September 30, 2013

Champions League - Referee Appointments - Matchday 2 (Wednesday)

- 67 Comments
These are the eight officiating teams who will take charge of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League matches. Et voilà: the next mixed team has unfolded: Slovenian Matej Jug will celebrate his Champions League debut at Santiago Bernabeu with Austrian Roland Brandner as AR2.

The only debutant in UCL at MD2: Matej Jug (SVN) (c) ZIMBIO

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September 29, 2013

Champions League - Referee Appointments - Matchday 2 (Tuesday)

- 77 Comments
UEFA has nominated the following referee teams to take charge of Tuesday's Champions League matches that initiate matchday 2. Among others, three Spanish sextets have been appointed for matches in Group E and F respectively.

Alberto Undiano Mallenco of Spain (c) croref.blogspot.com
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Player Management

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In matchday 1’s Champions League match between Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford, there were two remarkable situations related to the performance of referee Damir Skomina and his crew of whom one was already discussed and analyzed last week. 

Face2Face: Damir Skomina and Robin van Persie (c) whoateallthepies
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UEFA Youth League Matchday 2

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Appointments for UEFA Youth League Matchday 2.


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September 26, 2013

World Cup Qualifier Referee Appointments are unfolding

- 76 Comments
This October, the world of football will face the decisive qualifying phase for FIFA World Cup 2014. Within every confederation, some national teams have already qualified while others are still striving for the highly coveted remaining places for the competition to be played in Brazil. Some referee appointments for this vital qualifier round have been revealed by diverse forms of press and will be collected during the next days.

Sandro Ricci to face a big challenge (c) Árbitro Internacional
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September 24, 2013

Match Situations - Fouls 3 / Teamwork - Solutions

- 18 Comments
The following solution is supposed to clarify the incident having occurred in the Champions League match between Manchester City and Ajax Amsterdam, refereed by Peter Rasmussen of Denmark, that was put up for debate in this blog post.


UEFA's official solution is:

Blue #45 is clearly being held by his opponent. The AAR must be ready to adjust his position accordingly to be in a position to inform the referee that a penalty kick should be awarded. The position of the referee in such cases should also be to the left of the goal between the goal area, penalty area line and in line with the penalty mark.

A remarkable part of this blog's community disagreed with this interpretation. 
The Third Team therefore reminds you on the fact that two fouls happened at the same time: Blue #45 was held by his opponent but held and grabbed his opponent at the same time as well. That could have required a dropped ball at the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage - a procedure that would have been in line with the Laws of the Game but that would have overused common sense.
Making no gesture but instead finishing the match with the final whistle did not find the players' approval - and that was no surprise.
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September 21, 2013

Match Situations - Fouls 3 / Teamwork

- 15 Comments
This post is a part of the section in this blog called "Match Situations" that concentrates on specific match situations related to parts of the Laws of the Game. Your participation is crucial to make this blog's element give some value for referees and football enthusiasts in general.


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Match Situations - Fouls 2 - Solutions

- 0 Comments
The following solution is supposed to clarify the incidents having occurred in the World Cup 2010 match between Brazil and Côte d'Ivoire, refereed by Stéphane Lannoy of France, that were put up for debate in this blog post.


The Third Team's solution is:

Incident 1: RED CARD for Serious Foul Play (having used excessive force or brutality while endangering the opponent's safety/health by going into the challenge with studs up not targeted at playing the ball). 44% agreed with that solution in the community's poll.

Incident 2: RED CARD for Serious Foul Play (having used excessive force or brutality while endangering the opponent's safety/health by going into the challenge with studs up not targeted at playing the ball). 89% agreed with that solution in the community's poll.
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September 20, 2013

Klopp's behaviour is inconsistent with Respect campaign

- 9 Comments
It is quite sure that nobody would have liked to change with Venâncio Raposo Tomé, who was the fourth official at Wednesday's Champions League clash between SSC Napoli and Borussia Dortmund having almost been "eaten" by BVB coach Jürgen Klopp.

Pedro Proença sends off Jürgen Klopp (c) abendblatt.de

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September 19, 2013

Goalkeepers handling the ball twice

- 15 Comments
This week of UEFA Champions League surely offered many interesting situations to analyze - among others in Stadio Giuseppe Meazza involving AC Milan, Celtic Glasgow and German referee Wolfgang Stark's team.


In the 16th minute of play, AC Milan goalkeeper Abbiati touched the ball with his hand twice in a row without an opponent touching the ball in between:


The Laws of the Game clearly state that "an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences:
• controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession
• touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player
• touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
• touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate"

Wolfgang Stark therefore correctly applied this quite technical law and, what was even better, he calmly and clearly explained his decision to the players. Fourth Official Christoph Bornhorst did so, too, explaining it to the Italian coach, while Balotelli was enlightened by AAR1 Marco Fritz. Stark even tried to warn Abbiati before he touched the ball for the second time - but without success.
I don't know whether you have comparable situations having happened in other matches in mind, but basically this surely does not happen in 1 or 1000 matches.
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Now We Ignore More

- 29 Comments
Are you used to losing all your faith into UEFA refereeing and parts of their referee committee? Yes? Then the following won't be anything new to you. No? Then be prepared, chain yourself to your chair to avoid that you will fall from it.


In Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match between Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen, the Slovenian referee team headed by Damir Skomina had a decisive blackout in the first goal scored by the English side.


Assistant Referee 1 Matej Žunič obviously failed to detect two offside positions in this situation. The first one, by Patrice Evra, was surely hard to see and could be ignored considering the "benefit of the doubt". Evra then passed the ball into the penalty area and found his team-mate Wayne Rooney, who scored with a volley. Rooney was clearly onside, no doubt. But what about the ManU forward Valencia having stood on the goalline and having clearly been closer to the goalline than the 2nd last defender? 

In the context of Law 11 on offside, the following definitions apply.

• "interfering with play" means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate

This does not apply for ManU forward Valencia. He did not play or touch the ball.

• "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

This does apply for ManU forward Valencia. He clearly prevented his opponent - in this case goalkeeper Leno - from being able to play the ball by challenging his opponent for the ball. Challenging an opponent for the ball requires physical interference (forward Valencia obviously touched goalkeeper Leno) and requires a playing distance of maximum 1 or 1,5 metres. Well, no doubt that this was by far less than a metre.
Here we can already stop going through the offside law. This goal was clearly scored from an active offside position. Practically, it is not only Žunič' mistake, but also Damir Skomina's and specially AAR1 Slavko Vinčić's error. It was not only a clear offside position - it was an obvious foul by Valencia on Leno in the goalkeeper's "territory area", i.e. the 5m-box. Slavko Vinčić looked somewhere else, probably he controlled Rooney, the player who received the ball. Well, Skomina had to do so, too, so that sharing responsibility certainly did not work properly in this situation. A quite clear error, isn't it? For sure, this was an error of perception that is human and can happen. So I stress it's not my intention to blame the officials for that too much.

Now the story starts: Pierluigi Collina and parts of his fealty have de facto ruled the decision to allow this goal as correct.
But why? There are several possible reasons.

1. It might be that Mr Collina has not understood the offside law. Well, that would be embarrassing. He indeed should have read my post from 30 June 2013.
2. Mr Collina has not understood that people exist who want to understand referees' decisions, who want to have an honest committee that analyzes mistakes in a clear and understandable manner putting positive pressure on their officials to learn from them and to improve in future. By the way, clubs and players do expect that as well.
3. Elite referee teams savour more protection than other referees.
4. Someone in the committee believes he has to protect his protégé.
5. We are facing a World Cup. We are currently being in the hot phase of the qualification for 2014 FIFA World Cup - and this does not only count for national teams, but for the referees as well. In fact there are more European referees who would deserve a participation in this tournament than available places allowed by FIFA. Every 7.9 means a minus on the referee's and assistant referee's palmarès, that's pretty clear.

Choose the reason you like most, please.

At any rate, I have lost every faith into the current management.
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September 17, 2013

UEFA Coaching Videos on AARs - Part 1

- 7 Comments
Thanks to Mr José Garcia-Aranda, there is access to the videos that were very likely used as coaching material at the recent UEFA referee seminar held in Nyon. 


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September 16, 2013

UEFA briefs Assistant Referees in terms of Offside Law Amendments

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UEFA's summer gathering for Europe's top male and female referees has primed match officials for their assignments in the coming season. This year special attention was also given at the course to the leading assistant referees as they will be ruling on new stipulations on offside which have been introduced to the Laws of the Game. 


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UEFA Europa League - Referee Appointments - I

- 22 Comments
These 24 referee sextets will initiate the group stage of 2013/2014 UEFA Europa League campaign, among others, featuring Fredy Fautrel, Pawel Gil, Ivan Kružliak, Antonio Mateu Lahoz and Anastassios Sidiropoulos in matches with quite meaningful referee observers.

"Tasos" Sidiropoulos to attend EURO 2012 final stadium

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September 15, 2013

Champions League - Referee Appointments - Matchday 1 (Wednesday)

- 26 Comments
These are the eight officiating teams who will take control over next Wednesday's UEFA Champions League Matchday 1 matches.

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Now We Mix More

- 13 Comments
As recently presumed, UEFA's Referee Committee headed by Pierluigi Collina have decided to form mixed teams of referees to be appointed even in the highest competitions such as UEFA Champions League. Politics in the pure form that rarely happened over the past seasons.

UEFA is obviously going to mix some teams (c) UEFA.com

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Champions League - Referee Appointments - Matchday 1 (Tuesday)

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UEFA has revealed the first eight referee appointments of this season's Champions League group stage, starting on Tuesday, 17 September. 

Team Hategan (c) Referee FIFA Facebook
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September 13, 2013

Match Situations - Fouls 2

- 12 Comments
This post is a part of the section in this blog called "Match Situations" that concentrates on specific match situations related to parts of the Laws of the Game. Your participation is crucial to make this blog's element give some value for referees and football enthusiasts in general.


You can have your say by giving your assessment on these situations in form of a comment underneath the respective posts. These comments should include a precise assessment and an additional explanation that strengthens your view if needed. Directly quoting from the current version of the Laws of the Game can be useful in some cases.

The following two incidents occurred during the World Cup 2010 match between Brazil and Côte d'Ivoire, overseen by French Stéphane Lannoy:

video

What disciplinary sanctions are correct for both tackles?

NO CARD? 
YELLOW CARD? 
RED CARD?

Please give a reason for your choices and answer the poll at the right top of the blog.

The video is only posted for education purpose.
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Match Situations - Handball 4 - Solutions

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The following solution is supposed to clarify the incident having occurred in the Champions League match between Zenit St. Petersburg and Pacos de Ferreira, refereed by Alberto Undiano Mallenco of Spain, that was put up for debate in this blog post.


The correct solution is:
NO deliberate handball and therefore NO penalty. The hand was in a natural position as part of resting on the ground. Referee Undiano Mallenco thus got it right.
 
84 % of the voters in the poll agreed with this interpretation.
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September 12, 2013

UEFA Youth League - Referee Appointments (MD1)

- 9 Comments
UEFA has implemented a new competition played between the Under-19 teams of the 32 clubs licensed for this season's UEFA Champions League. UEFA Youth League's debut will take place next week with these 16 fixtures and referee appointments:


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September 11, 2013

"All Red Things come by Threes"

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The following analysis is taken from our community member Hagi's column weekly published on the German platform wahretabelle.de, which is aimed at discussing and analyzing crucial decisions appearing in the two highest leagues of German club football. Based on that, "real standings" are created rectified by adding or reducing goals that only became possible due to crucial mistakes.

Felix Brych having sent off Simunic (c) stern.de

FIFA referee Felix Brych did not have it easy at all last Friday. The 38 year-old lawyer was appointed by FIFA to oversee one of the most difficult matches existing for a match official: Serbia – Croatia. Previously, this match was played three times: in March 2013 and twice in 1999, when Serbia still played under the flag of former Yugoslavia. The referees of these matches were Turkish Cüneyt Çakır, José Garcia-Aranda of Spain and Danish Kim Milton Nielsen. All three were/are belonging to the top class of international referees, who had to cope with this extremely hot duel. Brych now got in line with these referees, whom FIFA and UEFA have therefore granted the biggest trust possible. 
His match control was outstanding and the crucial situations were assessed appropiately as well. In fact Serbia appealed for a penalty kick in the 3rd minute of the match, but even in the only replay available there was no contact visible. Both sending-offs were correct, too. The second yellow card against Nemanja Matic was absolutely justified, even though the first yellow card might be described as harsh, but acceptable and suitable to his line. And the direct red card against Josip Simunic was indeed correct for three reasons! 


Serbia’s Miralem Sulejmani initiated a counterattack after a Croatian corner kick, made a solo run and, having been in high pace, was fouled by former Bundesliga player Simunic, who had seen that he would not be able to play the ball anymore and thus whacked Suleymani in a manner that Simunic himself fell to the ground and that both players landed apart from each other by more than seven metres. 
If you ascribe intention to Simunic’s challenge, which is supported by several circumstances – the ball was already six metres away at the moment of the contact – then this incident must be judged as a violent conduct by a deliberate kick. If you consider the occasion in a very “player-friendly” way, it can be assessed as serious foul play due to clearly endangering the opponent’s health and executing the challenge with excessive force. 
Furthermore one has to recognize that Sulejmani, given his speed in the moment of passing Simunic, very likely could not be caught up by any opponent and that Simunic was moreover the last man. Despite the distance of 60 metres towards the goal and despite his position at the left side of the field of play, this should be evaluated as an obvious goal-scoring opportunity prevented by the Croatian player’s foul. For this reason it could be even assessed as dogso. 
Violent conduct, serious foul play, dogso: Felix Brych more or less had the agony of the choice, why exactly he would dismiss Simunic. One thing is sure: this red card was threefold correct.
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September 10, 2013

World Cup Qualifiers - Referee Appointments for 10 September 2013 (UEFA zone)

- 59 Comments
You can find the referee appointments for tonight's FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying round in UEFA zone and discuss their decisions and performances here!

Pedro Proença of Portugal to oversee Ukraine - England (c) ZIMBIO

Group G
10  September 2013, 17:30 CET, Marijampole
Lithuania - Liechtenstein
Referee: Lasha Silagava (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Besik Chichinadze (GEO)
Fourth official:  George Vadachkoria (GEO)

Group E
10  September 2013, 19:00 CET, Oslo
Norway - Switzerland
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Cann (ENG)
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor (ENG)

Group E
10  September 2013, 21:00 CET, Reykjavik
Iceland - Albania
Referee: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren England (ENG)
Fourth official: Lee Probert (ENG)

Group F
10  September 2013, 17:00 CET, St. Petersburg
Russia - Israel
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Guido Kleve (GER)
Fourth official: Marco Fritz (GER)
Blog Referee Observer: Chefren (ITA)

Group A
10  September 2013, 20:45 CET, Cardiff
Wales - Serbia
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth official: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)

Group C
10  September 2013, 20:45 CET, Torshavn
Faroe Islands - Germany
Referee: Gediminas Mazeika (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Dovydas Suziedelis (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Fourth official: Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU)

Group B
10  September 2013, 18:00 CET, Yerevan
Armenia - Denmark
Referee: Bas Nijhuis (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Angelo Boonman (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Rob Van De Ven (NED)
Fourth official: Richard Liesveld (NED)

Group B
10  September 2013, 20:00 CET, Ta'Qali
Malta - Bulgaria
Referee: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Nica (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurel Onita (ROU)
Fourth official: Pavel Balaj (ROU)

Group F
10  September 2013, 20:15 CET, City of Luxembourg
Luxembourg - Northern Ireland
Referee: Robert Malek (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Maciej Wierzbowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Konrad Sapela (POL)
Fourth official: Pawel Gil (POL)

Group G
10  September 2013, 20:15 CET, Zilina
Slovakia - Bosnia-Herzegovina
Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth official: Carlos Clos Gomez (ESP)

Group A
10  September 2013, 20:30 CET, Skopje
FYR Macedonia - Scotland
Referee: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frederic Haquette (FRA)
Fourth official: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)

Group D
10  September 2013, 20:30 CET, Andorra La Vella
Andorra - Netherlands
Referee: Ante Vucemilovic (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Dalibor Conjar (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Fourth official: Damir Batinic (CRO)

Group D
10  September 2013, 20:30 CET, Budapest
Hungary - Estonia
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1:  Stanislav Savitski (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitry Zhuk (BLR)
Fourth official: Siarhei Tsynvekich (BLR)

Group B
10  September 2013, 20:45 CET, Turin
Italy - Czech Republic
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1:  Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Waernmark (SWE)
Fourth official: Martin Strombergsson (SWE)

Group C
10  September 2013, 20:45 CET, Vienna
Austria - Republic of Ireland
Referee: Olegario Benquerença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1:  Ricardo Santos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Joao Santos (POR)
Fourth official: Artur Dias (POR)

Group H
10  September 2013, 20:45 CET, Serravalle
San Marino - Poland
Referee: Marco Borg (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Ingmar Spiteri (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Edward Spiteri (MLT)
Fourth official: Kevin Azzopardi (MLT)

Group D
10  September 2013, 20:00 CET, Bucharest
Romania - Turkey
Referee:  Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andas (NOR)
Fourth official: Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR)
Blog Observer: Niclas (GER)

Group I
10  September 2013, 19:00 CET, Tbilisi
Georgia - Finland
Referee:  Leontios Trattou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Sotiriou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Athinodoros Ioannou (CYP)
Fourth official: Marios Panayi (CYP)

Group E
10  September 2013, 20:30 CET, Nicosia
Cyprus - Slovenia
Referee:  Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1:Giullaume Debart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Eric Dansault (FRA)
Fourth official: Clement Turpin (FRA)

Group G
10  September 2013, 20:45 CET, Piraeus
Greece - Latvia
Referee:  Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Sigurdur Torleifsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2:  Gunnar Gunnarsson (SL)
Fourth official: Thorvaldur Arnason (ISL)

Group H
10  September 2013, 20:45 CET, Kyiv
Ukraine - England
Referee: Pedro Proença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Josè Trigo (POR)
Fourth official: Duarte Gomes (POR)

Group C
10  September 2013, 18:00 CET, Astana
Kazakhstan - Sweden
Referee: Miroslav Zelinka (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ondrej Pelikan (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivo Nadvornik (CZE)
Fourth official: Petr Ardeleanu (CZE)

Group I
10  September 2013, 21:00 CET, Gomel
Belarus - France
Referee:  Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1:Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Fourth official: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni (ITA)
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Ali Al Badwawi dropped from U-17 list - Abdulrahman Mohammed to replace him

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FIFA has just published the list of match officials for the FIFA U-17 World Cup United Arab Emirates 2013. The 63 licensed officials will be responsible for overseeing the 52 matches at the elite event, which will take place in the UAE between 17 October and 8 November. 

Ali Al Badwawi has had bad luck
Ali Hamad Al Badwawi of the UA Emirates has been retired from attending this tournament having originally received an invitation for the tournament. Due to a surgery following a fracture in 2013, he states he did not feel physically ready to handle matches at this competition. This very likely means that he will be also out of the run for the next World Cup.
Qatar's Abdulrahman Mohammed, former Abdulrahman Abdou, will replace him at this Under-17 World Cup, along with 24 year-old Taleb Al Marri and Kuwait's Yaser Marad. Mohammed handled two matches at 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Colombia.

You can find the full list confirmed issued by the world federation here.
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