Friday, 26 January 2018

UEFA 26th Advanced Course for Top Referees Malta 2018 - List of participants

Knockout stages of European  competitions are coming, and UEFA referees must be ready. This year the courses for both top UEFA referees and new FIFA referees will take place in Malta, from 29/01 to 31/01. We are pleased to provide you the list of participants in the Advanced Course for Top Referees. 
Aliyar Aghayev (Azerbaijan, Category 2)
Alexey Kulbakov (Belarus, Category 1)
Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria, Category 2)
Pavel Královec (Czech Republic, Elite)
Jakob Kehlet (Denmark, Category 1)
Martin Atkinson (England, Elite)
Michael Oliver (England, Elite)
Anthony Taylor (England, Elite)
Craig Pawson (England, Category 2)
Clément Turpin (France, Elite)
Benoît Bastien (France, Category 1)
Ruddy Buquet (France, Category 1)
Deniz Aytekin (Germany, Elite)
Felix Brych (Germany, Elite)
Felix Zwayer (Germany, Elite)
Tobias Stieler (Germany, Category 1)
Daniel Siebert (Germany, Category 2)
Anastasios Sidiropoulos (Greece, Elite)
Viktor Kassai (Hungary, Elite)
Tamás Bognár (Hungary, Category 1)
Liran Liany (Israel, Category 1)
Daniele Orsato (Italy, Elite)
Gianluca Rocchi (Italy, Elite)
Luca Banti (Italy, Category 1)
Davide Massa (Italy, Category 2)
Gediminas Mažeika (Lithuania, Category 1)
Nikola Dabanović (Montenegro, Category 2)
Björn Kuipers (Netherlands, Elite)
Danny Makkelie (Netherlands, Elite)
Serdar Gözübüyül (Netherlands, Category 1)
Svein Odvar Moen (Norway, Category 1)
Szymon Marciniak (Poland, Elite)
Paweł Raczkowski (Poland, Category 1)
Daniel Stefański (Poland, Category 1)
Manuel de Sousa (Portugal, Category 1)
Artur Dias (Portugal, Category 1)
Ovidiu Alin Haţegan (Romania, Elite)
István Kovács (Romania, Category 1)
Sergey Karasev (Russia, Elite)
Vladislav Bezborodov (Russia, Category 1)
William Collum (Scotland, Elite)
Robert Madden (Scotland, Category 1)
Milorad Mažić (Serbia, Elite)
Srđan Jovanović (Serbia, Category 2)
Ivan Kružliak (Slovakia, Category 1)
Damir Skomina (Slovenia, Elite)
Matej Jug (Slovenia, Category 1)
Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia, Category 1)
David Fernández Borbalán (Spain, Elite)
Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain, Elite)
Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain, Elite)
Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain, Category 1)
Carlos Del Cerro Grande (Spain, Category 1)
Jonas Eriksson (Sweden, Elite)
Andreas Ekberg (Sweden, Category 1)
Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey, Elite)

Vesna Budimir (Croatia, Category 1)
Ivana Martinčić (Croatia, Category 1)
Sofia Karagiorgi (Cyprus, Category 1)
Jana Adamkova (Czech Republic, Elite)
Olga Zadinova (Czeh Republic, Elite)
Lina Lehtovaara (Finland, Elite)
Stéphanie Frappart (France, Elite)
Florence Guillemin (France, Category 1)
Riem Hussein (Germany, Elite)
Bibiana Steinhaus (Germany, Elite)
Katalin Anna Kulcsár (Hungary, Elite)
Eszter Urbán (Hungary, Category 1)
Monika Mularczyk (Poland, Elite)
Sandra Braz Bastos (Portugal, Elite)
Anastasia Pustovoitova (Russia, Elite)
Lorraine Watson Clark (Scotland, Elite)
Petra Pavliková (Slovakia, Category 1)
Pernilla Larsson (Sweden, Elite)
Sara Persson (Sweden, Elite)
Esther Staubili (Switzerland, Elite)
Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine, Elite)

Referees who are missing on this list shouldn't be appointed for a game in KO stages. As already reported, during the same days the new FIFA referees will attend their Introductory Course, having also the chance to work together with the Top referees. You can find the new names on international list here, in this previous post. 


  1. Great post; thank you so much !!!!
    Have you any details on the agenda of the workshop ?
    I see a huge list of attendees (no cost saving ... :-)). At first glance (I will check carefully later on), some Category 1 are not invited, like Stavrev, Grafe and Blom. On other hand I see some promising Category 2 like as Jovanovic and Siebert. good choice, they should ramp on category 1 in June. This list means that Categories need to be updated; it doesn't mean keep ion category 1 referees like as Evans Boiko or Gestranious (just as example) if they are not appointed for EL group stage and they are not called for this meeting.

    1. As for the missing Category 1 referees: None of the three (!) Category 1 referees from Austria (Drachta, Lechner, Schörgenhofer) is invited as happened already last year - very disappointing situation for Austria ...

    2. Hello Peter, is there any problem with the management of referees in Austria?

      Portugal (my country) is also having problems in the affirmation of its referees, but everyone knows the reasons: many suspicions about the management of the referees by President Vitor Melo Pereira until 2016 (date when he was removed), suspicions benefits to a club who have won the last championships, new international referees without sufficient quality (Verissimo, Martins, Pinheiro, for example).

    3. @f.
      No, I haven't any detail about the agenda and the program, but believe me, it is already something remarkable to have the list of participants. We can't ask for more.

    4. UEFA usually a post featuring a small video on their website about the course, which is fairly interesting.
      For instance after WC 2014, the post was titled with a quote from Collina saying "referee's do not whistle matches to be popular" or words like that, so clearly (and naturally) he would have criticised a number of Busacca's instructions, like to avoid any evitable YCs for teams likely to progress to the last matches of the championship etcetera.

    5. @Peter: Really disappointing, especially regarding Lechner who attended the U21-EURO in summer and had 3 UEL Group Stage appointments in 2017.

    6. @DA: Some people blame the management of referees and the lack of lobbying activities for the current situation of Austria's FIFA referees. My personal impression, however, is that UEFA gave all our Category 1 referees their chances and that they simply made too many mistakes in crucial matches. I can understand UEFA's decision not to invite Schörgenhofer and Drachta (no candidates for promotion due to their age) as well as Lechner (Europa League debut in 2011, not considered any more until 2014, his U17 EURO 2012 and U21 EURO 2017 performances also were not that outstanding). Now I have the feeling that the extended list of participants in Malta was set up with regard to the EURO 2020 - meaning that UEFA relies on other promising talents whereas Austria also won't be represented during that tournament in two years.

  2. No Bebek,Zelinka,Nijhuis...surprise!

  3. Very interning to see the complete list. Thank you. I believe this is the beginning of "changing the guard", UEFA seem to be looking to the future.

    Some of the names are new to me, with some real regulars missing. The knock out phase appointments will reveal a lot.

  4. So no match for Bebek in K.O. of EL?

    That is a huge surprise.

  5. Of the 51 referees in category 1, they were not invited:

    Fernandez Road

    1. Mostly, I think that the main reason there was the age.
      Committee wanted to give more opportunity to young and Category 2 referees, with a chance to develop in future.
      Stavrev, Bebek, Göçek, Schörgenhofer, Mazzoleni, Blom and so on, all are at least 40 years old and they are already at a certain point of their career. Then we have surely also performance assessment, for example Özkahya. We can't forget the incredible mistake made in EL group stage, and I think he is now even in danger as Category 1 referee.
      Other names were never taken into account for something important: Boyko, Evans, Pisani and so on (this was already written by f. as well).
      "Fernandez Road" should be "Estrada Fernández", indeed also for him a question of age (41) and there is also a strong competitor like Del Cerro Grande.
      Interesting the Russian situation, after Karasev, committee has trusted Bezborodov (45 years old), in spite of Eskov (39). In this case, the speech can be about performances. I didn't follow Eskov in his EL group stage games.
      Bezborodov is the oldest referee, if we exclude Atkinson, who is Elite referee and of course he must be there.
      Finally, about Nijhuis it would be interesting to know whether committee took any action against him, following his public statements about the EL game he officiated, involving Everton. Indeed, he is out from that date (19 October) without the third presence in group stage.

    2. Well, some surprises. I execpted especially Lechner, Bebek, Zelinka, Vad, Treimanis, Nijhuis and Gil to be there.

  6. Ante Rebic' foul in Eintracht Frankfurt - Borussia Mönchengladbach. Yellow card issued by Marco Fritz, no VAR (Günter Perl) intervention.

    1. Very close to SFP but maybe given that there wasn't an excessive force, YC could be still a supportabl choice.
      In any case, RC would have been better, and I think VAR had to invite referee to rewatch the incident.

    2. I agree. Two penalty incidents, not reviewed. Imo, the first is not clear because the fall looks unnatural, but the penalty given is clearly wrong.

    3. The foul is clear SFP for me and I would have expected VAR intervention and a correction there.
      But with your argumentation (small doubts, RC was only "better"), the VAR acted correctly according to the latest instructions. He should only invite the referee to the review, if he is convinced, it was a clear mistake. Furthermore one could argue, that Fritz had a clear view on the situation and would not gain anything by a review.
      First penalty situation: Should be a penalty IMO, but not clear enough for VAR intervention
      Second penalty situation: Decision seems OK to me (defender doesn't get the ball, then it is a kind of tripping)

    4. "A player may shield the ball by taking a position between an opponent and the ball if the ball is within playing distance and the opponent is not held off with
      the arms or body. If the ball is within playing distance, the player may be fairly charged by an opponent."

      imo, the ball was clearly within playing distance

    5. Super clear serious foul play.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. 1. SFP
      2. Clear PK. What are the substitute players doing next to the corner flag, should not they be somwhere else for wrm-up?
      3. PK. in order to shield the ball, the player has ta have it under control first. It is clear the white player did not have the ball under control and his action was taken with only one aim, to prevent the shoot.

  7. FA CUP
    Fourth Round (1/32)

    1 Liverpool FC v West Bromwich Albion FC (27/Jan 1945)
    Referee Craig Pawson
    Assistant Referees Lee Betts & Adam Nunn
    Fourth Official Jonathan Moss
    VAR Andre Marriner
    AVAR Peter Kirkup

    2 Peterborough United FC v Leicester City FC (27/Jan 1230)
    Referee Michael Oliver
    Assistant Referees Simon Bennett & Edward Smart
    Fourth Official Stephen Martin

    3 Huddersfield Town FC v Birmingham City FC
    Referee Neil Swarbrick
    Assistant Referees Michael McDonough & Daniel Leach
    Fourth Official Darren Drysdale

    4 Notts County FC v Swansea City FC
    Referee Michael Jones
    Assistant Referees Adrian Holmes & Daniel Robathan
    Fourth Official Darren England

    5 Yeovil Town FC 0-4 Manchester United FC (26/Jan)
    Referee Paul Tierney
    Assistant Referees Steve Child & Sian Massey-Ellis
    Fourth Official Keith Stroud

    6 Sheffield Wednesday FC 3-1 Reading FC (26/Jan)
    Referee John Brooks
    Assistant Referees Akil Howson & Craig Taylor
    Fourth Official Ross Joyce

    7 Cardiff City FC v Manchester City FC (28/Jan 1600)
    Referee Lee Mason
    Assistant Referees Simon Long & Simon Beck
    Fourth Official Robert Jones

    8 Milton Keynes Dons FC v Coventry City FC
    Referee Peter Bankes
    Assistant Referees Dan Cook & Duncan Street
    Fourth Official John Busby

    9 Millwall FC v Rochdale AFC
    Referee Andrew Madley
    Assistant Referees Stuart Burt & Callum Walchester
    Fourth Official Nicholas Kinseley

    10 Southampton FC v Watford FC
    Referee Robert Madley
    Assistant Referees Mark Scholes & Marc Perry
    Fourth Official Dean Whitestone

    11 Middlesbrough FC v Brighton & Hove Albion FC
    Referee Anthony Taylor
    Assistant Referees Matthew Wilkes & Nick Hopton
    Fourth Official Ben Toner

    12 Wigan Athletic FC v West Ham United
    Referee Christopher Kavanagh
    Assistant Referees Scott Ledger & Nick Greenhalgh
    Fourth Official Tony Harrington

    13 Hull City v Nottingham Forest FC
    Referee Stuart Attwell
    Assistant Referees Shaun Hudson & Geoffrey Russell
    Fourth Official Andy Haines

    14 Newport County AFC v Tottenham Hotspur (27/Jan 1730)
    Referee Roger East
    Assistant Referees Gary Beswick & Harry Lennard
    Fourth Official Oliver Langford

    15 Chelsea v Newcastle United FC (28/Jan 1330)
    Referee Kevin Friend
    Assistant Referees Constantine Hatzidakis & Ian Hussin
    Fourth Official Simon Hooper

    16 Sheffield United FC v Preston North End FC
    Referee Graham Scott
    Assistant Referees Richard West & Anthony Da Costa
    Fourth Official David Webb

  8. A potential offside goal was given in Leipzig-Hamburg today. On this replay, it looks as if it was offside, I hope that we only have the wrong camera angle. There was no VAR intervention. What do you think?

    1. It looks like an extremely tight offside, I also think that AR was not perfectly positioned. In any case, given the angle, we can't be 100% sure. If VAR had not other cameras for checking the incident, it is supportable to back the choice of the officials on the pitch.

    2. Picture from German TV:

      Tight offside. VAR should have other angles to check the situation, otherwise I cannot understand why there hasn't been any intervention!

  9. Meanwhile in Bosnia and Hezegovina,
    referee Dragan Petrović is new on 2018 FIFA list, but his English is not so good...
    Bosnian football federation statement:
    "UEFA won't count on Petrović because he failed English test. He delivered the certificate to us, but he made some mistakes during the conversation with people from the UEFA."

    Again, nothing good in Bosnian football.

  10. OT :

    Björn Kuipers was appointed for SC Heerenveen v Sparta Rotterdam yesterday with regular assistants van Roekel and Zeinstra but was later replaced by Gözübüyük... Can somebody please tell the reason for the change?? I hope there's no injury or anything unfortunate involved 😨

    1. Just found an article in the KNVB website which said Kuipers was replaced "as a precaution to a minor injury" :özübüyük-vervangt-kuipers-bij-heerenveen-sparta

      This is such a bad news... I'm so disappointed 😞

    2. I hope that Kuipers will recover soon. Waiting for his appointments in ko stages. As preselected referee for WC he has to pay attention to every minimum signal from his body.
      Very likely, it is nothing serious, but how much important is prevention... especially for the Dutch, who will have the final act of his careeer in Russia.
      My best wishes.

  11. Chefren, what are your thoughts on the third Atalanta goal (offside? impeding the GK?) and a long-lasting review process? I'm sorry for Domenico Rocca, Serie B assistant referee, who missed quite clear offside and the 0-2 goal was disallowed after VAR intervention and later such a mess occurred.

    1. Yes, some interesting offside situations in Sassuolo - Atalanta, an assistant referee from serie B was involved there. As you said, at first a goal scored by Atalanta was disallowed, there was a clear offside missed a few seconds before. Strange that assistant referee missed it.
      Then, the most interesting situation was about the 3-0. It was confirmed after a VAR review by Valeri, but at first the same assistant referee had raised his flag for offside.
      I think that it is a very borderline situation. Player in offside was close to keeper but at the same time keeper tried to make his save, being unable to reach the ball. So, he saw the ball coming and his line of vision was not obstructed. The decision by Valeri can be in my opinion backed, it was his discretion, but I think offside would have been a better choice there, because the player was really close and we can't be sure about the real chances to save the ball by keeper, having more free space.

    2. What was the decision before the review at the 3-0?

    3. I don't know it exactly, but I can guess it was both for the offside assessment and a possible foul on a player by Sassuolo, who complained with the referee, showing his shirt, broken by opponent. However, in my opinion, despite of the shirt, it wasn't a significant holding.

    4. Well, it is probably not a clear and obvious situation, so whatever the decision before the review was, should have been maintained (and there should not have been a review).
      If Valeri already awarded the goal, it was correct to keep it. If he agreed with the AR's offside call, this should not have been changed.

  12. Thanks chefren for the list of the attendees at advanced course. I asked many times to uefa some details but definitevely they told me that since 3 years infos are no more public.
    Yes Peter I'm disappointed too for missing officials from Austria. Switzerland and Belgium too do not have any representative; it's a pity considering their good tradion on refereeing: Ponnet, Van Langhenove, De Bleckeere, Galler, Roethlinsberger, Daina, Meier, Busacca, Kohl, Brummaier, etc

  13. Hi @chefren. Question. Im unclear about penalty kick after the extra time is finished. So after the kick has taken and goalkeper save the penalty the game is finished or another player or even the kicker can score a goal ? Thank you

    1. If the penalty is the last action of the game and referee has decided to whistled the end immediately after the execution, in case of save by keeper, the game ends there. No chance for the kicker of another player to shot again and to score a goal. In such situations, referee can work in prevention by instructing the players about that, saying something like "After the kick, I will whistle the end, so no need to follow the the ball".

    2. Thank you for your time. I needed this clarification cause in the laws of the game I think its a little bit confuse this situation

  14. Three controversial scenes for VAR in the FA Cup yesterday. Craig Pawson was the referee and Andre Marriner functioned as VAR (if FA want an English referee to attend WC as VAR, why only send Jones Marriner Swarbrick?)
    Starting at 2:40

    1) Was the offside player clearly active in that play?
    2) Was the no penalty decision on the pitch taken clearly wrong?
    Did Pawson have to go to the screen, as he might have had no perception on the situation at all?
    Once Pawson went to the screen was there any scope for not whistling a penalty?
    3) Offside?

    Plus there were some good silent checks, clearly referees have learnt from Confederations Cup and stopping play restarting is a key part of VAR training now.

    1. I forgot the link :-D

    2. Thanks for the post.
      1) Correct decision to disallow the goal for offside, player is exactly in front of keeper, for me active position.
      2) I think that Pawson missed the incident on the pitch, he didn't have any perception of what had happened. In this case, also here in Italy, there is a big question. Is that the same concept as "clear mistake"? Difficult to answer, but surely this can be a good tool for referee, if he wants to check again an incident. In this specific case, once rewatched the situation, of course penalty must be whistled...
      3) No offside.

    3. Fully agreed here- regards

  15. YC/RC moment in the match FC Utrecht - Ajax with Danny Makkelie. Here is the video:
    Makkelie gave a YC but imo this is a red card for SFP.

    1. No doubt. SFP and red card missing by referee Makkelie.

  16. Lee Mason in the Cardiff v Man City match showing why VAR is needed...

    1. If this foul on Sane is not a RC offense, then nothing is:

    2. Clear RC for SFP to be issued.

  17. Letexier with another awful penalty awarded, after the huge mistake a few weeks ago in Toulouse - Lyon. How is this ref still getting matches in Ligue 1?

    1. I've been following Letexier for quite a while, also when he was still a second division referee. Letexier is a huge talent but the French Committee doesn't seem to learn from their previous mistakes by putting him into far too big matches (just like they did with Turpin at the time). Remember that he made his L1 debut in January 2016 only and that he's on the FIFA list for over a year now. It's not the first big match he is struggling, he also had problems in Monaco-Nice about two weeks ago. And I think that Letexier might even be planned for the League Cup Final at the end of March, given the appointments it looks as if he is prepared for something this season.

  18. Please calm down, the attacking player dived perfectly, that's the reason for the mistake.

  19. Very very poor performance by Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva in the game Barcelona - Alaves.
    - Missed handball from Pique at the 1-1
    - Missed offside before the 2-1
    - Missed violent conduct by Luis Suarez => missed RC
    - Missed handball by Umtiti => missed DOGSO/ PK
    - 9 fouls, some reckless, made by Wakaso => NO YC
    This is not the first time that these referee missed some key situations in a game.

    1. Small correction: Wakaso did indeed receive a YC in the first half. IMO, Piqué's handball is almost unspottable and likely undeliberate.

      But all other points remain true. Specially the offside, which was very clear.

      Something to remark is that Iglesias Villanueva is the same referee who didn't give Messi's goal in Mestalla not that long ago.

    2. Yes you are right about Wakaso, but after that YC he made some reckless fouls so he has luck that he did not recieve his second YC

      In Mestalla he missed that the ball passed the goalline

  20. - Missed handball from Pique at the 1-1

    1. Clearly not deliberate so I don’t seehow that’s missed.

  21. 2 correct red cards in Juventus match. The second red was a very weird act by the player who made a gesture as he was handcuffed by the referee and because of that he got a red card.

    1. I really liked Maresca refereeing. Big, big talent, calm, firm referee who doesn't hesitate to make big decisions. I hope he'll get a FIFA badge soon.

    2. He is a good typical Italian referee who doesn’t let players own him. He shows who is boss.

    3. Yes, differently from other referees, Maresca doesn't hesitate when he has to show YC or RC. Sometimes this attitude doesn't help a referee in being accepted by teams and player, but I prefer such approach. He simply applies LotG. I think this was the best performance of serie A week end, but yesterday it was a disaster (sorry for this term, but it is needed) with many controversial decisions in many games.
      In Milan - Lazio (referee Irrati, VAR Rocchi), the first goal scored by Milan was a handball, it was shown only in second half on tv, and our feeling is that nobody had the perception that player had scored with arm. All players and fans thought it had been a head butt.
      But the most controversial game was Crotone - Cagliari.
      Referee: Tagliavento, VAR: Damato.
      00:01 penalty whistled after a VAR review, supportable decision but always the same question, was "play on" a clear mistake by referee?
      00:59 RC for SFP, decision by Tagliavento, then Damato from VAR invited him to rewatch the incident, Tagliavento confirmed his decision. I think supportable. Both players with raised legs, but you can see the player from Cagliari hitting the knee of the opponent after having kicked the ball. Could YC have been enough? However for me no mistake, while Damato from VAR was not convinced.

      Then, the last situation of the game and here it is difficult to find explanations, to be honest.
      01:53 goal at first allowed, and then disallowed after VAR review, for offside.
      First of all, I think that everything started from a hesitation by AR1, he was not sure, he didn't allow immediately the call and he talked to referee. Tagliavento went to the monitor and he disallowed the goal. The reason seems to be that, on the head by attacker, the two players in offside (2:12) were assessed as active, influencing the keeper. A clearly wrong reading, and I really can't understand what Tagliavento assessed rewatching the scene. They just run, they don't try to play the ball, they don't make any gesture, and keeper doesn't even see them. Really shocking.

    4. 1) I have difficulties to see the foul for the penalty from that perspective. Maybe they had a different one available, otherwise it would be a mistake to change the decision IMO.
      2) Harsh, but not wrong RC. So the VAR intervention + Tagliavento's decision is acceptable, I think. No VAR intervention would have been better though.
      3) Agreed with you. Again (like in Sassuolo-Atalanta) the referee needs to make a decision regarding the offside first. Then the VAR can check it and only in case of big doubts, invite the referee to the review (if still necessary).

      In Germany, there is a very strict interpretation of "clear and obvious mistake" at the moment, which leads to a very small number of VAR interventions (around 1 per MD). Basically a good idea, but it leads to some situations, where for most people VAR intervention was missing (some clips have been posted here).
      So it is interesting, that this seems not to be the case in Italy - a lot of alignment would be necessary before the World Cup...

    5. Other incidents from yesterday's games.

      Genoa - Udinese Referee: Pairetto VAR: Calvarese
      01:10 RC for SFP after VAR review. Referee had issued YC, he was called to rewatch the incident. Absolutely correct, in my opinion. Clear SFP with studs up on opponent's leg.

      Napoli - Bologna Referee: Mazzoleni VAR: Orsato
      00:44 handball by Napoli player on a shot on goal, referee played on without rewatching the incident, there were big discussions for this decision, we can't be sure whether Mazzoleni had the exact perception of the incident. In my opinion penalty would have been harsh, but we all agree that he had at least to rewatch the incident.
      01:03 penalty whistled to Napoli, more than soft decision, you can see just an arm on the shoulder and then player falling down... there was a silent check with VAR, and also in this case decision was confirmed without revision, very controversial but supportable just because there was this small touch... VAR was not allowed to annul the call there.

      A better video for Napoli - Bologna, with some replays about the handball.
      2:15 and 3:00
      About the penalty whistled, I must add, after the silent check referee issued YC, so very likely there was a consultation about that.
      Mazzoleni had problems in communicating with VAR and he had to use Fourth Official's headphones, for this reason in the video you can see him coming back into the pitch from the sideline.

    7. About the handball: In any case not a clear and obvious mistake (otherwise there would have been more complaints...), so correct decision by the VAR and no need for a review.
      About the penalty: Correct procedure, I think. But consulting about the YC would not be right (because RC certainly was not an option). I assume, Mazzoleni just waited with the card until his decisions was confirmed. Makes sense, but I am not sure, what are the instructions for that.

      No handball, well seen by referee and VAR.

    9. Actually, situation is not 100% clear.
      You can see here from this pic that very likely the touch occurred by arm:

      Meanwhile, yesterday in Atalanta - Juventus (Coppa Italia semifinal, first leg), Valeri whistled this penalty after a VAR review: (00:40)
      In my opinion, very harsh decision. I think he had totally missed the incident live, also due to fog... :)

    10. Philip clearly it touches the arm but it’s not close to deliberate anyway so nothing to whistle. You only think it didn’t touch it because your link has very few frames per second.

  22. ''Europe’s leading referees in Malta for UEFA winter course''

  23. 2 clear and obvious fouls missed by the referee leads to total chaos. Hope the video is visible outside of Sweden.

    1. He didnt missed them, he wanted to continue play since their attacker had the ball.

    2. Clearly miss them. No advantage sign and both are obvious yellow cards. No way in the world he wanted to let play continue there if he saw the foul. In that case he is terrible.

  24. Shocking only yellow given here

  25. Does anyone have a link to UEFA RAP 2017:2? I am grateful in advance.

  26. Two important VAR interventions in the French League Cup semifinal.

    1) Disallowed goal for handling the ball.
    In my view, a correct decision to initiate a review and to disallow the goal: the ball jumps to the arm from another body part, but the arm is in an unnatural position and allows the player to control the ball before shooting on goal. In my view, this can be seen as deliberate handling.

    2) RC for Mbappé for SFP

    Mbappé with a dangerous studs-up tackle on Sarr, Lesage firstly issues a YC for a reckless tackle, he then receives a signal by VAR to review the situation, where he clearly detects the dangerous nature of the foul. In real time, I think the dangerous nature of the foul is quite difficult to detect, therefore I'd say an excellent intervention of the VAR. Fully correct RC in my view for SFP!

    What do you think? (Sorry for the low quality videos, I found them on social media, I did not have the chance yet to make better clips).

    1. Even Mbappe said it after the match that it was clear RC so no doubt there.


  28. 15 February

    Paweł Raczkowski - Michał Obukowicz, Tomasz Listkiewicz - Radosław Siejka - Tomasz Musiał, Tomasz Kwiatkowski

    Daniel Stefański - Marcin Boniek, Dawid Golis - Krzysztof Myrmus - Bartosz Frankowski, Zbigniew Dobrynin

  29. Serie A appointments for this week-end:


    BENEVENTO – NAPOLI h.20.45



    H. VERONA – ROMA h.12.30

    INTER – CROTONE Sabato 03/02 h.20.45
    IV: GIUA


    LAZIO – GENOA Lunedì 05/02 h.20.45

    SAMPDORIA – TORINO Sabato 03/02 h.18.00


    Both Orsato and Rocchi will officiate on Saturday. Irrati and Valeri are out from all the appointments. I think that all of them will attend the FIFA course in Qatar on next week. I'm trying to collect info about that, if you have any news about the call for a referee, please don't hesitate to inform us. I expect that all the VAR specialists will be there on next week.

    1. Might be old news (article from November)
      "The second workshop will be held with 37 referees featuring in it from February 5 to 9. The second session will see FIFA announcing the final list of referees and video officials who will take charge of 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia."

    2. Newer article:

      37 might be a realistic number for selected referees + VARs.
      Or it is just the 36 from the latest list we know + someone added.
      Or both - but that seems unlikely...

    3. Mateu Lahoz is not appointed for this weekend nor for the next, so he should be there.

  30. Carlos Clos Gómez will be responsible for VAR implementation in Primera División. First seminar: 7-8 February in Valencia.

    1. If your source is the press release by CTA RFEF, then I have to say that it is not exactly accurate: Clos Gómez will give an introductory speech to the referees, but it doesn't say that he will be responsible for the implementation.

      Of course, if you have other sources, then you'll be right and will be good news!

    2. Yeah, after this release I see it as he will be an informal manager or someone like that. Not an official position but someone who have more to say, is more senior regarding VAR in Spain. Just like Paweł Gil in Poland.

  31. Thanks, always reliable and very important info, Ray.

  32. COPA DE SM EL REY - Semi-Finals (First Legs)

    31 January 2018

    CD Leganés - Sevilla FC (21:30 CET)
    Referee: José Luis González González
    Assistant Referee 1: Rubén Becerril Gómez
    Assistant Referee 2: Andoni Huerga Cermeño
    Fourth Official: Alfonso Vicente Moral

    1 February 2018

    FC Barcelona - Valencia CF (21:30 CET)
    Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 2: José Gallego García
    Fourth Official: José Joaquín Gallego Gambín

    1. LALIGA SANTANDER - Matchday 22

      2 February 2018

      Real Sociedad de Fútbol - RC Deportivo de La Coruña (21:00 CET)
      Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 2: Iñigo Prieto López de Ceraín
      Fourth Official: Álvaro López Parra

      3 February 2018

      SD Eibar - Sevilla FC (13:00 CET)
      Referee: Daniel Jesús Trujillo Suárez
      Assistant Referee 1: Marcos Álvarez Moreno
      Assistant Referee 2: José Carlos Escuela Melo
      Fourth Official: David Recio Moreno

      Real Betis Balompié - Villarreal CF (16:15 CET)
      Referee: Javier Alberola Rojas
      Assistant Referee 1: Iván Hernández Ramos
      Assistant Referee 2: Marcos Cerdán Aguilar
      Fourth Official: Jon Ander González Esteban

      Deportivo Alavés - RC Celta de Vigo (18:30 CET)
      Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 1: Diego Barbero Sevilla (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 2: César Manuel Noval Font
      Fourth Official: Leandro Carbajales Gómez

      Levante UD - Real Madrid CF (20:45 CET)
      Referee: Mario Melero López
      Assistant Referee 1: Manuel Ángel Torre Cimiano
      Assistant Referee 2: José Luis Martínez Serrato
      Fourth Official: Pere Barceló Roca

      4 February 2018

      Getafe CF - CD Leganés (12:00 CET)
      Referee: Alfonso Javier Álvarez Izquierdo
      Assistant Referee 1: Juan Carlos Barranco Trejo
      Assistant Referee 2: Joan Méndez Mateo
      Fourth Official: Antonio Artacho Cobo

      RCD Espanyol de Barcelona - FC Barcelona (16:15 CET)
      Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 1: Ángel Nevado Rodríguez (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 2: Javier Martínez Nicolás
      Fourth Official: César Soto Grado

      Girona FC - Athletic Club (18:30 CET)
      Referee: José Luis Munuera Montero
      Assistant Referee 1: Alfonso Baena Espejo
      Assistant Referee 2: José Alcoba Rodríguez
      Fourth Official: Víctor Rives Leal

      Club Atlético de Madrid - Valencia CF (20:45 CET)
      Referee: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
      Assistant Referee 1: Alfonso Costoya Rodríguez
      Assistant Referee 2: Enrique José Ramos Ferreiros
      Fourth Official: Óscar Martínez Santos

      5 February 2018

      UD Las Palmas - Málaga CF (21:00 CET)
      Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Díaz Pérez del Palomar (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 2: Iker de Francisco Grijalba
      Fourth Official: Óscar Sauleda Torrent

    2. COPA DE SM EL REY - Semi-Finals (Second Legs)

      7 February 2018

      Sevilla FC - CD Leganés (21:30 CET)
      Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernández (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Martínez Munuera (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 2: Francisco Javier Martín García
      Fourth Official: Albert Catalá Ferrán

      8 February 2018

      Valencia CF - FC Barcelona (21:30 CET)
      Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (FIFA)
      Assistant Referee 2: Iñigo Prieto López de Ceraín
      Fourth Official: Julio Fermín Leo Ollo

  33. LIGUE 1 - Appointments for this weekend

    02/02/2018, 20:45 CET
    Referee: Oliver THUAL
    Assistant Referee 1: Matthieu LOMBARD
    Assistant Referee 2: Mathieu GROSBOST
    Fourth Official: Aurélien PETIT

    03/02/2018, 17:00 CET
    Referee: Johan HAMEL
    Assistant Referee 1: Tugdual PHILIPPE
    Assistant Referee 2: Yanncik BOUTRY
    Fourth Official: Guillaume PARADIS

    03/02/2018, 20:00 CET
    Referee: Thomas LEONARD
    Assistant Referee 1: Cyril GRINGORE
    Assistant Referee 2: Eric DANIZAN
    Fourth Official: Stéphanie FRAPPART

    03/02/2018, 20:00 CET
    Referee: Stéphane JOCHEM
    Assistant Referee 1: Gilles LANG
    Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric HEBRARD
    Fourth Official: Cédric SANTOS

    03/02/2018, 20:00 CET
    Referee: Antony GAUTIER
    Assistant Referee 1: Mickaël ANNONIER
    Assistant Referee 2: Philippe JEANNE
    Fourth Official: Sylvain PALHIES

    03/02/2018, 20:00 CET
    Referee: Jérôme BRISARD (FIFA, 2nd group)
    Assistant Referee 1: Alexandre VIALA
    Assistant Referee 2: Christophe MOUYSSET
    Fourth Official: William LAVIS

    04/02/2018, 15:00 CET
    Referee: Ruddy BUQUET (FIFA, 1st group)
    Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric CANO
    Assistant Referee 2: Guillaume DEBART (FIFA)
    Fourth Official: Romain GALIBERT

    04/02/2018, 17:00 CET
    Referee: Karim ABED (FIFA, 2nd group)
    Assistant Referee 1: Julien AUBE
    Assistant Referee 2: Aurélien DROUET
    Fourth Official: Bastien DECHEPY

    04/02/2018, 21:00 CET
    Referee: Benoît BASTIEN (FIFA, 1st)
    Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric HAQUETTE (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 2: Hicham ZAKRANI (FIFA)
    Fourth Official: Jérémy STINAT

    20/02/2018, 18:30 CET
    ESTAC TROYES - DIJON FCO (postponed due to floodings)
    Referee: Benoît MILLOT (FIFA, 2nd group)
    Assistant Referee 1: Stephan LUZI
    Assistant Referee 2: Julien PACELLI (FIFA)
    Fourth Official: Jérémie PIGNARD

    Something noteworthy to add: Bastien handles this clash now for the third time in a row in the League.

  34. Barcelona vs Valencia around minute 34: Horrible studs tackle on thigh but onöy yellow given.

    1. Agreed. Sergi Roberto was very lucky to stay on the pitch.

    2. Sánchez Martínez wasn't good tonight. Foul and card criteria has not been the same for both teams. Hope he improves because he has great potential, IMO.

    3. 1:50 is Roberto foul.

      Clear Rc,very dangerous foul,missed by Sanchez.

  35. Tony Chapron has been suspended for three months (+ three months of probation). It has to be mentioned that he apologized and explained how it looked to him immediately after incident. Surely that's been the reason of allowing him to referee one or two farewell games at the end of career.

    1. Stéphane Lannoy was banned for five months (de facto for four months, it was also his last season) for calling Pascal Garibian and the referee department "autocratic" in 2016/17.
      Tony Chapron is de facto banned for three months for kicking a player.
      To my mind that is an absolutely poor signal to send out.

  36. Bundesliga appointments (Ref, AR1, AR2, 4O, VAR1, VAR2):
    Köln-Dortmund: Benjamin Brand, Robert Schröder, Michael Emmer, Mark Borsch, Günter Perl, Florian Badstübner
    Berlin-Hoffenheim: Deniz Aytekin, Eduard Beitinger, Marcel Pelgrim, Bibiana Steinhaus, Günter Perl, Christof Günsch
    Freiburg-Leverkusen: Robert Kampka, Benedikt Kempkes, Jan Neitzel-P., Tobias Christ, Christian Dingert, Timo Gerach
    Schalke-Bremen: Guido Winkmann, Christian Bandurski, Arno Blos, Frank Willenborg, Daniel Siebert, Rene Rohde
    Mainz-Bayern: Sören Storks, Thorben Siewer, Sven Waschitzki, Thorsten Schiffner, Marco Fritz, Robert Schröder
    Wolfsburg-Stuttgart: Robert Hartmann, Christian Leicher, Markus Schüller, Florian Badstübner, Benjamin Cortus, Daniel Schlager
    M'Gladbach-Leipzig: Tobias Stieler, Arne Aarnink, Christian Gittelmann, Guido Kleve, Wolfgang Stark, Robert Kempter
    Augsburg-Frankfurt: Harm Osmers, Florian Heft, Thomas Gorniak, Daniel Schlager, Patrick Ittrich, Martin Petersen
    Hamburg-Hannover: Sascha Stegemann, Christian Fischer, Mike Pickel, Christof Günsch, Jochen Drees, Sven Waschitzki

    Only two FIFA referees; Stieler is the first to have officiated all possible teams (16 for him) - and has the most matches so far; Good match for Storks in his first season, normally you don't get Bayern away so early.

    1. I guess Zwayer will be in Qatar on next week as well...

  37. My predections for the next UEFA games:
    Juventus-Tottenham Mateu Lahoz/Cakir
    Chelsea-Barcelona Brych/Marciniak
    Sevilla-Manchester United Kassai/Kuipers
    Basel-Manchester City Hategan/Orsato
    Porto-Liverpool Karasev/Rocchi
    Sahtar-AS Roma Collum/Turpin
    Real Madrid-PSG Mazic/Skomina
    Bayern-Besiktas Oliver/Eriksson

    Crvena Zvezda-CSKA Del Cerro/Banti
    Astana-Sporting Bebek/Treimanis
    Marseille-Braga Vincic/Sidiropoulos
    Östersun-Arsenal Grinfeld/Vad
    Ludogorets-Milan Liany/Kehlet
    Real Sociedad-Salzburg Kovács/Bastien
    Spartak- Athletic Stefanski/Jug
    Nice-Lokomotiv Göcek/Mazeika
    Dortmund-Atalanta De Sousa/Gil Manzano
    FCSB-Lazio Bognár/Zwayer
    Partizan-Plzen Bezbodorov/Estrada Fernández
    Lyon-Villareal Madden/Kubakov
    Napoli-Leipzig Makkeile/Taylor
    Celtic-Zenit Gözübüyök/Soares Dias
    Aek-Dynamo Kiev Ekkberg-Stieler
    Kobenhavn-Atletico Raczkowski-Kruzliak

    1. Mine are:
      Juventus-Tottenham Karasev / Mateu Lahoz
      Chelsea-Barcelona Brych / Marciniak
      Sevilla-Manchester United Cakir / Eriksson
      Basel-Manchester City Borbalan / Rocchi
      Porto-Liverpool Makkelie / Turpin
      Sahtar-AS Roma Taylor / Hategan
      Real Madrid-PSG Mazic / Skomina
      Bayern-Besiktas Orsato / Kuipers

      Crvena Zvezda-CSKA Gözübüyük / Bognar
      Astana-Sporting Jug / Gil Manzano
      Marseille-Braga Banti / Stieler
      Östersun-Arsenal del Cerro Grande / Liany
      Ludogorets-Milan Undiano / Kuipers
      Real Sociedad-Salzburg Vincic / Soares Dias
      Spartak- Athletic Kehlet / de Sousa
      Nice-Lokomotiv Raczkowski / Madden
      Dortmund-Atalanta Moen / Eriksson
      FCSB-Lazio Kruzliak / Kralovec
      Partizan-Plzen Pawson / Bastien
      Lyon-Villareal Sidiropolous / Kassai
      Napoli-Leipzig Kulbakov / Buquet
      Celtic-Zenit Marciniak / Rocchi
      Aek-Dynamo Kiev Aghayev / Kovacs
      Kobenhavn-Atletico Zwayer / Collum

    2. It will be interesting to see whether Category 2 referees will be appointed for KO stage in Europa League. I think that this never happened in past, but I can be wrong.
      In case, all the Category 2 referees who have attended the course, would have a big chance. But I rather think that they wont get a game for now.

    3. I am also not sure about that. The fact that only 24 1st group referees participated in the course means, they would need to use several Elite referees in EL. Could be possible though.
      On the other hand, it might even happen, that all 7 category 2 referees are appointed in EL R32. There must be some reason, why they took part in the course...

  38. Bebek, Treimanis and VAD did not attend the course in Malta.

  39. Tony Chapron got 6 months suspension.

  40. Premier League
    Matchday 26

    Saturday 3 February
    12:30 Burnley v Manchester City
    Referee: Martin Atkinson
    Assistants: Peter Kirkup, Lee Betts
    Fourth official: Jonathan Moss

    AFC Bournemouth v Stoke City
    Referee: Paul Tierney
    Assistants: Marc Perry, Mick McDonough
    Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh

    Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United
    Referee: Roger East
    Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Andy Garratt
    Fourth official: Kevin Friend

    Leicester City v Swansea City
    Referee: Anthony Taylor
    Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
    Fourth official: Bobby Madley

    Manchester United v Huddersfield Town
    Referee: Stuart Attwell
    Assistants: Simon Long, Harry Lennard
    Fourth official: Mike Dean

    West Bromwich Albion v Southampton
    Referee: Michael Oliver
    Assistants: Simon Bennett, Stuart Burt
    Fourth official: Lee Mason

    17:30 Arsenal v Everton
    Referee: Neil Swarbrick
    Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Daniel Cook
    Fourth official: Craig Pawson

    Sunday 4 February
    14:15 Crystal Palace v Newcastle United
    Referee: Andre Marriner
    Assistants: Simon Beck, Richard West
    Fourth official: Lee Probert

    16:30 Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur
    Referee: Jonathan Moss
    Assistants: Eddie Smart, Andy Halliday
    Fourth official: Martin Atkinson

    Monday 5 February
    20:00 Watford v Chelsea
    Referee: Mike Dean
    Assistants: Ian Hussin, Adrian Holmes
    Fourth official: Bobby Madley

    Top clash for Moss, and basically regular designations.


    Correctly disallowed goal by VAR for offside in Koln v Dortmund last night - sorted within 30 seconds. You can hear the referee's whistle at 44:00 during the replays but unfortunately the broadcaster didn't show the referee doing the TV signal. It confused the UK commentators who didn't know if VAR had been used.

  42. Minute 19. Very obvious and very dangerous foul on Manchester United but no whistle or penalty called.

    1. This one? I agree, very scary moments.

    2. Why no penalty? More than strange decision by Attwell.
      Looking at his gesture, I think he assessed the incident as a normal contact of play, but I strongly disagree, clear foul there. Penalty to United....

    3. Yes very clear. I didn’t see the game but heard the players made it difficult for him.

  43. A couple of interesting moments in Betis-Villarreal, in charge of youngster (only 26 yo) Javier Alberola Rojas.

    30' RC for Bonera (VIL) for SFP. Very clear for me.

    80' Penalty commited by Barragán (BET) on Cheryshev (VIL)

    I have more doubts here. May be outside the box?

    Your thoughts?

    1. The RC is absolutely correct and very similar to the situation in Barcelona-Valencia last Thursday.

      The penalty is very difficult to assess, I think. There are two contacts: one with the arm and another with Barragán's feet. I have my doubts about the location of the foul, so I would support the referee here.

      But there are other things to remark about his performance, which are the really strong personality of the referee and, in general in the last matches, the clear line he has kept. Looks, indeed, very promising to me.

    2. Clear RC, I'm impressed and I want to underline the particular attitude by Alberola Rojas. In this case, all referees would have immediately shown the card after the whistle, but he waited before doing that. Maybe he used this time, some seconds, to be mentally sure about his decision. That's a very good signal, it means that he stays focused until the end of decision-making process.

      About the penalty: very difficult even with the benefit of replay. Maybe the contact ends exactly on the line, in any case not a clear mistake. Good that there referee was immediately convinced, showing a very good body language.

    3. Very handsome referee and "Mr. Los Yébenes 2010" as the following article knows. ;-)


    Offside or penalty?
    Aytekin decided penalty, but there a lot of discussions (and TV expert Merk called it a wrong decision).

    1. Defender in blue&white made a deliberate play, by touching and then controlling the ball, without being influenced by the opponent, who was still quite far away. Since it wasn't a shot on goal, we can't assess this touch as save or something like that. So, the offside position was annulled by this action. The attacker was then entitled to challenge the defender for the ball. Penalty is fully correct decision in my opinion there. Can I ask why Merk assesses the call by Aytekin as wrong? It is clear that the defender makes a deliberate play. The only argument in favor of offside could be a possible influence by attacker in offside, but he was definitely far away and defender had not any perception of him.

    2. Well, the decisive question is whether the defender was attacked/influenced during or after he controlled the ball. And whether stopping and holding the ball for a short time should count as "deliberate play". According to Merk it was not yet a new situation, when the attacker started to influence. That would probably have been right during his active days, but with the current instructions, it is actually clear no offside, I agree.
      The reason for discussions is probably also, that it feels like the attacker still has an advantage from his offside position. But the advantage actually comes from the fact that he is hidden behind his opponent, not from his offside position.
      DFB has also confirmed, that penalty was the correct decision.

    3. Difficult situation.I have some doubts and IMO it could be offside.

  45. Saudi Arabia Professional League

    Al Battin Football Club - Al Hilal Football Club
    Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande
    AR1: Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez
    AR2: Roberto Alonso Fernández

    1. Note that Alonso Fernández was the AR1 in Real Sociedad 5 - 0 Deportivo this Friday!

  46. Minute 83 Bournemouth. Super clear serious foul play. Two straight legs hits opponent with the studs and only a yellow given. I don't understand what's going on with English referees. 2016/2017 they followed the laws of the game pretty well but 2017/2018 it's like watching 1980's football again.


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