Dallas hot favourite for final

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SCOTLAND’S Hugh Dallas is favoured to reach the high spot of his career by refereeing the Euro 2000 final in Rotterdam a week tomorrow.

On the day UEFA reduced their list of match officials from 13 to eight, Dallas was, significantly, singled out for special praise by the referees’ committee for his handling of Sunday’s Norway v Yugoslavia match.

And it was also learned from a reliable source that the four men who have been allocated the quarter-final matches, to be played tomorrow and Sunday, will not be given another in the tournament.

That would rule out Pierluigi Collina (Italy), who will take charge of Spain v France onSunday, Holland’s Dick Jol (Turkey v Portugal, Saturday), Vitor Pereira of Portugal (Italy vRomania, Saturday) and Jose-Maria Encinar of Spain (Holland v Yugoslavia, Sunday).

Joining Dallas on the short list for the semis and the final itself are Gunter Benko of Austria, Anders Frisk of Sweden and Germany’s Markus Merk. But the eulogy by the English member of the committee, KenRidden, was in itself a powerful hint that the Lanarkshire man iscurrently pre-eminent.

During the routine videoproduction, which highlights referees’ correct decisions as well as some errors, Dallas’sperformance last weekend was given the equivalent of a gold star by Ridden.

The committee were alsoimpressed by Dallas’s "man management skills".

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