March 15, 2016

Europa League 2015/16 - Round of 16 - Referee Appointments (II)

These are the referees appointed by UEFA for EL Round of 16 return legs. Among others, Serbian Milorad Mažić will handle the English derby Manchester United - Liverpool, while Italian Daniele Orsato has been assigned to Spanish duel Valencia - Athletic.
17 March 2016, 19:00 CET
BayArena, Leverkusen (GER)
Bayer Leverkusen - Villarreal
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Damien MacGraith (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Francis Connor (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Bobby Madden (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: John Beaton (SCO)
Fourth Official: Douglas Ross (SCO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Vaclav Krondl (CZE)
UEFA Delegate: Adrian Titcombe (ENG)

17 March 2016, 19:00 CET
Estadi de Mestalla, Valencia (ESP)
Valencia - Athletic
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Fourth Official: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Zdravko Jokić (SRB)
UEFA Delegate: José Aguiar (POR)

17 March 2016, 19:00 CET
Stadio Olimpico, Rome (ITA)
SS Lazio - Sparta Praha
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Tony Chapron (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Fourth Official: Laurent Stien (FRA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Nikolay Levnikov (RUS)
UEFA Delegate: George Koumas (CYP)

17 March 2016, 21:05 CET
White Hart Lane, London (ENG)
Tottenham Hotspur - Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Andrea Padovan (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kaj Natri (FIN)
UEFA Delegate: Charles Schaak (LUX)

17 March 2016, 21:05 CET
Estádio Municipal de Braga, Braga (POR)
Braga - Fenerbahçe
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Marijo Strahonja (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Goran Pataki (CRO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Manuel Díaz Vega (ESP)
UEFA Delegate: Milovan Đukanović (MNE)

17 March 2016, 21:05 CET
Old Trafford, Manchester (ENG)
Manchester United - Liverpool
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Đurđević (SRB)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Nenad Đokić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
UEFA Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)
UEFA Delegate: Jean Paul Mievis (BEL)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)

17 March 2016, 21:05 CET
Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, Brussels (BEL)
Anderlecht - Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez Del Palomar (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
UEFA Referee Observer: Zbigniew Przesmycki (POL)
UEFA Delegate: Tugomir Frajman (SVN)

17 March 2016, 21:05 CET
Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville (ESP)
Sevilla - Basel
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Tobias Welz (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Benjamin Brand (GER)
Fourth Official: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
UEFA Referee Observer: Gylfi Þor Orasson (ISL)
UEFA Delegate: Graham Hover (ENG)


  1. I can already predict that Braga and Fenerbahce will be match with plenty fouls and cards.

    Thats what you get when Bebek handles any match.

    1. But I like his style of refereeing.

    2. That is just no true, it is obvious you haven't seen Bebek in recent time. He has been totaly changed after demotion few years ago and now he has no problems with lots of cards and fouls.

    3. The reason to me why he shows so many cards is beaause he is not refereing big matches in croatia, he as a best ref in croatia gets so many "small and not really important matches",(i dont know when was the last time he was in charge of croatian's biggest derby) so when he gets to be in charge of any cl or el match i think that there he doesnt have a lot of experience of big matches and thats why he shows a lot of cards.To me this match will be a big test for him .

    4. Good prediction, unfortunately...

    5. You said it well, unfortunately...

  2. Big match for Mazic. Interesting that he was in charge in United's deciding CL clash against Wolfsburg. Utd lost 3-2. Now, he will again officiate their match in which Utd could be knocked out from Europe for this season.

  3. So Fernandez, Tagliavento and Thomson left out once again. Unless they get a QF, it is really time to consider a demotion.
    On the other hand, Buquet should have good chances for a promotion in case of a good performance in Rome.
    Another interesting match for Orsato after CL R16.
    No surprises in the other appointments.

    1. I would dare to say that, looking at appointments and performances, at moment Buquet seems even ahead than Turpin...
      Perhaps Fernández Borbalán will have more opportunities when Velasco Carballo will retire, it should be at the end of EURO tournament. The problem with Spanish referees (4 Elite) is that there are too many teams from this country in European competitions, so very often appointments are really impossible to be made for them.
      Differently, I think that names like Thomson and Tagliavento should be really at the end of their Elite career (said with all the respect of course).
      I also think that starting from EL quarterfinals we will see only Elite referees, there could be perhaps only one expection (Kulbakov?), what do you think? Did you expect other Category 1 referees for the matches played until now?

    2. Yes personally I think that since QF only Elite referees will be appointed; this is what happened in the past and it gets from natural.
      I know that is too early to view so far but in my opinion Spanish teams and Bayern M. will reach semifinals, so Brych, Velasco and Undiano should be out of games; so keeping Rizzoli, Kuipers, Kassai and Cakir for semifinals, I'm expecting to see Clatts, Atkinson, Velasco, Brych, Skomina, Undiano, Eriksson and Mazic in CL QF. Marciniak, Mateu, Rocchi, Collum, Moen, Kralovec could six safe names for EL QF. Does it make sense ?
      I'm a little bit surprised about by Mazic and Rizzoli appointments; if they are fully recovered by injury why not in CL ? I expected at least Rizzoli in Barcellona or anyway in CL.
      Yes I think that now It's time to review Elite class composition and according to latest appointments F. Borbalan, Thomson and Tagliavento should be downgraded to First Class. I would add Nihjus too because the latest performances I followed or I red were very poor even before his promotion.
      Demoting these 4 officials to first class I think there are rooms to promote Zwayer, Buquet and may be Oliver, Soares Dias and Kulbakov. What do you think ?
      Last questions: any news about referees for Olympic Games; from Uefa I would appoint Mateu, Oliver, Buquet, Zwayer and Sidiropolus.

    3. I don't think Nijhuis has performed 'poor' this season. He got some nice clashes in CL this season, and in all of them he performed at expected level. I don't see any reason to demote him now.
      I agree that Tagliavento and Thomson should be demoted. Especially Tagliavento did not get any serious match for some seasons. The match he got in the R32 was a clear example of that.

    4. A few points were I disagree:
      - Brych could still get a SF first leg, when Bayern is in the other match
      - Undiano in CL QF seems quite unlikely. Rather Mateu, but with 3 Spanish teams and Velasco being the No 1, it's difficult anyway.
      - Rizzoli and Kuipers should get a CL QF after missing in this round
      - There might be referees, who are appointed in CL QF and CL SF.
      - I also think, Nijhuis had a good season so far and should get another appointment.
      - Regarding promotion, Oliver and Soares Dias are unlikely without CL this season. I would add Taylor to the list of candidates.
      - For Olympics I would say: Mateu, Aytekin or Zwayer, Orsato + 2 of Thomson, Nijhuis, Bebek, Buquet.

  4. Questionable 1st Braga goal.Possible offside...

    1. Yes, possible, but I would say no mistake in case of offside. Very difficult call.

    2. It was offside, but very close. Acceptable decision imo.

      Generally a very intensive game for Bebek!

    3. Well, Fener whole team is frusrated with some of his desicion, he gave 3 cards to them, neither one for foul (Topal-simulation, V.Persie-using hand and Souza for kicking the ball) .He also sent off Fener coach so to me Bebek is the one who makes match even more intensive.

  5. Mateu Lahoz disallowed a goal by Anderlecht for a pushing on the opponent while jumping by using both hands. Replay showed that it was very, very soft... perhaps nothing.

    1. 8 yellows,2 reds.What happened here?

  6. Satisfying 1st half by Mazic. Correct penalty, missed 1 compulsory YC for a reckless elbow in 9' and his gestures are really a number too eccentric and odd today.

    1. I expected this kind of comment from you. You really dislike Mazic's style and body language (but Collina likes it, fortunately). Elbow from Felaini was 2nd foul of the match, beggining of the match, and Mazic decided to give him very strong warning, which is ok for this kind of match (on this blog we approve offsides, and criticise YCs, which is only on referee to decide). I have to say that Djurdjevic had 3 very good offside/onside calls, and Ristic one extremely tough, but excellent onside decision, when 4 or 5 United's players were offside, but Felaini wasn't. Also very good cooperation between Mazic and ARs in two YC situations.

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    4. And I expected such a comment from you. See how we are beginning to harmonize.

      I do not think in like-dislike categories in contrast to you.

      Fellaini should have been sent off for Violent Conduct. Clearly used his arms and elbow as a weapon, a targeted, planned punch with excessive force. A prototype example.

    5. See, we beggin to understand each other :-) About elbows from Fellaini, do you think that Clattenburg, Atkinson, Oliver would gim him RC? Also Rizzoli, Eriksson? No, I am 100% sure! They can feel the greatness of this derby match! It is not only about the rules. And players - no one complined about this.

    6. I am typing on mobile phone, so I miss some letters here and there (just like Mazic misses cards :-)). Sorry!

    7. Yes, Nole. He missed YC for Sacho. :)

    8. Maybe Mazic missed one or two YCs, but he didn't decide the winner. His mistakes were not crucial for the match. Here beloved Swedish team decided last night winner (Klasenius made crucial mistake) and nobody emphasize that. Also, what Bebek team did? We can approve AR2 decision how much we want, but first goal was offside. PK and RC after that... I see 3 RC now. Lahoz with wrong disallowing a goal...
      I will predict that Mazic is going to recieve CL semifinal. We'll see if I am going to be right.

    9. Something I like so much in your comment:
      'Here beloved Swedish team' :)

    10. @Referee138 For me, the mark is not the most important. I believe Luci will give somewhere 8.3 to Mazic. More important is that he had full controll of the match all the time, always close but not too close to distract the play. In first half there were few small complaints on correct decisions (e.g. Blind), but after Mazic take some talking with players, his decisions were fully accepted during whole match. He was well respected by the players and make or allowed no tensions. His body language is specific, you can like it or not (many people didn't like Collina and his behaviour, but he is the best ref of all time), but Mazic is very good referee, who, off course, can make a mustake. But, I have to say that after Djokic replaced Filipovic, there are no mistakes in AAR2 penalty area, which was the case with Filipovic (tonight handball from Millner was very well denied by Djokic). Mazic's ARs are always on a highest level, and I think that Ristic is one of the best AR in Europe for sure. I can't remember his mistake (not only in Europe). Djurdjevic is very good, too, and he proved that tonight. So, you can say that I am subjective, but for me Serbian crew did very good job tonight and in CL/EL this year so far.

    11. @Nole, i agree with every word.

    12. Nole, Fellaini's VC is a VC for me whoever is the referee: Cakir, Atkinson, Rizzoli, Brych or Mazic. An elbow like that is a masterclass example of arms used as weapons based on what UEFA is passing to the national associations.
      The mark has to be 7.9 (8.3) if the observer does not keep both eyes closed. Otherwise 8.3.

    13. + Fellaini is known for such kind of behaviour. He very often uses elbows just to hurt his opponent.

    14. See Referee Education->Illegal Use of Arms->the video from Manchester derby.

    15. Niclas, if we all think the same, this blog wouldn't exist, or would be boring. Perhaps I am the only one that contradict you here, but that doesn't mean that I don't respect you. A contrary, I have big respect for what you are doing for this blog, and for your knowledge. Just sometimes I have different view. For me, football is not mathematics, 2+2 is not always 4. There are rules, but if you always go strict by the rules - sometimes you can destroy the match. Especially in big clashes. Fellaini is "dirty" player, we all know that, but sending him off would make players more nervous, the match would become more intense, and referee could loose control. That didn't happened, nobody complained (even Liverpool fans). In Premier league he would never recieve RC. I believe Uefa is going to be very satisfied with Mazic's performance last night. And his whole team, too. We will see which match will he observe next. If he gets a big one (I believe so), that would mean that he did very well, no matter he maybe missed RC.

  7. What a crucial mistake by Bebek, again problems with handballs. Wrong penalty assigned to Braga.
    Never, never a deliberate one. And it was also second YC = RC.

    1. We won't be seeing him again

    2. Also, I think it was offside before all off that drama.But you gotta admit, Bebek is not afraid of making any big decisions, he proved that when Real and Shakhtar were playing and he proved that tonight.

    3. Well, this can be a good thing, surely, a referee who is not afraid of taking important decisions, but this of course can't justify the mistakes.
      No offside in the build-up: excellent AR1.

    4. Well im sad seeing this from him because he is one of my favorite referee.Now 4-1 is for Braga so its sad seeing that one big mistake from him made Braga win the game.Unfortunately, we wont be seeing him for a long time.

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    6. And now he shows straight red.What do you think about that?

    7. The last red card: excellent decision. But using common sense adding 6 minutes extra time seems a little unnecessary.

    8. And another red card for Fenerbahce in the last minute of extra time. Volkan pushed Bebek over after receiving the red card. Uacceptable of course. But Bebek created the problems himself with poor management.

    9. Everything started when Bebek gave a yellow card to #5 FEN for diving (on the midfield!!!) I have never seen this. By the way, there was contact prior to the dive. The same player was involved in the penalty situation where he was sent of. Bebek caused all of the difficulties and I am shocked that he is an elite referee. There are much better referees who deserve the title elite much more than him.

    10. @Enes Cavus
      Bebek tonight made some big mistakes, but you can't say that he isn't for Elit group because of one match.

    11. Simulation must be punished everywhere on the field (maybe not in the own penalty area of course). I have seen that, among others, in PSG-LEV, 2nd YC, referee...Bebek :)

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  9. Bebek has a lot of problems with a quite challenging game in Braga. Now a completely wrong handball penalty (+ 2nd YC). My dear...

    1. The thing is that in Croatia (or Serbia, that's similar) referees give such penalties, and in journals you can read that referees made good decisions. That's the main problem for the Uefa referees from those kind of countries - they are not criticized when they make such mistakes. That's not easy for them (I don't want to justify Bebek by saying this). I think that e.g. some Premier league referees have different problem - they do not give clear PKs for handball. There were plenty situations this year. Different approach in different countries... Pk for Braga was crucial mistake, but bigger mistake for me was 2nd YC - there was neither one reason tp be given.

    2. No reasons? It was a shot on goal, once you decide for deliberate handball, that's an obvious YC to be given.
      BTW is that really true? Such penalties are not mistakes in Serbia and Croatia? I can't believe. It would be interesting to know why a player should be punished for having the arms in a natural position, close to body. Perhaps you mean that these decisions are more easily accepted, even though mistakes, because there isn't a big attention and relevance like European competitions...

    3. Maybe you misunderstood me. The handball was not deliberate, that was obvious - no PK (but even if he decided to give PK, he could skip YC, imo). In our countries, if you listen to journalists, commentators on TV or if you read fun blogs - almost every handball is penalty! Commentators rarely explain whether the handball is punishable or not. Of course, referees know the rules and in many situations they decide to play-on, but then they are blamed in newspapers or on sites! Besides that, there are no many big matches in these leagues, so it is more tougher for referees like Mazic or Bebek in European matches. Red Star - Partizan and Dinamo-Hajduk - those are big matches in Serbia/Croatia and that's all for whole year. Clattenburg, Atkinson, Rizzoli, Brych, Carballo and others have important matches in their countries every 2-3 weeks and they got used to the pressure. Because of that I think that Mazic's success is pretty big (Serbia didn't have elite referee for about 20 years, from Zoran Petrovic).

    4. @Nole i am fully agreeing with you.I mean we in croatia make so much pressure on any referee who is officiating Dinamo, Hajduk or Rijeka games, every questionable desicion will be in newspappers for about a week or month,clubs will talk about it and put pressure on any referee, I mean Hajduk even made this crazy idea that derby beetwen Hajduk and Dinamo could officiate some referee from another country, imagine Cakir handling that match :) .I dont how it is Serbia, but i doubt that is more different.

    5. I know what is going on in Croatian, I am following, and the same is in Serbia. Especially when Red Star and Partizan play. Clubs are writing statements, accusing referee for every small mistake. E.g. in last derby Partizan accused Glodjovic for helping RS (which was 29 points ahead!), and only important mistake was made by AR1 (disallowed goal because of offside). After month ago fans still talk about that match.
      To summarize about handball here: if handball was not deliberate and hand is in natural position, but PK is given - nobody accuses referee. It is found acceptable decision. But if penalty is not given, the referee is always blamed, even though his decision is correct. There is a big pressure on the referees, but it is totally different pressure (and expectations) than the referees have in big European leagues, observing big matches.

    6. Regarding handball - the reason for which Bebek pointed to the spot was UEFA instructions given to the referees that every contact with hand increasing body surface when a shot is taken and defender expects the ball (you can clearly see it if he reacts on the shot by changing his position what was a case in Braga) must be punished with a free kick/penalty kick + yellow card if the shot is on the goal. Bebek clearly misjudged it thinking that the hand increased body surface. It hasn't. But this is the explanation why he has given it.

    7. @Nole it is now clear, thanks for your explanation. I think that, knowing this situation, during the meetings committee should work more than others with these referees, regarding handballs.
      It is true that a referee like Bebek doesn't get too many big matches in country, but at the same time we shouldn't forget he is a FIFA referee since 2002 with a great experience even in FIFA tournaments. I mean, he is surely experienced to handle a round of 16 game in EL.

  10. Schoking end of the game in Braga. After a second YC, a player from Fenerbahçe attacked Bebek. Control was totally lost in the last minutes of the game, there were riots. Frustration by Turkish player, but everything was caused by that wrong penalty and second YC decision.
    I think that Bebek position in Elite Category is now in a real danger.

  11. Bebek took the game from fenerbahces Hands and gave it to Braga. the worst refereing Performance ı have seen in the Last Years. You have no Right to play with a teams destiny that easily...

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  12. I have no words for Bebek's performance. I have not seen a referee with such less acceptance for a long, long time - especially on this level. Unbelievable.

  13. Unusual scene in Lazio - Sparta Prague. In the 3rd minute of the game, Lazio coach was instrued by fourth official to take off his black jacket and vest as he might have hampered judging offside positions of Lazio players (whole black kits) properly by AR2. Apart from that, the fourth official was very active in this game.

    Buquet was calm, firm and lenient. He could of booked two-three players more but decided to not and it was well received by both teams. Full control over a game of normal difficulty. The only controversy was Lazio penalty shout waved away in the 75th minute. There was a contact but in my opinion not enough to point to the spot. It was visible the French were one team, they cooperated well and helped each other in some situation. Good, expected level performance.

  14. Well when Bebek was selected to officiate this match,right away i knew that we would have plenty fouls and plenty cards,because that is his style,he shows cards easily.But i didnt see this coming.I mean,the match was so intensive,every decision he made,Fenerbahce team was frustrated.He is not the type of ref that can handle these type of matches ,with high intensity,I mean even in Croatia for 2-3 years he is not selected to officiate biggest croatian derby(but he is the best ref?!?!),so he is in charge of some small matches in croatia where not even 1000 people come to see this small tyype of matches.So he comes from that to Portugal and match with high stakes with 20.000 passionate fans, where every his decision was doubted and questionable,we know that both teams,especially Fenerbahce are really passionate and he made some relly big mistake tonight.He showed 10 yellow and 3 red cards, I mean Fener player even pushed him because of frustraition.Also he sent off Fener coach.Ok,he did all off that,but in the end I have 2 questions...
    1)Will he be in Elite group after this game?
    2)How long we wont be seeing him?Year?Year and a half?

    Sorry if i made grammar mistakes,but English is not my main language. :)

  15. I'm really worried for Bebek, luckily the match has been played in Portugal, it would have been a real trouble if it had been played in Turkey. Many threats from Turkish fans everywhere on the web, you can check youtube for example, but also other sites. I think that it will be good thing for him to stay away from international stage for a definitely long time.

    1. I think Uefa made a mistake by giving Bebek this match. Everybody knew that this cuold be very challenging match, with great intensity, passionate nations and many fouls and cards. Matches like Utd-Liverpool and Tottenham-Dortmund were greater, but easier to handle because we could expect clearer football. As @M said, Bebek gets matches much smaller intensity in Croatia and he is not used to those kind of game. And, when you make one mistake - you go one after the other, because you do not have routine to get out from it. Perhaps Rizzoli or Atkinson would be much better choice for this match, and I believe Bebek would easily handle match in London tonight.

    2. I just hope he learns from this.I mean for sure we wont be seeing him for long time and thats very sad, but i agree with you, big mistake from uefa to give Bebek this match.

    3. Fully agree, Nole! This game demanded an experienced Elite Group referee. I hope we'll see Ivan Bebek from the beginning of next season. Maybe only in Europa League, but still. Probably he'll be treated like a candidate for advance to the Elite Group in regards to appointments. However, we can predict that he'll be kept far away from big clashes in the future and maybe even get a demotion (I wouldn't like such move from UEFA; you maybe remember that Steven McLean was not demoted after even worse performance in the Italy-Slovakia U-21 game).

    4. If you give Bebek the calmest game ever, he would find a way to make it intensive.Thats what he does with his decisions, I cant remember any European match that he showed less than 4 cards,i can remember when he was the ref in match beetwen Tottenham and Monaco.It was very calm game, winner was decided and somehow he got players to be nervous with his bookings.I mean he is very brave, but sometimes in my opinion he is too brave, and he was too brave tonight.

    5. @Ref1
      It is true that McLean was not demoted, but you should know that the AR involved (Gavin Harris) was removed from FIFA list at the end of that year. McLean had originally assigned a penalty.

    6. Not only experienced, but calm, too. Sometimes you cannot be strict by the rules, you should feel the game, and not ruin the whole match. You have to find appropriate approach and retain full controll of the match, even if you have to skip some cards. That's the main thing, I think.

    7. Well, I as a croat, feel really sad because of his performance tonight and I hope that he comes back when Europa league starts(he wont be getting cl match for long time), that uefa gives him some small matches where he can get his reputation back.

    8. I agree. One thing really is sure: if you appoint Bebek for this type of match and player nationalities, you know what you get. This was visible more than several times in the past and UEFA apparently did not learn from it... IMO the appointment management of Collina and co. was a crucial mistake. And I say this without the benefit of hindsight, but having feared this before the match as well.

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  16. This was very similar to what Geiger did to Panama...


    It is UEFA's mistake to give him to this critical and high tension game.And he already officiated a game of Fenerbahce this year and even in a decide game he gave 5 yellow cards to Fenerbahce players.

    Last year and this year he officiated 5 games of Turkish teams (including national team). 26 yellows (20 Turkish teams - 6 others), 5 reds (all Turkish teams) 1 penalty against Turkish team. I don want to be harsh on him and I hope this is just coincidence.

    1. Ugur, Bebek gave a wrong penalty & then mandatory 2nd YC. But he cannot be blamed for the hormone balance of some Turkish players.. Most of his cards were absolutely correct, like yesterday's 2nd and 3rd sending off. It is not only Bebek who made such experiences with Turkish teams. I remind you on Fröjdfeldt (S04-FEN) or the WC playoff vs Switzerland.

    2. The game was an intensive one of course, especially due the Turkish, but in my opinion Bebek made it with his decisions during 1st half much more intensive than it originally was. There were a lot of unlucky decisions, furthermore we all know his body language and his approach, not always really deescalating. Bebek has a lot of blame for the difficulty of this game and that is the real sad thing for me. Next game probably in August/September an Europa League (qualifying) game?!

    3. One more thing: He was a candidat for the Olympic Games in my opinion. Of course, things are different now...

    4. Niclas, 2nd and 3rd red cards are absolutely correct. I watched him live last year in Naples, Napoli vs Trabzonspor. First game Napoli won 4-0 in Trabzon and second leg was just a game. His body language makes player nervous, unfortunately there was a different type of approach to Turkish players. That is the point i want to mention.

  18. As we see it very often or almost without exception: poor reaction of the players (demanding the penalty by raising hands simultaneously; that is basically cheating) + worries of the referees that full HD camera will show penalty equals many ghost penalties and even more soft penalties.
    I have heard many times by my collegues, if you are uncertain: it is "easier" to award a penalty and then try to defend it when rewatching video with observer than not to reward the penalty and then camera shows you missed or even that situation is 50/50.

    Now, only shortly on Bebek´s performance last night. If Bebek correctly awarded the penalty performance would be just fine, and we would have been probably praised for his braveness and courage to RC players.

    I will write only two examples that came to my mind related to the disciplinary sanctions:
    1) When Rizzoli refereed some matches here on the blog we were commenting how he does not have a courage to send off when by the laws he should. But, UEFA did support him in these decisions because public/clubs/nations were not critiscing and protesting.
    2) On the WC2014 we saw a lot of brutality and excalating unsportsmanship because of Busacca´s popular-refereeing and quasi-love-of the-game philosophy: wait with the cards, no easy and quick cards. Some players were injured because of these Busacca´s guidelines.
    So we see great unconsistency in the philosophy of UEFA/FIFA in the card criteria where they teach one philosophy on the seminars and with RAP program DVDs (strict guidelines on disciplinary sanctions) and support other philosophy in reality (no negative evaluation of the referees who do not follow guidelines from seminars and DVDs).

    To sum up:
    1.) Unsportsmanship of the players by demanding of the PK by raising hands and public protest in case of the penalty appeals.
    Solution: Players should be cautioned for demanding penalty kicks when they evidently protest and raise hands. The same thing is with demanding YC for the opponent or public dissent towards a referee.

    2.) FIFA/UEFA has to decide whether they will set the rules and guidelines and then players/clubs/nations/fans/newspapers will have to adopt to theirs criteria in the game. In this way, referees who do not follow guidelines have to be corrected even if everybody is "happy" and "satisfied" after the game.
    Or the other way.
    As long as players/clubs/nations/fans/newspapers are content and happy and do not protest every decision by the referee can be justified.

    1. Yes and no. You are right in many points but not in all: Bebek's performance would be all but not fine without this penalty whistle... Of course it was the most significant mistake this evening but the main problems were his approach, his personality und his acceptance/match control. He was from 1' until 97' in thick of things and he had already a lot (!) of problems in first half... His penalty whistle was only the climax, I think.

      A big problem this evening was on the one hand his arrogant body language (my impression), but on the other hand he enmeshed himself in a lot of discussions... Sometimes less words are more of value...

    2. That's the point, Gitzlo.
      I think good referees and refereeing itself depend on the ability to take self-criticism instead of being stubborn and narrow-minded. Penalties like the one yesterday and losses of control cannot be justified, explained or relativized by things mentioned by you, nemamea. We don't disagree with what you said, but the relation to Bebek's performance is close to 0 in my view.

      That's also something I meant with regard to Mazic yesterday. Mentioning sth like a hectical or eccentric movement and body language, criticizing weaknesses in terms of the correct identification of illegally used arms and so on are, combined with many positive points in the performance, observations to fairly assess a referee performance and make the referee better. Externally attributing mistakes or weaknesses is not unsual in football, fans do it every day. If a team loses, it's not the players' guilt. It is the team manager, the weather, the pitch or, of course, the referee. Don't make the same mistake. Bebek is responsible for his performance. Not Busacca. Not players raising their hands unsportingly. He had a fair chance to judge the handball correctly, had a free line of vision. His mistake - full stop.

      BTW I watched Orsato. What is your view on the 2:1? There was a handball before the decisive goal. Should be whistled IMO, maybe not 100% deliberate, but the arm was up, he controlled the ball a bit by that...and Orsato whistled 2 similar things as deliberate handballs earlier in the game. Apart from that, solid control, but very authoritarian and unfriendly management from the 1st minute on (gave the players no chance to create a good relationship with him and each other).

    3. I agree about the handball in Valencia - Athletic. Even though one could easily say unintentional (the ball touched at first the chest / upper body), I think this touch had to be punished, the player took a clear advantage, by leaving the arm in that position, it was thank to that if Athletic scored, I would call it as crucial mistake... even more if Orsato whistled similar situations earlier in the game (I didn't watch the full game).

    4. Gitzlo, Niclas, I understand your views. Maybe you misunderstood me in some points. My post was not particularly about Bebek or his decision about thepenalty. And I did not try to justify his decisions. Off course these are his errors. I tried to give my view/explanation why he made these decisions.

      So it was mainly about the problems of: 1) ghost and soft penalties and 2) disciplinary sanctions consistency.
      Bebek was used as an example in both cases: 1) ghost penalty; happened because of uncertainty followed by player reaction and unconscious fear from what video-review could show. Why not caution players who try to cheat referee by making gestures about penaly.
      2) Bebek as a very good example of card-management refereeing in agreement with the precise guidelines from UEFA, without much difference to the feeling, importance and necessity of the particular match. However, this is what UEFA wants theoretically and practically shows otherwise. Nobody is happier than observers/officials when they are out of the news-headlines, even if decisions in match were wrong or were not consistent with the guidelines.

  19. About Mateu Lahoz, in addition to the disallowed goal I mentiond in this discussion, there is also a possible penalty missed for Anderlecht, corner kick minute 55:00 in the game (holding).

  20. CL predictions:
    Wolfsburg - Real: Mazic / Clattenburg
    Bayern - Benfica: Kuipers / Velasco(like always Bayern in QF...)
    Barcelona - Atletico: Eriksson / Brych
    Paris - ManCity: Rizzoli / Cakir

    1. I think your predictions are pretty much spot on.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. EL:
      Braga - Donetsk: Moen / Atkinson
      Villareal - Sparta: Karasev / Marciniak
      Bilbao - Sevilla: Rocchi / Kralovec
      Dortmund - Liverpool: Skomina / Kassai

    4. Assuming that either Eriksson or Brych will be in charge of the CL final, does it make sense to appoint them in QF? The referees who handled a CL final in the past, did not get any CL match anymore after the round of 16 (this holds at least for the last 4 final referees Cakir, Kuipers, Rizzoli and Proenca).

    5. My prediction:

      Braga - Donetsk: ORSATO / AYTEKIN
      Villareal - Sparta: KARASEV / SIDIROPOLOUS
      Bilbao - Sevilla: MARCINIAK / HATEGAN
      Dortmund - Liverpool: UNDIANO MALLENCO / MATEU LAHOZ

      Wolfsburg - Real: KRALOVEC / ERIKSSON
      Bayern - Benfica: SKOMINA / CLATTEMBURG
      Barcelona - Atletico: ATKINSON / BRYCH
      Paris - ManCity: MAZIC / VELASCO CARBALLO

      Moen, Collum, Thomson, Rocchi for EL SF
      Rizzoli, Kuipers, Kassai & Cakir for CL SF

    6. The sure appointment seems to be Velasco for Bayern, this is the only (and last) option for him, because he handled already PSG.
      In addition we will very likely have Kuipers in a quarterfinal.
      About the other predictions, you appointed all big names, I think some of them will directly get a CL semifinal. I can't imagine all Eriksson, Brych, Clattenburg, Mazic, Rizzoli and Cakir already out. There wouldn't be other names for demanding semifinals. Therefore I think that in CL quarterfinals we could see referees like Rocchi, Moen, Královec or Atkinson. Some ties can justify this choice, especially in second legs.

    7. Yes, you're right (although it still should be possible to appoint the semifinals with e.g. Atkinson, Cakir, Kuipers, Rizzoli somehow in my suggestion.)
      But then Mazic, Rizzoli and Kuipers should get a QF after no R16. Brych and Velasco as well, because they might be impossible in SF. So Cakir, Clattenburg and Eriksson could be spared for the SF (or the final). Eriksson would be a nice option for Liverpool.
      For the free places in CL QF, we then have several candidates, the four you wrote + Kassai and Skomina, I think.

    8. If we take the list of EURO 2016 referees, 5 referees are missing in CL: Collum, Kuipers, Mažić, Rizzoli and Turpin.
      Given this list and the performances in CL and EL, I would go for:

      Wolfsburg - Real: Clément TURPIN (FRA) / Jonas ERIKSSON (SWE)
      Bayern - Benfica: Björn KUIPERS (NED) / Carlos VELASCO CARBALLO (ESP)
      Barcelona - Atlético: Nicola RIZZOLI (ITA) / Felix BRYCH (GER)
      Paris - ManCity: Milorad MAŽIĆ (SRB) / Gianlucca ROCCHI (ITA)

    9. Turpin will not be appointed in CL before EURO, you can guess why.

    10. I think Wolfsburg's chances are close to 0. Therefore, if I were PLC, I would risk that Brych gets no CL match anymore if Wolfsburg and Bayern unexpectedly proceed and keep him for the semifinals.

      E.g. if the semis are Real-Barca and Bayern-Paris, there would be options like Brych for the Spanish duel, Velasco for Bayern (and the other 2 might go to Rizzoli or Cakir for example). Another one whose name for the final should not remain unmentioned is Atkinson (if ManCity go out, he can handle everything on paper, even though Juve-Bayern was not 100% convincing).

      My predictions for the quarterfinals, or rather how I would appoint the officials:

      Wolfsburg-Real: Rocchi / Collum (in case of a high win in the 1st leg, otherwise Clattenburg)

      Bayern-Benfica: Skomina / Kralovec

      Barcelona-Atlético: Kuipers / Rizzoli

      PSG-ManCity: Marciniak / Mazic

  21. "Following the recent decision by The IFAB to allow experimentation with a fourth substitution in extra time, the FIFA Executive Committee agreed for such experiments to be conducted this year at the Olympic Football Tournaments, the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Papua New Guinea and the FIFA Club World Cup Japan."

  22. The main problem with Bebek is high ammount of doubt that he gets in his own country, I mean Mazic get lot of support in Serbia, Rizzoli in Italy, Cakir in Turkey, Brych in Germany,...They get support because it is clear that they are the best out of their country and to me, thats not even questionable.
    On the other hand, Bebek's own Croatia doesnt like him, I mean you can see that Cakir always gets tough Turkish derbys, Rizzoli always gets top clashes in Italy and same is with Brych, Velasco,Clattenburg, Mazic and other Elite referres.I'm not trying to say that Bebek is quality of this referees, no not at all.What I am trying to say is that firstly, referee has to have confidence in his own country, and Bebek in Croatia, doesnt have that.Every card, penalty, free kick, any call he makes every journals will write about that for about few days and how he gave this team 3 points, that some teams won because of him and some other things.

    Some ref websites in croatia even doubt that he is their best referee, I mean they put some other names in front of him (Strahonja for ex.).

    And the other problem is complete referee organization in Croatia, they gave him some matches where not even 150 people come to see matches, I mean he is an ELITE REFEREE!!!His name is right to Rizzoli, Brych Cakir and others he should be getting tough matches and derbys every 2 weeks, like Mazic, i mean he was in charge for serbian's biggest dery like 8 times in a row, that's the kinda confidence that Serbians have for him.

    So to me, firstly he needs to be respected in Croatia, then he will have confidence and wont be making same mistakes that are crucial for big matches in Europe.

    He is 38 years old so his career is not over and i hope that usually uefa gives him some small matches, because we saw what happen when he gets matches that he is not used to refereeing it.

  23. @M
    I hope that Bebek will
    get a second chance in next season from UEFA to show his quality. He's a very good referee. I feel sorry for him, because he has such treatment in your country.
    I think that Bebek's next success in UEFA / FIFA competitions will prove to a large part of Croatian public that they're wrong. The public in Serbia criticized Mazic's until he made a great success in Europe. Now, they write only positive things about him.

  24. @M
    I hope that Bebek will
    get a second chance in next season from UEFA to show his quality. He's a very good referee. I feel sorry for him, because he has such treatment in your country.
    I think that Bebek's next success in UEFA / FIFA competitions will prove to a large part of Croatian public that they're wrong. The public in Serbia criticized Mazic's until he made a great success in Europe. Now, they write only positive things about him.

    1. I also hope he gets another chance, because he deserves another chance.

    2. To be honest this would be his 3rd or 4th chance already.

    3. If he has done some mistakes in a past, then why did uefa move him to Elite group? :O

    4. FIFA referee since 2002... since 14 years! “Another chance“ are the wrong words...

    5. Bebek was actually down and away from UEFA's radar after Atlético-Aris in front of Collina some years ago. Many problematic performances and the same problems like at the moment, simply a too high card average and not really meeting the standards.

      He disappeared for 2-3 seasons and returned to CL more or less suddenly (two matches in Russia). He delivered solid performances. He therefore used his 2nd chance. Probably he was good enough to be integrated into UEFA's promotion orgy last year. Nonetheless, there were still many crucial mistakes in the past, I at least remember 3-4 clear crucial mistakes before his Elite promotion. Well and then Real-Shakhtar happened, another mess to say the least. And now Braga.

      So, that's why I said "3rd chance".

    6. I remember another match - Atletic Bilbao - Salzburg, this was a disaster too... About Bebek - 90% of his crutial mistakes are against away teams. I tend to think that he is a type of "home referee", it looks like the crowd afected him in some situations...more than other referees.

    7. Correct, Niclas. That 7.9 from PLC on Atletico - Aris (2010) was the main reason for his demotion.

  25. Shocking handball decision by Bebek and a game with several big errors from the team. However, the lack of discipline of the Turkish players is much more of a concern for me.

  26. EL:
    Braga - Donetsk: Collum / Hategan
    Villareal - Sparta: Siridopoulos / Karasev
    Bilbao - Sevilla: Atkinson / Mazic
    Dortmund - Liverpool: Nijhuis / Mateu Lahoz

    Wolfsburg - Real: Rocchi / Kralovec
    Bayern - Benfica: Skomina / Velasco Carballo
    Barcelona - Atletico: Kuipers / Brych
    Paris - ManCity: Moen / Rizzoli

    Çakir, Eriksson, Clattenburg and Atkinson for SF. Brych or Velasco for the final.

  27. Interesting situation in SERBIAN league (Red Star - Spartak, still in progress). Wecwere talking here about penalties - well there is one:

    The defender was close, but it seems that he moved his hand and stopped the ball. Not the same situation as in Braga. Ref is Mazic's AAR2 Djokic, but his AAR1 assisted in this situation.

    1. According to UEFA it's a penalty. Defender expects the ball as he turns sideways to it. He must ensure that his hand(s) don't increase a body surface. We can observe that one hand is outstretched and the ball hits that hand. Penalty and a yellow card if the ball goes into the goal.

    2. This is not a deliberate handball. Ball to hand, very fast shoot, small distance, no time to react, hand is near the body, player is moving from the ball.
      The argument that he increases a body surface for me is nonsense: Hands by nature increase body surface. Besides, any move with hands also increase body surface.

    3. Regardless whether for UEFA this is a handball or not, deeming this as a deliberate handball is, in my view, against the spirit of football. A pathetic argument, I know.

    4. But you must agree that such interpretation simplifies things much. ;) To be fair, I am more than happy that such guidelines were introduced as you know it well that, apart from the most obvious cases, the handball issue was always a grey area and almost every decision had to be supported in referee observer reports. Although I understand your 'pathetic argument', I'm happy that someone finally found the solution (and there were no good solutions available!).

      * * * * *

      Just to report:
      Marciniak was the referee of the biggest Polish game between Lech Poznań and Legia Warszawa. He could or even should have awarded a penalty kick for holding in the box against Legia in the 17th minute of the game when the result was still 0-0 (Legia won 2-0). He was excellent for the rest of the game, being fully respected by players, predicting and preventing mass confrontations many times (he was even physical in some cases but no slightest protest against it). However, at the end of the game, he totally lost concentration and allowed earlier booked Trałka (Lech) to stay on the pitch after clear bookable UB and then clear reckless tackle. What is worth of mention, Marciniak gave a (very stupid) interview in the past where he was full of praise for Trałka, calling him the best Polish player, the player with whom he would drink beer with pleasure and the player who is the most underrated player in the Ekstraklasa... In the 98th minute, Marciniak had a free line of sight and missed Tetteh (Lech) stepping on Guilherme's stomach... Everyone expected better, more professional performance from him.

    5. On your first paragraph: I am not so sure and confident as you are. My personal impression is that since UEFA has put forward the guideline to penalize handballs blocking shots on goals more intensely, things became more complicated and irritating. Mostly because those for whom football is made will never identify with such a strict interpretation. Even if the current guidelines were clear to everybody and applied by everybody, I think most fans and players would be still very opposed to it.

      Nonetheless your point is, of course, right. 2-3 years ago the situation was a different one and there were a few more grey areas. I however believe that there is nowhere written that incorrect uniformity (for me it is incorrect as the guideline is harming football as I pointed out before) is better than what we had before.

  28. Administartor, can you post appointments for friendly matches who play this week?

    1. I have found these so far:


      Poland - Serbia
      Referee: Alexander Harkam (Austria)
      Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Staudinger (Austria)
      Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Witschnigg (Austria)
      Fourth Official: Daniel Stefański (Poland)

      Romania - Lithuania
      Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (Spain)
      Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Díaz Pérez del Palomar (Spain)
      Assistant Referee 2: Ángel Nevado Rodríguez (Spain)


      Denmark - Iceland
      Referee: Tore Hansen (Norway)
      Assistant Referee 1: Jon-Michael Knutsen (Norway)
      Assistant Referee 2: Øystein Ytterland (Norway)
      Fourth Official: Michael Tykgaard (Denmark)

      Italy - Spain
      Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Germany)
      Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (Germany)
      Assistant Referee 2: Holger Henschel (Germany)
      Fourth Official: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni (Italy)

      Ukraine - Cyprus
      Referee: Orel Grinfeeld (Israel)
      Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (Israel)
      Assistant Referee 2: Mahmud Mahagna (Israel)
      Fourth Official: Oleksandr Derdo (Ukraine)


      Luxembourg - Bosnia and Herzegovina
      Referee: Jonathan Lardot (Belgium)
      Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Conotte (Belgium)
      Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Godelaine (Belgium)

      Netherlands - France
      Referee: Felix Zwayer (Germany)
      Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (Germany)
      Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (Germany)
      Fourth Official: Serdar Gözübüyük (Netherlands)

      Portugal - Bulgaria
      Referee: Serge Gumienny (Belgium)
      Assistant Referee 1: Jimmy Cremers (Belgium)
      Assistant Referee 2: Karel De Rocker (Belgium)
      Fourth Official: Fábio José Costa Veríssimo (Portugal)

      Slovakia - Latvia
      Referee: Harald Lechner (Austria)
      Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (Austria)
      Assistant Referee 2: Roland Braunschmidt (Austria)
      Fourth Official: Markus Hameter (Austria)


      Germany - England
      Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
      Assistant Referee 1: Lorenzo Manganelli (Italy)
      Assistant Referee 2: Filippo Meli (Italy)
      Fourth Official: Paolo Valeri (Italy)

      Hungary - Croatia
      Referee: Radek Příhoda (Czech Republic)
      Assistant Referee 1: Radek Kotík (Czech Republic)
      Assistant Referee 2: Ivo Nádvorník (Czech Republic)
      Fourth Official: Zbyněk Proske (Czech Republic)

      Poland - Finland
      Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (Japan)
      Assistant Referee 1: Toshiyuki Nagi (Japan)
      Assistant Referee 2: Toshiyuki Tanaka (Japan)
      Fourth Official: Bartosz Frankowski (Poland)

      Russia - Lithuania
      Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
      Assistant Referee 1: Riccardo Di Fiore (Italy)
      Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Costanzo (Italy)

      Turkey - Sweden
      Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
      Assistant Referee 1: Hessel Steegstra (Netherlands)
      Assistant Referee 2: Bas van Dongen (Netherlands)
      Fourth Official: Mete Kalkavan (Turkey)


    2. 29/03

      Austria - Turkey
      Referee: Paweł Gil (Poland)
      Assistant Referee 1: Piotr Sadczuk (Poland)
      Assistant Referee 2: Marcin Borkowski (Poland)
      Fourth Official: Bartosz Frankowski (Poland)

      England - Netherlands
      Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
      Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devís (Spain)
      Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez del Palomar (Spain)
      Fourth Official: Carlos Clos Gómez (Spain)

      Germany - Italy
      Referee: Oliver Drachta (Austria)
      Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (Austria)
      Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Kühr (Austria)
      Fourth Official: Manuel Schüttengruber (Austria)

      Greece - Iceland
      Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernández (Spain)
      Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Martínez Munuera (Spain)
      Assistant Referee 2: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (Spain)

      Luxembourg - Albania
      Referee: Robert Schörgenhofer (Austria)
      Assistant Referee 1: Maximilian Kolbitsch (Austria)
      Assistant Referee 2: Roland Riedel (Austria)

      Scotland - Denmark
      Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway)
      Assistant Referee 1: Kim Thomas Haglund (Norway)
      Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andås (Norway)
      Fourth Official: Ken Henry Johnsen (Norway)

      Sweden - Czech Republic
      Referee: Bas Nijhuis (Netherlands)
      Assistant Referee 1: Rob van de Ven (Netherlands)
      Assistant Referee 2: Charl Schaap (Netherlands)
      Fourth Official: Kevin Blom (Netherlands)

      Switzerland - Bosnia and Herzegovina
      Referee: Sébastien Delférière (Belgium)
      Assistant Referee 1: Yves De Neve (Belgium)
      Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Monteny (Belgium)


      Germany - Slovakia
      Referee: Serge Gumienny (Belgium)
      Assistant Referee 1: Jimmy Cremers (Belgium)
      Assistant Referee 2: Thibaud Nijssen (Belgium)
      Fourth Official: Bart Vertenten (Belgium)


      Belgium - Norway
      Referee: Tobias Stieler (Germany)
      Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Foltyn (Germany)
      Assistant Referee 2: Jan Seidel (Germany)
      Fourth Official: Daniel Siebert (Germany)

    3. That's not all, but thanks.

    4. That's not all, but thanks.

  29. Really nice post

    Thanks for posting

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