May 9, 2012

Stark: "The most important thing is teamwork"

Spanish eyes will be focused on Bucharest on Wednesday night but they will not be alone. When the UEFA Europa League final between Club Atlético de Madrid and Athletic Club kicks off, the 10,000 or so residents of a small Bavarian town will also be glued to their television sets.

After all, Ergolding is the home of Wolfgang Stark, the German referee charged with officiating the final at the National Arena Bucharest. "I think all the people in my small town will watch the game on TV," Stark told as he looked forward to the "first international final" of his career.
Stark was speaking after a training session with his team of assistants on the National Arena pitch on the eve of the all-Spanish showpiece. "The most important thing is teamwork," he stressed as he reflected with pride on his assignment. I am very proud to be here together with my team and to have been appointed for this important final.

fr. l: Mike Pickel, Wolfgang Stark, Jan-Hendrik Salver (c) ZIMBIO

They flew into the Romanian capital on Monday and their preparations will not differ too greatly from for a normal Bundesliga match although, as Stark explained, "it's a final and so the preparation is a little bit extra because the whole of Europe is watching". This includes studying videos of the two teams and he made a point of watching their semi-final matches.
For Stark, a Bundesliga referee since the mid-90s, this final follows his first German Cup final last season between FC Schalke 04 and MSV Duisburg. Will that previous experience help him? "Maybe it can help because there's always a special atmosphere in a final. But I think a Europa League final is a little different – it's international."
One of the referees selected for UEFA EURO 2012, he has an impressive CV already, which includes three matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2008 Olympic football tournament. Since 2001 he has overseen 51 UEFA Champions League games and 18 in the UEFA Europa League, including two in the knockout stages of this season's competition.
Stark, whose day job is in banking, was inspired to become a referee by his father, Rudolf. "He was also a referee in the second division, and an assistant in the first league in Germany." He remains an important sounding board. "He's one of the people who give me advice."
Something else that does not change is that feeling in his stomach in the minutes leading up to a game. "It's not nervous, it's a small feeling inside, and I think each referee has this feeling before kick-off." It will happen again on Wednesday before he leads the teams out on one of the special nights of his career – as his family and friends watch with pride back in Bavaria.


  1. What about the kit that Stark is wearing?

  2. At this link we can find the new Champions League Kit for next season. Is possible that in munich's final can be used.

    This are the details of agreement between Uefa and Adidas

  3. Stark with new shirt

  4. Eduardo Iturralde did not miss the Europa League final! :D

    1. Veeeery important ;)

      Stark was quite good I think, let us wait for the reports, I would perhaps even use the term very good, the cards were spot on (the first in fact could have been red), good approach, no penalties correct..

    2. I pretty much agree with that. The only minus (not for the referee) is the many missed replays (especially in an occasion when several Bilbao players waived for a penalty. But everything seemed quite normal. The Assistants had some small problems and if we must find a mistake in the whole performance is the first card which I agree with you is red. Excellent AAR's.

    3. Itturalde Gonzalez has retired from refereeing. He announced it about 1 1/2 month ago.

  5. Doing a first anaylisis, I think that in a match without story, the only possible mistake was the first card. I agree with Niclas, and with all commentators: it was a red card because the player committed the foul with both legs. I think that Stark was not able to see it well.
    No many other things to say, Atletico Madrid won easily the match and there were not so controversial calls.
    A normal final for Stark, maybe not so fascinating as we were expecting.

  6. Stark had his normal natural authority, he seemed to have kind of respect or humbleness. I watched the whole match again, I still cannot understand one call by Salver (foul by Falcao or foul by the defender), I still cannot say whether the ARs were good or not, there was only one replay (!), that was Pickel's offside flag which was correct in 2nd half. A wrong free kick awarded to Falcao at the left corner flag, the rest was actually excellent. Have we to say more than "the players of both teams applauded when Stark and his team went up for the medals"?
    The first yellow was of course at the borderline, but guys, imagine you were him. A red card so early in a final? I think it would have destroyed much, the perfect decision would have been in my opinion issueing a Yellow Card and making Ander Herrera clear: once again and you are off. So the communication could have been more intense. However, what do we want, it was the best EL final so far (since 2010..) with regard to the teams, a very high pace for my taste, good technical skills and finally, the match was definitely more closer than the result. I am very happy with his performance and I think UEFA and the full team itself think so as well.

  7. By the way, I also watched the situation in 24' again and it was no penalty at all, correct call, unfortunately, there was no replay. Thanks to HD, one could detect that however :D

    1. I don't disagree with that Niklas. But it is very disappointing that at such a final they couldn't find a replay to throw our doubt away.

    2. Right, I said it twice (I think it was the Osses match at Club WC and Brych acting in Zenit-APOEL), UEFA and FIFA do not offer that many replays, I am not sure whether that is their intention. Probably it is.

    3. And to think that the TV director at the final was not Romanian but English. So probably it is UEFA's intention.

  8. What a penalty mistake in GER-FRA :O

    1. What do you mean?
      Referee mistake or player mistake?
      Reading on, I'm going to think that you mean the player mistake
      I'm watching Herta - Fortuna, play off for the Bundesliga.
      It seems a good MARCO FRITZ there

    2. A weird penalty in the way it was given..
      The French striker touched the German's foot, for this reason, he did not touch the ball when he wanted to make a clearance but solely hit the French striker. So actually a wrong penalty, but I agree that Avram gave it, he probably could not see the preceding foul by the French.
      Furthermore, Krizaric with 3 really have mistakes, Gavin good, Avram missed a handball penalty to France in the late 1st half.

    3. Concerning Fritz, he was really too lenient I think..

  9. No to mamy kolejnego arbitra znanego którego ojciec był sędzią są to Grek-Vassaras, Belg-DeBleckhere, Hiszpan-Medina-Cantalejo(jego dziadek równinierz sędziował) no a teraz Niemic-Stark

  10. I have received an information from my UEFA source concerning the question you discussed (who replaces the main referee if he is injured:

    the highest ranked referee in the team replaces him (does not matter if he is 4th or AAR)!

    1. Yes right, Niclas.
      Yun Hyeon already answered in the other post, reporting an interview with Borski.
      Thank you.

      So we can do an example: if Borski will be the fourth official in a Skomina match, he will be able to replace referee on the pitch because he is more experienced than Matej Jug and Slavko Vinčič.

    2. But on the other hand, if Kassai is injured and Shvetsov is the 4th, Vad will be the referee.

    3. So what if, for example, Webb gets injured and Thomson is the 4th? In some ways Atkinson is more experienced and it makes sense to put the Englishman in the middle. But Thomson is at the tournament as a referee and Atkinson is not. So who goes into the middle?

      The standard of "more experienced" seems confusing.

    4. You are totally right, USARef, and this was also my concern.
      Just for example and to reason about that, we can try to compare Thomson and Atkinson palmares: who is better?
      I think Thomson, even though they seem almost similar as experience. Thomson has more years as FIFA referee.
      Anyway, to solve this problem, they should always replace the referee with the fourth, if the fourth it's one of the twelve called up for the tournament! Otherwise, it will be a nonsense.

      However, we are talking (maybe too much) about a thing that rarely happens. We will have 31 matches to watch, but it's difficult to see a referee injured.

    5. It is not about being "more experienced". The official or more likely internal UEFA classification of the referee counts. If there are two ELITE referees, probably Thomson would replace Webb as he is a main referee at EURO, in contrast to Atkinson and Clattenburg. Probably, the referee committee would be called in such a case and they would make an advice or even a final decision.

      I thought 100 times about the question of who will be sent home after the group stage. Of course we have to wait for the performances, that's clear, nonetheless I think that Thomson and Lannoy are very sure candidates. I doubt about the K.O. chances of Velasco and Stark, I do not how to evaluate Kuipers', Eriksson's and Proenca's chances, but I am very sure that Cakir has great chances to get a quarterfinal - or even more. The 2 performances of each referee will make that clearer.

    6. Anonymous13/5/12 18:49

      And what about Webb,Skomina,Kassai and Rizzoli

      I think that Webb,Rizzoli and Kassai will get K.O. stages even maybe final one of them . But I dont know about Skomina - maybe if he referee well he will get a quarterfinal with Cakir or continues as 4th official??

    7. I would not be sure that Webb gets a KO bets are Kassai, Rizzoli and Cakir for the last three matches. One has to wait with Webb, Velasco and Stark what might be possible (due to their nations' quality).
      Everything will depend on the shown 2 matches, that is clear.

  11. On a different topic I found the CAF appointments for WC 2014 at Ratetheref

    Tunisia - Eq. Guinea: Mehdi Abid Charef (MAR)
    Gambia - Morocco: Neant Alioum (CMR)
    Cameroun - Congo: Daniel Bennett (RSA)
    Ghana - Lesotho: Badara Diatta (SEN)
    Cote D Ivore - Tanzania: Slim Jedidi (TUN)
    Egypt - Mozambigue: Silvester Kirwa (KEN)
    Kenya - Malawi: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)

    1. Cameroun - Congo
      Daniel Bennett, Enoch Molefe, Zakhele Siwela, Lwandile Mfiki

      Mali - Algeria
      Daniel Bennett, Sandile Dilikane, Lindikhaya Bolo, Victor Gomes

  12. Mohammed Abdul Fattah12/5/12 10:56

    World Cup 2012 Qualifiers:-

    03/06/2012 - Angola - Uganda : Gehad Grisha (EGY)
    09/06/2012 - Morocco - Côte d'Ivoire : Gehad Grisha (EGY)


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