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Birkett 'pleased' after referee appointments at Futsal Cup

Monday 28 Apr 2014
Marc Birkett refereed two big games in the UEFA Futsal Cup in Azerbaijan

England’s Marc Birkett continued his fantastic run of taking charge of major showpiece matches with the conclusion of the UEFA Futsal Cup in Azerbaijan.

Derby-based Birkett was appointed first referee for Saturday’s third-placed play-off of Futsal’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League between hosts Araz Naxçivan and Kairat Almaty of Kazazkhstan.

Araz ran out 6-4 winners before Birkett was the third referee for the Final.

Spain’s FC Barcelona were crowned champions of Europe for the second time in three seasons with a 5-2 extra-time defeat of MFK Dinamo of Russia. Birkett, who says he was “really pleased” with the Baku appointments, has established himself as one of the world’s leading Futsal officials.

In the UEFA Futsal Cup, each European nation can enter their domestic champions in the annual competition to find the continent’s best club in the small-sided game.

England’s representatives, Baku United FC, missed out the final stages after the London-based club were eliminated in the Main Round of qualifying – although it was the best-ever showing by an English entrant.

In February, Birkett was third referee for the 2014 UEFA Futsal Euro Final in Antwerp when Italy defeated Russia to become European champions.

The 35-year-old previously officiated in the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup Final in Thailand and his success has matched his counterparts in football.

Howard Webb, with assistants Mike Mullarkey and Darren Cann, has been selected for this summer’s FIFA World Cup. Sian Massey was also appointed first assistant referee for the UEFA Women’s Euro Final in Sweden before  four matches at the FIFA Women's U17 World Cup in Costa Rica this March and April.

Mark Clattenburg refereed the 2012 Olympic football Final at Wembley Stadium with his English assistants Stephen Child and Simon Beck, while in 2010 Webb took charge of the UEFA Champions League Final and the FIFA World Cup Final.

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By FA Staff