February 8, 2013

Champions League Referee Appointments - Prognoses for Round of 16 (I)

After a (too) long break of nine weeks without UEFA Champions League matches, the first bunch of round of 16 first legs - four of them - will be played on 12 and 13 February. Based on two already known referee teams who will get one of these four matches and the UEFA referee observers assigned for these clashes, one may attempt to expose prognoses of the referee appointments to be unveiled on Sunday and Monday.

Matches to be provided with officiating sextettes:

  • 12 Feb.: Celtic Glasgow (SCO) - Juventus Turin (ITA), observed by Uno Tutk (EST)
  • 12 Feb.: Valencia CF (ESP) - Paris S.G. (FRA), observed by Donald McVicar (SCO)
  • 13 Feb.: Real Madrid (ESP) - Manchester United (ENG), observed by Bertrand Layec (FRA)
  • 13 Feb.: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) - Borussia Dortmund (GER), observed by Jean Lemmer (LUX)

Known officiating teams active at 12 or 13 February (referee, assistants, additional assistants, fourth official):

  • Felix Brych - Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp - Marco Fritz, Tobias Welz (Germany)
  • Alberto Undiano Mallenco - Roberto Díaz Pérez Del Palomar, Jesús Calvo Guadamuro - Fernando Teixeira Vitienes, César Muñiz Fernández - Raúl Cabañero Martínez (Spain)

Felix Brych and ManU.. (c) ZIMBIO
Felix Brych's assistant referee Mark Borsch has been appointed by German football federation DFB to attend a 2nd Bundesliga match in Berlin on Monday evening. It is therefore impossible to consider the German team as available for a match on 12 February, while on Tuesday only Valencia - PSG seems to be possible, as Brych refereed Celtic vs Spartak Moskva on matchday 6 in the group stage. Hence, he and his team actually must be in charge of a match on Wednesday. Due to the nationality aspect, Brych and the rest of the team will take control over this stage's top match between Real Madrid and Manchester United, at least with a high degree of certainty. If this is confirmed, it will be another important step in his palmarès and brings him closer to the advanced pool of referees for Wembley final.

At the same time, Alberto Undiano and his team could handle two matches - either Celtic - Juventus or Shakhtar - Dortmund. Both ones seem to be absolutely within the bounds of possibility. However, if one has a closer look on the appointed referee observers, one will recognize that Luxembourg's Jean Lemmer assessed Undiano twice during the last two seasons. A third time would be quite abnormal and perhaps even to be avoided. For this reason, I predict him for Celtic - Juventus, even though I think his refereeing style would fit more to the match played in Ukraine. 
Undiano several times revealed that his decisions are generally on a very good level, while he often failed to maintain an adequate level of authority and match control. The match atmosphere at Celtic Park won't be easy: it is the second loudest stadium on the European continent.

Taking these two prognoses as premises for the other matches, the choice is not that plentiful anymore. With Scotsman Donald McVicar, a regular observer has been nominated for Valencia - Paris S.G. who normally observes experienced Elite officials. Spanish, French, English and Scottish referees are impossible for this match.
The match itself could be very scarce and more important than it sounds. Referees like Viktor Kassai (HUN), Jonas Eriksson (SWE) or an Italian like Paolo Tagliavento (ITA) are my personal favourites for this match - Eriksson will have no match next week though. It even could be Pedro Proença (POR), as McVicar frequently observes Portuguese referees. However, I believe that Proença and Kassai should be maintained for more relevant matches such as Arsenal - Bayern or AC Milan - FC Barcelona. Therefore, my prediction is: Paolo Tagliavento from Italy.

Finally, Shakhtar Donetsk - Borussia Dortmund is on paper a very interesting and important match for the further course of the competition. Jean Lemmer of Luxembourg normally observes developing Elite or ED referees, but sometimes also assesses experienced Elite officials. 
Shakhtar convinced in a difficult group with Juventus and holders Chelsea London, while Dortmund were the probably most surprising team leaving Real Madrid, Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester City behind. This implies that both teams could not be handled by an English official in group stage. Although this match could pose an immense test for William Collum (SCO) or Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR), too, I prefer an Englishman in Donbass Arena, more precisely, my choice would be made between Mark Clattenburg and/or Howard Webb. I rely on Howard Webb for Shakhtar - Dortmund.

Howard Webb et al. in AC Milan 1:1 Málaga CF (c) ZIMBIO

In a nutshell, I put forward these prognoses - being aware that UEFA will again hoax me:

  • 12 Feb.: Celtic Glasgow (SCO) - Juventus Turin (ITA): Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
  • 12 Feb.: Valencia CF (ESP) - Paris S.G. (FRA): Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
  • 13 Feb.: Real Madrid (ESP) - Manchester United (ENG): Felix Brych (GER)
  • 13 Feb.: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) - Borussia Dortmund (GER): Howard Webb (ENG)

What do you think?


  1. Anonymous8/2/13 13:14

    Team Erikssons first UEFA match this year will be in EL 21 february and they will not referee in CL in anyone of the first matchdays.

  2. Thanks for this info! Then I change the prognose to Tagliavento.

  3. In my opinion, Felix Brych is quite sure for Real Madrid - Manchester United top clash. We know how much UEFA committee admires him, and this could be a very logical appointment.
    I agere also with Celtc-Juventus for Mallenco, but I'm in trouble with the other matches. Very difficult to guess the referee for Valencia - PSG. I'm not sure about Tagliavento, I have to be honest. What do you think of Thomson? It seems that we are forgetting him in out last talks.

  4. As Donald McVicar is observer there, it is impossible. But Thomson could potentially have Shakhtar-Dortmund, what I however do not think.

  5. Perhaps some useful information:
    Based on the UEFA delegates who also come from different countries than the match officials, we can exclude some referees:

    Milan-Barca: delegate Mark Blackbourne (ENG) - so no English referees

    Porto-Malaga: delegate Bernd Barutta (GER) - so no German officials.

  6. Hi my tip in matches 1\8 final 12 & 13 -02

    My tip metches in 19 & 20-02

    1. Not bad, absolutely possible. I would like Clattenburg for this match.

    2. I think that the referees appointed in the friendlies two days ago, are not appointed for the CL of next week.
      Therefore Cakir and Proença probablu will handle matches at least starting from 19 Feb.

    3. Totally wrong ;) I forgot Undiano, he officiated a friendly and he is appointed for next week... sorry

    4. Now the question also is whether Cabanero Martínez will attend the match or not.

    5. I think that he will attend.
      A week is enough, life goes on. I know something about that.

  7. Koukoulakis is most likely appointed to EL. Don't know more at the moment.

  8. Brych should be sure for Real-ManU, if they did not change it after it was published here early ;)
    Tagliavento was also my choice for Valencia-Paris.
    The question is, what match gets Undiano. If he gets Donezk-Dortmund, what I prefer, I would give Celtic-Juve to Skomina. In the other case, I would like to see Collum in Donezk.
    For the other matches, I currently have the following names on my paper, keeping the big ones for the second legs:
    ARS-BAY: Rocchi
    POR-MAL: Collum/Skomina (s.a.)
    GAL-SCH: Moen
    MIL-BAR: Kralovec

    1. Could you please go into UEFA's committee? ;)
      I find these appointments, if they were true, amazing.

  9. Anonymous8/2/13 18:44

    On a belgian referee blog, i have seen that Gumienny is appointed for a Europa league game somewhere in february. But I don't know if it's on 14 february or 21 february.

    1. At least good for him. This appointment was actually indicated by his presence at Rome's courses at the end of January.

    2. Anonymous9/2/13 13:36

      It's just the minimum what gumienny gets for his abilities.

  10. Anonymous8/2/13 18:47

    Celtic-Juventus- Kassai
    Valencia-PSG- Brych
    Real-Utd- Skomina
    Shakhtar-Dortmund- Proenca
    Milan-Barca- Cakir
    Porto-Malaga- Kralovec
    Arsenal-Bayern- Mallenco
    Galatasaray-Schalke- Mazic

    1. Mazic is not allowed to handle a CL K.O. match, only Elite referee may take charge of them. As for the rest, you should pay attention to the matches the referees already had in group stage (e.g. Proenca had Dortmund on MD5, Kassai had Celtic on MD5 and so on).

    2. Anonymous8/2/13 20:03

      Is the UEFA official said no ED referees-CL (K.O.)?! I agree with Chefren. Collina will look Mazic.

    3. It never happened during the past seasons since this category system exists. And normally, having the Elite status is connected to being allowed to handle CL K.O. matches.

  11. I like DFB...they now changed the appointment for Berlin-Union where Borsch was planned as AR1. Now it is Matthias Anklam. Tricky, really tricky. Now my whole premises for the prognoses are rubbish :D

  12. Mohammed A.Fattah8/2/13 20:49

    This my prediction for the next CL matches:-

    Celtic (SCO) – Juventus (ITA):
    Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
    Valencia (ESP) – Paris S.G. (FRA):
    Pavel Královec (CZE)
    Real Madrid (ESP) – ManUtd. (ENG):
    Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
    Shakhtar (UKR) – Dortmund (GER)
    Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

  13. Anonymous8/2/13 21:16

    Macedonian refereee's team (ALEKSANDAR STAVREV and company) will officiate EL match on Febuary 21st.

  14. Thx for this info.
    Carlos and I have tried to make predictions for EL. If you want, have your try too:

    BATE – Fenerbahce Gumienny / Van Boekel
    Inter – Cluj Mateu Lahoz / Strahonja
    Levante – Olympiacos Hagen / Aytekin
    Zenit – Liverpool Tudor / Nijhuis
    Dynamo – Girondins Todorov / Hategan
    Leverkusen – Benfica Orsato / Eriksson
    Newcastle – Metalist Liany / De Sousa
    Stuttgart – Genk Kruzliak / Kelly
    Atlético – Kazan Göcek / Stavrev
    Ajax – Steaua Boiko / Yefet
    Basel – Dnipro Munukka / Rasmussen
    Anzhi – Hannover Bebek / Velasco
    Sparta – Chelsea Tohver / Karasev
    Gladbach – Lazio Jug / Vad
    Tottenham – Lyon Gräfe / Mazic
    Napoli – Plzen Koukoulakis / Strahonja

    Our premises were the observers and Rome's courses' participants.

    1. And of course, there is Strahonja two times. Plzen-Napoli is for Aydinus, not Strahonja.

    2. I actually like the appointments.

      Niklas are you sure you don't work for UEFA? :)

    3. Anonymous9/2/13 00:08

      Maybe that is why "Niclas" does not appear anymore on his blog, being replaced with "Admin" :)

    4. ;) Yes I am sure.
      If you try to predict those appointments, you will see how hard it is, hence I do not want to change with UEFA ;)

    5. OK, I have my try:
      BATE – Fenerbahce Kelly / Mazic
      Inter – Cluj Stavrev / Vad
      Levante – Olympiacos Gil / Hategan
      Zenit – Liverpool Rocchi / Skomina
      Dynamo – Girondins Strahonja / Yefet
      Leverkusen – Benfica Kruzliak / Thomson
      Newcastle – Metalist Bebek / Kralovec
      Stuttgart – Genk Velasco / Lannoy
      Atlético – Kazan Jug / Atkinson
      Ajax – Steaua Aydinus / Stark
      Basel – Dnipro Rasmussen / Eriksson
      Anzhi – Hannover Mateu Lahoz / Clattenburg
      Sparta – Chelsea Göcek / Undiano
      Gladbach – Lazio Boiko / Hagen
      Tottenham – Lyon Gräfe / Liany
      Napoli – Plzen Collum / Aytekin

    6. I like them, specially Boiko and Kruzliak would be very interesting. I have forgotten that Stark has a match on 21 Feb.

    7. Anonymous9/2/13 18:35

      @Philipp S: Stefano Farina was observer Dortmund-City (Mazic). @ Nic: Alan Snoddy was his talent-mentor. I think he's in Rome (Plautz). :)

    8. Anonymous9/2/13 22:10

      UEL: Feb 14 - Tudor, Feb 21 - Hategan.

  15. I think UEFA was not content with DFB and DFB was not content with fussball.de.

    They always released German referee appointments in a small database (one was able to select the area "international" and then there was e.g. UCL --> 13 Feb --> Brych, Borsch, Lupp, Fritz, Welz...). First, only the current appointments were deleted (Aytekin, Gräfe, Stark for EL and Brych for CL). Now, the whole section "international" does not exist anymore. Probably, that was an infringement of the principle of "confidential appointments", so that DFB put pressure on fussball.de. A pity, because the only source to get German referee appointments in international matches has gone out.

    1. Perhaps we should have hidden our source better :P

  16. Celtic-Juventus Mallenco
    PSG-Valencia Taiglavento

  17. Anonymous10/2/13 16:16

    Why not Proença in the big game RM - MU?

    1. Anonymous10/2/13 17:10

      Because Proença, as Benquerença,are friends of

    2. Hiding behind anonymity on the internet is a nice thing if it facilitates slander without fearing consequences.

      Proenca should not get it because we know that Brych has a match on Wednesday. Brych is from GER, the only free match for him is Real-ManU, so no need to think about another official for this match.

  18. By the way, what about Benruquerença?
    Do you think that he will be appointed in CL or EL?
    Also the appointment for Lannoy will be interesting to know.

    1. I cannot imagine that one of both gets a match, Benquerenca having only whistled 1 group stage match and Lannoy being still injured (?). Benquerenca could have Juventus-Celtic, I cannot imagine another match for him.

    2. Lannoy is back in Ligue 1 after Bordeaux - PSG injury, he whistled Brest - Nice one week ago.

    3. Anonymous14/2/13 13:41

      Benruquerença didn`t pass the fitness test in Rome, so don`t think we`ll see him soon.

  19. Anonymous11/2/13 03:00

    donezk-dortmund: thomson
    milan-barca: skomina
    porto-malaga: clattenburg
    istanbul-schalke: kralovec
    arsenal-bayern: cakir

    1. Is that your guess?
      It seems that you wrote the real appointments...


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