Pictured L-R Deniye Gedara Palitha Parakkrama Hemathunga (Sri Lanka) Khamis Mohammed S A Al-Marri (Qatar) Chris Beath (Aus) Paul Cetrangolo (Aus)
Football Federation SA and FIFA listed Assistant Referee, Paul Cetrangolo officiated his last international match in Japan on Saturday as part of the final round of the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) final round.
Paul was an assistant referee on the last, and deciding match of the competition, Japan v South Korea on Saturday 16th December at Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo with fellow Australian Chris Beath. South Korea went on to defeat Japan 4 to 1 to win the tournament.
The match is the last in an International career that began in 2012, including; FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Asian Champions League fixtures, AFC Asian Cup in Australia and the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.
Some of Paul’s best memories are the 2012 AFC Asian Champions League Final in South Korea (Ulsan Hyundai v Al Ahli) as his debut International, the AFC Asia Cup in Australia in 2015 where he officiated in Iran v Iraq in a knockout round match and more recently the Brazil v Argentina match at the MCG in front of 95,569 spectators.
When asked about his career Paul said
“I’ve been able to go to places that I would never ever have gone as a tourist and I’ve been able to get an appreciation for the different cultures and different religions,”
“The thing I won’t miss is the travel, so I won’t miss sitting on planes and sitting in airports for hours and hours,” he said.
“We do a lot of our matches in the Middle East so you’re flying 14 hours to get to Dubai or Doha as a first stop then you fly elsewhere from there.
“I will miss the mateship, the friendship because when you’re away for days at a time together with a bunch of guys you develop a relationship.
“Doing games in front of massive crowds with big-name players and seeing great places, I’ll also miss.”
Paul will be continuing to officiate in the Hyundai A-League and locally and looks forward to being able to spend more time with his young family.
Football Federation SA would like to congratulate Paul on his International career!
See where referring can take you and enrol in one of our upcoming courses