Károly Palotai

Károly Palotai

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Károly Palotai is a retired Hungarian
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

football (soccer)
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 player and referee
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

. He was an Olympic Gold winner as a player before turning to refereeing. He was a referee at three World Cup tournaments and officiated in two European Cup finals.

Playing career

He was a successful player with Győri ETO FC
Gyori ETO FC
Győri ETO FC , Győri Egyetértés Torna Osztály Football Club or just Győr, is a Hungarian sports club from Győr, a mid-size town in the north-west of the country. In 1904 the club was founded as Győri Vagongyár ETO and has undergone many name changes since...

 and also won a Gold Medal at the football tournament of the 1964 Olympic Games
Football at the 1964 Summer Olympics
The football competition at the 1964 Summer Olympics started on October 11 and ended on October 23. Only one event, the men's tournament, was contested...

 in Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, when Hungary defeated Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 in the final with 2-1.

Refereeing career

But Károly Palotai is best known as one of the outstanding referees of the 1970s and 80s. Highlight of his career were the participations in the FIFA World Cups 1974, 1978 and 1982 as well as in the European Championship 1980
1980 UEFA European Football Championship
The 1980 UEFA European Football Championship final tournament was held in Italy. This was the sixth European Football Championship, which is held every four years and endorsed by UEFA. With eight teams competing, the final tournament took place between 11 and 22 June 1980...

 and the Olympic Games 1976
Football at the 1976 Summer Olympics
Final results for the Football competition at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Sherbrooke. Groups A, C and D had only three teams instead of four, as Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia national teams adhered to African-led boycott of the Games against the participation of New...

 in Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

. In addition he officiated the finals of the European Champions' Cup 1976 and 1981
European Cup 1980-81
The 1980–81 season of the European Cup football club tournament was won for a third time by Liverpool in the final against Real Madrid. In the 11 seasons up to and including this one, there were only four winners of the European Cup , but there were eleven different runners-up...

, the European Cup Winners' Cup final of 1979 and the first leg of the finals of the UEFA Cup 1974/75.