June 30, 2013

U20 World Cup - Round of 16 - Referee Designations

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According to Árbitro Internacional, FIFA has designated these refereeing teams for the Round of 16 of Under-20 World Cup 2013 to be played in Turkey.

Carlos Vera of Ecuador (c) ZIMBIO

02 July 2013, 17:00 CET - Istanbul
Spain - Mexico
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hassan Kamranifar (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Fourth Official: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Blog Observer: Chefren (ITA)

02 July 2013, 17:00 CET - Gaziantep
Greece - Uzbekistan
Referee: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Assistant Referee 1: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Fourth Official: Néant Alioum (CMR)
Blog Observer: Philipp S. (GER)

02 July 2013, 20:00 CET - Istanbul
Nigeria - Uruguay
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Fourth Official: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Blog Observer: Niclas E. (GER)

02 July 2013, 20:00 CET - Gaziantep
France - Turkey
Referee: Alberto Undiano (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez Del Palomar (ESP)
Fourth Official: Víctor Carrillo (PER)
Blog Observer: Chefren (ITA)

03 July 2013, 17:00 CET - Kayseri
Portugal - Ghana
Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Antonio Arias (PAR)
Blog Observer: Niclas E. (GER)

03 July 2013, 17:00 CET - Bursa
Croatia - Chile
Referee: Walter López Castellanos (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Gersón López Castellanos (GUA)
Fourth Official: Roberto García (MEX)
Blog Observer: Edward A. (GRE)

03 July 2013, 20:00 CET - Trabzon
Colombia - Korea Republic
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Bojan Ul (SVN)
Fourth Official: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Blog Observer: Nur H. (ENG)

03 July 2013, 19:00 CET - Antalya
Iraq - Paraguay
Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Fourth Official: Peter O'Leary (NZL)
Blog Observer: Edward A. (GRE)
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What's behind the amendments of Law 11

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During the last weeks, the world's football governing body FIFA announced that the offside rule would be changing from 1st July 2013 targeting at the aim to simplify the definition of passive offside for the match officials, players and also supporters.


The press has widely managed to confuse football fans around the globe with wrong descriptions and analyses of those amendments, so that even UEFA referee committee member Herbert Fandel stated that "this medial hype was fully unnecessary". But how do these changes exactly look like? Those aspects which have been added or changed are written in bold letters.


Current version
New version effective from 1st July 2013

In the context of Law 11 – Offside, the following definitions apply:

(…)
·         “interfering with play” means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate

·         “interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or movements or making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent

·         “gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost or the crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position


In the context of Law 11 – Offside, the following definitions apply:

(…)
·         “interfering with play” means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate

·         “interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball


·         “gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball

I) that rebounds or is deflected to him off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent having been in an offside position

II) that rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position

A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.


Interpreting these amendments, one has to clarify that they are only changes "on the paper". In fact, nothing has really been altered, the definitions "interfering with an opponent" and "gaining an advantage by being in that position" have merely been specified. Following the old form of Law 11, the assistant referees had to assess whether an action by a defender who e.g. deflected the ball had been deliberate or not. This led to some confusion not only within the refereeing team. FIFA has now differed between "deliberate saves" by a defender (offside) and defenders who "deliberately play" the ball (e.g. a return pass, no offside here). Furthermore, FIFA's goal surely was to clarify what is meant by a deflection or rebound.

The following two videos can additionally function as explanations for the amendments I and II of the definition "gaining an advantage by being in that position".

video

In this UEFA Champions League match between Schalke 04 and Arsenal FC, Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud received a long pass by one of his team-mates which was "deflected" by Schalke defender Joel Matip having been in an offside position when the ball was played. Italian assistant referee Renato Faverani did not raise his flag though. Taking into account the new rule, it becomes clearer why. First it must be clear that Matip did not unintentionally deflect the ball by his header. He clearly went towards the ball with intention and thus deliberately played the ball: 'A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.' Additionally, Giroud did not press Matip, he did not challenge him. Assistant referees do not have to care about the question of whether Matip's action was successful or not, the intent to do so was deliberately made and this is what it is all about.
For this reason, it is no offside offense.

Same goes for the next example taken from 2010 World Cup 1/8 final match between Germany and England, where Uruguayan Mauricio Espinosa took a correct offside decision, as Rooney gained an advantage by being in that offside position despite a deflection of a defender. A totally correct decision under the old rule and but a wrong one taking into account the new instructions.


video


Rooney did not make pressure on the German defender and hence did not challenge him. The touch the German defender made with the ball was intentional, he therefore deliberately played the ball. Offside in 2010, no offside starting from 1st July.

A quite current and for sure the easiest example for what is meant by a rebound occurred at this month's Confederations Cup in the match between Italy and Brazil.


Assistant referee Bakhadyr Kochkarov unfortunately missed this offside position. Dante, having been in an offside position, got the ball from a deliberate save and a rebound off the goalkeeper. Thus, his passive offside position became clearly active.

Now an example for what is meant by "challenging a player". Jan-Hendrik Salver correctly raised his flag for offside in the World Cup 2010 match between Slovenia and England.

video

Slovenia's player #11, having been in an offside position (the deflection at the English wall is to be considered as undeliberate), challenged the English goalkeeper so that it became an active offside offence due to interfering with an opponent.

FIFA moreover attached several exemplary videos at their amendments of the Laws of the Game that can be found on José García Aranda's website.

All the videos posted here are only for educational and not for commercial purpose.
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Kuipers: "This is what you dream about"

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Proud Dutch referee Björn Kuipers, who had been selected by FIFA to officiate tonight's FIFA Confederations Cup final between Brazil and Spain at Rio de Janeiro's gorgeous Estádio do Maracanã, has been interviewed by FIFA.com and reflected the tournament in diverse facets. 


Here's what he told FIFA.com.


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June 28, 2013

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

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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
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Committee members in action?

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Yesterday in the late evening, the eagerly awaited updates of UEFA's referee categories have been officially confirmed and have caught our immediate attention. At first glance, one may call the promotions  "expected". But not only at first glance, also at second glance, for a different reason though. 

One of the deserved "promotees": Russian Sergei Karasev (c) fifa.com

Naturally all following statements are just analytical ideas on the update; it might be that some of them are wrong as we cannot know that much about aspects like written tests, personal reasons etc that could have had an impact on these changes, too.

Surely, Milorad Mažić, Matej Jug and Sergei Karasev fully deserve their promotions and partly really had to wait a long time for this moment. The UEFA phrase "fast-track promotions should be made possible" did not really apply for the Serbian official, who had to be seen by more than six committee members, until his skills were finally considered as good enough for Elite.

But the low number of changes is really astonishing. It is surprising that e.g. Bas Nijhuis stays in Elite Development, having been completely ignored in the K.O. stage of UEFA Europa League - a Dutch referee who surely has some potential but (too) often failed to show that when it was important. A final chance for him until December? Or just a Dutch committee member having protected him from moving down? Same goes for English Martin Atkinson, who did not convince on international level during the past season and who faced some trouble after Lille - Bayern in UEFA Champions League. Rumours said that Lille had lodged an official complaint to French UEFA president Platini after the match. Atkinson, as Elite referee, was ignored in both UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League knockout phase. Nobody doubts that Atkinson is a good referee. The principle "same rules for everybody" just does not apply here. Other referees with a comparable CV, such as German Florian Meyer, had to leave the highest category when the time had come to make place for younger officials. As we are touching on demotions: what exactly has changed within the past six months that might justify a demotion of Northern Ireland's referee Mark Courtney?

Scottish refereeing is experiencing a radical change at the moment as well: Euan Norris was relegated to Second Group in winter 2012 before being demoted once again this June, now to the lowest category. He rejected to handle a UEFA Europa League match last season due to medical reasons. Obviously, UEFA does not see a big prospect in him or just believes he needs more time to start completely anew. John Beaton has been promoted to Second Group though, without handling a match in the past six months.

Having refereed 2013 Under-17 European Championship final, Greek Anastassios Sidiropoulos has been immediately promoted to First Group. He seems to be a Greek referee who savours UEFA's trust to follow into Kyros Vassaras' footsteps, something which Kakos and Koukoulakis did not achieve. The critical thing about that is: referees like Emir Aleckovic, Sébastien Delferiere, Kenn Hansen, Antti Munukka or Kristo Tohver had a similar development - and contrary to Sidiropoulos even already (more than) one EL match each - but were not able to reach the First Group so far. Why not?

Without valuing these changes: promotions and demotions seem to be more flexible concerning those national associations that are represented by a member in the UEFA referee committee. Some neutral statistics and numbers can, as often, express more.

Exactly 60% of the referees who have been promoted in the winter updates 2012 and in June 2013 are of nations with influence on and representation in the UEFA's referee committee. For the officials who have been demoted, the ratio is 55%. In a sum that means that 58% of the changes within UEFA's referee categories concerned referees from nations with influence on or representation in it. However, the members in the committee only "represent" 36% of the UEFA referees, meaning that every third referee in UEFA's categories has "someone behind him in the committee". Comparing both percentages, a certain imbalance is revealed (55% or even 60% (promotions) are statistically significantly higher than 36%).

If the system worked in a really neutral way, this gap of 24 percentage points should not exist or should be at least smaller.

The only explanation, which would support UEFA in this practice, is that the referees from nations with influence on and representation in the committee must be extra-ordinary better than their colleagues from other countries.
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UEFA Referee Categories - 2013/14 (I)

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UEFA Referee Committee have decided to promote Serbian Milorad Mažić to the highest referee category, the Elite Group of referees. The Balcan match official has repeatedly convinced with very good performances in the past Champions League and Europa League campaign and was additionally listed as prospective referee for 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Milorad Mažić of Serbia is now an Elite referee (c) inserbia.info

Furthermore Slovenian Matej Jug and Russian Sergei Karasev have moved up to Elite Development. Karasev convinced in multiple Champions and Europa League matches during the past season and has showed a great progress. 1980 born Matej Jug was able to convince during the past UEFA seasons and also at this month's UEFA Under-21 European Championship where he also performed very well in the final match between Italy and Spain.
Peter Rasmussen of Denmark has left Elite Development due to his voluntary retirement from international refereeing. There are no further demotions from the highest two categories to First Group.
In the lower categories, Greek Anastassios Sidiropoulos has been promoted from Second Group to First Group, while Northern Ireland's Mark Courtney has been demoted to Second Group.
Scottish John Beaton and Stephan Klossner of Switzerland have been promoted to Second Group; Beaton's countryman Euan Norris has however been relegated to Third Group - his second relegation within 6 months.

The complete list

Elite Group:
 
Martin Atkinson (ENG), Olegário Benquerenca (POR), Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Cakir (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Královec (CZE), Björn Kuipers (NED), Stéphane Lannoy (FRA), Milorad Mažić (SRB), Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR), Pedro Proenca (POR), Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Damir Skomina (SVN), Wolfgang Stark (GER), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA), Craig Thomson (SCO), Alberto Undiano (ESP), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP), Howard Webb (ENG)

Elite Development Group:
Firat Aydinus (TUR), Deniz Aytekin (GER), Ivan Bebek (CRO), David Fernández Borbalán (ESP), Antony Gautier (FRA), Manuel Gräfe (GER), Tom Harald Hagen (NOR), Ovidiu Alin Hategan (ROU), Matej Jug (SVN), Sergei Karasev (RUS),  Bas Nijhuis (NED), Daniele Orsato (ITA), Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD), Marijo Strahonja (CRO), István Vad (HUN)

First Group:
Pavel Balaj (ROU), Luca Banti (ITA), Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS), Kevin Blom (NED), Serhiy Boiko (UKR), Marcin Borski (POL), Tony Chapron (FRA), Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP), Antonio Damato (ITA), Mike Dean (ENG), Simon Evans (WAL), Fredy Fautrel (FRA), Pawel Gil (POL), Hüseyin Göcek (TUR), Duarte Gomes (POR), Serge Gumienny (BEL), Martin Hansson (SWE), Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL), Stefan Johannesson (SWE), Hannes Kaasik (EST), Anastassios Kakos (GRE), Alan Kelly (IRL), Sascha Kever (SUI), Michael Koukoulakis (GRE), Libor Kovarik (CZE), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR), Liran Liany (ISR), Robert Madden (SCO), Danny Makkelie (NED), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Andre Marriner (ENG), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Gediminas Mazeika (LTU), Florian Meyer (GER), Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS), Michael Oliver (ENG), Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT), Anastassios Sidiropoulos (GRE), Jorge Sousa (POR), Daniel Stalhammar (SWE), Stephan Studer (SUI), Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (ESP), Stanislav Todorov (BUL), Leontios Trattou (CYP), Alexandru Tudor (ROU), Clément Turpin (FRA), Pol van Boekel (NED), Alon Yefet (ISR), Bülent Yildirim (TUR), Felix Zwayer (GER)

Second Group:
Emir Aleckovic (BIH), Sandor Andó-Szabó (HUN), Ievgenii Aranovski (UKR), Ionut Marius Avram (ROU), John Beaton (SCO), Alain Bieri (SUI), Tamás Bognar (HUN), Marco Borg (MLT), Ruddy Buquet (FRA), Kevin Clancy (SCO), Mark Courtney (NIR), Andrea de Marco (ITA), Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP), Sébastien Delferiere (BEL), Oleksandr Derdo (UKR), Christian Dingert (GER), Neil Doyle (IRL), Oliver Drachta (AUT), Laurent Duhamel (FRA), Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU), René Eisner (AUT), Said Ennjimi (FRA), Aleksei Eskov (RUS), Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP), Mihaly Fabian (HUN), Marco Fritz (GER), Mattias Gestranius (FIN), Vlado Glodjovic (SRB), Serdar Gözübüyük (NED), Eli Hacmon (ISR), Kenn Hansen (DEN), Arnold Hunter (NIR), Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR), Jakob Kehlet (DEN), Aleksandar Kostadinov (BUL), István Kovacs (ROU), Stephan Klossner (SUI), Artyom Kuchin (KAZ), Maksim Layushkin (RUS), Harald Lechner (AUT), Michael Lerjeus (SWE), Richard Liesveld (NED), Robert Malek (POL), Menashe Masiah (ISR), Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA), Steven McLean (SCO), Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD), Vitaly Meshkov (RUS), Antti Munukka (FIN), Halis Özkahya (TUR), Marios Panayi (CYP), Lee Probert (ENG), Pavle Radovanovic (MNE), Nicolas Rainville (FRA), Artur Ribeiro Soares Dias (POR), Anar Salmanov (AZE), Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR), Hubert Siejewicz (POL), Ilias Spathas (GRE), Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL), Martin Strömbergsson (SWE), Padraigh Sutton (IRL), Anthony Taylor (ENG), Kristo Tohver (EST), Stavros Tritsonis (GRE), Richard Trutz (SVK), Jan Valasek (SVK), Paolo Valeri (ITA), Ognjen Valjic (BIH), Slavko Vincic (SVN), Ante Vucemilovic-simunovic jr (CRO), Tobias Welz (GER), Carlos Xistra (POR), Nikolay Yordanov (BUL), Miroslav Zelinka (CZE)

Third Group:
Anatoliy Abdula (UKR), Aliyar Aghayev (AZE), Alexandr Aliyev (KAZ), Sascha Amhof (SUI), Ioannis Anastasiou (CYP), Dennis Antamo (FIN), Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA), Petr Ardeleanu (CZE), Thorvaldur Arnason (ISL), Andranik Arsenyan (ARM), Kevin Azzopardi (MLT), Suren Baliyan (ARM),  Damir Batinic (CRO), Mauro Bergonzi (ITA), Sven Bindels (LUX), Alexandre Boucaut (BEL), Johnny Casanova (SMR), Lars Christoffersen (DEN), Sebastian Coltescu (ROU), Raymond Crangle (NIR), Nikola Dabanovic (MNE), Sergiu Derenov (MDA), Vasilis Dimitriou (CYP), Vadims Direktorenko (LVA), Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR), Jérome Efong Nzolo (BEL), Andreas Ekberg (SWE), Hugo Ferreira Miguel (POR), Aleksander Gauzer (KAZ), Athanassios Giachos (GRE), Orel Grinfeld (ISR), Gerhard Grobelnik (AUT), Danilo Grujic (SRB), Leonardo Guidi (SMR), Tornike Gvantseladze (GEO), Dag Vidar Hafsas (NOR), Markus Hameter (AUT), Nikolaj Hänni (SUI), Tore Hansen (NOR), Alexander Harkam (AUT), Rahim Hasanov (AZE), Thoroddur Hjaltalin (ISL), Adrien Jacottet (SUI), Dejan Jakimovski (MKD), Jari Järvinen (FIN), Lorenc Jemini (ALB), Michael Johansen (DEN), Gunnar Jónsson (ISL), Enea Jorgji (ALB), Bosko Jovanetic (SRB), Georgi Kabakov (BUL), Mete Kalkavan (TUR), Jovan Kaludjerovic (MNE), Vladimir Kazmenko (RUS), Thorsten Kinhöfer (GER), Laurent Kopriwa (LUX), Yaroslav Kozyk (UKR), Peter Kralovic (SVK), Sergei Lapochkin (RUS), Jonathan Lardot (BEL), Bryn David Markham-Jones (WAL), Radek Matejek (CZE), Yuriy Mozharovskyy (UKR), César Muniz Fernández (ESP), Dumitru Muntean (MDA), Ádám Németh (HUN), Christos Nicolaides (CYP), Euan Norris (SCO), Andreas Pappas (GRE), Bardhyl Pashaj (ALB), Radu Marian Petrescu (ROU), Elmir Pilav (BIH), Clayton Pisani (MLT), Nikola Popov (BUL), Radek Prihoda (CZE), Igor Pristovnik (CRO), Pawel Raczkowski (POL), Petur Reinert (FAR), Chris Reisch (LUX), Robert Rogers (IRL), Eiko Saar (EST), Alan Sant (MLT), Joao Santos Capela (POR), Marco Santos Ferreira (POR), Igor Satchi (MDA), Dzianis Shcharbakou (BLR), Lasha Silagava (GEO), Baris Simsek (TUR), Sergejus Slyva (LTU), Wim Smet (BEL), Mervyn Smyth (NIR), Daniel Stefanski (POL), Andris Treimanis (LVA), Siarhei Tsynkevich (BLR), Michael Tykgaard (DEN), George Vadachkoria (GEO), Mikhail Vilkov (RUS), Ignasi Villamayor (AND), Anatoliy Vishnichenko (UKR), Vladimir Vnuk (SVK), Domagoj Vuckov (CRO), Milenko Vukadinovic (SRB), Mark Whitby (WAL), Luc Wouters (BEL), Mitja Zganec (SVN), Anatolii Zhabchenko (UKR)
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June 25, 2013

U20 World Cup Matchday 3 Referee Designations

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FIFA has appointed the referees for matchday 3 of Under-20 World Cup. Thanks to Árbitro Internacional.

Gambian talent Bakary Gassama

Group A, 27 June 2013, 19:00 CET - Istanbul
Spain - France
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Nur H. (ENG)

Group A, 27 June 2013, 19:00 CET - Kayseri
Ghana - United States of America
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Abdulla Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Mubarak Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Carlos Vera (ECU)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Philipp S. (GER)

Group B, 27 June 2013, 16:00 CET - Istanbul
Korea Rep. - Nigeria
Referee: Peter O'Leary (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hendrik Hintz (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ravinesh Kumar (FIJ)
Fourth Official: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Nik Askitopoulos (ENG)

Group B, 27 June 2013, 16:00 CET - Kayseri
Portugal - Cuba
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Vera (ECU)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Philipp S. (GER)

Group C, 28 June 2013, 20:00 CET - Trabzon
Australia - Turkey
Referee: Roberto García (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: José Luis Camargo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Walter López Castellanos (GUA)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Nur H. (ENG)

Group C, 28 June 2013, 20:00 CET - Gaziantep
El Salvador - Colombia
Referee: Néant Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Edibi (NGA)
Fourth Official: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Chefren (ITA)

Group D, 28 June 2013, 17:00 CET - Trabzon
Greece - Paraguay
Referee: Bakary Papa Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Assistant Referee 2: Felicien Kabanda (RWA)
Fourth Official: Walter López Castellanos (GUA)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Chefren (ITA)

Group D, 28 June 2013, 17:00 CET - Gaziantep
Mali - Mexico
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Edward A. (GRE)

Group E, 29 June 2013, 20:00 CET - Antalya
Iraq - Chile
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Annonier (FRA)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Williams (AUS)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Philipp S. (GER)

Group E, 29 June 2013, 20:00 CET - Bursa
Egypt - England
Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Cacéres (PAR)
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Edward A. (GRE)

Group F, 29 June 2013, 17:00 CET - Antalya
Uzbekistan - Uruguay
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gábor Erös (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: István Albert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Williams (AUS)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Carlos S. (COL)

Group F, 29 June 2013, 17:00 CET
Croatia - New Zealand
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha De Matos (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
FIFA Referee Assessor:
Blog Observer: Edward A. (GRE)
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Osses and Webb to officiate Confed Cup semifinals

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FIFA has designated the two Confederations Cup semifinal officiating teams to be active at next Wednesday and Thursday. While there will be an almost all-South American semifinal between Brazil and Uruguay, headed by Enrique Osses of Chile, Englishman Howard Webb will handle the Euro 2012 final tie between Spain and Italy.

Enrique Osses in Mexico-Italy (c) Árbitro Internacional

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June 23, 2013

Ravshan Irmatov has admitted his technical error

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Yesterday's top-class match between Euro 2012 finalists Italy and Confed Cup hosting nation Brazil (2:4) will certainly stay in Uzbek match official Ravshan Irmatov's mind as a nightmare. Apart from a not faultless performance of the entire officiating team of Asia, he has committed a rarely seen technical error that could potentially cost him very much credit among FIFA's refereeing department.

Ravshan Irmatov could face some trouble (c) terra.com

It all happened when a corner kick reached Italian Mario Balotelli, who was pulled and for this reason fouled by a Brazilian defender. Irmatov immediately pointed to the spot, awarded a penalty kick which was supported by a whistle. A second later, the ball reached Italian Chiellini, who scored a goal. Irmatov swiftly changed his mind and awarded the goal. His gestures and explanation of his decision to the furious Brazilian players evoked the impression he thought the advantage rule could be also applied after a whistle, which was clearly audible.


Apart from his mandatory departure from this competition after group stage, it must be strongly questioned how a referee, who took charge of five World Cup 2010 matches including the opener match, Argentina - Germany and the semifinal between Uruguay and the Netherlands, can commit such an amateur mistake. One can only hope that this actually great referee, who was honoured by this blog's community as the world's best referee in 2011, will recover from this soon.
Formally, the Brazilian would have had the statutory law to cancel the match. For FIFA, it seems mere luck that there won't be official protests, as Brazil won this match in the end.
In the meantime Ravshan Irmatov has admitted his technical error to the match commissioner and FIFA referee department chief Massimo Busacca, following a statement issued by FIFA's media agent Pekka Odriozola.

By the way, a similar situation occurred in the German Bundesliga in August 1997. Referee Michael Malbranc retired after this match (see video starting from 14:34). Contrary to Irmatov, Malbranc however did not admit his error.
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June 22, 2013

FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2013 Turkey - Reports

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Please find our reports for this year's FIFA Under-20 World Cup by choosing the respective file placed in the grid below.

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U20 World Cup Matchday 2 Referee Designations

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Matchday 2 of FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2013 to be played in Turkey. Among others, Alireza Faghani and Roberto Moreno will handle two interesting matches.

fr. l.: Reza Sokhandan, Alireza Faghani, Hassan Kamranifar (c) azreferee

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June 21, 2013

Confed Cup Matchday 3 Appointments

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The referee appointments for the third matchday of FIFA Confederations Cup group stage have been already announced for Group A. Ravshan Irmatov and Felix Brych will handle their respectively first matches at this tournament.

Felix Brych will take charge of Japan - Mexico (c) ZIMBIO

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June 19, 2013

Match Officials for U-20 World Cup Matchday 1 ready

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FIFA has released the referee designations for the first matchday of FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. Special thanks to Árbitro Internacional, who transmitted these news!
 
Wilmar Roldán of Colombia (c) libero.pe

Group A, 21 June 2013, 17:00 CET
France - Ghana
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Díaz (COL)
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Carlos Alarcón (PAR)
Blog Observer: Edward A. (GRE)

Group B, 21 June 2013, 17:00 CET
Cuba - Korea Republic
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Badara Sene (SEN)
Blog Observer: Nur H. (ENG)

Group A, 21 June 2013, 20:00 CET
United States of America - Spain
Referee: Bakary Papa Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Assistant Referee 2: Felicien Kabanda (RWA)
Fourth Official: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Carlos Alarcón (PAR) 
Blog Observer: Edward A. (GRE)

Group B, 21 June 2013, 20:00 CET
Nigeria - Portugal
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jhonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: César Escano (PER)
Fourth Official: Alberto Undiano (ESP)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Badara Sene (SEN)
Blog Observer: Çagatay I. (TUR)

Group C, 22 June 2013, 17:00 CET
Colombia - Australia
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Fourth Official: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)
Blog Observer: Chefren (ITA)

Group D, 22 June 2013, 17:00 CET
Turkey - El Salvador
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha De Matos (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)
Blog Observer: Niclas E. (GER)

Group C, 22 June 2013, 20:00 CET
Mexico - Greece
Referee: Peter O'Leary (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hendrik Hintz (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ravinesh Kumar (FIJ)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Williams (AUS)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)
Blog Observer: Niclas E. (GER)

Group D, 22 June 2013, 20:00 CET
Paraguay - Mali
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Abdulla Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Mubarak Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Damir Skomina (SVN)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)
Blog Observer: Niclas E. (GER)

Group E, 23 June 2013, 17:00 CET
Chile - Egypt
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official: Wilmar Roldán (COL)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Lee Harmon (CKI) 
Blog Observer: Carlos S. (COL) 

Group F, 23 June 2013, 16:00 CET
New Zealand - Uzbekistan
Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Cacéres (PAR)
Fourth Official: Bakary Papa Gassama (GAM)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Michal Listkiewicz (POL)
Blog Observer: Chefren (ITA)

Group E, 23 June 2013, 20:00 CET
England - Iraq
Referee: Roberto García (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: José Luis Camargo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Víctor Carrillo (PER)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Lee Harmon (CKI)
Blog Observer: Edward A. (GRE)

Group F, 23 June 2013, 20:00 CET
Uruguay - Croatia
Referee: Néant Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Edibe (NGA)
Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
FIFA Referee Assessor: Michal Listkiewicz (POL)
Blog Observer: Niclas E. (GER)
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Summary: Refereeing in Israel has been exceedingly good

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Yesterday's final match between Italy and Spain at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium has not only proven the fact that this Spanish U21 side seem to be unbeatable, but it was furthermore characterized by a very good performance shown by the match officials. Slovenian Matej Jug and his team thus confirmed the exceedingly good refereeing level at Israel's Under-21 European Championship.

Slovenian Matej Jug correctly awarding a penalty to Spain (c) ZIMBIO
  
Apart from this summary, you can find reports for every match on this page. Within the following paragraphs, you find a few situations mentioned. Please click on the underlined passages to find a video corresponding to these incidents.

Basic Observations

Additional Assistant Referees
It was the first time that UEFA had decided to deploy additional assistant referees (AARs) on the goalline at a final Under-21 European Championship tournament. Taking everything into consideration, they contributed to a better decision taking. Several situations were assessed in an adequate way only thanks to their help and presence, such as a correct penalty in the match between Russia and Germany, where Turkey's Halis Özkahya correctly advised referee Matej Jug to point to the spot. Also in yesterday's final, one may suspect that Özkahya at least strengthened his chief to award the second penalty to Spain, since it happened in his area of vicinity and responsibility. Özkahya moreover supported Serhiy Boiko's hard but correct penalty decision in England-Norway. No miracle that this Turkish guy reached the final.
However, there also have been doubtful or even wrong calls. Greek Ilias Spathas recommended Croatian Ivan Bebek to award a controversial penalty to Norway in their Group A match against Italy in the 90th minute of play. The replays revealed that this decision was more than soft. A real contact that should be punished with a penalty did not really exist. Estonian Kristo Tohver created a bit irritation in Bebek's first match between the Netherlands and Germany. Bebek showed no hesitation when going to caution a German forward for simulation. Tohver summoned Bebek towards himself and had a talk with him - the decision to issue a yellow card for diving did not change though. Finnish Antti Munukka was additionally sent home after only two matches (Slovakian Ivan Kružliak had to take his place on matchday 3). The reasons for that can only be guessed. In both matches he had, he failed to take a crucial decision correctly. In England - Italy headed by Antony Gautier of France, the officiating team and specially AAR2 Munukka missed a clear penalty to the Italian side. Gautier was far away so that it is unlikely he was able to shift responsibility on Munukka's shoulders. After a corner kick in the second half, a goal was scored by the English side and first allowed by Gautier. However, Munukka overruled him and Gautier decided on offensive foul. No mistake, but a debatable call. It must be questioned why he did not consult his teammate via micro before awarding the goal, too. Finally, Munukka was no help for Gautier in their second game either when the French official missed a clear handball penalty to Russia at the start of half two. This time, Munukka could not really detect it, but still, he was at least no real support.
In a nutshell that means that a) additional assistant referees have, as usually, conveyed ambivalent impressions but could help in some crucial moments and that b) there have been severe communication problems within some refereeing teams. It is unclear whether the reasons for that either lie in the inexperience of some AARs having worked there or in the fact that six match officials coming from different countries had to consult each other on their foreign language English in an understandable manner. Probably, it was a mixture of both.

Instructions to combat unsporting behaviour
As outlined several times also by Pierluigi Collina or FIFA referees, one main goal at such mini-tournaments, where you - in a way - teach young players on the pitch, is to combat unsporting behaviour such as simulation. And that was done successfully.
The referees in Israel issued five yellow cards for simulation in 15 matches. This high average is certainly no coincidence. It is likely they received clear instructions by the advisors in Israel (Marc Batta, Hugh Dallas and Vlado Sajn). Pawel Gil and Ivan Bebek took such decisions in their first match each - these decisions appeared to be a bit harsh. But you must be prepared that some decisions could be too harsh or even wrong if you want to pay more attention to simulation. Matej Jug took a very good and correct decision to book a German forward in Russia-Germany and Ukraine's Serhiy Boiko even did so twice (1, ESP-NOR). In England - Norway as well as Spain - Norway, he correctly penalized players for diving.
Furthermore, Pawel Gil cautioned an Israeli player for demanding a red card to his opponent in the opener game. A strict and good fashion to deal with it which was however only observed once at this tournament.

Cards
At this tournament, the referees issued 59 yellow cards in 15 matches, equating an average of 3,93 yellow cards per match, a value that lies below the averages of last season's Champions League and Europa League but which is a bit higher than 2012 European Championship's average. Serhiy Boiko managed to finish the match between Israel and England without cards, while Ovidiu Hategan and Matej Jug had to sort out seven yellows in one of their respective matches each.
Four sending-offs occurred in those 15 matches, all of them were direct red cards. One for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (dogso) given by Pawel Gil in Israel-Norway, one for serious foul play in Italy-Israel (Ovidiu Hategan), one was given by Matej Jug following serious foul play in Russia-Germany. Antony Gautier's red card in Netherlands-Russia was exaggerated and more than doubtful.

Assistant Referees
A good refereeing team also needs very good assistant referees. UEFA obviously did a good job in selecting the eight assistant referees to run the lines in those matches and to fulfill duties as fourth officials. It would be unfair to only point out a few names. Basically, all of them have convinced and have definitely shown very good performances. There was no crucial mistake made by an assistant. Very good work. At the same time, one can imagine how hard the decision was for UEFA to choose the two assistants, Johann Gudmundsson and Dmitry Zhuk, who had to leave the tournament after group stage.

Referees
Ivan Bebek in NOR-ITA (c) ZIMBIO
Ivan Bebek, Croatia. More or less, this Elite Development Group referee was considered as the most probable final candidate before the tournament following his successful season on CL and EL level. He absolutely showed reliable performances in both matches besides some points to improve. He awarded two penalty kicks, the one in his first match and the other one upon suggestion by AAR Spathas (see above), which was doubtful. UEFA could have chosen him for a semifinal or the final, but for some reason, he only joined the final stage as fourth official in the final. On the whole nonetheless a good tournament from the Croatian official.
mprove, such as adapting his very lenient line to the requirements of the match. He awarded two penalties, one of them correct,

Serhiy Boiko, Ukraine. For sure, he could be regarded as the "underdog" of the tournament. He had by far the lowest amount of experience on international level but impressed in his first match between England and Norway. In his second match, there were no real challenges. Israel and England both were out almost for sure. No problems in an easy-going game. His semifinal between Spain-Norway was on the whole a deserved appointment and also a good performance with a correct crucial dive decision (see above) and a convincing officiating throughout the whole match. I would bet that UEFA is going to give him a Champions League next season to check whether a fast-track promotion to ED is possible or not. With Collina in his back as Ukrainian refereeing chief officer, this becomes even more realistic.

Antony Gautier, France. Without any doubt, France has a problem. "Their" European Championship is waiting in 2016 and until then, their number 1 Stéphane Lannoy will have retired. Clément Turpin might be one candidate to attend this tournament as the home referee, but he is probably too young. Thus, UEFA focused a lot on Gautier and pushed him in the knockout stage of the last EL season. At this tournament, he missed two penalties (NED-RUS) and issued an exaggerated red card. One can honestly summarize his performances in one word: disappointing.

Pawel Gil, Poland. Born in 1976, this year seems to be his last chance to move up to ED. The fact that he was sent home after group stage surely does not support his position in UEFA refereeing. However, Gil actually showed convincing performances, specially in Germany-Spain. The problem in the opener game was basically a wrong penalty given to the hosting nation Israel in the first half. Apart from that, he had minor problems and minor points to improve. No bad tournament, but compared to the other officials, they just were better.

Ovidiu Hategan had a lot of work in ITA-NED (c) scoladearbitri
Ovidiu Hategan, Romania. A great talent from a nation that did not have so many high-profile referees in the last decade. After a good performance in Italy-Israel with a few smaller points of criticism, where he also took a very brave but good decision to send off an Israeli player for a dangerous challenge, he also convinced in Spain-Netherlands. His semifinal performance under the eyes of Dallas was however the weakest of his three matches. He missed a violent conduct that was hard to detect, had a few lacks of control, missed some elbows, even though his basic decision-taking was good. Probably, Italy-Netherlands also was the most difficult match at this U21 tournament. Overall a good or at least very satisfying tournament for the Romanian official.

Matej Jug, Slovenia. Undoubtfully, he was not the favourite to handle the final before the tournament. He is the youngest of the six officials and showed, from my point of view and also reading our reports, the best performances. After a calm start in Spain-Russia where everything went all right, he totally convinced in Russia-Germany having taken three crucial decisions correctly (1, 2, 3). Jug crowned his tournament by a very good performance in yesterday's final including two correct penalty kick decisions (1, 2). One can merely hope that UEFA is aware of his skills, abilities and prospect for the future, meaning that a promotion to ED would be very much deserved.
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