January 13, 2017

AFCON 2017 - Referee Appointments for Matchday 1

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has defined the first eight officiating teams who will oversee the first group stage matchday of this year's Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicked off in Gabon's Libreville tomorrow evening. Olympic Games 2016 referee Ghead Grisha of Egypt has been chosen to take charge of the opening game between Gabon and Guinea-Bissau, with Sidi Alioum from Cameroon taking control over a real top clash featuring Tunisia and Senegal.

M1, Group A
14/01/2017, 17:00 CET, Libreville
Gabon – Guinea Bissau
Referee: GRISHA Ghead (Egypt)
Assistant Referee 1: ACHIK Redouane (Morocco)
Assistant Referee 2: AHMED ALI Waleed (Sudan)
4th Official: LEMGHAIFRY Ali (Mauretania)

M2, Group A
14/01/2017, 20:00 CET, Libreville
Burkina Faso – Cameroon
Referee: SIKAZWE Janny (Zambia)
Assistant Referee 1: DOS SANTOS Jerson Emiliano (Angola)
Assistant Referee 2: RANGE Aden Marwa (Kenya)
4th Official: JIYED Redouane (Morocco)

M3, Group B
15/01/2017, 17:00 CET, Franceville
Algeria – Zimbabwe
Referee: TESSEMA WESEYA Bamlak (Ethiopia)
Assistant Referee 1: BIRUMUSHAHU Jean-Claude (Burundi)
Assistant Referee 2: DOUMBOUYA Aboubacar (Guinea)
4th Official: DEMBELE Denis (Côte d'Ivoire)

M4, Group B
15/01/2017, 20:00 CET, Franceville
Tunisia Senegal
Referee: ALIOUM Sidi (Cameroon)
Assistant Referee 1: MENKOUANDE Evarist (Cameroon)
Assistant Referee 2: NOUPUE Elvis Guy (Cameroon)
4th Official: KEITA Mahamadou (Mali)

M5, Group C
16/01/2017, 17:00 CET, Oyem
Côte d'Ivoire – Togo
Referee: OTOGO-CASTANE Eric Arnaud (Gabon)
Assistant Referee 1: VINGA Théophile (Gabon)
Assistant Referee 2: ABO EL SADAT BEDYER Tahssen (Egypt)
4th Official:

M6, Group C
16/01/2017, 20:00 CET, Oyem
DR Congo – Morocco
Referee: NAMPIANDRAZA Hamada el Moussa (Madagascar)
Assistant Referee 1: MARENGULA Arsénio (Mozambique)
Assistant Referee 2: MAHAMADOU Yahaya (Niger)
4th Official:

M7, Group D
17/01/2017, 17:00 CET, Port-Gentil
Ghana – Uganda
Referee: BONDO Joshua (Botsuana)
Assistant Referee 1: ETCHIALI Abdelhak (Algeria)
Assistant Referee 2: KABENE Olivier Safari (DR Congo)
4th Official:

M7, Group D
17/01/2017, 20:00 CET, Port-Gentil
Mali – Egypt
Referee: BENNETT Daniel (South Africa)
Assistant Referee 1: SIWELA Zakhele Thusi (South Africa)
Assistant Referee 2: TAN Marius Donatien (Côte d'Ivoire)
4th Official: 

> AFCON 2017 Referees


  1. Off topic but I am absolutely amazed that a goalkeeper can save a back pass from a team mate on the goal line and stop a clear goal and the only thing that will happen is an indirect free kick. No yellow or red card. Extremely weird that FIFA hasn't changed the rule.

    Example in the video. Had the goalkeeper reached and saved the ball with his arm he would only be punished with an indirect free kick.
    1:12:55 youtube.com/watch?list=LLNL3xf0PCgThSjH8gzIFksg&v=sLlQXgKmNLE

    1. From what the DFB was told by the IFAB, this is going to be discussed and very likely revised. From 2017/18 on, DOGSO and penalty are planned (same goes for a throw-in to the own goalkeeper).

    2. That's nice to hear

    3. I prefer the rule as it is: The sense of the backpass rule is to prevent timewasting and not to forbid the goalkeeper to prevent own goals.
      Therefore I think a direct free kick in a dangerous position is enough punishment and the goalkeeper should be allowed in situations like in the video to use his hands semi-legally.
      Of course, that doesn't fit to the general DOGSO rule, but in my opinion it is a justified exception. Or do I miss other arguments for a change?

    4. Yes because anytime you can just shoot the ball to your own goalkeeper if you want to anyway. The fact that if you make a bad pass and he can save a goal should not just be an indirect free kick (not direct free kick as you wrote). Indirect freekicks on the goal area line are not easy to score at all and by saving a goal he should get a red card.

      And also not only that. If a goalkeeper drops the ball he is not allowed to pick it up again as we all know. But if an attacker runs at full speed to steal the ball and the goalkeeper picks it up again to prevent the attacker from scoring it will also only be an indirect free kick if it happens in the penalty area. To mes that's just super strange and goes against all rules in football. The goal keeper knows the rules and shoudl get punished for intentionally saving a goal in those 2 cases for me.

    5. Yes, of course indirect free kick on the goal area line, sorry...
      I guess, at least 20-30% of those are converted, so I still don't think a team would risk that deliberately.
      And in my opinion for your second case counts the same.
      But I can understand your point as well, so it would be nice to read opinions of other people as well.

    6. Ah come on - let's get rid of IFKs completely, at that point. This is a technical offense, and technical offenses warrant IFKs. If this warrants a PK, then the offense is treated on par with a player handling the ball - surely that's illogical?

    7. Stay patient a bit, I am going to open an article on that later today where we can discuss it further. Would be nice to hear further views then later, too.

  2. Predictions for MD2..

    M9 Gabon – Burkina Faso (A)
    Referee: JIYED Redouane (MOR)
    Assistant Referee 1: HMILA Anouar (TUN)
    Assistant Referee 2: NOUPUE Elvis (CMR)

    M10 Cameroon – Guinea-Bissau (A)
    Referee: CAMILLE Bernard (SEY)
    Assistant Referee 1: BIRUMUSHAHU Jean-Claude (BDI)
    Assistant Referee 2: BABA Abel (NGA)

    M11 Algeria – Tunisia (B)
    Referee: GASSAMA Bakary (GAM)
    Assistant Referee 1: RANGE Aden (KEN)
    Assistant Referee 2: MARENGULA Arsenio (MOZ)

    M12 Senegal – Zimbabwe (B)
    Referee: DEMBELE Denis (CIV)
    Assistant Referee 1: ACHIK Redouane (MOR)
    Assistant Referee 2: AHMED ALI Waleed (SUD)

    M13 Ivory Coast – DR Congo (C)
    Referee: DIEDHIOU Malang (SEN)
    Assistant Referee 1: CAMARA Djibril (SEN)
    Assistant Referee 2: SAMBA El Hadji (SEN)

    M14 Morocco – Togo (C)
    Referee: KEITA Mahamadou (MLI)
    Assistant Referee 1: ABO EL SADAT Tahssen (EGY)
    Assistant Referee 2: IBRAHIM Abdallah (SUD)

    M15 Ghana – Mali (D)
    Referee: CHAREF Mehdi (ALG)
    Assistant Referee 1: MENKOUANDE Evarist (CMR)
    Assistant Referee 2: ETCHIALI Abdelhak (ALG)

    M16 Egypt – Uganda (D)
    Referee: LEMGHAIFRY Ali (MTN)
    Assistant Referee 1: MAHAMADOU Yahaya (NIG)
    Assistant Referee 2: VINGA Theophile (GAB)

    1. Mine are:
      Gabon – Burkina Faso: Dembele (CIV), Baba (NGA), Ibrahim (SUD)
      Cameroon – Guinea-Bissau: Diedhiou, Camara, Samba (all SEN)
      Algeria – Tunisia: Gassama (GAM), dos Santos (ANG), Range (KEN)
      Senegal - Zimbabwe: Lemgahifry (MTN), Mahamadou (NIG), El Sadat (EGY)
      Ivory Coast – DR Congo: Essrayri, Hmila (both TUN), Menkouande (CMR)
      Morocco – Togo: Keita (MLI), Siwela (RSA), Doumbouya (GUI)
      Ghana – Mali: Charef (ALG), Camara (SEN), Birumushashu (BDI)
      Egypt – Uganda: Camille (SEY), Samba (SEN), Marengula (MOZ)

    2. I think Elvis Noupue should not be appointed for a game in Group A.

    3. Right, swapping him with Ibrahim (SUD) then.

  3. I watched only the first half of Gabon - Guinea Bissau. No major issues for Grisha. I noticed a good cooperation by both assistant referees, reporting fouls. However, I don't know what happened later in second half.
    Regarding Burkina Faso - Cameroon, quite challenging start for AR1 Jerson Dos Santos, at first disallowing a goal scored by Burkina Faso and then a few minutes later signaling another offside before a possible penalty for Burkina. Both correct decisions, the first was a quite clear offside, the second more difficult to see. Well done.

    1. In the Second Half I can report an okay Sikazwe, quite strict foul selection. Body language and signals didn't quite reach their targets, not totally convincing and problems with detecting fouls by elbow / hand in the face. ARs good

  4. Most important incidents from Gabon - Guinea-Bissau:

    At least three mandatory yellow cards missed for reckless stamps (41', 79', 89'). Two others were possible: 40' (handball SPA), 45' (reckless tackle). The yellow card issued in the 76th minute was very delayed, advice from 4OF or AR1 had to be the case there. No key match incidents apart from the poorly visible situation in the 42nd minute. Jarishah was way too static through the whole game. 8,1 from me.

    1. Thanks a lot. Some stunning yellow-card-misses... is it possible that you share videos for further AFCON games? As it seems, not even 1 match is broadcasted in Germany this year (Nordic combined seems to be preferred by the audience).

    2. Sure, I will cover every game that will be available for download.

    3. Of course, with some delay. The tournament is not broadcasted in Poland, too... So, I have to download a game at first, watch it and make clips.

    4. Thank you, take your time.
      Right now I think soft but supportable penalty call in favor of Zimbabwe.

    5. 60': key incident. Penalty for Algeria? And a few seconds later, correct decision to stop the game when Zimbabwe's keeper was already standing up by himself (no injury) and Algeria was in possession of the ball?

  5. Manchester vs Liverpool. Amazingly many yellow/red cards missed and a clear offside. Both Rooney and Pogba could easily have had straight red cards. They got nothing. Assistant referee about 5 meters ahead of the offside line and missed a clear offside on Manchester's goal.

    1. The offside which led to a goal 10 seconds later:

    2. Really disastrous positioning...

      By the way, it's the post about AFCON 2017. The discussion about domestic leagues is one post below. :)

  6. BURKINA FASO - CAMEROON (Janny Sikazwe - Zambia)

    Key Match Incidents:
    06' - rightly disallowed goal due to offside (AR1)
    10' - rightly flagged offside offence prior to a possible penalty award (AR1)
    13' - what was more advantagous - possible penalty for shirt-pulling or play-on
    26' - BFA's penalty-appeal
    39' - CMR's penalty-appeal
    45+1' - judging a BFA goalkeeper's intervention
    74' - right interpretation of offside by AR2 at the equaliser
    88' - great spot by the referee with regard to where the foul occured

    - I can only agree with Mikael regarding 'problems with detecting fouls by elbow / hand in the face'. Videos: 08, 47, 49, 56, 68.
    - Strange that there was no signal from AR1 with regard to a foul whistled by the referee (16')
    - Very good anticipation and prevention in the 32nd minute. Sikazwe prevented a riot.

    8,2-8,3 level performance if we assess the situations from 13', 26', 39', 45+1' as at least acceptable calls.

    1. Bonus:

    2. Good start by AR1.
      13': I think penalty could have been whistled, however attacker continued his action, it was more difficult for the referee to stop the play and whistle, after that there was a good chance to score, so I would back the referee, given the difficulty of the situation. In addition, it looked like the player from attacking team didn't protest so much against the referee. That shouldn't be taken into account, but at the same time it could mean that the shirt pulling had not a so much significant effect, despite of the subsequent fall by the same player.
      26': Not enough for a penalty, agree with referee.
      39': In this case, penalty. Stupid action by #4 from defending team. Clear foul.
      45'+1: More than risky challenge by keeper, one could say reckless even though the ball was clearly hit at first, but for this reason in my opinion referee could be backed by observer. Not a crucial mistake in any case.
      74': Excellent ONSIDE, player was exactly on level with the second last defender, AR2 must be praised.
      88': Spot on by referee, outside the box.
      Bonus: Excellent :D
      Well, for me the only clear mistake is at 39', Cameroon had to get a penalty there. Your opinions?

    3. I agree with almost everything. Regarding 39', I think one could back the referee also in this case. Janny Sikazwe could not have been sure that the small wrestling-like move caused the fall of attacker. In my opinion, it does not. The attacker clearly leant on the defender. I would give the referee the benefit of the doubt here. Then, the stamp was really hurtful but did Sikazwe have a chance to spot it? To sum it up: allowing play after that slight pull is no clear mistake and missing the stamp is a mistake but very difficult to avoid.

    4. Bonus: that is clearly serious foul play ;)

  7. ALGERIA - ZIMBABWE (Bamlak Tessema Weyesa - Ethiopia)

    Key Match Incidents:
    28' - ZIM's penalty kick; good call
    40' - ALG's free kick; difficult to say where the foul occurred - after freezing a frame, it seems to occur exactly on the line, but I would back the referee here
    52' - good no-penalty call
    56' - #7 ZIM commits a foul that is very similar to that he was booked for in the 37th minute; nonetheless, in this case, the ball was slightly played by #7 ZIM and Algerian player was not so interested in continuing his action (ball was strongly kicked toward the goal line); OK call
    60' - ALG's penalty-appeal and no-penalty call; the most interesting situation so far at this tournament; I would say it was a great reading of play by the referee, typical collision, no-one was able to avoid this contact; in my opinion, stopping the game afterwards, when Algerian team were in possession of the ball and had a chance to score, was a good move - the ZIM goalkeeper got hurt and no-one would like to see a result being affected by goal scored in such circumstances; the fact the GK picked himself up and was trying to make us believe that he is OK (he was not), doesn't make this decision wrong, IMO
    87' - possible violent conduct of #14 ZIM; he jumps in order to create a very reckless contact with an opponent's foot; at least YC, but most likely a RC for VC should have been issued

    Other issues:
    - acceptable kick-off?
    - should the referee take any action against ALG players after two consecutive fouls on ZIM goalkeeper (04', 05')?
    - potential missed YCs: 07' (illegal use of arms) and 08' (reckless tackle)
    - did the defender block his opponent from getting to the ball, was the free kick a good call, should the referee book the ZIM player in case of a whistle? (42')
    - missed handball and potential YC (51')
    - dangerous play, really? (56')
    - right to judge tackles as fair?: 80', 88'

    In my opinion, the referee deserves an 8,3 mark. However, if we asssess him a crucial mistake for missed violent conduct in the 87th minute, it would be a 7.9.

    What are your thoughts on those incidents?

    1. 28': replay shows that the contact was less significant than the "live" perception, but, as said yesterday, this decision is absolutely supportable
      40': it seems that the decisive contact occurs on the line, but more than difficult for the referee, one must back him, however I think it was penalty
      52': No penalty, good call, fair challenge by defender
      56': agree with your analysis, for me no YC is an acceptable decision for the reasons you mentioned, however, at the same time, I would have accepted it
      60': Again, I agree with you. At least, there isn't a clear foul from one side, the collision seems to be unavoidable, PLAY ON is the best solution there, but what happens later is not well managed by referee, he had to stop immediately the play after the collision, considering that keeper was on the ground, this small hesitation led to the complaints by Algeria, in possession of the ball. In case of immediate whistle the whole management would have been excellent!
      87': there is surely a certain malice by player from ZIM in jumping for causing contact with the opponent, this could be enough for a RC for VC, but more realistically I think YC should have been issued. I wouldn't consider this as crucial mistake, even because quite difficult to be detected. AR2 perhaps could have helped referee.

  8. Thank you so much! I have a look into the videos later and give my views.
    One question, don't know whether it suits your plans or structure or not: Is it possible that you include sth on the offence or type of situation in the video titles? (e.g. SPA, DOGSO, Stud-Tackle ...)
    This could help identifying helpful videos for educative posts. If it is not possible, no problem!


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