September 15, 2013

Champions League - Referee Appointments - Matchday 1 (Tuesday)

UEFA has revealed the first eight referee appointments of this season's Champions League group stage, starting on Tuesday, 17 September. 

Team Hategan (c) Referee FIFA Facebook
Among others, Manuel Gräfe will face a decisive task (Benfica SL - Anderlecht) having been injured during last season's group stage phase and having been in Elite Development Group since June 2011. He is experienced in Estádio da Luz: his last Champions League match was Benfica SL - Otelul Galati under the eyes of Dutch committee member Jaap Uilenberg. Also this time, Uilenberg will assess Gräfe.
Additionally, UEFA has nominated a mixed team for Bayern München vs CSKA Moskva. Gianluca Rocchi's Italian crew will be completed by Suisse Sandro Pozzi as AR2.

Group A, 17 September 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Manchester United - Bayer Leverkusen
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Bojan Ul (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Ponis (SVN)
Fourth Official: Primož Arhar (SVN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)
UEFA Delegate: Cornel Cristian Bivolaru (ROU)
Blog Referee Observer: Albin A. (SWE)

Group A, 17 September 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain
Real Sociedad - Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Nica (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Coltescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Miklos István Nagy (ROU)
UEFA Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)
UEFA Delegate: René Eberle (SUI)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)

Group B, 17 September 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Parken, Copenhagen (DEN)
FC København - Juventus Turin
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Domagoj Vučkov (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Dalibor Conjar (CRO)
UEFA Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)
UEFA Delegate: Dumitru Mihalache (ROU)
Blog Referee Observer: Hagi (GER)

Group B, 17 September 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi, Istanbul (TUR)
Galatasaray - Real Madrid
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Child (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Lee Probert (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Jonathan Moss (ENG)
Fourth Official: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
UEFA Referee Observer: Horst Brummeier (AUT)
UEFA Delegate: Johan van Kouterik (NED)
Blog Referee Observer: Chefren (ITA)

Group C, 17 September 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Estádio da Luz, Lisbon (POR)
Benfica SL - RSC Anderlecht
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Guido Kleve (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Guido Winkmann (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Fourth Official: Holger Henschel (GER)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)
UEFA Delegate: Svein Johannessen (NOR)
Blog Referee Observer: Edward (GRE)

Group C, 17 September 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus (GRE)
Olympiakos - Paris SG
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Tobias Welz (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Fourth Official: Markus Häcker (GER)
UEFA Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)
UEFA Delegate: Luis Cuervas Del Real (ESP)
Blog Referee Observer: Dino (CRO)

Group D, 17 September 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Struncovy Sady Stadium, Plzen (CZE)
Viktoria Plzen - Manchester City
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Andrea De Marco (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Fourth Official: Nicola Nicoletti (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Bernardino González (ESP)
UEFA Delegate: George Koumas (CYP)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)

Group D, 17 September 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Allianz Arena, Munich (GER)
Bayern München - CSKA Moskva
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Sandro Pozzi (SUI)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: Stanislaw Speczik (POL)
Blog Referee Observer: Nur H. (ENG)


  1. What a surprise here Rocchi with Pozzi??
    I'm astonished...

  2. Yes totally. Always expect the unexpected..
    Apart from that some appointments really surprised me - Plzen-City for Elite, Sociedad-Shakhtar for ED? Odd. Two Germans in Group C were more or less clear, as all those referees must be split into only four groups.

    1. Anonymous15/9/13 13:05

      I am not surprised about Tagliavento's appointment for Viktoria Plzen - Manchester City:

      If Rizzoli, Rocchi, Tagliavento and Orsato shall get three matches each in the group stage and no team should get the same referee twice or two referees from the same country (as long as possible), there are only 10 matches remaining in the five groups without participation of Juventus, Milan and Napoli.

      Given that Rocchi got Bayern München - CSKA Moskva, it seemed logical that Viktoria Plzen - Manchester City (or Manchester City - Viktoria Plzen on matchday 5) could go to Italy's number 3 or 4. The same counts for the German referees in group C. And for group B, I would expect Juventus Turin - FC København on matchday 5 to be whistled by an English referee.

      Kind regards from Vienna,

    2. You are right about that. I also thought that specially Group C could get many German referees, keeping in mind that Zwayer also has chances to get one match.

      Back to Sociedad-Shakhtar - I really think Hategan will face a tough task there. I definitely expected an experienced Elite official for it.

  3. I agree, it is quite odd to see Rocchi with Pozzi. Important observers for Grafe and Hategan. Even Clattenburg....

    1. Clattenburg is now considered as high profile Elite official by UEFA committee, if you ask me.
      His last appointments showed that, always interesting and sonorous matches. He is mature.

  4. Anonymous15/9/13 18:58

    Sunday: Manuel Gräfe, four referee at Braunchsweig-Nurenberg.
    Tuesday: referee at Benfica-Anderlecht.

    1. Where's the problem? If he had been appointed for a match on Wednesday, he would have taken the flight on Tuesday and would have stayed in Berlin for one day. Now he perhaps travels directly to Lisbon via Hannover.

    2. Anonymous15/9/13 21:37

      The match at Lisbon is tuesday. Then all is very headlong and Grafe
      don´t be today at Bruncsweig. It´s evident.

  5. Manchester United 1-0 goal: was the player in the net near the keeper in active offside position?
    Anyway, excellent no flag prior to the goal.

      It seems that the keeper is clearly influenced.

    2. 2x offside missed by zunic + foul missed by skomina and vincic in the 1-0. And yes the kits look awful.

    3. Anonymous18/9/13 22:27

      Collina said everything was OK with the first goal. No offside, no foul. What a joke.

  6. Good first half by Grafe in a not that challenging match.

  7. Anonymous17/9/13 21:37

    Call me old fashioned, but the coloured socks look gastly...

    /Swedish observer

  8. I think Clattenburg was excellent not whistling a penalty for alleged foul on Cristiano Ronaldo (19'). Apart from that, he easily booked Felipe Melo for not so reckless challenge (31'), but let two Real players got away with only verbal warning for clear bookable offences (Arbeloa - persistent infringing: 25', 29' and Ramos - tactical foul: 41'). That was indisputably unfair acting of English officials...

    1. Anonymous17/9/13 22:42

      Clearly unfair behavior, I would demote them!

    2. Don't overreact, please.

      Second half was solid but again the only mistakes he made were against Galatasaray - missed fouls of Isco (50') and Arbeloa (58')... Nonetheless, the most important thing is correctly not given penalty.

      Very good evening for Stephen Child and expected level performance with one small mistake (83') of Simon Beck.


      Taking that all into consideration, I would go with following marks:

      8.3 for Clattenburg (8.4 + 0.2 for penalty - 0.2 for lack of cards in first half - 0.1 for missed fouls in second half)

      8.4 for Simon Beck (one small mistake, but the rest was solid)

      8.6 for Stephen Child (two great onsides and offside call)

    3. @ Hubert: I think someone applied irony here :)

      I can confirm Child's very good NO offside decisions in many instances.

    4. Hi Hubert, I have now watched these situations and I must say I agree with you. Verbal warnings to Real Madrid player (Arbeloa) were acceptable, but then booking Felipe Melo for that foul, was not consistent. Not best card management here but of course not that big mistake.
      A point for improvement.
      Correct to let the game flow in the penalty appeal by Cristiano Ronaldo.

    5. I checked the situations and basically agree with you. I would not call it inconsistent disciplinary line though. You cannot compare these offenses. Arbeloa's first foul was a foul and nothing more. The second one a mandatory YC for tactical foul (holding). The YC against Melo is mandatory, too. So this was a right call. The only problem was the missing mandatory YC against Arbeloa in 29' can reduce the mark by -0.1 for that but I think one should not make a too huge story out of it. YC against Ramos in 41' was imho not necessary.

  9. Anonymous17/9/13 22:31


    In Austria, Manuel Schüttengruber (son of former FIFA referee Manfred Schüttengruber) is reported to replace Third Group referee Gerhard Grobelnik who will whistle tomorrow's Youth League match Schalke - Steaua next year.

    Kind regards from Vienna,

  10. Anonymous17/9/13 22:47

    Real Sociedad-Shaktar D. Equitable victory of Shakhtar, but bad work of
    Hategan, that has not category for Champions League.

    1. Anonymous17/9/13 22:48

      Too many cards here.

    2. In fact he faced three important moments.
      1. Was the foul inside or outside the penalty area?
      2. Should have Luiz Adriano been sent off in 45' for his elbow conduct?
      3. Penalty for deliberate handball in additional time?
      Difficult match for Hategan.

    3. Update..Luiz Adriano definitely must be off. Clear violent conduct (45+1').

  11. Horrible mistake by Skomina + half his team in Old Trafford: 1-0 for ManUtd was clearly irregulary, all three could have seen this (The forward is on the goal line. For this offside position you need no [A]AR...)

  12. Anonymous18/9/13 13:10

    You have some videos Niclas from these incidents with Hategan?

  13. Yes, I am going to post them in an hour.

  14. Anonymous18/9/13 14:12

    Fantastic! Many thanks!

  15. Benfica - Anderlecht

    Grafe with a good overall performance. He issued 6 YC's (1-5) and missed 2 others. However it was a performance of expected level.

    AR2 correctly disallowed a goal by Anderlecht (89') for offside.

  16. Hategan's situations.
    If the video does not start where it should be, go to MATCH minute 40:05. Contact is happening on the line, so that it should have been a penalty.

    The violent conduct is unfortunately not available on this site as the last 5 minutes of half 1 are missing for some reason. I will try to find another clip for that.
    If it does not work, go to MATCH minute 90+3:05. The replay comes at 90+4:10. No deliberate handball and therefore correct decision will be the solution in my report.

    1. Niclas, I found this photo on the net:

      I want your opinion after you see esspecially the small photo. I see a triangle there with 2 lines of triangle made by the legs of the players and the horizontal line on the pitch level. One corner of triangle is on the line (Xabi Prietos's foot), but the contact happened at the top of triangle which is outside the penalty-area.
      At least this is what I see...
      Anyway it's a very, very, very difficult decision and I'm sure Hategan didn't see exactly the place of contact.It's impossible too see for the referee...

      About the "violent conduct" of Luis Adriano..I watched few replays and from what I saw I'm not convinced about the red card. Violent conduct means more than that imo...

    2. Thanks a lot for this screenshot. It somehow changes my mind. I will consider it in the report.

  17. Leverkusen player Rolfes complaint about Skomina's team due to the line of errors in the 1-0. He said UEFA should check whether running a facebook page was professional, as the officials "were more occupied with making photos for their social network and facebook page".

    1. If players are allowed to have a facebook page, why should referees be not? Photos before the match don't have any influence on the decisions during the match. Rolfes only searched a reason to let Skomina stand in a worse light.

  18. Marks for Team Hategan

    Referee Ovidiu Hategan - 7.6 (Challenging)
    AR 1 Cristian Nica - 8.6 (Challenging)
    AR 2 Octavian Sovre - 8.4 (Normal)
    AAR 1 Alexandru Tudor - 8.2 (Normal)
    AAR 2 Sebastian Coltescu - 8.3 (Normal)
    Fourth Miklos Nagy - 8.3 (Normal)

    Report to follow tomorrow.

  19. Anonymous19/9/13 09:12

    Could you ask for a vote on the Man Utd 1st goal involving the keeper!

    Offside or Foul or Goal??

    To move forward, 100% togetherness is required

    For me never a goal, Offside "Interfering with an opponent" It is a foul at least!

  20. @ Anonymous 1
    Where did Pierluigi Collina say it was regular goal?


    @ Anonymous 2
    We must answer on some questions:

    - “interfering with play” means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate;
    did he play the ball: NO

    - “interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball;
    did he obstruct GK's line of vision - NO;
    did he challenge him for the ball - it's not so obvious, but I think NO, cause he shied away from the ball

    BUT WAS THERE A FOUL - I would say YES, he involuntarily or not, but blocked GK's hand, what is a foul...

    However, whole situation is not so easy. First offside in the build-up could be missed, was minimal. Then, referees struggled in new offside laws, missing a foul as the result, IMO.

    1. Anonymous19/9/13 12:54

      Thank you for your response.

      Taking everything into account, its a FOUL, the very tight Offside should not have made the clear foul on the goalkeeper go unpunished by an elite referee and AAR!

      Crucial Mistake? 7.9?

    2. Of course, crucial mistake by AAR1 and Skomina, also by AR1 if we take into account it's challenging for the ball.

  21. Anonymous19/9/13 14:57

    Would like to know the reason why my comment on Proença was deleted. Censorship in this day and age??? Shame on you. This blog loses all the credibility! Totally biased and deprived of quality!

    And I stand by my opinion - Proença is a clear product of lobbying! Just check his performances at both national and international level. He's poor.

    1. Anonymous19/9/13 15:47

      Benquerença is better referee but Mourinho friend.

    2. Anonymous19/9/13 18:16

      Proença product of lobbying?
      A referee who handled CL and EURO final it's a product of lobby.

    3. Anonymous19/9/13 18:58

      Proença lobbying???? please...he is a great ref, world top 5... just for his work and team!

      If we pay attention that is something we see when we talk about Mazic or Cakir.. Attention! Both have great skills but some background support also. Just rebember the most dubious decisions made by those refs and the inflamated reactions later in their defense.

  22. Sorry - but which comments? I did not delete any comment, it might be that Blogspot detected it as spamming somehow.

    Concerning your comment's contents, well..


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