June 29, 2012

Pedro Proença in charge of 2012 UEFA EURO final

- 37 Comments
Portuguese official Pedro Proença will take control over Sunday's 2012 UEFA EURO final between Spain and Italy at Kyiv's Olympic Stadium. UEFA has confirmed his nomination being the first Portuguese ever appointed for a final of one of the major competitions (FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO).




Proença, who works as a financial director in Pinhal Novo, a small town between Lisbon and Setubal, made his FIFA bow in 2003 and has been joining the UEFA Champions League roster since 2007. He has already overseen a total amount of 42 UEFA club competition matches. The Portuguese is able to speak apart from his mother tongue also French and English. Enjoying reading, writing and movies as well as skiing as leisure time activties, he has taken a significantly rising development since his participation at the 2009 UEFA U21 EURO Sweden. Before that, he also joined the 2004 UEFA U19 EURO Switzerland, where he refereed his thus far first international final between Turkey and Spain. 
One of his biggest successes is the nomination for the 2012 UEFA EURO Poland/Ukraine, after having refereed this year's UEFA Champions League final at Munich Arena between Bayern and Chelsea.
As part of the qualification mode, he took control over the playoff's 2nd leg between Croatia and Turkey as well.
Besides, he refereed the 2007 and 2010 Portuguese Cup finals and also ran the rule over two FC Porto successes in the domestic Super Cup in August 2003 and 2006.
Related to his previous insets, the Portuguese team had already come across both teams Italy and Spain. His personal opener match was the Group C duel between Spain and Ireland. After his second match (Sweden - France), he has overseen the quarterfinal match between England and Italy, when the squadra azzurra won after penalty shoot-out. In all three matches, he has performed (very) well according to our observation reports - and obviously also from UEFA's point of view.
The tie between Spain and Italy was already held at 10 June in Gdansk, when Viktor Kassai from Hungary took charge of the 1-1 draw. 

Final countdown for Spain, Italy and Pedro Proença (POR) (c) ZIMBIO

In compliance with the decision made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), there will be a team of six officials, as it has been a common practice at the highest level of European club football, plus one reserve assistant referee. 
Bertino Miranda and Ricardo Santos will act as assistant referees, whereas Manuel de Sousa and Duarte Gomes (themselves UEFA First Group referees) will serve as additional assistant referees. Cüneyt Çakır of Turkey will function as fourth official, whereas his countryman Bahattin Duran has been selected as reserve assistant referee.
The team will be observed by English official David Elleray.

Overview:

UEFA EURO 2012 final
1 July 2012, 20:45 CET - Kyiv (Olympic Stadium)
Spain - Italy
Referee: Pedro Proença (POR)
Assistant Referees: Bertino Miranda (POR), Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional Assistant Referees: Manuel de Sousa (POR), Duarte Gomes (POR)
Fourth Official: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
UEFA Delegate: Janis Mežeckis (LVA)
UEFA Referee Observer: David Elleray (ENG)
Blog Referee Observers: Edward A (GRE), Çagatay Iris (TUR)

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June 27, 2012

Senes Erzik likes UNICEF

- 50 Comments
Further to several media reports and a public yell of indignation within the Portuguese media scene and even among officials of the Portuguese federation FPF, containing apprehensions that Turkish official Cüneyt Çakır, who will take charge of tonight's 2012 UEFA EURO semifinal between Portugal and Spain, could encounter the match in a biased way, I would like to congratulate these reporting brain-dwarves for having assured one of the best - but also easiest excuses for a potential loss against the Iberian neighbours in advance.

He likes UNICEF: Senes Erzik.. (c) trtspor

The reason for these worries was - no joke - that Senes Erzik, a member of the UEFA referee committee, would be in deep friendship with Spanish chairman Ángel María Villar Llona, that he would get something out of FC Barcelona and therefore liked their sponsors and international aid organization UNICEF. 

I would like to wish Çakır and his team all the best for the pending match and I furthermore hope that - if he performs excellently - that the Portuguese responsibles and media representatives will find another excuse for a potential loss, perhaps the pitch might pose an adequate plea.
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June 25, 2012

Cüneyt Çakır and Stéphane Lannoy receive EURO semifinal call-up

- 48 Comments
UEFA has announced the two teams of match officials who will take control over 2012 UEFA EURO's semifinals on 27 June, respectively 28 June 2012.
(c) ZIMBIO

Cüneyt Çakır (photo above) of Turkey has been assigned for the all-Iberian duel between Portugal and Spain, which will be held in Ukraine's metropole Donetsk at Donbass Arena, the home of Shakhtar Donetsk. Turkish officials Bahattin Duran and Tarik Ongun will serve as assistant referees, while Hüseyin Göçek and Bülent Yıldırım will function as additional assistant referees standing at the bylines. Damir Skomina from Slovenia has been named fourth official, whereas his countryman Matej Žunič will be the reserve assistant referee. Jozef Marko from Slovakia has been appointed as UEFA referee observer, Janis Mežeckis from Latvia as the UEFA delegate.
For the 35 year-old policy broker from Istanbul, it is the third semifinal appointment in a row, after his engagements in 2010 UEFA Europa League' semifinal between FC Fulham and Hamburger SV, at 2011 FIFA Under 20 World Cup Colombia, when Portugal defeated France, and finally the recently played UEFA Champions League semifinal between FC Barcelona and Chelsea London at Camp Nou. His previous matches have been the group stage encounters between Ukraine and Sweden at Kyiv's final stadium, where he also acted as the fourth official in the quarterfinal between England and Italy, and between Italy and Ireland in Poznán.

(c) ZIMBIO

Besides, French official Stéphane Lannoy (photo above) will be in charge of the traditional clash between Germany and Italy at Warsaw's opener match stadium. He will be accompanied by Frédéric Cano and Michaël Annonier as assistant referees; Fredy Fautrel and Ruddy Buquet will serve as additional assistant referees. The team is completed by English officials Howard Webb (fourth official), who may be considered as the most probable referee for the final match at Kyiv Olympic Stadium, and Mike Mullarkey as reserve assistant referee. Hugh Dallas of Scotland, himself a former successful referee, will be the UEFA referee observer, while Iceland's Geir Thorsteinsson will function as UEFA delegate, who has also executed 2011 UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium.
Born in 1969, Lannoy is the oldest of the twelve referees who commenced the competition. He has already taken charge of the first match of the German side, when they defeated Portugal in Lviv. His second match was the Group A clash between Czech Republic and Greece in Wroclaw. Both matches were refereed in a very solide manner. His tournament experience is - despite of his advanced age - not that big. After a brief participation at 2008 Olympic Games China and after having accompanied the last EURO in Austria and Switzerland as one of the eight fourth officials, he experienced a quite poor 2010 FIFA World Cup. This appointment means the biggest success in UEFA competitions so far.


Overview:

SF1 - 27 June 2012, 20:45 CET -  Donbass Arena, Donetsk, UKR
Portugal - Spain
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referees: Bahattin Duran (TUR), Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Additional Assistant Referees: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR), Bülent Yıldırım (TUR)
Fourth Official: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Matej Žunič (SVN)
UEFA Delegate: Janis Mežeckis (LVA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)

SF2 - 28 June 2012, 20:45 CET - National Stadium, Warsaw, POL
Germany - Italy
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Assistant Referees: Frédéric Cano (FRA), Michaël Annonier (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referees: Fredy Fautrel (FRA), Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Fourth Official: Howard Webb (ENG)
Reserve Assistant Referees: Mike Mullarkey (ENG)
UEFA Delegate: Geir Thorsteinsson (ISL)
UEFA Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)


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June 23, 2012

2012 UEFA U19 EURO Estonia - Match Officials

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Group A: Estonia, Greece, Portugal, Spain
Group B: Croatia, England, France, Serbia
Tournament to be held from 3 - 15 July.


Referees:
Alain Bieri, SUI, 13/03/1979
Vadims Direktorenko, LVA, 31/01/1981
Kenn Hansen, DEN, 29/05/1980
Arnold Hunter, NIR, 15/03/1979
Danny Makkelie, NED, 28/01/1983
Paolo Valeri, ITA, 16/05/1978 (photo)

Assistant Referees:
Anatolie Bodean, MDA, 02/03/1974
Yves de Neve, BEL, 11/06/1975
Johann Gudmundsson, ISL, 08/09/1978
Ivo Kolev, BUL, 25/06/1979
Aleksei Lebedev, RUS, 17/07/1980
Tomasz Listkiewicz, POL, 06/10/1978
Marco Tropeano, LUX, 30/12/1974
Dmitry Zhuk, BLR, 22/04/1986

Fourth Officials:
Kristo Tohver, EST, 1981
Eiko Saar, EST, 1978

UEFA Referee Observers:
Juan Antonio Fernandez Marin, ESP
Jozef Marko, SVK
Are Habicht, EST
Uno Tutk, EST

Information without engagement.

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Osses and Roldán in charge of Libertadores finals

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The South American confederation's (CONMEBOL) referee committee has announced this year's match officials who will take control over the finals between Boca Juniors and Corinthians SP in Copa Santander Libertadores, the South American Champions League. 

Enrique Osses (c) Árbitro Internacional
Enrique Osses of Chile will take charge of the first leg of the Argentine-Brazilian final that will be played at La Bombonera, Buenos Aires. The 38 year-old referee, who is also on FIFA's prospective list of referees for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, will be supported by his regular assistant referees Francisco Mondria (39) and Carlos Alexis Astroza (35), while Patricio Polic (40) will function as fourth official at the benches. Probably joining the top3 of South American referees at the moment, Osses has already overseen eight Copa Libertadores clashes in this season, including one involvement each of both teams: Corinthians SP defeated the Paraguayans of Club Nacional in March (2-0) and Boca Juniors managed to achieve a very late and important draw at Fluminense Rio de Janeiro in the quarterfinal's second leg (1-1). In addition, he "only" exhibits a card average of 4,3 yellow cards and 0,25 sending-offs per match, which is quite low in the competition.
It will be the Chilene's 31st match as a referee in the most important South American club competition, played at 27 June.

Roldán and Clavijo (c) futbolred
Only one week later, the return match will be held at Sao Paulo's Pacaembú Stadium. Colombian official Wilmar Roldán has been appointed to blow the real final whistle in this match. It will be his first international final in a club competition after last year's semifinal. Assisted by Abraham González (41) and Humberto Clavijo (38) as assistant referees and José Buitrago (41) as the fourth official, 32 year-old Roldán is considered as the best Colombian referee ever along with Oscar Ruíz. His total number of Copa Libertadores appointments in this season is 10, so that he equals the respective record established by three officials in 2006. It will be his 25th inset in a Copa Libertadores match after only four years of international refereeing. His appointment follows kind of rule of thumb, as it has frequently been the case that a referee, who had been in charge of a semifinal's first leg, will referee the final's second leg. And this rule has again proven to be right. Roldán refereed the semifinal tie between Boca Juniors and Universidad de Chile in Buenos Aires (2-0). Moreover, he also refereed the Argentine side in the round of 16, when they had beaten the Chilenes of Unión Española by 3-2. His only involvement in a match of Corinthians SP was in this season as well, when they achieved a draw in a match against Deportivo Táchira of Venezuela. Roldán issued averagely five yellows in his matches along with a total amount of four sending-offs in nine matches. He will be also active at 2012 FIFA Olympic Games London, which implies his appearance on 2014 World Cup's short list, too.
Both appointments underline the widely open future of these referees and the leading role they possess at the moment in South America.


Overview:

First leg:
27 June 2012, La Bombonera, Buenos Aires
Boca Juniors - Corinthians SP
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Assistant Referees: Francisco Mondria (CHI), Carlos Alexis Astroza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Patricio Polic (CHI)

Second leg:
04 July 2012, Pacaembú, Sao Paulo
Corinthians SP - Boca Juniors
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL)
Assistant Referees: Abraham González (COL), Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Fourth Official: José Buitrago (COL)

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June 21, 2012

Altemir Hausmann's "spray-technique"

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Despite of the fact that a great Brazilian assistant referee, Altemir Hausmann, had his last Copa Libertadores game yesterday, his usage of the spray bottle inset in the South American club competition did not merely arouse unnecessary attention, but made my day as well. At least a honourable trial to accelerate the match in the last minutes of play. Glorious ;)



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June 20, 2012

Four referees have left UEFA EURO 2012

- 152 Comments
UEFA has today announced the four officials who have been sent home apart from the fourth officials and reserve assistant referees. After a long list of match influencing mistakes, Viktor Kassai (Hungary), Björn Kuipers (Netherlands), Wolfgang Stark (Germany) and Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain) have been sent home.

Björn Kuipers (NED) (C) ZIMBIO




On a press conference in Warsaw, UEFA refereeing chief officer Pierluigi Collina has furthermore announced the quarterfinals' appointments.


#25, QF1, 21 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Warsaw
Czech Republic - Portugal
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Fourth Official: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
UEFA Delegate: Geir Thorsteinsson (ISL)
UEFA Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

#26, QF2, 22 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Gdansk
Germany - Greece
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Primož Arhar (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Matej Jug (SVN)
Fourth Official: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
UEFA Delegate: Christian Schmöelzer (AUT)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

#27, QF3, 23 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Donezk
Spain - France
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato Faverani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Fourth Official: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Alasdair Ross (SCO)
UEFA Delegate: Armen Minasyan (ARM)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

#28, QF4, 24 June 2012, 20:45, Kyiv
England - Italy
Referee: Pedro Proença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Manuel de Sousa (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Duarte Gomes (POR)
Fourth Official: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
UEFA Delegate: Janis Mežeckis (LVA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)

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June 14, 2012

UEFA EURO 2012 - Referee Appointments Matches 17-24

- 171 Comments
Big task for Nicola Rizzoli (ITA): POR-NED (c) ZIMBIO


M17, Group A, 16 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Warsaw (POL)
Greece - Russia
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
UEFA Delegate: Geir Thorsteinsson (ISL)
UEFA Referee Observer: Pierluigi Collina (ITA)

M18, Group A, 16 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Wroclaw (POL)
Czech Republic - Poland
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alasdair Ross (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Derek Rose (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: William Collum (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Euan Norris (SCO)
Fourth Official: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
UEFA Delegate: Nodar Akhalkatsi (GEO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Iouri Baskakov (RUS)

M19, Group B, 17 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Lviv (UKR)
Denmark - Germany
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
UEFA Delegate: Jozef Kliment (SVK)
UEFA Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

M20, Group B, 17 June, 20:45 CET, Kharkiv (UKR)
Portugal - Netherlands
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato Faverani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Fourth Official: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Mike Mullarkey (ENG)
UEFA Delegate: Ainar Leppänen (EST)
UEFA Referee Observer: David Elleray (ENG)

M21, Group C, 18 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Gdansk (POL)
Croatia - Spain
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Florian Meyer (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Fourth Official: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Sander van Roekel (NED)
UEFA Delegate: Christian Schmöelzer (AUT)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

M22, Group C, 18 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Poznán (POL)
Italy - Ireland
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Bülent Yıldırım (TUR)
Fourth Official: Viktor Shvetsov (UKR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Oleksandr Voytyuk (UKR)
UEFA Delegate: Adonis Procopiou (CYP)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)

M23, Group D, 19 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Donezk (UKR)
England - Ukraine
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN) 
Assistant Referee 1: Gábor Erös (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: György Ring (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: István Vad (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Tamás Bognar (HUN)
Fourth Official: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Damien Macgraith (IRL)
UEFA Delegate: Armen Minasyan (ARM)
UEFA Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

M24, Group D, 19 June, 20:45 CET, Kyiv (UKR)
Sweden - France
Referee: Pedro Proença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Manuel de Sousa (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Duarte Gomes (POR)
Fourth Official: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Roman Slyško (SVK)
UEFA Delegate: Janis Mežeckis (LVA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Iouri Baskakov (RUS)
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June 13, 2012

Celebrating Refereeing Diversity at EURO 2012

- 13 Comments
At the current 2012 UEFA EURO in Poland and Ukraine, UEFA has put forward a campaign along with their partners FARE to prosper esteem and respect towards diversity, which is hence called "Celebrate Diversity". Alongside other campaigns aimed at encouraging respect, this slogan can be easily deployed to plead in favour of different approaches of the match officials acting at the tournament. 

UEFA EURO 2012 - Lineup music


While Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo has been immensely criticized for having sent off a Greek defender in the opener match, which was indeed a wrong decision, the - according to IFFHS - world's number 1, Viktor Kassai of Hungary, was praised to the greatest extent by most of the people, including me as assigned observer for his tie (Spain - Italy). Despite of the fact that Kassai was in full control of the match, that he applied his natural authority and also that he has a personality on the pitch highly respected by the players, one could certify him several situations where he obviously ignored the actually clear laws of the game, e.g. when he refused to book a Spanish defender for a clear tactical foul by pulling and holding, so that an Italian counterattack was avoided.
How to deal with that? How much can one bear such a violation of the laws of the game?
UEFA as well as FIFA have proven that they highly estimate his skills, when they had appointed him for the World Cup semifinal between Spain and Germany and the 2011 UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium. Kassai's style of refereeing is probably polarizing. A Spanish blogger has rightly demanded that missed cards and wrongly given cards had to be treated equally as mistakes. The significant question is: Is this really possible?
Yellow Cards - ultima ratio? (c) ZIMBIO

One can certainly say, yes. The laws of the game are very clear in most of the important areas. Holding and pulling to stop a promising counterattack has to be penalized with a yellow card. In addition, the interpretation of the laws is on the one hand subject of instructions and sessions, but depends on the referee's style of refereeing, too. This is the crucial point. A referee like Kassai is perhaps even more than a normal referee. He leads the match, anticipates situations, upcoming conflicts and develops a feeling for the match. I am convinced that such a high profile referee like Viktor Kassai surely knows himself best that some cards he did not issue would have actually been very necessary. The match between Spain and Italy is a paramount example for the success of his style. He allowed hard football as much as possible, let the game flow. The result was the match with the by far highest pace of the tournament. Ironically, it has however also become the match with the largest number of yellow cards, most of them were however given in the final minutes of the match, when a point was reached when cards had obviously become necessary, even from Kassai's point of view. So does Kassai violate or bend the laws of the game? To my mind, he bends them, knowing that the match will benefit from it. The question of whether bending laws in such a tremendously heavy fashion may be accepted or endured is very difficult to answer. 
We have seen the direct opposite in many other matches, examples for that can be the opener match of Velasco Carballo or - significantly remembered by German fans - Undiano Mallenco's performance in Germany - Serbia (2010). The second case is probably even more suitable, as most of the controversial decisions were no wrong ones, but very pedantic ones. Having taken the rule book very literally, a harsh sending-off was the consequence. This is bending the laws as well, but the direct opposite.
So who is right then? Both. Celebrating diversity should be the message for the evaluation of refereeing styles or approaches. FIFA's motto, "for the good of the game", should be taken into account as well, so that my clear preference is the lenient, but consistent referee. Allowing football and a high pace of the game as much as possible, but keeping in mind necessary and obviously borderlines.
Finally, one should be aware of the fact that personalities are behind these "officials" and "styles" and that tactical approaches depend on the respective match. Having a certain style is nice, in my opinion, the best referee is however the one who is able to lead the match actively and who is capable of grasping the match's atmosphere and character, being - on the basis of that - able to adapt his style to the course of events during the match properly. Cards should be to my mind the ultima ratio, while personality and authority are prevailing.

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June 12, 2012

Handball situations in Netherlands - Denmark

- 8 Comments
Slovenian referee Damir Skomina was in charge of the third match at this UEFA EURO when the Netherlands were defeated by Denmark and had to cope with two handball incidents that were subjects of debate in the aftermath of the match, as they could have entailed penalty kicks which were however not awarded by Skomina. 
The respective World of Football Refereeing observer has evaluated the first occasion as a correct call made by the referee, but emphasized that the second occasion should have been ruled as an infringement, which would have meant a penalty kick to the Netherlands in the 90th minute.

First of all, one should take into account how FIFA Laws of the Game are defining a deliberate handball offence which may be punished as an infringement.

Consequently, FIFA Laws of the Game state that "handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration:
  • the movement of the hands towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
  • the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
  • the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement"
Several instructions also pay attention to the pace with which the ball was approaching as well as the question of whether the position of the hand was natural or not. Negligence is not to be considered.

On the basis of stills, the situations should be evaluated:

First situation: Simon Poulsen touches the ball with his hand (also observed by AAR1 Vinčić, minute 28'):


It becomes clear in the first and second freeze frames that Poulsen was surprised by getting the ball in this situation, which is indicated by him having stopped quite abruptly in screenshot 2. He has the ball in his area of vicinity and turns around to immediately commence a counterattack. As part of his natural cursorial movement, he touches the ball clearly with his hand (5). Even though the ball was pretty calculable, it is still no clear intentional or deliberate act of handling the ball. In addition, the position of Poulsen's right hand is natural, so that the decision not to award a penalty kick was correct


Second situation: Jacobsen is touching the ball with his hand twice in a duel with Dutch striker Huntelaar (also observed by AAR2 Matej Jug, minute 90'):


At the beginning, Jacobsen is approaching with quite a high pace and has to stop harshly. His left hand is in a natural position (2) and does not move towards the ball. It is therefore no deliberate act, it is also adventurous to certify him intention here.
The second touch has been the result of a short distance, the ball was played with high pace. His hand position seems to be very unnatural, but could be also part of a natural procedure to hold the balance. Nonetheless, the hand has certainly no place in this height and position. Huntelaar's trial to pit against Jacobsen was interrupted by that a second time. Moreover, the hand slightly moved towards the ball. It could have been - perhaps, it even should have been penalized with a penalty kick by Slovenian official Skomina. Therefore, an at least doubtful decision, but also a doubtful situation. Benefit of the doubt.. 

pictures: UEFA
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June 11, 2012

William Collum promoted to Elite Group, Blom leaves it

- 49 Comments
(c) UEFA.com
Scottish referee William Collum has been promoted to UEFA Elite Group of Refereeing.
After having refereed five UEFA Champions League encounters and fourteen UEFA Europa League matches, he will join the pool of 24 match officials who savour the highest position possible at UEFA refereeing. The number of 24 officials indicates that this is not the only movement in the roster, as there have been 22 referees in ELITE Group so far. Along with Craig Thomson also being on the ELITE list, Scotland now poses two officials there, which had never been the case before.
Having already refereed the final of 2008 UEFA U19 EURO and two matches at 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup, Collum emphasized that it was "obviously a great news for [him], but [especially] for Scottish refereeing. Furthermore, he highlighted the influence of UEFA Referee Committee member Hugh Dallas, consequently, he concluded: "I would like to thank the Scottish FA and [Head of Referee Development] John Fleming for their support – not just to myself but the whole refereeing fraternity - and also to Hugh Dallas, who remains a huge supporter and champion for Scottish refereeing in his position at UEFA."
Collum works as teacher for Religious Education in the north of Scotland.

source: Scottish FA

At the same time, Kevin Blom from the Netherlands has been relegated to First Group.
Two referees have been relegated from Elite Development to First Group: Alan Kelly from Ireland and Robert Schörgenhofer from Austria. István Vad of Hungary has been promoted to Elite Development. Later more.

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June 10, 2012

UEFA EURO 2012 - Referee Appointments Matches 9-16

- 101 Comments
Jonas Eriksson will be in charge of NED - GER (c) ZIMBIO


M9, Group A, 12 June 2012, 18:00 CET, Wroclaw (POL)
Greece - Czech Republic
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Michaël Annonier (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Fourth Official: Matej Jug (SVN)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Primož Arhar (SVN)
UEFA Delegate: Nodar Akhalkatsi (GEO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE) 

M10, Group A, 12 June 2012, 20:45 CET, Warsaw (POL)
Poland - Russia
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Florian Meyer (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Fourth Official: István Vad (HUN)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Gábor Erös (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: Geir Thorsteinsson (ISL)
UEFA Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)

M11, Group B, 13 June 2012, 18:00 CET, Lviv (UKR)
Denmark - Portugal
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alasdair Ross (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Derek Rose (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: William Collum (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Euan Norris (SCO)
Fourth Official: Viktor Shvetsov (UKR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Oleksandr Voytyuk (UKR)
UEFA Delegate: Jozef Kliment (SVK)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

M12, Group B, 13 June, 20:45 CET, Kharkiv (UKR)
Netherlands - Germany
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Damien Macgraith (IRL)
UEFA Delegate: Ainar Leppänen (EST)
UEFA Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

M13, Group C, 14 June, 18:00 CET, Poznán (POL)
Italy - Croatia
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Fourth Official: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Roman Slyško (SVK)
UEFA Delegate: Adonis Procopiou (CYP)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

M14, Group C, 14 June, 20:45 CET, Gdansk (POL)
Spain - Ireland
Referee: Pedro Proença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Manuel de Sousa (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Duarte Gomes (POR)
Fourth Official: Marcin Borski (POL)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
UEFA Delegate: Christian Schmöelzer (AUT)
UEFA Referee Observer: David Elleray (ENG)

M15, Group D, 15 June, 18:00 CET, Donezk (UKR)
Ukraine - France
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Fourth Official: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Damien Macgraith (IRL)
UEFA Delegate: Armen Minasyan (ARM)
UEFA Referee Observer: Vlado Sajn (SVN)

M16, Group D, 15 June, 20:45 CET, Kyiv (UKR)
Sweden - England
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Primož Arhar (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Matej Jug (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Fourth Official: Florian Meyer (GER)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER)
UEFA Delegate: Janis Mežeckis (LVA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)

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June 8, 2012

Comment: UEFA EURO 2012 Referee Appointments Matches 1-8

- 121 Comments
Today, at 18:00 CET, the 14th edition of the UEFA European Championship for national teams will kick-off at Warsaw National Stadium, probably within pompous circumstance and a tense atmosphere accompanying the tie between the hosts Poland and Greece. 
UEFA has hence already published the first eight appointments of the match officials who will take charge of these matches.

Carlos Velasco Carballo will have the honour to blow EURO's starting whistle this year. A Spanish engineer from Spain's capital Madrid, he has already overseen 2011 UEFA Europa League final at Dublin's stadium between Porto and Braga. Retrospecting his fulminantly rising career during the last two seasons and being aware of the fact that Velasco Carballo, when going back exactly two years, might not exhibit even one UEFA Champions League match, Velasco Carballo must count to UEFA's highest regarded officials at this tournament. The big honour is however also a challenge: Under Pierluigi Collina's eyes, he will have also the task to indicate UEFA's style of refereeing they want to have applied at this tournament. Even though diversity is certainly assured amongst the twelve different officials, certain aspects which were also subject of instructions during the last weeks could be detected in his performance.
Without any doubt, the atmosphere in Warsaw will be immense. Furthermore, one does need to be a prophet to recognize that Poland's and especially Greece's technical abilities are - in comparsion to other participating nations - more likely limited. The focus will probably lie in defensive play, fight and passion. 
Carlos Velasco Carballo (c) Deportes Starmedia
Carlos Velasco Carballo has as a Spanish official assuredly plenty of experience in this area, although the last UEFA Champions League matches clearly showed that such matches do not really suit him. He showed his best UEFA Champions League performances in those matches, where football was of bigger importance than fight. For this reason, one may be very excited how he will handle the match and of course, it does not necessarily need to be a tough match. His assistant referees surely count to the best joining this tournament. Roberto Alonso Fernández and Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez made no remarkable mistake in the 2011/12 season. David Fernández Borbalán and Carlos Clos Gómez had some important decisions to make in the round of 16 clash between Napoli and Chelsea. One thing is remarkable for sure: Pierluigi Collina has been appointed as UEFA referee observer for this match (or more likely, he appointed himself as such), whilst Gianluca Rocchi and Renato Faverani will assist at the coaching zone, both from Italy as well. On the one hand, one can argue that this is totally no problem as it indicates that the fourth official as well as the reserve assistant referee will get no marks from the evaluating observer, but on the other hand, one has to raise doubts what will happen if the main referee, in this case Velasco Carballo, suffers from injury during the match. The highest ranked official will replace him, either one of the additional assistant referees or the fourth official. Rocchi is in this case the highest classified referee, so that Collina would potentially have to evaluate his countryman. And this is actually a no-go - fortunately, referees suffer from injuries very rarely.

English referee Howard Webb, a former sergeant and now professional referee from Rotherham, has been appointed to take control over the second match of Group A that will be held in Wroclaw between Russia and Czech Republic

Howard Webb (c) Augsburger Allgemeine

After having been in charge of two finals in 2010 (UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup) and despite of having been the alleged world's best referee in the same year, his international career seems to have come to a standstill. After a very poor UEFA Champions League season in 2010/11, he however improved in the recently finished season, in which he refereed five UEFA Champions League matches including a semifinal's first leg (Bayern München - Real Madrid). In these matches, he was averagely evaluated with the mark 72,2 by our observers which corresponds to an overall satisfying season. For a long time, it however seemed as if his countryman Atkinson could have led by a nose, but finally, Webb won the duel. He doubtless has not the most pleasant associations with European Championships after having been sent home in 2008 due to an offside error made by Mike Mullarkey. He later received death threats and was the victim of a Polish media campaign also evoked by politicians. Nevertheless, UEFA has decided to assign him for this match in Poland.
Considering the sort of match, it could be also a very tough, close and intense one. To be honest, I do not think that Webb's hectic style is suitable for this match, anyway, the team around Webb - joined by Mullarkey, Kirkup, Atkinson and Clattenburg - should not be prejudged. They are supported by two Portuguese officials, Manuel de Sousa and Bertino Miranda will function as fourth official, respectively reserve assistant referee. Herbert Fandel from Germany will evaluate their performances. De Sousa's and Miranda's nomination could signify an appointment of them and the rest of the Portuguese team, under the leadership of Pedro Proença, for the second match held at Wroclaw, i.e. Greece - Czech Republic.

Mark van Bommel (r.) already knows Skomina (c) (The Sun)
Slovenian official Damir Skomina will be the man in the middle in the Group B encounter between the Netherlands and Denmark at Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Observed by Kyros Vassaras (Greece) and living in Koper at the Slovenian-Italian border, he will be accompanied by his countrymen Primož Arhar, Matej Žunič, Matej Jug and Slavko Vinčić. A surprise was Žunič' appointment, as Marko Stančin was actually considered as assistant referee 2. Probably due to failed fitness tests or a suffered injury, the 29 year-old and therefore youngest assistant referee in EURO's history, Matej Žunič, will replace him. (Still) Elite Development group member Pavel Kralovec from Czech Republic and Roman Slyško, former assistant referee of Luboš Michel, will complete the team.
The match itself is probably one of the more calmer sort, which is of course difficult to predict. At World Cup 2010, French official Stéphane Lannoy struggled in it, which was however not due to match's intense degree, but due to his own inconsistency in it.
Skomina has already had two involvements each in matches of the concerned national teams, both containing one win (3-0 each) and one draw (1-1 each). At 2007 UEFA U21 EURO, Skomina was in charge of two matches of the Under 21 national team of the Netherlands, including the final, which was won by the Dutchmen.

Stéphane Lannoy (c) DFB.de
Exactly this referee, Stéphane Lannoy from Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, will handle the first clash of this tournament. Germany will play Portugal in Lviv, Ukraine. 
After plenty of controversial performances also at 2010 FIFA World Cup, Lannoy has managed to establish himself at the peak of UEFA refereeing as consequence of a quite good UEFA Champions League season. His tactical approach - if existing - is mostly based on leniency. His first assistant referee Eric Dansault has suffered from an injury during the fitness tests so that he has been replaced by Michaël Annonier. Frédéric Cano consequently moves on the spot of the first assistant referee, while Fredy Fautrel and Ruddy Buquet are standing at the bylines as additional assistant referees. Germany have negative associations with Lannoy, when he refereed their friendly in Mönchengladbach, in 2011, against Australia, which resulted in a 1-2 loss including a penalty and many overseen brutal fouls. 
Lannoy has however proven that he can deal with matches, where football prevails instead of embattled duels. Germany - Portugal is probably one of them.
Two Polish officials will support the French team, Marcin Borski as fourth official and Marcin Borkowski as reserve assistant referee. David Elleray, the head of English football refereeing, will observe their performance.

The world's best referee of the year 2011, Viktor Kassai of Hungary, has been appointed to take control over the clash between Spain and Italy in Gdansk. Gabor Erös and György Ring will act as assistant referees, while István Vad and Tamás Bognar will stand at the goallines. William Collum (Scotland) and Alasdais Ross will be the fourth official, respectively reserve assistant referee. The team will be observed by Jaap Uilenberg from the Netherlands.
Kassai has certainly not shown his best UEFA season so far, keeping the fact in mind that the year 2010 and the following season 2010/11 have beem amazing for the young Hungarian official, considerably dominated by his appearances at 2010 FIFA World Cup and his performance in 2011 UEFA Champions League final at glorious Wembley Stadium. During the group stage of Champions League, there has been a slight change in his style, at least we thought to have detected that. After having missed at least two penalty kicks in Bayern München - Manchester City and after many examples showing that Kassai potentially has applied a too lenient style, he has proven that he can be more strict, too, in the following matches including the semifinal tie between Real Madrid and Bayern München. His tactical approach must be characterized as one of the most lenient ones amongst Europa's top referees, he mostly is quite far away from the action and may exhibit an almost perfect degree of fitness. His second assistant referee György Ring joins - from my point of view - the pool of the best European assistant referees.
It is remarkable that Tom Harald Hagen as well as Damien Macgraith have not received an inset so far. Probably, that will follow in Group A on matchday 2.

The other match in Group C, Ireland - Croatia, will be handled by Björn Kuipers from the Netherlands. The 2011 UEFA Super Cup final referee will be supported by Sander van Roekel, Erwin Zeinstra (assistant referees), Pol van Boekel, Richard Liesveld (additional assistant referees) as well as by the Ukrainians Viktor Shvetsov (fourth official) and Oleksandr Voytyuk (reserve assistant referee). Yuriy Baskakov from Russia will observe the team.
The Dutchman, who was controversially involved in the UEFA Champions League match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan, has already received two nominations for finals by UEFA. After having been in charge of 2009 UEFA U21 EURO's final between Germany and England, he took control over last year's UEFA Super Cup final between FC Barcelona and FC Porto as well, where he sent off two players of the Portuguese team. Kuipers has already refereed Ireland in the relegation match against Estonia, so that his nomination for this match is logical, but still surprising. Ireland - Croatia could become an intense duel, especially the Irish side will pay plenty of attention to fair but aggressive playing as display of passion.
Kuipers' nomination for Group C means that he will be either in charge of a matchday 2 encounter in Group D, or a matchday 3 match in Group A, respectively Group D.

Two high profile referees have been nominated to take charge of the first two Group D encounters. Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakır from Istanbul will blow the opener whistle for the host nation Ukraine, who will play Sweden in Kyiv. Bahattin Duran, Tarik Ongun (assistant referees), Hüseyin Göçek, Bülent Yıldırım (additional assistant referees) and the Polish officials Marcin Borski and Marcin Borkowski are completing the call-up. Herbert Fandel has been nominated as observer.
Probably, Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakır is the biggest winner of the last season. After his quick rise in UEFA's category system and very good performances at 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup Colombia, he received high profile matches in UEFA's club competitions, having its peak in the semifinals when he performed extraordinary well at Camp Nou (FC Barcelona - Chelsea London) including the correct sending-off issued to John Terry upon consultation with his additional assistant referee Göçek. This match, the first match of the host nation Ukraine, may indicate to what extent Çakır has chances at this tournament. I would generally count him to those referees who should get a third match in K.O. stage, also due to the fact that he can get every team.

In addition, Nicola Rizzoli from Bologna, Italy, has been nominated to referee the top clash between France and England along with Renato Faverani, Andrea Stefani (assistant referees), Gianluca Rocchi, Paolo Tagliavento (additional assistant referees) and Pavel Královec from Czech Republic as fourth official. They will be evaluated by Jozef Marko (Slovakia).
The Italian architect has experienced his worst UEFA season in 2011/12, although the team "worst" is naturally quite exaggerated. After two very good seasons, in which Rizzoli really received many big tasks, which he solved well, the last season was much calmer. The circumstance that he received only two appointments in the club competitions' K.O. stages underlines that. Nevertheless, he made his FIFA tournament bow in last year's December and it - like every other referee acting at this tournament - considered as a prospective referee for 2014 FIFA World Cup.
France vs England is assuredly a big task for Rizzoli, who however frequently showed his skills. His tournament progress also depends on the way the Italian national team will take, but in general, one can take him into account for the extended pool of possible final referees, even though this is more likely not that probable, since the last final referee, Rosetti, also came from Italy.


We wish the officials all the best for a successful start into the tournament. 

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June 5, 2012

Carlos Velasco Carballo to blow EURO 2012's starting whistle

- 62 Comments
Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo of Madrid has been assigned to take control over the first match of this year's UEFA European Championship Poland/Ukraine that will be played between Poland and Greece at Warsaw National Stadium on Friday, 18:00 CET.

The 2011 UEFA Europa League final referee and 2012 UEFA Champions League final fourth official will be supported by his countrymen Roberto Alonso Fernández, Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez (assistant referees) as well as David Fernández Borbalán, Carlos Clos Gómez (additional assistant referees), while Gianluca Rocchi from Italy will act as fourth official. Renato Faverani completes the team as reserve assistant referee. Pierluigi Collina from Italy, UEFA's chief officer for refereeing, will observe the officials.
Furthermore, UEFA has also nominated matches 2-4. English referee of the year 2010 Howard Webb will be in charge of Russia - Czech Republic in Wroclaw, along with Mike Mullarkey, Peter Kirkup, Martin Atkinson and Mark Clattenburg, also from England, whereas Manuel de Sousa from Portugal and Bertino Miranda complete the team of selected referees for this match, that will be observed by German refereeing chief Herbert Fandel.
The Group B tie between the Netherlands and Denmark will be handled by Damir Skomina of Slovenia, who will be assisted by Primoz Arhar and Matej Zunic. Matej Jug and Slavko Vincic will function as additional assistant referees and Pavel Královec from Czech Republic will act as fourth official. Greek official Kyros Vassaras will observe and evaluate the team's performance.
French official Stéphane Lannoy has the honour to blow the whistle in Lviv's encounter between Germany and Portugal. Frédéric Cano and Michael Annonier have been nominated as assistant referees, Fredy Fautrel and Ruddy Buquet as additional assistant referees. Marcin Borski from the host nation Poland will be the fourth official, his countryman Marcin Borkowski the reserve assistant referee. David Elleray from England will be the official UEFA referee observer.
The world's best referee of the year 2011, Viktor Kassai of Hungary, has been appointed to take control over the clash between Spain and Italy in Gdansk. Gabor Erös and György Ring will act as assistant referees, while István Vad and Tamás Bognar will stand at the goallines. William Collum (Scotland) and Damien Macgraith (Ireland) will be the fourth official, respectively reserve assistant referee. The team will be observed by Jaap Uilenberg from the Netherlands.
The other match in Group C, Ireland - Croatia, will be handled by Björn Kuipers from the Netherlands. The 2011 UEFA Super Cup final referee will be supported by Sander van Roekel, Erwin Zeinstra (assistant referees), Pol van Boekel, Richard Liesveld (additional assistant referees) as well as by the Ukrainians Viktor Shvetsov (fourth official) and Oleksandr Voytyuk (reserve assistant referee). Yuriy Baskakov from Russia will observe the team.
Two high profile referees have been nominated to take charge of the first two Group D encounters. Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakır from Istanbul will blow the opener whistle for the host nation Ukraine, who will play Sweden in Kyiv. Bahattin Duran, Tarik Ongun (assistant referees), Hüseyin Göçek, Bülent Yıldırım (additional assistant referees) and the Polish officials Marcin Borski and Marcin Borkowski are completing the call-up. Herbert Fandel has been nominated as observer.
In addition, Nicola Rizzoli from Bologna, Italy, has been nominated to referee the top clash between France and England along with Renato Faverani, Andrea Stefani (assistant referees), Gianluca Rocchi, Paolo Tagliavento (additional assistant referees) and Pavel Královec from Czech Republic as fourth official. They will be evaluated by Jozef Marko (Slovakia).


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Related Items: UEFA EURO 2012 Poland/Ukraine
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UEFA EURO 2012

- 18 Comments
The 2012 UEFA European Championship, the 14th UEFA organized European championship for national teams, will be held in Poland and Ukraine from 8 June to 1 July 2012. It is furthermore the last competition of its sort for now with only sixteen participating teams, as UEFA has decided to increase the number of joining teams up to twenty-four. 

The history of European championships goes back into the first half of the last century:
Championships for national associations had already begun in other continents by the time the idea of a European competition for national teams began to reach fruition in the 1950s. At the time that UEFA was born, in 1954, the impulse for a European championship was coming from the distinguished French sports newspaper L'Equipe, which proposed a competition with home-and-away matches to be played in midweek in the evening.


Adding to the French drive for such a tournament was Henri Delaunay, first UEFA General Secretary and former French national association general secretary. In 1927, Delaunay had already submitted a proposal to FIFA for the creation of a European cup, to run concurrently with the World Cup, which would involve a qualifying competition every two years.
In 2007, UEFA allocated the 14th European Championship to Poland and Ukraine that defeated an Italian as well as a Hungarian-Croatian bid for the holding of this year's edition of the most popular continental football competition for national teams.
UEFA has selected an amount of eight venue cities that are awaiting a minimum of three matches each including Warsaw and Kyiv as the venues for the opener match respectively the final. Wroclaw, Poznán, Gdansk and the Ukrainian cities Donezk, Lviv and Kharkiv are completing the list of the hosting venue cities.
In addition to this, all the big names will attend the competition, including 2008's winners Spain, the 2010 World Cup finalists from the Netherlands and also Germany, the nation with the most titles in European Championships (3). 
68 match officials have been selected by UEFA to bolster the provision of a fantastic tournament to the world that are basically made up of twelve quintets including the main referee, two assistant referees and two additional assistant referees all coming from the same nation each. Moreover, four fourth officials and four reserve assistant referees will attend the tournament.

This blog and its community will follow this tournament by reporting on the match officials' performances and discussing their appointments.
In addition, everything related to the upcoming first referee appointments can be posted underneath this thread until no separate thread is available.
Check these officials and their profiles (still to come) and find a tournament overview including referee observation reports by following the below posted link.

UEFA EURO 2012

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