May 18, 2016

Referee Live-Ticker: Team Eriksson's UEFA Europa League Final

Welcome to our live coverage of UEFA Europa League 2016 Final between Liverpool FC and Sevilla FC! Feel free to comment and present your views on the incidents faced by Jonas Eriksson and his teammates. The ticker will be updated every few minutes - as soon as possible.

20:45 CET - St.-Jakob Park, Basel, Switzerland
Liverpool FC
Sevilla FC

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden) 
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (Sweden) 
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (Sweden) 
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Johannesson (Sweden) 
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Markus Strömbergsson (Sweden) 
Fourth Official: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway) 
Reserve Assistant Referee: Mehmet Culum (Sweden) 
UEFA Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (Scotland) 
UEFA Delegate: Rudolf Řepka (Czech Republic)


20:30 CET Welcome to our live-ticker! Liverpool FC are about to face Sevilla FC. For the English side, it is the first participation in a European final since 2007 (UCL final) - for the Spaniards, it is the chance to reach kind of title hattrick following their 2014 and 2015 Europa League wins.

20:33 CET The man in the middle is Jonas Eriksson from Sweden. He will be accompanied by his usual teammates as well as Svein Oddvar Moen of Norway as the fourth official. A portrait of the match officials can be found >here.

20:37 CET The man who accompanied the referee team after their arrival in Basel is Patrick Graf, a Suisse First Division referee. He fulfills the role of the so-called Referee Liaison Officer.

20:39 CET Hugh Dallas from Scotland is UEFA's Referee Observer. The 58-year old is the European football governing body's Vice Refereeing Officer. He last met Eriksson in a Champions League match two years ago: ManCity vs FC Barcelona.

20:41 CET The opening ceremony is coming to an end. The teams are in the tunnel. Eriksson and company will wear the new black Adidas Referee 16 Kits - with yellow socks...that reminds me on Brych's UEL Final. They are going to be used during the EURO 2016 finals as well.

20:43 CET UEFA has obviously come back to the former Europa League anthem. The first good decision of the evening has been made :)

20:44 CET Eriksson reminding both players on the "fantastic atmosphere here" and on mutual respect. Great approach.

20:45 CET Kick-Off for the Final! Jonas Eriksson has blown the starting whistle. We wish his team good luck!

Minute 2' The first two free-kicks were all right. There won't be many discussions about ghost goals by the way: For the first time in history, there will be Goalline Technology in a UEFA match.

Minute 3' Second foul by LIV #23, time for a first warning. Eriksson thus delays the starting moment for the first caution and shows his communication and management abilities - stern, but on one level with the players. #23 has to be careful from now on.

Minute 7' "Only" 38.000 supporters, but they do make some noise... good atmosphere for this final that is intense from the first minute.

Minute 9' Good advantage, clear team benefit. Quite evitable free-kick decision after that - ball was played first.

Minute 10' Liverpool's "smaller" infringements to choke off possible Sevilla attacks do become more frequent. Eriksson will know best that he has to be careful and take these things out of the game when the opportunity has come.

Minute 12' Was that a penalty? The defender handled the ball. First impression: Not really undeliberately. The Sevilla defender clearly, even though slightly carts out his hand and even very slightly moves it towards the ball. The hand is not close to the body and going towards the ball instead the ball going to the hand. The defender could have easily avoided this contact. Based on the TV review, this should have been a penalty kick. For sure, Eriksson did not have the slow-motions we have - and for AAR1 as well as AR1, the line of sight might have been obstructed.

Minute 19' These studs were quite "up", weren't they?

Minute 22' As nothing is happening at the moment: Collina is in the stadium as well - no surprise.

Minute 23' Back to the penalty incident. A good point raised by our user RayHD: Probably the officials focussed on the feet, as offences like tripping can be expected in such penalty-area-entrance-scenarios. A handball was maybe the last thing you could expect. But...of course it has to come: Always expect the unexpected.

Minute 25' Once again based on TV replays... from behind the goal, this looked like another (clear) penalty kick. Actually a foul by Banega. This situation needs to be reviewed.

Minute 27' Another handball in the penalty area. This time surely not deliberate - but a corner-kick should have been given. To be honest: not the luckiest decisions by Eriksson so far.

Minute 30' Eriksson needs to send a signal now. The atmosphere is becoming way too heated. Lovren had no chance to play the ball - correct first yellow card for reckless rackle in the match.

Minute 33' Stretched studs in 1m height - borderline. A yellow card for dangerous play would have been deemed as appropiate, on the field of play, nobody really wanted it.

Minute 35' GOAL by Liverpool, 1:0.

Minute 37' By the way, on the first yellow card. If the ball was already out of play when the contact occurred, play should not have been re-started with a direct free-kick. Of course nobody cares in a final.

Minute 39' Preventive warning before a corner-kick: "I have my eyes on you!" - perfect body language.

Minute 39' Disallowed goal for offside. The player in offside had an impact on the goalkeeper's ability to save the ball, was maybe even standing in his line of sight. The big question: Was the defender at the bottom of the field of play - not captured by the TV at the moment of the freezed picture / header - maybe making the attacker level? Let's trust AR1 Klasenius for now.

Minute 41' What the hell are the Sevilla players doing with their hands? What is the hand making there? Also this needs to be rewatched, but I fear this should have been another penalty.

Half-Time Resumé

Eriksson has, so far, succeeded in keeping the tensed game under his control and maintain some speed in it. He is paying attention to preventive refereeing and issued some effective warnings but also knew when the time had come to send a signal with the first yellow card of the evening. The offside goal disallowed by AR1 was correctly interpreted, the question is whether the defender at the bottom of the pitch was really making the attacker offside.

However, I fear that two, maybe three penalty kicks should have been awarded in favour of Liverpool. Two of them for actually clear deliberate handballs - maybe they were not expected or simply too surreal. Another incident needs to be rewatched. Nobody wanted a penalty there, the player reactions did not suggest that a penalty should have been given, the replays have conveyed a different impression (careless tackle by Banega). All these incidents need to be rewatched - an opportunity the referee and his teammates do not have. See you in a hopefully equally exciting half 2!

Minute 46' GOAL by Sevilla, 1:1.

Minute 56' Clear and correct YC for SPA.

Minute 57' Yellow Card afterwards. At first, Eriksson applied the advantage rule, when the ball was out for the next time, he cautioned Banega. Well done. However, the advantage was not really necessary. The ball was played back, the free-kick position would have been excellent for Liverpool and for the purpose of maintaining control refraining from the advantage rule would have maybe been the better decision.

Minute 64' GOAL for Sevilla, 1:2. A completely different match in half 2.

Minute 70' GOAL for Sevilla, 1:3. AR1 Klasenius raised his flag for offside, but Eriksson immediately waived his flag down. The question was: "Who touched last?". Apparently, for Klasenius it looked like the attacker who touched the ball last. Eriksson had the better view and quickly reacted. Good teamwork, of course producing confusion though - from the comfortable seats in front of our TV, it is quite impossible to say whether Klasenius had no chance at all to see that himself. And whether Eriksson maybe could have informed shortly after the contact (with the aid of a clear communication code). All this went very quickly though.

Minute 72' LIV #27 is cautioned for his reckless use of arms. Well, the Spaniard more or less looked for this elbow contact. But as the arm was way too wide out and used as a tool, the YC is a good decision. Quickly there to deescalate, too.

Minute 77' Yellow Card for delaying the re-start of play. Justified.

Minute 83' Yellow Card for delaying the re-start of play. Hopefully this will be added on.

Minute 84' Sarcastic applause by the fans for an offside flag raised by AR1 Klasenius. Well, for sure the 1:3 situation conveyed a poor image.

Minute 87' Crucial offside flag by AR1. Good call.

Minute 89' 4th official Svein Oddvar Moen a bit late with the board for a substitution, making the Sevilla team officials upset.

Minute 90+4' Yellow Card for reckless tackle (LIV #2) - more than deserved. But... keep the whistle out of your mouth when issuing a card.

Minute 90+5' Final Whistle.

On the whole, Eriksson kept the match under his control. Most of his decisions, actually all cards and his warnings were positive aspects of the performance. Probably correct to disallow the goal in the first half for offside.
However, at least two penalty kicks should have been assigned in favour of Liverpool. Eriksson had a free line of sight on both situations. So in a way, he must be held responsible, no matter how quick these incidents go and that maybe both situations were tricky and kind of surreal. The 1:3 goal was unlucky for the Swedish team, but in the end, the correct decision was taken which is most important for the good of the game. In the worst case, the mark could be around 7,3-7,4.

All in all, Eriksson's team cannot be satisfied with their performance. With Sevilla, the deserved team won - we will see whether there will be some talk about refereeing in the game's aftermath.

Thanks for following!


  1. GLT is used and still there are AAR? I don't always understand UEFA...

    1. AARs' main goal is to prevent holding and pushing in the penalty area at set pieces now.

  2. Confirmed news that Collina is at stadium.

  3. For me deliberate handball, but almost impossible to spot for Eriksson, and I think also difficult for AAR1, considering that it happened on the opposite side than his view.

  4. Minute 12 - to me it looks like it is a penalty

  5. A very tricky situation. Perhaps officials were focused on whether the attacker was tripped by a defender, what was not a case as the attacker created contact himself. It was easy to miss, at least I wasn't expecting a handball offence there.

  6. What a wonderful goal of Sturridge! :)

  7. Another handball by Sevilla's player inside his own box... Many controversies in this final.

  8. Again handball in penalty area. Again, I think this touch had to be punished. No reasons to have the arm in that position, so lowered....

    1. None of them should be punished according to Howard Webb.

    2. Yeah, in England almost every handball is not a punishable one (there is nothing such like deliberate increasing body surface when blocking a shot/centre, so they always say "ball to hand" in such cases) I don't buy their philosophy in this regard.

    3. Webb believes Carrico was too close to Firmino, and if anything; Carrico was trying to move his hand away.

    4. I can agree with him regarding 'being too close'. Surely, it is not 100% penalty, opinions will differ here as well as in case of Krychowiak's handball. Very difficult scenes.

    5. The point is that the hand even slightly went towards the ball. We are in a millisecond-area though. I cannot imagine that Dallas will give a crucial mistake for that. As for Webb...maybe he just wants to protect an old friend / colleague in the English media, which would be understandable.

    6. Agree. I can imagine the mark from observer being at 8.5-8.6 (no crucial mistakes according to referee observer + good reaction at Klasenius' flag + excellent control, prevention and anticipation). I wouldn't be too strict toward Eriksson. IMO, he did a really good job and those controversies will be discussed in the refereeing world for many days and totally different views will be presented all over the world.

  9. The disallowed goal should be a very good decision from AR1. Clear influence on the keeper, I think.

  10. 2 clear penalties are not whistled by Eriksson and his team.

  11. Remark in regard to situation from 25th minute. Pay attention to a fight for the ball moment before alleged careless Banega's foul. Sevilla player challenges his opponent who is in the air. Careless foul or normal collision?

  12. Minute 57': correct YC but I think advantage was not a suitable decision, ball was played backwards. A free kick should have been whistled.

  13. I'm not really satisfied with Eriksson's application of the advantage rule. Only apply advantage rule if there's a clear team benefit - in some situations like in 58' a free kick would be more suitable. Some good, but also some dispensable advantages given by Eriksson.

    1. I agree. In a way, it looks like he tries ALWAYS to use it, and that's of course not the best choice.

  14. Not the best night for the Swedish crew unfortunately... :-(

    1. Worst night for refs. And for uefa ref.commitee. hugh mistake in appointment

  15. Correct decision to allow this goal, luckily there was cooperation. Double touch by two Liverpool players, that's surely a regular position.

  16. 1-3 goal. It seems that Klasenius flagged for offside at first but was overruled by Eriksson. Many complaints from Liverpool players and substitutes.

  17. Oh dear- Eriksson had to overrule AR1 Klasenius before 1:3. As the ball was clearly played by a defender of Liverpool there couldn't be an offside position.

    1. Why oh dear? Eriksson was better positioned to see the touches, and assisted his colleague... Nothing wrong with that!

    2. Nothing wrong that only as long as Klasenius was unable to see that himself. We cannot be sure... either it really 100% looked like an attacker's pass or he was not concentrated enough.

  18. Why do they wear yellow socks? Same colour as LIV GK, black socks would be possible (and better?) too. Terrible...

    1. Sevilla are wearing black socks...

    2. Of course they do. How could I miss that, sorry :)

    3. No problem, mate. I think team Eriksson could have completed the kit with black socks. Sevilla were in white so I don't think it would have caused any confusion.

  19. Of course a correct decision to overrule AR1, but in general it makes a bad impression. Understandable confusion after this goal.

  20. Minute 88': I think wrong offside call by Klasenius.

    1. Perhas tight offside, sorry, my mistake. Good for Klasenius.

    2. Agree. As he denied an obvious goal-scoring opp. with it... is it a crucial mistake?

    3. No....we see replays, clear no offside !

  21. And new big error from Klasenius ( 88' - no offside for Gameiro and clear goal opportunity denied ) : poor poor Performance for aa1 !

    1. Seemed correct to me.

    2. For me it also looked like a correct offside. If not, then it is a mandatory crucial mistake. It was a scoring opportunity.

  22. Klopp after the final whistle in the midfield laughing in front of Eriksson and saying "two penalties... two..."
    Well, not a nice scene to be watched, but Eriksson couldn't do anything, he had to accept that.

  23. Well Chefren, I think there's a lot to review for you ;-). Many difficult situations inside the penalty area.
    Maybe somebody has the opportunity to upload these crucial situations - it would be really interesting to rewatch a few of them.

    1. 12')

    2. Great, thanks for that.
      12': Even after rewatching this situation more than three times I'm not sure whether a PK is mandatory, there are doubts. I back the referee in this difficult incident.
      25': Missed PK. Foul by Banega.
      27': Corner-kick should have been given. No deliberate handball in my opinion.
      40': Probably the most clear situation. Deliberate handball and missed PK.

      Good control of the match, unfortunately two crucial mistakes by Eriksson and AAR1.

      Question: How to assess the offside flag before 1:3 by AR1? Crucial mistake?

    3. Well, I had missed live the situation at 25'. That should be a penalty, the contact seems to happen exactly on the line. But also in this case, due to the position where the foul occurred, one must say that it was difficult for the officials...

    4. About the penalty appeal in 40': you can see that Eriksson has no reaction, this could really indicate that he totally missed the situation (I think the same happened for the first situation in 12').

    5. BTW thanks for the videos, my opinions are that both handballs (12' and 40) should have been whistled, correct decision to play on in 27' but missed corner (and this would mean that also in this case, the touch was totally missed by all the officials...).
      We are close to assign 3 crucial mistakes. Well, you know, I would like to avoid that, when possible, it is always better to back the officials.
      We will see. Very very difficult game tonight!

    6. My opinion: both handballs (12', 25') undeliberate:
      - unexpected ball
      - short distance (no chance to avoid a contact after the ball was played)

      The only factors we may discuss about are hand position (natural or not?) and hand's movement toward the ball (IMO, if there is a movement toward the ball, it's an accidental one). So, we have two arguments clearly against penalty and two that will divide referees into two camps. Too many doubts to award a (crucial) mistake for me.

      However, I would award a penalty for undermining an opponent in the 27th minute (no replay, but clearly visible that Sevilla player runs into an opponent who is in the air). The kick in the Liverpool player's leg afterward can be deemed as having no impact on his behaviour though.

    7. * should be (12', 40')

    8. IMO 12 & 40 are deliberate handballs. First one SEV defender leans his body and opens his arm on the way of LIV player's. After this body movement imo close distance is no more valid argument and deliberate handball. The other one is very clear. Hand is not in natural position and enlarging body.

    9. 25 - IMO two penalties missed by the ref. First while LIV #7 were trying to go for a header, SEV #19 had no intention to play with the ball and went direct to his opponent. Second one is very clear imo and AAR1 should have noticed this.
      27 - IMO undeliberate but corner missed.

    10. 12: No foul - short distance
      25: Penalty
      27: Nothing there.
      40: Very close...penalty, I think.

    11. 2nd Video, look at 24'15''... positioning of AR1 ?!

    12. He preventively entered the field of play to calm down players. One of Polish commentators reported that Sevilla's player made a movement with his hand which could have been deemed as an attempt to strike an opponent. He said that player was lucky the referees missed that incident, but I'm quite sure they saw everything but decided to take no action. Nonetheless, it's impossible to assess that because no replay was shown.

    13. 12' -- not deliberate
      25' -- pk
      27' -- not deliberate; ck -- would have been difficult to see
      40' -- pk; prevents a pass -- also should have been a Caution; Erickson appears blocked by Liverpool player who just kicked the ball

  24. Mixed performance by Eriksson for me. Good control, acceptance by players, good disciplinary control and consistent in foul detection.

    But there are 2 scenes where a penalty would have been the suitable decision.

  25. I think at best, these scenes are debatable. Maybe 27' is the only incident that *could* have been given. Then again, watching it live, I didn't think anything of it.

    I'm gonna give Eriksson the benefit of the doubt, I thought he had a pretty good outing - all things considered.

  26. Graham Poll, just like Howard Webb, says that Eriksson made the right calls.

  27. Btw I can't accept the fact that the FO failed to correctly execute a substitution. It's not very often that we see FO's raising the board with a mistaken number.

    1. There was another situation during 2nd half when an injured player entered the field of play too early, Eriksson had to send him out again (actually a YC but of course... well, you all know) - usually also a mistake by the 4th official (not really possible to evaluate in TV).

    2. I thought it was the teams that was responsible for the board.

  28. Having reviewed the incidents thanks to the good video clips posted above (thanks for that), I believe that three penalty kicks were indeed missed.

    12': The only relevant criteria are, IMO, whether the hand was in a natural position and whether we had a ball-->hand or hand-->ball scenario. It was no shot on goal or whatever where "short distance" or "no time to react" would be predominant criteria.

    Natural position? No. Definitely a careless hand position making his body significantly bigger.

    Hand-->ball. The hand is going towards the ball, at least more than vice versa. I even have the feeling that the defender moved it deliberately towards it, as kind of intuitive action / stupidity. Maybe it would be too blatant and too stupid which maybe makes us think that he did not do it on purpose. But in the scope of some milliseconds, players can do strange things. The hand furthermore was a bit tensed and stiff, not 100%, but it was no incidental contact caused by the ball...

    Both criteria are IMO clearly in favour of a penalty. Crucial mistake or not...well. That's a general problem. If a referee has a free line of sight and is chosen for a final, he should be reproached for missing sth like that. But of course RayHD, you have a good point when saying that as soon as there are discussions, a crucial mistake is not possible (on the other hand there will be always people having a different idea, so when do we assign crucial mistakes then at all?!).

    25' Indeed the undermining is even a more blatant infringement than the careless contact at the feet (for which nobody wanted a penalty). It cannot be that 3 officials are standing there and not seeing that. Maybe they considered such an offence as not worth for a penalty in a big final, but please. A clearer case of undermining does not exist. For me a crucial mistake, maybe for all 3 involved officials, AAR1 for sure.

    27' No deliberate handball for me, even though I believe that Eriksson was unaware of that. Not assigning the corner makes that probable.

    40' As said in the live-ticker...what the hell is the hand making down there. Completely unnatural hand position, which is in this concrete case the most relevant criteria. Surreal action, for me a crucial mistake.

    Overall, 25' and 40' are crucial mistakes for me. 12' can be accepted even though I have a different view on it.
    And yes Edward, Moen did not make a concentrated impression there. I can imagine that internally Collina and Dallas had kind of facepalm in that situation.

    1. I fully understand your arguments. It's OK to differ (regarding handballs) after such a game and such controversies. The key is whether we assess the hand position as natural or not in case of situation from 40th minute and whether the hand moves to the ball in case of situation from 12th minute.

      I heard an opinion that undermining is whistled everywhere but in the box, especially in a final game... I hate such arguments.

      At the end, I want to thank you for this live-ticker! A very nice read and live impressions shared with people of the same passion. Excellent discussion in the comments section, too. Thanks!

    2. By the way, Kenn Hansen on his blog says:
      12' - difficult but more penalty
      27' - no penalty
      40' - definitely no penalty as the hand position is natural for a player who is so low on his feet and the hand is not stiff when the ball hit it

      It was clear even yesterday. Those incidents will give us as many views as many referees.

    3. You are welcome.
      Just read it as well - you are completely right with your final sentence.
      BTW Apart from the handball incidents, I think that he did well, not more, not less. There were some minutes where I think he was slightly in danger to slightly lose the overview (you see, 2x slightly...), but the overall, big picture was solid refereeing with a good foul detection.

    4. BTW on 40', yes, only focussing on the hand contact (not stiff), it is rather undeliberate.
      My thought is that if you act like THAT: as a defender, without any need (he was not about to lose balance otherwise IMO), then you carelessly risk a handball, make yourself bigger than you are, and have your hand in an area where it simply does not belong. Maybe not 100% law-compatible, my explanation, but as we learnt from CL final 2015, some handballs are simply not OK in the sense of football.

    5. Niclas, your last sentence is the most important argument for a penalty whistle in 12'... maybe there are some arguments that it was not deliberately, but the whole world of football expect a penalty whistle there (12') - but really also here (40')? For me the handball in 12' is more deliberate than this one... I don't believe that the defender did it really deliberately, the distance to ball was too short, ball --> hand and not vice-versa, the ball came quite unexpected too. You are right about his action and the position of his hand, not really natural but on the other hand it is not that uncommon a defender is that low on his feet. Probably everybody would accept a penalty whistle, but I can accept the decision of Team Eriksson too. Not 100% deliberately IMO. That one in 12' is 'more penalty' for me.

  29. Difficult months for Klasenius, the AR1 of the Swedish team. At first his crucial mistake in Munich (maybe the reason why they got 'only' the UEL final instead of UCL?), yesterday his unlucky performance in prior to 1:3 (with a happy ending luckily) and furthermore he was also a little bit involved in two crucial penalty situations (12', 25'). Hope he will recover soon and show the performances we usually know from him in France again.

  30. Having watched the game and then again the controversial situations a couple of times more, and then reading all the comments on this blog, with such big differences of opinion, my clear conclusion is: the problem is NOT with the referee decisions in this particular match; the problem is with totally unclear guidelines and instructions regarding 'handball'; FIFA, UEFA and national federations are doing a terrible job on this point, with often changing interpretations and often contradicting themselves and each other!

    1. This is so true, and describes the best situations with handball on this particular match, but also all other matches.

      No body in the world including referees, referee committees, players, coaches, fans and all others can interpret handball rules and guidelines accurately, consistently and convincingly. We can debate and debate and debate and giving reasons for or against handball, but we can never objectively converge into correct solution and decision.

      I understand that gray areas will always exist in the football refereeing but these gray areas must become smaller and smaller. Small grey areas would allow us interpreting situations more and more accurately and consistently.

      For handball rule, gray area is huge and it does not becoming smaller. For example offside rule: rules and guidelines have changed and now we have small gray area were we can debate and interpret situations differently. With these confusing and contradictory rules for handball this is not possible theoretically, and certainly not empirically.

    2. I tend to agree with nemamea in many ways. There are several issues:

      1. Natural vs. unnatural position. Technically, it is NOT natural for a defender to be having arms behind back or tight against body. Balance and movement (especially lateral) are severely impacted.
      2. Expected vs. unexpected ball. If a defender is defending a position (i.e. jockeying the attacker) there has to be more leeway (even with arms wider) than if the defender is going out of his way to block an expected shot or pass. However, defenders must know (in the PA) that shots and passes will happen.

      The 12' is an arm in relatively natural position, defender is jockeying. Pass/shot is less expected.

      The 40' defender has just moved into a position to jockey (preparing to play attacker to go left or right). IMO he is not anticipating a pass or shot (he cannot see that one exists). As such, he is not thinking about arm position. Although low and out to side, it is less deliberate than it first appears. Referee (possibly blocked) also does not expect ball to hit hand.

      12' completely defensible as a no-call. 40' there continue to be areas of grey.

      In any match (especially one that is this important), IF IN DOUBT, don't whistle.


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