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Arbitri-Referees is Italy's first documentary about football referees.
Why would anyone aspire to becoming a football referee? What training are they given? How do they prepare for a match? What happens afterwards? These were the questions that Stefano Mordini set out to find answers to. This film is not only about the major league and the most famous referees like Collina and Cesari, but also about the minor league. It follows the professional development of a 16-year old boy, and also that of a 25-year old female working referee.
Football matches regularly attract millions of spectators, it is a team sport that is judged by just one individual. Unlike the players and the spectators, he (the overwhelming majority are men) is almost always alone. He must always be on time and fit because without his presence, there can be no game.
Every year there are 450,000 soccer matches played in Italy and there is a referee for each and every one of them.
Whatever his day job, once the referee puts on his kit he becomes "the arbiter". As this courageous individual steps into the "arena", he is sure of one thing: whatever decision he makes, there will always be those who disagree with him. Sometimes violently.