October 16, 2014

Weekly News: Vanishing spray in Germany, Busacca's instruction on handballs, Gianluca Rocchi suspended for a month and a bomb at Cyprus Referee's association.

These are the news we have gathered from the refereeing's point of view over the last 2 weeks. DFB will ban vanishing spray from Bundesliga matches over health concerns. Moreover FIFA's head of refereeing was called to Brazil to help clarify the issue of handball. Italian Elite official Gianluca Rocchi is suspended by FIGC for a month after his handling of Juventus - Roma the previous weekend. Finally Cyprus football is suffering from another violent act since a bomb went off at the headquarters at the Cyprus Referee's association in Nicosia.

Vanishing spray to be abolished in Bundesliga?

German product-safety organisation Technischer Überwachungs-Verein (TÜV) has banned the use of the revolutionary vanishing spray.
The TÜV have decreed that referees will be unable to use the spray in the Bundesliga after the foam tested positive for “hormonally active” ingredients.
The spray was due to be introduced on 18th October, but those plans were put on hold after the German football federation (DFB) found the Argentina-produced spray could not be used as it wasn’t approved or manufactured in the EU.
According to Bild, the DFB then had TÜV test the spray extensively, with the safety auditors finding that not only did it contain suspicious “hormonally-active” parabens but that it was also flammable to require labelling. The spray was also found to contain more than the legal limit of greenhouses gases.
Any referee who uses the spray during a Bundesliga match is likely to receive a fine and could also be subject to legal proceedings.

Head of refereeing at the DFB, Lutz Michael Frohlich, has said they could "look for alternatives to the expensive import from Argentina" after a report from TUV Rheinland suggested the 9-15 spray could be potentially harmful.
But Pablo Silva, the entrepreneur who developed the spray has said he will take legal action should the DFB import another kind of spray and says there are no concerns over the safety of his invention.
"If the DFB uses the spray from another provider, we will complain about it," Silva told Bild. 
"Other vendors may not use our patent. Neither the ingredients nor the principle of the invention itself, it would of course be totally illegal.
"The spray is no risk to anyone's health. More than 300,000 games were conducted with the spray. We obey all laws. There is, in my view, no reason not to use the spray in Germany."

"You need hands". Massimo Busacca speaking.

FIFA referees chief Massimo Busacca has stepped into a row in Brazil where an apparently astonishing instruction has sparked confusion over what exactly is handball.
Brazilian referees were reportedly told to punish every defensive handball in penalty areas with penalty kicks, regardless of whether the offence was intentional.
Making ball-to-hand carry the same weight as hand-to-ball flouts the laws of the game.
Penalties have been awarded when defenders have been hit at point blank range, palpably unable to get an arm or hand out of the way.
However, there have also been instances of blatant handling offences going undetected.
n Brazil, all parties including referees have been called to a meeting this week to resolve the issue.
Busacca has attempted clarification, saying: “A player needs his hand and his arm to run, jump and balance. You cannot play the game without using hands and arms.
“Hence referees must apply the law which includes a decision on intent.”

Gianluca Rocchi suspended for a month.

Gianluca Rocchi, the referee who officiated Juventus-Roma will return in November after he serves a suspension emanated by head referee designator and former referee Domenico Messina, according to whom he missed only one call: the penalty on Maicon. 
The official from Florence reportedly reacted this way to the fallout that followed Sunday’s match at the Juventus Stadium “What bothered me the most were the comments made about my aptitude, by people who thought that it was wrong to exclude me from the World Cup”, on Gazzetta dello Sport. The suspension is to protect Rocchi, not to punish him. Until November he will not make an appearance as a head official but might make an appearance as a goal judge.
All the errors seen on Sunday’s supermatch were questions of millimeters, nothing completely scandalous. What the referee designator didn’t like is the penalty given for Maicon’s arm-ball near the edge of the big box. With respect to the other episodes (the penalties for fouls on Totti and Pogba and Vidal’s position on Bonucci’s goal) were fine decisions. 

Bombing attempt at the Cyprus Referee's association Headquarters.

Cyprus refereeing suffers from another act of violence less than 2 weeks after a bombing atempt against 1st League Assistant referee Andrea Andreou when an explosive device was set-off outside his house.
This time the target was the Headquarters of the Cyprus Referee's Association. At the night of Monday 13/10 the police was closed after an explosion in Nicosia. Thankfully noone was hurt and there were some minimal damages on the building. Police opened an official investingation linking that bomb with the previous one against an Assistant Referee and a previous attempt against FIFA Referee Leontios Trattou last February when strangers placed a bomb at his car.

Cyprus Football Association and  Cyprus Referees Association both issued a statement condemning the attack. Even FIFA President Sepp Blatter send a letter to CFA expressing their sympathy to Cyprus Referees (see here).


  1. Szymon Marciniak - CL 3rd matchday
    Marcin Borski, Paweł Gil - EL 3rd matchday

    1. Thanks Hubert.
      My prediction for Marciniak is BATE - Shakhtar Donetsk.

    2. I bet on Chelsea-Maribor.

  2. http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/oct/16/uefa-president-michel-platini-introduction-sin-bin

    UEFA President Michel Platini wants the introduction of a White Card which will mean a 10 minute expulsion of the match.

    1. The only person who guarantees a 'normality' seems to be... Blatter. Both Platini and Champagne have crazy ideas...

  3. Bebek, Karasev, Mateu Lahoz will replace: Benquerença, Stark, Lannoy in the Elite.

    1. Fact or prediction?

    2. I agree with the new names (Mateu, Bebek, Karasev), but that Spain has four names in the Elite category, while France not anyone it's impossible. Borbalan/ Mateu Lahoz (10:90%), Carballo/Mateu Lahoz (90:10%) ...

    3. Well Mateu might be ready considering his national league performances, but what he showed on UCL level so far was quite poor.

    4. I think that there are best referees that Karasev,Matéu and Bebek
      for ELITE.

    5. In my opinion Marciniak and Sidiropoulos are more strong candidates. Marciniak has a second CL match and propaply Sidiropoulos will get after his performance in Bilbao and U21 in Holland.

    6. I agree for Sidiropoulos, absolutely. But Marciniak, IMO, quality(???), but only thanks to a large country such as Poland, and the son of Michał Listkiewicz who is a member of his team, to all who are informed know (sorry Hubert, nothing malicious, that's my opinion). IMO, Matej Jug is a much better referee.

    7. Spain is allowed to have four Elite referees because Fernandez Borbalan is used as Category 1 being Elite just on the paper.
      Indeed, he gets CL matches only in preliminary rounds and group stage, nothing different, than (for example) Aytekin or Orsato.
      For this reason, Mateu Lahoz will join the Elite list and he will be the third Spanish referee used in the CL KO stage.
      I'm sure.

    8. UEFA pay much attention to soft skills, overall control and no crucial mistakes. I think that Marciniak is at the top of First Category officials taking ALL those elements into account. Sidiropoulos have to work on communication with players, a bit on style, etc. Jug is OK. Karasev has a great potential, but is not consistent in performances. Bebek is Elite for me, however the latest mistake... Mateu Lahoz is n1 if we talk about managing the game and players, but his decisions at UEFA level...

      "...thanks to a large country such as Poland, and the son of Michał Listkiewicz who is a member of his team" - sorry, but we practically didn't exist in referereeing world for some years (corruption, not the best authorities in Polish Referee Committee) and Listkiewicz... Well, I don't think he is able or even interested in influencing UEFA.

      IMO, it's just a very hard work. See a fitness of all Polish FIFA officials (maybe apart from Musiał). Amazing. Our referees work hardly with Grzegorz Krzosek, a fitness preparation coach at FIFA. Also Zbigniew Przesmycki (head of referees) seems to be a very strong person and a work with him brings positive results in decision-making.

    9. IMO, Pawel Gil was the only referee who I like from the Poland. Zbigniew Przesmycki? Well done, but he does not fit into my system superior manager. Clean average! Let's compare it with Riley, Fandel, including Rosetti and those without whom we would not be "dead" - PLC ... Well informed sources say- Michał Listkiewicz pushed with all his might that story. I'm not saying Marciniak bad referee, but I would rather Turpin placed in the Elite category. Again, the best Spanish referee,IMO, is Antonio Mateu Lahoz. Bebek- agreed, but more feeling for the game has Matej Jug.

    10. Poland has been out for years and years from UEFA Elite. I think that everything was under the light of the sun, Borski and Gil were evaluated as not good for the Elite, now things are going by far better with Marciniak.
      My only worry is that he has not still attended an important (and therefore reliable) tournament.
      Everything was made at Europa League level.

    11. 4 spots to the Elite Group is not allowed. So in order for Mateu to be promoted, 1 of the other 3 must be demoted. However I wouldn't like that scenario. For me Lahoz is worse than the other 3 in decision making.

      About Sidiropoulos (since he is from my country). I think that UEFA has seen enough from him and IMO he is after Bebek the second candidate for Elite. My third would be Karasev and then Marciniak.

      As for Hubert's comment about Sidiropoulos. UEFA wants the referees to have control and not make crucial or stupid mistakes. Sidiropoulos excells in all parts. He is well respected by players and he certainly has a style.

    12. With much respect for all these referees, most of them are international for only a couple of seasons. Both Sidiropoulos and Marciniak have the FIFA badge since 2011. They have not handled any really big game on international turf so far. Yes, they got CL, EL, a row of committee members and they make a more than promising impression.
      But this cannot be enough to reach Elite that quickly. Both have obvious points to improve and they should be given enough room and time to collect experience and work on that. There are officials who became ED referees much earlier and have this development process behind them, they should be the first ones considered for promotion.
      To be honest such claims also express how the current Elite Group is...definitely not Elite. And if there was not a EURO coming in June 2016, we would not talk about so many (necessary) fast-track promotions (keep in mind that Turpin MUST be promoted in-time in order to represent France as the hosting nation...).

    13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    14. Fully agree with Niclas !
      You can't compare Marciniak or Sidiropoulos with Orsato, Vad, Bebek, Hategan, Aytekin, Karasev, Jug (written in order of their promotion in ED).
      Both Marciniak and Sidiropoulos (also Turpin) has, for example, only 1 game in CL gropus stage (this autumn). Please made a statistic for the rest of referees mentioned above and you will see a great difference.

      Take, for example, Bebek (http://worldreferee.com/site/copy.php?linkID=516&linkType=referee&contextType=stats).
      Bebek has wc u17 (1/8), wc u20 (QF), 8 games in CL group stage (1st one in 2007), 3 games in 1/8 + 1 QF in Europa League...

      I took Bebek because he has biggest palmares and he's a special case, but you can take a look at Hategan who is romanian like me (http://worldreferee.com/site/copy.php?linkID=1471&linkType=referee&contextType=stats).
      Hategan has 5 games in CL groups stage (1st one in 2011), 3 games in 1/8 of Europa League ('12, '13, '14) and also a semifinal in euro u21.

      I think we can't talk about Marciniak or Sidiropouls in Elite before january 2016 (in best case).
      Imo only Lahoz is strongly took in consideration for a promotin in winter. In his last 3 games he had Marko, Batta and Karlsson as referee observers. But, considering his performance in european games, I don't think he deserves now the promotion...

  4. Does anybody have the referee observers / delegates for next week? Kika, others..?

  5. http://livefootballvideo.com/fullmatch/world/friendlies/brazil-vs-argentina

    Go to 39:10 (match minute). Unbelievable "authority" by the Chinese official.

    1. Ouch. Neymar and BRA #3 should have seen red on this. You'd think that Brazilians, after Thiago Silva in Paris, would have learnt not to bump into the referee...

  6. 1) http://vimeo.com/108926190
    2) http://vimeo.com/108926193
    3) http://vimeo.com/108926194
    4) http://vimeo.com/108926195
    5) http://vimeo.com/108927993

    1. 1) I think that penalty is wrong, because I see the arm in a natural position, replay is not 100% clear but I have this feeling
      2) Mistake by AR
      3) Perfect positioning by referee in order to assess the situation. The player was convinced to hit the ball by head and he tried to do that, so in my opinion correct decision to play on.
      4) I think that in this case the handball was punishable, but again, some doubts... surely more punishable than the previous situations, in my opinion
      5) Who touches the ball? Well, it seems that the red player touches it prior to the opponent, so a penalty could have been whistled.

    2. On TV (better resolution) it's much easier to see that defender made small instinctive movement with his arm, so I think penalty is correct.
      About 2) I think it's not the Assistant who made this call, but the Referee who saw that defender DELIBERATELY played the ball (he saw the ball and had enough time to decide play or not) so ball was played BY DEFENDER...therefore, play on!

    3. And sorry for capital letters, I forgot it's rude :-)

  7. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x28589u_carte-rouge-etrange-pour-cavani-apres-la-penalite-lens-vs-psg_sport

    Rainville seems to be a brave referee. He booked Cavani after having scored a penalty (I think for excessive celebrations against home-team fans) and then he issued a straight red card because Cavani touched him...

    1. Longer version:
      Cavani didn't want to leave the pitch. Furthermore, a few later there was another sending off.

    2. Sorry, but it seems to me that he totally lost control. Three red cards within five minutes, it is such a severe way of refereeing given the "fouls" committed and the context of the game...

    3. Question: is Cavani's action really that "violent"? To me, it is definitely unsporting, but I'm not sure it qualifies as "violence", especially in comparison with Neymar in the Brazil video above.

  8. Predictions CL MD3:
    CSKA-MANC: Sidiropoulus
    ROMA-BAY: Kassai
    BAR-AJA: Bebek
    APOEL-PSG: Jug
    CHE-MAR: Kralovec
    SCH-SPO: Moen
    POR-BIL: Stark
    BOR-DON: Marciniak
    ATL-MAL: Nijhuis
    OLY-JUV: Atkinson
    LUD-BAS: Turpin
    LIV-REAL: Rizzoli
    MON-BEN: Skomina
    LEV-ZEN: Borbalan
    AND-ARS: Undiano
    GAL-DOR: Proenca

  9. Stefan Johannesson had to leave his match in the Swedish premier league at half time today due to an injury. So very unlikely that he will take part in any UEFA match this coming week.

    /Swedish observer

  10. Jesus Gil Manzano will referee El Clasico next weekend

    1. Old new...........

  11. Do you know the observers for CL MD3?

  12. My predictions:
    CSKA-City, Bebek

    1. Sidiropoulos doesn't have CL this week. Even if he did, he couldn't have ATL-MALMO (Olympiakos is in the same group).

  13. Cakir red card at Istanbul derby


  14. Danny Makkelie will make his CL debut in Chelsea-Maribor

    1. Where did you find this information??

  15. Roma - Bayern: Jonas Eriksson


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