Christina Unkel is Euro 2024’s Breakout Star

ITV refereer analyst Christina Unkel

There is usually a breakout star at major tournaments. Someone who grabs attention and rises to prominence. At Euro 2024 it is Christina Unkel, ITV’s refereeing expert.

I confess I’d never heard of Christina Unkel before this tournament. I didn’t know who she was when she appeared in the Germany vs Scotland opener to explain why Ryan Porteous obviously had to be sent off. However, in the first two weeks, she has become essential, explaining some tight decisions directly and clearly. I don’t always like the rules and rulings she’s explaining. I don’t want goals ruled out because someone’s big toe is offside. But her explanations are always worth listening to.

It is also clear that Christina Unkel is putting some of the boys in their place. (I’m looking at you, Roy Keane.) The FIFA referee has plenty of experience to navigate this. As she told the Radio Times:

Some of the best players in the world have been yelling at me on the field and they don’t even know the laws!”

She is also a trained lawyer and once declared on TV that her husband’s decision to brandish a yellow was wrong and should have been a red! Interestingly, the referee also serves as President of Tampa Bay Sun FC, so clearly understands the game from a variety of different angles.

Christina Unkel is normally based on US TV. I hope we see more of her on this side of the Atlantic after Euro 2024.

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