August 3, 2011

DISCUSSION: Predictions for Euro 2012

As Pierluigi Collina announced a few days ago that he will choose the 12 referees for the next UEFA Euro in Poland and Ukraine in December, it is time for doing some predictions. 
One has to mention that the appointments depend on UEFA's decisions concerning the new system after IFAB has announced that additional assistant referees will be used again. Therefore: how will they appoint them? A single country team? Or let us say eight pairs of additional assistant referees from different countries as the main referee? Will there be 4th Officials from Poland or Ukraine?
In addition to this, there are some "battles" or "duels" between referees coming from the same country. As he will choose the referees in December, it means that all the referees are on the current Elite list.
Therefore, I will go through the whole Elite list and finally, I will come to a result which consists of two different lists...

1. England
Martin Atkinson has shown a very good last season when he was appointed several times for important Europa League matches (e.g. the 1/2 2nd leg between Braga and Benfica) or when he oversaw the sparkling CL quarterfinal between Internazionale and Schalke 04 (2-5). It is obvious that he got more and better matches than the World Referee of 2010, Howard Webb. Furthermore, Atkinson was always assisted by Mullarkey and Kirkup, this may be another indication for the fact that Atkinson may have overtaken Webb in UEFA competitions, although I simply cannot imagine that Webb has to stay home after all his finals and good matches. 

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Darren Cann, Stephen Child, Peter Kirkup, Michael Mullarkey.

2. Spain
One of those difficult duels is apparent in Spain where one always had the agony of choice. In Euro 2008, Cantalejo was "defeated" by Mejuto Gonzalez. Nowadays, the two names are Alberto Undiano Mallenco and Carlos Velasco Carballo (r.). I cannot remember that there was any referee in history who had his first season in Champions-League, immediately got five matches including a semifinal and the EL final.
Whereas Undiano's liked by FIFA. Although he had a poor World Cup, he again got matches like Chelsea vs Manchester United where he made an important mistake. 
When following my feeling, I think that Velasco Carballo is at the moment the clear no.1 of Spain in UEFA Primera Division, there are other ones. Another clue can be that Undiano's AR1 Martinez will retire from international refereeing in 2012 (born in 1966)

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Roberto Alonso Fernández, Jesús Calvo Guadamuro, Roberto Diaz Perez-del Palomar, Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez.

3. France
Well, yesterday I talked with Carlos about this topic and we also talked about the opportunity that there is no French referee, as it was the case in 2008 where Lannoy was only 4th Official. Taking the current perfomances into consideration shown by Stéphane Lannoy and Laurent Duhamel, we will not see a French for sure.

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Eric Dansault, Laurent Ugo, Mikhael Annonier.

4. Germany
The country with the highest number of Elite referees although we can easily say that Florian Meyer will not join the competition. Another of these close duels will be between Wolfgang Stark and Felix Brych (r.). Both showed strong perfomances in last season's CL where Stark had "the honour" of refereeing "El clásico". He showed courage to make the correct decisions and was not influenced by Mourinho, the players and the whole atmosphere. No perfect perfomance, but who does expect that in this match? 
Brych is a high-flyer as he quickly moved up to the peak of European referees. He was elected by the community as 4th best referee of the last season. He showed that he is capable to convince even in big matches and with his 36 years (today it is his birthday), the future is widely opened for the Bavarian. I do not want to say that it will certainly be Stark or Brych, see the lists below.

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Mark Borsch, Mike Pickel, Jan-Hendrik Salver, Thorsten Schiffner.

5. Hungary
Viktor Kassai will make it without any words to say about him except World Cup semifinal and Champions-League final in Wembley..

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Gabor Eros, Gyorgy Ring, Tibor Vamos

6. Italy
The clear no.1 in Italy is of course Nicola Rizzoli (r.) and we can certainly focus on him as Gianluca Rocchi will have no chance at all. Pierluigi Collina comes from the same referee academy like Rizzoli (in Bologna), consequently he will be in Poland/Ukraine for 100%.
He showed an outstanding perfomance in the first leg of Arsenal vs Barca in CL 1/8 finals. 
Moreover, he has been elected by you to the 3rd best referee of the past season.

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Elenito Di Liberatore, Renato Faverani, Luca Maggiani, Andrea Stefani

7. Netherlands
Björn Kuipers should be the clear favourite as Kevin Blom did not manage to convince me in his first Elite season. Kuipers oversaw the U21 Euro final between Germany and England in 2009 and the fact that he was invited by FIFA to last year's Club World Cup shows that he must be on FIFA's prospective list which means that UEFA cannot presume to tell him he must stay at home.

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Berry Simons, Sander van Roekel

8. Norway
Well, there is only one Elite member with the young Svein Moen who got the final appointment at the latest u17 World Cup in Mexico in front of 99.000 visitors in Estádio Azteca. He showed good perfomances in CL last year and he may be a certain contender for Euro 2012.

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Frank Andas, Kim Thomas Haglund, Geir Age Holen

9. Portugal
What I have said about Spain and Germany counts for Portugal as well. I cannot say without any doubt who will make it: Olegário Benquerenca or Pedro Proenca? Both showed good perfomances last season although Proenca got the better matches. This is often a clue for UEFA's opinion but can UEFA leave a 1/4 referee of the last World Cup at home?

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012: José Cardinal, Bertino Miranda, Joao Santos, Ricardo Santos, Tiago Trigo.

10. Russia
A difficult case can be observed in Russia. I had a small arguement with Carlos about Aleksei Nikolaev yesterday. In Mexico, he got four matches including a semifinal but our marks pointed out that he was the 3rd worst referee of this u17 competition (average mark 6,8).
His first season as Elite referee was not good but not bad. His CL group stage matches were pretty easy and he showed good or decent perfomances. Then, he got his first chance to confirm what UEFA saw so far in a K.O. Round match: Valencia vs Schalke. Unfortunately, he was a total failure as he did not get even basics right, missed obvious card, gave unnecessary ones and finally forgot that a German player had already been booked so that his AR2 Averyanov hat to told him that...his last match was in EL quarterfinals the encounter between Villarreal and Twente where no real improvement could be observed.
Consequently, we have to question that UEFA can put a referee on the Euro 2012 list who struggled in matches when he was under pressure. In my opinion, it is impossible but you never know..

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Anton Averyanov, Thikon Kalugin

11. Scotland
The Scot Craig Alexander Thomson should be taken into consideration as well. I can imagine that UEFA wants to have some experienced referees and some young referees. Thomson would count to the first group.
He had good perfomances last year and consequently, he might be a real option.

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012: 
Graham Chambers, Martin Cryans, George Drummond

12. Slovenia
Damir Skomina (r.) joined Euro 2008 as 4th Official when he sent two coaches off (the Austrian and German trainers). He showed pretty good perfomances in the last two seasons, although his first quarterfinal in CL between Schalke and Internazionale was not good. However, I think that Skomina should be in Poland/Ukraine for sure as well.

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Primoz Arhar, Marko Stancin

13. Sweden
After names like Frisk or Frojdfeldt, the Swedish refereeing is slightly depraved. Jonas Eriksson, the only Swedish referee on Elite list, showed good perfomances overall and got one 1/8 final, too.
However, I wonder whether it is enough for a Euro..the fact that Strombergsson owns the future of Swedish refereeing emphasizes that. I do not think he has a chance..

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Henrik Andren, Mathias Klasenius, Stefan Wittberg

14. Turkey
Cuneyt Cakir (r.) showed impressing perfomances last season, e.g. in ManCity vs Dynamo Kyiv or in his CL group stage match between Bremen and Internazionale. His style has future and the first two matches we saw at FIFA U20 World Cup which is held in Colombia at the moment were very very convincing, too. I hope he is on the list, but the fact that he is only on Elite list for two months might be a reason for UEFA not to take him, but Erzik should be able to abolish such doubts..

Possible Assistant Referees for Euro 2012:
Bahattin Duran, Tarik Ongun.

I have made two lists:
- one for the opportunity that we see two referees of the same country and ..
- one for the opportunity that we only see one referee per country which is probably more probable..

List 1 (if two referees from one country are allowed; according to shown perfomances)

List 2 (if two referees from one country are not allowed; according to politics..)

Furthermore, I have chosen a pool of 4th Officials:
Normally, there are six 4th Officials, the following pool contains nine names (in case if list 1-conditions are right or in case if list 2-conditions are right..):
Tony Chapron (FRA), William Collum (SCO), Serge Gumienny (BEL), Alan Kelly (IRL), Pavel Kralovec (CZE), Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS, in case of list 1), Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT), Markus Strombergsson (SWE), Stephan Studer (SUI).

What do you think?


  1. In its list according to the policy, I would take and put Nikolaev, Thonsom

    Also put on my list, in place of Benquerença Proença, and instead of Undianno Carballo, but I think that had to be made ​​that UEFA will call.

  2. My opinion:
    Viktor Kassai, Nicola Rizzoli, Damir Skomina, Howard Webb, Pedro Proenca, Björn Kuipers, Wolfgang Stark, Stephane Lannoy, Cüneyt Cakir, Aleksei Nikolaev, Alberto Undiano, Craig Thomson

    My wishes:
    I would put Brych from Germany, but I'm 100% sure Stark will be the German at EURO. I think Undiano will be the ref from Spain no matter how good Carballo is. I think Schörgenhofer will become elite but I'm not sure if 6 months as elite are enough for EURO even I'd like to see him there.

    Fourth officials: I would like to see Strahonja there, and also Gräfe :)

  3. Hmm it is difficult with Undiano as UEFA cannot ignore his decent - weak perfomances last season.
    I am not sure whether Gräfe will be there as I think the 4ths should come from other countries than the officials.
    What do you think about the opportunity of putting e.g. Borski and Shvetsov as 4ths?
    I think that there is no room for promotions. When the list is published in December, there will be no room for them as the updated list for spring 2012 will be published as last years in January or February..

  4. I work under the assumption that we will see one referee per country. I think the very interesting question will be what happens to the "second" referee. If Webb goes, does that mean Atkinson and Dean would be his additional assistants? Or would Clattenburg and Atwell go? The selection of quintets makes things very interesting. You could theoretically see teams where TWO referees are capable of taking the whistle!

    Anyway, I put a list together a few weeks ago. This is what I think. Assume 12 referees and 8 fourth officials:

    1. WEBB (ENG)
    3. LANNOY (FRA)
    4. STARK (GER)
    5. KASSAI (HUN)
    6. RIZZOLI (ITA)
    7. KUIPERS (NED)
    8. MOEN (NOR)
    9. PROENCA (POR)
    10. THOMSON (SCO)
    11. SKOMINA (SVN)
    12. CAKIR (TUR)

    6. STUDER (SUI)
    7. KELLY (IRL)

    I think Nikolaev and Eriksson are the closest to being selected. Perhaps, if Eriksson doesn't get tapped for the top 12, it will be Strombergsson as the 4th.

    I waver on the 8th fourth official because I think UEFA might want a Polish or Ukrainian official present.

    The biggest debate for me is Stark v. Brych. I think Velasco Carballo and Proenca have "won" their intra-national battles... unless they make a BIG mistake this year. And, like you, I don't think Webb can be left home if he wants to go. But the German situation is so, so close. I personally prefer Brych, but I think Stark will win out at the moment.

  5. Good list, although I do not think that they will put Malek or Rasmussen.
    But you are right, following the perfomance principle Proenca, Velasco and Brych should be there.
    UEFA showed several times that this criterion has priority, although I cannot imagine that they will leave 3 WC-K.O.-referees at home.

  6. Eric van Marwijk20/12/11 14:55

    I think:

    1. Martin Atkinson
    2. Nicola Rizzoli
    3. Pedro Proenca
    4. Wolfgang Stark
    5. Bjorn Kuipers
    6. Damir Skomina
    7. Viktor Kassai
    8. Jonas Eriksson
    9. Craig Thomson
    10.Alberto Undiano Mallenco
    11.Svein Oddvar Moen
    12.Cuneyt Cakir

    A mix with some young new referees for the future and some more experienced ones. Personally i think Howard Webb will stay at home, because the good performances of Atkinson and his own Bad show in the WC final. Atkinson gets the best games last seizoens in Europe and did well.

  7. Well, UEFA made the list:

    The UEFA EURO 2012 main referees are:
    Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
    Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
    Viktor Kassai (HUN)
    Bjorn Kuipers (NED)
    Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
    Pedro Proença (POR)
    Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
    Damir Skomina (SVN)
    Wolfgang Stark (GER)
    Craig Thomson (SCO)
    Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
    Howard Webb (ENG)

    In addition, four fourth officials who will only act in this specific function have been appointed. The quartet are:
    Marcin Borski (POL)
    Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
    Pavel Královec (CZE)
    Viktor Shvetsov (UKR)

  8. Thanks for your predictions, they were not so bad at all.
    Forget my predictions in this thread, they are too old..and too bad, the newer ones were better.


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