March 29, 2013

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?


  1. Anonymous29/3/13 21:02

    There is no Skomina at appointments.Why?

  2. So Kuipers is confirmed for a second leg match?
    Wel I think that in Bayern - Juventus we could see Lannoy, it's not so impossible....

    @Anonymous: Skomina got a round of 16, and absed on his good performance, I think that he will be appointed for a semifinal, as well as he is among the names for the final, maybe (but I'm not sure) for this reason Admin has left him out from the count for now.

  3. Anonymous30/3/13 10:33

    About Carballo: it is not said he will be appointed for CL mathch, it is said that he will be appointed in CL or EL that week. We can predict he'll be in CL because he was good in group stage, but we can not be 100% sure.

    1. Anonymous30/3/13 10:34

      Oooohh, they wrote 20:45, so it has to be CL, my mistake :P.

    2. Thanks nonetheless for the link ;)
      According to Thomas H., Kuipers is in a second leg, yes.
      As for Skomina, it's the reason Chefren gave, I think he gets either a semifinal or the final.
      It's mere gambling, there are too many opportunities this time.

    3. Ahahah CL or EL but they write also "20:45"
      can't believe ;)

  4. Philipp S30/3/13 12:56

    My predictions are
    Paris S.G. - FC Barcelona: Cüneyt Cakir
    Bayern München - Juventus Turin: Damir Skomina
    Málaga CF - Borussia Dortmund: Svein Oddvar Moen
    Real Madrid - Galatasaray Istanbul: William Collum
    Borussia Dortmund - Málaga CF: Björn Kuipers
    Galatasaray Istanbul - Real Madrid: Viktor Kassai
    FC Barcelona - Paris S.G.: Felix Brych

    Reasons: - IMO Cakir is still the best referee at the moment, so he should not be out for the rest of the season
    - Skomina and Brych observed by commitee members as candidates for the final
    - Moen and Collum as young referees with a good season so far, deserve another match, but are maybe too unexperienced for a 2nd leg

    1. Philipp S30/3/13 13:04

      Just realized that Collum had Galatasaray in R16, so I replace him by Rocchi.

  5. I also studied a little bit. There are some constraints and objectives obviously. Let me clarify:
    I believe we should plan EL and CL simultaenously. Most probably UEFA would assign some top referees to EL clashes such as Lazio-Fenerbahce, Rubin-Chelsea. There are many English teams in EL. Hence, distribution of referees between two paths should be balanced. I also believe that Rizolli, Brych , Cakir, Skomina could wait until final without appointment since it is unpredictable of whom could come out from semis so using them in EL is also sensible to me.

    Here is a small trial for fun:

    Paris S.G. - FC Barcelona: Pedro Proença
    Bayern München - Juventus Turin: Howard Webb
    Málaga CF - Borussia Dortmund: Pavel Kralovec
    Real Madrid - Galatasaray Istanbul: Svein Oddvar Moen
    Borussia Dortmund - Málaga CF: William Collum
    Galatasaray Istanbul - Real Madrid: Gianluca Rocchi
    FC Barcelona - Paris S.G.: Björn Kuipers

    Chelsea FC - Rubin Kazan: Nicola Rizolli
    Tottenham Hotspur FC - FC Basel : Milorad Mazic
    Fenerbahce - Lazio Roma: Felix Brych
    SL Benfica - Newcastle Utd.: Mario Strahonja
    Rubin Kazan - Chelsea FC: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
    FC Basel - Tottenham Hotspur: Firat Aydinus
    Lazio Roma - Fenerbahce: Stark/Atkinson
    Newcastle Utd. - SL Benfica: Stephane Lannoy

    So irregularities may of course occur... As always not time but Collina will tell and most probably again surprise us...

  6. Anonymous30/3/13 20:04

    Tom Harald Hagen will have a match. He has done remarkable job with his fitness and Collina noticed in Rome in January. He will get Europe League appointment.

  7. Anonymous31/3/13 00:05

    Paris S.G. - FC Barcelona: Kuipers
    Bayern München - Juventus Turin: Proença
    Málaga CF - Borussia Dortmund: Moen
    Real Madrid - Galatasaray Istanbul: Lannoy
    Borussia Dortmund - Málaga CF:Thompson
    Galatasaray Istanbul - Real Madrid:Clattenburg
    FC Barcelona - Paris S.G.: Webb
    Juventus - Bayern Munchen: Carballo

  8. Appointments for the first leg are out.

    Paris S.G. - FC Barcelona: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
    Bayern München - Juventus Turin: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

  9. Guessing the Champions League Quarterfinals Referee Appointments

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