Game events:

Last 3 seconds:

Courtesy of The Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland

IOC Historical Archives / International Federations - Basketball - Correspondence - 1961-1975

Scans: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4

Statement of Referee Renato Righetto



I, Lais Helena Lencastre B.Toffano, sworn public translator and commercial interpreter, officially recognized by the Commercial Junta of the State of S.Paulo, Brazil, by virtue of my office and at the request of an interested party, have faithfully translated into English, a document written in the Portuguese language, in the following terms:



RENATO RIGHETTO, an architect, residing on Rua Benjamim Constant, n.1963, in the city of Campinas, State of S.Paulo, Brazil, as the first referee in the final basketball game between the United States team and the Soviet team, in the Olympic Games of Munich, states as it follows:

1. As usual when I act as a referee in any basketball game I never worry about the running score and the time-keeping of the game;

2. When I whistled an intentional foul of a Soviet player against a North American, I was also ignorant of the game winner and of the duration of the game;

3. The free throws were scored. The ball was normally put in play by the Soviet Union. Then I noticed there were members of the Soviet team near the controlling table, disturbing tho officials' work. Immediately I requested "time" (administrative time) so everything would be in order and they would get away from the place. Soon afterwards the Soviet Union requested "time-out" according to the regulations of the game;

4. When this "time-out" requested by the Soviets came to an end, the ball should be put in play in the side line in the nearest place to where the game was interrupted, so the game could go on with the stopwatch running regularly;

5. At that moment, there was carelessness on the part of the refereeing personnel. The ball was put in play in the end line and the game went on until its end, when the stopwatch gave the signal that the game had ended and I blew my referee's whistle. The North Americans came through the boundary lines to celebrate the conquest of the gold medal;

6. I was surprised and I didn't know the reason why the general coordinator of the controlling table was insisting on the return of the stopwatch, so the time, from the whistle to the foul against the Soviet Union when the United States team scored two free-throws should be played again. The return of the stopwatch was done by technicians of "Longines", with the authority granted to them by the general coordinator of the controlling table, and through the intervention of thirds, according to the memorandum sent to the president of the Jury of Appeal of the FIBA by the officials who worked in the controlling table;

7. After the irregular return of the stopwatch, the ball was put in play again by the Soviet team and a Soviet player made a goal, and then the stopwatch sounded the end of the game and I whistled my referee's signal, now with the victory of the Soviets;

8. I consider what happened as completely illegal and an infraction to the rules of a Basketball game. We were unconsciously involved. I accepted they should play three seconds as well as the two teams agreed to this. The right and fair, I repeat, would be the playing of "ONE SECOND", with the ball put in play in the side line, by the Soviets. I think that if they had placed INTERPRETERS close to the controlling table, so the time-keeper could tell what was happening to the referee, these strange people should be kept away from the playing field and as the highest authority I would use the necessary justice it was indeed requisite;

9. Next, the North-Americans didn't agree with this decision and with the victory of the Soviets. Their training captain, Mr.Hank Iba immediately came to me to protest against the decision and to protest close to the general coordinator of the controlling table who was unwilling to hear him. Mr. Iba and I were doing the same protest. The coordinator insisted that the captain of the North American team signed the bulletin-sheet of the game, and he didn want to do it. I requested and then authorized Mr. Iba to write the word "PROTEST" instead of the signature of the team captain. Then the paper was signed by me but I was not signing my approval, together with the Technical Committee of the FIBA and then with the Jury of Appeal, to the positive infractions which took the almost won gold medal from the United States.

The further happenings, the meetings of the Technical Committee and the secret vote done by the Jury of Appeal, the members of the Committees already know.

I still hope to deserve the confidence of the North Americ Olympic Committee, their captain, the athletes and judges.

I remain, yours truly, (S) Renato Righetto. /Signature/

OBS: On page 2, paragraph 3 please read managers, instead of members.

The above translation is true and I swear to it. I set my hand this tenth day of November, 1972 Brasil, A.D., in this city of Campinas, S.P. Brasil



Sworn Public Translator