Three news on UEFA's top-flight refereeing: A change in the EURO 2016 Refereeing Panel, Fourth Official Changes in UEFA's club competitions and Observers for next week's Semifinal Return Legs.
Averianov has failed fitness tests
Bad news for Russian refereeing and Team Karasev: Anton Averianov (1973), Sergei Karasev's usual Assistant Referee 1, has failed the decisive pre-EURO fitness tests. According to Nikolay Levnikov, Averianov ran one of the short sprint tests "a bit out of time". Nikolay Golubev, an experienced, 45-year old Assistant Referee who already joined World Cup 2006 in Valentin Ivanov's team, will replace him in France. For now it is unclear whether he will be Karasev's first or second Assistant Referee.
At this point, we feel with Anton Averianov in these probably difficult days.
UEFA returns to "Ref as 4th"-mode
Before the 2012/13 season, UEFA decided to deploy Assistant Referees as Fourth Officials in their club competition games. Mostly FIFA licensed Assistant Referees were thus placed between the team's benches in Champions and Europa League ties.
Some days ago, UEFA has decided to come back to the old system which made use of national league or FIFA referees on the Fourth Official spots. It was argued that referees were more accepted and respected by team officials and substitute players than assistant referees had been over the past seasons.
To our knowledge and information, this decision will apply from next season on.
UEFA Referee Observers for the Semifinal Return Legs
Bayern München - Atlético Madrid
UEFA Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (France)
UEFA Delegate: Campbell Ogilvie (Scotland)
Prediction: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
Real Madrid - Manchester City
UEFA Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (Netherlands)
UEFA Delegate: Markus Stenger (Germany)
Prediction: Milorad Mažić (Serbia)
Sevilla FC - Shakhtar Donetsk
UEFA Referee Observer: Markus Nobs (Switzerland)
UEFA Delegate: Mark Blackbourne (England)
Prediction: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
Liverpool FC - Villarreal CF
UEFA Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
UEFA Delegate: Geir Thorsteinsson (Iceland)
Prediction: Felix Brych (Germany)