July 27, 2011

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Robert Schörgenhofer

Talked with us: Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT)
I am pleased to publish an exclusive interview with an active Top Referee: Robert Schörgenhofer from Austria. It was teamwork as I did it along with Jan (Dutch Referee, it will appear there as well) and we are glad to present the Austrian’s answers to you.
Just as short introduction: Schörgenhofer was put onto the FIFA List in 2007.  He can be described as a high flyer as he got his first Europa League appointments in 2009/2010. Until now, there is an amount of eight appointments in only two seasons. He is a member of UEFA’s Elite Development Group and the nominations to the last UEFA U21 Euro in Denmark, where he got three matches including a semifinal, and to the coming FIFA U17 World Cup in Colombia were no real surprises as he could convince with strong perfomances in his matches. 
One of the highlights of his career was surely his first Champions-League match which he refereed last season (Chelsea vs Zilina).

Robert Schörgenhofer talked with us about his career, goals, his next tournament and a pretty interesting reason why he started being referee:

Why did you start refereeing?
I was a football player and received a wrong red card. The referee had a very bad day and I thought, it can´t be so difficult and I can do it better. That is the reason why I started refereeing.

How do you prepare for the matches in Colombia at u20 World Cup? Did you do some SPECIAL preparation as many officials failed in Mexico due to the high altitude? On which date are the tests?
There is no special preparation for Colombia. We arrive 8 days before the tournament starts and it should be enough time to acclimate. The test for the UEFA referees was on 8. of July in Nyon without any problems. So there is no more test in Colombia. 

You are working with Mario Strudl and Alain Hoxha for some time now, in Champions League, Euro League and now in Colombia, too. How important are they for you?
Very important! We have a very good friendship and this is prerequisite to work together. So I can trust them without any doubt. And they are excellent assistants and support me any time.

The WC trio (from left): Hoxha, Schörgenhofer, Strudl

What do you expect from the tournament?
It´s a great opportunity to do the next step in my career. There are many different teams and also different style of football. It is also interesting to be together with referees from other continents and make new friends.

How do you enjoy a foreign country when you are abroad for a match? (museum, hot spots, etc)
There is not plenty of time for sightseeing. Maybe one or two hours on a matchday, to see some interesting spots in the centre. Only to get a feeling of the country. But I hope to get a lot of good impressions from Colombia during this tournament.

Did you expect to get promoted to the Elite group? Are you sorry you didn't move up?
I expect nothing. It´s a goal to reach the Elite group, but on the top the air is getting thinner. I was promoted this year, and very happy about that. I´m happy to be in the Elite development group.

Imagine you could be in a match taking part in a football stadium of your choice. In which football stadium would you like to referee one time? And why?
There are a lot of beautiful stadiums but I prefer not a special one. If a stadium is full with a great atmosphere, it´s always nice. Not only for players, but also for the referees.

Thanks a lot to Robert Schörgenhofer for having taken the time to answer our questions.
We wish all the best for Colombia 2011 and his further career path !


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