PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Referee Cüneyt Çakır (L) will be the first Turkish official to be assigned to a high-profile football final.
Cüneyt Çakır will be the first Turkish referee to officiate a high-profile international football final as he was assigned to the Club World Cup final between Chelsea and Corinthians.
The announcement was made by FIFA, the world football’s governing body, on Dec. 14.
The final wlil be played at the Yokohama Stadium on Dec. 16.
He has also officiated the Euro 2012 semifinal between Spain and Portugal in a landmark occasion for Turkish football.
The 36-year-old also officiated Chelsea’s semifinal second-leg game against Barcelona at Camp Nou earlier this year.
That Chelsea team was a different one to that of today, with Rafael Benitez having taken over the hot seat after Roberto Di Matteo was fired last month.
However, after taking four games to register a victory under Rafael Benitez, the Chelsea squad appears to be warming to the Spaniard’s meticulous methods with a run of three consecutive wins, Agence France-Presse reported. By racking up 12 goals in the process, five of them scored by a resurgent Fernando Torres, Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Monterrey at the Club World Cup on Dec. 13 provided the latest evidence of a marked progression under their interim manager.
“We have improved with Benitez,” Torres said. “I think we are better in all departments.”
The Stamford Bridge faithful have jeered Benitez since he took over from Italian Roberto Di Matteo last month but Lampard said the new manager deserved the chance to prove himself at Chelsea.
“Obviously we know the atmosphere is different,” said Lampard. “Maybe that doesn’t help us quite so much. But as players we have to concentrate on our game regardless.”