May 11, 2015

Weekly News: Webb a new UEFA Referee Observer (?), Staubli in charge of WCL Final, Kassai injured again & CONMEBOL referee course

The Third team once again provides you with the latest news from the referee's perspective. Howard Webb is said to return to UEFA refereeing as one of their observers, Esther Staubli has been appointed for the Women's Champions League final in Berlin and Hungarian Elite Viktor Kassai seems to be injured once again this season. Moreover, CONMEBOL has organized an Elite Referee Course in Santiago ahead of Copa America.

From jersey to suit: Howard Webb soon a UEFA Referee Observer?

Howard Webb to return to UEFA?

A strong rumour says that former English the world's best referee, World Cup and Champions League 2010 final referee Howard Webb has been nominated as a new UEFA Referee Observer from next season on. After finishing his career back in August 2014, Webb was announced to take the role of the Technical Director within the English referee association PGMOL. 
While this is for now only a rumour, we are confident that this will turn out to be more than that. 

Esther Staubli in charge of the WCL final

Switzerland's Elite official Esther Staubli has been given the honor to officiate this year's Women Champions League final played at Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in Berlin on 14 May between 1.FFC Frankfurt (GER) and Paris SG (FRA). The 35-year-old will be assisted by her compatriots Belinda Brem and Susann Küng. Désirée Grundbacher will function as the fourth official, while reserve assistant referee Emilie Aubry completes the lineup.

Staubli will also be present at the Women's World Cup this summer in Canada. Her biggest achievement to date was his appointment of the 2013 Women's Euro Semifinal between Sweden and Germany in Sweden. In a radio interview, she expressed that she just felt pleasant anticipation looking forward to next Thursday. Her international journeys to matches across the world are a "window to the world" in the sense of visiting new places and getting to know other cultures for Staubli. The 35-year old referee, born in Berne, is a studied agronomist and teaches agriculture sciences in a college. So she probably knows best how to manage the turf next Thursday...
We wish her and her teammates all the best!

Viktor Kassai is injured once again

Having been absent from the knock-out stages of both Champions League and Europa League, the Hungarian Elite and Champions League Final 2011 referee Viktor Kassai seems to suffer from pain in his waist. His name is missing from the last 2 matchdays of Nemzeti Bajnokság I (Hungary's top league) as a consequence. Kassai was reportedly injured during the UEFA seminar at the start of February in Athens which kept him out of the appointments for both CL and EL KO rounds.
The Third Team wishes him all the best and a quick recovery and comeback!

Elite Course in Santiago de Chile

In the morning of Friday, 8 May, in Santiago de Chile, CONMEBOL's Elite Referee Course has begun with the support of FIFA's Refereeing Assistance Program and the Football Federation of Chile. The course, that is foreseen to end on 13 May, is a gathering of 43 international referees with the purpose of updating the technical and physical abilities of the referees with regards to the pending Copa America Tournament. The course will additionally address theoretical acitivities, presentations and talks by instructors, physical activities and on-field work with players. Maybe, this has a certain relevance for UEFA officials well, as we frequently heard that a UEFA Referee Trio might be invited to the final tournament.

You can read more about the course and its participants here


  1. Interesting...

    From next season, Webb will also assume responsibilities of appointing Select Group referees.

  2. OT: Jarred Gillet named Australian referee of the year, and will therefore officiate in the A-League grand final next Sunday (4pm AEST). He had the final in 2011 as well, where he awarded a highly controversial penalty in the 90+4', which turned out to be correct (or at the least acceptable). Given his age (28) he certainly looks like taking the #1 position in the country in a few years.

  3. It is not a question of "if" Webb will become an observer, but rather "when"; however, you might have expected UEFA to have waited one or two more years before appointing him, as he undoubtedly knows personally most Elite and First Group referees. I would expect him to spend 2-3 years on lower-division referees before moving up to high-profile matches for this reason.

  4. Anonymous12/5/15 11:57

    That might happen in North America, but not in Europe. Here, former high-level referees (Vautrot, Fandel, Rosetti, Medina, Frojdfeldt, De Bleeckere) became UEFA observers within a year of their retirement. The same should happen with Webb and Proenca. There is no need for them to go to lower divisions, since they have the best experience possible.


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