These headlines have busied us, have been shared with us during the last couple of days. UEFA's Fitness Tests, Age Limit and a missed penalty in the World Cup final.
|Stéphane Lannoy could be a referee profiting from the age limit's abolishment|
An unconfirmed, but pretty high number of match officials has failed the fitness tests in UEFA's headquarters Nyon, mostly due to injury. Checking the referee appointments for the Europa League Play-Off Round, it seems as if Firat Aydinus, Aleksei Eskov, Duarte Gomes, Martin Hansson, Kristinn Jakobsson, Martin Strömbergsson, Pol van Boekel and Bülent Yildirim have definitely failed or not attended the fitness tests with Aleksandar Stavrev who did not even go to Nyon. Andre Marriner and Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni have not received any appointment either, so that it is possible that they are among the officials who failed the tests, too.
Mostly, these referees got the opportunity to repeat the test in their domestic association a month after the pre-season seminar and were often able to jump in UEFA's competitions either in the Matchday 3/4 or Matchday 5/6 period.
Age limit to be abandoned in 2015
Reliable FIFA sources have confirmed the rumours we noticed over the last couple of weeks. Apparently, FIFA is definitely about to abandon the age limit for referees. Currently, referees have to retire from the international stage at the age of 45 by being dropped at the next possible turn of the year. From now on, top referees are supposed to be allowed to contribute to the good of the game as long as possible. Performances and fitness level will be specially supervised.
This piece of information is given without engagement.
Neuer vs Higuaín situation deemed as penalty by FIFA
FIFA sources have furthermore given us the information that, internally and unofficially, Manuel Neuer's challenge on Gonzalo Higuaín in the World Cup 2014 final, which was discussed here, should have been a penalty kick and at least a yellow card for acting in a reckless manner. It is likely that FIFA and Massimo Busacca publicly defended referee Nicola Rizzoli's decision not to award a penalty kick for Argentina given the medial impact and pressure it could have aroused upon the referee's shoulders. Of course, Busacca will never admit that - same counts for allegedly non-existing guidelines to delay the yellow card as long as possible as well.