Referee Danny Makkelie makes his debut at the Marveld Tournament

4 June 2023

“You have more of an educational role in youth matches”

A world-class referee among future world champions, Danny Makkelie is one of the finest referees in the Netherlands, and he also enjoys a strong reputation internationally. He has officiated several European Championship and World Cup matches and was in charge of the 2021 Europa League final, where Sevilla emerged victorious with a 3-2 win over Internazionale in Cologne. Danny also has another first to his name: On 13 March 2018, he refereed the King’s Cup semi-final in Saudi Arabia, which marked the first match featuring online video arbitration. And now, he finds himself at the Marveld Tournament. It’s time for a short interview!

You made your debut at the Marveld Tournament. How did it go?

“I had the opportunity to referee the semi-final between Palmeiras and Red Bull Bragantino. Two Brazilian teams that were evenly matched. Despite their young age, you could see that both teams played with physicality and tactical acumen. In the end, Palmeiras emerged as the winners.”

Have you officiated youth tournaments before?

“I have officiated a few tournaments such as the COPA Amsterdam, Terborg, Otten Cup, and Uitgeest. However, apart from those, I haven’t officiated many youth matches.”

Do you approach a youth match differently from a match in the Eredivisie?

“Rules are rules, and there is no difference in that aspect. That’s why I had to show two yellow cards due to some tough tackles. The difference lies more in the players’ approach. In youth matches, you have more of an educational role. These are young talents who are still developing physically, so you need to be a bit more cautious during challenges. Seniors can handle more physicality and fierce tackles. With juniors, you have to be more careful.”

Who invited you to referee at the Marveld Tournament?

“Tonnie (Zieverink, ed.) himself invited me. Actually, I was supposed to come several years ago, but due to various international commitments, playoffs, and vacations, it didn’t work out. Fortunately, I finally made my debut at this wonderful tournament.”

How has your experience been at the tournament so far?

“It’s a high-level tournament, both on and off the pitch. The organization does an outstanding job, and everything is meticulously organized. The parking, reception, food, and accommodation in the park…fantastic! Since I arrived, everyone has taken care of me perfectly. From the parking attendants to the food service staff, everyone deserves a big compliment! The weather is also fantastic, which adds to the overall experience of the tournament. The sidelines are lively and create a great atmosphere.”

What had you heard about the Marveld Tournament before?

“The top Dutch referees have been coming here for years. Even at the beginning of my career, referees like Roelof Luinge, Raymond van Meenen, and Tom van Sichem were already talking about the Marveld Tournament. They experienced it just as I have: perfectly organized, and the post-event social activities are top-notch as well.”

Is this the end of your season?

“No, my season is not quite over yet. I will be refereeing the playoffs final for a ticket to European football. I also have another European Championship qualifier to officiate, although I’m not sure about the specific match yet. I usually find out a week in advance. After that, my season will be over, and I can enjoy my holiday.”