August 30, 2013

Jonas Eriksson reflects on Super Cup honour (

Having officiated in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League semi-final matches, Jonas Eriksson is well used to the big occasion, making him the ideal choice to take charge of the UEFA Super Cup between FC Bayern München and Chelsea FC on Friday evening. The Swedish spoke to about his pride at being appointed for the UEFA Super Cup, what inspired his decision to become a match official and what motivates him. 

Jonas Eriksson looking forward to Prague final

Speaking to, the Swedish referee revealed his pride at being selected for such a prestigious match, his reasons for taking up refereeing in the first place and the driving factor behind his success, on and off the field. Jonas Eriksson, how much are you looking forward to refereeing the UEFA Super Cup?
Jonas Eriksson: A lot, of course. I've been refereeing since I was 14 or 15 years old and of course at that age you dream of officiating at one of the biggest finals – and this is one of them. You've already refereed some important matches in your career, where does the UEFA Super Cup rank among your highlights?
Eriksson: A final is a final – a winner will be decided. To be appointed for a one-off, knock-out match is always something significant. I try not to rate the matches in terms of importance, I'm just delighted to have been appointed for this match and that UEFA have put their trust in me. What inspired you to become a referee?
Eriksson: I felt a lot of referees didn't have the kind of communication skills I expected as a player at a young age – referees who could explain their decisions. Often they didn't have the fitness to be in the right spot. The quality of the refereeing was not good at the level I played at and I felt I could do better. They told me to do a course and do it myself – so I did. Who were your role models as a young referee?
Eriksson: I spent a lot of time with Anders Frisk, Sweden's top referee until 2005. I followed him to a number of matches as a fourth official, but I also looked at other referees. I don't think you could copy one referee. It's too much about personality, but I learned bits and pieces from Anders and I looked at other European referees, Pierluigi Collina being one, Markus Merk being another, Hugh Dallas a third. All of them had different skills which I looked at and tried to adopt and develop. How important are man-management skills when you're out on the field refereeing 22 players?
Eriksson: Of course it has a lot to do with man-management, the way you approach the players, the way you communicate with them and also prevent things from happening. You have to sell them the decision and get them to accept it. Sometimes you don't make the best decisions but you have to be very good at selling the decisions, otherwise you're going to have a very tough time out there. It must also take a lot of character and mental strength…
Eriksson: I think self-confidence and the ability to sell your decisions – that means looking self-assured and being able to convince the players that I made the right decision – is very important. If you don't have that personality and trust in yourself, I don't think you can do the job. As well as becoming a successful referee, you also became a successful businessman. What is it that gives you the drive to get to the very top?
Eriksson: I love football and I love to referee. Every week when I step out onto the grass I'm doing what I love most. I've had a fantastic life as a businessman as well, but since 2011 I've dedicated myself to being a professional referee and I'm having the time of my life. How are you and your assistants going to prepare for tomorrow's game?
Eriksson: We received the appointments a few days ago. I've been studying the two teams technically. These are two well-known teams, we’ve all seen them before. Of course there are a few new things – they have new managers for example – but we've watched previous matches. We had a preparatory talk today and we'll have another tomorrow. We've done matches together in our domestic competition, too, and we've been doing some training together too. We're going to warm up, take a walk around the pitch and look at various positions to enhance our cooperation for Friday's match.


  1. Anonymous30/8/13 21:46

    Excellent first half by the refereeing team. Hopefully they will continue like this in the second half.

    /Swedish observer

    1. Agree. Very good performance - prevention, anticipation, correct cards, big personality, good assistants.

  2. Until now (64') I must admit that Eriksson is showing an impressive performance.
    Totally agree with Usmund Rohde: excellent reading of the game, prevention, awareness, authority.
    Eriksson has anyway improved a lot in the last times, and last but not least, he seems to have lost some weight :D

  3. Really solid performance. Ramirez sending off correct.

    1. It was possible even a straight red card here anyway still ok.

    2. It's OK 'cause Ramires got YC before, but sorry, it's mistake. Ramires tackle is 100% red, can't be other way round. Of course, we can't talk about crucial mistake, but...
      Also missed Torres' foul deserving YC. However, I'm glad Eriksson stays calm in tense moments of this match (62-90).

      It will be difficult to give a mark in post-match report :)

    3. At the end I must say A WONDERFUL EVENING OF FOOTBALL.
      The referee must be proud of having officiated this match...

    4. Am I the only one who recognized that the 1-2 goal resulted from a clear offside position? ;)
      In my opinion Eriksson might have performed better in terms of authority and match control, specially at the end of the 2nd half. Agree with Usmund Rohde, Ramires should have got red and not a 2nd yellow. But in general I liked his advantage rule (booking afterwards), foul detection and match feeling. In a sum it was expected level in my opinion, only Wärnmark's mark will probably suffer from the 1-2.

    5. Anonymous31/8/13 01:37

      Where do you see an offside position at the 2nd chelseas goal?

      Hazard was onside and that's all.

    6. Wow, Niclas! I hoped that I will be the only one who detect that minimal, but still offside goal. Chapeau bas! ;-)

      Agree with Chefren - one of the greatest matches I've ever seen. Amazing spectacle, max. emotions, real thriller.

      I listed and evaluated important situations:

      4' - great management of David Luiz-Mandzukic duel, nice clear verbal warning

      23' - correct yellow card to Ribery for tactical foul

      28' - Klasenius detects offside, what prevents even a red card to David Luiz for a DOGSO

      36' - Ivanovic deliberately pushes Mandzukic on the head, Eriksson rightly warns him

      41' - correct YC to Cahill for reckless hit on the Muller's head

      64' - correct YC to Ramires for tactical foul

      66' - correct YC to David Luiz for persistent infringing the LoTG

      68' - too quick whistle, missed advantage

      72' - Torres carelessly attacks Javi Martinez with his arm, correct no card, no reckless foul

      73' - Cole could be happy for not being booked after cynical foul on Gotze

      75' - Torres makes reckless studs-up challeng on Javi Martinez' ankle - missed foul and YC; then Ribery breaks a promissing attack of Ivanovic - Eriksson warns him, being aware that Frenchman has already a YC

      83' - excellent onside by Warnmark

      84' - correct YC to Boateng for reckless foul (a bit harsh, but still acceptable)

      85' - second YC and RC to Ramires for reckless foul - mistake of Swedish referee who must have issued a straight red for using excessive force (extremely dangerous studs-up tackle on opponent's leg)

      90' - YC to Torres - don't know for what

      92' - One of Bayern players asks AAR1 for a penalty - no way, too easy fall

      93' - Warnmark misses offside leading to a 2-1 goal; crucial mistake

      95' - Lahm should be at least warned for straightened-leg+studs-up-tackle

      99' - correct YC to Lukaku for cynical foul

      101' - Cole pulls Ribery, but latter falls too easily - Eriksson is right waving play on

      106' - Ribery is clearly pulled by Ivanovic near to box, however, he decides to make some more steps and falls into the area. Eriksson should give a free kick to Bayern and YC to Ivanovic.

      116' - Ivanovic pulls Mandzukic for his shirt; Bayern player falls easily, but penalty could or even should've been given...

      118' - correct YC to Cole for unsporting behaviour (time wasting during setting the wall by Eriksson)

      120' - correct YC to Ivanovic for time wasting

      Oscar's penalty seems to be taken incorrectly.


      ON PLUS:
      - man-management, awarness, game-reading
      - great positioning and fitness
      - 9 YC correctly issued
      - overall foul detection

      ON MINUS:
      - Ramires' second YC should be a straight red
      - missed Torres' and Ivanovic' fouls deserved YC (75, 106')
      - allowed take penalty kick incorrectly by Oscar
      - I would rather prefer penalty whistled for a foul on Mandzukic (116')


      8.2 - Eriksson (quite challenging)
      8.3 - Klasenius (normal)
      7.9 - Warnmark (normal)
      8.3 - Wittberg (normal)
      8.3 - Johannesson (normal)
      8.2 - Strombergsson (normal)

    7. Emil Archambault31/8/13 01:52

      Oscar's penalty was correct (I assume you refer to the slowing down of his run): the law states that "Feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted as part of football. However, feinting to kick the ball once the player has completed his run-up is considered an infringement of Law 14 and an act of unsporting behaviour for which the player must be cautioned" (Interpretation of the Laws, Law 14, ed. 2013-2014).

      In this case, Oscar has NOT completed his run-up when feinting, and therefore his kick is correct.

    8. SORRY SORRY SORRY! 1-2 goal is not offside! Anonymous is right, I watched replay with using a high technology indicated that both players are in the line. Superb call by Warnmark! 8.5 in this case for AR2. Sorry again!

      OK, Emil. If so, this is correct penalty, but I doubt is it fair...

    9. We can't be sure, but it seems an excellent NO FLAG.

    10. I can add further remarks.
      Very good report written, Usmund, but probably we can underline also that in second half of extra time, the choice to give only one minute of added time was wrong.
      A lot of time was wasted and there were at least 2 minutes (if not 3) to give. Furthermore, Eriksson gave 1 minute also in the first half of extra times, in which nothing happened.
      In my opinion, a better management was possible.

      Anoher remark is about Eriksson and the penalties. Merely based on my memory, I don't remember a penalty given by the Swedish referee in a match (do you believe me?) but I just remember complaints by players. Schalke 04 - Galatasaray, Milan - Barça (Messi) and so on. So there is a clear consistency in his approach for each match, he tends to give a penalty only when this is 100% blatant.
      This is confirmed, thank to WORLDREFEREE stats.
      Starting from the beginning of 2011, in 26 international matches at high level, he whistled only 3 penalties. That's really remarkable, I think.

    11. Agree, there should be at least 2 minutes added to second half of extra-time. By the way, Mourinho stated there shouldn't be second booking, there shouldn't be added time to second half of extra-time and his team were better. I recommend him to come back to reality or watch matches in which he's a coach.

      What do you all think about situation in 116'? Would you give a penalty?

    12. Never ever. Mandzukic, a known cheater (and he did so yesterday, too), fell after having been slightly pulled. Not enough for a penalty. This is why I called Eriksson's match feeling great. Of course he pulls, but applying common sense and reading the game, this may not be a whistle.

    13. I know Mandzukic is a cheater and provocator, but still I think that this situation could've been evaluated as a penalty. Pulling is really clear.

  4. Anonymous31/8/13 09:01

    First of all - a great spectacle which was very entertaining. I think the referees contributed very well to the match. Second half obviously much more difficult than the first, so I would say that it was quite challenging for Jonas Eriksson.

    The overall impression is that the major decisions were correct. Excellent man-management and very good positioning. Ramirez could have got a straight red, but I still think that the second yellow could be acceptable. Many cards, but they were correct. Obviously Torres should have been booked, and that is a mistake.

    If I had been Levnikov, I would have walked into the dressing room congratulating the team for their work. I would probably have marked Eriksson with an 8,4 in this match. As always, great teamwork with very alert assistants.

    So, as biased as I might be as a Swede, I am proud of the work the Swedish crew put in last night. I can easily see the mess that a Spanish team would have made in this match... And I feel more and more convinced that this team, with their very positive development, will be in charge of World Cup matches in Brazil next year!

    /Swedish observer

  5. I still believe Hazard was a step in offside. But it is impossible to see when the ball really is played by the player who passed the ball to Hazard. So it is hard to say where to stop and Wärnmark simply could not see it. If he is even right, bravo. At any rate it is ok to let the flag down. Just a remark, Usmund Rohde: even if the 1-2 was offside, it would not be 7.9. It was no direct goal which was scored so that it would have probably led to -0.2.
    Apart from that Wärnmark missed an offside by a Chelsea player, don't remember the minute. But for both assistants I want to highlight the great teamwork. They were always there when a decision had to be taken in their areas.
    As for the penalty by Oscar, my impression also was that he completely interrupted his run-up. But what I found more interesting is that both AARs as well as Eriksson himself were totally focused on Neuer and the goalline and had no eye-contact with Oscar's run-up - so how do you want to decide that then?
    Overall I share Swedish observer's conclusion, overall a really good final by the whole crew with some very great points and some points to improve, which is natural.

  6. By the way, justice is done after CL final 2012 ;)

  7. Anonymous1/9/13 09:54

    I watched the match in the Stadium, so it is quite impossible for me to evaluate decision-making, etc.
    Nevertheless I made two observations, I want share with you:
    1. When there was a free-kick near to the box from Chelsea, there seemed to be communication between Eriksson and the fourth official because the fourth official came also near to the box and observed the Situation. Was it an exception or is this part of a more active fourth official?

    2. In the Stadium it seemed that the additional-time of 1 Minute in the last half of extra-time was too less. There was a lot of time-wasting by Chelsea. I personally was very suprised of only 1 Minute because Eriksson normally gives a lot of additional time. What was your Impression watching the game on TV?

    Best regards

  8. Anonymous1/9/13 20:20

    Must the clear refereeing error for not showing Ramirez a straight Red card mean the referee must have a mark, no higher than 7.8, it clearly states that we cannot compensate the mark because of the referees performance befire abd after the tackle??. That said its a harsh reality in the modern game..

  9. It has zero relevance on the match. Ramires was off by a 2nd yellow, so a direct red would be "appreciated" but failing to show it is certainly NO crucial mistake.

    1. Anonymous3/9/13 11:00

      Niclas, so if we focus on the Ramires challenge, what is the yellow card for?. If Ramires had his leg broken would a yellow been 'appreciated' or Paramount! "Law 12"

  10. Anonymous4/9/13 11:51

    I absolutely adore this blog!


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