February 3, 2014

Player Management and Reaction to Dissent

Referees must be aware that in tough matches the teams' fight for the aspired outcome of the match is so important that anger or tension, that have piled up throughout the game, tend to easily erupt in one single situation that is actually of minor relevance. Mostly the referees’ calls provide players with the needed target to vent their spleen and to set a sign for team-mates or even opponents. So dissent as one form of conflict is inevitable and natural. Football probably would suffer if those emotive sallies did not exist. Thus dissent claims targeted and pro-active conflict management from the referee, who must act like a psychologist in such occasions. Typically, these psychological management skills are not only required in the case of dissent, but also as a tool that has, in my opinion, the same relevance like and maybe even a bigger relevance than disciplinary sanctions: Player management is specially needed as soon as it comes to verbal warnings. 

In the following days, some posts will highlight special match situations gathered by our match reporters during the past months which I am going to analyze from a rather psychological point of view. After this post, there will be a further one coming during the next days concentrating on free-kick management. Those analyses are not aimed at denouncing the referees concerned - their examples only serve as models how some things should not be like, expressing my humility keeping in mind that, in the heat of emotions, humans make human or emotive mistakes.
In those posts, video clips will be placed that deal with the situations. As uploading those videos would undermine UEFA's copyright (Terms and Conditions 3.3), they unfortunately cannot be uploaded in a direct way. Thus, I will create links to several external videos and give you the respective intervalls in the videos which interest us (match minutes are posted, not the video minutes!). I regret that this is the only opportunity and hope for your understanding. UEFA unfortunately makes no difference between commercial (= profit-) and educational (non-profit-) and therefore fair use though.

Incident 1: Reaction to Dissent

Match: Manchester Utd. vs Bayer Leverkusen (UCL) – Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Match Minute Intervall: 37:45 - 38:10 (VIDEO)

Decisions and Observations:
The referee awarded a direct free-kick in favour of the defending team close to the goalline. The offender reacted in a furious way and criticized the decision. There was a face-to-face confrontation between the player and the referee, who, as a consequence, cautioned the attacker for dissent by word and action.

1) Could this confrontation have been avoided?
2) Did the referee react properly to the dissent?
3) Did the referee manage to bolster his authority and to stem the dissent?

Coaching Answer:
First of all, it should be mentioned that the free-kick given by the match official was correct. Even though the last foul was none, the red-dressed forward player held his opponent’s shirt for a while so that a delayed whistle was justified. Then, one must surely point out the dissent having begun with the player who sought confrontation with the referee by questioning his decision verbally and with sweeping gestures.
If the referee and a player confront each other face-to-face, if their foreheads almost touch, something went wrong for sure. Instead of finding the adequate means to calm down the player, e.g. by asking the player to come to him for a serious word, referee Skomina accepted the confrontation with an exaggerated body language and gestures that revealed the referee’s fretted and totally annoyed mood. Both yelled at each other – the forward did so, the referee did so. Both actors did not control their testosterone in this moment; this duel seemed to need a “winner”. Player management should not follow this pattern. The referee’s furious reaction provoked another reaction from the player. One overreaction caused the next overreaction leading to no sporting solution.
As a result, Skomina sorted out the yellow card and raised it in an overhasty manner. This style of showing the YC did not testify much self-confidence and determination. That became even clearer when he made a further annoyed gesture and – having the card still in his hand – waved the player away. At the end, it was the referee who fled from the centre of attention in place of staying firm. That’s not the kind of player management that should be apparent on the highest level. The entire occasion sent a bad message to the rest of the players – and also to the crowd.

Take Home Messages:
1) Don’t over-react. Keep calm.
2) Don’t heat up conflicts with players, solve them with your personality and soft skills.
3) Show yellow cards in a calmer and more determined way.

Incident 2: (Conflict) Management
Match: Borussia Dortmund vs SSC Napoli (UCL) – Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Match Minute Intervall: 35:45 - 37:10 (VIDEO)

Decisions and Observations:
The referee cautioned a blue-dressed defender for a reckless and late challenge from behind. Due to the intensity of the foul, some players reacted in a furious way, while one further blue-dressed player made some protests concerning a previous decision when the referee had allowed play to flow. Besides the yellow card for the offender, one yellow-dressed player and the already mentioned blue-dressed midfielder were both booked for unsporting behaviour.

1) Were the personal disciplinary sanctions adequate?
2) Did the referee solve the heated conflict in a good manner?
3) Did he adequately sell his decisions?

Coaching Answer:
Yes, No and No. Given his line visible in the entire match, the yellow card for the original offender was acceptable. A red card would have been absolutely justifiable as well. The other two cautions were very likely a so-called type-3 decision (E.E. Snyder, 1987) – decisions, where it is irrelevant whether two players (one of each team) are guilty of an infringement during a confrontation, as cautioning both is tactically the sensible decision. What should already be mentioned at this point is the too large temporal contiguity between the riot (including the offenses) and the yellow cards shown against both players. It took the referee exactly one minute to caution both players (and in the meantime, some players believed that play could already continue). This automatically led to astonishment and disapproval and should have been avoided.
In general, the referee did not choose a clever way to deal with these confrontations. He hysterically pointed his finger and arm into the air – first to the right top, then to the left top and then again to the right top and later on to the middle top. Why? What was up there? The stadium’s roof maybe, but nothing else. Gestures must have a goal and should not be an end unto themselves. These gestures rather heated the conflicts and protests up instead of calming them down. The referee should become aware that he must deploy other tools to control such situations (Velasco had similar problems in the opener match of EURO 2012). Verbal communication and a more sensible non-verbal communication would have been helpful here, specially to ensure that the referee’s outward appearance stands for control and not for incertainty or hysteria. The circumscribed incertainty is underlined by the referee desperately looking for the blue-dressed player he was about to caution and who was positioned directly in front of him. This example again shows how important the “How” (and not only the “What”) is when you do something as a referee – and this counts for every kind of manager.

Take Home Messages:
1) Deploy target-oriented gestures instead of hysterical ones.
2) Pay attention to the time passing between offenses and your disciplinary sanction. In the concrete case, the astonishment among players and audience would have been reduced if the referee had immediately picked the players and cautioned them at the same time (one immediately after the other). 

Incident 3: Reaction to Dissent
Match: FC Basel vs Chelsea (UCL) – Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Match Minute Intervall: 61:55 - 62:35 (VIDEO)

Decisions and Observations:
The referee awarded a direct free-kick in favour of the white-dressed team. It remains unclear whether there was a contact though. Anyway, the referee decided to caution the offender. Having recognized this, the offender turned his back towards the referee and walked away into the direction of the penalty area. He made five disparaging movements of his hand to show dissent by action.

1) Was the decision to caution the offender correct?
2) Did the referee deal with the shown dissent in an adequate manner?
3) What could be negative consequences of the referee’s reaction to the dissent?

Coaching Answer:
The defender was guilty of stopping a promising attack, as the white-dressed attacker would have been able to dangerously enter the penalty area or make a pass into it. Therefore, the referee took the decision to caution the defender with a yellow card.
The referee’s gestures showed determination, well done. However, there was no need to wave his forefinger close to the offender’s face. The referee well separated the offender from the defender and asked him to come to him while reaching for the yellow card in his pocket. The defender reacted in an exaggerated fashion and showed dissent – not only once, but several times.
Stéphane Lannoy  requested the player to come to him three times (with a whistle and the common gesture “come to me!”) – but it was always the referee, who became soft instead of standing firm over the player walking away: You can see him standing firm, asking the player to come, but then always making a step towards the player having recognized that the player had not been interested in his order.
Referees may not tolerate this disrespect in any way. It is definitely regrettable that the match official completely ignored this dissent and did not even warn him on top of the yellow card. But a warning would not have been enough.
The official should have cautioned the player for s.p.a. and should have sent him off with a 2nd yellow card for dissent by word or action. By failing to do so, he hazarded the risk of immensely suffering in his authority and control. Players may not recognize that you are bearing attacks on your power of decision.
Allowing such a kind of dissent is no good message to the millions of people watching it, let alone the other players on the field of play – at this level, it is unacceptable.

Take Home Message:
1) Don’t tolerate dissent by word or action. Defend your authority and draw the adequate consequences – in the concrete case, a 2nd yellow card on top of the original yellow card would have been the appropiate decision.

Incident 4: Player Management / Reaction to Dissent
Match: Chelsea vs FC Basel (UCL) – Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Match Minute Intervall: 75:30 - 76:00 (VIDEO)

Decisions and Observations:
The ball moved towards the goalline and had been touched last by a white-dressed attacking player. It was therefore blocked off from a white-dressed player by a blue-dressed defender leading to a goal kick. The white-dressed attacker tried to reach the ball and continued to tackle the defender when the ball had already left the field of play. The referee awarded the goal kick and warned both players.

1) Was the decision correct not to award a direct free-kick in favour of the defending team?
2) Did the referee find adequate means to manage the players and to solve the conflict?
3) Did he adequately deal with the players’ reaction to his warning?
4) Was the referee’s behaviour efficient?

Coaching Answer:
The decision not to award a direct free-kick was at least acceptable. A free-kick would not have been a remarkably bigger advantage for the defending team. As the referee decided not to caution any player but to verbally warn them, it was not mandatory to whistle the white-dressed player’s conduct as an infringement.
The player management used during the verbal warning must be considered as poor though. If the referee decides to deploy a public warning (instead of a silent and subtle one), he must do it in a convincing and respectful way, otherwise, the target won’t be reached.
Daniele Orsato initiated his public warning with a whistle and repeated gestures reminding me personally on the “Heel!”-order you usually issue to your dog. This respectless gesture was immediately sanctioned by both players – they did not follow and were not interested in the referee’s command. The referee had to pursue both players, which physically indicates that the relation between the referee and the player(s) was not as it should be. To maintain authority, the referee should have stood still and should have let the players come to him, not vice versa. While running after the blue-dressed player, Orsato turned around to look for the white-dressed player and obviously lost him. This disorientation might appear as subtle. However, it is definitely a mirror of the poor management and imbalanced relation between the referee and the players. The blue-dressed player suddenly turned around and showed frustrated dissent by action, and probably also word. He shouted at the referee and was not sanctioned for that. A yellow card was mandatory here. The referee thus became assailable and failed to send a message to the players that they cannot treat him in this manner, that he is boss.
The player management shown here is absolutely below what you should expect from a referee acting at this level. Psychologically, Mr. Orsato did everything wrong. And the next problem cropping up is the circumstance that this warning was not even weak in its nature but also in its effect. After finally both players took a pity on the referee and listened to him, he just made one little determined gesture into the direction of both players and yelled “Finish!”. He should have sought much more conversation and a much clearer conversation with both players – he had the time. The ball was out of play. So much effort for so little outcome. The players did not even look at him while he shouted “Finish!”.
The referee seemed to be somehow startled by this incident and the knowledge that his authority had remarkably suffered: He released the goal kick but did not sprint into the standard position on the pitch during goal kicks. Hence, he was (too) many metres away from play when the goal kick reached its aim.

Take Home Messages:
1) Utilize respectful gestures when communicating with players. Respect is no one-way street.
2) Take your time for verbal warnings – don’t hurry. They are important psychological moments in a football match. Do them efficiently, calmly and sovereignly.
3) Insist on the players’ attention for your words and do not allow dissent. It is best if dissent is avoided by (1), but sometimes it is inevitable. Caution players in these moments and make clear who is boss.
4) Only release play as soon as you are ready for it – mentally as well as in terms of positioning.

You can say this is theory and maybe a bit too far away from what the praxis is and allows - but I hope that this is at least some food for thought and small but effective adjuste screws that help to improve your player management.


  1. Anonymous3/2/14 13:52

    No foul in Basel - Chelsea? Are you not making a joke? Straight foot and Hazard does well to avoid serious challenge. Always a foul and a yellow card for reckless challenge. Give the card straight away instead of calling the player, giving the yellow before he turns the back to you and the problem is solved.

    But always a free kick and a yellow for reckless challenge.

    1. Anonymous3/2/14 14:11

      Don't pick one part of a 1000 puzzle out and criticize it. Very well written post, very professional. Anonymous to give the card straight away would show unrespectful behavior. The player was on the ground; you don't show cards to players lying on the ground..

    2. No, anonymous is right, I indeed made the judgment based on the first replay and did not check another one coming later. It was a foul. But I am surprised about a) that you focus on irrelevant stuff (the topic is a different one than foul detection) and b) about your culture of discussion. And, as my previous speaker said, players, who have not stood up yet, should not be cautioned immediately as a sign of respect.

  2. For me, it's a foul in Basel - Chelsea and Orsato should've whistled a shoulder-on-the-back attacks, because it was simply smarter to do so. He failed to whistle a clear infringement deserving a yellow card for me and then totally failed to rightly deal with players.

    Anyway, it's excellent text referring to one of seminar's subjects. Man-management should be a really basic skill at this level, so I'm stunned the Elite referees fall to gain respect in a good manner. We can see, the courses referring to such situations are needed and this blog superbly shares current issues with those who are not UEFA refs.

    Good work!

  3. Anonymous3/2/14 14:41

    No wonder Lannoy did not go to FWC 2014...poor management!

  4. Anonymous3/2/14 15:04

    @Niclas please can you clarify me the procedure of a penalty kick after the player who shoot the penalty has feinting after he has completed his run-up.
    If he score a goal ?
    If the goalkeeper save the goal ?

    1. I have read your comment many times and am not sure whether I have understood it properly. The syntax makes little sense.
      I guess you meant what happens if a player feints to kick the ball after having completed his run-up (?).
      If the penalty is converted into the goal, it must be repeated and the offender must be cautioned. If the goalkeeper saves the ball, indirect free-kick for the defending team + YC.
      Where is the relevance for the topic btw?

  5. In Velasco's case, I think, it is not too bad too book the two players late after everything has calmed down and after writing down the cautions. But then he should have explained his decision to them instead of just showing the card.

  6. Emil Archambault3/2/14 16:34

    One of my personal favourites: Jair Marrufo sending off Andy Najar in MLS.


    As usual, excellent analysis, Niclas. Especially the Orsato one was bad: if he wants to calm things down, stopping the game, calling the players over, chatting for a minute would have been much more ideal than this high-energy show-off.

  7. Off topic

    Michael Oliver will oversee Liverpool - Arsenal this weekend. Another great designation for a referee who really has a bright future. Incidentally, Clattenburg will take charge of Arsenal - Manchester United next week.

    What's the chances of Oliver getting an EL R32 appointment?

    1. Hey Nur H, where do you read of/ receive these 'early' UK appointments?

    2. Hi Askito,

      the Premier League release the appointments each Monday before the game (excluding Bank holidays which are released on Tuesdays). You can find them on the Premier League website.
      Also, there is a forum which mainly focuses on British refereeing. They also post appointments on their site as well.


  8. @ Philipp: Yes. Calming players down first is indeed sensible. But the situation was already calmed down for half a minute. Then nothing happened and the players waited a long time until Velasco booked them.
    @ Emil: Thank you, also for the video. Marrufo could have even sent him off with a direct red card. Sometimes one does not have to understand players..
    @ Nur: I don't want to exclude it, but I could imagine that UEFA wants to wait with Oliver one more season until he gets a k.o. match. Just my feeling, not based on anything. Good appointments!

  9. Anonymous3/2/14 21:41

    I appologize. It's a great post. This just caugt my attention:)

    I'm not talking about when the player lies on the ground, I'm talking about when the player has stood up and Lannoy gives the finger to him. Then he should have issued the card.

    But my appologize. It's a great post as usual here.

  10. Off topic

    A very good performance from Mike Dean tonight, he seems to thrive in the big games. My only point of criticism would be his inability to issue a red card to Nastacic who seemed to be the last man when he brought down Oscar. Apart from that, a solid performance from the card-shark from Wirral.
    By the way, what a performance from Chelsea, of course, masterminded by Jose Mourinho. Won't be surprised if they go on and lift the Premier League trophy, come May.

    1. I do not agree with your evaluation of the Nastasic situation. Firstly, I reject any argument about Nastasic being the 'last man'. It is clear he is the last defender, but this is irrelevant. I have never seen any passage in the Laws of the Game about a foul by the last man automatically incurring a red card. I'm exaggerating a bit because I actually think you know this as well, but I don't really like this terminology being used in such a way. Leave that to the commentators and analysts ;-).
      I believe Dean was correct in cautioning Nastasic as the distance to the goal was at least 50 metres in the situation we are talking about. A case could also be made for a covering defender in the shape of Zabaleta, but I think the distance to goal ensures this situation cannot be classified as a clear goal scoring opportunity.

      For reference:

      Laws of the Game - page 130
      Referees should consider the following circumstances when deciding whether to send off a player for denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity:
      • the distance between the offence and the goal
      • the likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
      • the direction of the play
      • the location and number of defenders

    2. With the benefit of hindsight, I now agree with you and Mr Dean. At the time I felt it was a certain sending off, but I have slept on it and I retract my comment. In that case, a near flawless performance from Mr Dean.
      Just a shame FIFA/UEFA disregarded him, I think he would have done very well in the top European/international fixtures.

  11. Anonymous4/2/14 18:12

    Interesting analysis. What do you think about Collina's management of Repka in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHTXG7b-7eY&t=1m20s ?

    1. Unacceptable based on today's standards. But it was Collina. That justified a lot.

    2. Emil Archambault4/2/14 19:00

      I don't know...I wouldn't recommend it to any referee, that's for sure. However, did it achieve the intended effect? Yes. Using that kind of contact puts the referee on the edge; any exaggeration can cause the game to spin out of control and break a career. However, if an exceptional referee (Collina) can control the effects of it, it allows him to have outstanding match control.

      Collina (in this video) uses a high-risk, high-yield approach. Personally, I can't see any other ref currently being able to achieve this. In this case, it worked.

    3. For sure it reached the targeted effect. It was another time..
      You must always ask the question whether a player would be allowed to act in the same way like the referee has done. That counts for simple cases like wearing a ring or other jewellery. But this also counts for such stuff. Every player would have been off with a red card for this behaviour against the referee. But the referee may show it? No way. Yes, there is a hierarchy between the official and a player. However it should not be interpreted in this way.

  12. I remember a similar incident with Liran Liany (once mentioned by Niclas, I believe) where the situation didn't pan out as well as it did with Collina. An approach correctly described as high-risk, high-yield by Emil. I would never touch a player in such an aggressive way myself though. It creates a situation where (to borrow Niclas' words) there can be only one 'winner', and almost always the player is the winner.

  13. OT:
    Red card issued by Howard Webb to Andy Carroll of West Ham.
    Match minute 58'.

    What do you think?

    1. In my opinion the real time shows that the action was intentional by Carroll. The replays rather suggest that the arm carted out and hitting the opponent in the face would be unintentional. Correct decision for my taste, I am sure Webb exactly saw that and got confirmation by the fourth official.
      Concerning Dean...I would not have called a red card a mistake but yellow is ok for the reasons Thomas mentioned, I think.

    2. West Ham's appeal has been rejected by the FA, Carroll will now serve a three-game ban.

    3. In my opinion correct decision by Webb and by the FA, I feel both a red and a yellow card can be defended here. Then the 'in dubio pro ref'-principle applies.
      Yellow card because it is a reckless use of the arm.
      Red card because it is deliberately striking an opponent.
      I can understand a referee who isn't sure of the second description applying in this situation, and consequently books Carroll. In this case both Webb and Moss are looking straight at the incident and seem sure of the intention of Carroll.
      Red card is a correct decision for me, yellow no mistake either.

    4. Anonymous5/2/14 00:28

      I can only agree with you that is the red card but for me mistake made by Webb. Foul was for Carroll, obviously foul, if it is not a foul what is foul in football!? If Webb immediately whistled a foul for Carroll, he probably (50-50) wouldn't attempt to hitting opponent. Web did not notice that foul. He could influenced on that situation much better.

    5. Agreed on Carroll decision. Referees in unison, commentators and fans . . . . .

  14. Haven't commented on the article yet.
    Great analysis once again, helping as well as understanding referees. Clear examples and an excellent step-by-step evaluation of the situation and the lessons which can be gleaned from these instances.
    One question/suggestion, perhaps an idea to include some examples of good man-management? I remember for instance Kenn Hansen showing outstanding conflict management in I think Ukraine-Moldova. Just an idea, good management should also get attention I think :)

    1. Emil Archambault5/2/14 01:20

      One of my personal favourites is Lee Probert on the first red card here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3NWKcEGEzw

      The card comes out quickly and without hesitation, and the players lose all will to fight as soon as Probert intervenes.

    2. It is planned. It is a bit more difficult to find these situations (technically...the negative ones were obvious in our reports and clearly highlighted so that they were easy to find), but I will have a try. It was already planned to be done in this post, I had prepared two videos of Tasos Sidiropoulos from a UEL match which showed how it can be done - unfortunately, this match is not uploaded on the external source (livefootballvideo) and I cannot upload it directly here.

  15. Cristiano Ronaldo got a ban for 3 matches after this straight red card against Athletic Bilbao:
    Do you agree with the decision of the referee?
    I think that, if you give RC to Ronaldo, you should also give it to the other player involved.
    Referee: Miguel Ayza Gámez

    1. For me:
      YC - 18/ATH for unsporting behaviour (provocation)
      RC - 7/RMA for violent conduct ('slap' in the face)
      RC - 8/ATH for violent conduct (excessive pushing, but yellow card is also correct, but would be smarter to eject both players)

    2. Yes Chefren, Iturraspe should go too.

    3. Ayza Gámez suspended for one month. Based on the three-match ban already imposed on Ronaldo, it seems RFEF agrees with us about that further disciplinary action should have been taken.
      I am very disappointed with the "will not be appointed to any further Real Madrid matches" part of the article. I feel RFEF should not leave that to Real Madrid to decide, and keep open to appoint Ayza Gámez at Real matches. I'm not saying they should, but having referees banned from certain teams is a bad idea for me in any case. As if Ayza Gámez is not able to referee Real matches in a neutral way anymore.


  16. Anonymous5/2/14 16:49

    Yevgen Aranovskyj(Ukraine) will be the main referee between Spain and Italy on 5March 2014!

    1. Very interesting info, thanks.
      This is for real a very good appointment for him, even though just a friendly, I think that UEFA has big plans for this referee...

    2. Of course there is no relation between Collina and this appointment. I wish him good luck! A big chance.

  17. Hi Niclas

    A few observations.

    On Skomina, I think he did the right thing in walking over to the vicinity of the foul (though I disagree with the foul decision), and think him rather unlucky that RvP approaches him with such venom. What we see is RvP instigate body to body contact, and whilst the immediate reaction from DS could have been better, in terms of timeframes this was a matter of miliseconds. He simply mouths, 'No' and withdraws the YC - thus resolving a potential fiery scenario.

    On Lannoy I completely agree; double YC 100%. However, in terms of Lannoy taking a step or two towards the attacker this is now the latest guidance to officials, in order to avoid potential stalemate with needless stoppages to play. It also aims to diffuse the situation and reduces 'ego demand'. But yes, walk two steps, show YC; further dissent, 2nd YC.

    On Carballo. I have only watched the video once and may have missed something? Correct YC Albiol moving to the scene swiftly. Players react in a fierce manner due to perceived injustice in the move prior to that; Carballo acts calmly, moves away from the melee and gestures (ala Webb and UEFA diktat). I can't see how he can re-start play in a speedily fashion …


    1. Thanks for feedback. You mentioned some valuable points and I specially agree with you on Lannoy, good point. I slightly disagree with the first part of your Skomina description. And about Carballo, the speedy re-start of play was not my main point, but his management skills and body language. I don't see where he acted calmly either, I found him rather not able to communicate properly and get things under control. About the time question. Yes, it is good to calm players down and to wait with personal punishments. But I don't understand why he waited 30 seconds after everything was already calmed down, slightly and insecurely walked to the first player, raised the card, searched the other player and needed again some moments to check the number of the player in his book.

  18. Wow what a important appointment for Aranowsky !!!!!!
    Any othe rnews or rumors from winter gathering ? Fitness ? Appointment ?

    1. Nothing new.

      But something about appointments.

      Referee Observers

      Manchester City - FC Barcelona: Hugh Dallas (SCO)
      Zenit - Borussia Dortmund: Jozef Marko (SVK)
      Leverkusen - PSG: Jean Lemmer (LUX)
      AC Milan - Atlético: Horst Brummeier (AUT)
      Arsenal FC - Bayern: Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)
      Schalke 04 - Real: Michel Vautrot (FRA)

    2. Interesting...thanks.
      Do you also know of the observers for Olympiacos - Man Utd and Galatasaray - Chelsea?

    3. No I don't know them, they are not designated yet.

    4. No probs, thanks anyhow.

  19. My predictions for CL, made prior to know these appointments of observers posted by Niclas:


    Manchester City – FC Barcelona Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
    Bayer Leverkusen – Paris Saint Germain Cüneyt Cakir (TUR)
    Arsenal – Bayern Monaco Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
    Milan – Atletico Madrid Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
    Zenit – Borussia Dortmund William Collum (SCO)
    Olympiacos – Manchester United Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
    Galatasaray – Chelsea Milorad Mazic (SRB)
    Schalke 04 – Real Madrid Damir Skomina (SVN)


    FC Barcelona – Manchester City Viktor Kassai (HUN)
    Paris Saint Germain – Bayer Leverkusen Olegario Benquerença (POR)
    Bayern – Arsenal Pedro Proença (POR)
    Atletico Madrid – Milan Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
    Borussia Dortmund – Zenit Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
    Manchester United – Olympiacos Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
    Chelsea – Galatasaray Felix Brych (GER)
    Real Madrid – Schalke 04 Craig Thomson (SCO)

    In this case, Eriksson would be observed by Dallas, and this is really possibile.

    1. My prediction for these games is:

      Manchester City – FC Barcelona Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
      Bayer Leverkusen – Paris Saint Germain Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
      Arsenal – Bayern München Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
      Milan – Atletico Madrid William Collum (SCO)
      Zenit – Borussia Dortmund David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP)
      Olympiacos – Manchester United Felix Brych (GER)
      Galatasaray – Chelsea Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
      Schalke 04 – Real Madrid Mark Clattenburg (ENG)


      FC Barcelona – Manchester City Viktor Kassai (HUN)
      Paris Saint Germain – Bayer Leverkusen Howard Webb (ENG)
      Bayern – Arsenal Stephane Lannoy (FRA)
      Atletico Madrid – Milan Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
      Borussia Dortmund – Zenit Milorad Mazic (SRB)
      Manchester United – Olympiacos Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
      Chelsea – Galatasaray Damir Skomina (SVN)
      Real Madrid – Schalke 04 Björn Kuipers (NED)

    2. My predictions are:

      MAN City - BARCA: Jonas Eriksson
      BAY LEV - PSG: Gianluca Rocchi
      ARS LON - BAY MUN: Milorad Mazic
      MILAN - ATL MAD: Felix Brych
      ZENIT - BVB: Svein Oddvar Moen
      OLIMP - MANU: Pedro Proenca
      GALA - CHE LON: Wolfgang Stark
      SCH 04 - REAL: Mark Clattenburg

      BARCA - MAN City: Viktor Kassai
      PSG - BAY LEV: Craig Thomson
      BAY MUN - ARS LON: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
      ATL MAD - MILAN: Björn Kuipers
      BVB - ZENIT: Martin Atkinson
      MANU - OLIMP: Nicola Rizzoli
      CHE LON - GALA: Pavel Kralovec
      REAL - SCH 04: Cuneyt Cakir

    3. I'll also post mine, made after the WC selection:


      Manchester City – FC Barcelona Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
      Bayer Leverkusen – Paris Saint Germain William Collum (SCO)
      Arsenal – Bayern München Pedro Proença (POR)
      Milan – Atletico Madrid Milorad Mazic (SRB)
      Zenit – Borussia Dortmund Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
      Olympiacos – Manchester United Olegário Benquerença (POR)
      Galatasaray – Chelsea Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
      Schalke 04 – Real Madrid Pavel Královec (CZE)


      FC Barcelona – Manchester City Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
      Paris Saint Germain – Bayer Leverkusen Howard Webb (ENG)
      Bayern – Arsenal Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
      Atletico Madrid – Milan Björn Kuipers (NED)
      Borussia Dortmund – Zenit Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
      Manchester United – Olympiacos Ivan Bebek (CRO)
      Chelsea – Galatasaray Felix Brych (GER)
      Real Madrid – Schalke 04 Viktor Kassai (HUN)

    4. My turn, only first legs.

      Man.City - FC Barcelona: Felix Brych (GER)
      Leverkusen - Paris SG: Alberto Undiano (ESP)
      Arsenal - Bayern: Pedro Proenca (POR)
      AC Milan - Atlético Madrid: Svein Moen (NOR)
      Zenit - Dortmund: William Collum (SCO)
      Olympiacos - ManU: Björn Kuipers (NED)
      Galatasaray - Chelsea: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
      Schalke - Real Madrid: Howard Webb (ENG)

  20. My predictions for CL ROUND of 16

    Manchester City – FC Barcelona F. BRYCH (GER)
    Bayer Leverkusen – Paris Saint Germain C. VELASCO CARBALLO (SPA)
    Arsenal – Bayern München N. RIZZOLI (ITA)
    Milan – Atletico Madrid M. MAZIC (SER)
    Zenit – Borussia Dortmund C. THOMSON (SCO)
    Olympiacos – Manchester United B. KUIPERS (NED)
    Galatasaray – Chelsea P. PROENCA O.A.G. (POR)
    Schalke 04 – Real Madrid H. M. WEBB (ENG)


    FC Barcelona – Manchester City V. KASSAI (HUN)
    Paris Saint Germain – Bayer Leverkusen O. M. F. B. BENQUERENCA (POR)Bayern – Arsenal A. UNDIANO MALLENCO (SPA)
    Atletico Madrid – Milan W. COLLUM (SCO)
    Borussia Dortmund – Zenit G. ROCCHI (ITA)
    Manchester United – Olympiacos S. LANNOY (FRA)
    Chelsea – Galatasaray W. STARK (GER)
    Real Madrid – Schalke 04 D. SKOMINA (SLO)

  21. Given that Dallas' presence (being a vice-officer of the committee) surely means something - and maybe means UEFA is going to test a potential final referee in Manchester-Barcelona, I would predict Brych. Last year, we had the case that Collina observed Cakir in ManU-Real; the Turkish was then considered as only needing this one successful performance to reach Wembley final. We know what came then. Brych had Barca already and it is unsure whether he is possible for the final at all, since Bayern likely reach it. So these are arguments against him. I would also tend to predict Eriksson or maybe even Moen. I sympathize with Cakir for this match..but it is surely irrealistic.

    1. This was my consideration, too. I think, that Dallas will test and observe a final candidate. Therefore I have in mind Brych/Eriksson. And because of the strength of Bayern I have taken the swedishman for this draw.

  22. Antonio Arias seems to be out of control in yesterday's Copa Libertadores match between Club Atletico Paranaense and Club Sporting Cristal...

    Four red cards...



    1. and it should have been 5 direct red cards!

    2. I agree with Jens, to be honest I have noticed at least two further straight red cards missed by Arias!

    3. IMO he missed 2 for serious foul play. I would not have sent off both players in this confrontation. Yellow would have been enough, it was still unsporting behaviour in my book.

  23. Anonymous6/2/14 19:58

    Team Eriksson has domestic friendly games in Sweden on 7 and 23 February. To me this indicates perhaps a game in the first leg in Champions League.

    /Swedish observer

  24. My turn...

    Man City - Barcelona: Damir Skomina (SVN)
    Leverkusen - PSG: Milorad Mazic (SRB)
    Arsenal - Bayern: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
    Milan - Atletico: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
    Zenit - Dortmund: Fernandez Borbalan (ESP)
    Olympiacos - Man Utd: Pedro Proenca (POR)
    Galatasaray - Chelsea: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
    Schalke - Real Madrid: Martin Atkinson (ENG)

    Barcelona - Man City: Felix Brych (GER)
    PSG - Leverkusen: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
    Bayern - Arsenal: Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
    Atletico - Milan: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
    Dortmund - Zenit: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
    Man Utd - Olympiacos: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
    Chelsea - Galatasaray: Bjorn Kuipers (NED)
    Real Madrid - Schalke: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)

  25. Of topic, Bundes liga match from last weekend.
    I would like to have your opinion on this situation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnUz6mQzgEE 05:00min. Bellow is my thinking:
    1. The referee should have awarded penalty kick and a red card to defender.
    2. Even if defender used his head (instead of arm/palm) the assistant referee and the whole referee team, should have considered it as intentional play and not intentional save, therefore no offside there, right?
    Thank you for your effort.

    1. As mentioned in a different post, there will be a thread on this matter soon. Maybe you can keep your opinions hot until then.

  26. Match officials for WU17 at Costa Rica.


  27. Nur, Askito....was the 1-0 at Anfield offside? I did not watch a reply for now..

    1. Yes - two players (Skrtel and Toure) were in an offside position when the ball was delivered by Gerrard. AR2 today is Gary Beswick.

  28. Anonymous8/2/14 21:40

    Did not see the replay either but did not an Arsenal player touch the ball before it reached Skrtl?

    /Swedish observer

    1. It's really hard to tell if the Arsenal player (Arteta) got a touch on the ball before it found its way to Skrtel. I've watched several replays and I can't come to any definitive conclusion. Judge for yourselves:

    2. Yes, there was a touch. It's visible in first two views. Really perfect decision then, if assistant saw an offside position of Skrtel.

  29. Anonymous8/2/14 23:59

    how about this situation:


  30. Ben Williams taking action against abuse from a disgruntled player...


  31. Lisbon Derby Benfica - Sporting postponed after the stadium roof started falling apart due to high winds. And this is supposed to be the CL final venue...


    1. Anonymous9/2/14 21:10

      Of course UEFA will hide this news!

  32. Nice article by TFF.org with all the dates and the meetings for the WC preselected officials.

  33. Anonymous10/2/14 16:31

    In fact, it's basically a copy of FIFA website last week.

  34. Almeria - Atletico Madrid:
    Ref: F. Teixeiora Vitienes.
    Penalty and RC to keeper for DOGSO.
    I really can't understand the foul whstled by referee.

    1. Correct, Chefren. I have seen this situation, too. I also can't understand the decision. There was no foul and I think, that F. Teixeira Vitienes could not take the whistle, because nor he nor his assistant had a view on the action of the players, because it was hidden by their backs. So he was not allowed to whistle and to give the red card due to LotG (no decision on spec!). And showing the red card it first seems that it concerns the striker. This is also not solved well by the referee.

  35. Off topic: Appointment for

    Germany - Chile (05th March)

    Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
    Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
    Assistant Referee 2: Jake Collin (ENG)
    Fourth Referee: Marco Fritz (GER)

    1. Good appointment for Clatts and co.

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