|Roberto Rosetti reached the pinnacle of football refereeing when he officiated at a FIFA World Cup|
At the annual programme for up-and-coming European officials held in Dubrovnik recently, the 53 participants were graced by former FIFA World Cup referee Roberto Rosetti, signalling a step in a new direction for both basketball and football.
In an innovative move by FIBA Europe as a means to continually improve the standard of officiating in basketball, Rosetti was invited to talk about his own experiences from his days as a football referee and to also offer ideas on how football and basketball officials can learn from each other.
The 46-year-old Italian has an impressive officiating pedigree, which includes overseeing UEFA Champions League, UEFA Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup fixtures, assuring him a captive audience whenever he speaks.
The Turin native was grateful for the invite he received from FIBA Europe Referee Consultant Alan Richardson and, when interviewed by fibaeurope.com, spoke highly of not only the hospitality received in the Croatian port city, but also the high calibre of the course which he both witnessed and participated in.
"The seminar was very interesting for me and a really great experience," explained Rosetti, adding, "I think that it is important to start a co-operation such as this because football referees can learn things from their basketball counterparts and vice versa."
One example that Rosetti pin-pointed as being an area in which football referees can learn from their basketball counterparts is screening, something the affable Italian explains, is becoming more and more common in the beautiful game.
"In modern football there are many screens in the penalty area, corner kick and free kick situations close to the penalty area. There are some teams who have specialists just for these situations.
"To understand the technique of basketball screens could be really very useful for football referees."
On the topic of modern football, Rosetti compared the preparation of the referees to that of the athletes themselves with the former needing to show the same standard of fitness as the latter.
"In football, the referees are very well prepared as athletes and in my opinion basketball referees need to work in this direction and be fresh and prepared to make decisions from the first second of the match until the last.
"If you want to make good, correct decisions you need to have a fresh mind and be in excellent physical condition."
Following the clinic in Dubrovnik, Rosetti is strongly in favour of seeing further and continued collaboration between officials from basketball and football.
"In my opinion we can find many points of contact between the two sports and it can be very useful to share experience. This was just the first step of this type of co-operation and now it can continue in order to find new motivation, strategies and a new kind of education [for officials]."