Soccer is undeniably the most popular sport in the world. While we know much about its high-profile players and their increasing wealth and global influence, we know little about referees and the ways in which refereeing has changed throughout the history of the sport.This book provides an in-depth exploration of the evolution of the match official. It presents a comparative analysis of elite Association football referees in England, Spain and Italy, as well as offering insights into the involvement of UEFA and FIFA in referee training. Drawing on archive material, the book documents the historical development of refereeing and sheds new light on the practice of elite refereeing in the present day. Including exclusive interviews with elite and ex-elite referees, as well as with professional soccer managers and members of the broadcast media, it considers the current role of match officials and the challenges and controversies they encounter.Elite Soccer Referees: Officiating in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A is fascinating reading for all students and scholars with an interest in soccer, sport history, sport policy, sport management and the sociology of sport.