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UEFA Direct 203 – No ref, no game

The latest edition of UEFA's official magazine focuses on our campaign to recruit new officials all over Europe.

The new edition of UEFA Direct is out now, bringing a wealth of news and features from across European football.

Our key focus is on UEFA's first-ever recruitment campaign for officials – Be a Referee! – which aims to attract 40,000 new officials to the game, and is already making an impact.

"Without referees, and especially without enthusiastic, energetic, committed new referees, there would be no football," writes UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis in the magazine editorial. "We hope the campaign will build on the significant numbers of young people ready to take up the role of a match official.

Like players and everyone else with a role in football, they are motivated by a fundamental love of the game - and recognition that there is no better view of the game than from right in the middle of the action."

We also hear from Roberto Rosetti, UEFA's chief refereeing officer, and top-level referees on the demands of the role, as well as inviting readers to test your own knowledge on the Laws of the Game.

Success speaks in The Technician

Manchester City's Pep Guardiola speaks in The Technician - our dedicated coaching supplement
Manchester City's Pep Guardiola speaks in The Technician - our dedicated coaching supplementLightRocket via Getty Images

What does it take to win a European trophy? We spoke with some of the coaches to have experienced glory during 2023 to learn more about the mindset and expertise needed for glory.

From Manchester City's Pep Guadiola to France Under-17's Peggy Provost, we gain an insight into the workings of top coaches, and how they are willing to share their own experiences within the community in order to further the game.

"The more young coaches prepare themselves through knowledge and curiosity, the better it will be, but it also depends on their passion to become coaches," Guardiola says. "It is a nice job, but it is very demanding as well: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 12 months a year. It's non-stop, and a lot of passion is required. They have to really enjoy it, but I encourage them to pursue it. For football lovers, being a coach is the dream job."

A short history of EURO mascots

We also look ahead to EURO 2024 and meet the tournament mascot, Albärt, a friendly bear who was named following a fan vote.

Albärt takes us on a tour of previous EURO mascots, from Pinocchio inspiration in 1980 all the way through to EURO 2020's Skillzy. How many can you remember?

Albärt, the EURO 2024 mascot
Albärt, the EURO 2024 mascotUEFA via Getty Images

Elsewhere in UEFA Direct 203

- Raising standards: Women's football continues to develop apace, with a new Football Board, minimum standards for national teams and improved targets for coaching numbers.

- Development in focus: We look back at UEFA Grassroots Week, which saw UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and a group of footballing legends join local children for an unforgettable event in Cyprus.

- Club Talent and Landscape report: UEFA's in-house intelligence centre analyses transfer investment, crowd levels and career pathways.

- UEFA Academy: We head to Romania for the Academy's inaugural summit, bringing together 300 alumni from its various educational courses.

- Tournament recaps: We look back at the summer's men's Under-21 and men's and women's Under-19 championships.

- News from across Europe: Member associations share their latest domestic developments.

You can download UEFA Direct in English, French and German now.