referee
Switzerland Massimo Busacca
Succeeded by
England Howard Webb