May 24, 2014

Champions League Final Referee Kuipers Awaits Goosebumbs

Real Madrid CF and Club Atlético de Madrid have been hard at work assessing each other, and keeping just as close an eye on matters have been the UEFA Champions League final match officials led by referee Björn Kuipers.

The Dutchman, following in the footsteps of compatriots Leo Horn, Charles Corver and Dick Jol in refereeing the European Cup final, will have the honour on Saturday night in Lisbon as the two Madrid rivals meet. And along with assistant referees Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra, additional assistant referees Pol van Boekel and Richard Liesveld, reserve assistant referee Angelo Boonman and Turkish fourth official Cüneyt Çakir, Kuipers will know the teams inside out.
"We really prepare a lot," Kuipers told "I have seen their matches in the Champions League, and especially games between Atlético and Real – we saw the matches between them in the Copa, in the Spanish league, so we prepared very, very well. We have a video analyst who helps us a lot to get the right matches and the right pictures, the key players and the playing styles. So our preparation is from A to Z."
Like the players, stepping out on the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica pitch is the pinnacle for any referee and his team of assistants " It's an honour to be here, to be appointed for this unique Champions League final," Kuipers said. "I'm very proud, very happy with this fantastic Champions League final. I am very proud of the team, and we are looking forward to it."
The UEFA Champions League anthem playing is "what we call in the Netherlands a 'Kippenvel' moment, literally 'chicken skin'" Kuipers added. "It's a moment you will never forget, so you have to enjoy it."
This is far from Kuipers's first big final. A year ago he oversaw Chelsea FC's triumph over SL Benfica to win the UEFA Europa League at the Amsterdam ArenA, and in his first year as a FIFA official he handled the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final between Russia and the Czech Republic in Luxembourg. "Every step you take is a new one. And in 2006 it was the first year I became an international referee, so to start with a tournament, a final tournament, and to do the final was a big step, and it finishes here now at the Champions League final. So it's a great experience, you know."
His refereeing journey goes back even further than that, and there are a large group of people to whom Kuipers is thankful. "To many, not to one person but to many people," he said. "I started refereeing when I was 16, I'm now 41, so already a long time.
"So I'm not dedicating this final to one person, but to all the people who are there for me: my family, my friends, also the people who have worked with me in refereeing. So it's a great moment for everybody who stands with us."

Check the original text as well as a video interview on

UEFA Champions League Final 2014
24 May 2014, 20:45 CET
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal
Real Madrid - Atlético Madrid
Referee: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (Netherlands)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin E. J. Zeinstra (Netherlands)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Pol van Boekel (Netherlands)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Richard Liesveld (Netherlands)
Fourth Official: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Angelo Boonman (Netherlands)
UEFA Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (Germany)
UEFA Delegate: Karl-Erik Nilsson (Sweden)
UEFA Referee Liaison Officer: Nuno Castro (Portugal)
Blog Referee Observers: Chefren (Italy), Niclas (Germany)


  1. Anonymous24/5/14 14:37

    Niclas,did the anounymous send you the 2014 UEFA RAP document(the one that discussed in the ''MLS Offside post'')?hope you could send me a copy one!THX

  2. Anonymous24/5/14 18:26

    what is an UEFA Referee Liaison Officer ?

    1. Anonymous24/5/14 18:27

      i already found it ;)

  3. Anonymous24/5/14 21:06

    Uefa referee liaison officer, is there to meet the officials at the airport , and take then to the hotel and basically look after them.

  4. Anonymous24/5/14 22:40

    5minn add time?
    hm, no need it

    1. Anonymous24/5/14 23:03

      Poor management of added time again. No need to allow the corner. Simeone should be sent off. Too tolerance.

    2. Anonymous13/6/14 02:35

  5. Anonymous24/5/14 23:05

    Incredibile scene with Simeone in the pitch and he is still on the bench.

  6. Anonymous24/5/14 23:29

    Kuipers took all big decisions right, but he was too lenient towards tactical fouls (2-3 yellow cards missed) and inconsistent with added time (5 minutes? too much! 1 minute was wasted because of goal celebration and he whistled in 95', he could've added two minutes to the first half of extra-time, but added only 1' and then allowed a corner kick without a reason). I would describe this performance as overally good, expected level, but with some points for improvement (lack of more preventive and a bit stricter approach as main of them). The mark would be 8.3 from me.

    / Dr K

    1. Anonymous24/5/14 23:44

      Your analysis is absolutely right but my mark would be even lower (surely not higher than 8.3). We can be in 8.2 area. Satisfactory with small areas for improvement. In addition to your remarks, I want to remember that Kuipers had already this kind of issues at Confederations Cup final, one year ago. If you remember it was said that he allowed too much complaints and unfair behavior by Brazilian players, missing in prevention. This evening in my opinion he made the same mistakes, towards Atletico players (really too lenient in first half) and then towards Simeone (he deserved to be sent off earler). He showed several lacks in prevention. The match was difficult but he could have managed better many situations. A throw-in executed in a wrong position (too far away from the correct point) led to repeated complaints by Atletico players. They were right. So my points for improvement are:
      1) more consistency in YC, not tolerating reckless challenges
      2) management of added time
      3) management of the team officials on the benches (not allowing them too much)
      4) pay more attention to throw-in and free kick execution.
      which means that most of these points came from a missed prevention by the Dutch official and a not convincing ( sometimes) body language.
      We are in 8.2, 8.3 area, as said, but for me more 8.2.
      I expected more.
      A. B.

    2. Anonymous25/5/14 00:01

      If we were talking about a normal difficulty match, I would agree with you two, but we are not talking about such a match. If Brychs EL final was already very challenging this one was very very challennging for almost every member of the ref team! 5min added time in 2nd half was much, but ATL. players were wasting time...... And indeed Simeone deserved to go off much earlier. That for me was one of his only real mistakes today. Besides that IMO the penalty was soft. Call me biased, but in this kind of matches his (maybe too) tolerant approach was the only good one for this match. Otherwise we would have ended in a card festival!
      Overall no perfect match for sure, but I think almost nobody would have kept total control in this CL final and Kuipers did overall really well. For me surely 8.3/8.4 because of the difficulty of the match, maybe even 8.5


    3. Anonymous25/5/14 00:08

      This match was not very very challenging. maybe first half difficult but second was normal. He gave no handball-penalty in min 101 and the penalty he gave was no penalty. Also AR1 had a lot of mistakes. Not more than 7,8

  7. Anonymous24/5/14 23:54

    Missed penalty for hardball?

  8. Anonymous25/5/14 00:03

    this night was not the night for mr. Kuipers. Inconsistent with added time (5 min). No good management in prevention. He missed also a clear handball-penalty in min 101 (after freekick from ronaldo). The penalty he gave for real was for me no penalty.
    AR1 first offside was wrong and also a clear foul in min.23 was no signal from AR1. Kuipers also whistle in min 22 a foul for real and it was a clear advantage for Real madrid to have a chance to score a goal later on.
    The dealing with the coach from atletico was very bad. We wanted to see a better performance from a referee in a CL-Final.

    1. Anonymous25/5/14 00:30

      I agree with your analyse. It was not hte night from kuipers. If he has this performance in worldcup, he will have only one match.

  9. Anonymous25/5/14 00:11

    If you said 7,9 for Mr. Brych in EuroLeague-Final, I agree with the analyse from anonymous before. Than Kuipers get also 7,9 or 7,7. AR1 8,0.

  10. Anonymous25/5/14 00:12

    In some minutes quite dirty game. But all mporatant decisions were fully respected by the players (no clear dissent for 120 minutes). But...
    Handball and penatly in extra-time? Not really. Simeone's "dissent" - well, you cannot book a coach, so or sending off or nothing. He allowed him to stay which is at least acceptable.
    Maybe 1 more YC needed for stopping a promising attack but nothing more.
    Kuipers had at least few chances to "became a hero" of this match, but he dealt it rather smooth, so - for me - 8.5 is good mar for a well done job.

    1. Anonymous25/5/14 00:16

      I think you saw a other match this night

    2. Anonymous25/5/14 00:33

      Very strong comment from you. Have you ever whistled any match in any sportin your career?
      For every game you shoul find youf own way to solving difficult decissions. In my point of wiev Kuipers tactic to avoid any serious mass confrontations was fully right (quick, but right YC in first part of game - clear signal "guys, no this type fo behaviour".
      Any foul-detections missings? Maybe one or two, which is a number fully calculated in this type of match.
      Corner/kick-off decicions? One, propably, but some replays needed, also responsibility of (A)AR needs to be calculated.
      YC/RC missed? Maybe one for stopping a promising attack in extra-time.
      Honestly - nothing more. He dealt up really nice with this game. Of course, we still have an oportunity to find something strange and unimportant, but his job today was made really well (IMHO of course).

    3. Anonymous25/5/14 00:39

      what about the missing handball in min 101 after the freekick from ronaldo? Its a clear handball and penalty. So for uefa rules not more than 7,9. And we speak nothing about the other things he missed.
      But yes it was a final and a dificult match.

    4. Anonymous25/5/14 09:01

      Be real that was not a penalty, expecially not the one to be considered as crucial mistake

  11. Anonymous25/5/14 00:13

    I agree , pour performance from Kuipers this night.

  12. Anonymous25/5/14 00:23

    imo good game by Kuipers. His body language was very convincing and showed clearly who was in charge of the match. The cards that were given were all correct imo and yes the only mistake is that Simeone should have been sent off. I can't take the marks of 7.7 etc. seriously. This match is a very challenging and high demanding match, taking into account that there were 120 of minutes played in which the referee and his team kept FULL control despite the chaotic ending(after the penalty of Ronaldo, which was a very difficult to see but excellent detected). Imo marks of at least 8.4 are at place here again due to the high demanding match.


    1. Anonymous25/5/14 00:31

      I'm glad that someone saw the same match I did see ;)

  13. Anonymous25/5/14 00:35

    Was there not a penalty for a handball missed? Movement of the hand and in an unnatural position?

  14. Anonymous25/5/14 01:07

    Situations for check and evaluationb (without ARs):

    25:50 - 'orange' card for foul and superb card to Ramos (WOW effect) for provocative behaviour, referee set the standards with this caution

    27:45 and 29:02 - two bad fouls from 6 ATL, first should be strong verbal warning and second clear YC for PI

    51:34 - bad management with throw-in for Real, yards robbed by Real player

    80:45 - not the best management again

    84:00 (84:25) - controversy, one could whistle such penalty, but of course... :)

    88:20 - missed clear yellow card

    99:50 - big controversy, penalty for handball?, hand in unnatural position, but was the hand increasing body surface, not sure about it, so pro referee in this case

    104:00 - bad management again, he could've easily issued YC/RC for Juanfran and the boy who kicked the ball away long after whistle

    119:00 - perfectly detected penalty where most of us was thinking it was a dive for sure

  15. Anonymous25/5/14 01:37

    Most comment about the 'errors' the referee made are remarks of the 'administrative right referee' sitting in front of the TV. Any feeling of what a referee's role in the match between two Spanish rivals in a Champions League final is missing. The referee did great job. Adding 5 minutes stoppage time in a match with delaying Spanisg teams, a lot of substitutions and unneccesary delay of the game is even on the mild side. The panalty was a definitive one according to the review: no intention to play the ball, deliberately tripping of the player in a scoring position. The 'missed' penalty in min 101, could necer have been awarded if a player in purpose hit the wall and the player jumped up with his arm in the stable position at the free kick taking.
    Bjorn Kuipers did a great job, sensed the game and is candidate no 1. for the FIFA world championship final in Brasil this summer.

  16. Agreed. I think the comments posted thus far on Kuipers' performance have been a tad harsh, to say the very least. Kuipers can now shift his attention to the WC, knowing he performed very well in the biggest game in club football.

    P.s. Simeone is an absolute disgrace. Childish behaviour...

    1. Anonymous25/5/14 02:13

      A very difficult match and a competent work by Kuipers' team, including a penalty decision that less confident referees wouldn't take. Also, the added 5 minutes were absolutely justified IMO.

  17. Anonymous25/5/14 02:18

    We had lobbying for Mazic, we have lobbying for Kuipers now. :D

    1. I would like to know how you came to that conclusion? Answer on a postcard please...

    2. Anonymous25/5/14 02:41

      Ouch!!! Fighting for Kuipers must be so cool. I'm so sad I saw some weaknesses in his performance. He's so faultless!

    3. Dear me. I find it strange that commentators on this blog always seem to mention the bad aspects to a refereeing performance, while completely disregarding the good. In Kuipers' case, I would definitely say the good outweigh the bad. Looking back on my first comment, I don't think I ever mentioned that the Dutchman put in a "faultless" performance. Wait...let me just double don't see anything. But then you the cheek, the audacity to accuse us of lobbying? Bewildering...

  18. Anonymous25/5/14 08:09

    I don't know why referees in a final should be always protected on this blog.
    At first Brych now Kuipers. We can say that they had not the best evenings, we could have expected more. But some of you are always content for each performance. That is not good. Kuipers was below expected level. The big mistake was the tolerance with Simeone. A referee can't be verbally attacked in this way, with a coach running in the pitch just to do that. Never seen at Champions League level. You can miss all the crucial calls in a match and a observer could always try to back you, but in this case it is impossible. Lack of personality. Then, what Simeone did in the last minutes of the game was just a consequence of that, and a poor show for UEFA..Furthermore, lacks of control were blatant. Brych was by far better in EL final in my opinion, at least about that. We want to see more authoritative officials. I agree with the comment by anonymous at 01:07 AM, especially when he reports the situation happened in 80:45. Please go to watch again this scene. No alertness by referee, Atletico player had the only aim to waste time. It was a success. Kuipers by a passive approach, was unable to control and prevent the subsequent moments of tension. And that was not the first time. The penalty whistled is in my opinion acceptable. I can also accept the no call for handball, but overall these situations become not that relevant under the eyes of an observer. The rest, if you ask me, was far from expected level. I can't find other good arguments. Or, at least, the points for improvement are more than positive points. Isn't that true? Isn't Kuipers sn Elite official? He can perform better. Marks as 8.5 are impossible to be given. Each referee can officiate in the same way Kuipers did. From Elite we expect more. And, yes, a few mistakes for AR1 too, starting from the first wrong flag. Then, later on (in second half') he missed a offiside. I think I'm not too harsh if I say that it was a small step below expected level, nevertheless without crucial or relevant mistakes.
    In the last time, for UEFA and some readers of this blog, the excellence is the normality. One can always find a justification: it was difficult. Yes, but we are not Kuipers. He is Elite referee at UEFA level. The same can be said for Brych and all the other names who are going to travel for Brazil. Hope that my words are clear.

    1. How was Brych protected from this blog when both he and his AAR1 received 7.9 in our report?

    2. Again this story about Brych, at the end you can read his mark on the report. Is that protection? :)

    3. Thanks anonymous. We are currently rewatching and analyzing the match and will come back to your situations mentioned later. For now I would however dare to say that there was no lack of control. Regards.

  19. Anonymous25/5/14 08:23

    I saw Kuiper's match yesterday and even though he made some mistakes, my overall impression was a good, expected performance. I think he got most calls right, but at the same time he had some inconsistencies in his foul detection. Protesting - yes a lot of that but I really think that this was more or less unavidable in a Spanish derby like this, so for me not a very big issue. A Champions League final with two Spanish teams like this must be viewed as a challenging match. For sure some of the players did not make it easier for him. Simeone was quite agitated sometimes, but to be honest most of the time I thought that this was not directed at the referees. He had to go to the stands of course after entering the field of play. Overall, I would probably mark Kuipers in 8,3-8,4-area and after one night of reflection I would probably give him 8,3.

    AR 1 had a tough night with a lot of decisions so a challenging night for him too. Am not sure if he got all offsides correct though. But without having reviewed the match I think 8,3 for him. AR 2 was spotless so 8,4 for him in my view.

    So - basicalky I think that they made a good job in Lisbon last night and they contributed welk to a very tense and nerve wrecking match!

    /Swedish observer

  20. Goodmorning... reading the comments I was starting to doubt my own sanity. Did I see the right match yesterday evening.

    After the Brych assessment I see the same thing happening again. The focus is on details that went wrong....

    Kuipers positioning was good to very good. He was close to the situations that mattered. His strategy towards the match was risky but it worked! He clearly had an approach of "let it be a match". He took a risk based approach rather than a rule based ticking the box approach. For 120 min his match control was excellent. Yes there are situations were he could have given another YC but nothing serious.

    Application of the LotG was good to very good. And teamwork was excellent. For those who are interested replay the first goal please and assess the possible and difficult off side situation and the right call that was made (after consulting his team).
    The penalty was a hard to see, difficult, but correct decision. The hands ball I actually don't assess as penalty.

    His approach towards Simeone I actually understood and I was and am supportive about that. Simeone's behavior was not without respect and actually was focused on keeping his players focused on behaving correctly. But those of you that say that Simeone was violating the rules.... you are correct. Sending him off for it, in this match no I wouldn't have done it.

    As for time management the 5 minutes IMHO was correct. please replay the second half and count according the instructions of adding extra time.... As about the corner kick in first half of extra period, this also was correct. The ball was out of the field (corner) before the extra time was passed. Again according to instructions the ref should allow the corner kick to be taken. With a smile on my face I think about the discussions and criticism in this blog on refs that don't add enough extra time... :-).

    Overall a good/very good performance in a very challenging match. That because of the approach of Kuipers never escalated. My indicative marking would be 8.5.

    Regards RC

    1. I had the same issue. Thought I watched a different match.

    2. Me too. Are my eyes failing me? Might just pop down to the opticians to get my them tested. Only a precaution...

    3. Anonymous25/5/14 14:08

      Dear RC,

      I agree with your view about Kuipers' performance, specially about the penalty decision and the added extra time. I congrat you for your analysis. The added 5 minutes were absolutely justified. I think the surprise is because hardly anyone follows the instructions of adding extra time. A more defensive referee wouldn't take those 2 correct decisions. Kuipers' crucial decisions, IMO, were all correct.
      I'm sorry I just don't agree with your comparison with Brych's work. It's difficult for me to qualify Brych's team crucial mistakes in a match decided at the PSO as 'details that went wrong'.


    4. Dear Anonymous,

      Thanks for the compliment! Just to clarify I didn't compare the performance of Kuipers and Brych. What I tried to say was that as in the assessment of Brych people focus too much on things that go wrong and loose the big picture.

      In the case of Team Brych they performed very well during the 120 mins. But the team (incl. Brych) made a crucial and avoidable mistake in the PSO.

      In the case of Team Kuipers it is even worse. I haven't detected any crucial mistake still the focus is on (minor) mistakes. And indeed I agree that the courage to allow 5 mins additional time, the courage to award the penalty and the courage not to remove Simeone (sending him off would have been the easy way) is not reflected in the comments. On the latter one.... sending Simeone away would probably give Kuipers an extra 0.2 in the marking of some people here but....... would have caused great difficulty and disruption in the match. So I still support his decision not to do so.

      Regards RC

    5. Really nice comments. RC Referee and the previous anonymous, I basically agree with your points concerning the additional time. But don't you think that when praising his courage to award these 5 minutes, we should also criticize that he did not show enough alertness (don't want to call it a lack of courage) for not enlarging the additional time adequately ( due to the goal celebrations in 90+3 - 90+4 up to 90+6:XY ) ?

    6. Anonymous25/5/14 20:53

      Niclas, yes, you're right. I agree, he should have enlarged the additional time a bit more. But it's funny he was criticized mainly for the 5 minutes conceded. I can't imagine how he would be treated if he did enlarged the additional time and, for example, Real scored a second goal on that period...

    7. Stupid question but did they really complain about the 5 minutes themselves? I mean, it was clear there would be 3 or 4 minutes and Simeone would have accepted it for sure. The goal was scored after 3 minutes of additional time and not 5. So why should he actually complain? In the live-match, I had the impression they were angry that he did not allow a last attack of Atletico in regular time.

    8. Anonymous26/5/14 20:29

      I may be wrong, but I understood they were complaining about the 5 minutes. IIRC at the press conference, when asked about the incident with Kuipers, Simeone said something near this 'when we're winning, if possible, we want only half a minute of additional time'. But you're right, it would only make sense to complain for Kuipers not enlarging the additional time adequately.

  21. Well, since I'm one of the observers for this match, I will not say anything for now.
    There will be many things to be discussed in our report.
    I ask for your patience, it may take a quite long time, anyway of course not that long
    We want to write a deep and detailed analysis taking into account everything.

  22. OT Ekberg immediately appointed for a U21 match again after Under 17 tournament:
    Quite important observer: William Young (SCO).

  23. 5 min added time to the 2nd half was a bit mystical, 3 minutes would've probably been enough. Luckily the 1-1 goal was scored on 90+3min, so that decision from Kuipers didn't turn out to be decisive. But still... And Ronaldo's penalty... there was a contact, but contact isn't equal to penalty decision; so it looked like a classic Ronaldo fooling the ref again. There were a few more things.

    But the overall negative undertone here isn't justified IMO. Obviously Kuipers wasn't having his best of games, but he had control and authority, almost always gave YC's when it was necessary. It never looked like getting out of control. And the match wasn't the easiest kind either (the difficulty of the match + the importance of the match).

    Therefore: there are things to improve, but this wasn't an example of bad refereeing by any means.

  24. This article backs-up Kuipers' decision to award 5 minutes at the end:

  25. I don't want to comment on the performance, since Chefren and I are about to prepare the report soon.

    However I would ask you to not transfer individual comments in this blog to "the blog's" opinion. Furthermore many of these anonymous comments do not correspond to a well-reflected analysis of the performance from my point of view - and are a bit odd to say the least.

    Concerning the additional time of 5 minutes, it was fully ok. My bigger concern is that the goal and its celebration took 60-90 seconds (must find the accurate time later on) and that Kuipers did not enlarge the additional time adequately and wisely when Atletico were having a throw-in. That was a tactically unclever procedure (Mazic did the same in Sevilla) and automatically fueled Simeone's protests.

    Overall with these two final performances we saw a good European standard (in the regular time!), at least IMO. You can always criticize technical things, but we should also keep in mind that the pressure is immense, that these 6 / 7 guys are humans and that you can only compare them to comparable referees. And never to perfectionism.

  26. It was neither 8.5 nor 7.7 performance. We should balance good things and points for improvement. I think there were many points for improve. Pro-active refereeing was somehow missing with exception of 27th minute. Kuipers seemed too passive and wanted to be in the shadow too much in my humble opinion and that's probably why some of you have bad feelings. I agree, it was not the best tactic, but overally he kept things under control and took all big decisions right. For me, there weren't missed penalties and keeping Simeone on the bench after his behaviour in extra-time break was at least acceptable if not preferable. 5 minutes were justified, but if we want to be consistent, what would we say about Brych... Kuipers failed to add an extra minut for goal celebration during those 5 minutes and it was a bit strange (maybe too big pressure from Atletico's bench?). It was a good job in quite challenging match with some minor points for improvement (better managing of additional time and more pro-active refereeing needed). Therefore, I would mark him on 8.3 or 8.4 level. Definitely no more and no less.

  27. Is there any official statement on whether Simeone was sent away by Kuipers or not? I got the impression that at around 120 min, when Simeone entered the pitch (again), he was 'officially' sent away by the referee...

    1. That's my impression as well, Jan.

    2. Some (Dutch) news websites also state that Simeone was sent off. Taking that into account, together with the quite clear gestures from Kuipers and Simeone walking towards the crowd (at least, he seems to do that), makes me quite convinced that he was indeed sent away. does not say anything about it however; at least I cannot find it.

      BTW in my opinion it was a good game. Crucial calls right and the match was always under control. Of course there will be points for improvement. Since both Brych and Kuipers do not add extra time to the extra time when, for instance, a goal was scored, maybe this is instructed by UEFA?

    3. Instead of Brych I meant Mazic :)

    4. Official confirmation by UEFA that Simeone was dismissed from Kuipers.

  28. Anonymous25/5/14 20:38

    Long time reader, first time poster here (probably changing from the „Anonymous“ label in the future).

    As usual, most comments here are made from the referee’s point of view (which is normal since we all are more or less referee fanboys), and the question leading to most of the controversies in the comments is the thin red line between „mistake“ and „rooms for improvement“.

    Having said that, I think Kuipers’ performance was mixed and I certainly think that he is not totally satisfied with his performance. As pointed out in a previous post, we are talking about an Elite referee here, probably one of the Top 5 referees in the world right now. Only maintaining control over the match is not sufficient on that level. It was a challenging match, of course, however, in my opinion, there have been way more challenging matches in Spanish clashes in the past (anyone remember Stark’s clasico en 2011?).

    In general, I think, a lot of the problems Kuipers faced were at least partially based on previous actions he took in the match. I can only talk generally because I did not make notes during the game nor do I have the time to make an in-depth video analysis right now :) . However, there were two points that struck me a little:

    1. It seems like Kuipers was only willing to show yellow cards when they had no immediate effect (i.e. were the first yellow card) on a player. He cautioned virtually all fouls that were „worse than normal fouls“. That’s ok and certainly helped calm down the game, especially in the first half (the double yellow in 27’, I think, has been widely praised and clearly had an effect, for instance). However, in similar circumstances, later in the game, he did not follow the limits he has imposed himself on. In the second half, there were some attempts from both sides to provoke turmoils on the field, the referee decided to solve this then by talking to the players, although the character of the match did not change for the better in the second half. Also, especially in extra time, certain fouls that would certainly have been cautioned earlier in the game were called but simply ignored in terms of player management. No stern warning, just a free kick and on it goes. Once late into the second half he cautions an Atletico player for kicking away the ball. Some minutes later, in extra time, an almost identical situation happens and he decides (it was clearly visible to him) to keep the card in his pocket. To me, it seems like he didn’t want to show cards that could have an effect on the outcome of the game. And, seeing that players basically did not change their behavior after being cautioned, it seems like the players also noticed that.

    2. In my opinion the infamous handball scene in extra time also has its roots in an earlier situation, somewhere in the last quarter of the second half. Real had one of its many Cristiano Ronaldo Free Kicks, with the Atletico player’s wall in their own penalty box. Kuipers delayed the execution of the free kick to talk with the wall. Then, he made it very clear (by gestures and probably also words) that having the arms in an unnatural position before the free kick would result in consequences in case the ball hits the arm afterwards. Ronaldo probably remembered this in the extra time situation and complained. In my opinion, due to Kuipers’ actions earlier in the game, I can understand this.

    In general, this again is one of the „big final“ discussions similar to the one about Rizzoli’s performance last year. Should a referee interfere in a „great match“ by making possibly game-changing decisions? Or should he „look the other way“, bending the laws of the game so that afterwards, there is not too much controversy about the referee? I don’t know if there is an answer to that question.

    I hope that wasn’t too much text for a first-time commenter.

    1. First of all anonymous, welcome.

      I will only comment on the last paragraph of your comment about Kuipers and Rizzoli. You can't compare those 2 performances. We can talk for many hours for some fouls deserved of a YC (possibly 2nd) in Kuipers case. But Rizzoli missed 2 violent conducts which by definition are mandatory RC.

    2. Welcome. We would be happy if you contribute to our discussions in future as well.

      Specially your first point is very valuable to think about. And somehow I think that you are right to a certain extent. He often chose the safe and comfortable option, but on the other hand I have no problems with a referee who does not send off a player for kicking the ball away. These matches and specially these minutes are emotive for everyone. There are many balls in the stadium so that the original thought of this rule (delaying the re-start of play) maybe becomes less relevant. I don't want to see a referee who "spoils" a final by reading the LotG literally without combining it with his match feeling. But in principle you probably have a point. And as for your handball suggestion, I will pay attention to that when we write the report.

  29. And I'd like to add one more thing, maybe not really relevant, but anyway. I checked the replays of the penalty and the YC given to Godin, but this YC must have been given for some form of dissent (in word?), because Godin is, if I'm right, not involved in Ronaldo's fall. Atletico #14 and #20 seem involved, not Godin (who is #2).

    1. You are right. The card was given to another player. Not the one who committed the foul. We are inverstigating on that, the only explanation can be dissenting gestures or words. Otherwise, this is a crucial mistake, booking the wrong player. I don't want to believe that.
      Video footage can't help us, in the crucial moments there is Cristiano Ronaldo in camera.

    2. Anonymous25/5/14 21:29

      If look closely you can see Godin giving Kuipers a cynical applause just after awarding the penalty

    3. I think you're right. In the shot where you see Ronaldo with the ball in his hands when he has stood up again after falling inside the box, just before this shot ends, you can see Godin walking towards Kuipers and clapping his hands (although the focus is on Ronaldo, you can still recognize Godin and his applause).

    4. And maybe another reason for this is that there is some time between Kuipers whistling the penalty and showing the YC, indicating that possibly something else (the cynical applause by Godin) happened in that time.

  30. England - Peru (30/05/2014)
    Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
    Assistant Referee 1: Gábor Erös (HUN)
    Assistant Referee 2: György Ring (HUN)
    Fourth Official: Mihaly Fabián (HUN)

  31. OT: DFB has honoured Felix Zwayer as the Best Referee of the Season 2013/14. He has shown immensely good performances in many difficult matches, among others in Bayern-Dortmund and the relegation. So I think UEFA could reflect on whom they should focus, Zwayer or Aytekin or whether on both.

    1. Congrats to him - bright future. No reason why UEFA can't push both... Especially since Brych will be the only German in the Elite Category, come winter.

  32. I have no idea where the negative reviews come from. Kuipers' performance was the most splendid of the CL season. Pipping the performances of Webb, Rizzoli, Clattenburg and Carballo

    1. Askito, its always torture to be judged by your peers.....:-) But I understand your opinion is shared by both the trainers (yes including Simeone) and the top players within both teams. If we may believe media reports UEFA was very pleased by the performance of Kuipers in what mr Platini called one of the most challenging UCL Finals in recent history. After watching the match for the third time, I more and more come to the conclusion Kuipers did a great job. I saw a very nice photo of Kuipers and Simeone after the match... it showed respect for each other.To be fair Simeone didn't blame Kuipers at all. Regards RC

    2. The problem Chefren and I were / are facing when judging Kuipers' performance is that technically considered there were several deficits (besides many strengths) which led us to expected level. In a wider context, understanding his tactical approach etc, my feeling is the same like yours.

  33. Daniel Arquero28/5/14 13:15

    Brych and Kuipers not well. And Aytekin in Germany is the referee number 12, I

  34. Anonymous28/5/14 13:25

    Holland-Spain. For Eriksson,Brych or Mazic?

    1. I think the question should rather be, for Proenca, Rizzoli or Eriksson? I don't think they'll put so much pressure on Brych's or Mazic's shoulders in their first match. Rizzoli is my candidate.

    2. Anonymous28/5/14 13:52

      I don't know and it's really guessing a bit, but given the last meeting at 2010 WC it indeed has to be a really good ref, Webb is absolutely impossible in my view, everybody in Holland and Spain will immediately think about the really really bad game he had 4 years ago! But I think that given the great amount of european-latin american clashes that it will be a European ref indeed. Aguilar, or Irmatov/ Nishimura could do it too, but they are needed in other matches if FIFA wants neutrality of confederations as much as possible (I don't really see why they should do that) My first choice would be Brych, but Rizolli is possible too for me. As outsiders I see Cakir, Mazic or Eriksson.

    3. My choice also would be Brych.

    4. Rizzoli for me. Brych or Kuipers for ENG-ITA.

  35. Anonymous29/5/14 01:45

    Brazil-Croatia: Nishimura
    Netherlands-Spain: Mazic
    England-Italy: Brych
    Germany-Portugal: Kuipers

  36. Friendlies

    Portugal - Greece
    Árbitro: Kevin Blom (Holanda)
    Árbitros Assistentes: Hessel Steegstra - Patrick Langkamp (Holanda)
    4º Árbitro: Hugo Miguel (Portugal)

    Czech Republic - Austria
    Pol van Boekel (NED)
    Angelo Boonman - Dave Goossens

  37. Anonymous29/5/14 15:12

    Friendlies not mentioned here:

    MAROCCO – MOZAMBIQUE (23/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Hugo Filipe Ferreira Campos Moreira Miguel – Portugal
    Assistant Referee 1: Paulo Alexandre Santos Soares – Portugal
    Assistant Referee 2: Nuno Filipe Santos Tomás Pereira – Portugal
    Fourth Official: Duarte Nuno Pereira Gomes – Portugal

    MALI – GUINEA (25/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Benoît Millot – France
    Assistant Referee 1: Stephan Luzi – France
    Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Saint-Cricq Lompre – France
    Fourth Official: Mikaël Lesage – France

    AUSTRALIA - SOUTH AFRICA (26/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok - Korea Republic
    Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo - Australia
    Assistant Referee 2: Luke Brennan - Australia
    Fourth Official: Strebre Delovski - Australia

    ESTONIA – GIBRALTAR (26/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Clayton Pisani – Malta
    Assistant Referee 1: Ingmar Spiteri – Malta
    Assistant Referee 2: William Debattista – Malta
    Fourth Official: Sten Klaasen – Estonia

    BELGIUM - LUXEMBOURG (26/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Tom Harald Hagen - Norway
    Assistant Referee 1: Dag-Roger Nebben - Norway
    Assistant Referee 2: Jan-Erik Engan - Norway
    Fourth Official: Tore Hansen - Norway

    SERBIA - JAMAICA (26/05/2014)
    Main Referee: David Gantar - Canada
    Assistant Referee 1: Philippe Briere - Canada
    Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Belleau - Canada
    Fourth Official: José Carlos Rivero - United States

    KOREA REPUBLIC - TUNISIA (28/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Martin Atkinson - England
    Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child - England
    Assistant Referee 2: Peter Kirkup - England
    Fourth Official: Kim Sang-Woo - Korea Republic

    ANGOLA - MAROCCO (28/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Duarte Nuno Pereira Gomes - Portugal
    Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Jorge Ferreira Santos - Portugal
    Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Alexandre Baptista Garcia - Portugal
    Fourth Official: Hugo Filipe Ferreira Campos Moreira Miguel - Portugal

    MEXICO - ISRAEL (28/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Elmer Arturo Bonilla Ruiz - El Salvador
    Assistant Referee 1: Geovany García Lima - El Salvador
    Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Alexander Bermúdez Caballero - El Salvador
    Fourth Official: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez - Mexico

    FINLAND - LITHUANIA (29/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Vadims Direktorenko - Latvia
    Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis - Latvia
    Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Griščenko - Latvia
    Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs - Latvia

    CAMEROON - PARAGUAY (29/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber – Austria
    Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Staudinger – Austria
    Assistant Referee 2: Matthias Winsauer – Austria
    Fourth Official: Oliver Drachta – Austria

    LATVIA - ESTONIA (29/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Sergėjus Slyva - Lithuania
    Assistant Referee 1: Saulius Dirda - Lithuania
    Assistant Referee 2: Vladimir Gerasimov - Lithuania
    Fourth Official: Donatas Rumšas - Lithuania

    HONDURAS - TURKEY (30/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Roberto García Orozco - Mexico
    Assistant Referee 1: José Luis Camargo Callado - Mexico
    Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín Méndez - Mexico
    Fourth Official: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos - Mexico

    IRAN – ANGOLA (30/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Alexander Harkam – Austria
    Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner – Austria
    Assistant Referee 2: Roland Braunschmidt – Austria
    Fourth Official: Harald Lechner – Austria

    UNITED STATES - TURKEY (01/06/2014)
    Main Referee: Slim Jedidi - Tunisia
    Assistant Referee 1: Anouar Hmila - Tunisia
    Assistant Referee 2: Yamen Melloulchi - Tunisia
    Fourth Official: Nasrallah Jaouadi - Tunisia

    One question: what do Tunisians do in United States?

    1. Thanks. The same question can be done for Atkinson in South Korea...

    2. Anonymous29/5/14 18:00

      English FA cooperate with Japanese FA, so this direction of travel isn't so surprising. But Tunisians in U.S. to handle their friendly game vs Turkey is strange. Maybe all preselected, but not selected referees are in Brazil as guests? I don't know...

  38. Anonymous29/5/14 18:23

    Germany - Cameroon : Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

    1. Assistants: Praprotnik and Vukan
      Fourth Official: Stieler

  39. Anonymous29/5/14 19:58

    AUSTRIA - ICELAND (30/05/2014)
    Main Referee: Matej Jug - Slovenia
    Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klancnik - Slovenia
    Assistant Referee 2: : Manuel Vidali - Slovenia
    Fourth Official: Slavko Vincic - Slovenia


  40. Another friendly, Italian appointment
    QATAR - MACEDONIA (in Italy)
    Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
    Alessandro Giallatini (ITA) - Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
    Paolo Valeri (ITA)

  41. Oliver full team is:

    Rep. of Ireland - Italy
    Kirkup - Bennett

  42. Croatia - Mali
    Istvan Vad (HUN)
    Robert Kispal (HUN) - Oszkar Lemon (HUN)

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