Why the Spanish League referees are known for their two surnames?

Why the Spanish League referees are known for their two surnames?
Andújar Oliver, one of the most legendary referees years 90 in Spain (Sports world)

Last update February 9, 2020 by Javier Argudo

Japan Sevilla, Brito Arceo, Mejuto González, Diaz Vega, Andújar Oliver… We could spend hours and sure we'd know all or almost all sing the second name of many of the Spanish referees after hearing the first.

This habit not really know at what point it began to be used although there is an urban legend about a referee of the year 70 whose names were Franco Martínez. As it happens, that this referee surname shared with the dictator Francisco Franco and this is something that brought a lot of problems and anecdotes.

Franco Martínez
Franco Martinez in the famous Cup final that pitted Barça and Athletic Club (Brand)


According to the arbitrator himself confesses, many people took the opportunity to let off steam and tell him certain things that really were addressed to the head of the state: “Franco, how bad are you”, “Franco, go away”. But there was no thing as many newspapers drew covers and headlines on the same line: “The fault lies with Franco”, “Franco worthless”.

Faced with this maelstrom of insults and double entender headlines (according to urban legend), Francisco Franco, consuming a lot of press, He ordered the Spanish referees were known by both names but himself Franco Martínez He denies this and says that when he arrived in the professional arbitration was as usual this fact.

What it is is that this murciano referee not refereed any Cup final, despite being considered one of the best of his era, until Francisco Franco passed away. The reason, apparently, It was to avoid new insults with the double meaning when the referees up to the stage before delivery of the trophy to the champion. After the death of the dictator, Franco Martínez three final arbitrated, one that pitted the famous Barca and Athletic Club.

On one occasion, Murcia referee had to autodescartarse in a Basque derby which pitted the Real society y al Athletic Club de Bilbao in Atocha because the rumor that the terrorist group ETA could attempt against the spread.

In any case, even though Spanish referees of the 70-80 or even 90 They differ enough to today (from the clothing to the fitness), What is clear is that one thing continues unchanged after so many years, they are still known for their two surnames.

Javier Argudo

PC Football changed my life.

2 thoughts on “Why the Spanish League referees are known for their two surnames?

  1. As I read in a book published by former referee Sergi Albert (Jiménez) It is because the national committee of referees adopted the same custom that the army has, in which all officers are cited by rank and two surnames.

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