A unique perk of working at UEFA is the opportunity to undertake dual roles at the organisation. This gives employees a broader perspective on the whole footballing landscape and a better understanding of the organisation as a whole. Match operations coordinator Domenico Tropea has also been working as a match director at UEFA EURO 2016, and he has given us an insight into his experiences in these dual roles.

Describe your dual roles

I work in the competitions division and I’m responsible for overseeing match operations for the UEFA Europa League. On-site at UEFA EURO 2016, my match director role has given me responsibility for all match organisation matters. I’ve been liaising with the referees and the teams, and I’ve been responsible for the pitch and for overseeing the running of the match. The dual role has really allowed me to join up the UEFA match operations procedures and guidelines with the on-site delivery.

What attracted you to your dual roles?

It’s been a big circle for me. I was a match organisation volunteer for UEFA EURO 2008, and then for UEFA EURO 2016 I was given the opportunity to be the match director for the group matches at Stade de France in Saint-Denis. I love to be challenged, and on-site you definitely find yourself in some challenging situations. You might have to have discussions with team administrators, coaching staff or even the players! I am also a people person: I love to meet new people from different cultures who share my passion for football organisation.

What’s been the best thing about your dual role?

I have to say it’s working at the heart of the football action and the countdown to kick-off: from the moment I welcome the teams at the stadium to calling them out of the dressing rooms. You get a real rush of adrenaline at this time. When I was in the middle of the players’ tunnel for the opening match at UEFA EURO 2016 I had to pinch myself to check I wasn’t dreaming. It’s such a rewarding experience to be given the responsibility of organising football matches and all services related to the sporting aspects of the final tournament, at the highest international level and according to UEFA regulations.

How is your time split between the two roles?

My dual role started many months ago, but, before arriving on-site, I had to work on the match operations delivery of the UEFA Europa League, and particularly the final in Basel between Liverpool FC and Sevilla FC. Having been the venue director for the last five UEFA Europa League finals, I already had the experience and knowledge of how to organise UEFA club competition matches. That helped my preparation for this national team tournament, as I just had to adapt a few things. Once the UEFA Europa League season concluded, I moved to France and was then completely focused on the on-site role of match director at UEFA EURO 2016.

My dual role in match operations at UEFA – Domenico Tropea

Is this the first time you’ve taken on a dual role?

Yes, this is the first dual role for me, but hopefully not the last! It has been a very challenging, yet fruitful, experience. You get to meet so many people from all four corners of the world. I definitely look forward to having the opportunity to work at UEFA EURO 2020 to share my knowledge and expertise with my colleagues. Au revoir!