November 15, 2016

FIFA Club World Cup 2016 Japan - Referees (updated)

FIFA has officially announced the selected officials for 2016 FIFA Club World Cup, to be played in Japan. Five officiating trios have been selected from each confederation, the crew from OFC has only one assistant referee assigned. A Mexican trio replaced Ricardo Montero from Costa Rica, originally appointed for the tournament. However, this time the most important innovation will be represented by VAR's officials. 


Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Abdullah Tulefat (Bahrain, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (Bahrain, 1974)
VAR: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan, 1977)


Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (Angola, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Berhe Tesfagiorghis  (Eritrea, 1975)
VAR: Bakary Gassama (Gambia, 1979)


Referee: Roberto García Orozco (Mexico, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: José Luis Camargo Callado (Mexico, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín Méndez (Mexico, 1980)
VAR: Mark Geiger (USA, 1974)


Referee: Enrique Cáceres (Paraguay, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (Paraguay, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (Paraguay, 1975)
VAR: Andrés Cunha (Uruguay, 1976)


Referee: Abdelkader Zitouni (Tahiti, 1981)
Assistant Referee: Philippe Revel (Tahiti, 1982)
VAR: Nicholas Waldron (New Zealand, 1982)


Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: György Ring (Hungary, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (Hungary, 1978)
VAR: Damir Skomina (Slovenia, 1976)


  1. What happened with Ravinesh Kumar?

    1. He renounced to 2014 WC due to an injury, perhaps he had again some problems.

  2. What I don't understand is that in this tournament we see very often experienced officials who, to be honest, don't need a test for WC. Here we have almost all big names: Kassai, Garcia, Shukralla and so on. My idea is that this would be a very suitable tournament to test candidates for WC. Especially the early games of the competition are not so much followed by football fans.
    This time the choice of some experienced referees on the pitch could be related to the VAR tests, nevertheless in the past, we had always known names.
    I think that preselection of referees for WC is made mostly by politics and nothing more. The whole selection is by far less and less accurate than UEFA's one for EURO (just to make an example).
    For example: why not Pitti (PAN) instead of Garcia (MEX)? Why not Marciniak (POL) instead of Kassai (HUN)? The same for AFC. How many interesting young referees there, but you call Shukralla. And so on... perhaps the only interesting choice is Sikazwe, this time.

    1. Well one part of the explanation is, that probably all referees on the pre-list should be at min. 1 FIFA tournament in 2016+2017. Those, who need be to tested more, should be appointed for the U20 and U17 WCs, simply because there are more matches.
      Probably now Kassai does not need to be in more tournaments next year.
      Of course, you are also right with your arguments.

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    3. In my opinion the appointment for Club WC is not only a test for the following WC but also a recognition for the current performances. I think that CL final (in all confederations), Europe League and Super Cup finals as well confederation championship (Euro) and WC tournaments are the most important competitions so they need best referees in the world. FIFA club World Cup is, in my opinion, the same so it's a prestigious target for any referees who can be recognized by this appointment. Kassai (and Skomina) has performed very well in 2016 but unfortunately he didn't reach Euro 2016 final, so club WC could be a good recognition. Shukrallah, Gassama, Garcia Orozco and Irmatov are at top level but within their confederation they have few important tournaments to officiate.
      I see their appointment inside this strategy.
      I agree with Chefren that VAR test this time will give one more mood to have best and well known referees.
      In other hands, Sikawze, Caceres and Zitouni are at their first big appointment so it's really a new test for them to assess if they are reliable for next WC.
      I agree with you Chefren when you say that very often we read same names, but my feeling is that this atrategy is widely diffused in Uefa too. During last week end WC qualifying matches on 27 clashes we have only 5 new names all coming from secondo group, while the remaining 22 were officiated by who is regularly appointed in Cl or Europe L. I think qualifying matches and Europe League matches could be a good opportunity
      for new names to grow and to improve their selves.

      One question: who will act as fourth official ? VAR or Referee ?

    4. Hi Chefren... Which 6 teams would you have selected for this tournament?? Please share with us 😃

    5. @Soham
      AFC: Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA)
      CAF: Bernard Camille (SEY)
      CONCACAF: John Pitti (PAN)
      CONMEBOL: Diego Haro (PER)
      OFC: Matthew Conger (NZL)
      UEFA: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
      But indeed, among these names, a very experienced official at FIFA level was missing... I wanted to see all different choices :D

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    7. My choices :
      AFC : Ryuji Sato (Japan)
      CAF : Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)
      CONCACAF : John Pitti (Panama)
      CONMEBOL : Enrique Caceres (Paraguay)
      OFC : Nicholas Waldron (New Zealand)
      UEFA : Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

      Final match for Sato or Marciniak!!

  3. What does VAR stand for?!

  4. How common is it that a all Fifa referees in one of the Uefa countries are full time referees? Anyone ho know anything about it?

  5. @David02: Please have a look into your mailbox!

    1. Thank you Niclas, otherwise i would have missed it because i wasn't expecting any mails ;)

  6. Felix Brych & his regular ARs with a Bundesliga game on Friday.
    CL on Tuesday for him?

    1. Maybe, but the fact, he has his regular AR's doesn't mean anything regarding CL appointments. They assist him whenever possible.
      In general, Bundesliga has fixed refereeing teams unlike e.g. the Premier League.

    2. You are right, and looking at the games, I think there are almost no options for Brych on Tuesday. Arsenal - PSG on Wednesday could be the right game for him: let's remember that he never handled the English team in his whole international career...

    3. I'm almost certain that we will see Brych in either Sevilla v Juventus or Arsenal v PSG on MD 5...
      Kuipers is also out with his team on Saturday... Although in Eredivisie Kuipers is always out with van Roekel and Zeinstra in every single match!!

    4. Sevilla - Juventus is not possible for Brych. Aytekin handled the first leg on MD1, while Zwayer had Sevilla on last MD. So, at the end, if Brych gets CL on MD5 we could be almost sure of the game... Arsenal - Psg.

    5. This would be a sensation as Brych never officiated Arsenal so far.

      I expect Clattenburg in this match. Murat Ilgaz observes it by the way.

    6. Any predictions for Kuipers, Çakır and Eriksson???

    7. Will there be a prediction game again?
      If yes, we should probably wait for it.

      As a general remark, there should be some top referees left for MD6. Kassai and Skomina are surely out for MD, so not all of those mentioned here will be appointed next week.

    8. That's true... At least 4-5 among the top 5 would be and should be saved for MD 6...

    9. Aytekin has a match on Sunday, so no CL on Tuesday for him.

  7. My choices would have been:
    AFC: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
    CAF: Eric Otogo Castane (GAB)
    CONCACAF: Armando Villareal (USA)
    CONMEBOL: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
    OFC: Mederic Lacour (NCL). Good referee imo, involved in a couple of qualification matches I was luck to watch;
    UEFA: Szymon Marciniak (POL). He really deserves this appointment.
    What do you think, guys?

    1. 4/6 officials are not on the pre list and therefore not possible for a Club World Cup.

  8. OT
    From U20 Women WC
    Definitely not good by FIFA referee Therese Neguel. Too "relaxed" in following the game. Especially in the early situations, she was too far away without reacting and without making any sprint to follow the action. I never saw so blatant positioning's problems, to be honest. In the first situation, even after the lost ball by defender, she didn't react... goal was scored but in case of penalty decision?

    1. Hussein's match with many situations:

      Good advantage for the first Brazilian goal
      First penalty seems correct
      Handball penalty acceptable, maybe grey area, but surely careless by the defender to stretch out the arm (to give instructions)
      First sending off (was a 2nd YC) seems harsh
      Second sending off surely correct, straight RC possible depending on the point of impact.

    2. The advantage tastes like an alibi advantage to be honest as a penalty would be rather wrong. It simply brings you a + in the observer report if you signalize an advantage there.;)

      Both penalties correct for me, too, the first sending-off is at least justified and maybe even compulsory depending on whether the offender hit her opponent with studs.

    3. Very interesting.
      1) "Frozen" advantage: excellent decision, in case of NO GOAL she would have whistled the penalty, then we can discuss about the foul itself, but the management was surely good.
      2) First penalty whistled is correct.
      2) Penalty for handball is OK, but also in this case (like many other deliberate handballs) we have not a 100% correct or wrong decision.
      3) First sending off is correct for me. Both YC are justified.
      4) The second YC for the North Korean player should have been a straight RC for SFP.

  9. Tagliavento has Milan's derby top clash on Sunday night. No more than EL match for him I guess
    Rizzoli only additional assistant referee on sunday afternoon.

    Could be possible to add, in the domestic appointments page, Portugal and Netherland matches?

    1. I can't promise that, I will try to add at least the significant games starting from the next Matchday.

    2. I can help with the Eredivisie appointments Chefren if you say 😃

  10. OT: Tobias Stieler to handle Germany's top clash between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München. It will be the second time for him to officiate this important game.

  11. This weekend we will have many top clashes in domestic leagues:

    English Premier League
    19.11.2016 13:30 CET
    Manchester United - Arsenal
    Referee: Andre Marriner
    Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck
    Assistant Referee 2: Andy Garratt
    Fourth Official: Michael Oliver

    German Bundesliga
    19.11.2016 18:30 CET
    Borussia Dortmund - Bayern München
    Referee: Tobias Stieler
    Assistant Referee 1: Sascha Thielert
    Assistant Referee 2: Dr. Matthias Jöllenbeck
    Fourth Official: Guido Kleve

    Italian Serie A
    20.11.2016 20:45 CET
    AC Milan - FC Internazionale
    Referee: Paolo Tagliavento
    Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Giovanni Di Liberatore
    Assistant Referee 2: Lorenzo Manganelli
    Additional Assistant Referee 1: Daniele Orsato
    Additional Assistant Referee 2: Paolo Valeri
    Fourth Official: Marco Barbirati

    Spanish La Liga
    19.11.2016 20:45 CET
    Club Atlético de Madrid - Real Madrid Club de Fútbol
    Referee: David Fernández Borbalán
    Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez
    Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Canelo Prieto
    Fourth Official: Javier Iglesias Villanueva

    All appointments for England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France domestic leagues can be found as always here:

  12. I don't know if someone has posted it already, but FC Barcelona - Real Madrid (El Clásico) will be handled by Carlos Clos Gómez (2nd group, recently demoted from 1st and who, if I'm not wrong, will retire at the end of the season), as reported by most newspapers in Spain.

    1. It seems that also in Spain the appointments are already known by press and newspapers many dayes before the date. These appointments should be published on next week... :)

    2. Indeed, although I think they only release that info to the press for El Clásico. For instance, the referee for Atlético-Real was published with the other appointments for that match-day, IIRC.

  13. Clos Gomez is 44 years old but if I'm not wrong he was recently escalating the ranking by important appointment in Europe League and good performances. Why is he under retiring ? For age reason ?

    1. Yes. Although FIFA has removed age restrictions, in Spain they remain in place: LaLiga referees must retire when they are 45. It's a shame, as for me Clos Gómez is a very good referee. He turns 45 on June 30th, so he will have reached the age limit when the new season starts (July 1st).

  14. Thanks Chefren for your engagement on Portugal and Netherland's most important appointments. Don't worry, take it easy, my request is only if it's not a huge job

  15. Makkelie has been confirmed by the KNVB as video assistant referee by the way.

  16. Mr. David Fernandez Borbalan isn't having an overly great game at Vicente Calderon... Inconsistent foul detection and he is just bordering on losing match control... The match is on its way to become a very feisty affair..

  17. Berhe Tesfarghiorgis has been suspended for 3 months along with Joseph Lamptey and another AR from Kenya (South Africa-Senegal performance). So probably he will have to be replaced. Additionally, Lamptey has been removed from the AFCON2017 roster.

    Quite archaic way of punishing referees.

  18. No any compliment. It is so real. Keep it up. Actually, I am looking for Fifa World Cup Whatsapp Status. Do you have?


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