March 31, 2013

Referees for Champions League Quarterfinals First Legs are revealed

UEFA has appointed their Elite Group match officials Mark Clattenburg (England), Wolfgang Stark (Germany), Jonas Eriksson (Sweden) and Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway) to take control over this week's UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals first legs.

Wolfgang Stark in charge of PSG-Barcelona (c) Sü

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March 29, 2013

(UEFA) Referee Quiz

Test your knowledge of the Laws of the Game and of the recent UEFA refereeing history! You find the solution word at the bottom!

The referee indicates that there is no additional time. What action should the fourth official take?
W) He indicates "0" on the board.
S) He should inform the match commissioner.
S) He should report it to the appropriate authorities.
W) He should do nothing.

According to Law 10 a goal is scored when the ball has fully crossed the goal line between the posts and below the crossbar unless:
I) The scoring team has infringed the Laws of the Game immediately prior to scoring the goal
A) The goal is scored by a player in his own goal during the taking of a direct free kick.
T) The ball comes from a free kick.
E) Answers I and A are correct.

A defender starts holding an attacker outside the penalty area but stops holding just inside the penalty area. What decision should the referee make?
M) The referee awards a penalty kick.
O) The referee awards a direct free kick as the action of holding started outside the penalty area.
H) The referee awards an indirect free kick inside the penalty area.
C) Play continues.

An attacker with an obvious goal scoring opportunity heads the ball. At this moment his shirt is pulled by an opponent. The referee applies advantage. The ball is passed directly to a team-mate who scores a goal. What decision should the referee make?
U) The referee allows the goal and does not take any disciplinary action.
A) The referee disallows the goal, cautions the opponent for preventing the attacker gaining possession of the ball by holding on to his shirt and awards a direct free kick or penalty kick.
B) The referee allows the goal and cautions the opponent for unsporting behaviour.
Y) The answers A and B are correct.

What action should the referee take if, upon taking a free kick, a player starts to move or gesticulate, in order to distract an opponent?
L) He does not take any action, as long as the player in question keeps at the statutory distance and does not impede the ball being put into play.
D) Awards an indirect free-kick and cautions the player in question for unsporting behaviour.
L) Cautions the player in question for unsporting behaviour.
K) He does not take any action, because the Laws of the Game do not indicate anything regarding this.

How many referees are currently belonging to the highest UEFA referee group, the Elite group?
H) 19 referees.
G) 20 referees.
C) 21 referees.
E) 22 referees.

Which active assistant referee has, according to the amount of matches he was involved in (51), the biggest Champions League experience?
Y) Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER)
N) Jesús Calvo Guadamuro (ESP)
T) Bertino Cunha Miranda (POR)
B) Mike Mullarkey (ENG)

Who of the following match officials attended NO UEFA mini-tournament in his career so far (U-17, U-19, U-21)?
M) Craig Thomson (referee SCO)
W) Gregor Rojko (assistant, SVN)
F) Nicola Rizzoli (referee, ITA)
P) Joel De Bruyn (assistant, BEL)

Which nation has to wait for a Champions League final referee for the longest period of time?
I) Italy
G) Germany
S) Spain
E) England

Which two Elite referees celebrate their birthday on the same date?
R) Felix Brych (GER) and William Collum (SCO)
N) Jonas Eriksson (SWE) and Björn Kuipers (NED)
F) Alberto Undiano (ESP) and Howard Webb (ENG)
A) Pavel Královec (CZE) and Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

Which assistant referee already ran the lines at World Cup 2002 and is still active in Europa League this season?
I) Henrik Sönderby (DEN)
S) Eric Dansault (FRA)
A) Maciej Wierzbowski (POL)
U) Sigurdur Thorleifsson (ISL)

Who of the following UEFA referee committee members never took charge of a European club competition final as an active referee?
L) Jozef Marko (SVK)
N) Bo Karlsson (SWE)
S) Herbert Fandel (GER)
E) Marc Batta (FRA)

In order to read the solution word, please mark/assign the space between the two lines:
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Guessing the Champions League Quarterfinals Referee Appointments

With the aid of some reliable pieces of information as well as the knowledge of the nominated UEFA referee observers and UEFA delegates, one may attempt to figure out the referee appointments for the eight quarterfinal ties.

2013 Champions League final: Wembley (c)

02 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Paris S.G. - FC Barcelona
UEFA Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)
UEFA Delegate: Danilo Filacchione (ITA)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Michel Lebrun (FRA)

02 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Bayern München - Juventus Turin
UEFA Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)*
UEFA Delegate: Michal Listkiewicz (POL)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Josef Maier (GER)

03 April 2013, 20:45 CET - La Rosaleda, Málaga, Spain
Málaga CF - Borussia Dortmund
UEFA Referee Observer: Zdravko Jokić (SRB)
UEFA Delegate: Cornel Cristian Bivolaru (ROU)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Manuel Díaz Morales (ESP)

03 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Real Madrid - Galatasaray Istanbul
UEFA Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)
UEFA Delegate: Barry W. Bright (ENG)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Raúl Masso Zambudio (ESP)

09 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany
Borussia Dortmund - Málaga CF
UEFA Referee Observer: Vaclav Krondl (CZE)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Günter Risse (GER)

09 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi, Istanbul, Turkey
Galatasaray Istanbul - Real Madrid
UEFA Referee Observer: Neale Barry (ENG)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: tbd

10 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
FC Barcelona - Paris S.G.
UEFA Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)*
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Antonio Uzcudun Gómez (ESP)

10 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Juventus Turin - Bayern München
UEFA Referee Observer: László Vagner (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Fabrizio Malacart (ITA)

Known appointments
According to reliable sources, Dutch official Björn Kuipers has been appointed to take charge of a 2nd leg. Equally, the Spanish football federation has revealed that Carlos Velasco Carballo had been assigned to a 2nd leg as well. Due to the fact that three of the four encounters feature one Spanish side each, there is only Juventus Turin - Bayern München left for Velasco Carballo's Spanish officiating crew.

Referees without K.O. stage appointment
There are eight Elite referees who have not been appointed for a match in the K.O. stage thus far (even though Elite Development Group officials could potentially be involved in the quarterfinals, I leave out this opportunity now). Deducting Kuipers and Velasco Carballo, whose presence is clear, there are hence still six officials left: Martin Atkinson (England), Olegário Benquerença (Portugal), Stéphane Lannoy (France), Pedro Proença (Portugal), Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) and Wolfgang Stark (Germany). It is quite obvious that Proença and Rocchi get a match. Their performances have been overall quite satisfying in their group stage matches which were not only demanding, but also sonorous. Benquerença has not been often deployed by UEFA after his long injury, even though he seems to be fit at the moment, as he handled last week's World Cup qualifier Belgium - FYR Macedonia. If UEFA had wanted, they could have nominated him for a Round of 16 match. They did not do and thus, it is very unlikely that he is going to be one of the eight selected officials for the quarterfinals. Lannoy performed his comeback during the last weeks refereeing at Stamford Bridge in UEFA Europa League and taking control over the World Cup qualifier Israel - Portugal. However, Lannoy did not get any Champions League match so far, also due to injury. It is more probable than in Benquerença's case that he could get a match, but I would still say it's not that probable. 
The situations of Atkinson and Stark are more complicated. Both had one very weak performance each in group stage, after which they disappeared for a while from the big CL stage. While Atkinson was not even appointed in Europa League in 2013, Stark got Lyon - Tottenham and should have given a penalty in the final minutes. Moreover, he missed a foul prior to Romania's 2-2 draw in the World Cup qualifier in Hungary. Apart from that, he had some problems in Bundesliga here and there so that one can dare the thesis that this season is no good one for Stark. It is doubtful that UEFA gives him a match. Furthermore, the only match that would suit to him and his background is Paris Saint-Germain - FC Barcelona, but as he had Dynamo Kyiv - Paris Saint-Germain on matchday 5, also this encounter appears as impossible. Hence I come to the conclusion that only Proença and Rocchi will get a quarterfinal among those officials who have not been appointed for a K.O. stage match so far.

Possible matches for Kuipers, Proença and Rocchi
Based on that, we may speculate which matches fit to Kuipers, Proença and Rocchi respectively. Here, the referee observers and match delegates become helpful and important, as there is the rule that both the observer and the delegate have to come from a different country than the referee.
Gianluca Rocchi took charge of the matches Valencia CF - Lille, FC Barcelona - Celtic and Manchester City - Real Madrid in the group stage. In every match, there was a Spanish team involved. This trend will inevitably continue if he gets a quarterfinal. Due to his questionable penalty and sending-off issued against Real, he was subject to heavy criticism by Real responsibles. So it's rather not to be expected that UEFA appoints him for a leg of the tie Real Madrid - Galatasaray Istanbul. Málaga CF had an Italian referee team in the round of 16, headed by Nicola Rizzoli, so I also would like to exclude their match against Borussia Dortmund from the pool of possible matches Rocchi could be assigned to (another reason is that the second leg observer Vaclav Krondl already observed Rocchi in Manchester at the end of 2012). In the end, there is only one duel left, FC Barcelona - Paris Saint-Germain (the first leg is impossible due to the Italian delegate). If this is true, it would be a huge test, as Kyros Vassaras, a member of the UEFA referee committee, is the appointed observer. The only other reasonable opportunity would be the scenario that Rocchi does not get any Champions League K.O. phase match, but I really doubt that.
Consequently, there are merely two matches remaining for Björn Kuipers. Borussia Dortmund - Málaga CF and Galatasaray Istanbul - Real Madrid. Both observers definitely allow him. We keep that in mind for a moment.
Finally, Pedro Proença could be designated to handle the first leg of Paris Saint-Germain - FC Barcelona. He never refereed a match of one of both teams and was never observed by Switzerland's Francesco Bianchi. I honestly believe that Proença is at the moment one of not many referees who have the ability to cope with a possible "El clásico" in the semifinals. If it comes into existence after the drawing (and assuming that FC Barcelona and Real Madrid qualify at all), he would be excluded from it in the scenario I drew here.

Who else could get a match?
So there are still four officials missing. Beforehand one must emphasize the big questionaire that is connected with the name Cüneyt Çakır. Does UEFA consider him for any further match in Champions League after the controversies in the aftermath of his round of 16 clash? Difficult. I am going to predict the appointments based on the premise that he is not considered. In addition, the performances of Jonas Eriksson and Paolo Tagliavento have been not pretty convincing, at least for my and our observers' taste. I also do not regard Felix Brych, Viktor Kassai, Damir Skomina and Howard Webb as possible quarterfinal officials, as I believe that along with Proença they join the pool of the referees for the last five matches (semifinals + final).
The most striking UEFA referee observer appointment surely is Jozef Marko's for Bayern München - Juventus Turin; whenever a committee member comes, that should have a reason. In this concrete case, many referees are not possible or at least very unprobable for various reasons (they either handled these teams before or are out due to their nationality). I think that Mark Clattenburg of England is a real opportunity for this match. After his Wembley final at Olympic Games 2012 and after a quite good round of 16 match in Porto, he should be ready for his first really big game on the Champions League stage. This would explain Jozef Marko's presence.
What about Scottish officials? Both got important matches in the round of 16, Collum performed well under Pierluigi Collina's eyes and therefore has very realistic chances for a further match. But which one? There is only Málaga CF - Borussia Dortmund left, here one can discuss whether it should be a first or second leg. I would prefer the first leg here. At the same time, Craig Thomson would not get a match in the quarterfinals, although his performance in AC Milan - FC Barcelona was solid, too.
As for the second leg of the German-Spanish duel, there are not many opportunities. Svein Oddvar Moen would be a possible official for this match. However, the observer who will attend Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid (Real Madrid - Galatasaray Istanbul), German Eugen Strigel, normally observes younger and less experienced referees. Therefore I predict that the Norwegian team could rather get Real Madrid - Galatasaray.
Then, who is left for Borussia Dortmund - Málaga CF? Pavel Královec certainly not, because Vaclav Krondl is the observer and comes from the same country. Kuipers could have this match. At this point, it is mere gambling: You can either predict that Kuipers gets this match or the clash in Istanbul. Both is absolutely possible. But if he has the match in Istanbul, then we must take into account the possibility that either Martin Atkinson or Stéphane Lannoy could perhaps yet have a match. Very difficult. Galatasaray Istanbul - Real Madrid needs an experienced official, it however cannot be an Englishman or Scotsman, as English Neale Barry will be the observer. Thus, I dare the prediction that Kuipers goes to Dortmund and Nicola Rizzoli of Italy to Istanbul, not based on specially good performances in the past, but due to his immense and needed experience.

In a nutshell, I issue these predictions:

Paris S.G. - FC Barcelona: Pedro Proença (POR)
Bayern München - Juventus Turin: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Málaga CF - Borussia Dortmund: William Collum (SCO)
Real Madrid - Galatasaray Istanbul: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Borussia Dortmund - Málaga CF: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Galatasaray Istanbul - Real Madrid: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
FC Barcelona - Paris S.G.: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

Confirmed appointment:

Juventus Turin - Bayern München
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Fourth Official: Roberto Díaz Pérez Del Palomar (ESP)

What do you think? What are your ideas, your predictions?
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March 27, 2013

Formidable management follows Stepanenko's horror foul

Danish FIFA referee Kenn Hansen had to deal with a real textbook example of a horror foul. Ukraine's Taras Stepanenko striked down Moldova's Vitalie Bordian, probably unintentionally, but still completely ignoring the danger that aroused from his challenge.


Surely, it is one of the clearest red cards one can imagine. The way Hansen handled this incident must be praised and underlined though: Immediately being at the centre of attention, preventing riots by protecting the offender, calming down the rightly outraged Moldovans, at the same time allowing quick medical treatment and then issuing the necessary sending-off make his dealing with this extra-ordinary situation exemplary and worthy to be shown on referee seminars.
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March 26, 2013

Kassai's alertness prevails over Pedro's diving skills

In the World Cup qualifier between France and Spain, Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai resisted another Spanish try to achieve a penalty by simulation: Barcelona's Pedro seeked for contact with goalkeeper Lloris - and even found it, but the aspired whistle for a penalty kick did not follow.

Viktor Kassai (r.) with a lot of work in FRA-ESP (c) Mailonline

Before this video will be deleted, have a look yourself.

It is certain that there was a clear contact caused by Hugo Lloris. Nonetheless, the fact that Pedro started to fall a few moments before there could have been a contact at all supports Kassai's decision. It happens too often that strikers gain penalties by more or less diving into a contact with the goalkeeper, whom latter cannot escape. Therefore, more decisions like Kassai's one are needed to ban this behaviour.
The only small criticism one may issue here is that Kassai should have even cautioned Pedro for simulation. That would have been a signal.
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FIFA has dated next gatherings of prospective 2014 World Cup match officials

Following the seminars for prospective referees and assistant referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil held in Zurich in September 2012, we are pleased to inform you that as part of the preparations for the World Cup, the selected match officials are now invited to  attend a second seminar. 

The seminars will be held in the confederations and are scheduled as follows:
- CONCACAF in Fort Lauderdale (USA): 4 – 7 April 2013
- CONMEBOL in Asuncion (Paraguay): 9 – 12 April 2013
- UEFA in Zurich (Home of FIFA): 16 – 19 April 2013
- AFC & OFC in Dubai (UAE): 22 – 25 April 2013
- CAF in Casablanca (Morocco): 27 – 30 April 2013
The seminars will focus on the following:
- Protecting players and the image of the game and FAIR PLAY
- Guarantee of decisional consistency and uniformity
- “Reading the game” (technical/tactical approach)
- Understanding different football mentalities (knowledge of teams)

FIFA has furthermore confirmed the updated list of the prospective match officials for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

source: FIFA
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UEFA Officials for CL and EL Quarterfinals ready

These are the thus far made match official appointments (Referee Observer, Match Delegate and Referee Liaison Officer) for UEFA Champions League's and UEFA Europa League's quarterfinal matches, among them, there are three committee members: Jozef Marko (SVK), Kyros Vassaras (GRE) and even Pierluigi Collina (ITA), UEFA's Chief Officer in terms of refereeing. The referee appointments will be revealed between Sunday, 31 March 2013, 11:00 CET and Tuesday, 02 April 2013, 11:30 CET.

UEFA Champions League:

First Legs

02 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Paris S.G. - FC Barcelona
UEFA Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)
UEFA Delegate: Danilo Filacchione (ITA)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Michel Lebrun (FRA)

02 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Bayern München - Juventus Turin
UEFA Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)*
UEFA Delegate: Michal Listkiewicz (POL)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Josef Maier (GER)

03 April 2013, 20:45 CET - La Rosaleda, Málaga, Spain
Málaga CF - Borussia Dortmund
UEFA Referee Observer: Zdravko Jokić (SRB)
UEFA Delegate: Cornel Cristian Bivolaru (ROU)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Manuel Díaz Morales (ESP)

03 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Real Madrid - Galatasaray Istanbul
UEFA Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)
UEFA Delegate: Barry W. Bright (ENG)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Raúl Masso Zambudio (ESP)

Second Legs

09 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany
Borussia Dortmund - Málaga CF
UEFA Referee Observer: Vaclav Krondl (CZE)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Günter Risse (GER)

09 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi, Istanbul, Turkey
Galatasaray Istanbul - Real Madrid
UEFA Referee Observer: Neale Barry (ENG)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: tbd

10 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
FC Barcelona - Paris S.G.
UEFA Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)*
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Antonio Uzcudun Gómez (ESP)

10 April 2013, 20:45 CET - Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Juventus Turin - Bayern München
UEFA Referee Observer: László Vagner (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Fabrizio Malacart (ITA)

UEFA Europa League:

First Legs

04 April 2013, 21:05 CET - Stamford Bridge, London, England
Chelsea FC - Rubin Kazan
UEFA Referee Observer: Paul Allaerts (BEL)
UEFA Delegate: Andreas Akkelides (CYP)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Gary Stephen Willard (ENG)

04 April 2013, 21:05 CET - White Hart Lane, London, England
Tottenham Hotspur FC - FC Basel
UEFA Referee Observer: Pierluigi Collina (ITA)*
UEFA Delegate: Roland Tis (BEL)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Keren Barratt (ENG)

04 April 2013, 21:05 CET - Sükrü Saracoglu Stadyumu, Istanbul, Turkey
Fenerbahce - Lazio Roma
UEFA Referee Observer: tbd
UEFA Delegate: Barry Taylor (ENG)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Çaglayan Kökkilinç (TUR)

04 April 2013, 21:05 CET - Estádio do SL Benfica
SL Benfica - Newcastle Utd.
UEFA Referee Observer: tbd
UEFA Delegate: Gijs de Jong (NED)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Carlos Alberto Silva Valente (POR)

Second Legs

11 April 2013, 21:05 CET - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
Rubin Kazan - Chelsea FC 
UEFA Referee Observer: Horst Brummeier (AUT)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: tbd

11 April 2013, 21:05 CET - St.-Jakob Park, Basel, Switzerland
FC Basel - Tottenham Hotspur FC
UEFA Referee Observer: Juan Antonio Fernández Marín (ESP)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Jürg Burkhart (SUI)

11 April 2013, 21:05 CET - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
Lazio Roma - Fenerbahce
UEFA Referee Observer: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR)
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Danilo Filacchione (ITA)

11 April 2013, 21:05 CET - St. James' Park, Newcastle, England
Newcastle Utd. - SL Benfica
UEFA Referee Observer: tbd
UEFA Delegate: tbd
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Graham Laws (ENG)

* UEFA Referee Committee members
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March 23, 2013

FIFA World Cup 2014 - March 2013 Qualifiers - Referee Appointments (UEFA zone) II

Among FIFA's referee appointments for the European World Cup qualifier matches to be played on 26 March 2013, the most striking nomination surely concerns the pre-decisive duel in Group I between France and Spain. This top clash will be handled by Hungarian Viktor Kassai at Saint-Denis' Stade de France.

At the same time, Mark Clattenburg will act in Amsterdam (c) TheFA

Group A
26/03/13, 19:45, Swansea
Wales - Croatia
Referee: Luca Banti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicola Nicoletti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Fourth Official: Mauro Bergonzi (ITA)

26/03/13, 20:30, Novi Sad
Serbia - Scotland
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: István Albert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Fourth Official: Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN)

26/03/13, 20:45, Brussels
Belgium - FYR Macedonia
Referee: Olegário Benquerença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: João Santos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Venâncio Raposo Tomé (POR)
Fourth Official: Hugo Miguel Ferreira (POR)

Group B
26/03/13, 20:00, Yerevan
Armenia - Czech Republic
Referee: Pavel Cristian Balaj (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Nica (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Eugen Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)

26/03/13, 20:30, Novi Sad
Denmark - Bulgaria
Referee: Firat Aydınus (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Serkan Ok (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleks Tascioglu (TUR)
Fourth Official: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)

26/03/13, 20:45, Brussels
Malta - Italy
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Charles Schaap (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Richard Liesveld (NED)

Group C
26/03/13, 19:45, Dublin
Ireland - Austria
Referee: Marijo Strahonja (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sinisa Premuzaj (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ante Vučemilović-Simunović Jr (CRO)

26/03/13, 20:45, Nürnberg
Germany - Kazakhstan
Referee: Halis Özkahya (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Çem Satman (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Volkan Narinç (TUR)
Fourth Official: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)

Group D
26/03/13, 19:00, Tallinn
Estonia - Andorra
Referee: Jan Valasek (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Miroslav Benko (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomas Vorel (SVK)
Fourth Official: Vladimir Vnuk (SVK)

26/03/13, 20:30, Istanbul
Turkey - Hungary
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Fourth Official: Milenko Vukadinović (SRB)

26/03/13, 20:30, Amsterdam
Netherlands - Romania
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Child (ENG)
Fourth Official: Lee Probert (ENG)

Group F
26/03/13, 19:45, Belfast
Northern Ireland - Israel
Referee: Hannes Kaasik (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Jaanus Mutli (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Hannes Reinvald (EST)
Fourth Official: Kristo Tohver (EST)

26/03/13, 21:00, Baku
Azerbaijan - Portugal
Referee: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor (ENG)

Group H
26/03/13, 20:45, Warsaw
Poland - San Marino
Referee: Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Svein Inge Wiken (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)
Fourth Official: Tore Hansen (NOR)

26/03/13, 21:00, Podgorica
Montenegro - England
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)

26/03/13, 21:00, Odessa
Ukraine - Moldova
Referee: Kenn Hansen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Rix (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jacob Bille (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)

Group I
26/03/13, 21:00, Paris (Saint-Denis)
France - Spain
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gábor Erös (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: György Ring (HUN)
Fourth Official: Tamás Bognar (HUN)
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March 21, 2013

Peter Rasmussen has quit international refereeing

Denmark's Peter Rasmussen has decided to immediately quit the international refereeing stage having been a UEFA Elite Development Group member, the second highest referee group within the European football governing body, for nearly two years.

Peter Rasmussen (DEN, 3rd l.) has left the FIFA list (c) Sportsuptodate

In compliance with an article published at Denmark's football federation DBU's official website, 1975 born Rasmussen exposed the incoherency of job, family and refereeing as the basic reason for his international retirement, which has been an idea for a year, as he stated. Thus, he was not able to completely fulfill UEFA's and FIFA's requirements. As a consequence, he found himself unable to cope with the pressure arousing from the various parts of his life. 
Having received threats and having faced heavy medial attention after a non-given penalty in his last UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City and Ajax Amsterdam at the end of 2012 (the penalty would have been in favour of Man.City in the last minute of stoppage time), he denied himself to any further national or international match for several months. He admitted that this incident also fired his decision to leave FIFA refereeing.
Seasoned UEFA referee observer and the chief of DBU's Elite Referee Group Kaj Østergaard expressed his regret concerning Rasmussen's decision, while he stressed that he was "pleased that Peter [had] still the motivation to handle matches on national level, partly because he helped to ensure a high quality of tournaments and because he [was] a role model for younger referee colleagues". 

Rasmussen became an international FIFA referee in 2006, followed by the participation in UEFA's CORE Programme in 2007. His biggest international achievements comprise two matches at UEFA U-21 EURO 2009 Sweden and a couple of Champions League (3) and Europa League (13) matches. He became the first official who conducted a test of the recently established hawk-eye system (Goalline Technology, GLT) when refereeing the friendly match between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium in June 2012.

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March 18, 2013

UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Balance

Last Wednesday, the last Round of 16 Second Leg experienced its final whistle so that we have got to know the eight teams that will combat to achieve the semifinals in the next round, the quarterfinals, which have been drawn yesterday in UEFA's headquarters (Nyon). Therefore, it is a good opportunity to draw a first caesura and retrospect the sixteen referee performances of this season's K.O. stage.

Our no.1 of the CL Round of 16: Viktor Kassai (8.6) (c) Foxsports

Celtic 0:3 Juventus Turin, refereed by Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Just looking on the outcome of the match, the result, one may get the impression that the Spanish officials had a nice and easy-going evening in Glasgow - but it was not like that. Also "thanks to" the special atmosphere at this stadium, there was much suspense in the match and on the pitch. Undiano had to get over many riots and smaller infringements during or before the execution of corner kicks. A serious error happened in terms of that: in the 76th minute, he failed to recognize a clear holding in the box by Juventus' Padoin. He booked him and an opponent immediately before this corner for the same offense. At least, there was no consistency here. Nevertheless, he acceptably rejected a penalty appeal by Celtic (53').
But a more controversial decision was made in the third minute of play. Juventus' Matri scored a legal goal. However, the ball already crossed the line before which was nearly impossible to see for AAR2 Muñiz Fernández. In a newspaper article, Pierluigi Collina however made clear that the goalline referee had already recognized this crossing of the line. If we believe in his words, which we must do, then we must also congratulate Muñiz Fernández for making a correct decision he was actually unable to take, as the player's entire body obscured the ball and its crossing.
Our observer evaluated Undiano's performance with 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake).
> report

Juventus Turin 2:0 Celtic, refereed by Firat Aydınus (TUR)
Firat Aydınus' appointment for this match proofed UEFA's great trust into his skills, but also into the whole Elite Development Group. It never happened during the last seasons that an ED ref received a CL K.O. match. Of course, this appointment was also made due to the clear first leg result.
There is nearly nothing to say about his performance. He performed well, but had no real challenges to cope with throughout 90 minutes plus added time. The only remarkable area to improve is the dealing with the "customary" pulling and dragging after corner kicks. Aydınus whistled every small contact and thus impeded quick counterattacks. But apart from that, a very solid performance.
Therefore, he got 8.3 (good, expected level).
> report 

Valencia CF 1:2 Paris S.G., refereed by Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Italian Paolo Tagliavento had to take a couple of crucial decisions in his match between Valencia and Paris - he did not always find the right solution for it. Despite some smaller weaknesses unmasked during the match he and at least his first assistant referee Mauro Tonolini made a crucial mistake: They disallowed a goal scored by a Paris striker for alleged offside. The ball clearly came from a defender though. Especially AAR1 Andrea De Marco should have recognized this fact. 
In the last minute, Paris' Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off with a red card for serious foul play. Tonolini immediately signalized this infringement, a studs-up foul after the ball had already been away. Good decision and although it is no matter of refereeing, the suspension of two matches Ibrahimovic received seems to be remarkably low for this nasty tackle.
Tagliavento and Tonolini got 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake) each and De Marco 7.9 (good, expected level, but one crucial mistake)  by our observer.

Paris S.G. 1:1 Valencia CF, refereed by Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Serbian match official Mažić got the honour to whistle his first CL K.O. match, too, having been observed by referee committee member David Elleray.
He showed a good performance without bigger challenges and without bigger problems; he could improve the consistency in his foul detection a bit, in compliance with our assessor's observations. In particular assistant referee Ristić showed a very good performance with many good onsides.
Our observer hence rated the main referee with 8.3 (good, expected level).
Real Madrid 1:1 Manchester United, refereed by Felix Brych (GER)
It is quite certain that the recently allocated quarterfinals will not contain a top clash comparable to the Round of 16 encounter between Real Madrid and Manchester United. Assessed by the important referee observer Bertrand Layec of France, a German referee team headed by Felix Brych received the honour to take charge of the first leg in Santiago Bernabeu. He did very well in almost every stage of the match, having found the right approach to the match and having been in full control over the match. He rejected a penalty appeal by Real's di María, which was a borderline call but absolutely acceptable. However, he unfortunately missed a foul by Real's young defender Varane on ManU's Evra, who could have had the chance to break through and appear in front of the goalkeeper. So, Brych did not even give a free-kick. But that should have been the minimum. And then, one should have discussed about the adequate colour of the card, which could have been red due to denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. According to our blog observer, yellow would have been enough. 
His performance was therefore evaluated with 8.1 (satisfactory) due to this error, the rest of the team performed very well, too.
> report

Manchester United 1:2 Real Madrid, refereed by Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
A match and a performance that were too much talked about. It is known to everybody that there have been many difficult crucial situations to solve for the Turkish officials among Cüneyt Çakır, while the red card was certainly a good decision, also in Collina's eyes, there were other meaningful and more debatable calls. The impact of his performance will be visible taking into account his next appointments in UEFA competitions - perhaps this will also reveal whether the news of the mark 8.2 was reliable.
Our observer assessed Çakır and his assistant Tarik Ongun with 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake; crucial mistakes: missed penalty to ManU in 90+2'; missing the offside position prior to the 1:0 goal).
> report
Shakhtar Donetsk 2:2 Borussia Dortmund, refereed by Howard Webb (ENG)
Overall, experienced English match official Howard Webb performed well in this match between two teams who positively surprised in the group stage. Unfortunately, he tarnished his satisfactory performance with a missed straight red card to Shakhtar's Fernandinho for a violent conduct (ellbow offense) in the 74th minute. 
He was therefore evaluated with 7.8 by our observer (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake), while the rest of the team got good marks.
> report

Borussia Dortmund 3:0 Shakhtar Donetsk, refereed by Damir Skomina (SVN)
Slovenian referee Damir Skomina went into this match as one of the candidates to take charge of Wembley final, at least from our point of view. He was observed by Denmark's Peter Mikkelsen, who is a member of FIFA's referee committee. When Skomina handled Real Madrid - Man.City in the group stage, there was also a FIFA employeed observer, Alfredo Trentalange of Italy. So one may suppose that both performances could have an impact on FIFA tournaments Skomina could be assigned to in 2013.
In Dortmund, he showed a solid performance. The course of events in the match contributed to a fair and easy-going evening, although there have been two penalty appeals rejected by him. And that was ok, since both situations were not really enough for a whistle. At the very beginning, he made a few weird calls, however without bigger influence on the match and his performance's general impression. Consequently, he might have a chance for the coming Confederations Cup in Brazil and if not, then he will get an assignment for the U-20 or U-17 World Cup for sure.
Our observer gave him the mark 8.3 (good, expected level).
> report will be uploaded soon

Galatasaray 1:1 Schalke 04, refereed by William Collum (SCO)
Under the eyes of UEFA referee officer Pierluigi Collina, the quite new Elite referee from Scotland, William Collum, showed a good and promising performance. He had a good line in terms of foul detection and card management, showed a 0-tolerance line with regards to unsporting behaviour (demanding cards) and made the bigger calls right. The only small lack perhaps was that he should have attempted to maintain the control over this match by communicating more and not relying that much on his clear line and thus improving his relation to the players. But that was no real weakness, just a small observation. He really should get a quarterfinal match.
Our observer assessed him with the mark 8.3 (good, expected level), keeping in mind that it even could have been a higher mark.
> report 

Schalke 04 2:3 Galatasaray, refereed by Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Unfortunately, the Swedish refereeing team headed by the quite seasoned EURO 2012 referee Jonas Eriksson was unable to build on Collum's good performance in the first leg. Surely, he also had to deal with tighter and more crucial situations. The first Schalke goal followed a foul committed by Höwedes (pushing against Drogba), which should have been seen by Markus Strömbergsson (additional assistant 2) as well. Also Schalke's second goal was at the borderline of a foul, but still legal. Furthermore, there were two penalty appeals, the first one by Galatasaray, when Burak Yilmaz fell too easily. A correct call to not give it. And later, the same player clearly touched the ball with his hands, which were in an unnatural hand position and slightly moved to the ball. It could have been a penalty, but also this scene impressively demonstrated that the law concerning handball must be clarified. In the end, Eriksson had to cope with a lot of difficult incidents. However, his general foul detection has been pretty inconsistent and unpredictable. In a nutshell: one expects a bit more from a referee of his format.
One of our observers assessed him with 7.9 (good, expected level, but one crucial mistake), the other observed with 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake).
> report 1, > report 2

AC Milan 2:0 FC Barcelona, refereed by Craig Thomson (SCO)
Scottish referee Thomson showed a quite satisfying performance in the first leg between AC Milan and FC Barcelona. The most controversial call was Milan's 1:0 goal, a high pace shot was deflected by Milan's Zapata and was then converted by Boateng. At first glance, Zapata's contact with the ball seemed to be handball, but it wasn't, as many replays showed, it was his head or even face. Apart from that, the officiating team did not have to deal with more revelant incidents, with the expection of some correctly rejected penalty appeals.
Our blog observer rated him with 8.2 (satisfactory).
> report

FC Barcelona 4:0 AC Milan, refereed by Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Hungarian match official Viktor Kassai has again shown his absolute top class in the second leg of this top duel - it was Viktor Kassai at his best. With a unique and uniform tactical approach, offering as much room for the match to unfold as possible. He was nearly invisible in this match, but took the correct decision when he was challenged, such as in the 11th minute where he rejected a penalty appeal (Abate on Pedro), which was reasonable.
Unfortunately, his first assistant referee Gábor Erös repeatedly committed a serious error: he had missed an offside position before Messi scored the "equalizing" 2:0 goal, even though the decision was very hard to take.
I evaluated Kassai's performance with 8.6 (very good); Erös only got 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake). 
> report

FC Porto 1:0 Málaga CF, refereed by Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
This Iberian duel was one of the calmest ties of the whole Round of 16, so English official Mark Clattenburg did not have bigger problems with it. His performance was characterized by many verbal warnings, a quite good quality of his foul detection and a positioning that is to be improved. However, his assistant referee Simon Beck had bad luck in the only tight situation of the evening: he missed Moutinho's slight offside position before the 1:0 goal. Therefore, it was perhaps good for the game that Málaga managed to equalize this goal in the second leg and even add one to go into the quarterfinals.
Clattenburg got 8.2 (satisfactory) by our observer, Beck only 7.9 (good, expected level, but one crucial mistake).
> report

Málaga CF 2:0 FC Porto, refereed by Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
According to many rumours, Nicola Rizzoli is said to be one of the favourites to handle Wembley final this year. Thus, every single performance is naturally specially important - for refereeing such a huge final, there actually should been as many smooth performances as possible. He did not manage to fulfill that in his Round of 16 match, the second leg of the only all-Iberian duel of the stage.
The match sometimes equated a battle based on the usage of unfair behaviour and heavy, reckless challenges. On another day, the referee could have easily and justifiably sorted out three straight red cards. Rizzoli decided to give the match and the players a certain room and was mostly (too) merciful, e.g. with Málaga's Toulalan who should have been off after a very serious tackle from behind (64'). Before that, he correctly dismissed Porto's Defour after a tackle targeted on his opponent's ankle joint - even Defour could have got a straight red already in the first half for serious foul play.
The gravest error however happened at the end of the first half (40'), when Rizzoli (and AAR1 Banti) wrongly disallowed an actually legal goal scored by Málaga's Saviola. The Italians had luck, the mistake had no huge impact on the final result, but has to be evaluated as a crucial mistake.
Rizzoli received the mark 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake) from our observer.
> report  

Arsenal FC 1:3 Bayern München, refereed by Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
A quite ambivalent performances was shown by Norway's talent Svein Oddvar Moen, who had been appointed by UEFA to take control over one of the more sonorous duels at Emirates Stadium. While there was a period in the first half when Arsenal's players did not find an opportunity to curb Bayern's offensive superiority except committing very hard tackles - tackles that only entailed cautions (one of them could have been a red card, too), Moen faced a calmer match and found a better line in the second half. Therefore, his overall performance was on the whole good. The problem of the entire performance was that Arsenal's only goal of the evening resulted from a corner kick that should not have existed. Both Moen and his second AAR Hafsås took the actually easy decision in a wrong manner.
Although it could be that UEFA did not include this mistake as a crucial one into the mark, our observer did so: 7.9 for Moen and Hafsås each.
> report

Bayern München 0:2 Arsenal FC, refereed by Pavel Královec (CZE)
Appointing the most recently promoted Elite referee Pavel Královec for a K.O. match between two heavy weights of last years' European football arouses the impression that UEFA thought this match would be in a way already decided. After Bayern's sovereign two-goals-win in London, the comeback of the Gunners was surely surprising and nearly led to a sensation.
Therefore, the match the Czech-Slovakian officiating crew had to cope with was quite challenging. Specially in the last stages of the second half, he revealed some problems in the way he dealt with the players. Even though it was not his fault, the tension swelled up a bit after the 0:2 goal when Bayern's goalkeeper Neuer attempted to keep the ball as long as possible to waste some time and was, for this reason, attacked by a small crowd of Arsenal players. Also apart from that, there were moments which unveiled the need to improve his impression on the players (more personality etc.). Nonetheless, the general decision-taking and other relevant aspects were quite good. Martin Wilczek made one significant error flagging Walcott, who appeared in front of Neuer, for offside. It was onside, even if it was hard to detect due to the scene's immense pace.
He was rated with 8.1 by our observer.
> report
Continue Reading...

March 16, 2013

FIFA World Cup 2014 - March 2013 Qualifiers - Referee Appointments (UEFA zone)

On the road to 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil, some match officials who are on the short list for this tournament face important tests at this matchday, such as Pavel Královec of Czech Republic who will take charge of the direct duel of the two EURO 2012 hosting countries. Besides, there are several other interesting appointments that have been unveiled by FIFA a few days ago.

The referee appointments for the 26th March will be provided in a separate post soon.

Wolfgang Stark (GER) will attend Budapest (c)

Group A
22/03/13, 18:00, Zagreb
Croatia - Serbia
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Barış Simsek (TUR)

22/03/13, 20:00, Glasgow
Scotland - Wales
Referee: Antony Gautier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Eric Dansault (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)

22/03/13, 20:45, Skopje
FYR Macedonia - Belgium
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Fourth Official: Marco Fritz (GER)

Group B
22/03/13, 18:00, Sofia
Bulgaria - Malta
Referee: Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Krasikow (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: David Elias Biton (ISR)
Fourth Official: Menashe Masiah (ISR)

22/03/13, 20:45, Olomouc
Czech Republic - Denmark
Referee: Manuel de Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rui Tavares (POR)
Fourth Official: Artur Soares Dias (POR)

Group C
22/03/13, 20:30, Vienna
Austria - Faroe Islands
Referee: Oleksandr Derdo (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Oleksandr Korniyko (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Volodymyr Volodin (UKR)
Fourth Official: Anatolii Zhabchenko (UKR)

22/03/13, 20:45, Solna
Sweden - Ireland
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Díaz Pérez Del Palomar (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)

22/03/13, 00:00, Astana
Kazakhstan - Germany
Referee: Anastassios Kakos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Christos Akrivos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Dimitrios Tatsis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Athanassios Giachos (GRE)

Group D
22/03/13, 19:15, Andorra la Vella
Andorra - Turkey
Referee: Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytautas Simkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Saulius Dirda (LTU)
Fourth Official: Gediminas Mazeika (LTU)

22/03/13, 20:30, Amsterdam
Netherlands - Estonia
Referee: Vitaly Meshkov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikolay Golubev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Vitaly Drozdov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Vladimir Kazmenko (RUS)

22/03/13, 20:30, Budapest
Hungary - Romania
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (GER)
Fourth Official: Tobias Welz (GER)

Group E
22/03/13, 18:00, Ljubliana
Slovenia - Iceland
Referee: Stavros Tritsonis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Dimitrios Saraidaris (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonidas Vasileiadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Michael Koukoulakis (GRE)

22/03/13, 19:00, Oslo
Norway - Albania
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Patrick Langkamp (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Davie Goossens (NED)
Fourth Official: Danny Makkelie (NED)

23/03/13, 18:30, Nicosia
Cyprus - Switzerland
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Markus Häcker (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Fourth Official: Felix Zwayer (GER)

Group F
22/03/13, 14:45, Ramat Gan
Israel - Portugal
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Michaël Annonier (FRA)
Fourth Official: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)

22/03/13, 19:45, Belfast
Northern Ireland - Russia
Referee: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dag-Roger Nebben (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Magnus Lundberg (NOR)
Fourth Official: Dag Vidar Hafsås (NOR)

23/03/13, 18:30, Nicosia
Luxembourg - Azerbaijan
Referee: Padraigh Sutton (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Gavin (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dermot Broughton (IRL)
Fourth Official: Neil Doyle (IRL)

Group G
22/03/13, 19:30, Vaduz
Liechtenstein - Latvia
Referee: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graham Chambers (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Stevenson (SCO)
Fourth Official: Steven McLean (SCO)

22/03/13, 20:10, Zilina
Slovakia - Lithuania
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Long (ENG)
Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor (ENG)

22/03/13, 20:45, Zenica
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Greece
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Pol van Boekel (NED)

Group H
22/03/13, 20:45, Warsaw
Poland - Ukraine
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Wilczek (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Roman Slyško (SVK)
Fourth Official: Petr Ardeleanu (CZE)

22/03/13, 21:00, Serravalle
San Marino - England
Referee: Alain Bieri (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Johannes Vogel (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Raffael Zeder (SUI)
Fourth Official: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)

23/03/13, 21:30, Chisinau
Moldova - Montenegro
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)

Group I
22/03/13, 20:45, Saint-Denis
Spain - Finland
Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurel Onita (ROU)
Fourth Official: István Kovács (ROU)

22/03/13, 21:00, Serravalle
France - Georgia
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Domagoj Vučkov (CRO)
Continue Reading...

March 12, 2013

UEFA Europa League - Round of 16 - Referee Appointments Second Legs

UEFA has revealed the match officials who will attend Thursday's matches in Europa League's Round of 16 (Second Legs). Among them, Ivan Bebek will take charge of the sonorous match between Internazionale and Tottenham, being observed by German UEFA committee member Herbert Fandel.

Ovidiu Hategan's team after the final whistle (c) Refereesfifa

Thursday, 14 March 2013, 18:00 CET

Stadion Luzhniki, Moscow, Russia 
Rubin Kazan - Levante UD
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Kirovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Dusko Miloseski (MKD)
UEFA Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)
UEFA Delegate: Paul Krähenbühl (SUI)

Stadion Petrovski, St Petersburg, Russia 
Zenit St Petersburg - FC Basel
Referee: Pawel Gil (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Piotr Sadczuk (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Maciej Wierzbowski (POL)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Hubert Siejewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Konrad Sapela (POL)
UEFA Referee Observer: Mehmet Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

Thursday, 14 March 2013, 19:00 CET 

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
Internazionale - Tottenham
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Domagoj Vučkov (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Dalibor Conjar (CRO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)
UEFA Delegate: Stanislaw Speczik (POL)

Thursday, 14 March 2013, 21:05 CET 

Sükrü Saracoglu, Istanbul, Turkey
Fenerbahçe - Viktoria Plzen
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Markus Häcker (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Holger Henschel (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Tobias Welz (GER)
Fourth Official: Mike Pickel (GER)
UEFA Referee Observer: Peter Fröjdfeldt (SWE)
UEFA Delegate: David Roger Griffiths (WAL)

Stamford Bridge, London, England
Chelsea London - Steaua Bucuresti
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Michaël Annonier (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Antony Gautier (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Fourth Official: Eric Dansault (FRA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Rene Temmink (NED)
UEFA Delegate: Dane Jošt (SVN)

Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux, France
Girondins Bordeaux - Benfica SL
Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Eugen Gheorghe (ROU)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Sebastian Coltescu (ROU)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: István Kovács (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Adrian Ghinguleac (ROU)
UEFA Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)
UEFA Delegate: Leonid Kaloshin (RUS)

St James' Park, Newcastle, England
Newcastle Utd. - Anji
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Marco Fritz (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Robert Hartmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)
UEFA Delegate: Scott Struthers (SCO)

Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
Lazio Roma - VfB Stuttgart
Referee: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dag-Roger Nebben (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Dag Vidar Hafsås (NOR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Svein Inge Wiken (NOR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: Mike Appleby (ENG)
Continue Reading...

March 10, 2013

Champions League - Round of 16 Second Legs - Referee Appointments (II)

UEFA has appointed Jonas Eriksson (Sweden), Viktor Kassai (Hungary), Pavel Královec (Czech Rep.) and Nicola Rizzoli (Italy) to head their officiating teams into this week's Champions League Round of 16 Second Legs.

Pavel Královec (Czech Republic) (c) ZIMBIO

The quickest goal in CL history...

(c) M.M. Ilgaz
12 March 2013, 20:45 CET
Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
FC Schalke 04 - Galatasaray Istanbul
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
UEFA Referee Observer: Charles Agius (MLT)
UEFA Delegate: David Findlay (SCO)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Manfred Wichmann (GER)

(c) M.M. Ilgaz
12 March 2013, 20:45 CET
Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
FC Barcelona - AC Milan
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gábor Erös (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: György Ring (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Tamás Bognar (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mihaly Fabián (HUN)
Fourth Official: Robert Kispal (HUN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)
UEFA Delegate: Sune Hellströmer (SWE)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Antonio Uzcudun Gómez (ESP)
13 March 2013, 20:45 CET
Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Bayern München - Arsenal FC
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Roman Slyško (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Wilczek (CZE)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Radek Příhoda (CZE)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Michal Patak (CZE)
Fourth Official: Antonin Kordula (CZE)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)
UEFA Delegate: Pierino L.G. Lardi (SUI)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Josef Maier (GER)

(c) M.M. Ilgaz
13 March 2013, 20:45 CET
La Rosaleda, Málaga, Spain
Málaga CF - FC Porto
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Renato Faverani (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Fourth Official: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Ilkka Koho (FIN)
UEFA Delegate: Martin Sturkenboom (NED)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Raúl Masso Zambudio (ESP)
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March 9, 2013

Turkish Football Federation controverts alleged interview given by Cüneyt Çakır

In the aftermath of last Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match between Manchester United and Real Madrid and of the Turkish officiating team's controversial performance, referee Cüneyt Çakır's media scolding does not come to a rest. 

Returning to his Turkish league duties: Cüneyt Çakır (c)

Following a report concerning alleged statements given by Çakır to a newspaper, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has now controverted any form of medial statement given by the match official, since "...Cüneyt Çakır didn't give any interview to any journalist or to any media organisation". The statement furthermore said that he also didn't have any social media account on websites like Facebook, Twitter, etc, because of their rules.
Spanish newspaper AS reported that Çakır "didn't doubt his decisions" and claimed that sending off Nani for his challenge on Álvaro Arbeloa was the correct call. Quotes were also attributed to the 36-year-old which rubbished suggestions that he had an agenda against English clubs after sending off Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Mario Balotelli in previous Uefa competitions.

A UEFA spokesman has reinforced the football body's full support for the referee and his performance. In compliance with the report they received from Çakır, UEFA will desist from punishing ManU defender Rio Ferdinand for his derisive applause after the final whistle.

partial source:
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March 6, 2013

Nani's red card was justified

Similar to the first leg, both Manchester United's and Real Madrid's tactical conducts contributed to a highly tense match being fully tied until the English side finally scored the leading goal at the start of the second half, being quite fortunate against the background that Turkish assistant referee Tarik Ongun missed a tight offside position in the goal's build-up. Then, the most controversial decision of the whole Round of 16 occurred...

Cüneyt Çakır sending off Nani (c)

Just a couple of minutes after this 1:0 goal, Turkish high profile referee Cüneyt Çakır, who is said to have pretty good chances to handle Wembley final this season, sent off Manchester's Portuguese striker Nani for serious foul play on his opponent Álvaro Arbeloa. That's what you call a soi-disant "game-changing decision": Immediately after this straight red card, Manchester United lost the defensive control over the match and quickly conceded two goals that decided the match in favour of Real. Besides diverse other crucial or more likely critical incidents, that will be reported more detailedly by our Blog Observer, the red card should be focussed on now.

You can easily detect that Çakır waited quite a long time before he issued the red card. That should however not be interpreted as a mere sign of hesitation, but rather as a respectful manner while dismissing a player, waiting until he will have stood up. It's also pretty probable that assistant referee 1 Bahattin Duran and/or fourth official Mustafa Emre Eyisoy had a certain influence on the assessment of this foul. At least, one may suspect that.

In the public perception (TV commentators, so-called "TV experts",  twitter-comments and even comments in this blog) the situation was naturally discussed in various ways, while one typical statement was repeatedly issued: "Yellow would have been enough". That was also my first thought, taking into account that one actually cannot accuse Nani of having deliberately fouled Arbeloa in this severe manner. He could now know that he was coming, that such a type of foul could come into existence at all. But that's not the question. If it was, then this red card would have been completely wrong. But it is not. While one cannot accuse Nani of having deliberately committed this foul, one may well accuse him of risking the mere opportunity that his stretched studs could seriously hurt an opponent. Severely endangering one's opponent, specially with stud-up and foot-up tackles, must be red-carded - the Laws of the Game (Law 12) clearly define that: "A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as serious foul play." 
So, even though the sending-off might have aroused a harsh impression among supporters, spectators and players, Çakır was right in the end. Such brave decisions have to be measured at their legal correctness and the wellbeing of the player who was fouled - and not at the name who is sent off, nor at the immense size of the match we are talking about, nor at the specific minute or match context, when it was issued. Therefore, Çakır actually deserves respect and should be praised for this courageous call, having been aware that this decision would have a huge impact on the match and would make his evening much less smooth than otherwise. The referee observer present at this match, Pierluigi Collina, more than once emphasized his appreciation of referees who do not fear consequences in their brave decision-taking.

That's red, dear Sir Alex! (c)

Though, there is a crux. Despite the positive assessment of this decision, there have been other crucial situations, and very probably there was a crucial mistake. But even if all these decisions had been correct, Cüneyt Çakır now has a problem with regards to a possible Wembley nomination: it will be difficult to appoint a referee for a Champions League final, who made a controversial decision which dominated the entire media during and after such a huge match, let alone the pressure that could evolve from the behaviour of some ManUtd. responsibles, including Sir Alex Ferguson, who - in spite of his advanced age - has still not learnt to fairly and circumspectly dealing with decisions taken by referees. This behaviour is by the way dangerous. UEFA has consequently opened a disciplinary process against Manchester United.

Thus, Çakır has surely lost more than he could win yesterday. At the same time, there may be no doubt about the fact that decisions have to be assessed and should be analyzed independently from a certain public perception. And yet, it is probably the best for this excellent referee to disappear for a while from the big stage, remembering what happened to Anders Frisk, Tom-Henning Övrebö and Urs Meier a few years ago.
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March 5, 2013

UEFA Europa League - Round of 16 - Referee Appointments (I)

One Elite Group referee, three Elite Development Group and four First Group referees will head their officiating crews into the eight first legs of UEFA Europa League Round of 16 matches. One of the assistant referees, Romanian Cristian Nica, has established a new Europa League record, as he has been appointed for the seventh time in this current Europa League season.

Russian Sergei Karasev in his last EL match (c)

Thursday, 7 March 2013, 18:00 CET

Stadion Luzhniki, Moscow, Russia
Anji - Newcastle Utd.
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: István Albert (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Tamás Bognar (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mihaly Fabián (HUN)
Fourth Official: Zsolt Attila Szpisjak (HUN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kaj Østergaard (DEN)
UEFA Delegate: Zoran Cvrk (CRO)

Thursday, 7 March 2013, 19:00 CET

VfB Arena, Stuttgart, Germany
VfB Stuttgart - Lazio Roma
Referee: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Nica (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurel Onita (ROU)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Pavel Cristian Balaj (ROU)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Radu Marian Petrescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
UEFA Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)
UEFA Delegate: Eggert Magnusson (ISL)

Stadio mesta Plzne, Plzen, Czech Republic
Viktoria Plzen - Fenerbahçe
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Andrea De Marco (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Bergonzi (ITA)
Fourth Official: Massimiliano Grilli (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Stefan Ormandjiev (BUL)
UEFA Delegate: Johan Van Kouterik (NED)

National Arena, Bucharest, Romania
Steaua Bucuresti - Chelsea London
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averianov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Nikolay Golubev (RUS)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Maksim Layushkin (RUS)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
UEFA Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)
UEFA Delegate: Christian Kofoed (DEN)

Thursday, 7 March 2013, 21:05 CET

Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon, Portugal
Benfica SL - Girondins Bordeaux
Referee: Alon Yefet (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Krasikow (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Amihay Yehoshua Mozes (ISR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Liran Liany (ISR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Eli Hacmon (ISR)
Fourth Official: Oren Bornshtain (ISR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Peter Jones (ENG)
UEFA Delegate: Mehmet S. Önen (TUR)

White Hart Lane, London, England
Tottenham - Internazionale
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Fourth Official: Roberto Díaz Pérez Del Palomar (ESP)
UEFA Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)
UEFA Delegate: Dr. Rainer Koch (GER)

Estadi Ciutat de València, Valencia, Spain
Levante UD - Rubin Kazan
Referee: Antony Gautier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fredji Harchay (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Fourth Official: Philippe Jeanne (FRA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Nuno Castro (POR)
UEFA Delegate: Dusan Tittel (SVK)

St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland
FC Basel - Zenit St. Petersburg
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicola Nicoletti (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Gervasoni (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Giallattini (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Ioannis Tsachilidis (GRE)
UEFA Delegate: Mike Foster (ENG)
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