Louis Baert

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Louis Andre Baert (29 December 1903 in Ghent – 11 July 1969 in Ghent) was an international football referee from Belgium, particularly active during the 1930s.

Baert first came to international prominence in the 1934 World Cup in Italy. He was selected as the referee for the quarter-final match between Italy, the hosts, and Spain. Italy's equaliser involved rough play, with Angelo Schiavo thumping the goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora, and Baert initially disallowed it. He was subject to shoving and abuse from the Italian team, and changed his decision to allow the goal, prompting Spanish protests. He disallowed a goal by Ramón de la Fuente Leal for Spain as offside, despite Lafuente beating four Italians to score.[1] It has been suggested that Mussolini's influence may have affected the refereeing.[2]

He was selected to run the line with Ivan Eklind in both the semi-final and the final, and went on to have a lengthy international career as a referee. Baert was also the referee for the match during the 1938 World Cup in which Italy, playing in their infamous maglia nera strip, beat France in Paris. In total he took part in six World Cup matches.

He first refereed internationals on 9 May 1929 and ended on 29 June 1952. After retiring from active football he became a member of the Executive Panel of the Belgian Football Association until his death in 1969.


  1. ^ Ball, Phil (2003). Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football. WSC Books Limited. p. 215. ISBN 0-9540134-6-8. 
  2. ^ Turner, Georgina (17 May 2010). "Home advantage bolsters hosts". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 

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