Open main menu

Massimo Busacca (born 6 February 1969 in Bellinzona) is a Swiss former football referee. He lives in Monte Carasso, Ticino, near Bellinzona, and he is Head of FIFA Refereeing.

Massimo Busacca
Massimo Busacca, Referee, Switzerland (10).jpg
Born (1969-02-06) 6 February 1969 (age 50)
Bellinzona, Switzerland
Years League Role
1996–2011 Swiss Super League Referee
Years League Role
1999–2011 FIFA listed Referee

Early lifeEdit

Busacca was born in Switzerland, to Italian parents from Sicily.[1] Busacca used to play football in a lower division in Ticino. After a successful career as a top referee he became Head of FIFA Refereeing in July 2011.


Busacca was a Swiss Super League Referee from 1996–2011 and a FIFA referee from 1999–2011.[2][3]

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.

Busacca was selected to referee at the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament in Austria and Switzerland.[4]

At the tournament, Busacca was the referee for the Group C game between Netherlands and Romania, the Group D game between Greece and Sweden and the semi Final match between Germany and Turkey.[5]

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

He was chosen as a referee for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, refereeing the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final game between South Africa and Brazil match on 25 June 2009 in Johannesburg and Brazil went on to win 1–0.

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][2]

On 8 March 2011, Busacca was the referee of the second leg of the FC Barcelona vs Arsenal FC 2010–11 UEFA Champions League round of 16 match.[3] He was heavily criticised for his performance, influencing heavily the outcome of the game. His decision to send off Robin van Persie for shooting after not hearing an offside whistle was the subject of much debate.[8][9]

2006 FIFA World CupEdit

Busacca in 2011

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

He refereed three games:

  • 14 June 2006 (Group stage): Spain vs. Ukraine 4–0
  • 20 June 2006 (Group stage): Sweden vs. England 2–2
  • 24 June 2006 (Round of 16) : Argentina vs. Mexico 2–1. OT.

2010 FIFA World CupEdit

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. Hosts 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.

Notable achievementsEdit

Retirement and subsequent venturesEdit

Despite his mediocre performance through his career, 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.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Busacca is a devout Catholic and was crowned Switzerland's non-smoker of the year in 2006.[2]


  1. ^ "Türkyilmaz difende Busacca: "Lui il siciliano, io il turco"". 22 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b c, WorldReferee -. " - referee - Massimo Busacca - dyk".
  3. ^ a b Jackson, Jamie (9 March 2011). "Robin van Persie red card killed Barça game for Arsenal, Wenger says". the Guardian.
  4. ^ Referees named for EURO 2008 Archived 2008-05-14 at the Wayback Machine,, 19 December 2007
  5. ^ Referee Rosetti gets Euro 2008 final Archived 2008-06-28 at the Wayback Machine, Agence France-Presse, June 24, 2008
  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. ^ "Every decision referee Massimo Busacca got wrong - and right - in Barcelona vs Arsenal". 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Luis Suarez: Barca's highest-scoring Uruguayan tops goals AND assist charts". 14 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Former Results". Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  11. ^ Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Herbert Fandel
UEFA Cup Final referee
  Massimo Busacca
Succeeded by
  Peter Fröjdfeldt
Preceded by
  Ľuboš Micheľ
UEFA Champions League Final referee
  Massimo Busacca
Succeeded by
  Howard Webb