August 13, 2014

Weekly News: UEFA Seminar, AARs in EURO Qualifiers, Play-Offs, R.A.P. and Rafati's Return

Last week there have been plenty of matches on international turf but the first real top match of the season took only place yesterday evening when Real Madrid beat Sevilla CF under the new English no.1's control. Clattenburg and his team undoubtfully performed quite well. Some other important and interesting news are collected in this post.

Rafati (in the middle) gave his return image by
UEFA Pre-Season Seminar has started

In these moments, this year's annually held UEFA pre-season camp for match officials is about to start. In Nyon, the participants belonging to the Elite Group and First Group as well as some female match officials will gather at the UEFA headquarters to prepare themselves physically and mentally for next season's challenges and duties. Besides the standard topics to be discussed, there will be, as usual, written tests, physical sessions and weighing units. And as Jonas Eriksson and Pedro Proença are among the attendees, it is likely that - contrary to Howard Webb - they won't retire.

Additional Assistant Referees for EURO 2016 Qualifiers

It seems as if UEFA's Referee Committee and Administration have decided to expand the Additional Assistant Referee program to the qualifiers for France's European Championship 2016. Referees will then have the opportunity to consult two extra officials behind the goallines who are specially focussing on penalty area incidents. 
Even though this has not been communicated by UEFA itself, this piece of information is 100% sure: RFEF has announced that Alberto Undiano has a EURO qualifier match on 7-9 September along with two additional assistant referees.

Europa League Play-Offs ready

The referee appointments for next week's UEFA Europa League play-off first legs have been released. As they are not confidential, you will find them uploaded on the blog by tomorrow. Be prepared for some interesting appointments and observers (e.g. Clément Turpin has a match in Switzerland with Jaap Uilenberg on the seats).

R.A.P. 2014:1

By clicking on this link, you will find a downloadable version of UEFA's Referee Assistance Program for the first half of the 2013/14 season. The video portal containts guidelines and top-down instructions given by the UEFA committee to the national associations. 
Most situations concern UEFA Champions League. There are some very interesting and more or less surprising solutions, such as the circumstance that the committee deemed Jonas Eriksson's penalty decision in the last minute of Ajax Amsterdam - AC Milan as a correct decision. For us, this has been a perfect feedback given that we almost reported on every match.

Important: Once you are in the video portal and have opened a video, you should simultaneously press "Bottom-Arrow" and "J" to enable the reasons feature, where the solution is given.

Rafati's Return

After his suicide attempt prior to a Bundesliga match almost three years ago, former FIFA referee Babak Rafati has again stepped onto a football pitch. Last week, he handled a friendly game with 2x20 minutes in his hometown Hannover. Hannover's former and long-time player Steven Cherundolo gave his farewell party against an all-star team. After the final whistle, Rafati met Bundesliga referee Peter Gagelmann, who handled the following friendly between Hannover 96 and Lazio Roma, with a big embrace.
In early 2013, Rafati had publicly admitted his depressions leading to the suicide attempt and criticized DFB and DFL heads of refereeing Herbert Fandel and Hellmut Krug for too little trust and emotional coldness against his person in his recommendable book "Ich pfeife auf den Tod". Last week, Rafati expressed his hope to reconcile with DFB though.


  1. No, for heavens sake please, no! (AARs).....

  2. Spanish appointments in European competitions have been released.

    Velasco Carballo has a match in CL first legs (19 or 20 August).
    Undiano Mallenco has a match in CL second legs (26 or 27 August).
    Carlos Clos Gomez and Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz have a match in EL first legs (21 August)
    Fernandez Borbalan has a match in EL second legs (28 August).

    I still don't understand the promotion of Borbalan as Elite referee, if he goes on to be appointed only in EL.

  3. I watched Peter Gagelmann in DFL-Supercup match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. So-so performance.

    23' - excellent no-flag leading to a goal (Sven Jablonski)
    29' - strange situation in the penalty area, decision was play-on, one can whistle a foul in attack, one can whistle a penalty, no mistake
    39' - correctly rejected penalty appeal (handball)
    60' - totally overlooked brutal foul of Lahm, should be a red card in my eyes
    72' - yellow card to Boateng is OK, but I would prefer a red one

    Some missed fouls, especially that in 60th minute. Often very far from play, too static on the field. Calm and firm attitude in the match that didn't demand too much management from the referee. Jablonski with two great onsides (23', 46'). Gorniak with one minimal offside signaled (60').

    1. I am specially content about Jablonski's performance. A 24 year-old made his Bundesliga-level debut in the Super Cup final..
      Gagelmann was too lenient for me and missed some obvious cards. As usual.

    2. BTW short news: Jan-Hendrik Salver has retired.

    3. It's the end of some era. Stark, Salver - big legends!

      And that lack of yellow card for mask-celebration... Gagelmann doesn't know the LoTG... :/

      While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive.
      Reasonable celebrations are allowed, but the practice of choreographed
      celebrations is not to be encouraged when it results in excessive time-wasting and referees are instructed to intervene in such cases.

      A player must be cautioned if:
      • in the opinion of the referee, he makes gestures which are provocative,
      derisory or infl ammatory
      • he climbs on to a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal being scored
      • he removes his shirt or covers his head with his shirt
      he covers his head or face with a mask or other similar item

    4. Yeah, that bothered me too.


    Age limits for referees will be abolished within a few weeks, no later than autumn! Info from Rafał Rostkowski - Polish assistant referee's blog.

    1. Does this mean that, say, Stark and Benquerenca might stay on the list?

    2. If they want, yes. Of course, one must pass the fitness tests.

    3. On the one hand I think it's positive, on the other I am afraid younger referees may have problems getting to elite.

    4. I would prefer to wait. If Rostkowski's considerations are merely based on the article from the FIFA Weekly by Blatter, well, this topic has been discussed many times, but never coming to a real change. I also remember that Blatter some years ago stated that he wanted referees under the age of 40 at WC.
      So still a chaotic situation in my opinion.

    5. Nope, Chefren, I talked with Mr. Rostkowski yesterday and he confirmed that it will happen in next weeks.

    6. So, let's wait. We will see. Anyway, in my opinion the age limit must exist. Not 45, but 50 or even 55 would be ok.

    7. At least the age limit for the less physically demanding AAR role should go away. I know lots of experienced referees over 45 still active in the national competitions who would be excellent AARs. Chris Foy or Phil Dowd, for instance.

    8. That is the worst decision for months in my opinion. Once again: passing fitness tests is not everything. Concentration and attention correlate with age and at the age of 45-50 this becomes by far worse. This age limit had its reason and justification.

  5. Europa league appointments

    Dinamo Minsk - Nacional 21/8

    Koukoulakis, Karsiotis, Baltas, Giahos (GRE)

    Torino - Haiduk Split 28/8

    Sidiropoulos, Efthimiadis, Kostaras, Spathas (GRE)

    1. It is RNK Split, not Hajduk.

  6. Here are these two brutal challenges from yesterday's German Supercup:

    and - in my opinion - correct decision to play on:

    plus Spiderman celebration :D

    1. Dark yellow for the first, for the second I would prefer a RC.

      For me correct. Although handball offences are my weak point.

      Last one mandatory YC.

    2. I agree on the handball decision.
      Spiderman celebration at least YC.

    3. Lahm clearly wanted to play the ball and the circumstance that the studs touched the opponent was imo unlucky and not brutal - YC. Boateng should have been off, but that was difficult to see. Agree on the rest.

  7. I can't get the RAP 2014:1. When I download it, it says it's invalid. Even when I try to "save target as", it still says it's invalid. Please help.

    1. Try here:

      by ZIP Extractor application.

  8. Thanks Hubert. It still isn't working. I eventually get to the screen where it says the Zip Extractor is decompressing ZIP files to Google Drive and "Downloading from Google Drive" but the progress bar only gets just past the cancel button and doesn't go any further. Is there any other way to get it?

    1. OK. Let's try this one :)


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