This week I was watching the UEFA Champions League football games, in particular the Manchester City game against Barcelona, won by Kevin De Bruyne with his amazing free kick 😉 While football teams have their own charter flights, referees also need to travel from one country to the other.
I started to wonder how many flights and how many miles the referees have to fly to get to their games. As an example I looked up all the games of matchday 4 in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. As I don’t have the referees home adress I took the biggest airport nearby. Please note that those flights are based on my personal presumption and might not be factually the correct flights 😉
- Besiktas – Napoli : referee Mark Clattenburg (United Kingdom) travelling from London Heathrow to Istanbul (1563 mi)
- Borussia Mönchengladbach – Celtic Glasgow : Portugese referee Manuel De Sousa was flying from Portugal to Düsseldorf (1158 mi)
- Atlético Madrid – Rostov : Scottish referee Craig Thomson took a flight from Edinburgh (or Glasgow) to Madrid (1071 mi)
- Ludogorets – Arsenal : Dutch referee Bas Nijhuis from Amsterdam to Sofia (1091 mi)
- Benfica – Dynamo Kyiv : French ref Clément Turpin from Paris CDG to Lisbon (915 mi)
- Manchester City – FC Barcelona : Hungarian referee Victor Kassai from Budapest to Manchester (1029 mi)
- PSV Eindhoven – Bayern Munich : referee Gianluca Rocchi from Florence to Eindhoven (593 mi)
- Basel – PSG : referee Ovidiu Haţegan from Bucharest to Basel-Mulhouse airport (913 mi)
- Monaco – CSKA Moskva : Slovenian ref Matej Jug, from Ljubljana to Nice (396 mi)
- Borussia Dortmund – Sporting Lisbon : Dutch referee Danny Makkelie has -most likely- made the trip by car 😉 But a flight from Amsterdam to Düsseldorf is also possible (111 mi)
- FC Copenhagen – Leicester City : German ref Felix Brych from Munich to Copenhagen (504 mi)
- FC Sevilla -Dinamo Zagreb : Felix Zwayer took a flight from Berlin to Seville (1397 mi)
- Tottenham Hotspurs – Bayer Leverkusen : Jonas Eriksson from Sweden to London (910 mi)
- Legia Warsaw – Real Madrid : Pavel Královec from Prague to Warsaw (324 mi)
- FC Porto – Club Brugge : Spanish referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco might have taken the car, but perhaps Bilbao – Porto ? (327 mi)
- Juventus – Lyon : Björn Kuipers from Amsterdam to Turin (510 mi)
I collected all the flights via http://my.flightmemory.com/luchtzak and here are the results!
Our referees have travelled a total of 12811 miles or 20618 km just to reach their assigned soccergames.