February 4, 2015

Weekly News: Rajindraparsad Seechurn suspended, Collina's message to new FIFA referees, UEFA observers for CL Round of 16

The 3rd Team once again provides you with the latest news about refereeing. Mauritius referee of AFCON 2015 Rajindraparsad Seechurn is suspended and demoted by CAF after his handling of the QF Tunisia - Eq. Guinea. Furthermore UEFA Chief of Refereeing Pierluigi Collina has advised all the new international referees at the UEFA Referee's Course in Athens.

Rajindraparsad Seechurn suspended by CAF.

According to an official announcement by CAF, the referee of the quarter-final Tunisia - Eq. Guinea for AFCON 2015 Rajindrapasard Seechurn from Mauritius has been suspended by CAF following his performance. Apart from the dubious penalty call for the host nation (see here), the referee managed to lose control of the match and as a consequence he was attacked by angry Tunisian players after the end of the match (see here). It's not the first time that CAF suspends a referee after a controversial performance in an AFCON. World Cup 2006 Referee Koffi Codjia from Benin was suspended back in 2010 after his failure to report a head-butt he received by Fawzi Chaouchi the Algerian GK in the Semifinal against Egypt on 28 January 2010. The referee only cautioned the GK and sent him off later with a second YC (see here). Moreover 2 years ago, World Cup pre-listed referee Slim Jedidi from Tunisia was suspended for an indefinite period of time after his performance in the AFCON 2013 semifinal between Burgina Faso and Ghana (see here).

Collina to New International Referees: "Protect the players and the game!".

UEFA's Chief refereeing officer advised new international referees for the qualities needed to be successful.

"The referee's job is a difficult one," he stressed. "You have less than half a second to take a decision, often under heavy pressure and the scrutiny of the public and media. Your decisions can affect not only sporting results but may have an economic impact. So a referee has to embrace responsibility. You have to know yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses. You must seek to improve until your very last refereeing assignment – and stay open to changes."

Collina emphasized just how important it is for a leading referee to prepare properly, in terms of keeping fit – "today's top referee must be an athlete," he said – and with respect to being aware of the teams they are refereeing. "If you study the teams' tactics, and individual players' characteristics, you can stay one step ahead in being able to make decisions in match situations. It is not simply the will to win that makes the difference – it is the will to prepare. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail."

Physical fitness is a key element of a top official's armour in the high-intensity, high-pressure football of today. "Players make mistakes at the end of matches because they are tired," Collina reflected, "and this can also happen to referees. You must be able to remain lucid even in the very closing stages of a match because you don't know what will happen," he added, recalling his own experience as referee of the memorable 1999 UEFA Champions League final, when Manchester United FC's two goals in the dying moments earned them a remarkable success over FC Bayern München in Barcelona.

Collina urged the referees to protect the game as well as the players – and to protect themselves. "We do not want to see players' careers endangered because of a risky tackle by an opponent, nor can we accept the mobbing of a referee by players," he underlined. Another essential aspect of a referee's need to prepare was to ensure thorough knowledge of the Laws of the Game. "On the field, the referee is the person who guarantees that a match is being played in accordance with the rules," Collina explained, "and you must know the rules and their updated interpretation to be able to take correct decisions."

How should referees react to making an error? "You need to think forward and forget [an error] during the match," was Collina's advice. "The moment is gone. After the match, learn from the mistake, find the reason behind it – try and turn a negative moment into a positive experience, it will make you stronger."

The crucial ingredient of teamwork, mutual motivation and support between a referee and his assistants was a vital component in successful performances, with the UEFA newcomers asked to always bear in mind that a referee is not in a position to deal with a match alone. Talent, Collina said, may win games, but teamwork was central to winning championships.

"You must be self-confident and trust in yourself," Collina said in concluding his presentation to the new European referees. "Congratulations on coming this far – you have dreams of being a top referee ... and UEFA is here to try and help you achieve that dream."

source: UEFA.com

UEFA Referee Observers for Champions League Round of 16.

17 February 2015, 20:45 CET (Paris)
Paris SG - Chelsea FC
UEFA Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)
UEFA Delegate: Martin Sturkenboom (NED)

17 February 2015, 20:45 CET (Lviv)
Shakhtar Donetsk - FC Bayern München
UEFA Referee Observer: Paul Allaerts (BEL)
UEFA Delegate: Adonis Procopiou (CYP)

18 February 2015, 20:45 CET (Gelsenkirchen)
FC Schalke 04 - Real Madrid
UEFA Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)
UEFA Delegate: Metin Kazancioglu (TUR)

18 February 2015, 20:45 CET (Basel)
FC Basel - FC Porto
UEFA Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)
UEFA Delegate: Scott Struthers (SCO)


  1. Wow. Now that is an extreme punishment...

    1. Anonymous4/2/15 19:07

      6 months!!!! That is crazy, however his performance was unacceptable...

    2. Unacceptable performance? Yes. Warranted demotion? Possibly. Justifies a six-month suspension? Absolutely not.

    3. 6 months is too much??? guys, it was disgrace. he knew what was he doing and the thing was to get home team trough. it is called corruption and for me that is for live ban. I know you will argue that they haven't proved it but every referee must see it. that's nothing with "poor performance".

    4. @dubhe You have no evidence that this referee is corrupt or his decisions were a result of him being bribed or they were simply poor decisions. Do you kill a man because you THINK he might've killed someone. No you have a trial and you bring evidence and you think logically. So don't claim to know things for certain when you can't prove them, no one will or should take you seriously.

    5. first of all, ban a referee is not killing and i don't support any eye for eye. he can still find decent job appart from refereeing ;-)
      for me the clearest evidence is the added time of extra time. i think that it is hard to blow the end of the match earlier 'by mistake'. laws of the game state that signaled added time should never be reduced. however, the referee stopped the game when tunisia had control of the ball and tried to attack. even if we omit those 7 seconds, was it a coincidence that a equiguinean player apparently advised the referee to finish the game and he did it in few seconds? why did he added only 2 minutes if at least 4 if not 5 minutes were wasted in the second half of the added time? why didn't he add the time which was wasted due to the scuffle in the added time? of those signaled 2 minutes only 30 seconds were played. also no added time was signaled in the first half of the extra time even though there was time wasted. it's true that almost 50 seconds were player over the time but in the "safe" part of the field. when tunisian players complained about waste-timing seechurn always pointed to his watch. what was he thinking? ironically showing that "you don't have enough time to equalize :-P" or "don't worry, i won't add that time anyway"? if he was telling them he will add the added time then he was lying and i fully understand the frustration of players. what reason would a honest and impartial referee have not to add the time?
      another fact: 7 offsides to 0. coincidence? maybe. however, some of the calls were doubtfull to me. in my view, AR2 was quite active in signaling fouls.. always in favour of the home team.
      similar challanges called differently in different parts of the field. fouls in favour of tunisia mostly in their own half (one that was on the half of home team was moved 2-3 meters away from the goal of home team).
      here is the whole match:
      I know there's no proof of corruption but I like Africa and African football. Nonetheless, it will never progress if they don't get rid of the old practises. That's why I don't support the view that six months is too much. For me it is still too little.

  2. Gents, what happened to Aytekin (GER)? Never heard of him recently. Not taking any Bundesliga games? Niclas, any news?

    1. Hi Turan,
      Aytekin got injured approximately at the time of the FIFA seminar in Zurich. Thus he was replaced in his planned Bundesliga games, e.g. by Felix Zwayer in the derby Hamburg-Bremen.
      After the traditionally quite long winter break here, he was appointed for another derby in the 3rd League (Osnabrück-Münster) last weekend, but the match was postponed due to heavy snow in that region. It is unclear whether he will handle the match next weekend or whether time has come to return onto Bundesliga turf. We'll see, but he should be ready to take charge of international matches again - now as Elite referee.

    2. Thanks Niclas. Good to hear he is ready to rock again.

    3. He is appointed for Mainz-Hertha on Saturday afternoon.

  3. Anonymous5/2/15 02:11

    Some news on the UEFA Referee's Winter Course in Athens.
    It appears that all referees who took part in the Yoyo Intermittent Recovery Test have managed to pass. Nicola Rizzoli (apparently not attending the Winter Course due to an injury) and Arnold Hunter (present in Athens, but not fully recovered) didn't participate in the fitness test. Among the lucky ones is Danny Makkelie, who got injured mid november and had a surgery on his meniscus. Great compliments to him for having regained this soon the physical condition needed to pass this test.

    1. Anonymous6/2/15 11:17

      Why is Arnold Hunter there? are category 1 refs there also?

    2. Yes, several Category 1 referees are there.

    3. Anonymous6/2/15 22:37

      It is those category 1 referee who have a chance of a knock out stage assignment.
      Any news on the Chilean official, will he be given a knock out assigment?

    4. If I had to guess, then the 7 referees in the coach-referee program will definitely get a match. Also I suspect 10-12 more Cat 1 referee will have a match.

  4. Anonymous5/2/15 11:26

    Well done by Makkelie. What Kind of injury has Rizzoli?

    1. He was injured in a match between Genoa and Florentina I believe, in Serie A

  5. Benquerença failed written tests of portuguese federation...
    He couldn't copy...


  6. Velasco Carballo is appointed for a match in his domestic league on Friday 13/02 (Almeria - Real Sociedad). This could mean that he has a match on Tuesday 17/02.
    In case, Allaerts would be a suitable observer for him.
    So very likely he has Shakhtar Donetsk - FC Bayern München.

  7. Anonymous6/2/15 11:34

    Rizzoli Was stopping for 30 days for a calf injury during Genoa Fiorentina Last week He Was replaced by Di Bello Marco from Brindisi And in My opinion He Makes a Lot of mistakes

  8. 2015 CAF African Nation Cup (CAN) - Final
    08 February 2015 at Estadio de Bata (Equatorial Guinea)

    Ivory Coast vs. Ghana

    Referee: Bakary Papa Gassama (Gambia)
    Assistant Referee: Djibril Camara (Senegal)
    Assistant Referee: Waleed Ahmed Ali (Sudan)
    4th official: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)

  9. http://refereesfifa.blogspot.fr/search/label/CAF%20%28Africa%29

  10. Anonymous7/2/15 13:53

    Team Jonas Eriksson referees a friendly match in Sweden on 14 February. So perhaps a match on 18 February. What speaks against that is that Stefan Johannesson referees another friendly in Stockholm on 16 February. Time will tell, but Schalke-Real probably needs a referee of Eriksson's calibre.

    /Swedish observer

    1. As a convinced Schalke supporter, I am confident that Schalke 04 will have too much respect and probably suffer another high loss against Real Madrid. I would dare to say that even a First Group referee can be considered for the return leg. For the first leg, I think it would be a good chance to test Kralovec or Collum for a possible quarterfinal assignment. Of course on paper the match sounds important and the atmosphere will be huge, but I think e.g. Atlético-Leverkusen will be tighter in the scoreline.

    2. Anonymous7/2/15 14:03

      True, and you surely know more about Schalke than me :-)

      /Swedish observer

    3. :)

      But based on your remark that Johannesson will have a match on 16 Feb, Eriksson would still be a candidate for the first leg of a Round of 16 match, and assumed that he won't again get ManCity-Barcelona, Juventus-Dortmund would be a match requiring a referee of his format.


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