Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Refereeing analysis of CL Round of 16, waiting for Quarterfinals

The level of refereeing in CL Round of 16 has been overall good. Sixteen games have been handled by fifteen officials from different countries. Indeed, a referee got for the first time after several seasons two games in this stage of the competition. It was Felix Brych, who handled Juventus - Tottenham in first leg and PSG - Real Madrid in second leg.  

German Felix Brych, who got two CL Round of 16 Games

The German Elite referee has surely impressed in both his appearances. In Turin for the first leg of Juventus - Tottenham he had a very solid game with a crucial penalty call and another supportable decision to play on, in addition full control and all correct cards. In Paris the game was in my opinion less difficult than his previous one, nevertheless he was absolutely good with a correct sending off for PSG player Marco Verratti. In this case he must be praised because he punished a very blatant form of dissenting behavior. Sometimes, nowadays we see too often referees who keep their eyes closed. So, this very good path for the German led him to win both our polls about best referee's officiating in first legs and second legs. He would be a candidate for CL final after that, but having been in the middle just one year ago, this wont happen again. 
Another positive note is surely from the French Clément Turpin, a referee who is making more than outstanding steps in terms of consideration by committee. He handled a very tense game in first leg between Sevilla and Manchester United. In my opinion a penalty appeal was correctly rejected  and the referee was always in control without issuing too many cards. What we can say is that he has surely improved his skills and players management at moment is more than good. I want just to remember  when he officiated Feyenoord - Roma in EL KO stage 3 years ago, the difference is more than evident, now we can appreciate a totally different referee. He was indeed rewarded by committee with another game in Europa League: the top clash involving Milan and Arsenal, and it was another convincing performance. 
The third positive note must concern Dutch Danny Makkelie: the young Elite referee has made his debut in CL KO stage by officiating a top clash: he got indeed the second leg of Manchester United - Sevilla. He handled this game without significant issues, showing to have a big trust by committee. Given the retirement of Kuipers after WC (it was already announced), we can be sure that Netherlands wont have problems in trusting him for a brilliant future of Dutch officiating at very high level.
These were in my opinion the very positive notes. but of  course this doesn't mean that all the other performances were not good. I think that from some referees we saw just what we expected and overall their games were OK. Cüneyt Çakır and Damir Skomina handled the top clash involving Chelsea and Barcelona. In both games there were some discussion points, but I think at the end they managed it. I agree with Skomina about the no-penalty call in second leg, this was very likely the most discussed incident of both ties. The Slovenian can be still considered as candidate for the final after this game.
Alberto Undiano Mallenco for the second leg of Roma - Shakhtar Donetsk offered an expected level performance if we exclude the incident involving the ball-boy, which can be in my opinion deemed as red card. However, the rest was solid, with a crucial call and good card management. 
For names like Orsato, Zwayer, Oliver, Královec and Hategan games were not too much demanding, and we can say without problems that they got all expected level. However, the RC incident occurred in Bayern - Beşiktaş is worthy of being mentioned: correct decision by the Romanian who sent off a Turkish player for DOGSO in first half. 
Jonas Eriksson handled the first leg of Basel - Manchester City, match in which a penalty should have been whistled in favor of home-team. This very likely wouldn't have changed too much the outcome, with the English side definitely stronger than the opponent, however, in a game of a not so challenging difficulty, I would have expected more attention by the Swedish. Still a pity what happened then later in his EL game Arsenal - Milan, but that' another argument.
William Collum in the first leg of Shakhtar - Roma had an expected level performance (not difficult game) until the last minutes. The Scottish referee failed in sending off a player from home-team for a clear violent conduct againstthe opponent, this happened close to AR2 and AAR2, they both had to cooperate with main referee. 
Gianluca Rocchi in the first leg of Real Madrid - PSG had a challenging game and his performance was surely controversial, in the meaning that it is possible to assess some incidents as crucial mistakes but at the same time, taken into account the difficulty, one could still back him. It is maybe the most difficult performance to evaluate, among the ones in Round of 16. Of course, everybody is entitled to have his opinion, we have also read many harsh comments on this blog about his job on the pitch. I can say as first thing that we could have surely expected more. The penalty is supportable but in case of no whistle, nobody would have complained, in addition card management was not the best. We can still back him and assign a mark a step below expected level (but not so low), in any case the difficulty of the game is surely an argument. I think he will get another game in the next rounds of CL, he was not that bad, but surely again, I can't find other words, he could have made clearly better. 
The only very negative note of this round, and I'm really sorry to use such words for him, comes from Szymon Marciniak. Unluckily, the Polish Elite had a poor performance, without doubts, with clear mistakes and a low acceptance by players. The first half was something like a nightmare, with one more than blatant missed penalty (missed cooperation by AAR), a missed RC for VC (deliberately stepping on the opponent) and a wrong YC. Marciniak had a lack of concentration and he didn't approach the game in the best possible way. Maybe, he was even too much tired after some appointments on the previous days, but this can't justify what happened on the pitch. Nobody expected that. However, a bad day can happen, for what I remember this can be considered surely as the worst (sorry again for the term) performance by Marciniak in international games. To add, and that's a very important thing to underline, his teammates suffered some mistakes as well. AR1 missed a more than clear offside in the last minutes of the game, home-team had a big chance to score the 2-2. In case of goal, this would have made it even worse. So, the whole team in my opinion was not in a good day and being honest, the Polish crew shouldn't be appointed in CL for this season. Of course, nothing against Marciniak and I wish him the best for the future. Still many years ahead for recovering everything.
I close my analysis with some words about the missing names: surely Antonio Mateu LahozMilorad Mažić and Sergey Karasev were expected in this stage. However, for the Serbian and the Spanish, after some appearances in Europa League, it can be a question of opportunity by committee. They wanted to keep them for some top clashes in quarterfinals, and very likely in a few days we will have some confirmations. The case of the Russian is clearly different, a referee who has been selected for WC (maybe only as FO, we still don't know that, but it's not important) should have got at least a game in this Round of 16. Difficult to imagine him on next stage. Not a good signal so far, but let's wait for the next assignments. Dutch Björn Kuipers has been injured and so for this reason totally out from appointments.


  1. Excellent analysis... Nothing with which I can disagree... Perfectly summed up 😎

  2. Brilliant analysis, compliments!
    Thought about possible assignments for quarterfinals...
    Sevilla - Bayern Rocchi/Turpin
    Juve-Real Cakir/Skomina
    Liverpool- ManCity M.Lahoz/Brych
    Barca- ASRoma Oliver/Makkelie or Kuipers if he is fit

    Lazio - Salzburg Borbalan/Hategan
    Leipzig - Marseille Eriksson or Collum/ Mazic (CL Final!)
    Arsenal - ZSKA Kralovec/Zwayer
    Atletico - Sporting Taylor/Orsato


  3. I don´t understand how Taylor is one referee Elite.

  4. I know he did it last year but on the performances Felix Brych is putting out, he should be given the final again in my opinion. He is simply the best. Perhaps he will be rewarded with the World Cup Final!

    1. There are several contenders at par and even better than him... Plus if Germany reaches the Quarter final stage, Brych will make the early return to home!!

    2. Maybe Mazic for UCL final and Skomina for World Cup Final,imo

    3. Nothing is impossible but I can't see the latter happening... An official who has been just good and expected level over the past 2 years can't be a favourite for World Cup final... There are many other better performers and more trustworthy names ahead of that IMO :)

    4. I don't think that we will see a UEFA referee officiating WC final this time, even though it is too early to say that, I think there will be a tendency to make a choice among other confederations, of course if possible.

    5. To be honest that will be the best thing but as we know trustworthy options outside UEFA are quite few by and far... Names like Ricci and Pitana are good candidates but always their national teams are more than likely to spoil the party... Then Irmatov and Faghani are possible but neither are in any excellent form for the past season so not too sure about them... Mark Geiger or Joel Aguilar for the final again not so sure and rather unlikely... And finally with all the respect, the African referees aren't really candidates for anything ahead of R16 let alone the Final... So circumstances might actually force the appointment of an experienced UEFA official yet again!!

    6. I use this example tentatively but looking at Women's WC 2015, names like Keighley, Hyang-Ok, Umpierrez came from essentially nowhere to be belonging to the best referees of the competition. Also Kassai came into WC 2010 as the most lowly rated UEFA referee and left it as the highest.
      So you cannot always be sure of what will ghappe on the pitch.
      Personally I hope the final referee isn't European, but moreover I hope it is the best referee during the championship.

    7. I agree with your last consideration, Mikael. Performance principle first of all. :)

    8. OT :

      No appointment for Mateu Lahoz and his ARs in Matchday 30 of La Liga that runs from 30 Mar – 2 Apr... So 99.9% sure Mateu will be appointed for Liverpool v Manchester City at Anfield

    9. Indeed, we wrote the same thing almost in the same minute :)

    10. I doubt another WC final willgo to Europe again. That would make it 3 in a row. I expect someone like Pitana to get the final. He deserves it.

    11. n case of Pitana appointment for the final:

      2002 Collina (ITA)
      2006 Elizondo (ARG)
      2010 Webb (ENG)
      2014 Rizzoli (ITA)
      2018 Pitana (ARG)

      Apart from Webb, that would be very particular. WC final referee looks to be an affair between Italy and Argentina... :)

    12. Pitana always has a chance of having his opportunity spoilt by his national team's progress... 95% possibility of that happening, in fact!!

    13. If it's a European, surely Kuipers starts as the favorite. He has no home national team to worry about. He has done a UCL Final. He has done other FIFA Finals. If FIFA needs a safe "insurance" option, Kuipers will be there unless he has a bad performance.

      If it's not UEFA, I would say Geiger has to be in the mix. His familiarity with executing VAR regularly (and not just in training) could help him, too. Don't underestimate how important VAR use is going to be in appointments this time.

    14. Geiger is always a good ref in the WC.

    15. Among UEFA names, along with Kuipers let's not forget Cakir... Big trust of FIFA and Bussacca although he has been okayish in World Cup, Euro and Olympics!!

    16. Plus Cakir has no home nation team to worry about whereas Kuipers will have Belgium to worry about!!

    17. We always worry about Belgium in Holland, but in recent times Dutch refs were allowed to take charge of Belgian club matches, so I see no real problem anymore.

  5. Mateu Lahoz out from La Liga appointments on next matchday before CL quarterfinals first legs. He is ready to handle the English derby in Liverpool on 04/04 I think...

    1. We thought similar things at the same time in this situation, Chefren :D

    2. Although I wouldn't take it as a signal, it is of course possible. CTA could have easily given him a game on Saturday. But... the thing is I expected him this week because last weekend he was not appointed (WC-seminar, I think). There is another possible reason: next weekend (MD 31) there is an interesting Real Madrid-Atlético de Madrid that he could handle. Let's see. I expect Mateu for the English derby, but because of previous european appointments.

      Some have proposed Mateu Lahoz for EL final... but I find it very difficult not to have Atlético in the final given the level they have shown so far.

    3. I find it difficult anyway to see Mateu in any final this season even if all Spanish teams are eliminated :D

  6. Do they ever have a refereeing team from the same country for a derby or is it always a foreign ref?

    1. Usually or always? I can't remember any exceptions in like 20 years. Or am i wrong?


  7. I don´t like Matéu Lahoz and I hope that never
    shall be in one final.

    1. Ok, ok please calm down now :D I'm going down the Rik B route now... We will see Mateu Lahoz in 3 UEFA finals, not 1 :D

    2. Not Collum, Alberto is one blogger finished ;)

    3. Do I have my own route now? ;)

    4. Both of you are funny :D

  8. Indonesia opening league between Persija Jakarta and Bhayangkara FC at 23/03/2018 12.00 CET was officiated by Thoriq Alkatiri,an elite AFC referee at January 2018. His style is great (for me) though. But,can AFC referee be an elite ref without ever officiating AFC Cup / FIFA World Cup Qualification ? He recently becoming 4th official in AFC Champions League this season, to accompany Ali Sabah and Ilgiz Tantashev. The Indonesian Referee director now is Toshiyuki Nagi, former AR2 at Yuichi Nishimura side at FIFA World Cup 2014.Is there any correlations ? And why in AFC Champions League matches I see Sri Lankan (Hettikamkanamge Perera) referee more than Indian referee ? Maybe UEFA system is different from AFC that I still don't know.

    1. Perera is a better referee than the Indian counterparts IMO... Rowan Arumughan from India has appeared in AFC Champions League matches this season though!!

    2. Even Rowan Arumughan are more experienced than Thoriq Alkatiri himself.

    3. I don't know anything about Thoriq Alkatiri... I've never seen him in any AFC game yet so I don't know yet!!

    4. Let's be honest, Slovenia has 3 regular CL-referees, Russia only one. The Seychelles had one in Africa, Sudan didnt. Sometimes being bigger doesn't mean better.

  9. Official list for 2018 FIFA WC referees is expected to be published on next week. Reliable source.

    1. Any date specified? Any possible number revealed? Any possible exclusions known?

    2. Nothing, we have just to wait a few days!

    3. Huge excitement... One more week to go!! :D

  10. OT : Appeal fff commitee just announced 6 months ban for Chapron (sanction is so increased). So, his career is definitevely over and finished. Sad end for him...

  11. Excellent no flag for Serbia goal for 1-1 from AR1

  12. OT
    For those who are interested, here the list of FIFA Referee Instructors, it should be the full one (but I'm not sure), they attended a seminar in Qatar on last month.

  13. Atkinson finished his FIFA career. If you wondering why there wasnt any card - he said to one player that plays in England that he wont give any card in his last match..

    1. You can read more by opening the discussion about friendly games, we are talking about that.

  14. Starting from today, you can find us on Twitter:

  15. OT :
    Both Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver aren't appointed as main referees in the upcoming Premier League matchday... Duties in Europe??

    1. In fact Michael Oliver has a Championship match on 2 April, Monday... Taylor is free from duties in the middle this week!!

  16. UEFA Women's Champions League
    Quarterfinal Return

    Slavia Praha 1800 Wolfsburg (0-5)
    Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
    Assistant referees: Kylie Mcmullen (SCO) , Michelle O'Neill (IRL)
    Fourth official: Ifeoma Kulmala (FIN)
    UEFA Delegate: Ganna Bordiugova (UKR)
    UEFA Referee observer: Natalia Avdonchenko (RUS)

    Linköpings 1800 Manchester City (0-2)
    Referee: Jana Adámková (CZE)
    Assistant referees: Sanja Rodjak Karšić (CRO) , Gabriela Hanáková (CZE)
    Fourth officia: lLucie Šulcová (CZE)
    UEFA Delegate: Konul Mehtiyeva (AZE)
    UEFA Referee observer: Hilda McDermott (IRL)

    Chelsea LFC 2005 Montpellier (2-0)
    Referee: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS)
    Assistant referees: Ekaterina Kurochkina (RUS) , Ekaterina Marinova (BUL)
    Fourth official: Vera Opeykina (RUS)
    UEFA Delegate: Roxana Berceanu (ROU)
    UEFA Referee observer: Caroline De Boeck (BEL)

    FC Barcelona 1900 Olympique Lyonnais (1-2)
    Referee: Sandra Bastos (POR)
    Assistant referees: Lucia Abruzzese (ITA) , Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
    Fourth official: Ana Aguiar (POR)
    UEFA Delegate: Diana Andersen (DEN)
    UEFA Referee observer: Dagmar Damkova (CZE)

    Regular expected matches apart from Bastos to Barcelona, I think this match could decide if she attends WC 2019 or not, really pleasantly surprising appointment for the Portuguese. Damkova as observer confirms this impression.

    1. What are Lehtovaara and Pustovoitova's chances of attending the World Cup??

    2. Lehtovaara isn't on the final UEFA prelist of twelve so she is without chances, but she was quite good when I saw her live, I don't think she can be so good as Heikkinen but that's just my opinion.
      Pustovoitova's I guess are fairly good, she messed up her EURO (7,2 area in ISL-SUI), but UEFA seem to like her determined style (similar to Karasev) and she is collecting good appointments, eg above.
      Adamkova vs Zadinova looks a very interesting battle fought in the Czech Republic...

  17. Andy Madley - the older brother of top flight regular Bobby - will take charge of a Premier League game for the first time when AFC Bournemouth visit Vicarage Road to face Watford on Saturday.

  18. Italy vs Argentina and Canada vs New Zealand were, respectively, Atkinson's and Fernández Borbalán's last international matches.

  19. Premier League
    Matchday 32

    Saturday 31 March
    12:30 Crystal Palace v Liverpool
    Referee: Neil Swarbrick
    Assistants: Adam Nunn, Adrian Holmes
    Fourth official: Kevin Friend

    Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City
    Referee: Chris Kavanagh
    Assistants: Gary Beswick, Sian Massey-Ellis
    Fourth official: Andre Marriner

    Manchester United v Swansea City
    Referee: Bobby Madley
    Assistants: Marc Perry, Mick McDonough
    Fourth official: Anthony Taylor

    Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town
    Referee: Martin Atkinson
    Assistants: Lee Betts, Stephen Child
    Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

    Watford v AFC Bournemouth
    Referee: Andy Madley
    Assistants: Peter Kirkup, Constantine Hatzidakis
    Fourth official: Craig Pawson

    West Bromwich Albion v Burnley
    Referee: Lee Probert
    Assistants: Andy Garratt, Simon Beck
    Fourth official: Oliver Langford

    West Ham United v Southampton
    Referee: Jonathan Moss
    Assistants: Simon Bennett, Andy Halliday
    Fourth official: Graham Scott

    17:30 Everton v Manchester City
    Referee: Paul Tierney
    Assistants: Eddie Smart, Derek Eaton
    Fourth official: Michael Oliver

    Sunday 1 April
    13:30 Arsenal v Stoke City
    Referee: Craig Pawson
    Assistants: Stuart Burt, Richard West
    Fourth official: Kevin Friend

    16:00 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur
    Referee: Andre Marriner (pictured)
    Assistants: Scott Ledger, Simon Long
    Fourth official: Graham Scott

    Some interesting designations IMO.
    As @Vlad says debut for Andy Madley, who was always an impressive FL whenever I saw him- deserved (even too late debut).
    Most sonorous clash for Marriner who is best PL referee in 2018 to my mind.
    But clearly the best match IMO is for Moss: if you remember West Ham's last home match Vs Burnley, it is a crucial relegation clash also-> Riley decided to appoint quite a pure English not-that-modern manager for this match (I would rather Marriner but decent choice).
    Swarbrick carries on his road maybe to the FA Cup Final. First real top clash for Tierney, at Everton(!) and being watched by Marc Batta... good times for England's new FIFA referee.

    1. "...Marriner who is best PL referee in 2018 to my mind" ― This I disagree, maybe steady and expected level but not the best!!

    2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we can say that Premier League appointments are mostly made based on the trust by committee for a certain referee as first criterion, and not so much taking look at performance every week. The evaluation is made on a long time term.
      That's why you have always the same names officiating the same games.

    3. Chefren knows ;) Even also I can add that lots of big 6 matches are not that big because of Manchester City running away with the title... Plus Marriner is getting some rather easy games involving big teams in PL but not in other competitions... Oliver, Taylor and Atkinson's appointments are rather better spread across all competitions... But in PL during Jan-Feb, Marriner did way too many games between the top 6 because Atkinson, Taylor and Oliver had to saved for the League Cup SFs in those weeks plus they went for the seminar in Malta too!!

  20. AFC Asian Cup 2019
    Qualification Round Three
    Matchday Six

    North Korea 0900 Hong Kong

    Philippines 1230 Tajikistan
    Assistant Referee 1: ANTON SHCHETININ (AUSTRALIA)
    Assistant Referee 2: RYAN GALLAGHER (AUSTRALIA)
    Fourth Official: SHAUN EVANS (AUSTRALIA)

    Yemen 1615 Nepal

    1. Referee

      Assistant Referees

      Fourth Official

  21. Interesting changes in rules for Champions next season. There will be 23 players in squad, instead of 18. And there will be 4 substitutions allowed per team.


      The 23 player are only allowed for the finals (CL, EL, SC)
      4th substitution only in extra time.


    There will be 1 VAR + 3 AVARs during the WC.

    1. What do they need so many AVARs for? 🤔

    2. @Soham, if you read on the page posted by Philipp, there is the answer to your question. Everything is more than well explained. Of course, one of them will be assistant referee and that's very important for offside. We are talking about WC, vital importance for every match.
      Now, we have only to wait for the names, and I think that they are coming soon...

    3. Yeah I read it in detail... So AVAR2 will be most likely a specialist AR... AVAR1 will follow live play when VAR is involved in a review... AVAR3 responsible for communication of VAR with other concerned parties... Interesting really and I hope this will come good!!

    4. Let me say that - with so many officials involved - communication will be even more essential. I think we can expect that languages will be something to consider when making the appointments for the matches.
      Can‘t wait to get to know the final list. Still some days to pass...

  23. Some news from Spain:

    Mateu Lahoz has been appointed in LaLiga for April 6th (RC Deportivo de La Coruña - Málaga CF, important relegation match for Deportivo), so it seems unlikely that he has a match in the first leg of CL, as the English derby is on April 4th (roughly 48 hours rest. Possible, but avoidable).

    Javier Alberola Rojas will take part in a UEFA course on the week of April 9th, so it is clear that either he is going to replace Fernández Borbalán, or that he will become a FIFA referee in the not too distant future.

    Fernández Borbalán himself will handle the other important relegation match: Levante - UD Las Palmas. If Levante wins, the relegation will be almost clear.

    Finally, the most interesting match of the matchday is Real Madrid - Atlético de Madrid, which will be refereed by Xavier Estrada Fernández.

    1. Alberola Rojas will become the UEFA Elite referee if you ask me. He has everything to reach the top level of European refereeing. Who else for the FIFA list? Medié Jiménez seems to be a good choice to me.

    2. Medié Jiménez is actually in risk. He has been the only suspended referee this season after his mistake in identifying a player in the Valencian derby. There were more mistakes in that match (a wrongly disallowed goal for Levante after a push between two Valencia players). However, I like his style and I hope that, if he can keep the category this season (in Spain it is mandatory that at least two referees are demoted, which in this case however could both be Álvarez Izquierdo and Fernández Borbalán, who are retiring) he can become a FIFA referee in the future. Munuera Montero is also good, although a bit old.

      I completely agree about Alberola Rojas. He shows a lot of potential. Much better than De Burgos Bengoetxea in his first seasons, IMO.

    3. Thanks, George for reporting these issues.

      I like Santiago Jaime Latre much. How is he doing last times? Yeah, I know he's 38 and don't ask in context of him becoming a FIFA referee, just curious.

      What about Pablo González Fuertes?

    4. If not the 1st leg then Mateu Lahoz for the 2nd leg of the English derby would highlight some massive amount of trust of the Committee on him!!

    5. Personally I always liked De Burgos but I trust your judgement @George having rather seen him more. Alberola Rojas could even be a 'special' top referee eg Collina, Webb to my mind but there is still much time to see.

      Could you imagine Undiano to Liverpool - Manchester City?
      He has no match in Primera this weekend, neither do his assistants. UEFA likes more pedantic referees on English clashes it seems (Undiano, Benquerenca, Velasco, Mazic in the last years), and IMO after Roma-Shakhtar he would deserve it. This would leave Mateu without any CL match in 2018 before Semifinal however...

    6. If Mateu indeed stays without a game time QFs we can be sure it's the price paid for Italy v Sweden... That said, I think he will feature in at least one leg of the English derby in QF stage itself!!

    7. About Alberola Rojas, surely he will be FIFA referee in future but I think that for this year it would be too early. First season as La Liga referee, he has still to attend CORE, 26 years old. He will be promoted not before December 2019, in my opinion, being the replacement of Undiano Mallenco.
      To replace Fernández Borbalán we must expect another name...

      About Mateu Lahoz I would find quite strange to see him out of CL for this KO stage. Italy - Sweden can't be a reason for that. In case, his call for WC referee would be in danger, but this is not possible because you can't make such a judgment based only on a single game.
      The only thing, maybe, could be that committee wants to avoid him with an Italian team... but this isn't the case for the English derby. I think we will see him, maybe in second leg.

    8. I like Jaime Latre too. He has a strong personality. Regarding González Fuertes, it is his first season and I have not seen him much. He does a good job, but I don't see anything "special" about him yet.

      Regarding De Burgos, maybe it is more of a personal opinion than anything, but I think he isn't firm enough and has many trouble keeping full control of matches when they get hot (i.e. the Supercup this summer or Valencia-Real Madrid last season).

      I don't know about Undiano. If he gets the appointment, it would be surprising, as he would seem to have regained strength and trust from the committee.

      Finally, about Mateu, I think that the options are these:
      A) Although he is appointed on Friday in LaLiga, he is also appointed for the English derby. It should not be possible the other way round, but we already know that CTA doesn't really care about a minimum of rest time. England is not that far from Spain. He could handle the CL match on Wednesday, travel to Spain on Thursday morning either directly to Coruña or first to Valencia then in the evening to Coruña and referee the match on Friday evening (I think spanish rules state that the referee must sleep the night before the match in the city where it takes place, but I'm not completely sure). I wouldn't do this, but then I'm not CTA, so...

      B) He is not appointed for the first leg but for the second. That would mean that the committee trusts him a little more than the general wisdom of this blog (based on previous predictions, I think most people penciled him for the first leg) think.

      C) He will not have a match because he is being kept for something else (i.e., Europa League final, I don't really expect the committee to keep a referee for a semifinal in all previous rounds). That would mean a lot more of trust than we think of.

      D) He did badly in some match in EL that we were not aware in the blog and is facing a fate similar to that of Aytekin or Kassai last season or presumably Marciniak this one.

      E) There is some other reason we don't know about.

      I think it is either one of A or B (of course excluding E). C or D are really difficult, I think. D because this blog has a fantastic coverage and someone would have noticed. C because I think there are referees ahead of him... but if Marciniak is out now, then there is a minor chance if circumstances allow.

      Regarding a possible consequence of Italy - Sweden, it would be a really strange decision. First, because that was many months ago and also because he was lucky and didn't get much of attention from the press. Second, because he has got some good games after that, both in UCL group stage and in UEL KO stage. If something had to come, I agree with Chefren: it was either losing his WC spot or something else at the time. It seems that neither happened.

      Sorry for the long comment. Of course all of this is a personal opinion. I'm happy to be corrected at any time :)


    BOLOGNA – ROMA h.12.30


    CHIEVO – SAMPDORIA h.18.00




    JUVENTUS – MILAN h.20.45


    SASSUOLO – NAPOLI h.18.00

    Big match for Mazzoleni, Juventus - Milan, very important for both teams: Juventus for the title and Milan still dreaming a CL qualification. Fabbri, the next FIFA referee, with another very important clash, involving a team contending for the title and another that can be still in danger for relegation.
    Looking at the next matchdays, I think Rocchi will be referee for the game of the year, Juventus - Napoli on 22/04, in which very likely title could be assigned (both teams always win their game and it is a more than fascinating duel). To add, Di Liberatore and Tonolini have been appointed in another game, not with Rocchi, because Tonolini is from Milan and he can't handle Internazionale games. But committee clearly wanted to appoint them together in any case on the road to WC, so they are in another game without Rocchi.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.


  25. Spain-Argentine. Taylor not well.

    1. Yes he was one referee struggling :(

    2. Hopefully he recovers soon if he is not well ;)

    3. English referees not good for hot Latin matches


  27. list of referees for the World Cup will be published this afternoon. Source FIFA.


  29. No game for Mazic this week. Only his ARs are appointed..

    from fifa web site


    Referees and ARs are confirmed
    VARs will be announced after a seminar in Coverciano (ITA) in april


    This is the official list just published on FIFA web site.
    I'm happy to deploy all of you

  33. it seems that all the pre selected 36 will act as main referee and IV official. Is it true ?

  34. Post Will Follow Soon but I see that there aren't significant changes If we compare this list to the Previous One. Also, VAR officials are Missing...

    1. It seems that FIFA Doesn't Want to Be So Clear about the roles... maybe to have more flexibility

    2. Bussacca is playing all sorts of games with us this time...

  35. Well, well, it looks like Arbitro Internacional Blog was right all along, the liar was always Massimo Busacca.

    1. Wanted to confuse us always... But that said all refs won't be in the middle I'm sure!!

  36. Using the list of ARs it would seem this is the final list of referees to lead matches.

    All ten from UEFA
    All six from CONMEBOL
    Irmatov, Faghani and Al-Midarsi(!) from AFC
    Ramos and Geiger only from CONCACAF
    Conger from OFC
    Sikazwe, Gassama, Diedhiou and Grisha from CAF

    That is twenty-six referees.
    Somehow I cannot believe four Africans and two North Americans, and also eg Al-Midarsi whistling a match and Aguilar not.
    This is just guesswork, please don't take this as a serious announcement!!

    1. I think you can add Shukralla, he can form a trio with the Qatari AR, so twenty-seven referees according to my guess.

    2. Seems a reasonable amount... and if they need more, the great number of spanish-speaking referees and ARs can add flexibility with supposed 4th officials only (like you think Aguilar could be).

    3. One of Aguilar's ARs failed his fitness test.

      Also, Ian Anderson (USA) was left home despite passing his fitness test and being tied to Marrufo.

      If I were to guess, and this is just a guess, I think that:

      Aguilar will have Zumba and Rockwell in his trio.
      Marffuo will be a 4O/VAR only.

    4. One of Aguilar's ARs failed the fitness test and that's the reason for the absence and rather not because Aguilar won't be a main referee or anything like that... But my question is how on earth can Fahad Al-Mirdasi be called with both ARs for a role in the middle ahead of Ryuji Sato and that too after Al-Mirdasi having a shocker in Confederations Cup but Sato having an excellent U-17 WC... Unbelievable... Dark day in Asian refereeing!!

  37. According to German media VARs will be announced after a seminar taking place in Coverciano (Italy) in the second half of May.
    Additionally, it is reported that Bastian Dankert and Felix Zwayer won’t act as VARs at WC. Would be quite disappointing for Zwayer if this is true.

    1. Strange because, if you ask me, at least one VAR from Germany (country using VAR at moment) should be there. I guess this is a wrong information, one of them will be in Russia...


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