February 28, 2015

Weekly News: IFAB's decision on the Triple Punishment, Chaos in Cypriot Refereeing and UEFA Observers & Delegates for UCL/UEL

The Third Team once again provides you with the latest news regarding European refereeing. At today's meeting at the Culloden Hotel in Craigavad, near Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast, IFAB has took some significant decisions about Triple punishment, 4th substitution, video support for match officials and sin-bins. Furthermore shocking news are coming from Cyprus after a bomb was placed under the car of an active FIFA referee.

Rizzoli sent's off Arsenal GK Wojciech Szczesny in last year's CL match.

Today’s AGM, chaired by Irish Football Association President Jim Shaw, followed on from the inaugural meetings of two new advisory panels – the Football Advisory Panel and Technical Advisory Panel – in November 2014, which brought together experts from across the world of football to support the board with greater expertise before decisions on the Laws of the Game are passed.
Following further analysis of the so-called “triple punishment” (Law 12) of sending off, penalty and suspension for the denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity within the penalty area, The IFAB agreed that the punishment is too harsh and that a solution must be found. The proposal put forward by UEFA, including a provision that detailed specific instances where a referee should issue a caution instead of a red card, was rejected. After much debate, The IFAB agreed in principle that one element of the triple punishment may be removed and that this element should be the automatic one-match suspension that is currently defined in the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
The IFAB has tasked FIFA and its Disciplinary and Legal Committees to investigate the feasibility of administering on a global level the removal of the automatic one-match suspension for offences relating to the denial of an obvious goal-scoring possibility that are not considered serious infringements. Subject to the outcome of that analysis, FIFA will submit a proposal for potential changes to the FIFA Disciplinary Code to the FIFA Executive Committee in March for decision.
In relation to Law 3 – The Number of Players, The IFAB made a ground-breaking decision to allow for return substitutions in the lowest levels of football. It follows the success of two separate pilot programmes run by The Football Association and The Scottish Football Association, the results of which demonstrated substantial increases in participation levels across the game. The new provision outlines that the use of return substitutes will be subject to agreement of the member association concerned.
Also in relation to Law 3, The IFAB remains of the view that a total of three substitutions is the appropriate number for a football match. It was agreed that the proposal for a fourth substitution in extra time, which was on the agenda today, should be assessed by the advisory panels before any further discussion by The IFAB. 
With regard to the potential use of video to support match officials, an extensive discussion took place during the AGM including feedback from the two advisory panels. The IFAB decided that this topic should continue to be discussed by the panels in more detail.
Other topics to be referred to the panels include handling the ball, the potential use of “sin bins” and the interpretation of the offside law. A proposal from US Soccer regarding stopping the clock was not approved.
The modifications to the Laws of the Game made at today’s AGM will come into effect on 1 June 2015. 

Source: FIFA.com

Another bomb against a Cypriot top referee

A pipe bomb exploded outside the home of a Cypriot referee early today, the latest in a string of threats and attacks against officials and their families.
According to Reuters, the explosion damaged a vehicle belonging to the wife of a 38-year-old first division referee. The vehicle was parked outside their home close to the coastal town of Larnaca at the time.
Referees on the Mediterranean island have increasingly been targeted in recent years, much of it in a similar fashion.
In October, a pipe bomb was placed at the entrance to the Cyprus Referee Association's Nicosia clubhouse on Monday, causing minor damage but heightening concerns about protecting match officials.
Two weeks ago before that, firebomb was tossed at a referee's home in Limassol.
A year ago, the Cypriot FA postponed all first division matches for a weekend after a bomb damaged the car of Leontios Trattos, one of the country's top referees, prompting a boycott by his colleagues.
In response to the latest incident, referees said they were considering their options, including a possible boycott of fixtures scheduled this weekend.
"All options are open, not excluding an abstention (from fixtures)" said Constantinos Skaboullis, secretary of the referee's association.
"I've counted five similar incidents in less than a year ... Unfortunately this has become a common occurrence and I'm worried that soon we could have a tragedy if this continues," he told state radio.

UEFA Referee Observers, Delegates and Predictions

Champions League, Round of 16 (Second Legs)

Real Madrid CF - FC Schalke 04
Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)
Delegate: Svein Johannessen (NOR)
Prediction: Damir Skomina (SVN)

FC Porto - FC Basel
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)
Delegate: Joel Wolff (LUX)
Prediction: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

Bayern München - Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee Observer: Roberto Rosetti (ITA)
Delegate: Michel Pralong (SUI)
Prediction: William Collum (SCO)

Chelsea FC - Paris SG
Referee Observer: Horst Brummeier (AUT)
Delegate: Nebojsa Ivkovic (SRB)
Prediction: Björn Kuipers (NED)

Atlético Madrid - Bayer Leverkusen
Referee Observer: Terje Hauge (NOR)
Delegate: Armen Minasyan (ARM)
Prediction: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA) or Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

AS Monaco - Arsenal FC
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)
Delegate: Rainer Koch (GER)
Prediction: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP) or Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

FC Barcelona - Manchester City
Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)
Delegate: Roland Tis (BEL)
Prediction: Viktor Kassai (HUN) or Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

Borussia Dortmund - Juventus Turin
Referee Observer: Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP)
Delegate: Mike Foster (ENG)
Prediction: Milorad Mažić (SRB)

Europa League, Round of 16 (First Legs)

Everton - Dynamo Kyiv
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)
Delegate: Thomas Weyhing (GER)

FC Dnipro - Ajax Amsterdam
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)
Delegate: Nodar Akhalkatsi (GEO)

Zenit St Petersburg - Torino FC
Referee Observer: Costas Kapitanis (CYP)
Delegate: Kuanysh Kanapyanov (KAZ)

VfL Wolfsburg - Internazionale
Referee Observer: Alan Snoddy (NIR)
Delegate: Sándor Berzi (HUN)

Villarreal CF - Sevilla FC
Referee Observer: Oguz Sarvan (TUR)
Delegate: Michael Appleby (ENG)

SSC Napoli - Dynamo Moskva
Referee Observer: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR)
Delegate: Kazimierz Oleszek (POL)

Club Brugge - Besiktas
Referee Observer: Sergey Zuev (RUS)
Delegate: José Aguiar (POR)

ACF Fiorentina - AS Roma
Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)
Delegate: David McDowell (SVN)


  1. Anonymous28/2/15 19:28

    Roger East sent off Brown when it was O'Shea who commited the foul.

    GIF: http://gfycat.com/WildDeadlyIguana

  2. Anonymous28/2/15 19:38

    Could a possible solution to the Cyprus problem be to let Cypriot referees referee abroad (Greece, Israel, other European countries) while referees from these countries take their place in the matches in Cyprus? This would be both beneficial to the development of Cypriot referees, make them safer while the Cypriot league gets competent referees who are less of a target as they are only visiting.

  3. Anonymous28/2/15 20:04

    Solidarity to Cypriot referees. We are all sad.

  4. Anonymous28/2/15 22:58

    Excellent Undiano in Shaktar-Bayern. I´m not OK
    with the seven points.

  5. Anonymous1/3/15 11:03

    He wasn,t excellent but 7.0 seems too low considering the whole match, the difficulty... I am quite sure a experienced referee wouldn,t give such low mark

  6. Anonymous1/3/15 11:05

    7.0 wont be given by UEFA. Indeed I think not excellent but here we have very strict observers. You should try to join a pitch.

    1. Have you watched the situations that led to the significant reduction of the mark? Or have you not? You should try that first I think. By the way, we don't care whether UEFA gives Undiano 8.2, 7.9 or whatever.

    2. Anonymous1/3/15 12:35

      Of course, I have seen the full match, Niclas. You are not the only one who can have a proper opinion about referees and refereeing. My opinion is not a attack against no one in this blog, which is great for refereeing. But I consider that many times we forget the difficult job of being a referee despite we believe they committed unforgivable mistakes

    3. The report mentions three crucial mistakes and some other weaknesses. Therefore the mark is the logical consequence. The weaknesses regarding control and card selection should be quite clear, so the main point of discussion probably is, whether you deem the three mistakes as crucial in the sense of black/white decisions. I think, you can have different opinions about that in all three cases, and that obviously leads to significantly different marks.

    4. Anonymous, of course you can have such. But I would then like to hear "proper" opinions about the concrete situations. We both saw the situations around minutes 60. So what is your assessment of these incidents?
      "Try to join the pitch" can't be a profound assessment - and emphasizing the difficulty of match officials can't be the same either. We are aware of the difficulty we are facing ourselves in games of lower quality and importance, so we can only estimate the pressure at the highest level. That does not change that we praise officials for good performances and have to reduce the scoring in the reports if they made human mistakes...

    5. Anonymous1/3/15 17:32

      If you have been a referee yourself you know that most observers are extremely careful with judging something to be a crucial mistake. Remember that the UEFA guideline says "black-white mistake". This refers to a mistake obvious to a referee ON THE FIELD OF PLAY and not when a yellow card is given for something you can see is SFP after 5 TV replays or a penalty for what might be a difficult handball. A rule for observers is that if the referee has valid arguments for his decision, the observer should not claim to be more right than the referee from his position in the stands, but he can offer his opinion and suggest another and maybe better solution. The referee accepts and gets to know that he could have solved the situation in another way.

      The main and maybe only negative of this brilliant side is the way you handle referee observation. A "real" observer is there to make sure the referees get to know what areas they handle well and which ones they might improve, whereas your observers have no such interest and are therefore more prone to looking for errors and situations where points can be deducted than looking for alternatives, solutions and development.

    6. Anonymous1/3/15 18:16

      I partly agree with the last anonymous but I must admit that referees reading this blog must learn how to deal with serious fouls and this is a noble aim, in my opinion. I read the reports written by this site and I see that there is a very good attention about that. Other situations are treated with more flexibility and very often referee is backed. That is good. I think that marks are just numbers and nothing more. UEFA referees know their real marks, so here the most important thing is about education. Under this point of view, I think that you can't question on the effective work made. From my side, I like to invite the observers of this site, but this is just my opinion, to try to back the referee when possible, taking also into account that you have a TV, HQ, replays.. and so on.. but ok, still a very good work.

    7. Anonymous2/3/15 12:02

      Completely agree with anonymous at 5:32 PM. The work of people here is mostly perfect and I must especially appreciate thematically oriented analysis with application of LotG. Match reports are mostly very well written, with important aspects of application of LotG, disciplinary control, personality etc.

      The important part of observation is communication between observer and referee(s). This aspect can't be included to reports which is logical. However, for referees at different levels should be natural to have maybe more empathy for decisions taken during the matches.

      Example 1: One or two criteria for SFP can be fulfilled and therefore it is clear SFP (Mike, AS Roma - Feyenoord). Of course, assesor has right for his oppinion especially if he has valid arguments for it. But in this case, many members of this blog (not anonymous members) had not this oppinion and asses this only as reckless challenge. IMO, in such cases should be let some space for another views also in the report.

      Example 2: deliberate kicking of the opponent when the ball is away is violent conduct. But not every such kicking, striking, pushing is violent conduct. The using of excesive force is also needed. In the match report of Guingamp - D.Kyiv was this very well described (Chefren) in two situations (1. RC and YC in the 45´+2) but a little missed in the description of the case of issuing the 2. RC. But in the match Anderlecht - D. Moscow was only descibed that "#25 DIN kicks his opponent deliberately in retaliation" and therefore the YC for him was not enough. Was he using the excesive force? If yes, it is violent conduct and decision of AR1, AAR1 and probably also referee was incorrect. But if no the YC was enough. And another citation: "AR1 nor AAR1 saw that initially #02 AND fouled his opponent with his hand, nor that #25 DIN deliberately hit kicked him." If they didn't see that why advised referee to give YC?

      Example 3: The same match. "However taking into account that the 1st YC shown to #03 DIN is a mistake, then this player should not have been sent-off (-0.2)." This is simply incorrect. The 1-st YC should have been mistake (-0.1) but then we consider only if the 2-nd YC was issuing correctly or not. Lowering the mark by 0.2 pt. has no reason.

      Example 4: AS Roma - Feyenoord. "ROM #4 slides carelessly into FEY #28. FEY #28 was able to get the ball off to a teammate just before the
      misconduct. ROM #4 clearly commits the foul for the tactical purpose of breaking up a promising attack. Hategan perfectly applies the advantage rule, but misses to caution ROM #4 in the next stoppage for SPA." It was attempt to break the promising attack by careless tackle. Was this attempt "succesful"? I think not. Therefore for me is verbal warning enough and not issuing the YC is correct (acceptable) decision.

      In conclusion: I have no interess to critisize anyone of the blog assesors. Try to be more empathic to referees, try to take into account more aspects of their decisions and follow instructions and guidelines for referee observers more carefully. But these are advices, not orders. :)


    8. I think that we have said that many times. Do not consentrate only on the mark. Sometimes even ourselves have a big problem with marking since our goal is consistency through the reports and the respective incidents.

    9. Thanks for this constructive feedback, it is very much appreciated.

      Let me only focus on some points.

      1) The goal of the reports is of course an external "control" of UEFA refereeing, but above all we are focused on education and giving the referees, who partly read the reports, a 2nd opinion. Which is maybe not as professional as UEFA's (how should it be - we are no international referees). But which is IMO more independent and not driven by tactical motives (giving a good mark because a promotion is in sight (or the opposite)) or a too close distance to the referee. Of course, if we had the chance to understand the view of the referee team at all times, different reports would be the result...no doubt.

      2. We have never received UEFA's official guidelines for referee observers. So it is difficult to realize or integrate them into our work. We have some ideas about it, but e.g. the -0.2 for the 1st YC in Zwayer's game was the result of a compromise (some sources were unsure whether it would be ruled as a crucial mistake or whether it is just -0.1).

      3. Therefore: our primar goal when editing and uploading reports is creating consistency and fairness within the different reports but also from one to the other. This can sometimes lead to mistakes just for the purpose of consistency. One example: for a long time we gave -0.2/-0.3 for a missing 2nd YC even though we got to know in the midst of one season that it is a crucial mistake (also here, we had contradictory statements of courses who should actually know it). When we had the confirmation, we however decided to go on with -0.2/-0.3 until the end of the season to maintain consistency.

      4. Marks are mathematical and nothing more. Our observers are internally "assessed" as well and receive their matches based on what they write in the personality sector and the quality of solutions they propose to improve the referee systematically. Our noble goal is that once a referee or even THE referee concerned reads the report for his match does not only read the minute and description of the mistake he maybe made (which he very likely knows best himself), but to demonstrate rooms for consideration, improvement and ways to avoid such mistakes in future. Another emphasis is put on the referee's body language and player management, which I would like to stress as maybe the most important facet of a modern referee.

      5. We had 40 matches during 2 weeks. We tried to write reports for all matches as long as possible. This means that not every report can be edited or even written as intensely as we would like to do.

      6. At the end of the last 2-3 years where we had many reports for UEFA's top officials, there will be an added value, at least this is planned: Referee Profiles with systematically listed strengths and rooms for improvement. In my opinion, this is the only way how you can improve referees in the long run. And of course, mark averages might play a role, but only a small one. So: please don't focus too much on the marks. But we will re-check the reports for Undiano, Hategan and probably also Cakir in Paris soon.

      7. We depend on such feedback, so continue to give it please :)

  7. As you know, I defended Undiano,s performance at his moment, so I agree his mark can be considered very hard because, as Philip says, the three crucial mistakes noted at the report are not black or white decissions, in my opinion but they have to be analyze in the context of the match. However, different opinions are good and it is true that is very difficult being completely objetive because all of us have got personal preferences with referees and refereeing styles. For instance, there are many people who praise without hesitation any performance of Mazic or Brych when I see most times clear points of improvement and weaknesses in their refereeing style. Fortunately, all of us can show our different points of view and discussing about refereeing, a shared passion, I think.

    1. Anonymous2/3/15 12:39

      Here's another of different observations. Brych, Cakir and Mazic are three different styles, but their personality and man-management is always accepted by the players, they control the any situation, indeed. Problem with Undiano Mallenco his confidence. On the right decision when players protest. There should not ask why?! I absolutely agree that Undiano Mallenco didn't deserve such a low estimation of the Arena Lviv, but not passing grade. He has long since lost confidence, stability and mental strength. Unfortunately, the "old" Undiano Mallenco who is a role "model" to many, including me, has long been in crisis. In order for a referee from another country would long ago have been demoted.

  8. Anonymous2/3/15 19:46

    I don,t agree Undiano had deserved a demotion! On the contrary, he is still 41 years old and he needs motivation and trust by the side of UEFA and FIFA. At difference of other referees like Mazic, Cakir or even Brych, he is used to handle very difficult matches every weekend at Spanish league since he was 26 years old. He has refereed lots of times Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico de Madrid matches ... and most of times with a very good job. I have seen him giving masters class of refereeing in several Barcelona-Real Madrid, maybe one of the thoughest matches to an european referee as Stark knows, he is the spanish referee who has refereed more matches of this relevance in history and soon he is going to break all the records in Spanish league. It is true a referee needs motivation and specific goals and at present moment UEFA and FIFA must prove his trust in him because at last years I really believe he didn,t do it and he didn,t deserve that. I haven,t never understood the decission of leaving him off of Brazil 2014 when his performances in euro qualyfication matches and other FIFA matches and tournaments were almost always very good. I followed him since he was very young and trying to see all his matches and as I said before, he is still 41 years old and, althought he can lose a bit of motivation and concentration in some matches at last time, I still consider him one of the top referees at european level with more many strong points that weaknesses and I am quite sure he will see him refereeing at top level in spanish league, uefa champions league and other tournaments (euro 2016) in next years. Fortunately, as someone has said in this blog, it seems Collina and company have recovered at least in part his faith in him and I really hope he can show them and us they are not wrong.

    1. Anonymous2/3/15 20:21

      If it's true what you're talking about (that VilLar Llona and Collina believe Undiano Mallenco at the level of 4-5 years ago) why is Carlos Velasco Carballo Spanish No I?! After all parameters (refereed the UEL finals, UCL semi-finals and WC 2014), it's undisputed. Mr. Undiano Mallenco is unsafe in itself in the last five years. A referee who was one of the most promising in Europe, far ahead of him- Kuipers, Brych, Cakir, Eriksson and Mazic. They have the same age! There are currently far ahead of Undiano Mallenco in a rush and Antonio Mateu Lahoz (IMO, Spaniard No I). The Spain and France are currently in big trouble. Truth they are no referees of greatness. Currently...

    2. Anonymous2/3/15 20:58

      The performances of Velasco in last world cup are the better answer. Collina and Bussacca are very far of being good comanders of refereeing world. About Mateu, I consider he has taken advatange of a very good press but I don,t see yet consistency in his refereeing and he made such important mistakes of his matches but all is forgiven by his friendly approach to players. I expect from a referee much more than that.

    3. Anonymous2/3/15 21:49

      "Spain and France are currently in big trouble."
      I can't agree with that sentence, Anonymous number 2.

      As far as Spain is concerned, many things has already been said: Undiano Mallenco probably isn't in the best shape of his career, Velasco did a piteous WC and Mateu Lahoz is disrupting the hierarchy, but he needs more experience.

      About France, one can think that French officials are in a very poor situation, because Euro 2016 in France is approaching and there isn't any french referee in Elite category. It's true, no one can deny it. However, in spite of his (very) disappointing game last Thursday in Rotterdam, Clément Turpin is the best talent France had over the last 10 years (since Alain Sars). He is still very young (32 years old) and has time to fully develop and become one of the best european/international referees. Moreover, there are other strong candidates for a promotion to Elite:
      - in the medium term: Ruddy Buquet. He did quite a good job last Thursday in Lisbon and his appointment for a CL match in MD6 this year shows that UEFA follows him very closely. He showed solid perfomances in the last european matches he handled.
      - in the long term: Nicolas Rainville (32 y.o.) and Benoît Bastien (31 y.o.). Both are Second Category referees but they are showing (maybe more in the domestic league than in european competitons) that they are reliable officials UEFA could rely on.
      In a nutshell (and I think that a large majority of the readers of this blog won't take this seriously), France likely is (among the big european nations) in the worst situation regarding Elite referees but it's probably the best talent pool for the coming years.
      To be continued...

    4. Anonymous2/3/15 22:37

      Carballo was placed in the foreground only, I repeat only because it is Alberto Undiano Mallenco a long, long time in crisis and significant drop in form. Angel Maria Villar Llona is thought to be "recovered". We all know it! Speak openly. All well aware of the developments in the UEFA/ FIFA refereeing is well-known. Turpin? Buquet? These are candidates for EURO 2016? Then you need to restore the old system the best referees team and let the three from the England and Germany. So, we need to choose between an Atkinson/ Clatts or Brych/Aytekin? We also Fernandez Borbalan in the Elite category. Do you remember the "clash" nominations of this referee? Where are they now Garcia Aranda Encinar, Manuel Diaz Vega and Antonio Jesus Lopez Nieto? :) Where are the heirs of the famous/legendary Vautrot, Quiniou?

    5. Anonymous2/3/15 23:08

      I used a very respected French and Spanish school of refereeing. I forgot that with Vautrot, Quiniou add Marc Batta. Alain Sars? It's never been a referee for the big game. I always had the impression that the very "stiff". Maybe it sounds funny but I preferred the style of Gilles Veissiere. Don't get me wrong, but the match in Rotterdam can leave a major trauma to Clement Turpin. I think that isn't a problem in Collina or Busacca. Always look for the problem to be solved and in his own house. I think Pl Collina and his team are working very well.

    6. In my opinion, Rotterdam was another result of too hasty fast-track-promotions and an example what CAN happen if young and talented referees are sent to matches for whose difficulty (which could have been anticipated!) and tension they are not ready (yet). So of course the appointment management of the referee committee deserves a "mark below 8".

    7. Anonymous2/3/15 23:50

      @ Anonymous 10:37: I'd like to answer but it's really hard to understand you. I can't even get the overall meaning of the message.

      @ Anonymous 11:08: Do you really think that Alain Sars never was a referee for the big clashes? He still handled in 2005 and in 2006 a CL quarter final AND a CL semifinal:
      - 2005: AC Milan - Internazionale (QF) and Chelsea - Liverpool (SF)
      - 2006: Juventus - Villareal (QF) and AC Milan -Barcelona (SF)
      Aren't these games big enough to consider him as one of Europe's most respected officials during this period? Eventhough he never took part in a big tournament (WC or EURO), he was far better than most of his followers (Bertrand Layec, Laurent Duhamel, Stéphane Lannoy...).

      @ Niclas: I couldn't agree more when you talk about "hasty fast-track-promotions". They (the referee committee) want to promote him at any cost, for political reasons and they do everything they can (big matches, mentored by Rosetti...) to avoid an absence of french referees in France in 2016. However, I hope they aren't burning him because he is a huge talent and it would be such a pity to derail a promising career just because of politics...

    8. Anonymous2/3/15 23:53

      Absolutely correct. As the match and the PLC has sporadic overlooked. Niclas, don't forget either the role of Marc Batta and the pressure is on him, not the PLC (Collina I would shure not be nominated "green" Turpin for the "dirty" sword that didn't receive the signal from his first Vice Officer). And awarded him a very respectable UEFA Referee Observer (Zdravko Jokic from the Serbia) who always comes before the promotion, with the best intentions and great knowledge of football's eye and nothing can slip. France must have a referees team on the EC 2016 at any cost. Guild paying young and talented referees in future only gradually be pushed into the fire. Clement wasn't ready to make such a pressure and we see if De Cuip left a trauma on this young referee, who really has potential. I think it's coming to a place Pl Collina general manager of a football refereeing brought a new and important dimension beyond expectation. See how this debate just how much the story of this segment of the football game. They loved him, or not- PLC is a really great master! :)

    9. Anonymous3/3/15 00:06

      The data are correct. But before Alain Sars had a masterly referees from the France (Vautrot, Quiniou, Batta) and on the wings of their reputation Sars had two good seasons, but, in my opinion, the said in a previous message. We can't compare today's refereeing, but France had such referees like those which I have mentioned, but from Sars all seem a bit "stiff/harsh". My message is, we had a similar situation with Mallenco, Kassai who gradually tested, carefully selected, but they are "burned" and no longer have a motive, self-confidence, security. We lost them!

    10. Anonymous3/3/15 00:58

      In reply Niclas you said exactly what I represent whole my life. Politics? We will destroy Clement Turpin, just to satisfy the requirements, and what then?! Kassai got their "final" before the time and he has no more motive. Mallenco? Don't blame me, but I think there are many better younger Elite referees: Clatts, Moen, etc. Roberto Rosetti was an outstanding referee. Also, I think it's a good manager and mentor. But, the referee profile as Clement before I awarded Frank De Bleeckere for talent-mentor. It's the referee who passed the entire development period, refereed large all representative and clubs competitions and welcomed retired- regular "age limit" (45)!

    11. I can,t believe you can consider Moen is a better referee than Undiano. I think Uefa pushed him very fast and I haven,t seen yet a single performance he convinces me, even in easy matches. Undiano has done that many times during his career

    12. I think that comparisons between referees are fundamentally difficult..
      Undiano has a huge career already behind him while Moen has most of his career still waiting for him. Both have a completely different refereeing style.
      But - merely looking at palmarès and observers - Moen is clearly in front of Undiano if there was a ranking within the Elite group. Probably because UEFA sees more potential than they do with Undiano. Generally I would then recommend you to watch more matches of Svein Moen..

    13. Niclas, maybe uefa considers Moen is in front of Undiano, althought I am not so sure, specially since last season. Even in that case, it not means necesseraly Svein Oddvar Moen was a better referee than Undiano. The norwegian has a lot of demonstrate yet before I can consider him a top referee of Undiano,s level. As one anonymous has posted the other day, I think Undiano deserves much more consideration as referee althought he hasn,t been in some matches at high level and seems he has losen a bit of motivation. I am spanish and I honestly consider that with his lights and shadows he is a great referee. Very soon he is going to reach 300 matches at spanish liga, an incredible record! And he is still far from retirement. Even, in his worst matches I admire his deep sense of neutrality and his capacity to face hostile crowds, something I don,t see in all european elite referees who are more political too many times, front my point of view.

    14. It is insightful to have a Spanish voice who also knows the officials' regular shape in LaLiga.

      You are right, merely looking at appointments does not say everything about the quality of a referee, BUT it can indicate certain tendencies. Comparing the quality of performances and importance of matches Moen and Undiano are assigned to, I must say that - also taking into account the comparably lower level of Norwegian football (which does not give Moen as much experience as Undiano gets regularly in La Liga, as you said, already almost 300 times...) - that Moen's level is more than respectable. In theory, one should expect that a young Norwegian has no chance compared to a Spaniard with a decade FIFA experience, uncountable FIFA tournament appearances, a World Cup and almost 300 LaLiga games..

      But as said, I see no reason to compare Undiano with Moen or whomever.

      Also referees like Florian Meyer and Manuel Gräfe of Germany have proven to be top-class referees maybe even ahead of Felix Brych in terms of personality and empathy in Bundesliga. BUT they did not manage to establish themselves in UEFA refereeing for various reasons, partly performances, partly because maybe their style does not fit to the requirements of international officiating. Maybe we must accept that there are cases like these two and maybe this accounts for Undiano to some extent as well.

      If you have seen Undiano's performances in UEFA Champions League during the last 2-3 seasons, you must recognize that he made too many important mistakes in partly low-profile or relatively easy matches. UEFA put trust in him and sent him to Bayern-City, where he showed a really good performance, but again made a relatively easy crucial mistake.
      And I think that Germany-Serbia and Netherlands-Slovakia were the best examples that the Undiano-style might work in Spain, but that it is not up to modern refereeing which is expected by UEFA. Additionally, what I don't understand for some years, Undiano tends to punish small and soft infringements with quite a lot of determination and strictness, while he often shows no awareness for serious foul play, violent conducts and comparable incidents (no clear line). Examples are Dortmund-Anderlecht, Benfica-Olympiakos and, IMO, also Shakhtar-Bayern.

      The near future will show what UEFA is going to do. My feeling tells me that Mateu Lahoz will attend EURO 2016, with Velasco maybe being a safe and experienced candidate if something goes wrong on the way to June 2016.

    15. Anonymous3/3/15 20:20

      Nice picture of Undiano. And do you really think that Velasco is better than him? UEFA did a mess with Spanish referees.

    16. I don't necessarily think so. But he definitely was in 2011/12 and that's why it was justified to put more trust in him and to consider him as a real alternative to Undiano.

    17. Anonymous3/3/15 20:53

      Anonymous who started the discussion: I agree entirely with the analysis Niclas. Past- Alberto Undiano Mallenco was indeed a model of a modern referee, but of WC 2010 his performance with a lot of oscillation. Present- IMO, satiate, worn Alberto who has no motive, and that person isn't sure of his decision, without personality who put him No I Spaniard in the UEFA competitions. Future- Antonio Mateu Lahoz, no doubt, No I Spaniard in the UEFA competitions!

    18. It seems we have clearly a different point of view about Undiano Mallenco and about refereeing in general and it is no my intention get this into a endless discussion because I think all of us have a clear opinion. However, my feeling is that Undiano is not an ended referee and he has much to say yet in Spanish and European refereeing. About appointments which can determine a ranking among referees, there is much to say: I would like to point that it is very difficult to know in all cases the challenge of a match a priori. As Niclas said Undiano was appointed to referee the clash Bayern-City, by the way the only match in the whole season marked as very challenging. A very good appointment, indeed, but I would like to remark that maybe this match is easier to referee to Undiano or any other referee than for instance Basel-Porto which is a priori a easy-medium match. I mean many times we underestimate some appointments but Uefa knows the difficulty or relevance of these matches and I think Undiano has been appointed to many of these difficult and closed matches where it is more difficult a referee can always shine(Kiev-Porto, Celtic-Juve, Apoel-Lyon, Olympiakos-Arsenal, Benfica-Olympiakos, Ludogorets-Steaua, Basel-Shalke, Shaktar-Bayern, Zenit-Leverkusen, Romania-Hungary, Sweden-Ireland, Island-Croatia...). This will happen with Undiano and with the major part of top referees in my opinión althought I recognize Undiano has choosen in last years sometimes a wrong approach to matches of this profile, sometimes too strict, others too lenient. However, I was impressed by his performance in Bayern-City because, althought he had to take a lot of important decissions, he was "enjoying" the match because it wasn,t a rough match. In my opinion, this suits for every referee so I don,t agree Uefa has given Undiano easy matches, on the contrary, most of them are the typical tough matches which many referees would prefer to avoid and Uefa knows this. These appointments can be interpreted as a little punishment, yes, but I prefer thinking Uefa trusts Undiano and other referees experience and match and crowd control in such kind of matches. I promise I am not Undiano Mallenco jajaja

    19. Anonymous4/3/15 14:05

      It's understandable that so much respect Undiano Mallenco. I agree that there are no easy or difficult games in the UCL. Also, I agree that those "small" game might be more difficult (quite challenging) to prepare tactical and management. I followed you when refereed Mateu Lahoz (Juventus vs. Dortmund). In each of his decision (almost any) you see the error/mistake. One simple question- you're a Spaniard, that's what you told us. It is clear that the love and respect Mallenco. But, where an enormous amount of animosity towards Mateu Lahoz?! :) Even this is and Niclas warned to be more pragmatic in youre comments. I think the majority here (blogs, etc.) are clear the Spain (Angel Maria Villar Llona) has a new refereeing policy and I repeat Spaniard No I in the UEFA/FIFA competitions is Antonio Mateu Lahoz.

    20. Anonymous4/3/15 14:52

      The last comment was incorrect to Daniel. He gave maybe one comment to the referee (Mateu Lahoz) of the match Juventus - Dortmund (critical) and much more to the referee (Brych) of the match Mancester City - FC Barcelona (mostly critical, but nothing based on animosity).


    21. Anonymous4/3/15 15:42

      All right. I agree with "a lot of criticism for Brych and Mateu Lahoz." I haven't seen by other participants blog during the match, which was played at the Arena Lviv. Why then wasn't critical performance Mallenco?! IMO, Mallenco had the performance of "below expectations" and Felix and Antonio at the border "satisfactory/good".

    22. Anonymous4/3/15 23:13

      Absolutely brilliant Clément Turpin tonight in the top clash between Paris SG and AS Monaco. Maybe he learnt from his match in Rotterdam...

    23. Anonymous5/3/15 02:00

      I am happy to hear that. Certainly a lot of pressure on young and talented Clement, but will Pl Collina, I'm sure, in the future be more cautious as he was concerned. I repeat, I am very happy.

    24. Anonymous5/3/15 02:37

      I would add, also, that Turpin fell victim unfortunate turn of events and his own inexperience. Conducted was certainly good analysis and a very important detail is that the UEFA Referee Observer in this match was Zdravko Jokic from the Serbia. Why? IMO, Zdravko Jokic and Dutch Hans Reijgwart are two names that haven't had a brilliant international career, but I can say that they are extremely knowledgeable profession/refereeing, football games in general, and their "eyes" on the smallest detail can't miss. Looking biography Jokic since 1995. engaged in the development of young referees and refereeing improving. In the last 15 years Jokic is constantly Super Referee Observer in the derby-match Red Star vs. Partizan (Belgrade) where you can see a lot worse and President of the Commission for the analysis of refereeing in the Serbian domestic league. Also, we can't disregard his mentor Roberto Rosetti, who has certainly contributed to the return of stability young Turpin.

  9. 27.03.2015
    Germany-Italy (u21 test match):
    Pawel Raczkowski (POL), Marcin Boniek (POL), Pawel Obukowicz (POL), Frank Willenborg (GER)

    1. Anonymous2/3/15 21:02

      It's Michał Obukowicz. DFB site has mistake :)


  10. Anonymous3/3/15 12:11

    Szymon Marciniak is appointed for EL game on 12 March.


    1. Thanks, maybe Wolfsburg-Inter?

    2. I agree, Wolfsburg Inter with Alan Snoddy seems the most suitable match for him.

    3. Anonymous3/3/15 12:59

      Finally, thank to Zbigniew Przesmycki - head of Polish referees, our refereeing is praised by UEFA and FIFA. Both Marciniak and Raczkowski are complete (maybe nearly complete in the second case) referees with fantastic control and empathy for the game, fitness and rapport with players (communicative but like a boss). I hope Marciniak will reach Elite soon and Raczkowski will be fighting for it very much in the future. A pity that Stefański is injured, another great referee whose career is broken by third serious injury...


    4. Anonymous3/3/15 15:08

      Predictions for EL?

    5. I made my predictions in the previous post of the blog and I must admit that, reading the observers appointed, most of the names I guessed, make still sense. I expect Elite officials in Florence and Sevilla for both derbies (Francesco Bianchi and Oguz Sarvan are the confirmation of that).
      As already written, Marciniak could go to Wolfsburg.
      In a match like Napoli - Dinamo one could expect Sidiropoulos, while Bas Nijhuis in Zenit - Torino...

    6. Anonymous4/3/15 00:25

      What has happened with Daniel Stefanski??

    7. Anonymous4/3/15 07:18

      Three serious injuries. December 2012 - May 2013, December 2013 - May 2014, August 2014 - now...


    8. Anonymous5/3/15 01:25

      Thank you. I have followed his career at several games and have seen him several times. Was not aware of this. I wish him speedy recovery

    9. Anonymous5/3/15 09:58

      Daniel Stefański is back. His first match after injury is Legionovia - Kotwica Kołobrzeg in Polish third tier.


  11. There Will Be report about Manuel de Sousa, bertino and mesquita?

    1. Yes, we have an appointed observer and he is working on this match. Report will be published soon.

    2. Since I am the appointed observer let me answer.

      I will try to finish the report tomorrow. I had to review several scenes for the referee and AR1. As you can understand this, combined with our personal life (work mostly) needs quite some time. So I ask for a little patience.

    3. Thanks!
      Curious ... That's all.

      For a long time that Sousa was not observed. He's been very wronged, especially by the head of the Portuguese referees (Melo Pereira) ever promoted along the uefa.

      I'am portuguese.

  12. Anonymous3/3/15 20:17

    Has anyone seen the penalty given by Velasco Carballo tonight (Celta de Vigo-Elche)? It is not the first time this season he made such blatant and crucial mistakes. First penalty at Elche-Levante or card management in every matches demonstrate he is very, very far of a high level. I don,t expect him refereeing champions league matches if refereeing uefa members follow or are reported of domestic league performances.

  13. Anonymous4/3/15 21:12

    Blatant penalty not given to Newcastle against Man United. Refereeing level in PL has not been good lately.


  14. Anonymous4/3/15 21:34

    That's one clear penalty. Referee not excused. Poor Premier League.

  15. AR2 Peter Kirkup is equally, if not more at fault here... Absolute nailed-on penalty. How have they missed that?

    Refereeing standards in the top-flight this season has been nothing short of scandalous.

    Mike Riley is walking the proverbial tightrope...

    1. Can't blame this on AR. Referee 100% responsible for an open decision like this unless he is blocked out (somehow).

    2. With the greatest of respect, I disagree. Kirkup had an optimal view of the impediment, while Taylor's view was slightly blocked, you could see him trying to arch his neck round the player, to get a better view. Both players were facing Kirkup which makes it indefensible.


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