December 1, 2012

Nishimura and Rasulov honoured as Asia's best

Top Japanese official Yuichi Nishimura has ended Ravshan Irmatov's dominance of the AFC Referee of the Year award after claiming the individual accolade ahead of the four-time winner from Uzbekistan and Iran's Alireza Faghani.
Nishimura's quality shone through when he was entrusted with the potentially explosive second-leg of the 2012 AFC Champions League semi-final between arch-Jeddah rivals Al Ahli and Al Ittihad in what was his third appointment in this year's edition of Asia's premier club competition. In another highlight of 2012 Nishimura was also involved in the Olympic Games, with the 40-year-old officiating the group stage fixtures between Brazil and Belarus and hosts Great Britain and Uruguay, while the two-time J.League Referee of the Year also took charge of two matches in the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as a Round 3 qualifier for the London Games. 
"Personally I am emotional and thank AFC for recognizing the hard work we put on in the field. Refereeing is one of the toughest jobs but I love it and fully committed to it," said Nishimura after receiving the AFC Referee of the Year award from Dato' Worawi Makudi, Chairman of the AFC Referees Committee (photo).
"This award is dedicated to all the referees working in Asia who put their heart into officiating this beautiful game of football. Asian referees are top class and it's not only just a few of us as there are several referees who are on top of their game in. In fact, in football we are behind Europe and may be other continents but not in refereeing. It's nice to finally win this trophy but believe me I really respect Ravshan Irmatov who is one of the best referees in the world. But I repeat again there is a huge pool of fantastic referees in Asia".
These are the complete rankings:
Men's Best Referees:
1. Yuichi Nishimura (JPN)
2. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
3. Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Men's Best Assistant Referees:
1. Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
2. Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
3. Matthew Cream (AUS)
Women's Best Referees:
1. Sachiko Yamagishi (JPN)
2. Ri Hyang Ok (PRK)
3. Qin Liang (CHN)
Women's Best Referees:
1. Kim Kyoung Min (KOR)
2. Widiya Shamsuri (MAS)
3. Cui Yongmei (CHN)
source: AFC


  1. One of my favourite referees! Congratulations, Yuichi!

    By the way, I watched Bayern-Borussia with Peter Gagelmann in the middle. It was crucial mistake + some points (even large ones) for improvement. He missed very clear penalty to Bayern in 66' when Schmelzer fouled Muller. It was a stonewall penalty saying like Englishman :) Don't understand how Gagelmann could have missed it being positioned well and having clear view on it. A shame! Furthermore, there were many points for improvement: the clearest dive one can imagine - without a yellow (39'), missed clear Subotić' foul (43'), the most undeliberate handball one can imagine - free kick (50'), missed clear yellow card to Kroos for a reckless tackle (52')... Great assistants: Thielert with many good offsides, faultless performance, Anklam with only one offside call but perfectly applicated LoTG (90+1')

    Peter Gagelmann - 7.8 (8.1 without crucial mistake)
    Matthias Anklam - 8.4
    Sascha Thielert - 8.5
    Daniel Siebert - 8.0

  2. That was definitely no penalty. At least not in Bundesliga. I don't agree with 8.1 either. This match was very important, not everybody would have managed it without cards and this level of authority. It's Gagelmann's style to not issue many cards in top clashes and that's why most of the fans are content when he gets such a match.
    For me it was 8.4, perhaps Philipp can post his point of view as well.
    And I fully agree with you on the assistants' remarks, excellent decision by Anklam.

  3. If this obvious foul is not penalty I have no questions... Why always Bundesliga must be different than other leagues? Foul is a foul and it was the clearest one can imagine...

    1. Anonymous2/12/12 18:09

      That was never a penalty! Bundesliga is not different than other leagues...but think about the fact that german refereeing is leading in the world....we have Stark, Brych, Meyer, Gräfe, Aytekin....and Peter Gagelmann is no FIFA Referee but he ist so strong that he would be able to referee big clashes in Champions you can see, how strong the german referees are...sorry...

    2. I hope that was irony :D

    3. I am the biggest Stark's fan here! Meyer is one of my favourite referees too. Grafe and Aytekin solid referees. I don't like only Brych from FIFA referees.

      But men, I really doubt Gagelmann is able to referee CL big clashes with his all inconsistencies and unreasonable leniency.

      By the way, calm down a bit :)

  4. To be honest, you get laughed at as a referee when you whistle that here. Müller's intention was clear, there was no open man who could have received a pass, so he tried to curve the defenders and looked for the contact, which he always does (= that does not mean one has to be blind whenever Müller falls). You can put forward the argument that Schmelzer slightly carted out his leg, but nonetheless it's a provoked contact to my mind.
    And foul is not foul, that's simply a wrong thesis. Gagelmann is always extremely lenient, players know him for that and accept his line. If he whistles such a contact, then his whole line becomes irrelevant and dishonest. And I do not understand your incomprehension either with regard to "why bundesliga must be different than other leagues". You cannot take one kind of interpretation as granted for every league on this planet, when I observe Copa Libertadores for Carlos and Maicon and think, eh, Heber Lopes misses three clear penalties, then Carlos says ok, one could have given perhaps one, but it is more important in our league that things are controlled so I can live with that mistake". One cannot compare apples with oranges, and you cannot, again, take one interpretation of situations as applicable for every referee in Europe. That's why I would never get the idea to observe a Portuguese or Romanian match, because I would get silly by the high amount of cards I am not used to, which would result in a bad mark, but perhaps people in these countries think it was just a good and consistent performance..

  5. No no, Gagelmann was even meticulous in foul detection in this match. Then he became just inconsistent. It's not about carted leg, it's just about deliberate move into jumping opponent (in Poland we describe it as "stołek" = "table"). Schmelzer wasn't even a bit interested in winning the ball...

    In addition to this, observers are very ungry when referee whistle a free kick after such handball like Dante's one, they are also ungry when see tackles like Kross' one unpunished, they are finally the most ungry when referee tolerates simulations.

    Those all were a clear situations to my mind and Gagelmann was good positioned so I can't understand why he was blind in those cases.

    I don't want to have a philosophic discussion. I just don't like it. I accept differences between countries regarding physical play and bookings but I can't and don't want to accept being blind on obvious fouls that are even dangerous to the players' healh like such "table fouls". Player is falling down without a control, his body is out of control and such contact is no foul? OK, maybe we have different views of it and I don't want to change your view but it's something strange to me how whoever on the World can say it was no foul.

    By the way, I even like Gagelmann's lenient style, but yesterday he was inconsistent, blind in some situations and the match wasn't difficult to such referee like he is.

    Regards and I also think in Portugal or Romania referees show out too many cards but at least see most of them ;)

    1. Folks - please tell me we are not talking about the nudge in the back in the 6 yard from a left-side cross?

      If we think this is a penalty we may as well stop discussing refereeing on these pages ;)

    2. Yes, we're talking about it. Schmelzer is totally not interested in fight for a ball, so why not? For me it's the clearest penalty and don't understand your final clue. I told with many refs and they have said it was clear penalty as well as some told me it was no penalty (doubts). I consider undermining as a foul and if it's in the penalty area it's penalty. Can you imagine yourself how it's dangerous? How big has it an impact on the player who is in the air?

    3. Let's summarize, it was just a debatable scene..

  6. I agree with you on Dante's handball (Thielert did not raise his flag, for good reasons), he should have given a free-kick to Bayern when Mandzukic was undermined by Subotic, he fell for a too easy fall Müller provoked and he could have booked Schweinsteiger for a foul in 2nd half. That's what I would criticize on his performance, but that's Gagelmann. Perhaps 8.4 is too high, but this impression just results from the impression one has in mind as a German football enthusiast: I can remember games between both teams when there was no chance to finish this match with less than 7 bookings and a red card. This time is over and Gagelmann just always tries to facilitate the best possible football match, therefore I like him in such a match that much. I would like to know how the observer evaluated his performance, probably they sent someone like Steinborn or Strigel. Unfortunately, DFB does not unfold observer appointments and they also said in a mail that they are not going to do that in future.

  7. Yes, I'm also curious what the mark is it :) However, giving him 7.8 I don't think it was shockingly poor performance. It was penalty to me and my view of foul, and there were those points for improvement in which we both agree. I like the Gagelmann's way of communication with players, he's always himself and is able to smile, talk with player but also to shout on him :) And this is the reason I liked this appointment and would like it in next years although I think he missed this penalty and wasn't 100% right in calls. They are a matches where a personality of the referee is even more important than calls. The same, I think Skomina is better than Cakir and in contrary for some kind of clashes.

  8. That's then a point we again disagree with each other :D But Skomina and Cakir for sure are both very good referees.

  9. Yes but not only Cakir and Skomina are good referees we have many others that are good as well.
    And just one question I heard that Matej Jug could be promoted to Elite development group this or next year. So I personally think that that is not going to happen this more likely next year becuse this year he only got 1 EL match and NO CL match so more likely next year.

  10. I agree, I read somewhere that he gets EL next week, so let's wait which match and observer he gets, that's mostly a good sign for that. However, Jug was observed by Uilenberg in his u21 Playoff and he did well, so at least UEFA has him in their "area of vicinity". Of course, Jug is also very young and has a lot of time.

  11. About Gagelmann: I think, the Schmelzer/Müller situation was rather no penalty. Perhaps it would not be a mistake to give it, but, as Niclas said, the decision fitted to the rest of the match. I also don't see the not given yellow cards as mistake, for me there was no 100% need, neither for Mandzukic, Kroos or Schweinsteiger.

    Has anyone watched the Madrid derby last night? I was very surprised by Undiano's performance in the first half: There was a lot of unfair behaviour by both sides, body-checks, provocations, nearly violent conducts, but Undiano gave only two yellows, one for handball, one for a tactical foul. In the other situations, he just talked to the players, often even only to the one who was attacked, probably saying "Don't fall that theatricalyy, it doesn't help you, because I don't punish these things tonight"
    Normally, he had to give much more cards in this match, but nevertheless I found it an interesting approach for matches in a hot atmosphere.


    Here a straight red card given by Rocchi yesterday in Juventus-Torino.
    100% correct call, if you ask me.

  13. Clear red Chef! But i wish Rocchi would be less expressive; He would have avoided the mele afterwards if he had isolated player.

    Great news for Nishimura, one of my favourite referees of the last 3-4 years...

    1. Excellent remark, Nikos, and I have to answer admitting that here in Italy referees are not so accustomed to isolate the player and then to show the card, but they often act in this sudden way. They show immediatly the card and most of the times there is this riot on the pitch in which the referee is unable even to protect himself. Not a good situation to watch by observer, in my opinion.
      Itay is a Latin country, and you can notice that also from these things, I can't imagine a German or English referee acting in this way. We are different.. Niclas can confirm that.

    2. Rocchi is a bit theatrical here, as always. But the decision is ok, so..
      I can ensure you that we also have some officials who like to be in the centre of attention, but not in such a strong way.

  14. Shocking incident in the Netherlands: an assistant referee was kicked to death in an under-17s match yesterday. Two fifteen-year-old boys and a sixteen-year-old have been arrested. Emotions are running high in the Dutch amateur refereeing community at the moment, talks of a strike or at least a moment's silence.

    Italian serie D (the fifth category)
    starting from 06:30
    no words to explain that decision, I can accept a mistake by one man, but here referee and assistant agreed.... OMG

  16. Oh dear. That was not a case of 20 cms, but 300 :D

  17. Inter-Napoli
    Manganelli - Cariolato

    Add 1 Valeri
    Add 2 Giannoccaro

    Nicla, tell me why... always Rizzoli :)

    Bulgarian national cup.
    Match: Levski Sofia - Cherno More Varna.
    Sasho Alexandrov (Varna defender) got a six matches ban for that.
    Don't know who was the referee.


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