June 28, 2013

Björn Kuipers crowns perfect 2012/13 campaign with Confed Cup final - Haimoudi with 3rd place match

FIFA has appointed Dutch top-class referee Björn Kuipers to take charge of Sunday night's Confederations Cup final between hosts Brazil and World Cup champions Spain at Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. It will be Kuipers' fifth international final.

Do it once again: Björn Kuipers will head his team into the final (c) GETTY

The 40-year old owner of a supermarket took charge of last season's UEFA Champions League semifinal between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid as well as UEFA Europa League final between SL Benfica and FC Chelsea at Amsterdam ArenA. Following that, he was honoured as Europe's Best Referee of the past season by this blog's community.
He will be accompanied - like in Amsterdam - by his assistant referees Sander van Roekel and Erwin E. J. Zeinstra, while German Elite official Felix Brych will take the duties as fourth official.
Appointing a UEFA referee for a final involving a UEFA team and a CONMEBOL team equates a break of the unwritten confederation neutrality rule. Certainly Kuipers is a good choice for this final, having convinced in his first match between Nigeria and Uruguay as well.

Abdelhak Etchiali, Djamel Haimoudi and Redouane Achik (c) Sedziapilkarski

At the same time Algerian Djamel Haimoudi has been nominated to handle the match for the third place between Uruguay and Italy in Salvador. Redouane Achik of Morocco and Abdelhak Etchiali from Algeria will assist him in this match. Japanese World Cup referee Yuichi Nishimura has been assigned as fourth official. Haimoudi and his team basically showed a satisfying performance in the group stage match between Spain and Tahiti.

Third Place
30 June 2013
Match 15 – Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador (BRA) – 18:00 CET
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Fourth Official: Yuichi Nishimura (JPN)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Blog Observer: Philipp S. (GER)

1 July 2013
Match 16 – Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro (BRA) – 00:00 CET
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin E. J. Zeinstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Felix Brych (GER)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Mark Borsch (GER)
Match Commissioner: Eric Labrador (PUR)
Blog Observer:
Chefren (ITA)


  1. Good Friends,

    Björn Kuipers with this appointment for the final match of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 becomes the leading candidate to win the award for Best Referee of the World '13.

  2. No. Rizzoli takes them all, at least in IFFHS' view :b

    Congrats to Kuipers, his team, and also the third place match team. Great achievements on the road to WC 2014.

    1. Anonymous29/6/13 07:36

      Congratulations to FIFA because for one time it´s choosen the best, forgeting
      that he is european.

  3. I do not agree with the criteria for choosing of the IFFHS. In my opinion, Björn Kuipers during this year was superior to Nicola Rizzoli various levels less in the Champions League Final: D.

    I think Björn Kuipers deserves undoubtedly lead to distinguish home. I have no doubts that Kuipers and Rizzoli will be in the Top 5 of 2013.

    And "my" Pedro Proenca think also figure in Top 5: D.

  4. Another appointment: Artur Soares (POR) got Regions Cup final.

  5. Sorry for the delay regarding the reports - they will be uploaded later this day. The marks are 8.4 for Osses, 8.5 for Webb (CC), 8.2 for Carrillo, 8.2 for Cakir, 8.2 for Garcia, 8.3 for Eriksson, 7.8 for Gassama, 8.3 for Alioum and probably 8.3/8.4 for Faghani (U20).

  6. Anonymous30/6/13 13:30

    Why do you think there is a "break of the unwritten confederation neutrality rule"?

    In 2003, the Confederations Cup Final between CAMEROON and FRANCE was whistled by Valentin IVANOV. In 2002, the World Cup final between BRAZIL and GERMANY was whistled by Pierluigi COLLINA. In 1988, the Olympic final between BRAZIL and the SOVIET UNION was whistled by Gerard BIGUET.

    In my opinion, there has never been any confederation neutrality rule. In 2008, for example, even the first match of our former Austrian FIFA referee Thomas EINWALLER between ITALY and KOREA REPUBLIC during the Olympic tournament was not "continentally neutral" although there would have been multiple options in accordance with this rule (JAPAN - USA instead of Badara DIATTA, CHINA - NEW ZEALAND instead of Martin VAZQUEZ, CAMEROON - KOREA REPUBLIC instead of Jair MARRUFO, etc.). Furthermore, he got the (also not continentally neutral) third-place match between BELGIUM and BRAZIL.

    At the World cup 2002, the first 36 matches (14 of them EUROPE - EUROPE or NON-EUROPE - NON-EUROPE) were portioned to the 36 referees (14 of them from EUROPE). Applying the confederation neutrality rule, each European referee should have been awarded a EUROPE - EUROPE or a NON-EUROPE - NON-EUROPE match (and no referee from outside Europe should have got one of them). In fact, CAMEROON - GERMANY was handled by Antonio LOPEZ NIETO and ECUADOR - MEXICO by Mourad DAAMI.

    Kind regards from Vienna,

  7. Anonymous30/6/13 13:51

    The confederation neutrality rule has been introducted from World Cup 2010. Few expections: bronze final at Women Olympic Tournament 2012, final at Women World Cup U20 2012, final at Women World Cup U17 2012, final at World Cup Clubs 2012.


    1. Anonymous30/6/13 13:56

      A LOT of exceptions! :-) Where is the difference compared to the situation PRIOR to the introduction of this rule? :-)

      Kind regards from Vienna,

  8. Anonymous30/6/13 14:16

    As I understand it, the rule applies, with the exception of the last two games. In which the best are chosen

    1. Anonymous30/6/13 14:50

      I do not think that FIFA will necessarily apply this rule that strictly during the World Cup next year with the exception of the last two games - imagine for instance the following constellation:

      Round of 16:

      Quarter final:

      Semi final:

      Can you really imagine that no round of 16, no quarter final and no semi final match will be awarded to a European referee only because there is always exactly one European team involved?

      Kind regards from Vienna,

    2. Peter, Busacca has unequivocally made clear that the confed neutrality rule will apply in every match except the final and the match for the third place. So to answer to your scenario: I guess they would be flexible in such an extreme case, but as it never will happen in this form, FIFA can build upon many good referees apart from UEFA as well..I also think that the African officials will be a real alternative (Haimoudi, Alioum and so on) compared to 2010, where Damon, Coulibaly and Maillet were unable to compete with AFC referees.

    3. Anonymous30/6/13 18:14

      What is the point about this silly rule? Do they really think that say Howard Webb will be biased towards Spain in a game against e.g. Brazil or Argentina?

    4. The question is: who is "they"? Of course not Busacca and co., but the presidents and "politicians" in the national and continental associations who make political pressure.

  9. Anonymous30/6/13 14:24

    Almost 200 matches (I Think every match of groups stages) and only 4 or 5 expeptions: this is the difference compared to the old situation.


    1. Very good appointment for Kuipers, great season, but IMo Brych deserved the final match too, and, perhaps, more than Kuipers.
      Next week I should have time to check my database since Spain Mundial 1982 to count how many FIFA matches didn't respect the "neuatrlity confederation rule"

    2. Anonymous30/6/13 19:35

      It is no use, because this rule only applies from 2010.

  10. Anonymous30/6/13 18:53

    Correctly disallowed goal of Cavani by Redouane Achik and correctly (IMO) rejected penalty appeal after Chiellini's unintentional handball. Some problems with positioning and a bit too harsh yellow card to Pereira.

    1. I agree, overall a good performance in a not easy match.
      At the end we can say that Haimoudi had a very good Confederations, if nothing happens in this last minutes

    2. Anonymous30/6/13 19:57

      30 minutes is enough to destroy even the best performance ;)

      I think Maxi Pereira could've got his second yellow in 52' (elbow tackle).

      The rest is solid, but did you observe, Haimoudi has problems in contact with players? It seems that his English is poor...

    3. As Algerian, he surely prefers French.
      But I don't think he has real problems.

    4. Anonymous30/6/13 20:08

      Look on his confrontations. He often chooses to say only one word or makes only gestures. It doesn't look good.

  11. Correctly rejected a penalty appeal by Uruguay and correct seond YC to Montolivo.

  12. Bravo Kuipers, yc for Arbeloa was good.

  13. I agree. The ball was probably going to run onto Casilas.

  14. Anonymous1/7/13 00:29

    1 of those YC could/should have been a red i think.

  15. Totally correct. For DOGSO you need the ball, which Neymar was not going to get (even though German TV-man Bela Rethy has another opinion). Brave decision in this situation. Chapeau!

    Ramos right now (28th minute) was "more red", but here was yellow also okay in my eyes. Out of the same reasons.

  16. Agree with you Hagi (and Nur): The likelihood of controlling the ball was very low in the first situation. Ramos was more borderline but still ok.

  17. Anonymous1/7/13 01:02

    IMO Kuipers again very good in foul detection. But there are two aspects I dislike today:

    - He is too lenient concerning the behaviour of brasilian Players. There are a lot of gestures and discussions of them. I would like him to be more strict and give a yc (e.g. Marcelo after he was fouled, or Alves or (I think it was) Fred after the yc for Ramos).
    - If you Interpret the LOTG missed yc after the Goals for jumping in the fans.

    Furthermore, this tournament shows that matches with Brasil will be challenging for the refs because of the unsportive behaviour and the emotional discussions. I really would like to see Stark in a Brasil match because his dominant style could suppres this behaviour.

    best regards

  18. Agree Phil, but I think he applied common sense in the goal celebrations.
    For me, the 3-0 seemed to be offside. Waiting for a better replay..

  19. What do you think about the first straight red card of the tournament?
    Was it given for DOGSO or the foul by itself?

    1. DOGSO. The foul by itself was not a red card in my eyes. Piqué came from the side, didn't hit the opponent with his cleat and his leg was not extended.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Anonymous1/7/13 01:33

    Well had to be for DOGSO. Certainly wasn't serious foul play. Overall great performance so far by kuipers. Maybe he could need a few more yellow cards


  22. Hm I must say I was not convinced by this red card at first, but rewatching it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3_-XOfjAo4) one can issue this sending-off. But I have already seen more obvious goalscoring opportunities.

    1. Anonymous1/7/13 01:41

      I must say that the player had an obvious opportunity to score a goal. Pause the video at 11 seconds. I can't fault this card


    2. You are right.
      So three or four correctly taken crucial decisions and apart from that an overall good performance. Great.

  23. Anonymous1/7/13 01:51

    Uefa must be overjoyed about Bjorn Kuipers. Lets remember all the controversy earlier on in the year and then Kuipers in his cool and calm style has an exceptional Champs league semi final to rescue it, then a faultless Europa League final and an outstanding Confed Final. He has spared Uefa's blushes this year.


  24. Blah blah blah........

    If you don't give red in 15' for obvious DOGSO, you can't give such red for Pique. Inconsistency and shocking leniency. I don't see that great performance as all here. Maybe I'm from different era :/

    7.6 for me as he had no control in the first half and make weird call giving red for Pique.

    1. Both Yellows were IMO no reds. Foul of Arbeloa was just over halfway-line with ball goint towards Sideline.
      Faul of Ramos was more borderline, but IMO there was a player in the middle who might have been able to intervene.
      Pique however was the last defender with opponent going straight towards goal.
      So IMO all cards were according the Law of the Game (Of which a lot of viewers/commentators think they know them, which is often not the case).
      I think Kuipers and his team can watch back on a good match and an Excellent season.

    2. Anonymous1/7/13 12:14

      Everybody is entitled to have his/her own opinion, as are you. You could however show a little more respect for those points of view, not reflecting your own. "Blah blah blah" sounds rather condescending towards all the people on this forum generally producing very adequate analyses of referee performances. Unnecessary and a little regrettable in my opinion...

    3. Sorry, it was not personally and not in negative tone! I'm sorry if this sounds like that!

    4. By the way, another VIP here, Mr. Chefren, call my opinion as absurd. Is it OK?

    5. LOTG speaks for GSO (goal scoring opportunity). I think this is exactly the case here.

  25. "Maybe I'm from different era :/"
    Yes it seems. Have a look into the Laws of the Game and think about your assessment for minute 15.

    1. Why do you defend Kuipers and are blind to his inconsistency and ultra-leniency? I think, the replay is not clear and Brazilian would reach the ball in Arbeloa situation. Clear red for me and many referees I know, too!

      How can you miss a rude way of playing showed us by Brazil in first 30 minutes?

      How can you say that YC to Ramos was OK and RC to Pique was also OK, although it was nearly the same?

      How can you be so arrogant to users, being an administrator here and suggesting them to check LoTG when they are refs?

      Are you able to bear even one opinion different from yours?

    2. I'm sure Niclas can if more people share the same vision. But in this case you seem to be alone in your opinion. An opinion which is not according with the LOTG (See separate thread).
      One can debare his leniency, but i´m not sure if a less lenient approach would have worked more de-escalating.

    3. Someone who starts a comment with "blah blah blah" cannot expect to be taken seriously, sorry. And of course you meant it in an offensive and negative way/tone...
      If you want a good discussion, if that is really your aim, then you should explain your point of view. Why was it a red card for you? And everybody who is at least a bit inside refereeing knows that comparing such grey incidents like "if that's no red card, this is no red card either" leads to nothing.

  26. My final remarks, it will be a long work in writing the report, I need time.

    Kuipers overall had a very good performance in a very challenging match, starting from the beginning. Several crucial situations had to be evaluated. Having said that, I think that he was right in giving the YC to Spanish players in first half. The first is clear, in the second case we can have more doubts but at the end still ok. The red card for Pique in second half is also justified and the penalty whistled to Spain of course correct. Very good work also by assistants, if we exclude the 3-0 which probably was scored in a slight offside. But there were other challenging situations well evaluated, especially from Zeinstra. The NO FLAG when Neymar returned back from offside and then scored, it's a TOP CLASS call if you ask me.
    What we can say about Kuipers, then? Yes, there is something in which he wasn't excellent, in my opinion, and he can improve. He was a bit passive allowing the unfair behavior by Brazilian players, which made complaints for everything. At the end he was not affected, of course, in taking his decisions, neither the score was affected, but he gave the idea to tolerate this situation, and it wasn't a good image for him. If you ask me, how he had to cope the complaints, I would say: harsh warnings, and if needed, cards. At the end Brazil was able to finish without cards.
    Ayway, we are on a high level with this performance, I totally disagree with Verhoeven. Can't imagine to give 7.6, it would be absurd.

  27. As coloured as I am, I think Kuipers had a great preformance. As Chefren says, it was a very challenging match from minute 1.
    All major decisions/calls were made correctly:
    2. No handball bij Fred or whatsoever, so rightly approved goal (1-0).
    15. YC for Arbeloa, no red in my opinion because Neymar is not in direct posession of the ball, and we can argue whether he would reach the ball before Casillas. Very good decision!
    The behaviour of the Brazilians after awarding the YC to Arbeloa, is objectionable. Kuipers should have done something with this conduct.
    26. A phase where the Brazilians need a lot of fouls to control the game of the Spanish. In my opinion Kuipers should have given at least 1 Brazilian a YC. Oscar made a recklass offense on Iniesta. With a YC, Kuipers would have made a statement for all the players on the pitch.
    28. Very difficult call, when Oscar was taken down by Ramos. The foul detection was great (nice teamwork with Zeinstra), but you can argue whether a yellow or red card is in place. After looking at several repetitions, a still can't make a clear decision. When I'm in doubt, I'll give a YC.
    But still a very, very difficult call.
    54. Good call, penalty was rightly awarded to Spain after a foul by Marcelo. No harsh challenge, but it's still worth a penalty kick.
    68. Red card for Pique. Again a big call, and I think also the only right decision in this situation. Neymar is heading towards goal and passes his opponent on speed. Pique sees no other option than take his opponent down. Intentional foul play, correctly "awarded" with a RC.

    Overall Performance:
    + Great calls on the major decisions (see above)
    + Great teamwork
    - Should have given at least 1 YC to the Brazilians
    - Didn't take any action against the protests of both sides.

    PS Erwin Zeinstra was outstanding! Superb no flag decisions by the big chance for Fred and the 2-0 of Neymar.
    The 3-0 seems to be a slight offside (Van Roekel's side), but there where no appeals by the Spanish.

    My grades:
    Bjorn Kuipers 8.6
    Sander van Roekel 8.1
    Erwin Zeinstra 9.5
    Felix Brych 8.3


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