September 17, 2012

Aydinus' quickstart

Turkish official Firat Aydinus has been nominated to be in charge of Wednesday's classic clash between FC Bayern München and Valencia CF. I doubt that someone in our community would have expected that before, personally I was pretty much stunned by this appointment for some reason.

The match
  • Bayern München and Valencia CF met each other seven times during UEFA club competitions' history. Their last meeting took place in 2000/2001, where Bayern defeated the Spanish side after penalty shoot-out in the UEFA Champions League final at Milano's Giuseppe Meazza.
  • Bayern München were the hosts and the defeated team in last season's UEFA Champions League final. They are ranked as the second best team in UEFA's club coefficient list covering the last five seasons and were furthermore fourth-placed in 2011/12.
  • Valencia CF joined last season's UEFA Europa League semifinal where they lost both legs against Atlético Madrid. With the aid of this remarkable progress, they reached the seventh place in the coefficient list in 2011/12. Taking the entire list into account, including all the seasons starting from 2008/09, Valencia are placed as number 10.
  • While Bayern München logically joined the first pot in this year's UEFA Champions League drawing, Valencia had a safe place in the second pot.
  • The match will be played in front of a crowd of more than 60.000 supporters at Munich's Allianz Arena.

The referee
  • Firat Aydinus, born on 25th October 1973, is classified as Elite Development Group referee by UEFA since last year. He made his international bow in 2006 and has on paper still six years of international refereeing.
  • Despite more than 150 matches in the Turkish SüperLig, he never managed a real break on international level. His palmarès reveals four UEFA Europa League matches (one of them in 2008/09, the rest in 2011/12), two FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, one UEFA EURO qualifying match, a couple of less important or at least less sonorous UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualifying matches and ... - that's it. 
  • His three UEFA Europa League matches in 2011/12 were: Club Brugge 2-0 Maribor, Malmö 1-4 Metalist Kharkiv, Legia 0-3 PSV Eindhoven. He issued sixteen yellows and three straight red cards, one in each match. In August 2012, he received his first match after a while when he was in charge of Dinamo Moskva - VfB Stuttgart in Europa League.
  • At the training camp for Elite (Development) referees and a few First Group officials in Antalya, Turkey, in 2012, he failed a decisive fitness test and therefore refereed no match in the second half of the season. He merely accompanied Turkey's number 1 Cüneyt Cakir in his semifinal between Barcelona and Chelsea in CL.
Some background info might be helpful as well.
  • Senes Erzik, the currently oldest member of any UEFA standing committee, is deputy chairman of UEFA's referee committee.
  • Jaap Uilenberg, member of UEFA's referee committee, is in charge of the Turkish officials' training. The same counts for Jörn West Larsen, a well-known Danish UEFA referee observer.
  • Along with Cakir, Aydinus was the first professional referee in the Turkish top division.

I am sorry, but I do not find a logical reason for this appointment. Since he is a member of UEFA Elite Development Group, this match certainly poses kind of test, underlined by the important observer Bo Karlsson of Sweden. Nevertheless, I actually thought this match required an internationally more experienced referee.

The decision to nominate this referee for such a match seems to be of political nature, either as kind of self-service by pulling strings, or to promote professional referees.

I do not target at blaming Aydinus before he will have his Champions League debut, I neither question his potential or already existing class as a referee. Let's wait and see how he will do.
However, the facts that a) there is no logical coherence between the background of this match and the referee appointed for it, that b) it is a surprise that a referee, who has not handled more than four group stage matches in both UEFA club competitions in his entire career, gets a match of this format and that c) it equates a blatant injustice to certain other referees make me irritated.


  1. Anonymous17/9/12 17:00

    Valencia lost against Atlethico Madrid last year in both legs 4-1 and 0-1

  2. Thanks (but it was 4-2 ;))

  3. OK, I can report on here or by small report template following matches:

    Chelsea Londyn – Juventus Turyn
    Borussia Dortmund – Ajax Amsterdam
    Real Madryt – Manchester City
    AC Milan – Anderlecht Bruksela
    Montpellier – Arsenal Londyn
    Manchester United – Galatasaray Stambuł
    Celtic Glasgow – Benfica Lizbona
    FC Barcelona – Spartak Moskwa
    Bayern Monachium – Valencia

  4. petschovschi17/9/12 20:26

    Bo Karlsson will be the observer of Aydinus.


    Adam Lyczmański taken off from international list after his last matches in Ekstraklasa where he made incredible and many mistakes! Paweł Raczkowski replaces him - 29yo, professional referee. Both Lyczmański and Robert Małek taken off from refereeing for one month and then will whistle in 1st division! Strict and quick decisions by Przesmycki who is active (IMO too active) in media.

    Dawid Piasecki will stop his international referee career in 2013. Daniel Stefański will replace him.
    Piasecki has problems with combinating refereeing and work (he's a city official) but also with his family and isn't in good contacts with Przesmycki who totally revolutionises our refereeing (initiation of full-time referees:
    main: Marcin Borski, Paweł Gil, Szymon Marciniak, Tomasz Musiał, Hubert Siejewicz, Daniel Stefański, Paweł Raczkowski
    assistants: Maciej Borkowski, Tomasz Listkiewicz, Krzysztof Myrmus, Rafał Rostkowski, Piotr Sadczuk, Konrad Sapela, Radosław Siejka, Paweł Sokolnicki, Maciej Szymanik, Maciej Wierzbowski
    what is certainly a reason for pushing Borski and Gil in CL as well as Aydinus). You can see here Piasecki isn't a full-time referee what can be the most important reason he's out from international refereeing.


    goal missed by the former FIFA referee Ceri Richards, now assistant referee in Premier League

    referee was Michael Jones, I think that in these situations additional assistant referees are the right solution, it wasn't an extremely difficult case to read

  7. Let's see how he will perform tonight. Give him a chance. But I agree in one point, at the age of 39 and with his debut at CL, he shouldn't be Elite development, he should be CAT 1.

    Ugur B.

  8. I didn't have a chance to watch the game of Aydinus'. Can someone tell about his performance.

    Ugur B.

  9. I will download the match today or tomorrow. Please be generally aware that the text above and the assessment of his performance are two different matters.

  10. I have just written a report about Aydinus and given him the mark 7,3. My upshot is:
    Altogether, it was expected level until 53', afterwards slightly below expected level. The not given penalty was a crucial mistake, although it did not influence the result. It was not an application for promotion, but it is possible, he gets a second chance this year, because he did not show big weaknesses.
    I am aware, there are other opinions about the not given penalty (e.g. Bayern coach Heynckes stated, that the given penalty in 90+3' was much clearer than this situation), but in my opinion, it was a clear penalty, because there was contact and this contact was the reason for Kroos to fall down. After this situation he made some doubtful decisions and smaller mistakes, in the first half it was expected level in an easy match.
    Because he did not show big weaknesses and because the UEFA observer might have another opinion about 53', he could get another chance this year.

    1. Sorry for writing things twice. The first part was a quote from my report, I don't know, why I repeated it in the end...

    2. I do not really think that the non given penalty was a mistake, Kroos more or less searched contact and the touch with the defender's leg resulted from Kroos. But debatable (NO)call!

    3. I watched the position many times, I believe that "no penalty" decision was remarkable. Kroos tries to get the contact. He lets himself down when Valencia defender's leg is on the ground. He takes the footstep in a wierd direction.


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