Sandro Ricci has been appointed as the Manager of Senior Referees at the Professional Referee Organization after an esteemed career as one of Brazil’s top officials.
As well as being a prominent figure in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A – Brazil’s topflight – Ricci joined the FIFA panel in 2011, where notably, he took charge of matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games two years later – both hosted in his home country. He was appointed again for the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
He also refereed the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup Final between Bayern Munich and Raja Casablanca, a Copa America semifinal between Argentina and Paraguay two years later, the bronze medal match at the 2016 Olympic Games, and a 2017 FIFA Club World Cup semifinal. Plus, several Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores tournaments, including the second leg of the Copa Libertadores Final in 2014.
After retiring in 2018, Ricci worked in Brazilian television as a pundit, specifically focusing on rules analysis. He now joins PRO in the role vacated by Alan Kelly, who was promoted to Director of Senior Match Officials at the start of the season.
Mark Geiger, PRO’s General Manager, said: “Sandro was one of the leading South American referees for more than a decade, and his experience in the game, combined with his dedication and determination, will be positive for our officials.
“He also worked an Olympic Games and two FIFA World Cups, which will provide great insight for some of our officials who will have that opportunity themselves in 2026.
“I have spent time with Sandro while on international duty and he is the utmost professional with a strong personality that is well-matched for our diverse group of referees.
“We are all looking forward to welcoming Sandro to the team and excited by what he can bring to the game in North America.”