June 5, 2016

EURO 2016 Referee Portrait: Björn Kuipers' Team from the Netherlands


Full Name: Björn Kuipers
Nation: Netherlands
Residence: Oldenzaal
Date of Birth: 28/03/1973
Age: 43
Occupation: Supermarket Owner
Hobbies: Sports, Mountain Biking
Referee since: 1990
International since: 2006
UEFA Elite Category since: 07/2009
Champions League Matches: 30
Europa League Matches: 17
International Matches (Total): 108
Yellow Card Average (Int.): 3,50 per match
2nd Yellow Card Average (Int.): 0,07 per match
Red Card Average (Int.): 0,11 per match
Domestic First Division Matches: 220
Biggest Achievements: U-21 EURO 2009 Final, Club World Cup 2010 (Semifinal), UEFA Super Cup 2011 Final, UEFA EURO 2012 (group stage), UEFA Europa League 2013 Final, FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 Final, UEFA Champions League 2014 Final, FIFA World Cup 2014 (Round of 16), selected for UEFA EURO 2016

 What you should know

Dutch Björn Kuipers is used to finals. As you can see above, he has already refereed four international finals including UEFA's Champions and Europa League.

Though his only EURO participation so far (2012) was not that successful. In both matches, Ireland vs Croatia and the rainy Ukraine vs France duel, he made crucial mistakes and had to go after the group stage.

He is the first Dutch referee ever who has managed to attend two European Championships in a row.

Refereeing Style 

Helicopter pilot. Even though that metaphor might sound strange, it suits to Björn Kuipers. Although he is not a match manager of Eriksson's format, he mostly maintains the helicopter view and pays attention to the big image and context of the game. He usually keeps the players under control without being too authoritative. This paired with plenty of empathy in his approach and gestures, he normally contributes to a good piece of football - although there have been some exceptions in the past.

His advantage. His team. When you hear the name Kuipers, you also immediately think of his Assistant Referees and Additional Assistant Referees who have been a main reason for Kuipers' success in the past years. This was already a main part in an interview DutchReferee.com led with him.

His Strengths*

1| Personality, Player Management, Body Language, Control.
2| Stepwise Approach, Verbal Warnings.
3| Teamwork.
4| Fitness, Movement, Stamina.
5| Feeling for the game.

His Points for Improvement* 

1| More motivated, more forceful personality at times, specially in case of protests.
2| Consistency, uniform line in foul selection and disciplinary control.
3| Free-kick Management & Law 13 as such
4| Anticipative Positioning, Backwards Movement, Entering the penalty area.
5| Additional Time Management.

*based on our Referee Observation Reports since 2012

His Team

Assistant Referee

Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (2nd r.)
Nation: Netherlands
Residence: Nijmegen
Date of Birth: 28/03/1974
Age: 42 yo
Occupation: Economy Docent & Interim Controller
Hobbies: ---
International since: 2007
Champions League Matches: 29
Europa League Matches: 16
International Matches (Total): 95
Domestic First Division Matches: 248
Biggest Achievements: UEFA U-19 EURO 2008 (Semifinal), FIFA Club World Cup 2010 (Semifinal), UEFA EURO 2012 (Quarterfinal), UEFA Europa League 2013 Final, FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 Final, UEFA Champions League 2014 Final, FIFA World Cup 2014 (Round of 16), selected for UEFA EURO 2016

Assistant Referee 2: Erwin E. J. Zeinstra
Nation: Netherlands
Residence: Dronrijp
Date of Birth: 31/01/1977
Age: 39 yo
Occupation: Controller (Cleaning Company)
Hobbies: ---
International since: 2010
Champions League Matches: 22
Europa League Matches: 12
International Matches (Total): 78
Domestic First Division Matches: 219
Biggest Achievements: FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2011 Final, UEFA Super Cup 2011 Final, UEFA EURO 2012 (group stage), UEFA Europa League 2013 Final, FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 Final, UEFA Champions League 2014 Final, FIFA World Cup 2014 (Round of 16), selected for UEFA EURO 2016

Additional Assistant Referees

Additional AR 1: P. H. M. "Pol" van Boekel (r.)
Nation: Netherlands
Residence: Vierlingsbeek
Date of Birth: 19/09/1975
Age: 40 yo
Matches as AAR: 48
International himself? Yes. (Second Group)

Additional AR 2: Richard A. L. Liesveld
Nation: Netherlands
Residence: Waverveen
Date of Birth: 10/05/1973
Age: 43 yo
Matches as AAR: 66
International himself? Yes. (Second Group) 

Reserve Assistant Referee

Reserve AR: Mario Diks
Nation: Netherlands
Residence: Leeuwarden
Date of Birth: 26/07/1977
Age: 39 yo

Chances at EURO 2016

Björn Kuipers might be a bit over his zenith considering what he achieved in the past. But he is always a candidate for the important matches. And with the Dutch national team having failed to qualify, he can practically handle every team - except Belgium.

© The 3rd Team, all rights reserved.


  1. And it seems like even Belgium is possible now. Considering that Nijhuis was allowed to handle Club Brugge, I don't see a reason why Kuipers can't handle Belgium. I would not prefer it, but I can imagine that it could happen.

  2. Why can he not handle Belgium?

    1. Some years ago, Dutch refereed used to take charge of matches in Belgium, and the other way round. Still Dutch referees take charge of lower division matches in Belgium. That's why the referees of the countries could not handle matches of each other.

  3. Italian team today leaving Italy for France...

    1. https://www.facebook.com/kassaiviktorreferee/photos/a.1717380505068714.41357.164202977053149/2274415119365247/?type=3&theater
      The Hungarian team too :)

  4. Predictions for MD1:

    FRA-ROU: Velasco Carballo (ESP); FO: Kralovec (CZE)
    ALB-SUI: Karasev (RUS); FO: Kulbakov (BLR)
    WAL-SVK: Moen (NOR); FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
    ENG-RUS: Cakir (TUR); FO: Kassai (HUN)
    TUR-CRO: Brych (GER); FO: Kuipers (NED)
    POL-NIR: Turpin (FRA); FO: Hategan (ROU)
    GER-UKR: Skomina (SVN); FO: Mazic (SRB)
    ESP-CZE: Eriksson (SWE); FO: Rizzoli (ITA)
    IRL-SWE: Marciniak (POL); FO: Kulbakov (BLR)
    BEL-ITA: Clattenburg (ENG); FO: Atkinson (ENG)
    AUT-HUN: Collum (SCO); FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
    POR-ISL: Kralovec (CZE); FO: Karasev (RUS)

    Do they make sense in your opinion and how do you predict?

    1. I don't think, Velasco will get the opening match again after 2012, but otherwise your predictions seem quite good. Nothing, what I would consider unlikely.

      My predictions are:
      FRA-ROU: Clattenburg (ENG); FO: Kralovec (CZE)
      ALB-SUI: Kassai (HUN); FO: Kulbakov (BLR)
      WAL-SVK: Marciniak (POL); FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
      ENG-RUS: Velasco (ESP); FO: Turpin (FRA)
      TUR-CRO: Rizzoli (ITA); FO: Karasev (RUS)
      POL-NIR: Hategan (ROU); FO: Skomina (SVN)
      GER-UKR: Collum (SCO); FO: Eriksson (SWE)
      ESP-CZE: Moen (NOR); FO: Sidiropolous (GRE)
      IRL-SWE: Mazic (SRB); FO: Kuipers (NED)
      BEL-ITA: Brych (GER); FO: Cakir (TUR)
      AUT-HUN: Atkinson (ENG); FO: Velasco (ESP)
      POR-ISL: Kralovec (CZE); FO: Kulbakov (BLR)

    2. Mine:
      FRA-ROM Velasco Carballo (ESP) FO: Rizzoli (ITA)
      ALB-SUI Královec (CZE) FO:Moen (NOR)
      WAL-SVK Hategan (ROU) FO:Marciniak (POL)
      ENG-RUS Brych (GER) FO:Collum (SCO)
      TUR-CRO Kuipers (NED) FO: Skomina (SVN)
      POL-NIR Karasev (RUS) FO: Rizzoli (ITA)
      GER-UKR Cakir (TUR) FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
      ESP-CZE Kassai (HUN) FO: MAzic (SRB)
      IRL-SWE Turpin (FRA) FO: Kulbakov (BLR)
      BEL-ITA Atkinson (ENG) FO: Clattenburg (ENG)
      AUT-HUN Eriksson (SWE) FO: Velasco Carballo (ESP)
      POR-ISL Moen (NOR) FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)

    3. Maybe FO in groups stage are AAR, for example team italy have Orsato as AAR and he's a Elite. I don't think that we'll see Rizzoli like FO; not in two match sure Mark Szznto

    4. IMO there are 18 referees +2 reserve referee, all referee will be appointment 2 group stage matches and after? 99% that the referees will be fourth official. You should search what written Chefren about in this theme.

  5. FRA-ROM Cakir
    ALB-SUI Marciniak
    WAL-SVK Turpin
    ENG-RUS Brih
    TUR-CRO Rizzoli
    POL-NIR Velasco
    GER-UKR Eriksson
    ESP-CZE Atkinson
    IRL-SWE Kralovec
    BEL-ITA Clattenburg
    AUT-HUN Hategan
    POR-ISL Collum


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