December 7, 2012

Predicting the unpredictable

Retrospecting this season's Champions League and Europa League group stages, there might be some predictions with regard to the pending update of UEFA's Referee Groups that is expected to be made a few days before Christmas.

Expecting to see him in Elite soon: Pavel Královec (c) ZIMBIO

Promotions and demotions naturally depend on various and different factors, such as performances, crucial mistakes, prospect (also hinging on age), but also the political background of the referees who are concerned etc.
I therefore tried to take everything into account I am able to, specially the quality and importance of the matches the officials were assigned to and the observers who had been appointed to assess them.

Promotions are highlighted with green, demotions with red colour.

Elite group
In my opinion, there is no need to downgrade any referee who is currently belonging to the highest group in UEFA's roster. The only three critical cases are Martin Atkinson (ENG), Olegário Benquerença (POR) and Florian Meyer (GER). However, there are many reasons that contradict a demotion. While Atkinson did not manage to show convincing performances in the recent past and created some crucial mistakes like in Spartak-Fenerbahce and Lille-Bayern, it is very unprobable that England as a country that is naturally benefited in refereeing will lose a slot in the Elite group; furthermore, there is no English referee who could replace him in the highest grade. Benquerença is known for pretty many controversies in the past and for his pedantic style. UEFA and FIFA both accepted this style and these controversies, so that this should not be a reason to demote him. However, he suffered from many injuries so that one can either state that a) he has no visible prospect of the future as an Elite official or b) that his career's standstill is not his fault at all which results in the circumstance that he should not be punished for that. And finally, Germany's Florian Meyer had many problems in the last years, created a few crucial mistakes in his little Champions League matches but was never demoted. So why this time? There is no reason. He showed good performances in both competitions and will retire at the end of 2013, so actually a demotion would make no sense; in addition, there is nobody to replace him from Germany, probably committee member Herbert Fandel will try everything to facilitate a fluent passage with regard to Meyer's foreseeable retirement and Aytekin's potential to reach the Elite Group at the end of next year.
As for promotions, I would see two officials at the front line. Pavel Královec, who was appointed by FIFA for already two FIFA organized competitions as part of his appearance of 2014 World Cup's pre list, received important clashes and observers this season. Furthermore, we know that his crucial decision, a penalty in Man.City-Dortmund, was allegedly evaluated as a correct decision. Therefore, a promotion is finally inevitable. Besides, Serbia's Milorad Mažić has shown partly impressive performances in big stadiums and important or rather sonorous matches. The observers he got in the past (season) say everything: Hugh Dallas, Bo Karlsson, Jozef Marko, Kyros Vassaras, Mike Riley (committee members of UEFA and FIFA (Riley)), Johannes Reijgwaart, Rune Pedersen, Bertrand Layec etc. This series must mean a promotion. This Serbian official is certainly one of the hugest ascenders during the last two seasons, also with respect of his high level of authority and mental strength. 

My Elite group prediction therefore is (shaky candidates are indicated with a *):
Martin Atkinson (ENG)*, Olegário Benquerença (POR)*, Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Çakir (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Královec (CZE), Björn Kuipers (NED), Stéphane Lannoy (FRA), Milorad Mažić (SRB), Florian Meyer (GER)*, Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR), Pedro Proença (POR), Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Damir Skomina (SVN), Wolfgang Stark (GER), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA), Craig Thomson (SCO), Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP), Howard Webb (ENG)

Elite Development Group
As UEFA has deployed more referees from this 2nd highest group than ever before: 12 of the 14 ED referees received 29% of the Champions League group stage matches, many of them even got the maximum of three group stage encounters. For this reason, there might be some really profound predictions with regards to this category. 
I expect an immense, radical change here. Some of the officials have really commended themselves for higher tasks and a future in the Elite group, examples for that are Firat Aydinus (TUR), Daniele Orsato (ITA) or Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD). 
As already outlined, I predict two current ED officials to move up to ELITE, but an amount of six officials who could potentially be demoted. Marcin Borski (POL) had three matches where a mark in the area of 7.0-7.4 was probable, caused by an extreme lack of control and having produced crucial mistakes in all of these three matches (Anderlecht-AEL Limasol; Lille-BATE; Académica-Plzen). The fact that he was observed by two committee members (Vassaras in Anderlecht and Batta in Académica) shows UEFA's missing trust in this official. At the same time, Pawel Gil (POL) has shown good performances under the eyes of Jozef Marko and Hugh Dallas, which certainly indicates a change: Borski to First Group, Gil to ED. Moreover, France's Tony Chapron is already 40 years old, which means he should be now either promoted to ELITE or downgraded to First Group. In Spartak-Celtic, the red card he issued was correct but following a strange procedure and lack of teamwork, however, he missed a clear penalty there. Then, he was appointed for AC Milan-Zenit with committee member David Elleray of England as observer. And again, he missed a pretty obvious penalty and did not show a good performance apart from that either. Therefore, he should be demoted, while his countryman Antony Gautier will probably be promoted to ED. He was observed by Herbert Fandel's mate Eugen Strigel and committee member Bo Karlsson in his both Champions League matches and showed good performances. For performance reasons, David Fernández Borbalán (ESP), Bas Nijhuis (NED) and Peter Rasmussen (DEN) could be dropped. Manuel Gräfe (GER) is not that young either, was observed by Jaap Uilenberg, also member of UEFA's committee, which was not followed by a promotion. Then, he failed a fitness test at the start of 2012 and has now recovered from a serious injury. Aytekin, who was severely pushed in the last months, could be considered as UEFA's candidate who is supposed to replace him in ED, who actually needs time, also taking into account his Bundesliga performances, but whose promotion is pretty probable. Some other officials could be promoted from First group to ED. Croatia's Ivan Bebek was surprisingly appointed for two Champions League matches, where he showed good performances in front of two very important observers, Kyros Vassaras and Bertrand Layec. The condition for a promotion is that two referees from the same country are allowed (Marijo Strahonja should be safe in ED). Two Croatians in ED are possible and would correspond to their achievements. Spain's Anton Mateu Lahoz has proven to be a completely "Unspanish" referee. He normally allows hard tackles and tries to let the game flow in every possible situation, at least on international level, which sometimes leads to some missed fouls. His Champions League debut last week revealed smaller points for improvement, but a high degree of interaction with players and natural authority. I think UEFA should try it with him. His observers in the past four matches, László Vagner, Edgar Steinborn, Rodger Gifford and Iouri Baskakov, member of the committee, unveil the certainly high esteem UEFA has got. He would be able to fill the hole arousing from a potential demotion of Fernández Borbalán in ED. Last but not least, there are three extreme talents we should closely follow. Russia's Sergei Karasev, widely known as the "Russian Collina", received many committee members as observers in the past and showed very good performances and correct crucial decisions in his important matches. A promotion should be sure, also as Russia's refereeing head Roberto Rosetti could pull strings. Apart from him, there is also Romanian official Ovidiu Alin Hategan, who showed himself to be a very complete referee who is able to take brave decisions even in very crucial moments. Having Johannes Reijgwaart, Hugh Dallas and Rune Pedersen as observers strenghten that. And finally, Slovenia's Matej Jug has consistently improved when I followed his performances. After a good U21 Play-Off performance (Switzerland-Germany) under Uilenberg's observation, he got László Vagner and Karen Nalbandyan as observers. Nalbandyan is certainly not the most relevant observer for a potential promotion and I must say that I am torn whether Jug is already ready for this step. But even if I am wrong here, I am sure he will be in ED very soon. It is still a question whether István Vad may stay in ED after his mistake at EURO, which should actually not count for his referee career. I think UEFA cannot relegate him, at least they should not.

My Elite Development group prediction therefore is:
Firat Aydinus (TUR), Deniz Aytekin (GER), Ivan Bebek (CRO), Antony Gautier (FRA), Pawel Gil (POL), Tom Harald Hagen (NOR), Ovidiu Alin Hategan (ROU), Matej Jug (SVN), Sergei Karasev (RUS), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Daniele Orsato (ITA), Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD), Marijo Strahonja (CRO), István Vad (HUN)

First Group
In this group, it goes much quicker, as most of the new referees in First group - according to my prediction - result from demotions of ED. So let's consider those officials who could be promoted from Second group into First group first.
Serhiy Boiko is one of the hopes of Ukraine's refereeing. As far as we know, Pierluigi Collina himself closely follows their officiating and makes advices. So he should actually know this official by hard and it certainly should have a reason that this official got two Europa League matches this season with two important observers. Francesco Bianchi and Horst Brummeier observed them, both seem to be, against the background of their previous matches as assessers, of high relevance. This week, Boiko awarded a penalty in the final stage of the match Marítimo-Brugge, which was right. Of course, we are definitely unable to follow every performance in the same manner, but the signs for a promotion of this referee are actually available. Israel's Liran Liany is obviously being followed by UEFA's decision makers as well. Apart from David Elleray, he was observed by important observers normally focused on developing officials: Juan Antonio Fernández Marin (who could be even regarded in a higher position them someone like Baskakov, who is in the committee), Jean Lemmer and the above mentioned Horst Brummeier. To be honest, I have only seen this referee twice, Hannover-Levante was among these matches. His performance was not totally weak, but far away from Europa League level. And still I cannot imagine that he will remain in this Second group. Therefore, I predict his promotion. Additionally, there are two officials who have been strongly pushed due to their modern refereeing style and origin, as they come from bigger referee nations. I expect Michael Oliver's (ENG), Clément Turpin's (FRA) and Felix Zwayer's (GER) promotion to FIRST. Besides, Robert Madden of Scotland has shown three very consistent performances in Europa League. Three matches for a 2nd Group official is a clear sign. Danny Makkelie (NED) showed a very good U-19 tournament this year, resulting in the deserved final appointment. After that, he showed many strengths and got observers like - again - Horst Brummeier (AUT) and László Vagner (HUN) (you should recognize a system in the observer appointments now..). In addition, I consider him as the most probable candidate from the Netherlands to follow into Kuipers' footsteps - and even to achieve more. Last but not least, Poland's Szymon Marciniak. Marc Batta in his U-21 Play-Off, David Elleray and Herbert Fandel in Europa League. These observers highlight the big interest UEFA has in this official. The performances I saw from him were promising, as Robert Malek will very probably quit FIRST, it is more than possible that Marciniak moves up.
I am moreover quite sure that Hüseyin Göçek has the potential to procede as well, but I have the feeling the time has not come yet, although remarkable assessors like Herbert Fandel, Bo Karlsson or Vítor Melo Pereira already observed him.
It is always difficult to refer to demotions, as they can have different reasons or impacts. However, a few ones are sure. Cyril Zimmermann (SUI) has announced his retirement from refereeing, the same counts for Bruno Miguel Paixao (POR). In compliance with his prospect and performances, Poland's Robert Malek should be relegated as well. Said Ennjimi (FRA), Daniel Stalhammar (SWE), Bülent Yildirim (TUR) and Simon Evans (WAL) had many problems in their matches, a real prospect is not visible. Stalhammar had even to fight with a couple of injuries.
Of course, there are many officials whom I still see in SECOND, but who have real potential and could emerge to future FIRST referees (or, if I am wrong, what I probably am, who already get a promotion now). Amongst them: Emir Aleckovic (BIH), Sebastian Delferiere (BEL), Kenn Hansen (DEN), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Antti Munukka (FIN), Halis Özkahya (TUR), Ilias Spathas (GRE), Martin Strömbergsson (SWE), Miroslav Zelinka (CZE) and the very good Estonian official Kristo Tohver, who could overtake his countryman Kaasik very soon. All these officials are very young and have a lot of time.
It's not clear whether guys like Mark Courtney (NIR) or Euan Norris (SCO) will stay in FIRST, as they presumedly had to cope with injuries or physical inconsistencies.

My First Group prediction therefore is:
Tony Asumaa (FIN), Pavel Cristian Balaj (ROU), Luca Banti (ITA), Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS), Kevin Blom (NED), Serhiy Boiko (UKR), Marcin Borski (POL), Tony Chapron (FRA), Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP), Mark Courtney (NIR), Antonio Damato (ITA), Mike Dean (ENG), Manuel de Sousa (POR), Laurent Duhamel (FRA), Fredy Fautrel (FRA), David Fernández Borbalán (ESP), Hüseyin Göçek (TUR), Duarte Gomes (POR), Manuel Gräfe (GER), Serge Gumienny (BEL), Martin Hansson (SWE), Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL), Stefan Johannesson (SWE), Hannes Kaasik (EST), Anastassios Kakos (GRE), Alan Kelly (IRL), Sascha Kever (SUI), Michael Koukoulakis (GRE), Libor Kovarik (CZE), Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR), Maksim Layushkin (RUS), Liran Liany (ISR), Robert Madden (SCO), Danny Makkelie (NED), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Andre Marriner (ENG), Menashe Masiah (ISR), Gediminas Mazeika (LTU), Bas Nijhuis (NED), Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS), Euan Norris (SCO), Michael Oliver (ENG), Lee Probert (ENG), Peter Rasmussen (DEN), Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT), Stephan Studer (SUI), Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (ESP), Stanislav Todorov (BUL), Leontios Trattou (CYP), Alexandru Tudor (ROU), Clément Turpin (FRA), Pol van Boekel (NED), Alon Yefet (ISR), Felix Zwayer (GER)

My Second Group predictions therefore is:
Emir Aleckovic (BIH), Sandor Andó-Szabó (HUN), Ievgenii Aranovski (UKR), Ionut Marius Avram (ROU), Mauro Bergonzi (ITA), Alan Black (NIR), Tamás Bognar (HUN), Marco Borg (MLT), Ruddy Buquet (FRA), Lars Christoffersen (DEN), Andrea de Marco (ITA), Sébastien Delferiere (BEL), Neil Doyle (IRL), Oliver Drachta (AUT), Jérome Efong Nzolo (BEL), René Eisner (AUT), Said Ennjimi (FRA), Aleksei Eskov (RUS), Simon Evans (WAL), Mihaly Fabian (HUN), Marco Fritz (GER), Mattias Gestranius (FIN), Vlado Glodjovic (SRB), Eli Hacmon (ISR), Kenn Hansen (DEN), Lorenc Jemini (ALB), Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR), Bosko Jovanetic (SRB), Jakob Kehlet (DEN), Thorsten Kinhöfer (GER), Aleksandar Kostadinov (BUL), István Kovacs (ROU), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Artyom Kuchin (KAZ), Harald Lechner (AUT), Michael Lerjeus (SWE), Richard Liesveld (NED), Robert Malek (POL), Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA), Steven McLean (SCO), Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD), César Muniz Fernández (ESP), Antti Munukka (FIN), Halis Özkahya (TUR), Marios Panayi (CYP), Radek Prihoda (CZE), Pavle Radovanovic (MNE), Anar Salmanov (AZE), Viktor Shvetsov (UKR), Anastassios Sidiripoulos (GRE), Hubert Siejewicz (POL), Artur Soares Dias (POR), Ilias Spathas (GRE), Daniel Stalhammar (SWE), Martin Strömbergsson (SWE), Kristo Tohver (EST), Richard Trutz (SVK), Jan Valasek (SVK), Paolo Valeri (ITA), Slavko Vincic (SVN), Ante Vucemilovic-simunovic jr (CRO), Michael Weiner (GER), Mark Whitby (WAL), Carlos Taborda Xistra (POR), Bülent Yildirim (TUR), Nikolay Yordanov (BUL), Miroslav Zelinka (CZE) + newcomers in 2013 and promotions from Third Group and the whole Third Group I am unable to predict.

And now, have your say!


  1. Anonymous7/12/12 19:59

    ok, but you will be not right with Meyer und Gräfe. Gräfe has been one of the best german referees for many years. He showed very good performances in CL in the last season too. He will replace Florian Meyer in Elite at the end of 2013.

    1. Anonymous9/12/12 11:41

      OK Manuel Gräfe is the better german referee after Brych.
      Aytekin is one middling referee. But UEFA is one true disaster
      Benquerença, Meyer, Stark and Tagliavento must out Elite.
      It´s my sincere opinion.

  2. Anonymous7/12/12 21:22

    Great analysis. As Slovene I'd only issue an opinion that Jug will not get a promotion to ED. I think that in this case he would have got an appointment in CL like a few other perspective referees which he didn't. Furthermore he only refereed two (not irrelevant, but also not top) clashes in EL group stage, with no specific reason (at least not to my knowledge) why there weren't three matches for him as expected.

  3. Anonymous7/12/12 22:16

    Good analysis. Stanislav Shukhina already retired in the summer, Espen Berntsen, Tommy Skjerven and Artyom Kuchin will retire due to age. And Michael Weiner announced retirement from international stage.

    1. Anonymous7/12/12 22:32


    2. Anonymous8/12/12 10:49

      No Kuchin, sorry. I would like to write Saliy :)

    3. Pavel Saliy is almost an unknown referee, 11 matches in 10 years of FIFA badge ;)
      But you are right, he is going to retire

  4. What is obvious to me:

    - Kralovec, Mazic
    - Aytekin, Bebek, Gautier, Gil, Hategan, Jug, Karasev, Mateu Lahoz

    I would demote Tagliavento at first and put Orsato instead of him. Thomson is too good in personality to demote him. The same Florian Meyer. And I will never write anyone off due to injury. But I think it's probable Lannoy finish his career soon...

    Kralovec and Mazic must advance, they are obvious Elite referees reagrding their skills (especially Mazic).

    I mostly agree with you regarding ED. Borski, Chapron, Fernandez Borbalan and Nijhuis must be out. I would still put Rasmussen in ED. And you know my statement about Grafe.

    1-2 Cat:
    Marciniak is the biggest talent in lower categories, UEFA push him in extremely obbious manner. Madden, Makkelie, Turpin and Zwayer should be sure. I think Liany and Boyko will stay as 2nd Cat refs. Kristo Tohver should advance now, I like this guy and see a huge talent in him, but his only problem is he's Estonian... Maybe it's finally the time to push Koukoulakis? Very good ref to my mind. Szabo, Hacmon, Kuchin, Liesveld, Radovanović and Glodjović seems to be talents too.

    1. Anonymous8/12/12 13:05

      I'm not sure that Lannoy will finish his career soon. As Chapron will surely be demoted, he's still the most probable french referee for 2014 WC. He's appointed for Saint-Etienne - Lorient, on December 16th. It will be his first Ligue 1 match of the season, and I think this means he has managed to get rid of his injury. And maybe we'll see him in EL or CL in 2013...

    2. Wow, it's nice to see his come back!

    3. I agree with anonymous. It will be unlikely to see Lannoy out of everything. He is on 2014 pre list, can't imagine a replacement with Gautier or Chapron.. he will be back in Europa League round of 32, in a easy match and tehn probably committe will evaluate if an appointment for Champions League knock out matches could be given.

  5. I agree with your analysis, Niclas.
    No demotions from Elite category, also because they have a too low number of referees, as we have already said. I think that they will keep all the names, here.
    Mazic and Kralovec (I agree also here) are going to be promoted.
    About Elite development I expect: Borski, Chapron, Fernandez Borbalan and Graefe demoted, then there are other difficult situations to understand: Vad, what about his future? Rasmussen will be demoted just for one poor performance? I don't think. Nijhuis shoed even worse performance than the Danish. Hagen should remain here.
    The situaton about First Group is more detailed and I will answer later or in the next days.

  6. I try to answer to everybody now.

    First, I totally agree with your comment on Gräfe. He is one of the best officials we had here during the last years. He handled nearly every top clash like the Dortmund-Schalke derbies or many others without any problems, with a great charisma. Players by the way like him, contrary to Aytekin. So why not replacing Meyer by Gräfe next year, but then Gräfe will be 40 years old and 5 years in ELITE actually do not make sense. It's quite clear he will not reach a huge tournament.
    Jug was also my most shaky bet for ED. As I mentioned, I also expect that he probably stays in First, but he will be one of the next then who should be promoted, perhaps in spring 2013 then.
    Thanks also for the info with Sukhina and the two Norwegians, I completely forgot that. And sure, Weiner will be out as well. But Artyom Kuchin?!
    Concerning Yun Hyeon, I outlined that in the CL MD5 post. There are small signs that UEFA could have thought about a change Tagliavento<->Orsato. Bianchi observed him and Tagliavento did, according to what I heard, very well in Porto-Zagreb. But all this is mere speculation, it would not be the biggest surprise, but I do not really believe in it.
    And you are right, Chefren, a referee surely cannot be dropped only because of one match. I watched his performance in Braga-Cluj on MD1, when Vassaras was there. He had no crucial mistakes, but got many easy calls wrong. Many basics were not fulfilled adequately, just an example, he missed an ellbow punch into the opponent's face although he was positioned 4 metres away and free view on it. And even if officials do well, like Kelly last year, UEFA must ask the question whether they see a development which could mean "oh yes, this referee has potential to reach ELITE one day"..

    1. I also could state that Rasmussen appointed for that top clash was by the way an hazard by committee, he was not still ready, therefore I want still to defend him, because this situation might have happened to any other Development referee without the needed experience, to handle that match.
      And I repeat again myself, the problem this year was that Elite and Elite dev. referees were less than the needed.

      Furthermore, Niclas, what do you think about Valeri?
      Debut in EL but now promotion?

    2. You are right in a way I think. This season generally is a bit extra-ordinary, and we know when we made our predictions that only Stavrev and Rasmussen came into question for City-Ajax..
      I did not watch Valeri's matches that often, but is one EL match enough for a promotion? Hmm.

  7. Anonymous8/12/12 11:00

    Deaconu has retired

  8. Thanks.
    Koukoulakis with nine yellows and two sending-offs yesterday. Did anyone see it?

  9. Anonymous8/12/12 12:46

    What about Stavrev? Is it too early for him to Elite?

    1. Well, I think that he will stay at least other 6 months in Development and then he will have the chance to be promoted.
      The matches he handled (BATE-Bayern, Juventus-Nordsjelland, Lille-Valencia) were ok but easy, in my opinion he needs to be tested in more difficult situations, being anyway already on the right way.

    2. That's my point of view as well. The same also counts for Strahonja.

  10. Just watched this old match, and again you can see Juan Yuste Jiménez's quality:

    1. Reminds us also that US commentators don't really fit to a football match... ;)

    2. ;) That's true, but German commentators are even worse..

  11. Anonymous8/12/12 19:11

    Do you know boys if it's possible to download Plzen - Atletico Madrid on any website?




      this is the full match in one file (about 1GB)

      press on the free download and wait the countdown


    2. Great, fantastic paper with an overview on all Uefa refereeing world. just 2 questions: When official uefa class attendance will be annouced by Uefa commetee?
      Are you able to give a similar overeview on referees coming from the other 5 confederations (not only Uefa)

    3. Thanks.
      As for your questions, I cannot answer with total certainty.
      I think the new groups will be made a few days before Christmas (20th December perhaps..). In addition, I have no idea how other confederations split their referees. In AFC, there is an Elite group e.g., but I am not aware of its members and meaning for tournaments.
      CONMEBOL has no group system at all, at least they do not publish it.
      So I think UEFA is really the only one of whom I can say something.

    4. HI Niclas, thanks for your reply; concerning ranking of other confederation I founded the following infos on awebsite linked to this blog:
      CONMEBOL Elite Referees
      1. Diego Hernan ABAL 1971 ARG
      2. Federico Jose BELIGOY 1969 ARG
      3. Saul Esteban LAVERNI 1970 ARG
      4. Sergio Fabian PEZZOTTA 1967 ARG
      5. Nestor Fabian PITANA 1975 ARG
      6. Jorge Joaquin ANTEQUERA CASTEDO 1973 BOL
      7. Raul OROSCO DELGADILLO 1979 BOL
      8. Paulo Cesar OLIVEIRA 1973 BRA
      9. Heber Roberto LOPES 1972 BRA
      10. Wilson Luiz SENEME 1970 BRA
      11. Enrique Roberto OSSES ZENCOVICH 1974 CHI
      12. Jose Hernando BUITRAGO ARANGO 1970 COL
      13. Wilmar ROLDAN PEREZ 1980 COL
      14. Omar Andres PONCE MANZO 1977 ECU
      15. Carlos Alfredo VERA RODRIGUEZ 1976 ECU
      16. Carlos Arecio AMARILLA DEMARQUI 1970 PAR
      17. Antonio Javier ARIAS ALVARENGA 1972 PAR
      18. Carlos Manuel TORRES NUNEZ 1970 PAR
      19. Georges BUCKLEY DE MARITENS 1974 PER
      20. Victor Hugo CARRILLO CASANOVA 1975 PER
      21. Victor Hugo RIVERA CHAVEZ 1967 PER
      22. Roberto Carlos SILVERA CALCERRADA 1971 URU
      23. Dario Agustin UBRIACO MEDEROS 1972 URU
      24. Martin Emilio VAZQUEZ BROQUETAS 1969 URU
      25. Juan Ernesto SOTO AREVALO 1977 VEN

      Wilmar Roldán, Colombia, 246 puntos (+0)
      Enrique Osses, Chile, 225 puntos (+0) [+1]
      Carlos Amarilla, Paraguay, 223 puntos (-7) [-1]
      Roberto Silvera, Uruguay, 205 puntos (-12)
      Victor Carrillo, Perú, 191 puntos (+6)
      Dario Ubriaco, Uruguay, 178 puntos (+1)
      Sergio Pezzotta, Argentina, 167 puntos (+0)
      Wilson Seneme, Brasil, 165 puntos (+0)
      Carlos Vera, Ecuador, 163 puntos (+6) [+2]
      Antonio Arias, Paraguay, 163 puntos (+0) [-1]
      Heber Lopes, Brasil, 158 puntos (+0) [-1]
      José Buitrago, Colombia, 156 puntos (+6)
      Juan Soto, Venezuela, 145 puntos (+6)
      Victor Rivera, Perú, 135 puntos (+0)
      Omar Ponce, Ecuador, 134 puntos (+1)
      Nestor Pitana, Argentina, 131 puntos (+0)
      Raúl Orosco, Bolivia, 121 puntos (-5) [+1]
      Leandro Vuaden, Brasil, 120 puntos (+6) [+1]
      Martín Vazquez, Uruguay, 120 puntos (-8) [-2]
      Paulo Oliveira, Brasil, 100 puntos (+0)
      Diego Abal, Argentina, 91 puntos (+0) [+1]
      Saúl Laverni, Argentina, 86 puntos (-6) [-1]
      Julio Quintana, Paraguay, 83 puntos (-5)
      Carlos Torres, Paraguay, 81 puntos (+0) [+1]
      Patricio Polic, Chile, 81 puntos (+0) [+1]

      Categoría 2
      Georges Buckley, Perú, 77 puntos (-6) [-2]
      Patricio Loustau, Argentina, 75 puntos (+0) [+1]
      Sandro Ricci, Brasil, 74 puntos (+0) [+1]
      Marlon Escalante, Venezuela, 71 puntos (-5) [-2]
      Liber Prudente, Uruguay, 58 puntos (+0)
      Enrique Cáceres, Paraguay, 56 puntos (+12) [+5]
      Marcelo Henrique, Brasil, 56 puntos (+0) [-1]
      Alfredo Intriago, Ecuador, 54 puntos (+0) [-1]
      Pablo Lunati, Argentina, 54 puntos (+9) [-1]
      Federico Beligoy, Argentina, 54 puntos (+0) [-1]
      Joaquín Antequera, Bolivia, 47 puntos (+0) [-1]
      Jorge Osorio, Chile, 39 puntos (+0) [+1]
      Ricardo Marques, Brasil, 36 puntos (-5) [-1]
      Julio Bascuñan, Chile, 35 puntos (+0)
      Henry Gambetta, Perú, 33 puntos (+0)
      Evandro Roman, Brasil, 32 puntos (+0)
      Adrian Vélez, Colombia, 28 puntos (+0)
      Diego Lara, Ecuador, 22 puntos (+0) [+2]
      Claudio Puga, Chile, 21 puntos (-5) [-1]
      Ímer Machado, Colombia, 19 puntos (-5) [-1]
      Daniel Fedorczuk, Uruguay, 16 puntos (+0)
      José Espinel, Ecuador, 12 puntos (+0)
      Mayker Gómez, Venezuela, 12 puntos (+0)
      Ulises Mereles, Paraguay, 11 puntos (+0)
      Eduardo Gamboa, Chile, 11 puntos (+0)

      Categoría 3
      José Jordán, Bolivia, 10 puntos (+0)
      Pericles Bassols, Brasil, 6 puntos (+0)
      German Delfino, Argentina, 6 puntos (+0)
      Óscar Maldonado, Bolivia, 6 puntos (+0)
      Héctor Martinez, Uruguay, 5 puntos (+0)
      Miguel Santivanez, Peru, 5 puntos (+0)
      Manuel Garay, Perú, 5 puntos (+0)
      José Argote, Venezuela, 5 puntos (+0)
      Jorge Mancilla, Bolivia, 5 puntos (+0)
      Francisco Nascimento, Brasil, 0 puntos (+0)
      Juan Restrepo, Colombia, 0 puntos (+0)
      Luis Sanchez, Colombia, 0 puntos (+0)
      Ramiro Suarez, Colombia, 0 puntos (+0)
      Daniel Salazar, Ecuador, 0 puntos (+0)
      Roddy Zambrano, Ecuador, 0 puntos (+0)
      Johnny Cuellar, Bolivia, 0 puntos (+0)
      Gery Vargas, Bolivia, 0 puntos (+0)
      Manuel Andaracia, Venezuela, 0 puntos (+0)
      José Hoyo, Venezuela, 0 puntos (+0)

    6. CONCACAF Elite Referees
      1. David GANTAR 1975 CAN
      2. Walter Enrique QUESADA CORDERO 1970 CRC
      3. Hugo CRUZ ALVARADO 1982 CRC
      4. Jeffrey SOLIS CALDERON 1974 CRC
      5. Marcos BREA DESPAIGNE 1975 CUB
      7. Walter Alexander LOPEZ CASTELLANOS 1980 GUA
      8. Oscar REYNA MOLLER 1983 GUA
      9. Raul CASTRO ZUNIGA 1982 HON
      10. Jose Benigno PINEDA FERNANDEZ 1971 HON
      11. Hector RODRIGUEZ HERNANDEZ 1982 HON
      12. Courtney CAMPBELL 1968 JAM
      13. Kevin MORRISON 1977 JAM
      14. Francisco CHACON GUTIERREZ 1976 MEX
      15. Roberto GARCIA OROZCO 1974 MEX
      16. Marco Antonio RODRIGUEZ MORENO 1973 MEX
      17. Roberto MORENO SALAZAR 1970 PAN
      18. Jafeth PEREA AMADOR 1981 PAN
      19. Javier SANTOS ESCOBAR 1978 PUR
      20. Joel Antonio AGUILAR CHICAS 1975 SLV
      21. Elmer BONILLA RUIZ 1978 SLV
      22. Marlon Alfonso MEJIA CARRILLO 1979 SLV
      23. Enrico John WIJNGAARDE 1974 SUR
      24. Mark GEIGER 1974 USA
      25. Jair Antonio MARRUFO 1977 USA

    7. AFC Elite Referees
      1. Matthew BREEZE Australia
      2. Benjamin WILLIAMS Australia
      3. Peter GREEN Australia
      4. Strebre DELOVSKI Australia
      5. Nawaf GHAYYATH SHUKRALLA Bahrain
      6. Ebrahim Abdulnabi ALI HASAN Bahrain
      7. Salah AL ABBASI Bahrain
      8. Ebrahim Isa ALI ZAKARIYA Bahrain
      9. Jameel Juma ABDULHUSAIN Bahrain
      10. Tayeb SHAMSUZZAMAN Bangladesh
      11. Hai TAN China
      12. Qi FAN China
      13. Liang ZHAO China
      14. Hsun Yu MING Chinese Taipei
      15. KWOK Man Liu Hong Kong
      16. NG Chiu Kok Hong Kong
      17. NG Kai Lam Hong Kong
      18. Pratap SINGH India
      19. Alireza FAGHANI Iran
      20. Yadollah JAHANBAZI Iran
      21. Hedayat MOMBINI Iran
      22. Yazdi Saied MOZAFFARI ZADEH Iran
      23. Mohsen TORKI Iran
      24. Akbar BAKHSHIZADEH Iran
      25. Kadhum AUDA LAZIM Iraq
      26. Adday ALI SABAH Iraq
      27. Mohammad ABU LOUM Jordan
      28. Naser AL-GHAFARI Jordan
      29. Mohammad AL-RSHIDAT Jordan
      30. Yuichi NISIMURA Japan
      31. Ryuji SATO Japan
      32. Hiroyoshi TAKAYAMA Japan
      33. Minoru TOJO Japan
      34. Masaaki TOMA Japan
      35. Dmitry MASHENTSEV Kyrgyzstan
      36. CHOI Myung Yong Korea Republic
      37. KIM Dong Jin Korea Republic
      38. KIM Sang Woo Korea Republic
      39. KIM Jonghyeok Korea Republic
      40. KO Hyungjin Korea Republic
      41. LEE Min Hu Korea Republic
      42. Khalil AL GHAMDI Saudi Arabia
      43. Marai AL AWAJI Saudi Arabia
      44. Ali Mehmet SHABAN Kuwait
      45. Almarzouq Yousef THYTH Kuwait
      46. Andre EL HADDAD Lebanon
      47. Ali SABBAGH Lebanon
      48. Abdul Wahab MOHD NAFEEZ Malaysia
      49. Subkiddin MOHD SALLEH Malaysia
      50. Cho Sgt WIN Myanmar
      51. Abdullah AL HILALI Oman
      52. Mubarak AL HOSNI Oman
      53. Yaqoob Said ABDUL BAKI Oman
      54. Abdulrahman ABDOU Qatar
      55. Banjar AL-DOSARI Qatar
      56. Abdullah BALIDEH Qatar
      57. Bashir Abdul MALIK Singapore
      58. Thiam Hoe LEOW Singapore
      59. Hettikamkanamge PERERA Sri Lanka
      60. Mohsen BASMA Syria
      61. Apisit AONRUK Thailand
      62. Mahapab CHAIYA Thailand
      63. Rustam KHOLOV Tajikistan
      64. Charymurat KURBANOV Turkmenistan
      65. Ali Hamad AL-BADWAWI UAE
      66. Mohamed AL-ZAROUNI UAE
      67. Abdulla Hassan MOHAMMED UAE
      68. Ravshan IRMATOV Uzbekistan
      69. Valentin KOVALENKO Uzbekistan
      70. Vladislav TSEYTLIN Uzbekistan
      71. Viktor SERAZITDINOV Uzbekistan
      72. Minh Tri VO Vietnam
      73. Mukhtar AL YARIMI Yemen

    8. 4 feedback for Sw reason; no news about CAF and OFC list.
      Great paper on Uefa prediction; I strongly agree about Kralovec and Mazic's promotion. Mayer will keep 1 german place for Aytekin (why a 40-years old like Grafe is too old to belong Elite class ?)
      Even Rasmussen downgraded ? He is not so bad ? I don;t understand why Kelly is so neglected and not valorized. I wish Stavrev in Elite as soon as possible; it will be a good sign and recognition even for not politically strong countries.
      Can you kindly publish a summary list of referees which loose FIFA badge at end of this year ? (perosnal constrain like Stombergsson and Zimmermann), perfomances (who ?) and age (Skjervold, etc)

    9. Thanks for AFC and CONCACAF lists. However, the CONMEBOL list you posted is an inofficial one made by our co-bloggers Carlos and Maicon. They cannot be sure about it, they just sum up the matches every ref has got and transfer that into points and groups.

      I do not think Gräfe is too old for ELITE if he is promoted now, but if he is again held in ED, 4,5 or 4 years in ELITE do not really allow an internationally very successful career, no prospect on big matches and finals in my opinion.
      Rasmussen is a difficult bet, I decided for demotion because I think his marks were not the best in his two CL matches. A sign was also that he did not get a third one, contrary to many other ED refs. But could very likely be that he is maintained.
      I never understood Kelly's demotion, he showed good performances in most of his matches, but following UEFA's referee convention of November 2012...:
      "1.2 Criteria for promotion and relegation and match appointments
      The reasons for promotions/relegations and appointments/non-appointments should be kept confidential within the referees committee and refereeing department.
      The criteria in all cases should be based on performance, personality, availability, development, administrative factors and successful completion of the relevant written and fitness tests. Average observer marks are not appropriate as the only criterion. Possibilities for fast-track promotions should be made available, in particular for match officials that have successfully completed a talents and mentors programme."
      We cannot be sure that Kelly fulfilled all that.

      And yes, I try to make such kind of list, the problem is that we cannot know all the names..we know some, but definitely not all.

  12. Hi Niclas

    I like the analysis here, but once again your spiky tail is out for Atkinson! I can only presume you either don't like his style per se, or you dont watch an incredible amount of his games.

    Of course 10/11 was a notable dip in performance, and below the previous 4 great years; last year too he did not reach his peak and made a few errors and was a bit card happy. But this year it is well known in the UK that he is back on his game, and with Dean, received all the big fixtures. London derbies, relegation 3 pointers and Sunday's superbly controlled Manchester derby - now the second biggest fixture in Europe.

    When on form, there are few better my friend.
    You talk about crucial mistakes - the Lahm penalty is soft yes, but then I get confused, because you inform us that your view on Brych and Samaras is 'fine to whistle' ?

    Atkinson is slowly re-emerging, and is on a par with Webb and Clatts.

    Big news re Anthony Taylor, another I have touted for many years. Great for him (hopefully).

    Re the debate above - agree re Lannoy, Benq., Tagliavento, Meyer.

    Check this by the way by Winter:

  13. Thanks for reading through it.
    It's quite easy to encounter that: I observed him for the blog in Spartak-Fenerbahce where he missed a penalty. In Lille-Bayern, not the very soft penalty was the problem but a missed one to Bayern for handball and a very low level of control and feeling for the game (he missed a couple of advantages etc.).
    And in general, you mentioned that he "received all the big fixtures [...] derbies etc.". Whether Manchester derby is the 2nd biggest fixture in Europe may be discussed by other persons..but I am not interested in what he gets, but how he performs and that's a difference.

  14. He performed great in the domestic league is my point, despite a mixed outlay in the CL (though not seen all of his games there). He gets the big games due to his performances N?

    Anyway, I just feel you are always a little harsh on him.

    He doesn't compare to Meyer, Tagliavento for example and a few others that we discuss on here, and is certain to remain in the list ...

  15. I did not say anything else, of course he will remain in the list.
    By the way, I only watch a small essence of Premier League matches, so there are others who can talk about it more profoundly. And Gagelmann or Kircher also get huge Bundesliga clashes due to their experience and performances, but where is the impact on UEFA group's system? Nowhere.

    1. The question is whether you rate him. You don't seem to, and call it 'critical' but dont 'think' there could be a demotion due to England's standing and nobody to replace him.

      I am saying this is silly and lacking the usual thorough foresight you display. He is in the top category of referee. UEFA and domestic. Though I take on board he may well have had 'indifferent' performances last season and this in Europe. Many have actually.

    2. It's just a feeling that he belongs to the lower part of ELITE group, but as I said, it is "unpredictable" week, we should know more.
      By the way, I recommend you to watch Lille-Bayern in full length.

    3. Which was the site you recommended to watch full games, will do so today?

      By the way, if you are not already watching Fiorentina v Sienna, Tagliavento is once again disappointing. Some really strange caution decisions in what has become a rather simple game for him at 3-0. I've never been convinced with this guy from the beginning.

  16. For Turkish Referees:

    Tolga Ozkalfa and Yunus Yildirim - out
    Baris Simsek and Mete Kalkavan - in

    I don't think Bulent Yildirim will be demoted. So my predictions for Turkis Referees:

    Elite: Cuneyt Cakir
    ED: Firat Aydinus
    First: Bulent Yildirim, Huseyin Gocek
    Second: Halis Ozkahya
    Third: Baris Simsek, Mete Kalkavan

    Ugur B.

  17. When FIFA will confirm FIFA list of referees for 2013? Where the list will be availible as for referees, as well for the assistant referees?

    I have read an article on about a new competition in same format and structure as for UEFA Champions league matches as well for their teams under 19, for the season 2013/2014 already. I guess referees from 3st and 2nd group will referee these kind of matches?


  18. In general I cannot imagine such a competition, but yes, I would expect that they sent 3rd and maximum 2nd group referees there.
    The FIFA lists for 2013 will be updated on fifa's website for every member association in the new year, mostly around 3rd or 4th January.


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