June 7, 2016

EURO 2016 Referee Portrait: Damir Skomina's Team from Slovenia


Full Name: Damir Skomina
Nation: Slovenia
Residence: Koper
Date of Birth: 05/08/1976
Age: 39 yo
Occupation: Tourism Manager
Hobbies: Basketball, Football, Swimming, Movies
Referee since: 1992
International since: 2003
UEFA Elite Category since: 07/2009
Champions League Matches: 33
Europa League Matches: 23
International Matches (Total): 122
Yellow Card Average (Int.): 4,07 per match
2nd Yellow Card Average (Int.): 0,11 per match
Red Card Average (Int.): 0,09 per match
Domestic First Division Matches: ---
Biggest Achievements: UEFA Under-19 EURO 2005 (Group Stage), UEFA Under-21 EURO 2007 Final, UEFA EURO 2008 as 4th Official, FIFA Olympic Games 2008 (Quarterfinal), UEFA EURO 2012 (Round of 16), UEFA Super Cup 2012 Final, UEFA Champions League 2013 Final as 4th Official, FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2013 (Round of 16), selected for UEFA EURO 2016

 What you should know

Damir Skomina is the most experienced international referee based on his number of international matches: He refereed at least 122, i.e. two more than Viktor Kassai. Although he has not reached a big final at men's level so far, his CV is quite impressive: Among others, he has officiated five Europa League and two Champions League semifinals

In former times, he was assisted by Primož Arhar, Marko Stančin and, after the latter's injury prior to EURO 2012, by Matej Žunič. All this is history due to the old age limit and a certain World Cup Play-Off match between France and Ukraine with two incorrectly disallowed goals for offside. At this EURO, Skomina counts on the support of Jure Praprotnik and Robert Vukan, who both are not that experienced yet. With Matej Jug and Slavko Vinčić at the goallines, he has talented and experienced men in his team though.

Skomina caught the media's attraction at EURO 2008 by ordering Manuel Mejuto González to send off Germany's manager Jogi Löw and Austria's Josef Hickersberger for continuous conflicts.

Refereeing Style 

Laissez-faire. Damir Skomina combines a certain distance to the players (only based on the TV pictures, he has rarely a friendly word or smile on his lips) with a focus on match management instead of a stern LotG-focussed approach. In leadership literature, one would call such a style laissez-faire. It mostly produces ambivalent results: On the one hand, his matches are mostly under full control and absolutely smooth - often ending without any or with very few cards - but on the other hand he tends to make some crucial mistakes and general errors in foul detection (kind of uncontrolled and overused leniency) and seems to shy away from too brave decisions.

His signs of recognition. Mostly he is quite invisible in the game and stays a bit more in the background compared to his colleagues. So if you don't see a referee (or if you see a referee who is positioned quite far away from the ball), then it could be the Slovenian.

His Strengths*

1| Personality, Body Language,
2| Stepwise Approach in Disciplinary Control.
3| Match Control.
4| Tactical Approach.
5| Fitness, Stamina, Sprinting Abilities.

His Points for Improvement* 

1| Overused Leniency at times (be flexible enough to adapt your approach).
2| Some inconsistencies in foul detection (lack of concentration?).
3| Positioning (too high and far away) and Movement (strolling).
4| Usage of the Vanishing Spray.
5| Whistle Language and Card Presentation.

*based on our Referee Observation Reports since 2012

His Team

Assistant Referees

Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik
Nation: Slovenia
Residence: Ljubljana
Date of Birth: 24/08/1985
Age: 30 yo
Occupation: Referee Manager (NZS)
Hobbies: ---
International since: 2013
Champions League Matches: 10
Europa League Matches: 7
International Matches (Total): 36
Domestic First Division Matches: ---
Biggest Achievements: UEFA Under-17 EURO 2014 (Semifinal), selected for UEFA EURO 2016

Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan
Nation: Slovenia
Residence: Apače
Date of Birth: 18/08/1976
Age: 39 yo
Occupation: Sales Manager
Hobbies: ---
International since: 2012
Champions League Matches: 9
Europa League Matches: 7
International Matches (Total): 41
Domestic First Division Matches: ---
Biggest Achievements: selected for UEFA EURO 2016

Additional Assistant Referees

Additional AR 1: Matej Jug
Nation: Slovenia
Residence: Tolmin
Date of Birth: 25/09/1980
Age: 35 yo
Matches as AAR: 33
International himself? Yes. (1st Group)

Additional AR 2: Slavko Vinčić
Nation: Slovenia
Residence: Maribor
Date of Birth: 25/11/1979
Age: 36 yo
Matches as AAR: 49
International himself? Yes. (1st Group)

Reserve Assistant Referee

Reserve AR: Bojan Ul
Nation: Slovenia
Residence: Maribor
Date of Birth: 20/08/1970
Age: 45 yo

Chances at EURO 2016

Skomina can definitely reach the K.O. phase and I think everything else would be a disappointment for him and his team. I predict: They'll get a Round of 16 game minimum.

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