German referee Markus Merk will take charge of the match between Manchester United FC and a Europe XI at Old Trafford, Manchester on Tuesday 13 March which marks the 50th anniversaries of the Treaty of Rome and United's entry into European football.
A vastly experienced referee, Merk will officiate at the game just two days before his 45th birthday, returning to the scene of one of his most memorable matches - the 2003 UEFA Champions League final between AC Milan and Juventus. Merk won a UEFA Fair Play award for his handling of that occasion. Other top games in his career include the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain FC in Rotterdam and the final of UEFA EURO 2004™ between Greece and Portugal in Lisbon.
In recent times, Merk has given up his dental practice to embark on a new career in lecturing, yet he has continued his humanitarian work which started in 1993 when he established a village at Sogospatty, near the Indian city of Trichy, for disadvantaged children and which has steadily expanded since. Merk will lead an experienced European referee team at Old Trafford: his assistants will be Alessandro Griselli (Italy) and Mark Simons (Belgium), with the fourth official being Howard Webb of England.
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