UEFA Euro 2012: Poland & Ukraine

Referee Review

Craig Thomson (Scotland) 

By Adam Higgins

Chief Football Editor 

Age-  40         FIFA Referee since-  2003          Promoted to the Elite List-  2009         Scottish Premier League referee since 2002

Season 2011-12:      Matches-  37        Yellow cards-  128          Red cards-  12          Penalties-  8

Best game of the season:  28th January 2012         Scottish Premier League        Aberdeen 1-0 Dunfermline
                                    Venue:  Pittodrie

Our average rating from Euro 2012:  15/20 (7.5/10)

Euro 2012 statistics-   Matches-  2        Yellow cards-  12         Red cards-  0         Penalties-  0       Average cards per game-  6

Best game of the tournament:  Wednesday 13th June 2012         Group B Game Two         Denmark 2-3 Portugal

                                          Arena Lviv, Lviv (Ukraine)

He has a wealth of big-game experience now under his belt including many Champions & Europa League ties, Old Firm & Edinburgh domestic SPL derbies and international fixtures, the Scot travelled to Eastern Europe in the summer well equipped to deal with the rigours of top-level competition, and the criticism that inevitably comes with it which he handled well. We saw two good performances in two average games which didn't jump off the page. He has grown to getting used to criticism and he is not afraid to make big decisions and use the card as we saw at the tournament where he gave out 12 yellow cards. He is known as the best referee in Scotland but is a strict official and tends to break up play a lot which doesn't allow it to flow which we saw in the opening match for him at the tournament when handling Portugal's 3-2 win over Denmark in Group B in Lviv. He probably had a better match in this one despite not having a lot to do on the refereeing front. You could tell that tournament officiating was a new experience for him as he struggled to get around the pitch in the first match with fitness levels not quite at their highest point. However, he got a lot of the smaller free-kick decisions right and managed to keep the card count sufficiently low by his usual standards. To represent the nation of Scotland at the tournament is such a huge honour and one that Craig can look back on with fondness and admiration. His second fixture was a very important one in the Group A final round of matches in terms of the standings as Czech Republic and Poland needed a win to secure their place in the next phase of the tournament. He managed to keep himself out of the firing line and stay out of the shadows with no decisions which could have been proven wrong or costly. The eight yellow cards were a little dubious and could be reviewed as harsh however he had a decent game. Craig Thomson remains a respected figure and enhanced his reputation after donating his £1,000 fee from last season's Scottish Cup final to the Hospice that cared for his late mother. Despite courting controversy with the likes of Mourinho in the past in the Champions League, Thomson is a referee highly thought of at UEFA, and as such he has granted a number of high-profile encounters over the course of the 2011-12 season. He was kept on as a fourth official in the latter stages of the tournament and all in all acquitted himself well. He was appointed to carry out electronic board duties in the third of the quarter-finals between Spain and France on 23rd June in Donetsk.


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