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NFL officiating chief Al Riveron retiring

Al Riveron, the NFL’s head of officiating, is retiring.

He spent nine years as an on-field official, then transitioned to the league office, where he worked for eight years. When he was hired by the league in 2008, Riveron became the NFL’s first referee of Hispanic descent.

He will be replaced by two of the league’s senior vice president in the officiating department: former referee Walt Anderson and Perry Fewell, a former coach.

“Al has been a tremendous advocate for officiating during his distinguished career,” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said in a memo to staff, obtained by The Washington Post. “We thank Al for his contributions to football and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

The time in the league office wasn’t easy for Riveron, 61.

Riveron was promoted to the position before the 2017 season to fill the vacancy created by Dean Blandino’s departure for Fox Sports. Riveron would remain in his job for the 2018 season despite several high-profile officiating controversies, including one that led to the competition committee overhauling the catch rule in the offseason.

He was drawn further into controversy when a blown call in the 2018 NFC Championship Game likely cost the New Orleans Saints a Super Bowl appearance.

In an officiating department restructure in 2020, Riveron was assigned to oversee the replay department with Anderson essentially serving as the department head.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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