January 19, 2013

Appointments that make sense

As Africa's football governing body CAF has, more or less, released the first eight match official appointments of the tournament, AFCON's refereeing is definitely materializing. "More or less", because there was again no official announcement and our provision of appointments depended on sources and various online newspapers. In a nutshell: CAF's public relations management has not improved during the last year, but I am sure that their refereeing quality has done so..

Daniel Bennett (RSA) issueing a sending-off at AFCON 2012 (c) GhanaFA

What will be louder, Haimoudi's whistles or Soccer City's vuvuzelas?
Algeria's top official Djamel Haimoudi, who was recently honoured as Africa's best referee of the past year, will take charge of today's opener match between the hosts of South Africa and the surprise participants Cape Verde, who remarkably managed to beat Cameroon in the qualifiers.
Undoubtfully, Haimoudi is the African referee of the moment, also against the background of his appearance in last season's CAF Champions League final. In addition, he was invited to a FIFA organized tournament in 2011 and in 2012 as well, where he showed overall acceptable performances (2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2012 FIFA Club World Cup). The features one perhaps directly connects with him are his pedantic and tense line in terms of foul detection, but more likely his loud and plentiful whistles, which sometimes cross a borderline, when he e.g. attempted to prohibit the celebration of goals with approximately twenty disturbing whistles. So the question could be, what will be louder, Haimoudi's whistles or Soccer City's vuvuzelas? Always keep in mind, the competition is held in South Africa and we all remember this drone in all the stadiums, which perhaps made some of us switching the TV on "mute", but which will always stay the unforgettable circumstance of the last World Cup. Of course, the vuvuzelas will again bolster a great atmosphere and pose immense challenges for the officials.
Haimoudi will be strengthened by very experienced officials. Felicien Kabanda of Rwanda, being FIFA listed since 2002, and Songuifolo Yeo of Côte d'Ivoire, FIFA official since 2004, will assist him. Both are also on the prospective list of referees for 2014 FIFA World Cup. Yeo has experience with regards to opener matches at an Africa Cup of Nations, as he accompanied his countryman Noumandiez Doue at last year's opener match in Equatorial Guinea. Doue, himself Africa's best referee of 2011, completes the team as fourth official.

Four West Africans for match 2
The second and later match of the tournament is also of vital importance related to the outcome of Group A. Angola will meet Morocco, a match of potentially pathbreaking relevance, as this group is the surely most balanced one of the entire group stage. Therefore, it's no surprise that last year's final official Badara Diatta (Senegal) received this appointment; CAF certainly expects a high level of control from him which he should ensure, at least on paper, since he is one of the most experienced referees of the tournament.
Two very young Senegalese assistant referees have been nominated to follow him in this match, also played at Soccer City. 29-year old Djibril Camara, who is an almost sure candidate for the next FIFA World Cup, and El Hadji Malick Samba, born in 1979, are their names. Koman Coulibaly of Mali, who already handled one World Cup match in South Africa (Slovenia - USA), has been designated as fourth official.

Nothing new for Daniel Bennett
South African official Daniel Bennett will take control over the first Group B match on Sunday and will meet familiar faces. When he will blow the starting whistle in Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, it will be his fourth involvement in matches of Ghana (after WC qualifiers in 2009 vs Benin, Ghana's AFCON 2010 semifinal win over Nigeria and last AFCON's group stage match against Guinea) and the third meeting with DR Congo (DR Congo were defeated in the previous matches, 0-1 vs Egypt and 0-1 vs Cameroon in WC qualifiers 2008 / 2012).
Consequently, one may raise doubts whether this is a real challenge for this good referee, who has frequently proven to have his strengths in decision taking and his weaknesses in technical abilities like fitness and stamina. Last year, his first AFCON match was the significant Morocco - Tunisia clash, where his performances was tarnished by a wrongly given goal. Morocco's 1-2 was only possible as Zakhele Thusi Siwela, of South Africa as well, oversaw an offside position (1 metre). Siwela will again take the spot as Assistant Referee 2, while Bennett's other pre list teammate Aden Marwa Range from Kenya will run the main stand's line. Ghead Grisha of Egypt will be the fourth official.

A pre list official for a crucial match
A Tunisian trio will head the immensely vital Group B match between Mali and Niger. As Ghana are the clear favourites to hold their own as group winners, Mali and Niger probably combat for the 2nd spot which facilitates the ticket to the K.O. stage. Moreover, it's a match between two direct neighbours, between two territorial giants. Slim Jedidi, a pre list official as well, Bechir Hassani and Anouar Hmila are the officials. Jedidi refereed Mali's 1-0 win over Guinea at the last edition of this tournament and did not manage to show a good performance. He was sent home after group stage, returned into the spotlight at FIFA Olympic Games 2012 and performed well.
Morocco's Bouchaib El Ahrach will be the fourth official of the match.

A blank sheet for the holders
Zambia, last AFCON's surprise winners, will meet Ethiopia on Monday. CAF has appointed Eric Otogo-Castane of Gabon for this match, a referee with not so much experience, but at least with already one AFCON participation, after having handled Sudan - Burkina Faso in 2012. His performance was ok, it could be now time to test him in a more meaningful match. Along with Jean-Claude Birumushahu (Burundi), who also accompanied him last year in his only AFCON match, and newcomer Arsénio Marengula from Mozambique, he now gets this chance. Rajindraparsad Seechurn from Mauritius supports him as fourth official.

Total experience for Nigeria - Burkina Faso
There is not that much to say about Mohamed Benouza of Algeria, who is the embodiment of international experience. Having a look at his palmarès, you will not only find out how many tournaments he attended in his long career, but also that Nigeria never won when Benouza came. Both matches he was in charge of with Nigerian involvement went lost for the "Super Eagles", against Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire at AFCON 2008. At the same time, he already refereed Burkina Faso three times, the balance is balanced...one win, one draw, one loss. 
At the last Africa Cup, Benouza received three important matches and managed to increase the quality of his performances from match to match. Starting with a performance below expectation, he showed a good one and then a very good match in the semifinal between Zambia and Ghana.
Redouane Achik from Morocco, a very good and experienced assistant referee who attended 2010 FIFA World Cup, too, and Angola's Jerson Emiliano Dos Santos, who could follow into the footsteps of the well-known former assistant Inacio Manuel Cândido, accompany Benouza. Madagascar's talent Nampiandraza Hamada has to wait for an appointment as main referee, as he will go to Mbombela as fourth official.

The return of Togo
The story of the Togolese national team is certainly unbelievable. After the very surprising appearance at 2006 FIFA World Cup, they did not qualify for the following AFCON in 2008. Although they managed to qualify for AFCON 2010 in Angola, they withdrew their participation after an outrage on their team bus prior to the tournament. CAF decided to suspend Togo and their officials, including the excellent assistant referee Komi Konyoh, from every tournament and exclude them for the next four years, which would have meant that they could not have joined this competition. FIFA however interfered in the process and changed this decision back. 
Now, it's their comeback on this stage and they will meet Côte d'Ivoire as certainly hard prelude. Cameroon's young and developing referee Néant Alioum will take charge of it. After he catched our eyes with four good performances at 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, he had several problems in some of his matches, among others in last AFCON's quarterfinal between Ghana and Tunisia, where he completely lost the conrol over the match. He is nonetheless an aspiring official who has good chances to reach next year's FIFA World Cup. Evarist Menkouande of Cameroon, the most successful African assistant referee of the last years, and Gabonese Théophile Vinga will run the lines. Sylvester Kirwa of Kenya will supervise the benches as fourth official.

Top talent for top clash
Naturally, one has to be careful with premature praise. However, 2012 Africa Cup of Nations was the first tournament which we managed to completely cover with our report system. The main result of our work was that Bakary Gassama of Gambia (1979), until then totally unknown in the international referee pool, showed two excellent performances when he had proven that he is a cool and courageous referee despite of his little experience. He was therefore - according to our marks - the best referee of the tournament. Four months later, he appeared on FIFA's prospective list for 2014 World Cup Brazil for the first time, a very good decision by FIFA. Then, he immediately received a call-up for a FIFA organized tournament, which was the Olympic Games in Great Britain. There, he handled two Group Stage matches and confirmed our previous impression. Specially in Brazil - New Zealand, he made correct decisions in decisive moments and had no qualm to send off a Brazilian for a dive with the second yellow card.
And now, at this competition, CAF has given him the most sonorous and hot duel of the first matchday. Algeria will meet Tunisia, the no.2 will meet the no.10 of Africa's team ranking. The high tension as a derby makes this match probably even more interesting. 
With regard to his assistants, it must be outlined that Jason Damoo (Seychelles) is missing at the competition for unknown reasons. He is actually Gassama's regular assistant referee. Experienced assistant referees will nonetheless accompany the young official: Angesom Ogbamariam of Eritrea and Nigerian Peter Edibe will support him. Badara Diatta of Senegal, as already written, a very experienced official, will be the fourth official at Rustenburg's Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
A crucial match for Gassama and the whole group and a brave choice made by CAF to pick this team.

Conclusion and an outlook
Taking everything into consideration, one can definitely say that every single appointment makes sense. That was definitely not always the case in African officiating. From my point of view, they managed to create an equilibrated mixture of experienced officials, developing referees and interesting appointments.

Of course it's hard to predict coming appointments. What can be said is that Bernard Camille (Seychelles), Ali Lemghaifry (Mauretania) and Jakky Sikazwe (Zambia) are still without a match, which should change at the second matchday. While I expect Ghead Grisha in South Africa - Angola and Bernard Camille in Morocco - Cape Verde, one could test Janny Sikazwe, who conveyed a promising impression at the last AFCON, in Ghana - Mali. If you like, make your preditions now, too.


  1. Predictions for MD2

    It's always mere gambling.

    RSA-ANG Grisha, Hassani, Salifu
    MAR-CPV Camille, Moussa, Range
    GHA-MLI Sikazwe, Kabanda, Camara
    DRC-NIG Lemghaifry, Achik, Ahmed Ali
    ZAM-NGA Doue, Yeo, Menkouande
    BFA-ETH Coulibaly, Diarra, Hmila
    CIV-TUN Bennett, Siwela, Marengula
    ALG-TOG Nampiandraza, Birumushahu, Dos Santos

  2. I agree with your analysis, as always brilliant!
    To be honest, I had forgotten the vuvuzelas :D but now reading your article that sound is again in my mind.... ;) A sound that will be surely louder, than Haimoudi's whistle!
    And.. yes! All the appointments make really sense. CAF committee is surely working in a very good manner in the last year, not the same thing for the public relations and the appointments to be revealed.
    They have appointed Gassama for this important top clash, it was a logical consequence after his performance last year in Gabon and E. Guinda, and also after his appearances in FIFA tournament.
    On the other side, we could describe Haimoudi as the African Benquerença, of course referring to his fussy gestures and minimal tolerance about everything.
    As you correctly said, Diatta is the more experienced referee among the officials and therefore, I think that the appointment makes sense, because Angola - Morocco seems an unpredictable match.
    Finally, it would be very interesting to know why Damoo from Seychelles isn't here.
    My predictions and other remarks will follow in the next posts.

    1. * Guinda = Guinea

      of course

    2. Thanks, and have a look in your mailbox.

    3. I have answered a few hours ago, sorry for the delay.

  3. Very poor first half. For now, both teams are not able to produce a decent football.
    Haimoudi was pedantic, he whistled many minor contacts and he missed at least one advantage. A free kick given to SA was very soft and Bafana Bafana had a big chance to score.
    The only YC is acceptable. Can't be sure about assistants calls, because I'm watching in a not decent quality.

    1. I agree, and i would add abouth the assistants, only one wrong call by You, was kind of promising for SA...

    2. I agree, and i would add abouth the assistants, only one wrong call by You, was kind of promising for SA...

  4. Predictions:
    RSA-ANG Lemghaifry
    MAR-CPV Sikazwe
    GHA-MLI Doue
    DRC-NIG Camille
    ZAM-NGA Seechurn
    BFA-ETH El Ahrach
    CIV-TUN Coulibaly
    ALG-TOG Ghead

  5. I have not recognized a progress considering Haimoudi's matches in the past. It was ok, but not more. I think the mark will be something in the area of 8.1 or 8.2

  6. What a poor AFCON! After the first matchday, it seems so boring. This evening the Soccer Stadium in Johannesburg was almost empty!
    No goals in both matches and many difficulties in creating decent actions and score goals.
    About Diatta: it should be a mark around expected level, match not difficult to handle, several minor situations to analyze.
    By the way, I expected really more from this competition, I'm disappointed after the first day.
    Further info and the report to follow as soon as possible.

  7. 3rd place match:

    Banjar Muhammad Al-Dossari (QAT) - 8.0
    Hassan Rashid Al-Thawadi (QAT) - 8.4
    Talib Salam Al-Marri (QAT) - 8.3
    Abdullah Muhammad Masoud Al-Hilali (OMA) - 8.0

    Al-Dossari was right in giving a penalty to Kuwait, after careless challenge by Bahraini goalkeeper. After visible consultation with first assistant referee, Hassan Al-Thawadi, he changed his plan to only book Abbas Ahmad and sent him off. Correct call, because it was denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The penalty-kick was repeated and I don't know why. Maybe two players set their feet half meter into the penalty area, but is it reason to repeat penalty, I doubt in it.

    Referee had problems to keep alertness in this easy-going match. He didn't want to issue even obvious yellow cards to Bahraini players. Only take a look on 61' (tactical foul by Muhammad Duaij), 62' (reckless challenge by Hussain Ali), 63' (reckless slide-tackle by Muhammad Hussain), 67' (reckless slide-tackle by Hassan Jameel) and 69' (unsporting behaviour by Abdulwahab Al-Maloud).

    As you can see, 5 really obvious (at least to me!) yellow cards was missed by Al-Dossari... OK, it was an easy match, players didn't protested against referee's calls, but should referee at this level do such obvious (even minor) mistakes? Furthermore, 40th minute - obvious foul and yellow card missed. How did the referee miss it? How did referee miss those obvious cards? The only possible answer is: lack of alertness, concentration.

    Best to learn from others' mistakes. Hence the big lesson here for other referees: you can not close your eyes to fouls, even when the result is one-sided!

    In sum, mark would be 7.7 or lower if the match was more difficult, but in this game players even didn't protest against obvious mistakes.

    Is anyone able to explain me how second assistant referee, Al-Marri, could have wrongly evaluated situation from 77'? Apart from that, really good performance by assistants.

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdfAuzVaUD4 (first half)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM5AjsbyxfA (second half)

    2. As I said, the penalty can be right but the contact seems really soft and the player is able to get this call by the referee! Of course, if you give the penalty, the RC is the correct decision.
      About the other situations: very similar performance to Al Hilali, lenient referee and several missed cards. But here again the question: as long as the missed cards are not crucial mistakes, how we can evaluate that?
      77': the assistant was looking elsewhere, watch his face when he appears on the camera. Here the referee has his faults: missed obvious correction.

  8. Thanks as always, red card to my mind ok as you also said. Concerning these fouls, 2 of them should be yellow-carded (63' and 67'), but one has to consider those situations in context and not solely and independently from previous parts of the game.

    1. Referee shouldn't justify missed obvious cards only because the result is one-sided. If tackles deserve yellow cards, the latter should be issued, do you agree?

    2. I agree but sometimes there are different feelings on the pitch!

    3. And it's a big problem to my mind.

    4. I understand your point of view. You would see always a referee applying the rulesof the game, regardless to the score. This often doesn't happen.
      Several referees are accustomed to use the "common sense", especially in favor of the teams which are losing...

    5. What can I say, just don't like it!

    6. We cannot simply say: tackle 1, that must be yellow, tackle 2, that must be yellow, tackle 3, also a clear yellow. If you apply that, Aytekin missed 3 yellows on Friday. But it was clever, because he maintained control and did not destroy the match already in the second half.
      When you are on the pitch, it's not that black-white. We will always have this debate, remember Kassai in ESP-ITA, there could have also been 10 yellows, but with his line, the match was fluent and one of the best and tensest of the whole EURO.

    7. *already in the first half of course

    8. Nope. Al-Dossari had control in this match and therefore it's 8.0. I don't like philosophy like this one, sorry. I can also feel a difference between yellow/non-yellow foul and a clear yellow. When the referee misses obvious yellow, it must decrease his final mark.

      Therefore, missed yellows are mistakes, even quite important, but if the referee has full control over the match, the final mark shouldn't be lower than 8.0.

      Just imagine such situation - Al-Dossari gives yellow card for first above-mentioned tackle, than for second one, players stop further reckless challenges. Isn't it better than keeping both eyes closed? I'm sure it is.

    9. It depends on the referee's plan, perhaps also philosophy and perception on the pitch.
      Concerning your sentence "it must decrease his final mark". That might be your ideal, perhaps even mine, but then ask yourself why Kassai got Wembley final after a round of 16 match where he missed, if one follows your train of thought, more than 3 "mandatory" yellow cards. Observers are not that quick with 8.0s like you ;)

    10. How can I give 8.3/8.4 what means "really good job" or how can I give 8.2 what means "good and nothing more"? 8.1/8.0 is "only good, satysfying, but with important point(s) for improvement" and I think it's only possible mark here.

    11. 8.2 does not mean "good", it means "satisfying with small areas for improvement".

    12. Read pdf I sent you ;)

    13. IN POLISH:

      Dalsze wyjaśnienia skali ocen
      a. Noty od 9,0 do 10,0 wystawiane powinny być dla znakomitego występu w bardzo trudnych zawodach.
      b. Noty od 8,5 do 8,9 wystawiane powinny być dla bardzo dobrego występu w meczu dość wymagającym lub bardzo trudnym.
      c. Noty 8.3 i 8.4 wystawiane powinny być dla „naprawdę dobrego” występu w normalnym meczu, będzie to wiadomość dla obsady, że sędzia jest gotowy do następnego meczu.
      d. Nota 8.2 oznacza, że pracę sędziego określić można jako ”dobra i nic więcej”. Istnieje kilka szczegółów, które wymagają poprawy.
      e. Noty 8.0 i 8.1 powinny być wystawione dla pracy sędziego ocenianej jako „po prostu dobra” a obsada powinna ostrożnie podchodzić do następnej nominacji meczowej sędziego. Istnieje ważny obszar/obszary, który wymaga poprawy.


      Further explanations regarding marks:
      a) Marks 9.0 to 10.0 should be given for excellent performance in very difficult match
      b) Marks 8.5 to 8.9 should be given for very good performance in challenging or very difficult match
      c) Marks 8.3 to 8.4 should be given for "really good" performance in normal match - message to committee, that the referee is able to whistle next match
      d) Mark 8.2 means that referee's performance can be described as "good and nothing more". There are some points for improvement.
      e) Marks 8.0 to 8.1 should be given for "only good" referee's work and committee should be careful in next appointments towards this referee. There are important areas which should be improved.

    15. Sorry, I took the UEFA evaluation system as basis. And I thought we agreed that we take this one, although that's of course only a very slight difference.

    16. It's just the same, at the top of pdf, that I sent you are UEFA's description, some verses lower are other, more useful descriptions. I recommend everyone who want to "evaluate" referees' performances to translate this pdf: opolskizpn.nazwa.pl/ks/pliki/wskazowki_dla_obserwatorow_2012.pdf

    17. By the way, it's UEFA document translated on Polish by our FA!

  9. Concerning AFCON, it reminds me on the start of WC 2010. Remember what everybody said, "the most boring WC", "no goals in RSA"...these were the headlines and then the tournament nonetheless took an enormous pace. So I would wait, but clear, I have also no motivation to make a report for Haimoudi in a match without any big moment or critical situation.

    1. I hope that but at lest the teams in group A have big problems in playing a football match.

  10. Two German teams will attend Elite Rounds in UEFA's mini qualifiers.

    U17 in Croatia (Group 1, Croatia, Belgium, Spain, France): Christian Dingert, Marco Achmüller
    U19 in Russia (Group 7, Ukraine, Turkey, Italy, Russia): Tobias Welz, Rafael Foltyn

  11. You probably remember the offside goal missed by Zakhele Siwela.
    Now watch that, I did not see it in 2011. Referee Martins de Carvalho and AR2 was Siwela.

    1. I think a brilliant call by the assistant. Try to find the suitable stoppage and it should be onside.

    2. A brilliant call, neverthelees his positioning is poor. I hope he respected the line "the offside calls should be made only if the assistant has no doubt about it".

  12. I give up with CAF!
    I have watched the first half of Angola-Morocco and now reading the report of the match on the official site:
    I see a YC given to Adil Hermach (Morocco) at 25'.
    Totally invented by someone. There isn't any signal watching the match.
    Please if yu can, take a look, maybe I'm stupid.... ;) but I don't find it.

    1. The whole CAF. Only thing you can do is to watch again first 25 minutes, I think :)

    2. weltfussball.de's liveticker did not mention it either. I love CAF.

  13. Chefren, what's going on in Fiorentina? 6 yellows in the first half, Bergonzi seems busy.

    1. Chaotic card management!
      Many cards in first half, probablyt he wanted to control the match but he exaggerated. Then, in second half always many fouls but no cards.
      Behrami deserved to be send off, the same count for other players.
      Probably in the half time he realized to have given too many cards.
      Take a look at Fiorentina goal :(

    2. Several borderline situations for the assistants, at least one mistake by both Di Fiore and Marzaloni. The situations were borderline, but the flags were wrong.

    3. Ok, does not sound nice.

  14. This match is definitely more interesting.
    Correct penalty given by Bennett.

    1. Oh, finally four goals! ;)
      I'm happy for Bennett, he is a good referee. I know him very well, after last AFCON.
      This time he has big chances for the final, I don't see the SA national team going so ahead in this competition!

    2. If Algeria are in the semis, I will like to see Gassama there and Bennett in the final.

  15. Bennett is able to handle World Cup matches after all I have seen from him.

    1. Now watched the penalty given on youtube.
      The pulling is blatant, clear foul and correct decision, but a so theatrical fall is unacceptable. :D

  16. Anonymous20/1/13 22:31

    Off topic

    Stéphane Lannoy, l'arbitre de Bordeaux - Paris-SG, ce dimanche 20 janvier 2013, s'est blessé à la cuisse droite au cours de la 1ère mi-temps. Il a été remplacé par Benoît Bastien, le 4e arbitre.

    A un peu plus de 3 semaines de la reprise des matchs de Coupe d'Europe et après une longue période d'indisponibilté déjà pour cause de blessure en automne dernier, on peut dire que Stéphane Lannoy joue de malchance. Il est à espérer que cette récidive ne pas pas compromettre son avenir lui qui est présélectionné pour le mondial 2014.

    Je lui souhaite un prompt et entier rétablissement.


    Fin du off topic

    1. Really, really sorry. This man has such bad luck :(

    2. Lannoy is appointed for last 32 round of Coupe de France, maybe it will be a replacement. Here, the full appointments:


  17. QATAR STARS LEAGUE (foreign apppointments):

    Al-Jaish - Lakhwiya
    Richard Trutz, Tomáš Somoláni, Ondrej Brendza (SVK)

    Al-Sadd - Qatar
    Fredy Fautrel, Guillaume Debart, Frédéric Haquette (FRA)

    Al-Khor - Al-Arabi
    Muhammad Farouk, Ayman Dejaish, Tamir Darri (EGY)

  18. Roma-Inter
    Orsato, Di Liberatore, Manganelli, Damato, Romeo, Iannello.
    Penalty whistled by Orsato in first half: in my opinion questionable decision. Tackle by Ranocchia on Bradley. Probably the referee thought that the tackle hit the opponent, but Bradley was able to jump and he also hit with his foot the head of Ranocchia. Understandable situation: it seems a clear penalty without replay and Orsato was not close.
    Anyway, Italian commentators stated that it was a correct penalty because Ranocchia had to be punished for his reckless behavior, even though the opponent was able to avoid the contact. Borderline situation. Maybe we can justify the penalty, but I think that Orsato whistled because he saw wrongly a clear contact, and not for another reason. Remarkable statements by Javier Zanetti: "We have to understand the choice of the referee, from the pitch, it seemed a clear penalty with a blatant contact".
    A bit before the end of first half, Inter scored the equalizer (1-1). In this situation Damato (AAR1) was important, detecting that the control of the ball by Guarin (prior to the assist for Palacio) was made with the chest and not the arm.
    Lorenzo Manganelli (AR2) again superb: a faultless performance and many offside situations to detect, some of which were really borderline. His mark could be something between 9,1 and 9,4. Excellent flag to Osvaldo at the begnning of the match, he had just a foot in offside.
    On the other side, Elenito Di Liberatore had less calls to do than his colleague, but he also showed a good performance. Not at the same level, because he probably did one mistake, but he was also able to recigonize, in another situation, a very slight offside by Osvaldo in second half (with onyl his head), therefore very good.
    Manganelli and Di Liberatore are for now the best Italian assistants, in my opinion.

  19. I answer later.

    Correct penalty given by Otogo-Castane.

  20. And now he MUST give red.

  21. Sending-off, absolutely correct. Kung fu by goalie.

    1. The first very challenging match of AFCON.
      A penalty and a straight red card, until now.
      But what a poor atmoshpere again! Almost empty stadium...

    2. Yes but those who are there are producing an ok atmosphere to my mind. Better than in Diatta's match.

    3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHar4zkAVvw
      Watching the video, it seems that prior to give the red card, Otogo had a conversation with Birumushahu. Maybe just a confirmation, anyway good cooperation.

    4. Very particular scene to issue a red card when a player is still injured, lying on the stretcher, but Otogo was forced there.

    5. Yes and it was good that he tried to wait until the player could stand up, which he was not able to in the end. Hopefully he can confirm this good impression in the last 15 minutes.

    6. For sure, broken leg by goallie! I fully understand referee's call but after replays it seems, that GK hid his studs-up tackle suffering injury because of this. We can't talk about DOGSO too, so it's only YC to me.

    7. It was no DOGSO, that's right, but definitely serious foul play. No debatable call in my opinion.

    8. GK didn't want to hurt the opponent... He tried to win the ball, it's sure and therefore this dynamic character of foul is understandable. It was inevitable contact, without an intention to endanger the opponent. Clear yellow card to me, but only after watching replay.

    9. It's not a clear yellow card for me. It's a red card in most cases and the keeper committed a serious foul play here. The keeper doesn't think about his opponent's safety and comes in studs up. There is no doubt that the referee has made the correct decision.

    10. He came in studs-up but then changed the leg's position to not endanger the opponent. Finally, the contact was inevitable.

  22. And Otogo tarnishes his whole performance with a missed handball penalty in the very last minute of added time :(

    1. Intentional hanball?
      Blatant mistake?

    2. The arm was pretty close to the body, but he moved it clearly and targeted to the ball to prevent a striker from reaching it. So no blatant mistake, but for my taste a mistake.

  23. Benouza could have given a penalty in the 8th minute, and then we must talk about dogso. Actually, it was a foul although it looked like an unlucky body inset. Achik had also free view.

  24. Benouza is really not at his best. Now he missed an actually clear handball penalty to Burkina Faso (minute 31). But let's wait for Turan's report.

  25. OFC U-17 Championship Preliminary - Match Day 1 Preview


    Samoa vs. American Samoa
    3pm local time, Tuesday 22 January
    J.S. Blatter Football Complex
    Apia, Samoa

    Referee: Rakesh VARMAN [FIJ]
    Assistant Referee 1: Phul SINGH [FIJ]
    Assistant Referee 2: Simon LOUNT [NZ]
    4th Official: Matt CONGER [NZ]


    Tonga vs. Cook Islands
    5pm local time, Tuesday 22 January
    J.S. Blatter Football Complex
    Apia, Samoa

    Referee: Robinson BANGA [VAN]
    Assistant Referee 1: Hilmon SESE [VAN]
    Assistant Referee 2: Paul AHUPU [TAH]
    4th Official: Pari OITO [TAH]

  26. Coppa Italia semfinals - First leg
    Today and Tomorrow:

    JUVENTUS – LAZIO 22/01 h. 20.45

    ROMA – INTER 23/01 h. 20.45
    IV: CELI

  27. @Admin
    I have now watched the handball in Zambia-Ethiopia. Very difficult call. http://s7.directupload.net/file/d/3143/29h5gwg6_jpg.htm
    1) Otogo was there, clear and free view.
    2) The arm wass close to body.
    3) Without that touch, the ball could have passed, reaching the striker.
    4) The differece between the arm and the shoulder in this situation is minimal.

    Therefore, I'm not able to say if this is 100% penalty or not, but again I want to underline how much this handballs are difficult to evaluate. Here, a referee could punish the malicious movement made by defender with his body, but at the end this isn't a blatant handball. Very difficult, I would have accepted a penalty here, but I also accept Otogo's call. He surely saw everything well.

    1. 5)the speed of the ball after it hits the arm is also significant.

  28. I will go with Chefren for this position. It will be alright if the referee had called it too. So both ways.
    I have written the report about Benouza. Disappointing for me. Niclas will review and publish it.

    1. Thanks Turan.
      To explain it better: the defedender doesn't move only his hand, but he moves his whole upper body, keeping the arm in a correct position, not raised, therefore one could also think that the touch was accidental. It happened with the arm, but it might have happened with the shoulder or the chest. We could see the arm as part of the body in this situation. I know, it's difficult to explain in words, but I hope you understand!

  29. I hope there will be a small video possible for this handball scene because it is a paramount example of colliding criteria for a deliberate handball.
    Chefren, are you sure that this screenshot fits to this situation? Because there were 2 handball penalty appeals and I saw the handball in the 90+3rd minute, about which were are discussing, from other replays than this one.
    There a very good replay, showing that the striker could have reached the ball if the defender hadn't moved his whole upper body, but specially his upper arm towards the ball. He only touched it with the arm, not with the chest. It was a significant increase of the body volume because otherwise, the striker would have got it, even though the distance between arm and body was minimal.

    + Otogo: distance between arm and body
    - Otogo: movement of the hand towards the ball, preventing the striker from getting it, intentional and planned movement, the pace was not so high, the distance between the point from which the ball was kicked and his arm was large.

    Sometimes it is also useful to think the other way round, if Otogo had whistled it, I would have said 100% correct penalty. Vice versa, it's a mistake after all for me.

  30. @ Relaxed Man: I really tried hard and re-watched the red card infringement again and again, but I cannot detect that the goalkeeper takes back his studs up..and even if, he had them up, he took the risk. That's "more red" than Taylor's red cards to my mind.

    1. After watching +about 20 replays I'm able to take your opinion as final. It was dangerous, it can be classified as excessive use of force, even as brutality. By this whole injury I saw it that Tassew changed leg's position but maybe I'm wrong here. Of course, I fully accepted referee's call there, as I mentioned above. Regards!

  31. I have no time to check whether the situation is included here:

    Have a look yourself, as mentioned, minute 90+3.

    1. I will check it later.

    2. I have watched again the whole last minutes of the match, I don't find other handballs. So, the pic I have uploaded should be the rigt one, I confirm all my remarks written untl now...

  32. Gassama with a pretty dark yellow card, that was luck for the Tunisian player, rude foul.

  33. More than 20 fouls in the first 25 minutes, Gassama has huge problems so far. I hope he can improve his control.

  34. Also two debatable penalty appeals, one on each side. No smooth performance, that's for sure.

  35. I would say it was a clear penalty kick since a clear contact between defender and attacker was made (deffender's head vs attacker). In adition to reckless behaviour, the contact described above prevented attacker to continue his movement. It could be that Orsato had seen something else, but he made a good call.
    True, Manganelli and Di Libertatore made great offside calls. Due to fact that offides could be measured in centimeters I really wonder what and how did they see it at the moment when they made those calls:)

  36. Tunisia - Algeria (report to follow by tomorrow)


    Referee: Bakkary Gassama 7.8
    Assistant 1: Angesom Ogbamariam 8.3
    Assistant 2: Peter Edibe 7.9
    Fourth: Badara Diatta 8.0


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