Former referee Pierluigi Collina has been given police protection after receiving threatening letters.

The ANSA news agency said that authorities in Tuscany had decided to issue Collina, well recognised internationally for his bald pate and piercing stare, with an escort after the 47-year-old was sent credible football-related threats to his home.

Collina, who officiated at the 2002 World Cup final, is now chief of the referees of Serie A and Serie B, Italy's top two professional tiers.