November 10, 2012

Another satisfying Champions League matchday for UEFA's top officials

After all the justified forms of criticism that was widely issued during and after the main UEFA event of this year, the 2012 European Championship held in Poland and Ukraine that will probably and chiefly stay in everybody's mind - when reflecting this tournament's refereeing - for the non-given goal in the match between Ukraine and England despite the attendance of an additional assistant referee, we may constitute that the majority of the performances shown during the first four matchdays of this UEFA Champions League season have been very satisfactory.

Matchday 4 in a nutshell
Although it is surely quite arduous to ensure a sufficient overview of all the 16 clashes, I will try to emphasize the most significant decisions of the last matchday.

Each relevant scene will be explained with references to the point of time when they start or occur in the embedded videos (integrated into the text by brackets). You can either watch the video first to make sure you know what I am gonna talk about and to form an own opinion, or you can first read the analysis and go through the video by scene. It's upon you.

Remark: Due to copyright infringements, dailymotion's videos have been removed.

Basis 1: Schalke 04 2:2 FC Arsenal, officiated by an Italian team headed by Nicola Rizzoli
The Italian officials were challenged more than previously expected in this match. The first scene concerns Arsenal's leading goal [0:45]. Arsenal's striker Giroud (12) gets the ball after a long pass coming from their defense. Schalke's Neustädter deflects the ball with a header, probably trying to clear the ball. Without this deflection, Giroud would have been in an active offside position which Renato Faverani should have signalized in this case. The question is now whether the deflection was intentional and purposeful. It was. Neustädter's purpose was, as already outlined, to clear the ball and disenthrall his team from a dangerous breakthrough of an opponent. Of course the direction of his clearance was not targeted in this way, as it more or less seems to have been a failed header. Therefore, a correct decision.
The next scene again concerns the first assistant referee Renato Faverani [4:02]. Another correct decision with regard to offside. Huntelaar received a well-timed ball by a teammate and appeared in front of the goalkeeper, and surely had too much time to think about how to score...
Starting from [4:31] Schalke had a dangerous goal attempt having made lots of pressure to equalize. After some confusing actions in the box, Höwedes (4) managed to produce a shot that would have reached the goal. However, Arsenal's Mertesacker jumped into the path of the ball and obviously touched the ball with his hand. Rizzoli showed no hesitation and did not point on the spot. There may not be any doubt about the fact that this hand position certainly corresponds to a natural movement, but, in fact Mertesacker enlarges his body volume, his arms and hands are widely carted out and in this case, negligence is available. Therefore, it should have been a penalty to Schalke. It is nonetheless ok that Rizzoli very likely did not consult his first additional assistant referee, that was a decision he had to take himself being in a far better position. Immediately after that [5:19], there was another critical situation when Arsenal's Arteta prevented the ball to go into the goal by moving his upper body close to the goal post. The ball reached his breast and perhaps a small part of his upper arm. In addition, the arm was very close to the body. No penalty is a correct decision.
Another excellent call was made by Nicola Rizzoli in the 61st minute [5:27]. Lukas Podolski (ARS) and Marco Höger (S04) were in a normal duel, when Höger suddenly stopped playing after having got an injury after a good sliding tackle. Podolski ignored that and did not play the ball out of the pitch to enable medical treatment for his opponent. A reasonable behaviour, as Schalke's defense was confused and Arsenal could have had a good attempt. However, no fair-play. In general, referees are not accostumed to judge whether a team applies fair-play or not, he may not be interested in this specific circumstance. Nonetheless, there had been clear instructions to the referees prior to EURO 2012 to quickly interrupt play in case of a serious injury. For Arsenal and their supporters, this might have been a fatal call, but it was a call in accordance with instructions and for the good of the game. Rizzoli was also right when issueing a yellow card for unsporting behaviour in the following, as Podolski could not veil his frustration. After that, Podolski apologized and reconciled with Rizzoli shaking each other's hand, which is unfortunately not captured by this video. By the way, Höger is still injured and cannot play today.
Another huge challenge for an assistant referee in this match, this time for Andrea Stefani, was an offside position in the 74th minute [6:43]. Two strikers were potentially able to receive the excellent ball by the Arsenal midfielder. Walcott, who was in an active offside position as you can see at [6:58], however got the ball. The deflection by a Schalke defender was in this case neither deliberate, nor purposeful. It must be ignored for this reason. Many supporters probably complaint because of the very late flag, but Stefani had to wait for the striker who gets the ball. Correct and essentiall call which is a paramount example for the concentrated and very good performances of both assistant referees.

Basis 2: Valencia CF 4:2 BATE Borisov, officiated by a Norwegian team headed by Tom Hagen

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First of all, one must outline that the Norwegian officials missed a clear violent conduct in the early stages of the match when Roberto Soldado (VAL) punched his opponent after having been slightly fouled. It was no harmless violent conduct though, it was aggressive force executed by a fisticuff into the opponent's stomach. Geir Age Holen (the fourth official) did not stand more than four or five metres away from it and saw - right - nothing.
A situation we might discuss was the penalty kick awarded by Hagen leading to the 2:0 of Valencia [0:58]. The first replay clearly shows that it was a foul by Radkov (14), but obviously in front of the box. Although it was surely very hard to detect (even for the first assistant referee Dag-Roger Nebben), it is therefore a crucial mistake, this penalty should not have been given (instead, a yellow card would have been suitable..).

Basis 3: Manchester City 2:2 Ajax Amsterdam, officiated by a Danish team headed by Peter Rasmussen

For Elite Development referee Peter Rasmussen, the last minutes of this match surely were complicated. As there is no video which covers both crucial decisions and offers an embedded link, you must follow this link and watch the last video on the page (Mc2-2Aj[M....]).
Niels Hög wrongly disallowed a goal scored by Manchester City [2:00] after their comeback from 0:2 to 2:2. The replays however show that, despite the high difficulty also regarding the high distance and tightness of this situation, it was a crucial mistake - at least if one takes the stoppage in the replay as granted. We however cannot be sure that the stoppage was correctly set, so there are still doubts. A final judgment depends on the quality of the replays at hand, as they are not available, I cannot pose a conclusion. Based on many reliable sources, there however were replays indicating that it was a correct call.
Later on, Rasmussen refused to give a penalty to Man.City when Balotelli was pulled down by a Dutch defender. After the Danish officials did not whistle the first action induced by Balotelli himself, pressing his arm and hand into the opponent's breast and throat, it should have been a penalty then solely considering the later pulling by the Dutchman. The second additional assistant referee Jakob Kehlet failed to support his chief here, too. It is by the way a strange procedure to make no signal at all (so that one can ask: did they recognize even the likelihood or opportunity that there was a foul at all?) and that Rasmussen then immediately made the final whistle. He furthermore should have booked several City players for their heavy complaints.

Basis 4: Benfica Lisbon 2:0 Spartak Moskva, officiated by a German team headed by Florian Meyer

Again, there is no suitable video showing all the necessary decisions. You may take this one as a basis ("Longer Highlights"). At [3:00], assistant referee 1 Holger Henschel wrongly disallowed a Benfica goal for alleged offside. This video does not reveal it, but I previously watched a replay indicating that it was level. Unfortunately, a crucial mistake, however with little influence.
When Benfica already leg by 2:0, Florian Meyer awarded a penalty to the Portuguese side [3:59] and sent off the Russians' defender Pareja for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. He was by the way already booked, but Meyer made the only correct call when directly sending him off with a straight red card and not with a 2nd yellow card.

Basis 5: SC Braga 1:3 Manchester United, officiated by a German team headed by Felix Brych

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A quite extra-ordinary incident occurred within the rock faces of Braga's Estádio Municipal, when suddenly the floodlights stopped working. German official Brych directly interrupted the match for 12 minutes when the defect was finally corrected.
Concerning his performance, one must highlight his two penalty decisions. At [0:44], he definitely showed no hesitation at all when pointing at the spot when Manchester's Evans bodychecked Braga's Custodio. No doubt that the Portuguese striker surely provoked that, but all the replays show an active movement of the English defender aimed at impeding his opponent's path. A correct decision.
Later on, there was a more controversial penalty decision [1:40]. Keep in mind that there was heavy rain in Braga so that the ground was extremely wet. Rooney fell after a small contact with a Braga defender. Brych did not react at first glance, but he clearly moved to the centre of the box and looked for contact with his additional assistant referee Felix Zwayer. Then, with much delay, the whistle intoned. Sky Germany had a better video and a clearer replay showing that this penalty was at least a very soft decision. I cannot call this a crucial mistake, if the observer evaluated it as such, Felix Zwayer will be the one who's concerned, as Brych undoubtfully shifted responsibility to him. And to be honest, he was right when doing so, Zwayer actually could not have had a better view on it.

There were many other situations that were of immense relevance, e.g. a very tight offside or more likely no offside when Tarik Ongun disallowed a goal of Real Madrid in their match against Dortmund. In addition, it may not remain unmentioned that Roberto Alonso Fernández correctly disallowed a goal in Chelsea - Shakhtar Donezk. Besides, Marijo Strahonja gave a correct penalty in Olympiacos - Montpellier, while he missed a red card for serious foul play.
This analysis was therefore only a limited review of the past matchday. 


  1. Hi POLISH FIFA-REFEREE ROBERT MAŁEK cam- back in POLISH one-lieagug metches in SANDECJA - BOGDANKA

  2. Niclas, I don't agree with you in these:
    Basis 1: Hoger apparently wasn't seriously injured so Rizzoli shouldn't have stopped the play. It's not referee's duty to force fair play from players. Podolski should kick the ball out of play. However, if he didn't do that the play should have continued.
    Basis 3: I have a feeling that the stopped replay which doesn't show the ball is stopped too early and the pass came a little bit later. The ball is not seen when it is supposed to be passed so I it's not possible to judge if it was or wasn't offside. Based on which video/picture are you so sure that it was an incorrect call?

  3. Thanks for your comment.
    For the first point, I completely agree, referees are not allowed to encourage players to play the ball out of play, neither to force fair-play. But they MUST stop play in case of a serious injury. Now we can debate what serious means. I think head-injuries are certainly serious, but we do not know how Höger screamed on the pitch etc which could have influenced Rizzoli's interpretation of his injury. One annotation: after the yellow card, Rizzoli explained his call to some players and made some gestures, I had the impression he wanted to make clear that Höger potentially voided offside by lying injured at this position so that this was the reason for him to stop. Just my perception of his gesture, but in fact it would not have been offside even if Höger had continued play. So debatable, yes, but I think adequate call.

    For the second thing, you are right, I did not question sky's stoppage until now, but you could be right. I'll change it.

    1. For City - Ajax Niklas I watched the game and my belief is that the disallowed goal is a correct call. The player seems to be in an offside position at the time of the pass. I have downloaded the match and I watched it many times.

    2. Thanks, so I trust you then.

  4. It seems that Fernandez Borbalan was suddenly replaced by Undiano Mallenco for Italy-France on 14 November. I don't know the reasons.

    Furthermore, full under 21 appointment:
    Italy-Spain (13 November)
    Felix ZWAYER,
    Markus HÄCKER - Holger HENSCHEL (GER)
    Daniele DOVERI (ITA)

  5. PSG: Leonardo and Caro Ancelotti many complaints again French referees.
    After Turpin performance yesterday, they said that he is still 30 years old and he has many things to learn, he can't referee for now in a so high level.
    Sakho was sent off after 9 minutes in Montpellier-PSG.

    1. Leonardo's and Ancelotti's behaviour just after the match was scandalous. The problem is not Turpin (I've just read an excellent article entitled "Turpin, un modèle d'arbitrage" that emphasizes this very good performance of the young referee, once more). The problem is that Leonardo knows Marseille and Lyon have one match less than Paris and realizes that many other teams (Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, Lille, Valenciennes for instance) are very close. For him, it's just a way to put pressure on the next referee...
      By the way, Leonardo is convoked by the French National Ethics Council... It's the first time this season that this Committee decides to act.

    2. Rewatch this red card given by Turpin, both players excessively pulled each other. But this sort of criticism issued by these coaches should not be rewarded by medial attention at all.

    3. Totally agree Niclas, but you know what?
      They have spent lot of money, they have to justify each fault, so referees are a good scapegoat to do that.

    4. Right, ask Mancini.

  6. Interesting appointment for Netherlands vs. Germany because Proenca, who was referee of Germany´s last match again Sweden in october, will officate it. IMO very unusual that a referee gets a national team two times within a month

  7. Several appointments:

    Georgia - Egypt
    Andris Treimanis (LVA)

    Czech Republic - Slovakia
    Harald Lechner (AUT)

    Tunisia - Switzerland
    Cecil Fleischer, Malik Salifu, Leonard Amarh (GHA)

    Luxembourg - Scotland
    Cyril Zimmermann (SUI)

    Chile - Serbia
    Sascha Kever (SUI)

    Hungary - Norway
    Marijo Strahonja (CRO)

    Italy - France
    Alberto Undiano Malelnco (ESP) changed appointment, at first the match was for Fernandez Borbalan

    1. Fernández is injured. One does not know how long, but he could be out for MD5/6.

    2. I have heard that it's a knee injury.

  8. Here's what I found:

    Oman - Estonia (08/11/2012, Muscat)
    Ali Hamad Al-Badwawi - UAE, Abdullah Al-Shammakhi, Ghanim Al-Bulushi, Yaqoub Abdulbaki - OMA

    Albania - Cameroon (14/11/2012, Carouge - SUI)
    Stephan Studer - SUI

    Algeria - Bosnia and Herzegovina (14/11/2012, Algiers)
    Koman Coulibaly, Balla Diarra, Idrissa Niare - MLI, Mokhtar Amalou - ALG

    Austria - Ivory Coast (14/11/2012, Linz)
    Pavel Královec, Antonín Kordula, Patrik Filípek, Miroslav Zelinka - CZE

    Bulgaria - Ukraine (14/11/2012, Sofia)
    Milorad Mažić, Milovan Ristić, Igor Radojčić - SRB

    Chile - Serbia (14/11/2012, St. Gallen - SUI)
    Alain Bieri, Matthias Arnet, Raffael Zeder, Adrien Jaccottet - SUI

    Cyprus - Finland (14/11/2012, Strovolos)
    Pavel Cristian Balaj, Zoltán Székely, Valentin Gabriel Avram - ROU, Leontios Trattou - CYP

    Czech Republic - Slovakia (14/11/2012, Olomouc)
    Harald Lechner, Alain Hoxha, Christian Trunner - AUT

    Georgia - Egypt (14/11/2012, Tbilisi)
    Andris Treimanis - LVA

    Hungary - Norway (14/11/2012, Budapest)
    Marijo Strahonja - CRO

    Israel - Belarus (14/11/2012, Tel Aviv)
    Simon Lee Evans, Edward James King, Philip Thomas, Huw Jones - WAL

    Italy - France (14/11/2012, Parma)
    Alberto Undiano Mallenco - ESP

    Liechtenstein - Malta (14/11/2012, Vaduz)
    Nikolaj Hänni, Beat Hidber, Charles Helbling, Stephan Klossner - SUI

    Luxembourg - Scotland (14/11/2012, Luxembourg)
    Cyril Zimmermann - SUI

    Macedonia - Slovenia (14/11/2012, Skopje)
    Danilo Grujić, Dalibor Đurđević, Goran Kojić - SRB

    Netherlands - Germany (14/11/2012, Amsterdam)
    Pedro Proença Oliveira Alves Garcia, Bertino Cunha Miranda, José Tiago Garcias Bolinhas Trigo - POR

    Panama - Spain (14/11/2012, Ciudad de Panamá)
    Mauricio Rafael Morales Ovalle, Juan Joel Rangel Maya, Alejandro Ayala Valderrama - MEX, Jafeth Perea Amador - PAN

    Poland - Uruguay (14/11/2012, Gdańsk)
    William Collum - SCO

    Russia - United States (14/11/2012, Krasnodar)
    Nicola Rizzoli, Riccardo Di Fiore, Andrea Edoardo Stefani - ITA, Vladimir Kazmenko - RUS

    Saudi Arabia - Argentina (14/11/2012, Riyadh)
    Ali Hassan Ibrahim Abdulnabi Al-Samaheeji, Nawaf Shaheen Khalifa Moussa, Ahmad Jaber Mubarak Rashid, Salah Muhammad Noor Shaikh Abbas Al-Abbasi - BHR

    Sweden - England (14/11/2012, Solna)
    Svein Oddvar Moen, Kim Thomas Haglund, Frank Andås - NOR, Stefan Wittberg - SWE

    Tunisia - Switzerland (14/11/2012, Sousse)
    Cecil Amatey Fleischer, Malik Alidu Salifu, Leonard Nii Ashitey Amarh - GHA

    Turkey - Denmark (14/11/2012, Istanbul)
    Felix Brych, Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp, Marco Fritz - GER

    I'm looking for:
    Andorra - Iceland (14/11/2012, Sant Julià de Lòria)
    Armenia - Lithuania (14/11/2012, Yerevan)
    Gabon - Portugal (14/11/2012, Libreville)
    Republic of Ireland - Greece (14/11/2012, Dublin)
    Romania - Belgium (14/11/2012, Bucharest)
    United Arab Emirates - Estonia (14/11/2012, Abu Dhabi)

    1. Gabon-Portugal

      Joseph Lamptey (Ghana)

  9. Poland - Uruguay (14/11/2012, Gdańsk)
    William Collum, William Conquer, Martin Cryans, Steven McLean - SCO

    Why Scots always appoints fourth official for friendlies in other countries? It was the same in France-Japan when John Beaton was 4O. It's rare but I'm fan of it. In opposite to this Stefan Wittberg in SWE-ENG looks strange :)

    1. I think that it's a free choice of each federation, if they don't send a fourth official, then the federation in which the friendly is played, has to do that.

  10. Albania - Cameroon (14/11/2012, Carouge - SUI)
    Stephan Studer, Johannes Vogel, Jean-Yves Wicht, Esther Staubli - SUI

  11. 4th official in NED-GER is Gözübüyük. (Good, that I have umlauts at my keyboard ;) )

  12. CL MD5: Stark/Salver/Pickel/Zwayer/Welz
    EL MD5: Meyer/Henschel/Bornhorst/Dingert/Hartmann

    So, Stark is not completely out, but returns after three matchdays "suspension". Maybe with the top match Juve-Chelsea?
    Zwayer again as AAR1, in spite of the debatable penalty for ManU last week.

  13. As already discussed, UEFA probably also recognized that they have to appoint him due to the elite referees shortage. But it is a good sign that UEFA draws conclusions in case of such awful performances, even if suspensions do not always make sense.

  14. And Dingert not with Stark! Nice!

  15. Two UNDER 21 friendlies played today:

    England - Northern Ireland
    John Beaton (SCO)

    Cyprus - Romania
    Christos Nicolaides, Georgios Papathomas, Marios Kalogirou, Charalambos Skapoulli (CYP)

    Furthermore, there are important news concerning Clattenburg:

    I think he is going to return on the pitch. Good for him.

  16. Ireland - Greece (Friendly)

    Referee: Eitan Shemeulevitch (ISR)
    Assistant: Nisan Davinti, Amihay Jehosua (ISR)
    Fourth official: Padraigh Sutton (IRL)

  17. Romania-Balgium
    Mauro Bergonzi (ITA)
    Still looking for the full appointment.

  18. Romania Belgium
    Bergonzi, Manganelli, Grilli, Petrescu (ROM)

  19. Hategan and Balaj - EL MD 5

  20. United Arab Emirates - Estonia (14/11/2012, Abu Dhabi)
    Sami Mazyad Al-Numari - KSA, Hassan Muhammad Hassan Abdullah Al-Marri Al-Souqatari, Zayid Dawood Salman Kamal, Abdullah Ali Abdullah Al-Ajeel Al-Zaabi - UAE

    Venezuela - Nigeria (14/11/2012, Miami - USA)
    Terry Vaughn, Corey Rockwell, Kermit Quisenberry, Edvin Jurišević - USA

  21. CL MD6 (4.12.): Aytekin/Kleve/Häcker/Fritz/Winkmann
    CL MD6 (5.12.): Brych/Borsch/Lupp/Zwayer/Welz
    (exact dates not 100% sure)
    Aytekin with a second match, although he is in First Group and no match for Gräfe could indicate a change in January.

    1. I think that now it's sure: Aytekin promoted and Graefe maybe even out from FIFA lists...

    2. No I cannot imagine that. Gräfe had a nice return last weeks, so there is no performance related reason to drop him from the list. Out of ED perhaps, but not out of FIFA. In fact, we - Germany - had even difficulties to fill the two new slots induced by Kircher's and Weiner's voluntary retirements.

    3. If Kircher and Weiner "voluntarily" retired, it means that DFB planned their replacements. If DFB would have had difficulties to find suitable replacements, they would have let Kircher and/or Weiner on the FIFA List for one more year.

    4. Yes, they planned it. I meant with "difficulties" that Christian Dingert was actually unable to show consistent performances, he did not get big matches until his fifa nomination either.

    5. Gräfe will replace Meyer in the elite group. Gräfe has been one of the best german referees for many years. Aytekin will not be promoted...that`s the plan...

  22. EL MD5 Makkelie/Simons/Langkamp/Janssen/Higler

  23. Italy-France full appointment

    Alberto Undiano Mallenco
    Jesus Calvo Guadamuro - Luis Fernando Marco Martínez
    Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni (ITA)

  24. Andorra - Iceland
    Ruddy Buquet (FRA)

  25. What the match in Poland! Phenomenal Uruguay! Not existing Poland... William Collum with the very good performance based on experience and self-confidency. Conquer with many extrememly difficult situations. I'll rewatch listed situations and give my marks later.

  26. Armenia - Lithuania
    Lasha Silagava (GEO)
    and with this appointment, the European situation about friendlies should be 100% complete, hope it was helpful for you Yun, I thank you always many times for your appointments all over the world :)

    best regards

    PS Cavani is a phenomenon ;) isn't he?

    1. Yes, he is. But man of the match was Suarez for me. Great skills and did with Polish players what he wanted :) Thanks a lot for Silagava and Buquet. Only they were missing in my list and don't know how did you get those appointments :D

    2. Buquet is here:

      Silagava was a very very difficult search, I just can say that I had to write in Armenian on google.... ;)

  27. U20 4 Nations Cup:
    Italy - Switzerland (Harm Osmers - GER)
    Poland - Germany (Sascha Amhof - SUI)

  28. William Collum - 7.9
    12' - Lewandowski-Lugano duel in the Uruguayan penalty area; possible penalty to Poland if Lewandowski was fall after a first contact but he decided to continue play, hence no reaction is good call
    20' - Suarez was simulating an elbow punch by Mierzejewski, no contact and good call by William Collum to play-on
    25' - yellow card to Wasilewski for a tactical foul; it was definitely more DOGSO than normal tactical foul so red card would be more adequate here
    29' - small riot between Lugano and Lewandowski after the latter pushed Godin on Muslera; very calm reaction by William Collum who solved this mini-war with ease based on good authority and international experience
    39' - Krychowiak-Lodeiro studs up tackles from both; correct no cards - yellow cards to both would also be correct
    40' - undeliberate handball by Glik in Polish penalty area, correct no penalty
    62' - Grosicki was pushed by Godin near the URU penalty area, missed free kick by Collum and Cryans
    82' - possible yellow card to Alvaro Perreira for a reckless tackle, however no malice and acceptable call

    William Conquer - 8.9
    55' - excellent non-offside call
    56' - Suarez offside, correct
    61' - excellent non-offside call
    66' - phenomenal non-offside call leading to 1-3 goal; Suarez was maybe a bit offside but he was about 1cm before the centre line, amazing
    69' - very good non-offside call
    86' - Castro offside, minimal but correct

    Martin Cryans - 8.4
    05' - offside Cavani, correct call
    39', 40' - non-offside call, correct
    49' - good wait-and-see technique, one of Polish players was offside but there was goal-kick so correct no offside and goal-kick

    I have a problem with Collum's mark but that one situation was definitely more DOGSO than normal tactical foul, so either 8.4 or 7.9. Maybe someone will manage to see this situation wherever...

  29. Macedonia-Slovenia full appoinment:
    Referee: Danilo Grujić (SER)
    Assistants: Dalibor Đurđević (SER), Goran Kojić (SER)
    4th Official: Dimitar Mechkarovski (MKD)

  30. Proenca with a normal match yesterday, one or two very strange free-kick decisions but apart from that good but I must honestly say that I passed thirty minutes of the match because I fell asleep.

    1. Not your fault at all, most boring match I've ever seen. I actually threw stuff at the TV! And to think I nearly went to the stadium for the match.
      Agree with your take on Proença, I thought he may have been too strict on foul detection,(who knew that could happen in a Holland-Germany match?) whistling a couple of phantom fouls.

    2. Germany did not want to score in some moments (e.g. 45+1), so 0-0 was deserved result for this crap. By the way, Trigo with one important offside error (Robben could have scored), I forgot that.

  31. Have you seen the goal scored by Ibrahimovic? Goal of the year..

  32. I would have liked to take Andas' position :D

    1. Wonderful goal, Moen must be proud of having refereed this match, just for this.

  33. 22/11 EL Marcin Borski, Rafał Rostkowski, Maciej Wierzbowski, Tomasz Listkiewicz, Dawid Piasecki, Daniel Stefański

    06/12 EL Paweł Gil

    1. So this seems to be the punishment. Only EL and Listkiewicz only 4th official.

  34. 22/11 EL

    2 Greek Referees

    Kakos and Koukoulakis

    don't know full teams yet.

  35. Saudi Arabia - Argentina (ref: Ali Abdulnabi-BHR)
    pen or not? but free kick?

    Overall poor performance. He deliberately missed some unsporting behaviours and Sergio Agüero must be happy finishing this match on the pitch (he could've sent-off twice in this match...).

    1. The video is 49 minutes, the whole first half (I guess).
      Therefore, you should give us the minutes of that situation.
      Thank you!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Of course, no foul. The keeper was a bit fool in his action, taking a risk, but he hit clearly the ball before. Furthermore, if it was a foul, it had to be penalty, not free kick.
      Two wrong decsions in one, for the referee.
      By the way, from his position, it was almost impossible to see...

    4. I got the opinion from my source:
      Penalty - GK clears the ball but Aguero is able to reach the ball after it and is falled down by second leg. If not this second contact, he would continue this action.

      By the way, thanks for your opinion and wait for other's ones! Very controversial situation for me!

    5. To my mind a penalty. Yes, he plays also the ball, but have a look at Kun's right leg at 48:10. Have a look at the time when the situation happened and you probably understand Abdulnabi's decision not to award a penalty..

    6. Niclas, I don't want to accept your last statement.
      A referee should now look at the time during the match: if he has to give a penalty, he must give it, at any time.
      A referee from Bahrain is happy if Saudi Arabia and Argentina draw in a friendly match?
      By the way, I hope that the pre-selected for Brazil, Shukralla, is better than him.
      Yun Hyeon doesn't agree, probably, if I remember well his words.

    7. should now = should not

    8. I watch many AFC matches, have watched many Shukralla's and Abdulnabi's performances. Abdulnabi is better regarding his style (especially gestures), is calmer and more official. Shukralla is chaotic referee, weird gestures, sometimes weak use of advantages (too much) but he is a bit more consistent in his form. After Abdulnabi's last match I'm not so sure about his professional approach and self-confidency. By the way, I can understand Niclas' statement about the time. Can you imagine what are furious Arabian people able to do (see Tunisia, Morocco, North Africa) :D

  36. Yun Hyeon, I want to ask what do you think (and also other users of this blog, if interested) about this referee from Singapore: Sukhbir Sing, 1983 born, FIFA from 2009. He uses to officiate matches wearing a headgear. He must do it because forced by his religion (
    We know how much strict are rules for players, about this habit.
    I remember even a card given by Proença to a player, which was celebrating a goal in this way:
    So, is that consistent?
    Of course, nothing against this referee, and of course I RESPECT every religion, but FIFA should take a look there and clarify this question. The rules must be the same for players and referees.

    Here some videos of Sukhbir Sing:
    SAFF final last year
    (he was also criticized by Afghanistan football federation for the decisions taken on the pitch)

    Friendly Indonesia-Timor Est yesterday

    Best regards!

    1. Extremely difficult question! Players may not use any other clothes due to their safety. The referee's work is much less contact. So, I accept this rules and exceptions towards referees. However, I'm big opponent of booking celebration by removing t-shirt or something like this. The problem is what is on the shirt (provocation?). But we have commissions and even if referee doesn't see anything wrong on the field, disciplinary sanctions could be used.


    2. Thank you, generally I agree but it's important that FIFA states something.
      Different cutures, different worlds, yes, but UEFA and AFC are always under the name of FIFA.

  37. 'Once again, I emphasize that in complex, unclear situations (which the referee must make, almost immediately, very tough decisions), it does not discredit the referee when the broadcaster captures incorrect penalty decision, the non-counted score, non-showed offside. However, it is unacceptable to count goal, give a penalty or whistle offside, which, after analysis of the video, it was not.' - Z. Przesmycki, head of Polish referees

    1. I had a similar spech yesterday here in Italy with some people about this important question.
      I have heard that starting from this year the observers of Italian serie A can change their marks to the referees, after having watched the video on tv.
      It's for sure unfair: if at first the referee and the observer agree on the pitch about a decision, and then later the tv shows a mistake, the observer is in the right to change it. But he has to write in the evaluation document that he saw the situation using tv images.
      In my opinion, observers and committee has to split the mistake in two categories:
      1) mistakes in clear situations (for example, under the eyes of the referee)
      2) mistakes in difficult situations (very far away from the referee, or anyway a situation in which is very difficult to make the right call)

      The second category of mistakes should be evaluated less heavy, because the official has several justifications, in order to explain his wrong call. Even more if, as I said, the observer on the stands at first, had his same (but wrong) feeling.

    2. Quite funny to see Proenca in such a match only 2,5 years ago..

      Just one remark, UEFA has a field in their report where the observers have to state whether they needed video-debriefing or not. But actually it should be common praxis.

  38. 17.11.2012
    Crvena Zvezda - Partizan
    Milorad Mažić, Milovan Ristić, Igor Radojčić, Milenko Vukadinović

    1. Excellent appointment....

    2. Milorad Mažić MD6 CL!

    3. Nice, his form is outstanding last time. I think he's much better than Proenca, Kassai and Stark at the moment. Together with Skomina and Carballo the best CL referee this season so far, IMO.

    4. The greatest progress has been made with Alan Snoddy! I think that working with him was crucial for development Milorad Mažić and Tom Hagen. IMO, the best Polish referee is- Pawel Gil. :)

    5. Deserved appointment in a very hot match.

      Hope it goes well.

      After his performance in the 2 CL group matches Mazic deserves this 3rd match. Maybe a promotion on his future?

    6. His top performance in the match EL Vaslui-SS Lazio praised- Kyros Vassaras. Remains to be seen who will be the observer in a very hot match?! Collina, Dallas, Fandel?

    7. You know I didn't like Mazic much. He was extremely strict and without a game reading. Of course, I can understand it was by specific hot atmosphere in Serbian matches. Now, he's able to read a game, has official style and doesn't tolerate any kind of unsporting behaviours. I must repeat, his style is perfect to me and he became one of the best referees last time, together with Skomina, Carballo, Cakir. Are Proenca, Kassai, Brych, Stark better referees NOW? Not, they aren't! I am full of admiration for Mazic' progress and his official strict style because I can't bear last trends to keep both eyes closed towards obvious fouls used especially by Proenca.

      Keep good work on, Milorad Mazić!

    8. By the way, I partially agree about Gil but you've probably never seen Marciniak. Excellent referee regarding Polish not the best level of refereeing. He can be sure, advance to the first category is coming. And if Michał Listkiewicz says about his possible Champions League Final in the future, it must means a great hopes relied in him by UEFA.

    9. No, I have not watched Marciniak, but, do not doubt your assessment. Poland is a large country and deserves a long elite referee. Greece, also! I did not like dr Koukoulakis but he's getting better and better.
      Repeat- Alan Snoddy is a great mentor! His impact on Mažić is huge.

    10. I agree with all of you. I detested Mazic's harsh and in my opinion too serious style in the EL matches I have watched (Udinese-AZ). Probably I had the bad luck to see one of not many downs of this referee. AEL-Anderlecht was not his best performance either due to lacks of control, but his development says everything. I have rarely seen such a level of authority like at Old Trafford and such a good decision taking like in both CL matches. His third CL match was a must, nothing less. In addition, he and also Pavel Kralovec have a bit luck. Many ED referees apart from them did not show what they should be able to do in this group, some Elite referees are injured, so there is enough place and time for testing them. Thanks also for the info that Snoddy is his mentor. From the matches he has got as observer it was clear he is no no-name. Hagen however (@ YunHyeon, I know you like him a lot) has much to do and improve. I don't know his performances in the Norwegian league, many say he is the no.1 in Norway, but on international level his two/three perhaps hugest tests so far were not that good (ManCity-Sporting, Panathinaikos-Malaga, Valencia-BATE). Mazic and Kralovec should be promoted to my mind, Nijhuis and Rasmussen dropped, Karasev and Hategan should move up, perhaps also Jug. I hope Vad is going to get a CL match soon.

    11. And of course Gil should replace Borski.

    12. it would be better Mr Anonymous to give us your name,just to be fair with all of us...

    13. I had the pleasure to observe him one year ago, the match you have mentioned VASLUI-LAZIO, you can still read my words on worldreferee.
      I was impressed by his skill to keep easily the whole match under control, and that was not connected to the calls. The feeling is that in his match the calls can be correct, or wrong, but he had a certain ability, to appear as the boss on the pitch, which is really noticeable.

    14. And I will be able to watch Mr Mazic in Belgrade derby! One of Polish TV will broadcast it :O

    15. One thing is sure. Every referee needs matches in order to develop.

      Every referee gets his chances. The issue is whether he will take advantage of that or he will drop his chance.

      Borski and Nijhuis at the moment should be dropped. Kralovec should be promoted and Mazic (with a reserve for his 3rd CL match).

      But I think we have time to chat about promotions and demotions.

  39. The first Elite Development referee with 3 matches in CL group stage of the last years (correct me, please, if I'm wrong).
    I think that other names could follow: Orsato, Stavrev, Aydinus (?)
    Very good achievement for them.

    1. I do not think he is the first who manages that. Kralovec last year, Gumienny the year before.

    2. And also Clattenburg and Tagliavento who were not ELITE at the point of time when there got 3 group stage clashes.

    3. Collum as well in 2010/11 :D

    4. You destroyed me, well done.
      I deserved that :D

    5. Hehe, that was not my intention, but I am sure you can bear that ;)

  40. Yun Hyeon: a sudden question for you.
    Carlos Velasco Carballo or Alberto Undiano Mallenco?
    Thank you in advance for your answer.

    1. Sorry for late answer, my dog is not always patient :)
      Of course, now it's definitely Carballo.

    2. Well: Alberto Undiano Mallenco with 3 matches at the last World Cup, furthermore many important achievements in CL in many years.
      Carlos Velasco Carballo: a rising star, until a certain period, but let me say that after the EL final, he appeared to be a normal referee, I have always said that I was not impressed by him. I still don't know why UEFA loved his performances so much. At the end, I think it wll be an interesting duel between them, on the road to Brazil 2014.
      But if FIFA looks at EURO2012... Carballo has still to fight.
      Is Mallenco so bad?

    3. The reason was probably pretty easy why Velasco was pushed in this manner. At World Cup 2010, Undiano showed one good performance (in the easiest match of the whole competition), one average performance with a wrong penalty and of course the control-disaster in Port Elizabeth. He was however not sent home, even got a quarterfinal appointment as fourh official. After that, you probably remember the mistake in Chelsea-ManU. These are aspects that stay in mind. UEFA probably was aware of that and that they should be able to develop another Spaniard who could, if he has success, replace Undiano at the next competitions. And that happened, Velasco's five CL performances in 2010/11 were very good. The final appointment came too early and the performance was not good. But after this, I did never think that his position is in danger, e.g. his performance in Napoli-Chelsea was excellent. He had not the best EURO, that's clear. However I do not think there will be a come-back of Undiano. In a way it's the same situation like in Germany with Stark and Brych.


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