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These EURO 2024 referees have other part-time jobs

This summer, it’s time for the football celebration known as EURO 2024. The spotlight is on stars like Kylian Mbappé, Jude Bellingham, and Kevin de Bruyne. It’s often said that referees do their job well when they don’t stand out, but they also deserve some appreciation. Therefore, we want to highlight them, particularly those who do not just officiate matches but who also work other part-time jobs.

Danny Makkelie

Danny Makkelie

We start with perhaps the most prominent figure in this lineup. Makkelie’s journey from local pitches to UEFA Champions League clashes is the stuff of dreams. The Dutchman boasts an impressive referee CV filled with prestigious matches, finals, and top-level tournaments. Additionally, he is a skilled keynote speaker and delivers lectures on leadership, communication, teamwork and performing under pressure. But that’s not all, he also has another occupation: Makkelie is also a qualified police officer!

Clément Turpin

Although Clément Turpin is not a beloved referee among Feyenoord fans, due to their encounter with AS Roma, the referee has an impressive track record. He has been officiating in international tournaments since 2016 and he officiated, among other, the Europa League final of 2021 and the Champions League final of 2022. When he’s not refereeing a game, he’s a physical education teacher in France.

Felix Zwayer

Felix Zwayer primarily officiates in the Bundesliga and is also a regular in the Europa League. However, the referee has a controversial past. In 2005, he was involved in the match-fixing scandal surrounding the 2nd Bundesliga referee Robert Hoyzer, who accepted bribes for various matches. Zwayer was also implicated. This resulted in a six-month arbitration ban from the DFB, a suspension that remained undisclosed for several years until the German newspaper Die Zeit published a secret dossier from the DFB.

But Zwayer is not only a referee, he’s also a real estate manager of a company that he owns with three partners. In an interview with UEFA, he said that he enjoys the chance of going to the office and being involved in this other part of his life.

István Kovács

Kovács’ journey to his refereeing career began on the local pitches of Budapest. With the wisdom of his years, now in his mid-40s, Kovács has officiated in the most prestigious arenas, including the UEFA Champions League. What’s fascinating is his knack for languages; he’s fluent in four! However, despite his illustrious career, a European final has eluded him. Just like Turpin, Kovács is also a PE teacher.

François Letexier

François Letexier’s whistle echoes across the stadiums of Ligue 1. He was primarily involved as a video assistant referee in major matches, including as the VAR for Turpin in the Europa League final of 2021. He did officiate independently in the Super Cup between Manchester City and Sevilla in 2022. Fun fact? He has another talent. In his spare time, he plays the saxophone. But perhaps even more interesting, Letexier is also a court bailiff.

Daniel Siebert

We conclude this list with a German who is gearing up for the European Championship in their home country. Daniel Siebert boasts a wealth of experience in the Bundesliga and has previously officiated at World Cups and European Championships. It’s clear that he’s a strategic thinker: the referee is an avid chess player in his spare time. He also works as a part-time teacher at a sports school in Berlin where he practices his knowledge in sports science.