The Fiorentina-Genk match will be refereed by Joey Kooij on Thursday at 9 p.m. After Lille-Olimpija, also in the Conference League, it is only the second European group match that the 32-year-old Dutchman has to manage.
Kooij was in the news six months ago after the decision that he would no longer be allowed to referee Feyenoord matches. The reason is the transfer of Calvin Stengs from Antwerp to the Rotterdam club. Kooij and Stengs are brothers-in-law, they have a relationship with Romy and Beau de Boer respectively. These are the daughters of the famous Dutch former player (and trainer) Frank de Boer. He became a grandfather twice this year, after both Romy and Beau gave birth to their first child.
The VAR will also arrive from the Netherlands on Thursday. Jeroen Manschot (41) is only active in Europe as a video assistant referee.
Wouter Vrancken can count on a fully fit first team in Florence. 23 players will take a flight to Florence on Wednesday morning around 11 am in Liège, only Penders and Kongolo will remain in Genk to prepare for the derby with Jong Genk on Lommel. The Genk delegation is split up for the trip to Tuscany. Because Florence airport can only receive smaller planes, the players and staff travel separately. Board, media and supporters fly to Bologna and take the bus to Florence. A final training session is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Stadio Artemio Franchi, half an hour earlier coach Wouter Vrancken and player Bilal El Khannouss will address the media. (mg)