January 4, 2013

"English referees!"

When Howard Webb and his team entered their cubicle following the final whistle at Vienna's Ernst-Happel-Stadion in the Group B match between hosting nation Austria and Poland at UEFA Euro 2008, the police sergeant of Rotherham imitated a Polish team-official swearing at "English referees!", as captured by the film "Referees at Work". Webb had previously awarded a correct penalty kick to Austria in the very last minute of play. 

Only two years later, the same Howard Webb was in charge of the probably hottest and most difficult World Cup final ever. He issued a binary amount of bookings and also one dismissal. But one scene stayed in everybody's mind and turned out to be the biggest problem of the English referee team's performance: a kung-fu-kick "performed" by Nigel de Jong that was only "rewarded" with a yellow card. The match got out of control after that. As Howard Webb later admitted, this should have definitely been a red card for serious foul play, as the Laws of the Game clearly define it. An error of perception, undoubtfully.

In August 2012, English official Mark Clattenburg refereed at the Olympic Games and was appointed for a quarterfinal between Mexico and Senegal. A Senegalese player, called Pape, Souaré committed a foul on Mexico's Héctor Herrera. This time, neither the main referee Clattenburg, nor assistant referee Simon Beck, who obviously saw the situation very carefully having a free area of vicinity, nor FIFA took the right decision: the English team received the final between Mexico and Brazil. Mexico's Herrera sarcastically wrote on twitter that he was afraid of this final referee, because Clattenburg allowed Herrera's opponent to kick his head...
The main question however is: was this tackle only reckless, meaning that the yellow card was ok, or was it serious foul play? When the Senegalese player was in the air, holding his studs up, there is a clear movement of his foot towards his opponent. A red card in my opinion, a very dark one. Here, the borderline between serious foul play and violent conduct are more or less spongy. So, again an error of perception? Or was it considered as an error at all? It would frighten me if not..

In December 2012, England's new FIFA referee Anthony Taylor dismissed two players for nearly the same foul play [4:53 and 8:33]:


According to the Laws of the Game, there are seven sending-off offenses but we will focus on the one applicable here. In their pertinent part, the Law 12 states that a “player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits [...] serious foul play.” IFAB’s Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees explains that “a player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.” In addition, “using excessive force means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.”
Both players obviously took every risk and had their studs up. Serious injuries of their opponents could have been possible. In both scenes, there is no sign of retracting the stretched foot. In the second scene Gibson rather did the opposite and executed, at first, an unintentional but then intentional kick. I also disagree with the commentary that there would not have been any form of "intent", as Cole was "following the ball with his eyes". There is no intent either to retracht the studs. So in both scenes excessive force was given, at least for my taste.
Later on, West Ham's coach bewailed a defective consistency in the refereeing of Anthony Taylor. Mr Graham Poll even stated in his column that the decisions would have been "baffling" and "at very best, extremely harsh".
The FA itself issued the following statement: "The FA can confirm that red cards shown to West Ham United's Carlton Cole and Everton's Darron Gibson have been rescinded," a statement from the FA read. “Both players were sent from the field of play in the Premier League fixture between the two clubs at Upton Park on Saturday 22 December. Their three match suspensions have been withdrawn immediately."

In Germany, one frequently encounters a certain myth when a referee books a player to the displeasure of a football fan, who then shouts towards the bar's TV screen "On the island (= in England), that would not even have been a free kick!". But as one says, in every myth, there is a glimmer of truth...It appears as strange that tackles which are considered as serious foul play in nearly every European country, such as kung fu kicks and studs up fouls, are fundamentally differently regarded in England. While Webb's error was a real error of perception in this specific moment, Clattenburg's call and the FA's reaction on Taylor's sending offs are frightening and threatening to my mind.


  1. Brilliant text, Niclas. I was shocked when I was reading that article that I linked here. I have no words to describe how stupid is FA's decision regarding building up referees' respect and safety of the players. SHOCKING DECISION to my mind! Referee takes 100% correct call and then is humiliated by all those experts. Sorry, I don't understand Graham Poll...

    By the way, after reading those articles about above mentioned situation, I have really concerned my refereeing passion... Has the work of all of us (passionates) any positive aspects? I always doubt in it after having such situation like Clattenburg's Wembley final, Alioum's performances and nominations, idiot RFEF's decisions towards Mourinho, and such decision like this one...

    1. How can you understand a referee (Poll) when he had to caution a player 3 times in order to dismiss him?

      Personally I have stopped to read Graham Poll's column. And finally I feel vindicated.

    2. I think such mistake can made every referee, but I can't read some his textes where he criticizes many referees, often without a reason... Do you remember his analysis of EURO? Skomina is low profile, etc...

    3. Yes you are true. Every referee can make such a mistake but how many times have you seen such a mistake?
      As for his EURO analysis no comment. More or less he stated that half of the referees shouldn't be there.

      What is really absurd is that he criticizes Taylor for 2 CORRECT decisions. I don't know what else to say, I am tired of all this.

    4. and check this forum: http://s8.zetaboards.com/ratetheref/topic/8393224/1/1

      I tried to show them European trends, Collina's words, but they think they were never red cards! I can't discuss with people who say such things no longer about football.

    5. I better don't say anything about Poll's column, too much tabloid press, gonzo and polemic in the way he says things.

  2. Niclas, maybe you didn't watch it:

    1. No, I did not watch it, thanks a lot for the link.
      Most interesting to my mind are the observers' comments after the matches. Two known faces by the way, Michael Malbranc and Christian Soltow. Soltow accompanied Fandel as AR2 for a long time.

  3. Friendly on 6 February 2013.

    England - Brazil (Wembley Stadium)
    Pedro Proença (POR)

    Always him.

    1. Proenca never refereed England except at EURO 2012 quarterfinal, he never refereed Brazil and he was never at Wembley. So just a few novelties in his great career.

    2. I guess Rizzoli for France-Germany or another Italian referee...

    3. Yes, would make sense. It happened often last times that referees had a national team twice within a short period of time. Rizzoli had FRA at the EURO and GER in WC qualifiers.
      Perhaps this would be also nice for Rocchi.

  4. I have created a small page concentrating on UEFA referee observers. Perhaps it might be use-/helpful:


    1. Very interesting, thanks Niclas.
      Excellent work also to split them in categories.

    Leonel Leal(Costarica)
    Octaviano Jara(Costarica)
    Juan Zumba(ElSalwador)
    Daniel Willamson(Panama)
    Gerson Lopez(Guatemala)
    Keytzel Corrales(Nikaragua)
    Willam Rocha(Nikaragua)
    Oscar Zelaya(Honduras)

  6. 21ST GULF CUP - BAHRAIN 2013

    Group A:
    Bahrain - Oman (Ravshan Irmatov - UZB)
    Qatar - United Arab Emirates (Khalil Al-Ghamdi - KSA)

    1. BAHRAIN 0-0 OMAN
      Ravshan Irmatov - 8.3
      Abduxamidullo Rasulov - 8.4
      Bakhadyr Kochkarov - 8.3
      Ali Sabbagh Addai Al-Qaysi - 8.0

      Easy-going match, missed obvious card for dive, missed wrong throw-in by Kochkarov, the rest very solid.

      Referees wear such kits (Irmatov black, Al-Ghamdi yellow):

    2. Thank you for this small report and infos, I really appreciate, please post also other reports if you are going to watch further matches.

    3. Really? ;)

      I will post small report from every Gulf Cup match here! As you know, I love Arabian football! Now I will watch Al-Ghamdi :D haha

      Only can add Irmatov had fantastic contact with players. He used strict verbal warnings and friendly approach in normal talks. His positioning was the best possible. Extremely close to an action, but not interfering with it - very difficult style!


      Opening Ceremony (really cool, better than WC and EURO, IMO)

    4. Yes, really!
      01:48 in first video, Irmatov is falling down ;) ahahahah
      By the way, AFC has always an excellent organization, about each tournament.
      Do you know more about Al Badwawi physical problems?

    5. Yes, this downfall will be included in my Polish analysis of first day of Gulf Cup available in Polish at sedziapilkarski.pl (to follow every night).

      Nice to hear such things anyone from Europe is interested in Asian football!

      Yes, AFC is far better organized than every other federation including FIFA and UEFA. Especially regarding referees!

      Yes, unfortunately he is out from refereeing due to Achilles tendon rupture. He was out due to that for six months in past year. After 31 December he felt the strong pain and is now in Germany under specialistic control... It's very sad to him he left Gulf Cup and is not sure he'll be available to next AFC fitness tests...

      Also Abdulrahman Muhammad Hussain vel Abdulrahman Abdu from Qatar withdrawn from Gulf Cup due to muscle macrophags rupture. Alternative referee from Qatar, Abdullah Al-Balushi is also injured. Banjar Al-Dossari will be a Qatari ref at Gulf Cup.

      Ahmad Wahayshi from Yemen failed fitness test and is excluded from Gulf Cup.

      The next interesting info is that Cuneyt Cakir or German referee were taking into account but finally Viktor Kassai joined the group of Gulf Cup referees.


    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Khalil Al-Ghamdi - 8.5
    Badr Al-Shamrani - 8.3
    Abdullah Al-Shalawi - 9.0
    Yusif Al-Marzouqi - 8.0

    Excellent match by Al-Ghamdi and, especially, by Al-Shalawi!

    Al-Ghamdi correctly awarded the penalty kick to Qatar for a slide-tackle that touched Qatari player's knee (10'). He was also right awarding the free kick leading to equalizer, two minutes later. The slide was from behind and hit the ball and legs at the same time, so correct free kick.
    He missed two yellow cards but correctly shown off five of them. His attitude was, as always, very strict and meticulous without a friendly approach like Irmatov's one. However, I regard Al-Ghamdi's performance as more solid and consistent than Uzbek/Kirgiz team.

    Al-Shalawi was extremely excellent in two very important situations. At first, he kept his flag down when UAE striker Ali Mabkhout was in the line with GK and another Qatari player was outside the field. Extremely difficult situation! I was near sure he was offside but after-match analysis showed it was the line! Fantastic as well as situation with Qatari player who scored in 78' but was correctly flagged for offside that was really, really minimal. Faultless, perfect performance by Al-Shalawi.

    His colleague, Badr Al-Shamrani missed one handball and didn't told Al-Ghamdi there was YC in 6', but apart from that, expected performance.

    Here, situations from QAT-UAE:

    And two halfs of Bahrain-Oman (full match):

    Regards, your Polish/Asian reporter :D

    1. Excellent Yun, thanks again (also for your detailed info about Al Badwawi).
      You know what? I like also Arabic commentators, they are always excited, living the match with an incredible passion, from the beginning to the end.
      In the video you have linked, listen when the TV is showing the last replay of the foul which caused the penalty, the commentator seems crazy: "OOHH" "OOOHH" :D Very nice.
      Very good for WC candidates, to do experience also in this tournament. Al Ghadi is often blamed for his meticulous approach (as you have described) but at the end I think that it's good, because he shows to be very attentive, regarding what is happening on the pitch. And in my opinion, this is a skill of many AFC referees. Furthermore, the fact that the committess has tested the referees prior to this tournament, it's a signal that they want to do the things alwyas in the right way. A very important organization, I repeat myself.

    2. Totally agree! Those commantators are sometimes incredible crazy and can't bear them of watch many Arabian matches in a row :D :P ;)

      Al-Ghamdi is really very good referee. Always full control, very official approach, no friendships with players, real officer :) But like such style much more than referees who prefer deliberate blindness in foul detection...

      Only one but BIG SORRY! I wrongly posted 4th officials names. BHR-OMA was Youssif Al-Marzouqi (KUW), QAT-UAE was Mukhtar Salah Al-Yarimi (YEM) :)

      And something to someone very very patient (my full analysis of the first day of the Tournament in Polish, including videos of highlights and full opening ceremony that was really excellent):

      Regards and nice translating haha :D

    3. The translating will be a problem, you know how much scandalous is google translator :D
      By the way, two questions:
      1) What about Kassai's assistant in this tournament? No Ring and Kispal, I guess.
      2) Reading the info about Al Badwawi, he seems at moment a bit in trouble as a WC candidate. Do you think that he will be able to get a call for Confederations Cup in June? Do you see possible fr him the presence next year in WC?


    4. I also appreciate very much your reports of this competition, detailed as always. The problem is that Gulf Cup is not aired in most of the countries, we depend on live streams. Perhaps I manage to watch a match myself as well today (are there matches today?)

      Al Ghamdi with a good penalty, because it was nearly outside the box, but he got it right. As for his official style, I don't like it wearing European glasses, if this style suits to Asian football, it is great, but one was able to see what can emerge from such a way of refereeing at World Cup 2010. And that's why I believe FIFA won't choose him again, and if, then only as 4th official, for the next World Cup.

    5. today
      14.15 Kuwait - Yemen
      17.15 Saudi Arabia - Iraq

      14.15 Qatar - Oman
      17.15 Bahrain - UAE

      14.15 Iraq - Kuwait
      17.15 Yemen - Saudi Arabia

      15.45 UAE - Oman
      15.45 Bahrain - Qatar

      15.45 Kuwait - Saudi Arabia
      15.45 Iraq - Yemen

      14.15 SF1
      17.45 SF2

      13.30 3rd place match
      15.45 FINAL

      Today matches:
      Kuwait - Yemen (Banjar Al-Dussari - QAT)
      Saudi Arabia - Iraq (Viktor Kassai - HUN)

      Very difficult question regarding Al-Badwawi. I think even he himself doesn't know whether will be able to reach Confederation Cup...

      As you know, I would see Al-Ghamdi at WC with a happiness :)

      Yes, it's nice Poland has the same sattelite frequency (Hotbird 13E) as Al-Jazeera Sport Global, Abu Dhabi Sports, Dubai Sports, Arryadia, Saudi Sports 1/2 :)

      Thanks for nice words! Will sleep by 2/3 hours more and then will watch both matches :) Reports to follow!

  8. Anonymous6/1/13 15:11

    Gulf Cup is aired here if anybody is searching (cfr Niclas E comment)


  9. Video not available, unfortunately.

    Here a 2nd yc and penalty to Lazio Roma awarded by Orsato yesterday (starting at 3:50)
    I would not have given it, what should the goalkeeper do? No chance to escape the contact.

    1. Yes, but at the end there is the contact.
      Very very controversial, probably also a suggestion by the additional involved, Massimiliano Velotto.
      Here in Italy many people are saying that it wasn't penaty because Klose was able to kick prior to the contact, a wrong explanation, because a foul can happen also with the ball away or on the other side of the pitch.
      The keeper was punished for his behavior. I think that the penalty is not wrong, but I agree that we can discuss

    2. Yes I share your words by 100%, it is no mistake, but I am still looking for an opportunity the goalkeeper had to avoid that. His behaviour is risky and perhaps reckless, but it was only targeted at clearing the ball.

  10. FT Al-Sadd 2 - 3 Schalke
    Played in Qatar.
    Niclas, Yun, who was the referee? ;)

  11. http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/9504_10151239259619037_2105930127_n.jpg

    I have a picture, but no name.

  12. @Chefren
    Kassai with Eros and Kispal.

  13. Finally, this is the full list of Gulf Cup referees after those all movements, injuries, etc.:

    Khalil Ibrahim Jalal Al-Ghamdi, Abdulaziz Al-Asmari, Abdullah Al-Shalawi

    Nawaf Abdullah Ghayyath Shukrallah, Yassir Khalil Ibrahim Abdullah Tulaifat, Ibrahim Mubarak Salah

    Abdullah Muhammad Masoud Al-Hilali, Hamad Sulaiman Marhoun Al-Mayahi, Saif Talib Saif Al-Ghafari

    Jussif Al-Marzouqi Al-Thawaini, Jassir Ahmad Marad, Nassr Al-Shatti

    Ali Sabbagh Addai Al-Kajsi, Luay Subhi Adib Al-Azawi, Hussain Turki Al-Mutlaq

    Mukhtar Salah Al-Jarimi, Hisham Qassim Salah Al-Garouni

    Banjar Muhammad Al-Dussari, Hassan Al Thawadi, Talib Salam Al-Marri

    Muhammad Abdulkarim Muhammad Ismail Al-Zaruni, Salah Muhammad Abdullah Hassan Al-Marzouqi, Ahmad Muhammad Said Baloud Al-Shammisi

    Ravshan Irmatov, Abduxamidullo Rasulov, Bakhadyr Kochkarov

    Viktor Kassai, Gábor Erős, Róbert Kispál

    Today's Kuwait - Yemen:
    Banjar Muhammad Al-Dussari, Hassan Al Thawadi, Talib Salam Al-Marri (QAT), Muhammad Abdulkarim Muhammad Ismail Al-Zaruni (UAE)

    1. and Saudi Arabia - Iraq:
      Viktor Kassai, Gábor Erős, Róbert Kispál (HUN), Nawaf Abdullah Ghayyath Shukrallah (BHR)

  14. 06.01.2013, Khalifa City Sports Stadium, Madinat 'Isa, BHR
    21ST GULF CUP - BAHRAIN 2013, group stage, group B, first matchday

    Yussif Al-Sulaiman 63', Badr Al-Mutawaa 82'

    Banjar Muhammad Al-Dussari - 8.4
    Hassan Al-Thawadi - 8.1
    Talib Salam Al-Marri - 8.4
    Muhammad Abdulkarim Muhammad Ismail Al-Zarouni - 8.0

    Al-Dussari had nice approach - combination of official and consistent attitude with friendly smile sometimes. He was also well positioned all the match.

    In 10' correctly awarded the penalty to Kuwait after Ahmad Sadiq's foul on Yussif Al-Sulaiman. However, he only gave him yellow card although Al-Sulaiman was in front of GK. One can understand and even praise this call because Kuwait player was not in control of the ball, that was rather from the left side of the penalty area and GK was in alert too. I like this decision much!

    Qatari referee missed two poor tackles of Yemeni players in 40'. Both of them, but one for sure was worthy a yellow card. There were not even fouls in Al-Dussari eyes...

    The rest three cards and foul detection were 100% correct and I would call this performance as a solid and consistent one with one/two moments of deconcentration.

    Hassan Al-Thawadi made one... very poor/excellent = still OK call, flagging Al-Sulaiman (KUW) for offside in 5' disallowing a goal. It was a line... After-match analysis with using a high-technology showed it was minimal offside by half of foot. Of course, referee can't see it and therefore it's rather wrong than correct call. However, finally one can't call it as crucial mistake... In contrary to missed 3m offside in 89' by Al-Thawadi in a minor action.

    Talib Al-Marri with faultless performance, correctly detecting some offsides and keeping the flag down when there were onsides.

    Fourth official without an involvement, but his look was very nice and professional if you ask me.

  15. Videos:

    BHR - OMA full match

    BHR - OMA highlights

    BHR - OMA Irmatov's downfall

    QAT - UAE full match

    QAT - UAE highlights

    KUW - YEM full match

    KUW - YEM highlights

    IRQ - KSA full match

    IRQ - KSA highlights

  16. What do you think about Suarez' handball leading to the goal in Liverpool - Mansfield (FA Cup, referees involved: Andre Marriner and Mike Mullarkey)?

    "There is no doubt it was handball but the officials have seen it was not deliberate. I asked the fourth official if it was handball and he said it was. It is unfortunate for Mansfield and lucky for us we got the goal.
    Should he own up? It doesn't happen in football. You don't see players owning up and it is not Luis's job. It has not been a deliberate handball and that is what the officials have to deem, that is what they get paid for." - said Brendan Rogers, Liverpool's coach

    After those words we know referees saw this situation well and classified this handball as accidental one. One can understand this call I think, however very controversial situatio to my mind. I always defend referees and think it's a case when one could defend referees' call. What do you think?


  17. Yun Hyeon, thank you again, also for the links.
    It seems that in this tournament referees are performing in a excellent way. Very good.

  18. Unfortunately, referees WAS performing well until Viktor Kassai took whistle in his hands...

    Salam Shakir 18', Usama Hawsawi 72' (og)

    Viktor Kassai - 7.8
    Gábor Erős - 8.4
    Róbert Kispál - 8.3
    Nawaf Abdullah Ghayyath Shukrallah - 8.0

    At first I was thinking it will be nice performance by Kassai. He appeared very consistent and self-confident, reaching a huge respect and full control over the players to the end of the match (normal thing :)).

    But then, he allowed absolutely too hard play. Missed two YC to Nassr Al-Shamrani (KSA, 16', reckless foul) and Walid Salim (IRQ, 26', catching the opponent by a throat).

    The worst came in 30' when the same Walid Salim deliberately hit the same opponent in the face by elbow. Kassai, having nice view on whole situation, totally ignored that... Crucial mistake!

    Then, he missed another YC to Yassr Al-Qahtani (KSA) in 31' for a malicious foul, verbally warned Rijkaard and correctly didn't award the penalty to Iraq after accidental handball in 36'.

    45' - correct yellow card for malicious foul, two minutes later missed YC for a tactical foul, that leaded to a free kick, that must have been repeated twice after excessive pushing in the penalty area, resulted in two yellow cards...

    Second half was more calm, Kassai missed another two yellow cards and correctly gave four ones.

    Eros made two nice calls when flagged Iraqi player for minimal offside (65') and kept the flag down in onside situation two minutes later.

    Overall, awful card management + one crucial mistake + nice contact with players and full control despite all those errors... Finally, I gave him 7.8 but was thinking about 7.7 as well... Assistants - faultless.

  19. The classic Kassai, we could say.
    I'm interested in this violent conduct situation, waiting for the video...

    1. Happy new year to all !!!!

      Have you any news (venues, date, attendances) about the 2013 winter Uefa course for elite, development and newcomers referees ?
      Only elite and developmnet groups will attend or forst category too ?


    2. Should be here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xrr-x_STDw


    3. Thanks.


      By the way, I think that we can discuss. Probably Kassai missed the whole situation, but I don't see this elbow as intentional and deliberate, in order to hit the opponent. The player which suffered the hit, came from the back and I'm inclined to think that it wasn't malicious.
      By the way, I have also to admit that the player hitting knew that probably he had an opponent behind him.
      Borderline situation, missed by Kassai, but for me not clear violent conduct.

    4. In aftermatch analysis, it was showed many times. Conclusion, at first it was natural hand position, then the player clenched his fist and made deliberate movement towards an opponent.

      I agree, it was maybe a bit more difficult to detect (Kassai was many meters far away) but still should be visible and therefore punished by straight red card to my mind.

      And then, those many missed yellow cards... Arabian experts were really dissatisfied with Kassai's performance in this match.

      It's another thing I love in Arabian organization - analysis of referees' calls after every half of the match :)

      Anyway, I had an opportunity to watch this in HD and this quality of video... :)

      Thanks for evaluating this, Chefren

    5. @ Anonymous: I have no information so far, but I could try to get it, can't promise it though.

    6. And concerning Kassai's situation, to my mind it's even no foul. The white player more or less runs into the body/ellbow of his opponent.

    7. Winter course for referees is at the end of January, in Rome (information not sure).
      Happy new 2013 to you as well!

    8. In Rome? ;)
      If confirmed, I'm going there!

    9. My source says Rome. All Elite and Elite Development Referees will be there plus about 10 First Category referees.

      Lucky Chefren. :).

  20. And guys, what about above mentioned Suarez' handball?

    1. For my taste deliberate handball because he did not even try to avoid the contact with his hand.

  21. 21ST GULF CUP - BAHRAIN 2013

    Group stage /second matchday/

    Qatar - Oman (Mukhtar Salah Al-Yarimi - YEM)
    UAE - Bahrain (Ali Sabbagh Addai Al-Qaisi - IRQ)

    Iraq - Kuwait (Nawaf Abdullah Ghayyath Shukrallah - BHR)
    Saudi Arabia - Yemen (Muhammad Abdulkarim Muhammad Ismail Al-Zarouni - UAE)

  22. Anonymous8/1/13 09:10

    Yes it is confirmed.....Winter course for top Referees will be held in Rome

    1. I've requested media@uefa.com the whole program and attenees list for winter uefa course. Hope to get answer, which I'll share with you.
      I'm form Milan (Italy), but I cannot join the meeting in Rome; How is it possible ? One must be accreditated as media or it's open to people ?

  23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=J8RPAzFpKp0

    Mukhtar Salah Al-Jarimi (Yemen) very busy in Qatar - Oman but probably he did more than the needed ;) We can discuss about both penalties, in the second case I don't see a contact between the players. In the first case, the handball is questionable, too close and the defender tried to protect himself from the ball. By the way, after these 2 penalties Qatar won, scoring from a free kick, so the match was not influenced :)

  24. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F7BqqpmfC0
    Stramaccioni (Inter coach) blamed the referee for this decision.
    What do you think? For me, a clear dive, 100% correct decision. The hand on the should is not enough to justify a fall like this, furthermore Palacio was in a slight offside when he reached the ball.... even Moratti (Inter president) talked in favor of the referee and against his coach!



    Watching the video, you can see Giannoccaro making the "ok" gesture to his AAR1, Guida, probably a shared decision. It was also very difficult to understand live, if you ask me, it seemed a clear penalty but it wasn't. For sure, Giannoccaro without an help might have been in trouble, to evaluate that.
    In several situations, the AARS are important.

    1. of course I mean SHOULDER not SHOULD

  25. QATAR 2-1 OMAN
    Khalfan Ibrahim 56' (pen.), Muhammad Jeeddo 88' - Hussain Al-Hadhri 71 (pen.)

    Mukhtar Salah Al-Yarimi - 8.0
    Hisham Qassim Salah Al-Garouni - 8.3
    Ali Muhammad Ahmad Al-Hassani - 8.4
    Ravshan Irmatov - 8.0

    After very poor first half, Al-Yarimi had much to do in the second half. I think the first penalty was not for the handball that was accidental, but for blocking an opponent - correct call if you ask me. Second penalty is no contact for me, but it could be a little touch (foot on foot). I think both calls can't be described as crucial mistakes as well as non-given penalty to Oman in 63' when Qatari player stepped on the opponent's foot, but whole situation was very difficult to detect and can't be called as clear mistake.

    Very poor card management! Lack of yellow cards to Muhammad Kassula (QAT) and Imad Al-Hussani (OMA) in 87' for a mini-riot is ridiculous. The same for lack of YC to Imad Al-Hussani in 80' for a studs-up tackle and Hassan Mudhaffar (OMA) for kicking the ball after whistle in 90+1'.

    Very poor fitness and gestures, totally no communication with players. Poor authority and personality...

    Good assistants, especially the second one who correctly flagged Omani player for offside disallowing a goal scored by him in 50'.

    I hesitated is it 7.7 or 8.0 performance but finally gave 8.0 mark because one cannot say he made crucial mistakes but there were many significant points for improvement like foul-detection in penalty areas, communication with players, fitness, card-management...

    1. Good analysis, Yun.
      Could you explain the gestures made by referee after having whistled the first penalty? It seemed that he was clapping.



    2. I think it's what I've said. One hand signals a player who ran onto the second one (= second hand). But it's only my interpretation. Just don't believe this penalty was for this accidental handball, but for preventing the opponent to continue his run.

      What do you think, are those big points for improvement reason to decrease the mark to 7.7? Or 8.0 is enough low mark? I have really difficult task to evaluate this performance :)

    3. Based on what I saw (approximately 50 minutes), it would be 7.8 because the 2nd penalty is to my mind wrong. Apart from that 8.0, maximum.

    4. Yes, but we can't exclude there was a little touch... So I don't want to talk about crucial mistakes. However, taking my statement there were not crucial mistakes but referee should have seen those scenes better and had many problems in nearly every part of performance, is it 8.0 or 7.7.

      I mean, can I give 7.7 if there were not crucial mistakes but points for improvement were such huge that one can be sure he's not able to ref normal and fast matches...?

    5. For me there are both crucial mistakes. So mark shouldn't be higher than 7.4. Both penalties completely wrong to my mind.

    6. Again, how many people, so many voices :DDDD
      I state first penalty was correct and was given for running into the opponent.

    7. I have now re-watched the above posted video, to see the 1st penalty again.
      I agree with Yun Hyeon, he ran into the opponent. But who is the "he"? To my mind the striker. No foul from the defender at all, no active blocking, he was just there. Players should not be punished for being there. In full pace and total camera, it looked first like a penalty, but the replays make it more clear in my opinion. So ok, 7.4 is ok then..

    8. I have a bit different opinion. Defender stood on the striker's way. He was in full run and was not able to avoid the contact. Defender's behaviour is careless because he prevent Qatari player to run, just block him. If not this, he was be able to continue the action and reach the ball. Therefore, the foul is questionable, but still can not be considered as clear mistake IMHO.

      We can't exclude there was a little touch in the second penalty situation. Referee for sure thought it was and gave the pen. Once again, it was not 100% mistake because even replays didn't prove there wasn't a contact.

      The third penalty situation which I mentioned is possible penalty to Oman in 63' for stepping onto opponent's foot. It was very difficult to detect that the referee just could have missed it. And also here definition of CLEAR mistake has no sense to me.

      Of course, all three situation could have had totally different end, but decisions made by referee in real pace should be considered as acceptable and for sure not 100% wrong.

      Niclas, you said that in full pace it looked like penalty - it's eough reason to not decrease referee's mark to 7.8. We can discuss about the second penalty but for me, there are also reasons to understand referee's call.

    9. @Yun I agree: it's very diffcult to evaluate this performance, I'm in trouble, too. We can't state surely that both decisions are totally wrong, there are possible explanations for the whistles. We should always try to be in favor of the referees. I think that there are mistakes and mistakes. Blatant mistakes and understandable mistakes. We have already talked about that. In my opinions, these two penalties are understandable mistakes.
      By the way, I don't want to report a wrong info (Yun correct me, please) but it seems that Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh is at the head of the AFC referee committee for this tournament.

    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    11. Thanks a lot that you share my opinion. Decisions were understandable and shouldn't be considered as clear and crucial mistakes because we have to always defend referees. Those weren't blatant mistakes to my mind and therefore, my final mark is 8.0. Just remember Stark's horror performance and his mark was 7.7 not 7.4 or lower! Jon Skjervold stated that every missed penalty was not only Stark's fault. I share his opinion! Don't be so strict to referees :)

      Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAY), Belaid Larkan (ALG), Jamal Ghandour (EGY), Jassim Mahmoud (BHR) - nice names

    12. As far as I am informed, Stark's mark was 7.3.
      And with full pace, I meant the TV camera. We did not see it in full pace from the referee's angle. It's much easier to speak about the referee's performance apart from that, and there were obvious weaknesses.

    13. My source said the mark was 7.7 ;) Which source is more reliable? :D

    14. Stark and the rest of the team will know it..

    15. Hah, it's for sure :D

      Thank you for posting your opinion about Taylor-FA precedence at ratetheref forum!

    16. I agree with Yun Hyeon, Niclas - I think the first penalty is of course soft and 'not aesthetically pleasing' from a refereeing point of view, but he clearly moves towards the attacker, mistimes his challenge despite being stable at contact. referee can't be sure of piece of skill in less than a second - what I mean by this, is of course the effort was poor as he only toe pokes it, but there is an infringement nonetheless.

      The second one is clearly not a pen - just as a similar pen given for Rochina of Blackburn wasnt either last night ...

    Abdulwahab Al-Maloud 75' - Ali Mabkhout 40', Madjid Hassan 85'

    Ali Sabbagh Addai Al-Qaysi - 8.4
    Luay Subhi Adib Al-Azawi - 8.7
    Hussain Turki Mutlak Al-Dhaffai 8.4
    Khalil Ibrahim Jalal Al-Ghamdi - 8.0

    One can say it was easy match to handle, but very good approach of Al-Qaysi was for sure important here. Very calm, official but allowing a bit harder play. Nice contact with players although he was very strict towards unsporting behaviours.

    No problems in foul detection and card management. Full control and authority.

    Great onside by Al-Azawi leaded to 1-2 goal. Difficult and perfect call. Both assistants were faultless.

    Overall, very good match by Iraqi officials.

  27. Here, full analysis and videos with highlights and full matches:

  28. Man Utd v Liverpool (13.30)
    Howard Webb
    M Mullarkey and D Cann
    J Moss

    Arsenal v Man City (16.00)
    Mike Dean
    S Ledger and J Brooks
    M Oliver

    1. And 1/4 of Coppa Italia today:

      IV: ROMEO

    2. Coppa Italia without AARS.
      I don't know if they will be used at least in the final match.

    3. I saw the first half live. Good match and a good Mazzoleni with smaller exceptions (positioning was a bit strange, he had to correct himself twice/two decisions were corrected by a player and his assistant). Correct cards and free-kicks close to goal were well chosen.

    4. I think that Mexes deserved the red card in several situations, by the way overall ok. Even his first foul was punishable by a straight red.

    5. Yellow was okay for my taste, but it was nearly excessive force..and the small contact with the goalkeeper, stupid, but no yellow was ok I believe.

  29. Idiots attacked referees in the final of regional cup in Chile:

  30. Something to Niclas:




  31. Yes, that's a problem here. Although one must admit that 76k referees in a ~82 Mio. country is still a high amount.

  32. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS6lJzfit6w

    This time I take the place of Yun Hyeon, commenting AFC Gulf Cup ;)
    Penalty whistled by Kassai in Bahrein - Qatar today. Match is still in progress.
    Several things to say for a difficult decision to take, in my opinion.
    1) The distance is almost inexistent, this head butt happens very close to the opponent.
    2) The defender is looking in the opposite direction, he can't have idea of what is happening behind, for this reason in my opinion the handball is unintentional


    3) The defender can't jump opening his arm so widely, unnatural movement.
    4) The ball would have passed easily without that arm.


    Correct decision to whistle the penalty, we can punish the behavior of the defender because negligent, even though the handball appears undeliberate.

    What do you think? More generally, I have the sensation that Kassai whistles each handball that he sees, if you remember the penalty given in Real Madrid - Bayern... but this time I agree with him.

    1. Yes, Chefren! Thank you! I hadn't a time to write reports, but promise all atches will be reported here soon. Probably two today, two tomorrow and two in next day.

  33. Also in Schalke Twente he gave a handball penalty (which was however undoubtfully right).
    It's justified for the reasons you gave - surely not deliberate in the classical meaning, but still careless.

  34. IRAQ 1-0 KUWAIT

    Nawaf Shukrallah - BHR - 8.4
    Yassir Tulaifat - BHR - 8.4
    Ibrahim Salah - BHR - 8.4
    Abdullah Al-Hilali - OMA - 8.0

    Two big calls to made. In 27', perfectly detected dive of Younis Mahmoud (IRQ) and the correct YC for that.

    Two minutes later, Iraqi team scored after very controversial action. At first, it was good onside by Ibrahim Salah, then the ball didn't cross the endline before the pass, and finally we must evaluate whether there was a foul on Kuwaiti GK. The ball was bouncing on the goalline, GK touch the ball by his hand and Iraqi player kicked... (I think the ball and GK's hand in one moment). As it was extremely difficult to answer on the question whether it was the foul on the GK, we must go with Shukrallah here and take this call as correct.

    In addition to this, there were two further situations which Bahraini referee solved correctly, to my mind. Lack of penalty after duel between Badr Al-Mutawaa and Ahmad Ibrahim is to my mind good decision. There was a little pushing but not enough to show on the spot.

    In 56', Ahmad Yasin (IRQ) made something like kung-fu tackle and got only with YC. Excellent call if you ask me! There were neither excessive force nor brutality and therefore only a reckless tackle should be punished.

    Shukrallah was lenient in this game, he could have booked three players more: Talal Al-Anizi (13', KUW, reckless tackle), Badr Al-Mutawaa (48', KUW, reckless tackle) and Fahad Awadh (90+2', KUW, stopping a promising action).

    Although this leniency included only one team, one can't say it was deliberate act to be more kind towards Kuwaiti players.

    Shukrallah allowed physical play in contrary to most of Arabian referees. He didn't use the whistle after many borderline duels. This approach let the game fluent.

    He was also far from the play and didn't run to every free kick position to talk with players or replace a ball. Good attitude, I like it.

    Overall, the positive performance, a bit too lenient to me, but for sure expected level taking into account big decisions were correct.

    I would like to know your opinions about above mentioned situations:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3V9bEwZgDQ (first half)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcZ6pN5pkSA (second half)

  35. 1) YC for dive: correct decision, and also difficult to evaluate, in my opinion.
    2) On Iraq goal: excellent NO FLAG, as you wrote, then the ball didn't cross the line, so another good call by second assistant. About the possible foul on the keeper, TV images aren't clear, but it seems that the ball was not in the possession of the keeper, maybe it was just near his hand. As you said, being impossible to give a correct evaluation, we must share the decision of the referee. Furthermore, watching the last replay (from the camera inside the net) in my opinion it was also possible that the ball was already in, prior to that situation, as an own goal made by Kuwait defender. If you watch carerfully, you can notice that.
    3) Again, I agree with you. It seems a violent conduct but it isn't, I understand the intentions of the defender, and the YC is correct, because in this situation we can punish only the recklessness of this tackle. And this kind of decision sometimes is also related to the reading of the match by the referee, for example, if you remember, we can't compare that to what happen in WC final with Howard Webb and De Jong, even though it could appear as similar!

    Very nice work, as always Yun. I wait for the next matches.

  36. I also agree with the first two decisions you outlined. In the dive situation, the defender clearly carted out his leg, so he may not complain if Shukrallah gives penalty. But it was a dive, looking at the moment of falling and theatrical way of looking for contact.
    This "kung fu tackle" is more doubtful to my mind. Yellow may be okay, but you can also ask the question of what the offender wanted to achieve with jumping like that with studs up one metre above the ground. He must be aware of the seriousness of his tackle, of what can happen if he touches an approaching opponent. A dark yellow card therefore, for me it's between recklessness and excessive force/s.f.p.

    Have a look at minute 12 where Shukrallah did not allow a very promising counterattack by whistling a foul apart from the ball without booking the offender. You can say he recognized a potential injury, but an advantage was a must for my taste.

  37. I agree with all the decisions Shukrallah made.

    1) YC for dive: excellent decision.
    2) Iraq goal. Can't detect a foul. Even though TV images aren't clear I don't see a foul to the GK.
    3) The "kung fu tackle" is a 50-50 call. I believe it mostly depends on the referee. Both Yellow and Red Card are OK. It is reckless for sure but it can also qualify as excessive force. For me mostly yellow.

  38. U-21 friendly match on 5th February 2013.
    Felix Zwayer, Stefan Lupp, Marcel Pelgrim

  39. Thank you boys!!! Great discussion and finally we have the same views :D Today next matches will be reported :) Regards!

    @ Niclas, there was a YC in 12'/13'. And I think there was no other offender who might have taken a part in this action, so a correct call to my mind. Potential injury is very important reason to stop the play.

  40. Clear, if he detects this injury he should stop play. It was not clear to me whether the offender was booked, but if, then it's ok.

    Another thing I have just found: Carlos Amarilla showing how a good communication and mutual respect work...

    1. Yes, he was, it was Ali Ibrahima (IRQ) booked in 13:01

      And no comment about Amarilla, I think will not exaggerate if say he's a shame for refereeing. To not use harder words!

  41. Anonymous12/1/13 22:19

    Anybody has information who was the 4th official for Bahrain-Qatar?

    1. Anonymous12/1/13 22:34

      Khalil Al Ghamdi


    Muhammad Al-Zarouni (UAE) - 8.0
    Salah Al-Marzouqi (UAE) - 8.5
    Ahmad Al-Shammisi (UAE) - 8.9
    Banjar Al-Dossari (QAT) - 8.0

    Two big mistakes, that however were not blatant.

    At first, missed penalty to KSA in 14' after Ba Haj - Al-Muwallad duel. There was a minor contact that made Al-Muwallad fall, but Al-Zarouni was obscured by another player so he wasn't able to detect it. He just did nothing - no yellow card for a dive, no penalty.

    Then, it could've been a second yellow card to Hamada Al-Zubairi (YEM) for stop a promising action and for hand on face what was careful rather than reckless. However, mixing those two fouls in one, it should have been overall card in 43'

    One minute later, it should've been a second penalty to KSA. Muhammad Fuad kicked carelessly Yassir Al-Qahtani in crotch what make him fall. Again, it was near impossible to detect because Al-Zarouni saw back of Saudi player. But again, missed penalty.

    There were also some strange calls. Only keep an eye on 61' - free kick after dive and especially 66' - throw-in instead of free kick when the ball was not even near the line! :D Also in 70' it should've been free kick to Yemen, not to Saudi Arabia - it was jumping on opponent more than undermining a rival...

    Al-Zarouni gave 6 YCs and all were correct.

    As you see, there were many points for improvement and still don't know which mark will be suitable to this performance. Also because, Al-Zarouni was excellent in preventing hard riots in 21' and 56'. His style was calm and confident, official with friendly accents - like it. Both missed penalties was difficult to detect, one cannot compare this performance to Al-Yarimi's one. I think, the mark 8.0 would be OK here because mistakes were not blatant and important (KSA won with ease).

    Of course, your opinions will be appreciated! Here videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvi0eAvLUhE (first half)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCy2ZeLllpQ (second half)

    1. 1) 14': I'm sorry, this time I'm with the referee ;) and not with you. I don't see a clear penalty. Even though there was that small contact, the referee made the right choice. No penalty, neither simulation. I think that this kind of situations should not be read as BLACK or WHITE, sometimes there is also the GREY.
      2) 43': I agree with you! Mandatory YC, not given. By the way, good alert by second assistant, which immediatly reported the situation to referee.
      3) 45': Another difficult situation, in my opinion. Probably this is more penalty than the first, but he was looking elsewhere. The alleged mistake is therefore understandable, but if you want me to be honest, I rarely see whistled penalties like these!
      4) 61': Wrong fre kick given, agree with you.

      Thanks for all the other situations you have listed!

      Overall, as you have said, for sure important areas for improvement after this performance, but, believe me, the penalties you have listed were (at least) doubtful situations. I trhink that being a referee is often very hard.

      Regards and have a nice sunday.

    2. I didn't say they clear, but they should've been whistled. I fully understand your doubts about first penalty, because what did I write in my notebook at first? "Correct no penalty, lack of contact, could have been yellow card" :D Then, I checked all situations and watched aftermatch studio. And what? Minor contact, but for sure this contact made offender fall (see newest post of HongKong ref). It was clear only in many replays, so I can't say it was clear mistake!

      Second penalty was also very debatable but finally it was a contact, it was kick, referee was obstructed, he just can't see it :)

      Two near impossible to see situations but after replays they should've been pens, it's my opinion. I don't know where did you see that I wrote they were clear o.O It would be 7.4 if they were clear :)

      Also regards and best wishes for sunday! :D

    3. Sorry, my mistake! Situations aren't clear, and you correctly reported that, by the way, I don't see the reason to whistle a penalty in the first case, I watched it again...

    4. I don't see penalties there either. In the first situation, it's again this "no intent to foul the opponent, he is just running there, he cannot end in smoke...". There might be a contact yes, but how do you want to avoid that your opponent is running into your own legs (?!).
      The second situation is also clean for my taste, the problem we have is that we evaluate such situations based on our understanding, how these situations are dealt with in Italy, Germany, UEFA competitions...

      For the rest I agree with you.

    5. Yes, doubtful situations, one can whistle it (me) but it's not a must (you). I understand your points of view, especially in first situation, second is more penalty to me.

  43. Ranking before third matchday which is by the way completed (I changed some marks, e.g. Kassai was 7.8, but didn't take this missed elbow as clear mistake; Al-Ghamdi missed two obvious cards, so 8.4 is better than 8.5; Al-Dossari missed two harsh tackles, so 8.3 should be the highest mark; Al-Yarimi missed such obvious cards, hasn't any authority and made two not clear mistakes with penalties, so 7.7 seems better than 8.0):

    8.4 - Al-Ghamdi, Al-Qaysi, Shukrallah
    8.3 - Al-Dossari, Irmatov
    8.0 - Al-Zarouni, Kassai
    7.7 - Al-Yarimi

    I found great hints for referee observers and there is perfect sentence which change my way of thinking! REFEREE'S MISTAKES CAN NOT BE COMPENSATED BY EVEN EXCELLENT CALLS MADE IN CRITICAL SITUATIONS! So if referee miss 2-3 yellow cards, it should be 8.3 even if he made fantastic call(s) in e.g. penalty situations...


    Yussif Al-Marzouqi (KUW) - 8.6
    Yassir Marad (KUW) - 8.2
    Nassr Al-Shatti (KUW) - 8.3
    Ali Al-Qaysi (IRQ) - 8.0

    The best referee performance of this tournament, if you ask me. Two correct non-penalty calls in 02' and 49' (no foul, undeliberate handball). Red card was extremely obvious (89')

    Al-Marzouqi turned the match into fluent spectacle by allowing a really hard play. Much harder than it was allowed by other referees.

    Players respected every decision of Kuwaiti official who had a full control over the match and over the players.

    Always nicely positioned, always in alert (e.g. in 58' when UAE player got the shot by the ball in his throat, he immediately stopped the play), very official and strict attitude (one can say it was even a bit arrogant).

    One big point - I didn't detect any mistake through the whole match.

    The only weaker points were assistants. A1 wrongly interpreted one situation, where it was passive offside at first and then defender began another action by bad clearance (77'). A2 wrongly signaled one offside, but it was the line and full-pace, so one can understand this decision. However, he can't raise his flag if he's not sure (53')...

    For me, the performance deserving a final, but at least semi-final. He just should get final-phase match. The only problem can be assistants, who weren't the best today.

  45. Ka-Boom! Info I've received says that all referees from countries that reached semi-finals are out!

    Al-Zarouni (no problem), Al-Qaysi (one of the better performances), Shukrallah (the same as Al-Qaysi) and Al-Marzouqi (my favourite referee at this tournament)

    We stay with: Al-Dossari, Al-Ghamdi, Al-Hilali, Al-Yarimi, Irmatov and Kassai.

    I wait for your bets (and opinions) :D

    1. Semifinals will be played on Tuesday.
      Do you know when the appointments will be released?

    2. Two or one day before but rather one.

  46. Predictions
    UA Emirates - Kuwait: Kassai (HUN)
    Iraq - Bahrain: Al Ghamdi (KSA)

    3rd place to Al Dosari
    Final to Irmatov


    Viktor Kassai (HUN) - 7.3
    Gabor Eros (HUN) - 8.4
    Robert Kispal (HUN) - 8.5
    Khalil Al-Ghamdi (KSA) - 8.0

    Ehmmmm.... Again Kassai. You can kill me but must say it. I will never give this penalty, it's totally in opposite to the laws. Where is there undeliberate handball. It would be different situation if the player saw the ball. He was back turned towards the ball... he jumped... the hand was wide but deliberate or even careless... nah :/

    And I hope you'll see another situations!

    69' - obvious and deliberate handball by Muhammad Hussain (BHR) in own penalty area. Kassai was positioned from behind, must have seen it!

    73' - error of perception, missed free kick to Bahrain for obvious pulling an opponent and completely denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity, missed red card, too

    The rest was solid, far better card management but far more obvious situations misvalued :/

    Assistants were very good, both with faultless performance!

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrd6HCPW4ZA (first half)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM7xZJ2VdPc (second half)

    2. Sometimes I don't understand Kassai.

      As I said before, this penalty can be given. Negligent behaviour of the defender having spread apart his hands very high above his body. Increase of body volume and careless hand position, clearly no real intention though. A correct decision from my point of view.
      Both other decisions...clear penalty, clear dogso. But in both cases one can also ask why he has assistants who should have had free view on these situations.

    3. Total inconsistency, he saw it well, it was his area of vicinity. Assistants should have seen it but... Kassai was nearer and... It was a shame for European refereeing at this tournament, two very very poor performances. :/

      And explain me something. Why do every referee who reached the final, immediately becomes very average if not say poor referee? Strange. Too much proud? Too less ambition? Psychical confidence? No alertness? Why?

  48. I have already explained my point of view about the given penalty, I agree with you but this time the choice seems understandable just because the arm is open so widely, the defender can't jump assuming that position with his hand.
    I know where is the problem: the problem is in the Laws of the Game, because according to rules, the handball must be deliberate. Of course, this is not deliberate (defender was turned back), but a referee can whistle. I have said it many times also here in Italy, watching serie A matches: how many penalties caused by a handball are whistled because intentional?
    Well, simply said, in my opinion almost no one! It's clear that a defender is not that stupid to use his arm or hand to cause a penalty in a intentional way. The only clear situations are when a player saves a goal using his hand or arm near the line and so the correct decision is PENALTY and RED CARD! To my mind, all the other decisions are impossible to detect following always the same consistency. I have seen many scandalous penalties whistled, just to make an example, Tagliavento in Galatasaray - Cluj.
    The problem is that for every touch we must take into account too many aspects: the distance, the position and all that stuff. Pfff! I hate those referees which give up to reason, whistling immediatly penalty when they see a handball in area. Kassai seems one of them. This is absolutely wrong!
    By the way, I don't want to bother you more! ;)
    About the other situations:
    1) 69': Penalty also in my opinion, here for sure Kassai is unable to see, otherwise he wouldn't have exitated to whistle.
    2) 73': Kassai was there, probably he evaluated the pulling as soft, but in my opinion it was free kick and red card. In these situations, it'e snough just to touch the opponent.

    Very poor Kassai... he doesn't deserve further matches.

    1. Yes, this first penalty is a bit understandable, but for me it's 75% no penalty - 25% penalty...

      TOTALLY AGREE about handballs. It seems every decision made by referee about handball in penalty area is correct. He is able to show logical proofs on it.

      "...how many penalties caused by a handball are whistled because intentional? Well, simply said, in my opinion almost no one! It's clear that a defender is not that stupid to use his arm or hand to cause a penalty in a intentional way." - I had to write it many times and always have forgotten :D thank you!

      Finally - either laws should be changed or we must take every decision about penalty after handball as correct one... There are always arguments for and against. I hate it! For me it should be one obvious rule - you have hand not on the body - PENALTY, you have hand touched to body - NO PENALTY. If not, there will always be polemics...

    2. 100% agree!

      Solutions are

      1) Change the rules.
      2) Accept every decision made by referee.

      We are in the field of the subjectivity with the handballs, impossible to talk about that objectively, the worst rule of the football.

    3. And finally today, Kassai made us full agree with each other :D

      And I thought you tell me I'm too strict to him and don't like him :P

    4. Don't forget that there is also something called common sense. They can make as many instructions as they like, but in the end you follow the Laws of the Game, of course, but also your gut feeling and common sense..

    5. Yes but this makes impossible to evaluate a performance according to objective criteria. This is the most important problem ;)
      We want always to see and understand if a penalty for handball is a correct penalty, or not, we can't leave this field empty...

  49. I would like to see Manchester United - Liverpool now, but at a certain time I will have to renouce ;)
    And of course, Arsenal - City later.

  50. Evaluation of Howard Webb performance writing live by USA referee! In Polish :)


  51. What do you think of Howard Webb's not given red card in the 51st minute? DOGSO or not? I liked his call, because the striker did not have the control of the ball. But on the other hand, Hategan gave red for something similar in Solna-Napoli, so again a decision subject to mere interpretation of too spongy Laws.

  52. Correct penalty and red card given by Dean in my opinion.

    1. Also correctly seen that the missed penalty did not cross the line (AR2 Brooks).

    2. I think that we can discuss about the color of the card for the given penalty! City player was not in possession ofthe ball, everything might have happened, therefore probably a YC would have not been wrong, too.

      What do you think?

  53. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gb-1UIn6Uo
    Handball happened today in Lazio-Atalanta prior to Lazio 1-0. The touch seems unintentional but it's clear that Floccari takes an advantage from this situation, and he can easily score. Peruzzo probably wasn't able to see. The second additional evaluated it was a regular action. In my opinion, very difficult decision to take.

  54. Yes, very difficult, but I prefer a whistle here. Not really deliberate, but he gained a very huge profit of this contact.

    Very good decision made by Dean to send Kompany off. Serious foul play, studs up/in front, nonetheless, a hard decision.


    Ravshan Irmatov - 8.9
    Abduxamidullo Rasulov - 8.5
    Bakhadyr Kochkarov - 8.4
    Muhammad Al-Zarouni - 8.0

    Excellent performance by Uzbeki team! Ravshan Irmatov correctly rejected penalty-appeals in 16' (no handball by Kuwaiti player), 29' (Yahya Al-Shahri (KSA) dived), 30' (undeliberate handball by Kuwaiti player), 70' (the best call of the match if you ask me, Walid Ali touched the ball).

    Apart from that, Irmatov's masterclass in men-management was just fantastic! Many times, he used short and verbal warnings, being official, confident, calm and very courteous. This behaviour resulted in full respect of players and full control over the match.

    There was one situation that is not clear and Irmatov couldn't have been sure about it, so correct no call. It was 5' when Kuwaiti player was stopped by rather foul of Ussama Al-Harbi. Could've been a penalty but really no one can say it was mistake of Irmatov.

    Uzbeki referee was also lenient. He allowed some physical duels and didn't give yellow cards, that most of other referees would give. Check 5', 81' and 87'. If we analyse those "missing" cards, we'll go to the conclusion that they were not neccessary. Not giving them, Irmatov took a risk but also show how much he's able to read the game and to base on men-management and respect, not only on strict official approach. All three cards were not YC infrigements in real, so great choice to keep cards in the pocket, IMO.

    One must again emphasize, brilliant positioning of Irmatov! Very close to the play and never interfering with it. Superb! Players feel his presence there and are therefore less inclined to play in dangerous, unsporting or other no-football manner.

    Taking all those above mentioned points, one can call this performance as excellent and the best of the tournament so far. Only Al-Marzouqi's performance can be compared with this one, but Kuwaiti referee's match was easier than Irmatov's one. Full control, gained full respect, took many critical decision correctly, perfect positioning, reading of the game and men-management. Top-class!

    Assistant Rasulov with many nice calls in the borderline-situations, Kochkarov not involved.

    My favourites for the final.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8uw8374dZE (first half)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPMlbtibyq4 (second half)

    1. 16': I agree, unintentional, it's the ball hitting the hand, and it seems also out of area. Excellent behavior by Irmatov, which is ready also to smile, having seen everything, this is a hint of his calm on the pitch.

      29': No penalty here, Irmatov took the correct decision. If you watch again the situation, you can notice that Irmatov immediatly looked at his first assistant, looking for a signal. Excellent cooperation.

      30': correct, but also here it seems out of area, so no penalty possible but free kick in case of intentional touch...

      70': I have to agree again :D excellent detection by Irmatov. By the way, the defender took a big risk here, it was possible to hit the opponent, causing a penalty.

      What I can understand from these situations, it's also the skill of Irmatov, which tries always to understand every situation of a match in the best possible way. He never decides immediatly, renouncing to think. He is focused on the game and he often knows before, what is going to happen later. Therefore, I agree with your anaylis.


    United Arab Emirates - Kuwait
    Abdullah Al-Hilali, Hamad Al-Mayahi, Saif Al-Ghafari, Banjar Al-Dossari

    Bahrain - Iraq
    Ravshan Irmatov, Abduxamidullo Rasulov, Bakhadyr Kochkarov, Khalil Al-Ghamdi

    What is the most interesting is that Nawaf Shukrallah stood in the tournament although Bahrain is one of semi-final teams... He will whistle the final if Bahrain will lose the match with Iraq... Ridiculous! Mark Clattenburg and Wembley and now that - ABSURD!

    1. Political decisions also here?
      I'm sorry, at least for Irmatv, he deserved the final.

    2. Yes, I'm stunned and a bit angry :(

  57. IRAQ 2-0 YEMEN

    Abdullah Al-Hilali (OMA) - 8.0
    Hamad Al-Mayahi (OMA) - 8.3
    Saif Al-Ghafari (OMA) - 8.4
    Banjar Al-Dossari (QAT) - 8.1

    It would be an expected level performance if not really bad card management... Ahmad Al-Dhahiri (YEM) should have been sent off after: at first missed foul and yellow card for a foul without a ball (14') and then for, at least, reckless tackle on Ahmad Yasin (38' - in my opinion, it could also have been a red card for excessive force tackle..., assistant saw it well).

    In 35', Al-Hilali correctly rejected penalty appeals of Yemeni players, correctly detecting there was no handball at all.

    In the second half, he gave correctly four yellow cards, but he totally lost control in final minutes. Why? It started from missed yellow card to Ahmad Sadiq (YEM, 86') for reckless tackle. Then, missed another yellow card to Walid Salim (IRQ, 89') for a tactical foul. Further problems came after missed next cards to Muhammad Bouqshan (YEM, 90') for reckless tackle and finally after missed second yellow card/red in consequence to Abdulaziz Al-Djuma'ai (YEM, 90+4') for a tactical foul.

    Although, Al-Hilali was rather good positioned, missed too many obvious things, specially cards. Individual punishments were the worst part of this performance.

    Assistant Al-Mayahi correctly detected some really minimal off- and on-sides, but finally didn't help the main referee in the situation with obligatory at least yellow card to Ahmad Al-Dhairi.

    Banjar Al-Dossari from Qatar coped with Tom Saintfiet (Yemen's coach) in a very good manner, using calm but official gestures.

    Knowing the semi-final appointments, one can ask: why it was Al-Hilali there and not Al-Dossari...

    Please, reward those above mentioned missed cards:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGqrlooXABM (first half)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE-pmcZi_LU (second half)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. 14': I agree, missed YC, bad foul without the ball.
      35': No handball, but not difficult to detect.
      38': Late and reckless tackle, I agree with you, a harsh referee could also have given a straight red, the verbal warning was not enough for this kind of foul.
      86': Good advantage given in this situation, but the card was mandatory, since it was again a foul without any chance to reach the ball, furthermore the player tried to stop an important action.
      89': tactical foul, yes, but agan no card...
      90': in this situation it seems that at least the ball was there, by the way the tackle is reckless and the YC could have been possible.
      90+4': another tactical foul without card.

      Having watched all these situations, there is something to say. As you have reported, many times Al Hilali was near the action and he saw well what was happening (especially in 38'), therefore one could think that it was his style. Extremely lenient. We can accept different styles in card management, but there are some situations in which the cards seem mandatory. I think that in this match Al Hilali didn't want to show many cards, and I don't know the reason. Since he was a preselected referee for South Africa 2010 (he was in the first pre list of 54 offcials) he knows for sure when to give a YC, so I'm a bit in trouble to evaluate his behavior in this match. The fouls were all whistled or anyway detected (when he gave an advantage) but the missing cards are very blatant.
      Being honest, there are very big areas for improvement, and the basical performance was ok considering that we can't talk about crucial mistakes, since he was able to recognize each foul and in any situation we can't be sure about a clear missed red card.
      For all these reasons, I agree with the mark you have given, but very very borderline ;)

    3. Thanks Chefren for excellent reply! Yes, really important points for improvement!


    Abdullah Al-Hilali (OMA) - 7.7
    Hamad Al-Mayahi (OMA) - 8.0
    Saif Al-Ghafari (OMA) - 7.9
    Banjar Al-Dossari (QAT) - 8.1

    What the match, extremely exciting one, those missed 100% actions, those fouls, those mini-riots, those controversies :)

    Unfortunately, Al-Hilali was again inconsistent in card management, but he added very poor foul detection to it, this time... I don't know what I have to start from...

    8' - reckless challenge and very good advantage, then undeliberate handball by Kuwaiti player when he was falling down, should've been at least verbal warning for the previous foul, but again very lenient approach by Al-Hilali

    10' - yellow card to Khamis Ismail (UAE) for reckless tackle, correct

    22' - wrong flag by Hamad Al-Mayahi

    24' - nice onside by Hamad Al-Mayahi

    25' - missed yellow card to Muhammad Rashid (KUW) for tactical foul and then for active protests...

    28' - wrong direction of throw-in signaled by Hamad Al-Mayahi, excessive protests, without even verbal warning - Al-Hilali didn't protect his assistant

    29' - missed free kick on Kuwaiti GK, could have been a yellow card to Muhannad Salim (UAE)

    34' - missed obvious foul on Kuwaiti player

    38' - missed obvious foul on UAE player

    42' - really hard tactical foul, but yellow card to Habib Fardan was only possible punishment, correct

    44' - yellow card to Fahad Awadh (KUW) for reckless tackle, exeggarated call

    45' - added three minutes, wrong - should've been at least four, but really 5 or 6 minutes would be OK (two long-time medical treatments (2x2'), one normal medical treatment (1') + some other stoppages...)

    68' - doubtful free kick, still correct call to my mind, then very furious protests by two UAE players, only Amir Al-Hammadi got yellow card, but Omar Abdulrahman should've been booked too

    69' - missed quite obvious offside by Hamad Al-Mayahi, leading to a dangerous situation

    71' - yellow card to Muhannad Sanad (KUW) for a tactical foul, correct

    85' - UAE players wanted penalty, Ali Mabkhout was a bit pulled, but he decided to continue his action, therefore correct non-penalty call

    89' - nice onside call by Saif Al-Ghafari preceding 1-0 goal

    90' - yellow card to Nawaf Al-Khaldi (KUW, GK) for provocation, correct

    90+1' - awful mistake by Saif Al-Ghafari, it would be 2-0 if not that ridiculous flag, then correct yellow card for kicking the ball after whistle

    Abdullah Al-Hilali lost control over the match already in the first half, missing some obvious fouls, being inconsistent in foul detection, not protecting his assistant referee, not being enough confident and calm. Bad approach which he wasn't able to change. Second half was a bit calmer but again the same mistakes.

    In this match, assistants made some several mistakes, that sometimes were inexplicable and inexcusable.

    Al-Dossari again showed very good performance outside the field, being calm to the end of the match and presenting very good communication with main referee.

    Waiting for your analysis :)

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDiTIy3qkfM (first half)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0HG6_SvDCU (second half)

    2. Well, the first thing to say is that two wrong flags were against UAE, so the outcome was not influenced by these decisions. I want also to add that both calls were borderline, yes, but not blatant mistakes. By the way, in these stuations the hope is that assistants can stay with the flag down because they should have at least a doubt. Then, the missed offside in 69': also here, in favor of Kuwait and against UAE. But very difficult situation to detect. The offside seems slight, I think that this time we can't say anything to the first assistant.
      Then, about Al Hilali: I have watched most of the situations. About the requested penalty in 85' I agree with the referee, too soft to whistle. Generally, it seems that the Omani referee has confirmed to be very lenient.

    3. Extremely too lenient if you ask me! The match nearly became a war after those all missed things. So, they are not points for improvemet, but signicficant points for improvement and poor control.

  59. Probably that info I've posted here about Shukrallah appointment was a typical rumour. Well, today many media have informed that they are Khalil Al-Ghamdi for a final and Banjar Al-Dossari for third place.

    So, the first info I've received from reliable source seems to be the only true. Don't believe press, boys, never :D

    1. Nice to hear that, at least no politic here!
      So, why Al Ghamdi and not Irmatov?

    2. Irmatov had a semi-final and it was sure he'll be not available for the next match. Gulf Cup Committee decided that Bahrain - Iraq match need excellent referee. Probably they was right, because even Irmatov fell down in this clash, as many media state (this time, I believe them and will watch this match today, so deep analyse in next hours). I can't imagine Al-Hilali or Al-Dossari in this match, that must have been really hard to handle. Remember, Arab nations in final stages play in a very rough/malicious/often unsporting manner :) Al-Ghamdi's performance was one of the best in group stage, so correct choice if you ask me. I was thinking why Al-Hilali got a match in semi, not Al-Dossari, but the second got even higher-profile match (it's doubtful, because often semi is harder than 3rd place match, but Arab nations take it very serious).

      By the way, we are creating a big database with referees appointments at sedziapilkarski.pl, but it's much work (about March the project will be finished)



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