Egyptian customs officer Gamal Ghandour will make history when he officiates at the Spain-Norway match in Rotterdam on June 13 becoming the first non-European to referee a Euro 2000 tie.
Ghandour's participation follows an agreement between football's governing bodies in Europe and Africa to exchange referees for their top competitions.
French referee Alain Sars took part in the African Nations Cup at the start of the year in Nigeria and Ghana, and El-Ghandour was chosen to represent Africa at the Euro 2000 finals in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Ghandour is one the top referees on the African continent, having taken charge of three group matches during the 1998 World Cup finals in France.
Prior to that he was a referee at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic football tournament and at the Qatar under-20 world championships.
He has also twice been in charge, in 1994 and 1996, of the tumultous Egyptian club derby between arch-rivals Zamalek and Al-Ahly.
Ghandour said that he had "no particular difficulty in refereeing European matches,” -- (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )