December 7, 2015

Champions League 2015/16 - Referee Appointments - Matchday 6 (II)

Partly surprising appointments for the very last matchday of this year's UEFA Champions League campaign. Cüneyt Çakır and Nicola Rizzoli will take charge of the crucial ties in London and Piraeus respectively underlining their currently leading role in UEFA officiating. Ivan Bebek and Paolo Tagliavento will remain with only one group stage appearance in the highest European league.

E| 09.12.2015, 20:45 CET
BayArena, Leverkusen (GER)
Bayer Leverkusen - FC Barcelona
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Jake Collin (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Friend (ENG)
Fourth Official: John Brooks (ENG)
UEFA Referee Observer: Peter Mikkelsen (DEN)
UEFA Delegate: Gerhard Sager (SWE)
Blog Referee Observer: Detelin (BUL)

E| 09.12.2015, 20:45 CET
Stadio Olimpico, Roma (ITA)
AS Roma - BATE Borisov
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Child (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Jonathan Moss (ENG)
Fourth Official: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
UEFA Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)
UEFA Delegate: Stanislaw Speczik (POL)
Blog Referee Observer:

F| 09.12.2015, 20:45 CET
Georgios Karaiskakis, Piraeus (GRE)
Olympiakos - Arsenal FC
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Davide Massa (ITA)
Fourth Official: Andrea Padovan (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Michel Vautrot (FRA)
UEFA Delegate: Ainar Leppänen (EST)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)

F| 09.12.2015, 20:45 CET
Zagreb Stadion, Zagreb (CRO)
Dinamo Zagreb - Bayern München
Referee: Martin Strömbergsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Michael Lerjeus (SWE)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Fourth Official: Per Brogevik (SWE)
UEFA Referee Observer: Juan Fernández Marín (ESP)
UEFA Delegate: Wolfgang Thierrichter (AUT)
Blog Referee Observer: Chefren (ITA)

G| 09.12.2015, 20:45 CET
Stamford Bridge, London (ENG)
Chelsea FC - FC Porto
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Hüseyin Göcek (TUR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Baris Simsek (TUR)
Fourth Official: Emre Eyisoy (TUR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jorn West Larsen (DEN)
UEFA Delegate: Bernd Barutta (GER)
Blog Referee Observer: Gitzlo (AUT)

G| 09.12.2015, 20:45 CET
NSK Olimpiskyi, Kyiv (UKR)
Dymamo Kyiv - Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Fourth Official: Charles Schaap (NED)
UEFA Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)
UEFA Delegate: Roy Cathcart (NIR)
Blog Referee Observer: Carter (AUS)

H| 09.12.2015, 20:45 CET
Mestalla, Valencia (ESP)
Valencia CF - Olympique Lyon
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Zunic (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Mitja Zganec (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Balazic (SVN)
Fourth Official: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Terje Hauge (NOR)
UEFA Delegate: Teuvo Holopainen (FIN)
Blog Referee Observer: Edward (GRE)

H| 09.12.2015, 20:45 CET
Gent Stadium, Gent (BEL)
KAA Gent - Zenit St Petersburg
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alvaro Mesquita (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Taborda Xistra (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Joao Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Santos (POR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)
UEFA Delegate: Mike Foster (ENG)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)


  1. So Rizzoli and Cakir are the choices for important clashes. Both will officiate their fourth match in this group stage. At moment, they are the top ranked among Elite officials. Both had a very good group stage, and both are safe bets, of course, for EURO 2016.
    I guess that Kuipers was appointed for this match in Kiyv after this recent performances, otherwise, as also said yesterday, he was the first option for Athens or London.
    I didn't expect two Category 1 referees in group H, but the fact that in both matches there is a team without any aim, has allowed that.
    Tagliavento, Aytekin and Bebek (for different reasons) are the Elite officials with only one match in CL group stage.

  2. OT :
    What do you think of this Act of sabotage of the goalkeeper of Augsburg Marvin Hitz in Bundesliga who voluntarily destroyed the front of the penalty spot for tripping the kicker?
    For me, it is a violent act of foul to contribute to fail the kicker and directly influence the outcome of the match. The referee would have to see this gesture and send off goalkeeper for serious misconduct.

  3. Criteria for a red card are not fulfilled (there is no "violent act of foul" or "serious misconduct" in the Laws of the Game, if you mean SFP / VC, both are not fulfilled at all).
    If the referee detects it, he has to issue a YC (a friend of mine suggested to issue 2 yellows in a row, 1 for unsporting behaviour, the other for damaging the field of play...well) - it should be stressed that the penalty itself was incorrect as well (simulation). The goal Augsburg scored later in the game also resulted from a wrong free-kick (simulation). Unfortunately Siebert fell for both of them.

  4. Second CL-appointment for Michael Lerjeus as AAR after his decision to retire. Strange with the Kenn Hansen-situation in mind.

    1. AAR is not the same as main referee!

  5. Excellent decision by Simsek/Cakir: goal from Chelsea very well seen, with good clear communication.

    1. For me it was clear enough - the AAR simply must see it. Correct decision and well done... but excellent? I have some doubts on it ;)

    2. It is indeed excellent. Don't assume that things are always easy. A mistake is easy to happen.

    3. @Gitzlo: It is not too hard to see, but still it is a very important decision to take - and as Referee sais, we should be careful with calling a decision like this easy. Positioning, concentration, signalling are all good, which made that I called it excellent.

      Btw - when I watched it live, I had the impression that the goal was awarded quite late by Cakir. Play went on for a while.

  6. Great onside leading to the 0:1 by Barca (flash lag made it very challenging) - very well seen by Simon Beck.

  7. Evitable YC by Cakir against Maxi Pereira IMO. A promising attack was not really denied as another defender would have cleared the ball even if there had been no foul.

    Matej Jug disallowed a goal early in the game, at first glance a soft call.

    1. I think Cakir issued this YC for the reckless use of arms/elbow - at least that was my first impression. Replay show any recklessness but I can understand the referee who has any replays on field and live I would issue a caution too.

      Finally 5 YC in the first half, a very intensive game. Despite the first goal the most interesting situation occured in minute 18: penalty appeal by CHE, correctly rejected by Cakir but maybe a missed YC for simulation. Difficult.

      All in all a very good performance so far.

    2. I agree, very good performance by Cakir in a not that easy game.

  8. Thoughts on the penalty for Arsenal by Rizzoli?

    1. Incorrect / undeliberate, but I have to rewatch it.

    2. Wrong decision in my opinion. The handball was undeliberate, as the arm was in a normal position for a sliding tackle.

    3. Interesting handball situation inside the penalty area for Kuipers, IMO correct decision to play-on. (first half)

    4. Rizzoli handball penalty is a correct decision. From what I know, if a player tries to block a shot/pass, his hand may not increase the body surface. This is the risk the player takes when deciding for such action.

    5. The hand is in a player-typical position, the hand and arm are even bouncing back and are not stiff after being hit. Actually arms and hands that are in a natural position while falling or making a blocking sliding tackle (e.g. to hold balance, to support oneself on the turf etc.) are clear arguments against deeming a handball as deliberate.
      Furthermore for me this is no significant enlargement of the body surface (the arms are neither blatantly nor negligently outstretched).

      Generally, I am a bit worried about the tendency which seems to have established in some national associations and European football (to be honest, everywhere outside Europe handballs are treated 180° differently) - the Laws of the Game emphasize that a handball must be DELIBERATE, in the last 2 years something like CARELESS handballs developed and now we are even saying "that's the risk when making such actions"? IMO this violates Law 12 more and more.

    6. I don't want to go into a polemic whether it's OK or not but our head of referees often writes in his analysis (he publishes them after each Ekstraklasa matchday) that:

      - if the player makes a slide tackle to win the ball and the ball is kicked in the last moment, there is no infringement,

      - if the player makes a slide tackle or he throws himself onto the pitch to just block a shot / pass and the ball hits his hand, there is an infringement in every case when a hand is not stick to the body.

      He always stresses that it is what UEFA want in their competitions. Therefore, he demands the same from our officials to be in line with UEFA's recommendations.

      I doubt he would lie publicly.

    7. In my book this is a clear example of a deliberate handball and penalty kick. Indeed, the player takes the risk of touching the ball when he trows himself onto the pitch. Thereby enlarging of the body surface. The defender behaves like a goal keeper: a schoolbook example of handball and penalty. For me, a good decision by Rizzoli: penalty and YC.

    8. I also got a confirmation from another side that this is what UEFA wants.
      I am still not 100% convinced that this is a CLEAR enlargement of the body surface to be punished, but if the guideline is like that, Rizzoli must be congratulated - nonetheless I cannot fully hide my antipathy for this guideline.

    9. I'm glad this issue has been solved. It's nice that we have the man (Przesmycki) who gives us some hints in regard to what UEFA want from their referees. Thank to him our officials are internationally praised and whose obsession is to have a one line in assessing certain situations as handballs, reckless tackles (trailing leg fouls!), offsides, etc.

      And thanks to him Rizzoli will avoid a crucial mistake in your report! ;)

    10. He would not have got one anyway (such particular situations are always grey areas and need to be supported).

      The only thing I can imagine is that with such a line UEFA officials could face problems at FIFA tournaments. And, maybe I repeat myself, this guideline violates the Laws of the Game from my point of view.

      I am sure Przesmycki is doing a good job, Marciniak's and Raczkowski's developments are only two examples of that.
      BUT (and that is no criticism on him): Having one clear line automatically leads to generalization and a loss of differentiation. Punishing every person that made another person die with a death penalty does not separate a real murder from involuntary homicide (not the best example, but I am sure you get me).

    11. I understand you as I'm a fan of basing on the LoTG only - without instructions, guidelines, recommendations, etc. Every team have their own tactics, so let the referees to have their own. Then, we will know who allows what kind of play. It's extremely difficult to make everyone to think the same way. There always will be exceptions for which one will have to make another line...

  9. Your thoughts about penalty for Bayeen? YC/RC?


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