May 29, 2014

Our Referee Observer's Report for Kuipers' Champions League Final

Please find the The Third Team's referee observer's report for Björn Kuipers' Champions League Final attached below. The report follows UEFA's guidelines of referee observation but - as usual - sets own, independent accents and emphases with regard to the interpretation of the relevant match situations.

Good work by Team Kuipers

video

We analyzed Björn Kuipers' performance both on a technical area and in a general context paying attention to the bigger image of this performance, which is another example of the standard question: How much are referees active at the highest level allowed to deliberately stay in the background?  How much may they bend the Laws of the Game by keeping both eyes closed in certain situations?

Even though he handled this match in a very good manner, took all crucial decisions correctly and showed a lot of empathy in how he approached this match and the players, we identified several rooms for consideration and improvement. 
Therefore, we assessed his performance as "expected level, really good" (8.4).

Report Document

59 Comments:

  1. Anonymous29/5/14 20:02

    I agree with everything in this report.
    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me too. Great report lads.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Niclas, Chefren - PERFECT REPORT!!! UEFA can easily change fields written by Fandal on those written by you. Phenomenal job and I'm a full of admiration to it.

    Theoretically speaking, I would go with lower mark than 8.4 (yes, even taking into account the high difficulty), but the mark is not the most important as you often say.

    And answering on the question:
    No, I really don't like this tactic of 'deliberately staying in the background'. You can call it empathy for the game, final and players, but it is not my world. Laws should be applied and if bent, only a little, not so much as Kuipers did in CL final.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous29/5/14 22:41

      Hmm Hubert, I really don't like people who say rules are rules and yellow=yellow red=red. I call it the "Jan Mulder" method (because here in Holland we have an analist who has your style too... I really don't like that style. I even think that people who ref this way have some really hard times on the pitch in every sport. Some matches need the bending approach, and a bit of "common sense" because if the rules are kept as strict as you want it to in these kind of matches, then we end in a disaster!! Do you really want to see a ref giving 20 yellows and 3 reds in a CL final, because the book tells him to do that. Please no!!!! It would have looked ridiculous, and the final would be ruined. Even with the tolerant approach that is needed in a Real CL derby, and which was displayed perfectly by Björn and co, there were 12 more then deserved cards (ok I have to say that at least 4 of them were because of total stupidity of Real players but still you should get my point now.) We would have ended with 9 against 9 if Kuipers would have wanted to stay in the picture as you want him to, it would have destroyed the game! In the end we all got a enervating final to watch and no result affacting mistakes (like in Brychs final) Ok AR1 had some off side mistakes, but it was fine apart from that.
      For my taste the mark is too low, would give him surely 8.5 til 8.7 or so.... In some matches rules should be bended as far as possible, this was one of those matches and Kuipers is one of really few refs who can do that very well without letting the match escalate. And he showed it again saturday.
      Agree with the report, and with the marks given (also in Kuipers case) because I would have given 8,5 till 8,7 and some others would have given him an 8 or 8.2,so 8.4 is acceptable and also defendable! It's a bit a perception thing I think. I am glad he didn't screw up another CL final after Rizzoli's disaster one year ago! One thing though! I wouldn't say that Cakir as 4th official had a "normal" difficulty night, with calming down the Atlético red heads, but that's just a little thing ;)
      Greetz.
      DD

      Delete
    2. It's a magical line not to describe. You can't say yellow=yellow of course! You can stop yourself before issuing a second yellow card in some situations, but imho Kuipers bent LoTG too much. I like feeling of the game, but there is one thing I don't like to - keeping both eyes closed to the things. And that's what Kuipers did - he didn't use verbal warnings to calm down atmosphere, he didn't use yellow cards to do so, he just did nothing. This is what I really don't like. And c'mon, if I was strict, I would give him max. 7.9 for not giving a second yellow card. :) Back the referee up if possible, but sometimes it's too much to be blind on and me, as observer, don't tollerate such approach. Because it's not courage (such is with verbal warnings, management). In this case I feel it was a fear of taking big decisions. And this is my problem I have with Kuipers' performance - lack of more visible, more preventive management, nothing more. :)

      Delete
  4. Well written report, with points to back up your assertions. However, IMO, there are some flaws to your logic in the development points you offer.

    Firstly, regarding the approach to delaying the re-start/ dissent by action. It is absolutely a tactic of great use to caution early on in such a high profile game in order to assert control and stamp your authority on the game. The latter non-caution then does not necessary correlate to original thresholds for 2 reasons: 1. the fact he was on a YC already, 2. that the game was close to its termination. These two factors do indeed influence the judgement of the referee, no matter what we think of its validity (approach). Likewise, at a similar time in the game, I thought Kuipers absolutely right to ignore a high arm 'push' where there was a mini- mass confrontation. This is game handling and player management of the highest order.

    Re time management - we do not have to add time for a goal being scored, merely if the celebration was excessive. Whilst I agree an extra 30s might be applied, I dont agree that it should necessarily account to 6+ mins; so we cannot judge this a 'technical error' and attune this to a lower mark via the 'culmination effect'. I would wager that Frandel wouldn't 'bat an eye' if Kuipers had played 4 mins in this situation. Again, it is an approach based on circumstance.

    Re the throw-in position I agree, but again please don't include this as part of a 'cumulative effect'. Likewise the 'missed' caution late in the 90 mins. There was an argument for non-caution, and though my particular taste would have been to caution also, please reflect on a CL Final of great magnitude (to the city of Madrid, and to characters such as Simeone, Godin, Ronaldo, Ramos Pepe [bench!} et al), and with 12 cautions in total, all correctly administered during a challenging game, well …

    Finally regarding character - my thoughts are that he could not really have impressed upon Europe a finer approach, in terms of his temperament and management of the 22/benches. Awarded his 4th major final, largely for this huge asset of his, Kuipers showed a calm authority that most other elite refs can only dream of. His nonchalance in the Simeone situation on '90 was a ploy used to devastating effect; correctly remaining stationary and not sending him at this point. Likewise during the few altercations in the game, a straight face and moving a few metres towards the players, and through them, to the freekick was a fantastic tactic. "Keep talking guys, I am moving on with the game, you are boring me' - again, no Collina stare was required in truth.

    I also loved his positioning in this game, feeling his prediction of the next phase and 'sweeping up play' very good.

    I can't score him less than 8.6/7, as I don't think he could have done 'more' in this tantalising game. 8.4 surely too low, then fellas ….

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I say it was below 8.4 level, you say it was 8.6/8.7, so maybe they are right to mark this performance as expected level. :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks Askito. I find your points internally valid and logical (even though I partly disagree with a few of them for other reasons).
      Just concerning the additional time. My state of knowledge is that referees were instructed by UEFA to nearly accurately make allowance for time that got lost during the additional time (including goals and specially celebrations - "any other delay" is the formulation). It might be that UEFA gave different instructions than we have at hand. That's why we will consult our sources about that. We reduced -0.2 in Mazic's UEL semifinal and so we had to do here. If the feedback says "everything ok", the mark would be changed to 8.6 (and Mazic 8.5).

      But whether 8.4 or 8.7. I think Kuipers really showed how to manage such a match. A great piece of refereeing for a great match. Our dilemma is just to find the fine line between refereeing at the highest level and refereeing "at it should actually be". And that's why we actually insist on raising rooms for consideration in areas that need this reflection - from our point of view, at least.

      Delete
    3. At first, thanks for your detailed and long opinion.
      Our final assessment started just from your last statement, indeed in our opinion Kuipers could have managed better several situations. I hope that everything it's clear in our report. Then, of course one can have a different opinion. It is anyway important to point out that remarks and verbal analysis are more and more important than marks, so, as said by Hubert too, we can discuss about that, and this is the aim of our blog.
      We agree on the fact that the match was really challenging but the points for improvement are related to different areas and it was impossible to escape from them (if you understand what I mean).
      Kuipers work, under a human point of view, as "manager" of a so challenging match, was very good, almost excellent. Nevertheless, in addition to that, he might have added further positive points to his performance, leading to a higher mark. This, according to our opinion, didn't happen. We still think that in certain circumstances the Dutch official had to appear more determined and convinced of his decisions.
      I think that a specific post about added-time issue will follow soon by Niclas, because Mazic did the same in EL semifinal (and we were forced to adapt his mark also based on that). Throw-in and walls are quite important issues, too.
      Well, I don't want to be too long now, but, as explained in the report, our final mark without these issues, was 8.7.
      So, at the end, we probably agree.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous29/5/14 21:52

    I don't have the same opinion, when judging Assistant Referee 1:

    I think that in minutes 25' and 41', he knew exactly about the offside positions but in his view the players didn't interfere with play, and I am with him in this two situations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous29/5/14 22:47

      In 25'' it is 70:30 OFFSIDE for me, in 41'' it is clear OFFSIDE for me. Challenging opponent for ball, impact on ability to play the ball (new wording) and also arguable with playing distance 1,5m. So I agree with the report in both situations.

      Delete
    2. 25': one could discuss about that.
      41': the player in offside challenged the opponent for the ball, in this case mandatory flag.
      Having said that, the mark for AR1 can't be higher in our opinion because, apart from these situations, he did other mistakes, as you can read in our report.

      Delete
  6. OT: for those individuals asking for a link of the "Collina Masterclass" program, here's a link. I would advise you use VLC player as you would experience sound problems in other players. Enjoy.

    http://cloudyvideos.com/ul1m59sivsy4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Nur. Much appreciated.

      Delete
    2. No problem mate.

      Delete
  7. Thanks Nurudin!

    Here you can find the World Cup report we will use. Feedback or things to be altered / added are appreciated.
    http://www.directupload.net/file/d/3638/5dimlmcq_pdf.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. The report looks great - good job.

      Delete
  8. Collina's masterclass was good, but aimed at the layman (obviously). I felt in that sense, that there could have been more of a focus on player transgressions, perhaps penalty area incidents - and a discussion/classification of careless/reckless/excessive. We know Collina is a big activist in terms of the AAR function, and most of the debate was here.

    On triple punishment, whilst his proposal for only a YC to be administered when a DOGSO is committed inside the penalty area isn't entirely preposterous, there are some flaws IMO here:

    1. The idea that a penalty is always more preferable to a 1:1 scenario is not backed up by evidence. So whilst the attacker gets 'a GS opportunity in the end', penalty conversion rates are around 60-65% on average.

    2. Elite strikers (Messi/Suarez et al), where this will have the most effect in the game of course, would much prefer to have the 1:1 situation with the GK and dribble as close to the goal-line as possible (rather than be hacked down maliciously); Messi's conversion rate (albeit an outlier somewhat) is about 80-85%.

    3. The inevitable consequence of this, will be that defenders effectively have 2-3 chances in the game to act with gamesmanship in this scenario. Defenders like Montero (of old), Brown, Carragher, Mexes will thrive on their new-found freedoms. Because the situation would now be 'YC or no YC' rather than 'RC or YC' depending on the angle of attack and control of ball etc.

    4. Games could turn into a farce should this occur; especially where teams play on the counter attack, with the opponent likely to have a back four each with a YC in the first half alone.

    5. Collina actually has it the wrong way round if anything. In proposing a RC for challenges (DOGSO) 'outside' of the penalty area, there is certainly more room for error and doubt - in terms of the referee's assessment of the situation (as above, control/angle/probability of a GS chance). Why then would a RC be sensible here, when the outcome is more in doubt?

    The answer then, to the triple punishment, 3-fold:

    - Keep the laws the same, and offer better education to referees across Europe to provide consistency, i.e. even at 6 yards out, with the attacker approaching at 45d angle and a limited chance to score, YC as the outcome.

    - Educate the players and encourage greater SPORTSMANSHIP in the game.

    - Depending on the nature of the DOGSO challenge, remove all suspensions thereafter. Or remove the suspension if a goal is thus scored! At least, limit the suspension to one game only for the straight red.

    N

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 100% agreed. Spot-on. Specially the last point would be a compromise worth to think about. No suspension if the penalty is converted, suspensions if the penalty is missed.
      I have the feeling - maybe I am wrong - that Collina is actually the voice of Michel Platini who tends to cross some lines in revolutionizing (commercial) football. And this is a bad trend.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous30/5/14 12:47

    watch this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8TeCUcMiSE&feature=youtu.be

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous30/5/14 13:31

      Regular goal. The player also looked at referee to be sure, prior to kick.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous30/5/14 14:48

      No goal, repeat the penalty + yellow card (image of the game).
      Such things seem to be allowes by the caps in the laws, but actually there is always common sense - damaging the image of the game and yellow card

      Delete
    3. Agree, no goal, repeat the penalty + YC for unsporting behavior.

      Delete
  10. I was watching aftermatch ceremony .
    Why audience boo him ?
    What has he done wrong ?
    Was it just couse he is a ref or why he deserve such boo´s from spectators?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't expect rational feedback and sportsman-like-behaviour from emotive fans who were just disappointed after a final that looked promising for 93 minutes. I can understand them (even though I don't support it of course).

      Delete
  11. Anonymous30/5/14 23:30

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVQV3aB-z6w
    Is that penalty?

    ReplyDelete
  12. It depends on referee's tolerance for such kind of behaviour. But yes, overally it's an infringement and penalty is fully correct decision taken by Lorenc Jemini in this game.

    ReplyDelete
  13. OT
    I don't know whether you are allowed or not to watch that in your respective countries, but here:

    http://video.sky.it/sport/mondiali-calcio/brasile_2014_rizzoli_e_i_cartellini/v201249.vid

    http://video.sky.it/sport/mondiali-calcio/brasile_2014_la_valigia_di_nicola_rizzoli/v201214.vid

    http://video.sky.it/sport/mondiali-calcio/brasile_2014_lo_studio_di_nicola_rizzoli/v201215.vid

    http://video.sky.it/sport/mondiali-calcio/brasile_2014_nicola_rizzoli_allenamento_e_addizionali/v201216.vid

    http://video.sky.it/sport/mondiali-calcio/speciale_nicola_rizzoli_verso_il_brasile/v201217.vid

    you can find 5 videos of Rizzoli preparing for WC, in a video you can see his suitcase with 5 new kits ready for WC...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous31/5/14 16:03

    Croatia - Mali
    Istvan Vad, Robert Kispal, Oszkar Lemon, Ante Vučemilović

    ReplyDelete
  15. Question: do referees get assessed in friendly fixtures?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they are assessed by observer from country where the game is played.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous31/5/14 21:48

    Is that really so? I have always thought that the observer is neutral.

    /Swedish observer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, here some proofs from Moldova:

      http://fmf.md/ro/game/mda_lit
      http://fmf.md/ro/game/mda_andorra
      http://fmf.md/ro/game/mda_krgz

      Delete
  17. Anonymous31/5/14 21:54

    By the way - a good report, but to say that this was a very difficult match is to excaggerate in my view. Quite difficult indeed, but not very difficult for sure. Still agree with the 8.3-8,4 mark though. A good, expected performance on the whole. But never a 8,7 performance - as discussed on this blog - to start with. A competent good performance. For sure some mistakes, and also some very good points, but still in the 8.3-8.4 area in my view.

    /Swedish observer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As always, fully agree with your balanced view, Swedish observer!

      Delete
    2. Fully agree! No more, no less.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous1/6/14 10:41

    Technically you're right. It is UEFA praxis though to start higher and value the difficulty a bit higher in a final with 120 minutes and high pressure. Therefore one step / tenth more than normally is absolutely justified. I would dare to say UEFA maybe even started higher than 8.7.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Watching Skomina right now and boy is he bad. Waiting too much with his first YC, getting calls wrong.

    Just horrible so far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M'bia is indeed walking the proverbial tightrope...

      Delete
  20. Anonymous1/6/14 22:04

    It is really sad: again an assisant of Skomina makes a crucial mistake (2-1, Germany).
    What are your views, guys?

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/6/14 22:20

      He is unlucky but he is also one referee unable to manage an acceptable degree of cooperation with assistant referees.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/6/14 22:29

      The problem is also in Slovenian assistant referees. Ul seems to be the only one at a certain level. No words about the others.

      Delete
  21. Yep... Podolski about a metre offside. Vukan is it on the lines?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1/6/14 22:25

      AR2 Vukan.
      And again, this habit to whistle the end of the match even 15 seconds prior to the end of the last minute. 3 minutes given, he whistled at 02:45. This is a friendly, ok, but he does that in every match.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous1/6/14 22:24

    Vukan, yes.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous1/6/14 23:37

    As long as Skomina was with Stancin and Arhar, he never experienced such problems. He had very good UEFA seasons. Sorry for him.

    ReplyDelete
  24. My patience is reaching its limits with regard to referees who tend to believe they don't have to apply the Laws of the Game just because they're handling a "friendly". No, these are test games and no "friendlies"...
    I agree about his problems with the starting YC, protection of the players and missed mandatory YCs later on (del. handball e.g.). 8.1/8.2, Praprotnik with one important offside error (even though difficult), 8.2, Vukan 7.9...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous2/6/14 08:35

    Poor Skomina....again problem with ass.referee

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous2/6/14 14:58

    http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/fifafacts/mencompwc/51/97/46/2014fwc_kit_referees_neutral.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  27. Slim Jedidi in USA - Turkey.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DJbjGO3-oc
    Penalty for handball on the line, but no card.
    Still because of a friendly approach?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the ball would not have reached the goal, difficult to see from this angle.

      Delete
    2. I think this video will dispel your doubts:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHuIRRfh4dw

      Delete
    3. Ok.....no comment.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous3/6/14 10:05

      Don't know if I see thing some other way, but for me it was no handball. Because hand position is normal. What does a defender have to do? Cut his arm off?
      Part of being a referee is to make unpopular decicions and no penalty would have been unpopular but good decicion!

      / BC

      Delete
  28. BTW Germany-Spain (U19: Davide Massa (ITA), observer Jozef Marko.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Friendly
    04/06/14
    Italy - Luxembourg
    Damir Skomina (SVN)
    Jure Praprotnik (SVN) - Robert Vukan (SVN)
    Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ecuador - England (04/06/2014)
    Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
    Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA)
    Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA)
    Fourth Official: Juan Guzman (USA)

    ReplyDelete
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