Sunday, 12 November 2017

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification - Referee appointments for UEFA Playoffs (Second Legs)

The following officials have been appointed to handle second legs of UEFA playoffs for 2018 WC qualification. 

UEFA Playoffs for WC 2018 

Second legs:

12.11.17 18:00 CET
Switzerland - Northern Ireland
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Fourth Official: Felix Zwayer (GER)
UEFA Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)
UEFA Delegate: Nebojša Ivkovic (SRB)

12.11.17 20:45 CET
Greece - Croatia
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin E. J. Zeinstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Danny Makkelie (NED)
UEFA Referee Observer: Nikolay Levnikov (RUS)
UEFA Delegate: Claude Runavot (FRA)

13.11.17 20:45 CET
Italy - Sweden
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez Del Palomar.(ESP)
Fourth Official: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
UEFA Referee Observer: Vlado Sajn (SVN).
UEFA Delegate: Alan McRae (SCO)

14.11.17 20:45 CET
Republic of Ireland - Denmark
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Paweł Raczkowski (POL)
UEFA Referee Observer: Markus Nobs (SUI)
UEFA Delegate: João Morais (POR)

188 comments:

  1. Does anybody watch yesterday`s game Russia-Argentina?Any words about Skomina perfomance?

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    1. The only thing I watched is that Argentina's goal was offside.

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    2. Thank God it was not a mistake by Skomina's AR in another playoff but just a friendly!!

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    3. Can this mistake cause something bad for Skomina team? Presence at World Cup?

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    4. Luckily it was only a friendly, of course we can be sure this wont cause anything bad to Skomina. I think he was indeed not appointed for play off just to avoid such situations... I expect him as WC referee. This should be quite sure.

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    5. At the same time I don't expect Skomina ahead of R16 in World Cup... I won't assign Skomina to bigger high voltage matches with his passive style of refereeing... He's good for calm, normal matches but a challenging WC QF or SF things might well become Velascoesque with Skomina...

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    6. I certainly agree Skomina shouldn't be candidate number one for a South American duel. But he showed in very challenging matches he can do well, Sevilla - Athletic was the best I ever saw the Slovenian tbh. He does close his eyes but it is not such an intrinsic problem as for Velasco, but their styles are fairly similar, and not exactly designed for South American matches.

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  2. 7': Mandatory YC given by Brych, reckless tackle, apart from a potential SPA. Good cooperation by Lupp. That's the refereeing I like :)

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  3. 42': excellent offside flag by AR2.
    First half expected level for Brych.

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  4. Easy going match for Brych (80. minutes). Nothing special. But I must say that I am disappointed with pitch conditions. This game is taking place in Switzerland, one very rich country, this match is of high importance, and there is more mood than the grass on the pitch. Unacceptable in this level.

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  5. After this game, I'm really sorry for NIR. They showed to be a very good team today. The penalty in first leg decided the qualification of Switzerland, however, that's football.

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    1. I'm sorry for Hategan :(

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    2. IMO Switzerland was better side in those two matches. But, is that enough to say that they deserve to pass through? No. I felt so sorry for NIR, too. Incredible fighters and sportsmen. Hategan probably signed his own verdict about WC, but that won't mean anything for Irish players and fans. It is a disgrace for FIFA that in the era of technology there is no VAR, nor AARs in these very important matches that decide a lot.

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    3. Hategan is the victim as well as NIR. Hopefully he will learn something from this bad experience.
      FIFA should make a rule: If there is no VAR, AARs should be mandatory. All qualifications would be better like that.

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    4. Why do you consider Hategan as a victim? He is not young anymore (37 years old), he was at EC, he is among 12 best European refs and this was a reward for him. Every referee in Europe would like to be in his skin and to officiate match like this one. One works every day for this. I believe he was very proud for this announcement. Mistakes happen all the time, much more experienced refs could make it. The problem is its significance comparing to mistakes in far less important games.

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  6. Lots of complaints and protests on some decisions, especially from Greeks. Some small mistakes by Kuipers in detecting fouls, and the atmosphere got quite warm. One can see the big difference between cold NIR i Swiss players and passionate Balkan teams. This is much harder match to officiate.

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    1. I have a feeling that Croats have a tendency to aggregate Greeks to fire up the atmosphere and provoke some response. Kuipers is letting them do it for now.

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    2. IMO Kuipers missed YC for deliberate handball (Strinic) and minutes after missed clear foul and maybe YC for elbowing. Prior that he had some minor mistakes, but they were enough for atmosphere to became hot because all these mistakes were against home side and Greek players got nervous. He could avoid that. Of course, no big and important mistakes.

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  7. Very lenient aproach by Kuipers so far.

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  8. Yes, very lenient Kuipers but so far there weren't major problems.
    To be honest, I don't like too much this approach, but as long as it works, it can be OK.
    However, I expect surely cards in second half.

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    Replies
    1. Knowing Greek temperament they will not allow to be physically beaten on the field.
      This approach can backfire in the second half.

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  9. 79': correct and crucial offside call by AR1.

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    1. Game changing moment. Excellent call by AR1.

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    2. Come on, guys, it was 2 meters offside. Very easy call. And nothing is crucial - Greece couldn't give 3 goals in thousand minutes against Croatia.

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    3. A correct decision is always important to be underlined, and "crucial" in UEFA terminology is everything related to a goal. Then, if this goal is not important, that is another matther.

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  10. So another game without particular issues. That's good.
    Tomorrow it will be very, very difficult for Mateu Lahoz. We will see.

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  11. Kuipers was not on his best yesterday.

    He seemed to favorite Croatia a little and wasn't too consistent. No influence on the result.

    I would say 8.2

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  12. I think it's a missed penalty by Mateu at 9'... The Swedish defender didn't get the ball at first but the leg of the Italian player... Foul for me, penalty should've been assigned I think!!

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    Replies
    1. Very challenging game for Mateu Lahoz!
      I think that penalty for Italy could have been given, but at the same time not a blatant one. A situation in which you can whistle as well as play on, if you think that more is needed for a so important whistle.
      Then, a few seconds ago there was a handball in Italy's penalty area. Mateu played on but I think he didn't see at all the incident.

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    2. The Sweden handball appeal was a definite penalty if you ask me!!

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    3. Oh he saw it. He went as far as to bring up his whistle to his mouth. That makes it looks worse when a referee does the whole whistle up to the mouth and blow the foul procedure.

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  13. Tense start for Mateu in first 10 minutes.Penalty appeal from Italy ,then two reckless fouls resulting with YC's and now penalty appeal from Sweden.

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  14. And now what a crucial mistake !!!! Gorgeous handball by italian defender. Obvious Penalty missed...

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  15. Now a probable missed penalty for Sweden at 13' for deliberate handball... For me that's a clear handball and penalty... Arms outstretched and clearly increasing body surface area... Penalty should've been assigned I think!!

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    Replies
    1. Not to mention that the Italian arm/hand moves towards the ball not away trying to avoid the contact.

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    2. It's a crucial mistake for me!!

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  16. Two missed penalties imho in Milan: first, foul on Parolo at 9', second, handballl by Darmian at 13'

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  17. Possible penalty for Sweden. Handball by Darmian

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    Replies
    1. That's definitely a missed penalty... Satisfies every possible criteria of a deliberate handball IMO!!

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  18. 12th minute, yet another missed penalty by Lohoz. Clear hand to ball by Italian in a completely unatural position. To make matters worse. Lahoz actually went as far as to bring his whistle up to his mouth. Which shows that he definitely saw it and yet quivered at making the big call.

    Some may say that things are now even. However I don't view it as "even". It's a case of TWO missed penalty's.

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  19. Maybe Mateu thought that even if he spotted the handball (he's still arguing with the swedes about the play), it was not deliberate because of the distance. That's the only explanation.

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  20. In my opinion both situations can be grey areas but if you whistle, nobody can complain. I think that Mateu Lahoz wants to see "more" to whistle a penalty.

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    1. I'll give you the "grey area" concept of the Italian penalty appeal. As some could say there wasn't much in the incident.

      However I most humbly disagree on the no call in favor of Sweden. The Italian arm is out wide away from the body. And the player moves his arm towards the ball not away.

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    2. 1st one can be argued but the 2nd one is an absolute missed penalty and needs to be marked as a crucial mistake... Hand in unnatural position increasing body surface area and hand to ball... That's a clear, deliberate handball IMO!!

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    3. I agree with Chefren. In addition, the handball situation was surely influenced by the previous penalty appeal.

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    4. What does a previous incident have to do with a current incident. If you officiate in that manner, you're going to end up with many mistakes trying to make up for previous mistakes. No such thing as making things even by letting other calls go. Just leads to more mistakes.

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    5. ITA appeal No. 1: probably PK.
      SWE Appeal No. 1: No - distance too short, no movement towards the ball.
      SWE Appeal No. 2: No. Arm in natural position, distance fairly short.
      ITA Appeal No. 2: I don't see a handball by Darmian, so crucial mistake and PK.

      In general, very challenging game, and I loved Mateu's quick use of the YC for dissent. As usual for him, he manages the game strongly, but accuracy remains an issue on crucial decisions.

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  21. Mateu theatrics are at times a bit over the top... Unique style I understand but he should keep his calm!!

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    Replies
    1. Theatrics as such can invite or possible incite players to respond to your in a similar manner. Not something desired as a referee. Treat players as you would like them to treat you.

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  22. Now a second penalty appeal by Sweden. This time it's very controversial but I would go with a penalty also this time

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  23. 29th minute. Handball and penalty appeal number 2 turned down by Lahoz. Arm once again away from body.

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    1. Followed by an unfair yet necessary caution to the Swedish player. Kind of impossible to react in a passive way when you feel hard done by the referee twice.

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  24. Another penalty appeal for deliberate handball by Sweden and YC for complaints followed.
    This time the arm was quite close to body. I think surely a supportable decision and, in any case, less penalty than the previous one. What a game!

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    1. More greyish than 1st one surely but still looks a penalty... I wonder if Brych or Kuipers would've been a better choice in hindsight for this match!! As we all know hindsight is a wonderful thing... I'm sure Committee never expected this match to be thiiiiis much challenging!!

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    2. Sorry chefren. I dont think that « supportable » consists to make a degree 0 of braveness and lucidity. You cannot be an Elite ref and react with thks kind of coward performance...

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  25. Another penalty appeal by Sweden at 29'... Pretty much similar to the earlier penalty appeal but not whistled by Mateu... Again it's a penalty for me but probably it was a bit on Mateu's blind side!!

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    1. I saw the replay and this is a penalty as well... The arm is far away from the body again in an unnatural position and Italy is very lucky to get away with it... But it was in Mateu's blind side, he couldn't see it!!

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  26. New penalty appeal and was again one for me. Nightmare - or courageless- refereeing for me...

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    1. To be fair to Mateu, this was a bit on his blind side!!

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    2. Agree Soham but too many importants mistakes for this kind of match. A little bit sad to see this obvious lack of braveness.

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    3. Yeah I do agree... Mateu Performance is high on theatrics but not that polished overall in terms of major decisions taken!!

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    4. Everybody is entitled to have the own opinion, of course.
      No problems :) The only thing I hope, of course, is that Mateu saw and assessed the incidents according to his ideas. He must have the courage to take decisions.

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    5. The third penalty appeal was impossible to see from his position so that call is understandable!!

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    6. Completely speculative here. Has Lohoz performance been influenced by the environment?

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    7. I don't know... Might be possible that he's extra cautious about whistling penalties after the Hategan debacle!!

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    8. Mateu Lahoz actually felt the match, full control in THAT atmosphere, crucial decisions imo supportable, not exactly radiating calmness but I don't think you can in this match to be honest.
      You cannot say this is just another match, Mateu absolutely right to want to see an absolutely clear penalty... I know the defenders of the pure LOTG will kill me, but I think a great first half by Antonio Mateu Lahoz.

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    9. Sorry Mikael but on this occasion I've to disagree with you... I'm not a defender of pure LOTG either... But if performances like these are called great then I've to question the standard of UEFA refereeing... I think there are more instances of equally challenging games managed in a far better way than Mateu... It's an okayish performance but with due respect I can't agree with great here!!

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    10. If this performance by Lahoz is the UEFA Standard and what makes most of you believe that UEFA Referee's are the best in the World. Then it won't be long before you're overtaken by other Confederations. Because this type of performance is simply not good. And I hope that this never becomes the standard.

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  27. Now another penalty appeal from Sweden...

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  28. Minute 35': Swedish goalkeeper did in my opinion an irregular action. On a long shot, he touched the ball by hands, starting a save, but then he waited for the opponent, before picking up again the ball by handds, to waste time. It should have been indirect free kick to Italy inside the box, but very difficult to spot.
    Keeper had to complete immediately his save, otherwise he was not entitled to touch again the ball by hand.

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    1. Chefren, of Lahoz had been unwilling to blow the 3 major incidents that have happened during the first half. He was never going to whistle a minor infraction.

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    2. Absolute nonsense. Direct shot at goal and saved, yes a comfortable save, but a save.

      The fault finding by some on this blog knows no bounds.

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    3. I don't think we're finding faults here... We are just analysing situations from all possible angles :)

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    4. Angles. Lahoz had good angles and views on both handling offences. The first he was directly in front of his position. And the second he had a good angle to clearly see that the Italian arm was indeed away from the body in an unatural position this enlarging his body surface.

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    5. No TOP referee would whistle that call. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course.

      For what it's worth my opinion on three penalty calls:

      9' Attacker takes touch to control, defender plays his leg so I would expect a penalty

      13' "unexpected ball" If you watch his arm is out to balance before clearing ball. He realises the attacker is going to play ball and stops action to not commit foul. I hate to break decisions down like that but with handball we never have a clear line.

      29' Natural arm position and ball to hand. Not a penalty.

      I expect a tough second half.

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    6. I disagree with 13' and 29' here :)

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    7. I'm with you Soham.
      In the 13th minute, the Italian player clearly moves his arm/hand towards the ball, not away.
      And in the 29th minute, that arm is away from the body enlarging the player's body surface.

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  29. it doesn't get much worse than this for Lahoz... it's a real pity!

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    1. Not thaaaaat bad 🤔 Nothing too great either... Okay for 2 group stage games in WC like Japan v Honduras type matches but nothing more than that!!

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    2. This is Velasco Carballo your of bad Soham. One must be honest and be truthful when needed

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    3. I don't understand the 1st line 🤔

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    4. Sorry about that Soham. Autocorrect issues. I meant to say. This is Velasco Carballo type of bad.

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    5. Probably he wanted to say that Antonio Mateu Lahoz's style reminds us of the Velasco Carballo style of refereeing: "I am in charge and I will call what I want..."

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    6. I won't call it bad but it's nothing extraordinary either... It's okayish at best I'd say!!

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  30. ~ 37' Very strange body reaction?

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  31. Lahoz needs to focus more on the the game and it's incidents and less on what's going on outside the field or giving a such a hysterical show.

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    1. The hysteria is in Mateu, he can’t change it... If you want to blame someone for that, blame his teachers and the people who puts him in this kind of matches in spite of knowing that!!

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    2. @Sheriff Castrilli, I totally agree with you

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    3. If this is his character, I think he will never change.
      He reached this level by being so "hysterical", as you describe him...

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    4. But as I said even earlier Mateu Lahoz was never a good choice for this potentially very challenging 2nd leg game... Mateu shouldn't have been given this game, some more experienced referee like Brych should've been here instead of being in Basel!!

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    5. Agreed!
      I just don't like a referee acting on such a erratic manner. It invites or can possibly incite the player's to act on a similar manner towards to referee.

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  32. Sorry Mikael but this isn’t a way of LOTG but a way of JUSTICE ! When you forgot almost 2 or 3 penalties (one of them is Stonewall one), you cannot be « great ». Very stressed attitude, lot of theatrical issues. Not a good perf. Sorry.

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  33. TBH, the first penalty appeal for Sweden is not that clear as many of you have said. There is very little distance and time between when the Swedish player plays the ball and where the handball happens. The video I have seen: https://twitter.com/casadelfutbol/status/930164555166052353

    It is not a very good video (it does some strange cut), but it is slow-motion. In fact, I think the second one is more a penalty than this one, as there is more time and the arm goes towards the ball in a clearer way.

    IMO, Italy's penalty appeal is a correct call: play on. Only seen from minute 27 onwards, but I have not seen anything "theatrical", only a correct YC for dissent.

    I missed the incident Chefren talked about, so if anyone can provide a video, it would be nice!

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    1. Indeed, I think even though the arm is larger in the first incident than in the second one, in the first one the distance between the player and the ball is very short

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  34. First penalty appeal for Sweden, you can actually see how Lahoz takes the whistle to his mouth: https://streamable.com/18e27

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    1. That's what I've been saying all along. The whistle did indeed come up to his mouth. That tells me that he did indeed see it clearly. Yet he quivered and possibly lacked the courage to make the call.

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  35. Penalty incident and two YCs
    https://streamable.com/94df3

    Handball #1
    https://streamable.com/9ztct
    https://streamable.com/cou94

    Handball #2
    https://streamable.com/io9hc

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  36. Now another controversial decision, he whistled a deliberate handball to Darmian in penalty area.
    Otherwise, it should have been penalty.
    Here no doubts for me: big crucial mistake.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah clear mistake... Penalty missed and the handball whistle was incorrect!!

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    2. Agree chefren. And now i m sure Mateu doesn’t want to decide the match with a pénalty. So he doesn’t deserve to go to Russia with thks kind of attitude. A Pity.

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    3. Too many mistakes... If some other candidates like Eriksson or even Collum come up with good performances in CL games then Mateu will be in danger after a haphazard performance tonight!!

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    4. Mateu "didn't see" two clear handballs, and then saw and punished handball that didn't exist...

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  37. At least third penalty missed

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  38. New crucial decision : handball by Darmian from Lahoz’s view. Hum hum....and so no penalty call after. Again and Again...

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  39. FOX Sport: USSF instructor claimed that 1st and 2nd incidents should be called as penalty kicks, but with 3rd "there was no hand to a ball movement" ... I disagree...

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    1. I'm on the disagree side as well!!

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    2. It doesn't take a USSF Instructor to tell us what we all know that we saw.

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  40. That's a controversial USSF "instructor" who many of us here would disagree with. In fact, he's not active much in the federation anymore. Believe me, the third penalty appeal would be taught as deliberate handling in the US.

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    1. It was usaref... Most of us think it's a missed penalty here as well!!

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    2. to name him: Dr Joe Machnik

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  41. Now PK #4... at least we are at 2 not called PK's each ...

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    1. Making things "even" does not make things right. Just equals more mistakes.

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    2. HAD to be a penalty, you cannot find arguments against that. I think Mateu gave everything in the first half, not a very concentrated or convincing impression in the second half.

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    3. Please see my comment as a sarcastic one ...

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  42. Beyond that Lahoz had possibly missed a total of 4 penalty incidents.
    What I am most bothered by, is the fact that Lahoz went as far as to actually put his whistle in his mouth to call the first handling incident. Only to then, back down. This is a habit that is common amongst novice Referee's who are doubts. But for a FIFA Referee to show this type of novice attitude is unacceptable.

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  43. I hate hate hate that Lahoz is physically pushing players around. He keeps asking calmness. Yet he is the aggressor on the pitch towards the player's and the benches.

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  44. On another note, I'm not surprised but the commentaries regarding the referee on Fox Sports 1 are shamefully ignorant.

    Also, quick note (at 66') to note good card management by Mateu. Dissent, reckless fouls are punished as required. And now he's been lenient with the Italian bench twice...will be interesting!

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    1. Lahoz's performance had opened himself up for such commentary. You can't be surprised.

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    2. No it hasn't. Commentators can criticise while knowing what they're talking about. Here they have no idea about either the LOTG or about refereeing, and that shows.

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    3. And you expect them to be experts on the Law's of the Game? We all know they're not. However the one who should be an expert is the one who has been lacking today. Thus the reason why they're given something to talk about.

      The best referees are not named, talked about, or remembered in a match.

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    4. I expect everyone involved in soccer to have a knowledge of the laws of the game. And I expect someone who comments professionally on refereeing - among others - to have a basic knowledge of what they're talking about. Don't you?

      As for your second point, you know as well as I do that that is not true. A referee who had refereed a perfect name - whistling 2-5 penalties - would be all over the front pages as well. Everyone remembers the refereeing in the 2006 final - despite the ref being 100% right. Everyone knows Howard Webb, despite him having a decent 2010 final.

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    5. I'm guessing you are a fan of the great Larrionda, no?
      WC 2006, Italy - United States
      Three RCs, excellent performance, he got a Semifinal. But very controversial.
      That is an extremely popularistic and actually wrong view, contradicting your huge criticism of Mateu playing on four times at any rate...

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  45. 65' Very, very bad card showing proccedure.

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    1. Why? Everyone knows the card is coming. Deal with priorities first and avoid loss of time. Priorities here were:
      1- Coaches flaring up.
      2- Stop hustling around the ball.
      3- Card

      Sure, he could have stuck to protocol, but with Italy stressing over time, that might have just made the Italians more agitated.

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    2. You okay with Lahoz unnecessarily physically putting his hands on players and pushing them around? Is that one of the "priorities" that you described above?

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    3. It worked, no? I wouldn't do it, and I wouldn't recommend it. But fact is, that with Mateu's refereeing style, it works; it's high-risk, high-reward. And let's face facts here: he's not exactly wrestling players either, is he? He put his hand on him and gave him a firm nudge - it's not a rugby tackle.

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    4. Would he be okay with a player doing the same to him?

      Treat the player's as you would like to be treated by them.

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  46. This game would have been difficult for every referee, but I wonder how many penalties would have been whistled there by another Elite official...

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  47. Missed a clear deliberate hit by Chiellini to opponent, before a good chance to Italy. At least YC.

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    1. Would've been Chiellini's 2nd YC in that case!!

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    2. Lahoz isn't sending anybody off. He started with 22 and he'll blow his final whistle with 22.

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  48. Another penalty appeal by Italy for handball. What a game.
    We will never forget this evening... and I'm sad because Italy will be out from next WC :(

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    1. Me too :( Will be the 1st time in my lifetime I see a WC without Italy in it... What a shame :(

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    2. On the bright side. It opens up the possibility for yet another Italian to officiate deep into the World Cup. Of course depending on good performances.

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    3. Lots of other officials ahead of Rocchi IMO!!

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  49. Correct no penalty call by Mateu at 90+1'... Not a punishable handball for me... Ball onto hand, no time to react plus hand in pretty much natural position!!

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  50. Joy for Jonas Eriksson... Not so much for Gianluca Rocchi...

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    1. Yeah, but if you turn it around maybe it lowers the chance for Eriksson to go to Russia. Rocchi has an advantage in Russia now when Italy isn’t there. And i’m fom sweden so I really hope for Eriksson

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  51. Key match incidents (imho, all decisions can be backed) will be discussed much tonight and on next days but let me emphasize one thing: Mateu Lahoz guarantees full control in his games, players love his attitude. As always, unique but perfectly working style of refereeing. I am sure he'll be among World Cup referees. One of the biggest personalities in the refereeing history!

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    1. Mateu Lahoz proved that penalty kicks are overestimated, and they need to be removed from Laws of the game and for that, he should get a plane ticket to Russia even tonight.

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    2. Would've been very interesting to read official report from mr Vlado Sajn. I disagree with you that he can be backed in all decisions, no way (if we do that, then we can throw LOTG in garbage, because everything is grey area and everything is up to referee and his view). At least one handball had to be a penalty, and at least penalty for Italy against Darmian (he didn't play the ball by his hand). Also, Chiellini had to receive at least 2nd RC for elbowing. 7.4 is maximum he could get, but I wouldn't be surprised if he goes under 7.0. If players love his attitude why there were so many complaints?

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    3. I agree. It is funny to see how tonight many people went on criticising the thing Mateu Lahoz clearly had tonight: management. I've only seen three out of the four incidents (missing the last one), but in all of these he can be backed. For me, only the third one (second Italy handball) is a penalty. So not a performance as disastrous as some are trying to sell. In fact, nowhere as close as Velasco's in WC2014 as someone said.

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    4. I think all the KMIs were not so black-white as some of you are suggesting. There were arguments pro and against any decision. And it's a huge difference between passive, keeping both eyes closed Velasco Carballo and preventive and expressive Mateu Lahoz.

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    5. What about the situation in 47'? If you think it is supportable for a touch by arm, this decision goes against the previous penalty appeals... in any case, it is still a crucial mistake for me.
      The same for the missing second YC to Chiellini.

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    6. After rewatching incidents:

      08' - acceptable no whistle; Parolo trails his left leg/foot before contact is made

      13' - very short distance, player-typical hand position (Italian player anticipates that Swede will ran past him from his right side and the outstretched arms would be used to turn toward goal), good no-penalty call

      29' - penalty should've been whistled: move of hand towards the ball, intention to play the ball with hand, however... impossible to detect from the field of play, VAR could have helped Mateu Lahoz

      47' - we can't judge whether there was a handball or not prior Swede's foul on Italian; if there is a contact ball-hand, it should be whistled as the ball is fully expected and there's a move of hand towards the ball, no data to say if the decision to whistle a deliberate handball was right or wrong

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    7. 90+1' - Never a deliberate handball. Technical mistake. Natural arm position.

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    8. Will you upload some video clips?

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    9. Penalty incident and two YCs
      https://streamable.com/94df3

      Handball #1
      https://streamable.com/9ztct
      https://streamable.com/cou94

      Handball #2
      https://streamable.com/io9hc

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  52. It was always going to be a Mission Impossible for Antonio Mateu Lahoz, what an immense match with so many crucial decisions, you must say that before you analyse anything else.
    Definitely a crucial mistake at 47', you absolutely cannot ignore that. I think you can back him on the rest, but that is subjective, there are big arguments for penalties.
    In a medial sense, one can be happy there are very controversial moments affecting both sides, unlike say Kassai or Aytekin recently.
    I have never seen Mateu so hectic, it worked and this is his style, to take THAT many decisions and have full control is a testament to his management- well done for that. In the first half, I would stand by calling it a 'great' or at least 'good' performance, in the second it was only okay, with of course the big mistake.
    Tonight proves imo that Mateu Lahoz is a very good referee, but not on the same level as Çakir, Marciniak (Rizzoli, Clattenburg, Webb), if there is Brych and Kuipers just below then Mateu is next. Fantastic manager, tonight was even a masterclass in an isolated sense of personality, but a bit too hectic honestly.
    Talking of the appointment, his STYLE was perfect for this match, maybe to switch the two legs would have been logical so Çakir to Milan.
    It was impossible to come out of this match without discussions and considering how many crucial decisions he took one can even call him very good, but there are many questions. Still he is a WC referee, a very good referee, an amazing personality, but I don't know he was the best referee for that level of immense match only seen very rarely. It was a Mission Impossible...

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    1. Brych and Kuipers just below Çakir and Marciniak?? Nah I don't agree with that... Marciniak is a talent but in FIFA match Venezuela v Uruguay in U20 World Cup he was pretty much found out in a high pressure situation as he suffered positioning problems and also lost control... Still a lot of hard work to be done for him before he reaches Kuipers' or Brych's level... And based on current form I would rather place Çakir just below Brych and Kuipers and even Mazic... Obviously that's just my opinion :)

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    2. Brych and Kuipers are not the best referees in Europe. I remember their very scandalous decisions. 1-2 good match management does not mean they are good referees. If they were the best referees, they were appointed one of the Italy-Sweden games.

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    3. Point 1 I can point out several such "very scandalous" (using your word) decisions by Mr. Çakir, Mr. Rizzoli (many many more substandard performances than Brych and Kuipers for Rizzoli) and even Mr. Clattenburg and Mr. Webb who were two of the most renowned bottlers of red card decisions at least in PL... And how can you say Italy v Sweden was evaluated as the better game? In fact in all likelihood it wasn't as Mateu wouldn't have got it... Do you have any clue how much challenging a Croatia v Greece match is considered in UEFA circles?? And last but not the least Kuipers has 7 international finals so the powers that be obviously thinks he's a good referee... Sorry Unknown :)

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    4. I am not talking about scandalous performances, I disagree with Unknown there, everyone has a bad match in their career.
      The top list of referees are 'natural' referees with an absolutely huge natural authority who could actually whistle a match without cards, in principle. They are totally polished. Don't get me wrong Brych, Kuipers are AMAZING referees, but Brych relies on cards quite a bit and shouting A LOT (I even really respect his style) and Kuipers is really, really good, but I never saw an absolutely amazing performance from him, like his CL Final was great, but not amazing with a few crudités, and I think after his zenith 2012-14 he wasn't quite ever on the same level.
      Anyway this is besides the point on Mateu, agreed with Ray, Osborne, Chefren, George- this is far away from a disasterous performance.

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    5. For Çakir his zenith is well over and none of his performances are at an amazing level these days... Marciniak I've seen crumbling under pressure... Rizzoli I've never been too impressed with him, even the WC final was awarded after substandard performances, he was in my impression not a courageous Referee and keeps bottling several decisions... That's the reason among the current crop no one can be labelled as amazing (now this definition of amazing is very, very subjective)... Overall currently Brych, Kuipers, Mazic and then Çakir and Skomina are my top 5 UEFA referees :)

      Delete
  53. I’m not satisfied with Mateu Lahoz today, let Italy do some strange things and some strange free kicks.
    Do anyone understand why the swedish keeper was booked?(the ball bounced of him after it bounced on a sign behind the goal)

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    1. He intentionally threw the ball to waste time...

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  54. I am fairly sure in Italy there will be less talking about Lahoz than there was about Cakir for 1st leg (he was criticised for his management of elbows), and this says all about how random and country-specific media attention on the referee is.
    I also would like to emphasise how VAR would have radically changed the nature of this game - somehow in both positive (penalty incident reviews) and negative ways (frequent interruptions).

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  55. I want to say that I'm shocked after I read some previous posts.
    After this "performance" of Mateu Lahoz I didn't expect words like: "guarantees full control in his games", "players love his attitude", "in all of these (incidents) he can be backed" etc. I repeat: I'm shocked to see how some users try to defend or protect Lahoz.

    Guys, in this game Lahoz was a disaster. A huge one. It was the most terrible performance of a referee I ever saw (in high-profile football). The referee missed 4 (four) penalties and a red card for Chiellini (2nd yellow, or directly red, as you like).
    Do you need a voleyball-block in order to whistle a handball ? Even italian commentators from RAI (and also Gazzetta dello Sport) considered both situations as penalties.
    I think I saw 20 re-plays (at RAI) and I can tell you that Darmian didn't touch the ball with the hand. My opinion is Lahoz whistled only after italian players protested. Than he invented a handball as a good reason for his no-penalty decision (it's only my opinion).
    About the 1st situation (in the 1st half) Lahoz clearly indicated that defender played the ball which was not true. It was also a penalty.

    UEFA pushed Mateu Lahoz a lot in recent years despite he made mistakes in some games: penalty in Arsenal- Marseille, two penalties not given (for handballs) in Serbia u20- Hungary u20 etc. He was backed by UEFA all the time. I understand why, because it was needed a new top-referee from Spain. But, with this policy, Mateu Lahoz probably started to believe that every decision will take he will be backed by everybody. That's not the case. Esspecially tonight.

    In normal circumstances Mateu Lahoz is out from Russia 2018. Same consequence for Hategan, who made (only) a big mistake.

    P.S I hope Chefren won't delete this post !

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    Replies
    1. To maintain neutrality on the blog. And to ensure that there are varying opinions. Your comment should not be deleted. Doing so would show that the bog only wants to highlight what they deem good while opposing opinions are not welcomed or discouraged. But not everything in officiating is roses and bunny rabbits. At times there will be criticism.

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    2. I wont delete this comment because as long as you write your opinion without using inappropriate terms, it is ok.
      However, saying that Mateu Lahoz decided to whistle the handball just to avoid the penalty call is a very strong statement, and you can guess I don't like to read that.
      You must be sure / you must have clear proofs, otherwise it means you think he was biased. Of course your responsibility is in your words.
      In addition, true that there were some games with clear mistakes committeed by Mateu Lahoz, and you reported some of them, but at the same time there were other ones with good / more than good perfomances, so it is always easy to make a such kind of speech, if one wants to go against a referee. Of course, I'm not writing just because I want to defend him, but I think you must take into account everything, before drawing some conclusions.

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    3. No reason to delete this post as it's your opinion, as long as we never question the integrity of a referee we should be able to speak freely.

      The hysteria surrounding this match from the media is to be expected given its nature and that ultimately a world power has failed to qualify. With this hysteria comes increased scrutiny and that is part of being a top official. Lahoz is one of my favourite UEFA officials and players and manages respect and accept him more than most. I believe he entered this match with a game plan, like Mazic(no easy caution to suspend player) and Kuipers(gain respect by not overreacting with sanctions as the outcome is almost decided). The plan to only whistle what is absolutely clear on the field of play - the FIFA way -and to use demonstrative body language(this was more than usual and too much for me) helped him control the game. Yes some of his calls were challenged, that happens in a tense match and he was alert to that.

      He was not a disaster. First question of any accessor is did he maintain control? Yes he did.

      Hand ball is the most difficult to assess. Unless it is a volleyball block there
      will always be criteria which supports either decision.

      We should never be influenced by journalists or tv analysts.

      He is pushed because he referees in one of the most scrutinised and intense leagues in the world. If you can perform in La Liga you can be trusted on international matches.

      The first penalty incident is a penalty for me. Maybe Lahoz believed the fall of the attacker came to easily.

      I believe the final penalty incident is also a penalty. He just hasn't seen this clearly in my opinion. Unfortunately it happens.

      I'm sure he will still travel to Russia, I don't think his place was ever in doubt. Unfortunately for Hategun he had fought hard and proved himself for one of the two "open" spaces but I feel his error will see him miss out.

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    4. Even if he maintained control, which he did, he had 2 (from me) KMI's.

      I am sorry but such performances are not enough for WC level.

      Delete
    5. I want to say something about commentators. Because there are commentators and ...italian commentators. Speaking about myself I watch football on italian channels (Sky, Premium, RAI). Imho italian commentators are very, very good. They are always updated with latest tendencies in refereeing. For example I invite you to watch this recent video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NknVNkzACP8 Rossetti and Rizzoli were invited in Sky's studio to explain everything about VAR in front of ~ 40 commentators (including former players like Costacurta, Ambrosini, Bergomi, Marocchi, Adani etc)
      Also, when you see (sometimes from the stadium) and comment a huge number of games from Serie A, Champions League or Europa League, Premier League, La Liga, european qualifiers etc I consider you know some football. Even if we talking about duo Caressa- Beppe Bergomi or Campagnaro- Luca Marchegiani, or Premier League commentators (Marianella, Ruggero, Ciaravano) or the rest from Sky (like Zancan, Di Marzio etc) or Pierluigi Pardo from Premium etc etc. they know a lot of football. Believe me !

      For this reason I said last night that even italian commentators agreed that both handballs were penalties against Italy !

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    6. The fact that they are from Italy, watch a lot of football and know things about refereeing is not an assurance that something is a crucial mistake.

      Trouble with handballs is that they are really difficult to assess. In this blog, people use normally these criteria: hand to ball or ball to hand movement, natural/unnatural position of the hand, distance and chance to avoid, etc. But the natural or unnatural position of the hand is a subjective criteria in many cases, as is distance and avoidance chances. So even with these criteria, you get grey areas that are at the discretion of the referee.

      Commentators also see replays in slow-motion, which doesn't help for the distance/time-to-react criteria and sometimes doesn't either for the natural/unnatural position (it is not the same thing to be standing with the arm extended than running towards the ball. In the first situation, likely it is an unnatural position. In the second, not necessarily. If the sequence shown on TV is not long enough, perspective about this can be lost).

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  56. If this type of performance is deemed acceptable or even good by UEFA standards. Then the referees from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL have nothing to worry about competition wise come World Cup time. The only worry they should have is that Busacca is unfortunately still running the show and his Euroficaction of FIFA officiating continues.

    I'm no fan of Geiger. But I would have taken him over Lahoz today.

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    Replies
    1. Geiger would have whistled three penalties, I'm sure of that. I do not want to think how accepted he would have been.

      FIFA does seem to favour UEFA referees at the moment. All I want to see in Russia is fair treatment of all officials. I like Lahoz, but with that performance in Russia he should be sent home, the same for all referees.

      To clarify, one performance does not make you a bad referee, it just means this wasn't your time.

      Delete
  57. Penalty in South Korea - Serbia
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC8W4uhI60M
    What you think?

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  58. In an overall expected level first half by Marciniak, the only point for discussion is the situation occurred in 40'. Ireland asked for a penalty there, in my opinion correct by Marciniak to play on.
    In addition, maybe offside missed by AR2 in 22' or 23' (chance for IRL)?

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  59. No problems for Szymon Marciniak in Dublin. Solid first half by the Polish, correctly rejected penalty appeal by Ireland at around minute 40, a whistle would have been very soft.

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  60. 15' - Correctly not given penalty, undeliberate handball
    https://streamable.com/o9mwm

    24' - Missed tight offside by AR2 (?)
    https://streamable.com/ar7l5

    41' - Correctly not given penalty, normal duel
    https://streamable.com/uw8kc

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    Replies
    1. Maybe the tip of the foot was offside but well... absolutely OK to stay down with flag here.

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  61. 58': in terms of alertness regarding potentially serious injures of players, Marciniak is always excellent. Now he correctly whistled a previous foul, then the fouled player had a contact with another opponent (absolutely accidental) and head was involved. Marciniak was quick in his management.

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  62. Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP) vs. Szymon Marciniak (POL) - not even possible to compare. My congratulations to the Polish referee. Full control of the games, calm with positive attitude and approach.

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  63. 58' - perfect injury management
    https://streamable.com/57n1o

    62' - goal after advantage
    https://streamable.com/b3lae

    89' - correct penalty and delayed whistle technique, superb!
    https://streamable.com/njra5

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    1. First class from Marciniak, very well done. He looked at his best here, motivated and fully concentrated performance.

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    2. In last 2-3 years Marciniak is surely among 3 best European refs, if not the best one (I am speaking about Euro competitions, both club and national team's competitions - RayHD reported that he made several big mistakes in Poland and that fans don't like to see him on the pitch). I can remember maybe one or two mistakes from him in last 3 years, which is superb. The match tonight was quite easy (the same goes for Mazic in 1st leg and what is the most interesting for me: no cards in those 2 matches in very, very important games for both sides - Danish and Irish players were real gentlemen and sportsmen). For me, the best of Marciniak were several excellent advantages, where he shoved his sense for the game. For me, he deserved final in any European competition a long time ago and i believe he'll get all the finals in years to come.

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  64. Indeed the feeling for the game in Marciniak is something I can't find in any other referee: attention to every detail (injures, advantage and so on...). Sometimes referees fail in applying that when needed, Marciniak is consistent in every game. In addition to that, this extremely firm, calm, and composed body language makes him really superb. Definitely a talent. Of course he will make some mistakes as well every now and then, but it is absolutely impossible to deny his development and excellent style of refereeing.

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