December 27, 2013

World Cup Referees - Predictions for Asia

There have been contradictory announcements and rumours with regard to the date when Massimo Busacca and his crew decide on the 33rd team that will participate in 2014 FIFA World Cup. The referees and assistant referees are very likely going to be selected on 15 January. This means for us: time for predictions!

A safe bet for Brazil: Ravshan Irmatov
This text will focus on only one confederation - on the Asian Football Confederation. In the next days, the remaining confederations are supposed to follow so that a final list of predicted World Cup referees will emerge. In the following lists, you can find the cell "Community Vote". The percentages you can find there refers to our game "Your World Cup 2014" conducted at the beginning of this month. They hence equate the relative frequency of the respective referees' appearance in the community's World Cup lists. This means that this percentage shows in how many of your votes their name has appeared.

AFC (Asian Football Confederation)

AFC will be probably allowed to have 4+1 places in the final World Cup list (4 main referees, 1 fourth official). The percentage of the five referee teams most frequently voted for by the community has been marked in bold! 
These officials have been on the latest pre-list for the World Cup:


REFEREE with ASSISTANT REFEREES
MA
Date of Birth
Community Vote
ASIA (AFC) - 7
Referee
Ali Hamad ALBADWAWI
UAE
22.12.1972
38%
Assistant 1
Saleh AL MARZOUQI
UAE
02.12.1970

Assistant 2
Omar ALHUMOUDI
UAE
03.01.1974

Referee
Khalil Ibrahim AL GHAMDI
KSA
02.09.1970
49%
Assistant 1
Badr AL SHUMRANI
KSA
07.10.1977

Assistant 2
Hamed Marhoun AL MAYAHI
OMA
26.02.1975

Referee
Alireza FAGHANI
IRN
21.03.1978
62%
Assistant 1
Hassan KAMRANIFAR
IRN
19.04.1972

Assistant 2
Reza SOKHANDAN
IRN
24.01.1974

Referee
Ravshan IRMATOV
UZB
09.08.1977
97%
Assistant 1
Abdukhamidullo RASULOV
UZB
10.01.1976

Assistant 2
Bakhadyr KOCHKAROV
KGZ
13.05.1970

Referee
Yuichi NISHIMURA
JPN
17.04.1972
98%
Assistant 1
Toru SAGARA
JPN
25.06.1976

Assistant 2
Toshiyuki NAGI
JPN
29.11.1971

Referee
Nawaf SHUKRALLA
BHR
13.10.1976
68%
Assistant 1
Yaser ABDULLA TULEFAT
BHR
24.06.1974

Assistant 2
Ebrahim SALEH
BHR
13.06.1974

Referee
Benjamin WILLIAMS
AUS
14.04.1977
88%
Assistant 1
Matthew CREAM
AUS
19.06.1975

Assistant 2
Hakan ANAZ
AUS
04.08.1969



Analyzing and predicting the situation in other confederations is not easy. As European, following matches and performances beyond UEFA is the first problem. A second problem is that it is difficult to understand and gauge political circumstances and habits that might have an impact on the World Cup selection. So these predictions will be very vague but maybe, with some luck, close to reality.


First of all, one referee team pre-selected by FIFA can be erased from the pool of potential World Cup teams. Ali Al Badwawi from UA Emirates has been persecuted by some bad luck over the last months. Having been at the peak of AFC refereeing back in 2011, when he among others handled a semifinal at AFC Cup and when he attended FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico, he suffered from serious injuries in 2013. For this reason, he was unable to attend several seminars and tournaments, such as U-17 World Cup 2013 played in his mother country or the latest edition of FIFA Club World Cup, where he was replaced by Iranian Alireza Faghani. These injuries are not Al Badwawi's fault at all, but it is quite sure that they expose a very high hurdle for him and his team. If they want to break down these barriers, Al Badwawi must be fit in January and must choke off every doubt on his fitness. And I personally consider latter as very unprobable. Busacca must pay attention to the best fitness possible among his officials, even though it would be tough for the Arabian. Therefore, I don't expect him on the final list, which is reflected by the low percentage gained from the community.

Based on this assumption, six referees would remain. Two referees can be quickly talked about.

Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan and Japanese Yuichi Nishimura have surely counted to the top 5 of FIFA World Cup 2010 referees. They both showed impressive performances in partly difficult matches such as Netherlands - Brazil or the opener match between South Africa and Mexico. Both confirmed this extremely positive impression in the following months by handling the Club World Cup finals in 2010 and 2011 respectively. In 2012, both attended the Olympic Games, which however was not the best tournament of their careers. Then, Irmatov and Nishimura were nominated to take part into FIFA Confederations Cup 2013. You know the story. While Irmatov committed a technical mistake in the group stage match between Italy and Brazil, Nishimura had several problems in Spain - Uruguay where he missed a clear penalty plus a red card for dogso. Irmatov was subsequently sent home after the group stage, Nishimura was only fourth official in the third place match. Nonetheless, I have no doubt that they will appear on the final list for the World Cup. Their advantage is that they have a very strong assistant referee duo behind them. They are unequivocally two of the currently best referees of the world and will be reliable men to handle matches like Uruguay - England, Chile - Spain or, who knows, maybe even the revival of the last World Cup final or the opener match between Brazil and Croatia. Leaving one of them at home would be a "crucial mistake"...


Asia has a new top-class referee called Nawaf Shukralla. Having been talented and in development back in 2011, he was trusted a lot by the necessary men in charge of AFC refereeing and reached the past climax of his career in 2013: a very good performance in Japan - Australia, a very good U-20 World Cup including the semifinal between France and Ghana and finally a brilliant performance in the Champions League final between Guangzhou and FC Seoul. Plenty of good arguments to be selected for next year's World Cup. He is a calm referee whose style somehow reminds me on Irmatov's, as both are allowing play to develop as much as possible. Another good argument needed? His countryman Mr Abdulrahman Delewar is joining FIFA's Referees' Committee.

In my opinion, these three officials should be sure names for the World Cup list. But three are remaining who must fill the last two places.

Mark Shield was the last Australian who appeared at a World Cup. That was in Germany, in 2006. This is not so long ago, but one thing was vitally different: Australia's football federation still belonged to OFC and thus, a place for an Australian referee was absolutely guaranteed. This has changed and as a consequence, Matthew Breeze failed to join World Cup 2010. This time, it is Benjamin Williams who is striving for the tickets to Brazil. The young official faced several controversies in the past years when showing very weak performances and making very obvious mistakes leading to conspiracy theories in Asia. One example for that was Kuwait - China at AFC Cup 2011. However, the committees in Australia, in Asia and in Zurich obviously trusted and believed in him. And Williams has repaid that. He showed good performances in the qualifiers (in particular in his play-off match) and in his matches at U-20 World Cup 2013 and closed this year with a semifinal in AFC Champions League. Following this final, he received an official award by AFC which crowned him as the best Asian referee of the year.

Khalil Ibrahim Al-Ghamdi, you will certainly remember this name from the last World Cup. He took control over Mexico - France and Chile - Switzerland. To be honest, he rather took charge of it than control over it. There was not any control in his second match and an exaggerated sending-off for a Suisse player was one result of it. He is a very pedantic referee insisting on every Law of the Game, which is basically a good intention, but sometimes leads to chaotic matches with more cards than needed. However, in AFC, he has often proven to be a reliable and good referee for important matches. For example in Mexico - France, his performance has been good as well. He has the needed experience and could be a safe name for the next World Cup. Busacca and the committee would not risk anything; they know what they'll get when nominating Al-Ghamdi, who maybe has the AFC committee behind him. A Saudi-Arabian and an Omani are sitting in the referee commission and thus could support Al-Ghamdi, his assistant referee Al-Shumrani and Omani assistant referee Al Mayahi, who has been very good at several FIFA competition matches.
Khalil Al-Ghamdi made a technical mistake in one of his U-17 World Cup matches though. He first whistled for a penalty and, seeing that the ball going into the goal, changed his mind by awarding the goal. Irmatov did the same at Confed Cup, but contrary to the Arabian Irmatov enjoys a certain credit. Al-Ghamdi has not learnt from the mistake of his colleague, the rule did not arrive in Asia obviously. So I have many doubts on this referee. A difficult choice to be made, since there is another referee from this region..

Iranian Alireza Faghani is a quite young referee with great ambitions and chances for the future. He was first tested by FIFA at U-20 World Cup 2013 where he handled Chile - England and Mexico - Spain in an overall good manner. As mentioned above, he also took charge of matches at Club World Cup 2013. One of them was the 3rd place match between Guangzhou and Mineiro. He correctly sent off Ronaldinho (yes, the Ronaldinho) for a violent conduct but failed to dismiss a Chinese player for the same offense a second earlier. Additionally, his first assistant referee Hassan Kamranifar unfortunately missed a pretty clear offside position leading to the decisive winning goal in the additional time of the second half. Obviously, he needs time to extend his skills and collect experience. Given the fact that Busacca actually did not plan to nominate Faghani for a second tournament, it is quite obvious that he did not have him in mind as a very sure name for the World Cup. 2 matches at a tournament cannot be enough to be convinced of a referee, which of course does not exclude the possibility that Faghani's AFC CL performances have attracted Busacca's attention. Therefore, my conclusion is: Faghani is a good referee with many chances for 2018. But 2014 comes too early. Personally, I would prefer him over Al-Ghamdi, but predictions do not always have to be in line with one's wishes. His only chance is to be appointed as fourth official only to collect experiences.

Then, the relevant question would be who will be fourth official only. Geopolitically, Al-Ghamdi would make sense. Then, there would be an Arabian referee, a Central Asian referee, an Eastern Asian team and finally an Australian team. However, you don't have to appoint Al-Ghamdi just to be fourth official. Faghani could execute this duty in the same manner. And after this technical mistake by Al-Ghamdi, I have plenty of doubts whether FIFA can rely on this referee. Therefore, I expect that Williams will be active on the pitch while Faghani heads the Asian standby team. But as mentioned above, all that is vague and very difficult to predict. I tried to read Busacca's mind more than once and still did not succeed in it..

Anyway, this is my prediction for the Asian referee crew at World Cup 2014:


REFEREE with ASSISTANT REFEREES
MA
Date of Birth
ASIA (AFC) – 4 REFEREE TEAMS + 1 STANDBY TEAM
Referee
Ravshan IRMATOV
UZB
09.08.1977
Assistant 1
Abdukhamidullo RASULOV
UZB
10.01.1976
Assistant 2
Bakhadyr KOCHKAROV
KGZ
13.05.1970
Referee
Yuichi NISHIMURA
JPN
17.04.1972
Assistant 1
Toru SAGARA
JPN
25.06.1976
Assistant 2
Toshiyuki NAGI
JPN
29.11.1971
Referee
Nawaf SHUKRALLA
BHR
13.10.1976
Assistant 1
Yaser ABDULLA TULEFAT
BHR
24.06.1974
Assistant 2
Ebrahim SALEH
BHR
13.06.1974
Referee
Benjamin WILLIAMS
AUS
14.04.1977
Assistant 1
Matthew CREAM
AUS
19.06.1975
Assistant 2
Hakan ANAZ
AUS
04.08.1969




Referee
Alireza FAGHANI
IRN
21.03.1978
Assistant 1
Hassan KAMRANIFAR
IRN
19.04.1972
Assistant 2
Reza SOKHANDAN
IRN
24.01.1974

71 Comments:

  1. As always, excellent analysis.
    I agree on the fact that for Al Badwawi and Faghani there aren't big hopes.
    Al Badwawi seems totally out (not for his faults, of course), while Faghani attended many tournaments just as fourth official and he is still quite young.
    He could be ready for 2018.
    Ravshan Irmatov, despite the technical mistake in Brazil-Italy, it's a sure name, I also agree on that.
    The same gioes for Nishimura, even though Uruguay-Spain was not handled as expected.
    Having said that, the three difficult names to read are Williams, Al Ghamdi and Shukralla.
    Shukralla seems now to be higlighy regarded by FIFA after his experience at U20 WC and also 2012 CWC.
    He is in my opinion clearly a safer bet than Williams.
    Even though this was a very good year for the Australian official, culminated in the CL final and the achievement of 2013 AFC referee, I'm still not totally convinced, remembering his problems in the past that you have also mentioned. So I would call him as reserve.
    Therefore, Al Ghamdi should join the pitch in Brazil,. nevertheless until a few months ago it seemed that he had retired.
    My final prediction is:
    1) Irmatov
    2) Nishimura
    3) Shukralla
    4) Al Ghamdi
    5) Williams (reserve)




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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      Delete
  2. Excellent analysis, Niklas.

    However, IMO, 4+1 spots for Confederations like AFC seem a big number. It creates more problems than it solves. If you take into account performance principle Irmatov, Nishimura and Shukralla should be at Brazil as main referees.
    Then the only question would be about the reserve spot. I can see Williams there since he clearly needs experience of such events. They should prepare him for 2018.
    Al Ghamdi has already gone to 2 World Cups but I don't think that he has the needed quality. Therefore I would prefer 3+1 for AFC.

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  3. 4+1:
    -Irmatov
    -Nishimura
    -Shukralla
    -Williams
    -(Al Ghamdi)

    3+1
    -Irmatov
    -Nishimura
    -Shukralla
    -(Williams)

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  4. Replies
    1. Do you know more about the news of his retirement and then the fact that he changed idea?

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    2. The issue was widely reported in media, in example on here:
      http://www.elbotola.com/article/2013-05-17-12-46-810.html

      It was suggested after his very controversial match during the Gulf Cup, but either these were rumours of annoyed publicists or Mr. Al-Ghamdi changed his mind after reconsidering the chances for a WC designation :)

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  5. Love the analysis Niclas. Would love to know more about Nawaf Shukralla. Seems like he is a dark horse of AFC WC Referees.

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  6. Al-Ghamdi was horrific at Switzerland - Chile (red card was too harsh, a lot of unneccessary cautions, missed red card for violent conduct and the only Goal was scored from an offside position. I hope he'll do better this time.

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    Replies
    1. Every ref has his nightmare :)

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    2. My nightmare is Al Ghamdi ;)

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    3. He's an excellent ref ;)

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    4. Al Ghamdi only is average and one referee overrated. Al Badwawi is a better referee but unlucky.

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    5. Let's say he divides opinion.

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    6. He is definitely polarizing. The Chile-Switzerland match was a good example, or also Japan-South Korea. He has a good knowledge and application of the Laws of the Game, but lacks in interpreting them. He appears to me more like a policeman than a manager. I don't want policemen as referees, to be honest. But as you said, one can have different views on him :)

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  7. I am still a bit unsure whether AFC will be granted 4+1 referee spots for WC next year. If AFC is getting 4+1 places on referee final list, then how about the other minor confederations, such as CAF and CONCACAF, are they going to get 4+1 referee places as well in line with AFC. We have heard UEFA will probably have 10+1, CONMEBOL gets 6+1, OFC likely gets 1+1. In total, then FIFA will have 29 main referees. For the previous world cup in 2010, FIFA only chose 24 main referees.

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  8. Williams has been awarded Asia's best referee for 2013 by AFC, ahead of the other two nominees who are Nishimura and Shukralla. This is the first time in six years that Irmatov does not receive a nomination for this award. Irmatov actually received this award for four consecutive years from 2008 to 2011, then Nishimura won it last year in 2012 just ahead of Irmatov.

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  9. My prediction is the same as Niclas' but with one exception. I would have al Ghamdi as stand by referee and Williams on the pitch instead.

    /Swedish observer

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  10. Thank you for the feedback.
    About the question 3+1 or 4+1, it's no number I created. As far as I am informed, it is sure that there will be one official more for every confederation (so UEFA gets 10+1).
    But of course, we have to wait until it is completely sure.

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  11. In the end, I agree with Niclas.
    My choice would be Irmatov, Nishimura, Shukralla, Williams with Faghani as fourth, but FIFA probably won't leave Al Ghamdi at home unless he has throws his place away himself with a bad performance (in the vein of SUI-CHI). I don't think that has happened so, according to me, the list will be Irmatov, Nishimura, Shukralla, Al Ghamdi, Williams (4th).

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  12. Off topic:
    I think it is a matter of time until we see Stuart Attwell back in the Select Group. He has been quitely improving his game in the last 18 months or so in the National group.
    He's had the joint most Championship appointments and has had a lot of TV games.
    To cap it all off, a decent FA Cup tie between Liverpool and Oldham Athletic.
    It seems Mike Riley is trying to ease Attwell back into the Select Group and say something along the lines of "I told you this demotion would be beneficial for you".
    He's only just turned 31 and I still think he has the ability and potential to become very good Select Group official.

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    1. Good for him!
      I look forward to seeing him in the Premier League again, without the enormous pressure on his shoulders he used to have, older and wiser :-)

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    2. Hi Nur, a question for you.
      What about Derek Eaton?
      Promoted in Premier League as assistant referee at the age of 49, he has been appointed for Manchester City - Liverpool in the Boxing Day, making a very blatant mistake against Liverpool.
      Don't you think that this was a too high assignment for a first year assistant referee, even though still experienced as referee in the minor leagues?
      More generally, I find very strange some choices made by Mike Riley in the PIGMOL..

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    3. Hello Chefren.
      Yes, I agree. Derek Eaton made a horrendous error and I definitely think a more experienced Select Group linesman was required. Lee Mason on the other hand I thought did relatively well, although Liverpool could/should have had a penalty.
      This weekend will be the first time Mark Clattenburg will take charge of a game involving Everton since that infamous Merseyside derby in 2007! I find it truly astounding that is has taken the PGMOL the best part of 7 years to give Mark a chance to bury the hatchet with Everton.
      Given that Clatts is one of the best officials we have on these shores, I find it also extraordinary that Clattenburg is yet to take charge of a so called Premier League "top clash". He's only had a League Cup 3rd Round tie between Manchester United and Liverpool and the forthcoming FA Cup fixture to be contested by North London rivals Arsenal and Spurs.
      Howard Webb obviously leads the way, but it is also nice to see Michael Oliver has been entrusted with some top fixtures, take a look:
      Webb - 5 (Chelsea v Liverpool, Chelsea v Man City, Man City v Man United, Man City v Spurs, Man United v Spurs)
      Dean - 3 (Arsenal v Chelsea, Spurs v Man United, Spurs v Chelsea)
      Atkinson - 3 (Arsenal v Liverpool, Man United v Chelsea, Man City v Arsenal)
      Oliver - 2 (Arsenal v Spurs, Man United v Arsenal)
      Marriner - 1 (Liverpool v Man United)
      Moss - 1 (Spurs v Liverpool)
      Mason - 1 (Man City v Liverpool)

      @Thomas: I agree, he has matured and when I have watched some lower league games in which he was involved, he has certainly impressed me. Long may it continue!

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  13. Al Ghamdi already attended WC 2006 as 4th official, and he was choosen as main referee at WC 2010, it would not make sense if FIFA appoints him as 4th offical again at WC 2014. IMO, Al Ghamdi will either go to WC next year as a main referee, or he may have to stay at home. He will not be around for WC 2018 due to his age.

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  14. Interesting situation in Ajman - Al-Ahli match (UAE Pro-League). The referee was Hamad Al-Shaikh Hashmi, FIFA.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxYBhBAdWXc

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    Replies
    1. The first thing to investigate is the reason for which the referee allowed the play 40 seconds after the end of the added time (5 min.).
      Then, in my opinion the call is wrong.
      What happened later of course must be blamed.

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    2. The LOTG say the referee is the sole arbiter of time, therefore you cannot dispute what he adds on, if anything!

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    3. Emil Archambault29/12/13 22:59

      Yes you can retrspectively question the referee's decision regarding added time, as you can discuss any other decision. The LOTG state that no one can tell the referee how much time must be added, but that decision can still be wrong. The referee should not (although he can) arbitrarily decide how much time is to be added; added time should reflect lost time during the game.

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    4. But important, he may not deceed the added time he awarded. For example Brych often makes final whistles 20 seconds before the additional time he originally awarded has ended. This is not allowed (but nobody tells him, since he is doing it almost every match).

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    5. Do you know the reason for which Brych acts in this way?

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    6. Anonymous: note Chefren's great friend Byron Moreno's 20-match suspension after 12 minutes of additional time, when 'only' 6 had been signalled. The referee must follow guidelines for additional time, and if he doesn't, he has a problem.

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  15. Poorest I've seen Mr. Webb this season! Blatant penalty infavour of Liverpool missed as Eto'o impedes Suarez. The Uruguayans reputation obviously proceeds him. Suarez could have also been awarded another penalty after a dodgy tackle from Terry.
    Add to that, Eto'o should have also been at the very least cautioned for a quite nasty challenge on Henderson. Webb to my bewilderment, gave nothing!
    Webb surprisingly poor this evening.

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    1. Of course total control by Webb throughout the match. A missed YC inside two minutes for Eto'o.
      I can understand why he missed the penalty incident, as it happened off the ball and he probably only saw the coming together in the corner of his vision. That said, still a crucial mistake of course.
      Great match to watch as a neutral, really enjoyed it. Especially the first 20 minutes were of a high standard.

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    2. Watching a replay, it seems Webb saw the incident, but adjudged it as a fair tackle. You see him pointing as to tell Suarez, that Eto'o won the ball. However, Azpilicueta had the ball in his possession so I don't know what exactly Howard was signalling there.
      Next up for Webb: Man United - Spurs on New Year's day as reward for this performance...

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    3. As far as I know, Nur, the appointments were all published together. So Riley couldn't know how Webb would perform before assigning him to MU-TOT.

      However, I agree. Liverpoul should have been given the penalty.

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    4. Yes, of course. You are right Edward. But, I think appointments should be made closer to the day of the game in order to eliminate this problem. I would much rather have Messrs Foy or Clattenburg, who IMO have been the most consistently Select Group officials this term.

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    5. Liverpool highly damaged in a few days.
      In Manchester and now today. Two crucial losses for the outcome of Premier League. Take a look at the standings.
      Arsenal, City and Chelsea are running away.

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    6. That's the problem, Nur, when SG has only 18 referees. Especially those days with matches every 2-3 days the problem is even bigger. IMO PGMOL should really consider a change of strategy.

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    7. I highly estimate Howard Webb. I think he is a game manager rarely seen over the last years and decades and close to PLC in this matter.
      But I must say, sometimes I am really doubting on his perception. He does not make many mistakes, but if, they are mostly very obvious and crucial.

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    8. And concerning PGMOL, England has the worst referee department / management of all "top nations" in Europe, in my opinion.

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    9. I agree, Niclas. Webb's exceptional man management skills could go down to his past experience in the police.
      I also agree, when you say the mistakes that he does make, do tend be quite conspicuous and blatant.
      I don't know about you but it seems to me he performs better on the European/international stage, than domestically.
      As for the PGMOL, there strategy of allowing officials to go on past their 50's, does have a negative effect on more younger officials trying to climb the refereeing ladder.
      I don't know about you, but it is quite embarrassing for a country the size of England to be unable to nominate a referee to FIFA! We only have seven officials on the list compared to the likes of Germany or Italy who have 10.
      Riley and co. at PGMOL must change their ways in the future...

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    10. Nur, the pointing signal is one I myself use as well - to signal I've seen an off-the-ball incident, but I've adjudged it to be unintentional, an innocent coming together. The signal tells the players: "I've seen you, it's nothing". These incidents often happen in the periphery of vision, when you're not quite sure whether there was more to the incident or not. This one didn't, but it's possible that Webb was focusing on the ball too much, so that he didn't evaluate it correctly. Because that is the least we can say.
      I agree with Niclas as in he sometimes seems to have a blind spot with unexplainable non-calls. He seemed to have eradicated this from his game in the past year or so, but this Sunday it was back in full force. Regrettable and not fitting for someone I ranked the world's no.1 just four days ago...
      Concerning PGMO, I've probably more often disagreed with their policies than not. Promoting 48-year-olds, leaving non-exceptional referees carry on beyond their fifties, apologising to managers for their referees, not encouraging young referees sufficiently, the list goes on and on. For me the management has had its time and proven it's not up to the job.

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    11. Here in Italy we have 21 referees for serie A and when there are matchdays in the middle of the week (for example on Sunday, then on the next Wednesday and again on the next Sunday) the appointments are always published after the last match played of the previos round, at least one day later. The committee wants always to see and check everything happened in the previous matchday and then they publish the new appointments. I think that at this level this is a mandatory strategy, because each match of a major league in a country like Italy deserves the best possible referee according to the circumstances. Appointing a referee for two matches, prior to know how he performed in the first one, it's always a risk, even though he is called Howard Webb.
      Even worse in my opinion it's in Spain, where appointments a certain matchday are mde even two weeks prior to the date.

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    12. I fully agree, Chefren.

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  16. Speaking of Webb: on another forum, a member posted a link to an article where they claimed Webb was required to oversee the clash between Juventus and Roma.
    Chefren, as you are the man to come to for anything Italy related, do you have anything to add and is this even possible?

    http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/ref-howard-webb-wanted-italy-3998980?mobile=off

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nur.
      This is a "NO NEWS", absolutely.
      This is the Italian source:
      http://www.iltempo.it/sport/calcio/2013/12/28/un-arbitro-straniero-per-juve-roma-1.1202566
      "Il tempo" it's an italian newspaper. They have just written about the CHANCE to have a foreign referee for this top clash, making at the same time an analysis of the possible candidate (I guess Rizzoli).
      Based on that, they have wrongly thought that it was an official request by the Italian federation.
      Absolutely FALSE. In Italy it is almost impossible to appoint a foreign referee for a serie A matches. It never happened at least in the last 10 years.
      So please don't take into account this rumor, it's just an opinion of "Il tempo".
      I repeat it once again, absolutely no involvements from Italian federation.
      The match, according to my predictions, should go to Rizzoli, along with Stefani and Faverani.
      Regards.

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    2. I don't know about you, but it would be great to see the likes of Brych/Kassai/Proenca/Rizzoli/Skomina taking charge of a Manchester derby for example!

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    3. Of course, but it could also be seen as an indictment of English refereeing. It would lift some pressure from the too small SG though ;-)

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  17. Thanks for the clarification, Chefren. I have read the article, and it makes perfect sense.

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  18. I agree with Edward: 3 + 1 place is enough for AFC and for CAF and CONCACAF as well. So my prediction is : irmatov, Nishimura, Shukrallah and Williams as reserve. Impossible to get a foreign official for Serie A, Italy unfortunately is too much proud to accept somebody from outside....

    ReplyDelete
  19. What you would have done in that situation?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TomuuOJQz8A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand the anger of the player, but of course that's a RC. And as a referee manager, I would ask the referee to write an essay about positioning at set pieces and dealing with dissent and violence against referees.

      Delete
    2. I can understand the referee because he felt to be in fault due to his positioning, but this is a red card at any rate.
      I'm sorry. You can anyway work in order to prevent that, of course.

      Delete
  20. Quite amusing I must say. I agree with the above responses
    A similar incident happened to Mike Jones a country of weeks ago in a game between Newcastle and Southampton (this was an accident however).

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=41fBdLVfVkE&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D41fBdLVfVkE

    ReplyDelete
  21. Some words to Al Ghamdi
    At the U17-World-Cup he made a technical error in the 1/16-final Brasil-Russia...same situation like Irmatov at the Confed Cup...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ouh that is important. What minute, what goal, please?

      Delete
    2. Already found. Thanks anonymous, vital information.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOz0P341cDk
      1:48:30.

      Delete
    3. It is the same technical mistake made by Irmatov.
      I don't know, at this point one could think that AFC referees are instructed to act in this way...? :)

      Delete
    4. The difference is that here nobody protested, because everybody was happy with the goal decision.

      I ask Hubert - is this a good way of applying common sense? ;-)

      BTW, good decision cautioning BRA #11 for the dive in 35'.

      Delete
    5. Yes, it's a good way of applying common sense. Of course, technical mistake, but will it really have big influence on Al-Ghamdi chances...? I don't know...

      Delete
  22. Irmatov will be in Brasil, but after "black-est" mistake ever in big competitions and I can't support his appointing for WC2014.. There must be some bootom line, that's mistake why beginners fall introductory test in my country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no doubting that it was a horrendous error from Irmatov. One which usually destroys a referees career. However, FIFA cannot disregard his very impressive form in the last World Cup Finals. To amass a total of five appointments (including an opener, ARG-GER and a semi-final) for a referee that was 32 years of age is unprecedented. If Irmatov isn't selected (which I seriously doubt), AFC will lose one of its best officials and weaken their chances of having a final referee.

      Delete
    2. There are some mistakes in life which are fatal. How could he become top asian referee without basic knowledge of LOTG? His performance in ARG-GER was weak: no control at all. His athletic skills are fantastic, but we're considering the WC referees not the best sprinters.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous1/1/14 05:10

    The mistake Irmatov made at Confederation Cup is beyond belief. However, FIFA can not disregard his impressive showing in the last world cup, also considering his young age, and he is still age eligible for the next three world cups. So I think he will be in Brazil next year as a main referee, but his horrendous mistake at Confed Cup means, probably FIFA won't trust him for big games in knock out rounds as much as they used to.

    ReplyDelete
  24. http://www.ali-albadwawi.com/new/index.php?go=news&more=2297

    (use google translator)

    According to Ali Al Badwawi, which reports some rumors inside the AFC, there will be 36 referees called for WC. AFC will have 4 (probably 3+1) spots. Irmatov and Nishimura are both sure, Al Ghamdi and Faghani are already considered out, and there is a fight for the last two spots between the remaining three names: Shukralla (described as strong candidate), Williams and Al Badwawi himself. This news was posted on 8 December, so we assume that after the new problems suffered by Al Badwawi, he is totally out and therefore according to this source, AFC will have: Irmatov, Nishimura, Shukralla and Williams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Furthermore he confirms that the 36 trios will be selected in a few days.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous2/1/14 20:58

      Yes, day 14 or 15. In this other Collina says that the list of Europe is already defined.

      http://www.ali-albadwawi.com/new/index.php?go=news&more=2314

      Regarding the number of trios, is very confusing, that other news Roberto Moreno says will be 33.
      http://www.rpctv.com/deportes/futbol_nacional/Arbitro-Roberto-Moreno-Brasil-Mundial_0_650935348.html

      Delete
    3. Anonymous3/1/14 16:25

      Is FIFA allowing their refs to make official comments about the selection and the candidates?

      Delete
    4. Actually, it is not allowed :)

      Delete
    5. Anonymous4/1/14 02:52

      Could you please post a link for the 2013 AFC Elite Panel lists? They used to be available on the AFC web site, but I am not able to find them anymore.

      Delete

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