Who is Damir Skomina? - The Champions League final referee who awarded Liverpool 1st minute penalty

Referee Damir Skomina awarded Liverpool a first minute penalty in the Champions League final on Saturday.

Slovenian Damir Skomina will officiate the 2019 Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on Saturday.   -  Getty Images

Slovenia's Damir Skomina grabbed eyeballs as he awarded Liverpool a first minute penalty in the Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on Saturday.

Skomina was made to make a potential match-defining decision as early as the first minute when Sadio Mane's cross struck Moussa Sissoko's outstretched arm in the box. Skomina immediately pointed to the spot and the VAR call supported his decision.

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Mohamed Salah stepped up to take the penalty and drilled it past Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to give Liverpool the all-important lead within the second minute.

But who is Skomina and why does his name ring ring a bell? It was him who had awarded Manchester United a stoppage-time penalty after a VAR referral against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Round-of-16, which the English side went on to win. Skomina's decision was widely scrutinised with PSG striker Neymar calling him a "disgrace".

The 42-year-old Slovenian will complete a full set of major European club final appointments when he takes charge of the Champions League final. Skomina was in charge of the UEFA Europa League final between Ajax and Manchester United in 2017, as well as the UEFA Super Cup match between Chelsea and Atletico de Madrid in 2012.

He was also the fourth official at the 2013 UEFA Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

"I didn't set myself these targets. But I feel I've worked very hard over the years to get this far. I'm hugely proud of being chosen for this match," he told uefa.com.

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