World football governing body Fifa has hired the Swiss referee Massimo Busacca as head of refereeing to prepare match officials for international tournaments.
Fifa president and fellow Swiss Sepp Blatter said in a statement that Busacca's experience would be "particularly useful to our mission".
The referee, who has now called time on his career on the pitch, will start on August 1. “I now intend to pass that knowledge on to my refereeing colleagues to ensure that refereeing continues to improve and to help it to prepare better for the future,” he said in the statement.
Busacca, an international referee with more than 20 years’ experience, is a member of Fifa's Task Force 2014 for improving football before the next World Cup, including having only fulltime professional referees at the tournament.
The 42-year-old, from Italian-speaking Ticino, won praise for his handling of the 2009 Champions League final. But he was suspended just months later after making an offensive gesture to Swiss fans.
Busacca was expected to shine at the 2010 World Cup but angered host South Africa by dismissing its goalkeeper in his only match.
swissinfo.ch and agencies