Friday, 13 April 2018

A crazy week of football in European cups, what did we learn in terms of refereeing?

Quarterfinals of Champions and Europa League are over, an incredible week of football with many emotions is coming to an end. What did we learn in terms of refereeing?  A short analysis with a special focus on Real Madrid - Juventus and Manchester City - Liverpool incidents. 
"Always expect the unexpected", this is a very common motto among referees all over the world, you join a pitch, starting a game and you don't know what you are going to face. The same happened on this week, with some incredible comebacks in European cups, by some teams which had lost the first leg and even in a  blatant way. The most impressive comeback has been surely managed by AS Roma, the Italian team has eliminated Barça, after having lost 4-1 the first leg. Juventus were about to make the same exploit but they didn't manage it, following a late penalty assigned by the English Elite referee Michael Oliver. The English derby between Liverpool and Manchester City has been unluckily affected by a clear refereeing mistake. A regular goal was disallowed for a wrong offside decision. The tie between Bayern and Sevilla is surely the least discussed game.
Also in Europa League there have been some big surprises. Austrian team of Salzburg has eliminated SS Lazio from Italy, after having lost the first leg 4-2. Olympique Marseille has managed a comeback after a 1-0 loss in first leg as well. 
So, what did we learn in terms of refereeing? My first answer to this question is: a game will be never difficult or easy before the start for the referee. Even in case of a first leg with a clear win by a side, there will be always chances to see something unexpected. Under this point of view, this could mean that at this level of European competitions it is impossible to make "experiments" for new referees or young referees who have to make experience. If you have a reliable pool of Elite officials, you will surely prefer them. 
UEFA Referees Committee has made a very surprising decision by appointing Michael Oliver, new Elite referee, who had made his CL KO stage debut only a few weeks ago. This was a very particular and special case. So far, we never saw a referee appointed for a CL quarterfinal second leg as second game ever in KO stage in the same season. The signal of a big trust by committee, but also the need of having a top official from England, already used to officiate some top clashes. This was very likely the idea of committee. On the pitch, Oliver has been surely good. He has controlled the game without big issues until the last minutes, in which a more than crucial incident has occurred. With the score being 0-3 and Juventus hoping to play at least Extra Time, a penalty was whistled in the last minute of added time, for a challenge by Benatia from Juventus on Vázquez (Real). Oliver, without hesitation, has pointed the spot. Hence, an incredible reaction by Juventus players, especially from Buffon. The latter has attacked the referee by repeatedly pushing him. This was the reason of a straight RC shown by the English official. The penalty is in my opinion a supportable decision and Oliver can be absolutely backed without doubts, however, after having analyzed everything, I'm convinced that appointing the young English Elite for this game has been a mistake by committee. The "crucial mistake" in my opinion comes from this choice and not from what has happened on the pitch. Indeed, I think that another referee would have  had a different appearance, and also players on the pitch would have accepted his decision, What I didn't like is that many players from Juventus felt the right to do what they did because Oliver looked to be young and not so experienced at this level. 
Therefore I think that committee should have guessed that something was possible to happen. We must say it was the worst scenario we could have imagined, but unluckily it happened.
Michael Oliver will recover for sure, but I think he was put too early in such a game, without the needed experience and without the chance to react.  
In Manchester City - Liverpool there was another situation that helps us in understanding how much difficult is the life of a referee on the pitch. You can take many and many correct decisions starting from the first to the last minute of the game but you can just miss a detail, and this can become crucial. This, unluckily, happened to the Spanish crew held by Antonio Mateu Lahoz. The Spanish had to face a very challenging game from the early minutes. He showed to be very strict in terms of dissenting behaviors, booking some players for this reason. Also, he played on following some penalty appeals. These decisions are always supportable and we all know how often they happen on the pitch. Nevertheless, in the last minutes of first half, a regular goal scored by Manchester City, for the possible 2-0, was annulled, following a wrong decision taken by the officials. The Spanish crew missed the author of the last touch, so when AR1 raised his flag for offside, nobody was able to help him in changing the decision. Mateu Lahoz was not in the best position, but he has in my opinion responsibility in terms of "full team", maybe even more for AAR1 Del Cerro Grande who had a frontal view, and with a minimum of attention during the key moment, he could have spotted the last touch. This is for sure a pity, and the lesson we can learn from this incident is the following: never lose the visual control of the ball, the player who is playing it, even a distraction of one second, can bring many problems. This happened in Manchester. This should have been avoided at this level, and we all agree, but can we blame all the officials so much? In my opinion, not at all. We are all human and we make mistakes, that's not a justification for everytihng, but for sure mistakes will always happen, as we are not perfect. So what is the solution? You can easily guess that top football needs top referees, but also, if available, top technology to help them. Mateu Lahoz himself would have been the first happy person with the chance to call a VAR review for this incident. So, this is my opinion, at this level, with so many interests and a big importance of the competitions, we can't go on in this way, when the same referees themselves would be more than content to have such tools. Their authority wouldn't be undermined, rather, enforced. 
Coming to a short analysis about the other games: in my opinion Turpin had a negative evening after some good performances, as some readers reported on the blog, he looked even a bit tired, after having officiated many games at high level in recent times, with good performances. However his outing was not so poor and I think that in the overall context, his KO stage is still very positive.  William Collum in Bayern - Sevilla has faced some important decisions, almost all the ones he took are supportable.
In Europa League, good job by almost all officials, if we except maybe only one or two situations. 


  1. No VAR in Premier League next season :

  2. I will write again few words regarding the decision of Oliver (I was thinking a lot about that situation)
    For me a more appropriate decision would be "no penalty". Why ? I have two reasons:
    - as a referee, you award a penalty in such a delicate moment only it's a 100% penalty (this is a matter of experience of referee, but Oliver is very young). That penalty wasn't clear, at least 65% of responders think so (which is a large majority).
    I remember you 2 delicate situations in very important games: no red card for De Jong in WC 2010 final (Howard Webb), no 2nd yellow (at penalty) for Dante in CL 2013 final (Nicola Rizzoli). Both were very experienced referees who didn't take "criminal" (I didn't find other word) decisions in very delicate moments (at the end of those games their performances were not blame)

    - duel between Real Madrid and Juventus had two legs. UEFA should ensure the same refereeing approach for both legs. I'm asking myself if Oliver watched first leg, where Cakir was very cautious to take important decisions in both areas. When you, Oliver, know that Juventus didn't receive a (clear) penalty in last second of 1st leg it's a matter of common sense to abstain to award a not so clear penalty in last minute of 2nd leg.

    Anyway, I believe that Oliver will be the most important referee of next 12 years (with the chance to reach 3 world cups). But he made a mistake in Real Madrid- Juventus because of his inexperience (games in domestic leagues are different from games in eurocups, where are always 2 legs and main objective is qualification, not 3 points)

  3. Sorry petschovschi but your words against Soham are particularly inappropriated and should be banned strongly. Do you think that opinion of a romanian guy really matters when Pierluigi Collina himself said that penalty is a good decision ? Come on. Agree with your opinion but please respect others people!

    1. Hi Benoit... Has Collina commented on the decision?? Can you share more??

    2. 1. Can you provide a link with Collina's statement ? It's not a joke, I didn't see what he said.

      2. Do you think Collina is God ? Al his opinions are perfect ? People with huge football background are not entitled to have their own opinions about refereeing ? All of us know the rules in football refereeing (you don't a PhD in maths or medicine for that). Unfortunately, european refereeing became a dictature of one man. Only what says Collina is good, is true... (I think this subject deserves a special thread in this blog)


    3. Collina is not good. Too mistakes and too
      helps to italian referees.

  4. Everybody is entitled to have his opinion and I will never make a choice about who has to write on the blog instead of another person, based on subjective parameters. We are all football and refereeing lovers, we watch many games, we are entitled to say what we think. The different backgrounds of our origins can help us in understanding and improving our culture. I like an Indian reader, I like a Romanian reader, I like a Japanese reader, I like an Ivorian reader and so on.
    It si always extremely sad when there are conflicts between readers, that's not what I would like to see there.
    Also, I don't like the work of moderating comments, deleting them every day. It takes time. I think we are all adults and we must respect all opinions.
    It would be nice to see you both shaking hands, at least virtually.
    It is clear that for Soham it was a correct decision and a very good performance by Oliver, while petschovschi has explained his different point of view.
    So, let's go on in peace. Hope this is my last post on this argument. Thank you.

  5. I love one and all here in the blog... My discussion was always on objective lines and performance related things and it always will remain that :)

  6. Arka Gdynia - Lechia Gdańsk
    Referee: Paweł Raczkowski (UEFA First Group)
    VAR: Szymon Marciniak (UEFA Elite Group)

    Penalty for deliberate handling awarded upon the on-field review

    Careless vs reckless vs SFP? Mass confrontation

    1. Second clip definetely a red for me. All he wanted to do was take out the opponent like an NFL player. And it was excessive force.

  7. For our Serbian readers, where is the best place to download Belgrade's Eternal Derby whisted by Grujic tomorrow, without revealing the score (I am out for the match and it's not on English television)?


    1. I think there'll be stream from Arena Sport channel, i'll try to look tomorrow and will give you if i find it.

    2. OT :

      Is this Mikael and another Mikael the same person or two different people? :D

    3. @Jovan Thank You! Much appreciated
      @Soham I decided to 'combat' your profile picture with my favourite referee also ;-), so it's still the same user here.

    4. One extra 'W' added too :D But Lannoy's head? :D :D

    5. My surname :-)
      I wanted my photo to represent all referees, not just Lannoy, hence the lack of his face :-D

    6. That's a novel idea for sure :D

    7. @Mikael - , there should be streamed derby

    8. and stream on YouTube:


    1. Nowadays we have many fake news on the web.
      I'm not so sure about this article, a statement by Collina about this incident would have been reported everywhere...

    2. @Benoit August

      You attacked me with the supreme argument that Collina declared it was penalty. I thought you have a reliable source, not a website from Senegal.

      1. Honestly, it's a matter of common sense not to trust such kind of site (esspecially because this potential superinfo didn't appear in other places). Please, next time try to provide some reliable sources when you try to sustain your opinion.

      2. I thought that you are aware about the fact that UEFA referee committe doesn't comment the performance of referees (we don't know the marks of referees, we don't see the official reports, everything it's secret regarding referees). It was very strange to me to hear that Collina made such a statement.

  9. Maybe it was already posted here, but here are the Premier League designations for the next days

    Saturday 14 April
    12:30 Southampton v Chelsea
    Referee: Mike Dean
    Assistants: Ian Hussin, Mark Scholes
    Fourth official: Roger East

    Burnley v Leicester City
    Referee: Martin Atkinson
    Assistants: Stephen Child, Mick McDonough
    Fourth official: Paul Tierney

    Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion
    Referee: Andre Marriner
    Assistants: Scott Ledger, Simon Long
    Fourth official: Graham Scott

    Huddersfield Town v Watford
    Referee: Craig Pawson
    Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Eddie Smart
    Fourth official: Michael Oliver

    Swansea City v Everton
    Referee: Lee Mason
    Assistants: Harry Lennard, Marc Perry
    Fourth official: Lee Probert

    17:30 Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth
    Referee: Chris Kavanagh
    Assistants: Lee Betts, Peter Kirkup
    Fourth official: Bobby Madley

    19:45 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
    Referee: Jonathan Moss
    Assistants: Simon Bennett, Andy Halliday
    Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

    Sunday 15 April
    13:30 Newcastle United v Arsenal
    Referee: Anthony Taylor
    Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
    Fourth official: Kevin Friend

    16:00 Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion
    Referee: Paul Tierney
    Assistants: Richard West, Andy Garratt
    Fourth official: Mike Dean

    Monday 16 April
    20:00 West Ham United v Stoke City
    Referee: Michael Oliver
    Assistants: Stuart Burt, Daniel Cook
    Fourth official: Craig Pawson

    Tuesday 17 April
    19:45 Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur
    Referee: Kevin Friend
    Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Mark Scholes
    Fourth official: Lee Probert

    Wednesday 18 April
    19:45 AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United
    Referee: Graham Scott
    Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Harry Lennard
    Fourth official: Andre Marriner

    Thursday 19 April
    19:45 Burnley v Chelsea
    Referee: Bobby Madley
    Assistants: Marc Perry, Adrian Holmes
    Fourth official: Anthony Taylor

    19:45 Leicester City v Southampton
    Referee: Roger East
    Assistants: Simon Beck, Derek Eaton
    Fourth official: Neil Swarbrick

    Great achievement for Oliver to reach two-hundred Premier League matches! He will arouse a lot of medial attention, I hope more than usual he'll whistle a good (relegation) match, I'm sure he will.
    Important match for Moss after what happened last weekend in Manchester (the comeback, we should have known :-D), and Marriner has whistled all three versions of this derby this season. Nice appointment for Kavanagh.

    1. One interesting info : I congratulated Michael on his 200th PL by tweeting to his wife Lucy and she thanked me and told that the Merseyside derby was actually his 200th game... Is there any match missing from the stats??

    2. One match unrecorded
      One big mistake?

    3. I'm not sure :D Premier League website, Soccerway and worldfootball all records say he's currently on 199... But maybe incorrect as the PL website in this season has incorrectly kept Stuart Attwell's name in a match refereed by Bobby Madley... So classic grey area for me as the observer :D :D

    4. Maybe he had to take charge of a match as fourth official? I don;t know, just suggesting something.

  10. Well. Thought about the HFs, too.
    We should be very careful saying this or that ref is "out"for this/ next round just after one crucial mistake and focuse more on the general quality of this ref during the last YEARS!
    Not allowing even one crucial error would mean to make the pressure on the refs even higher than it is now. More trust, more help/ regularly supervisions by sport-psychologists even in the national leagues and the impeachment of videorefs as early as possible in knock-out-phase and in CL-groups!
    So my predictions are different from my hopes (Aytekin, for me the best german ref since 2 seasons) /(Marciniak) /(Kralovec).
    Marseille-Salzburg Kralovec/ Orsato
    Arsenal-Atletico Turpin/ Brych

    Bayern-Real Rocchi/ Skomina
    Liverpool-Rome Kuipers/ Cakir

    EL-Final Skomina

    CL-Final Mazic

  11. No VAR in the Premier League for the next season!

  12. Again on prediction

    I would skip referees coming from the same nationality of the involved ream due to recent dissents and complains. So no appointments for tge 3 spanishes, Brych and Rocchi should go in EL, leaving Mazic, Kuipers and Cakir in CL. But honestly is difficult for me find a 4th name in CL. Kralovec? Kassai? Karasev ? In EL Collum and Kralovec could be sppoinyed witk Brch and Rocchi

  13. @ Pet : Oh no. You don’t understand sarcasm. You attacked Soham just because he was « indian ». I used same level argument with you...
    Agree Chefren ;)

    1. First of all you should reply in proper place. I don't want "to pollute" this thread with our discussion.

      About the "indian": I consider that your knowledges about football (generally speaking) are proportional with how much football did you play/see/watch. When you live in India you don't have the chances to play/see/watch a lot of (competitive) football. Did you know a indian football player ? Did you know the name of a stadium from India ? Did you hear about a football referee from India ? Did you really know the name of a indian football club ? Did you hear about a performance of indian national team ?
      For these reason I was cautios about Soham's knowledges. Also, I understand he's very young. When you are young you think you know everything :)
      About me: I'm old enough to see until now ~ 1000 football games in 21 countries. I saw live Kim Milton Nielsen, Hugh Dallas, Herbert Fandel, Roberto Rosetti, Terje Hauge, Mejuto Gonzalez, Medin Cantalejo, Busacca, Ovrebo, Benquerenca, Kassai, Proenca, Velasco Carballo, Kuipers, Brych, Atkinson, Cakir, Mazic, Rocchi, Marciniak, Eriksson, Mateu Lahoz and many, many others...

    2. ....I forgot Urs Meier, i don't understan how I could :) ... Denmark-Romania 2-2 decisive game for qualification to EURO 2004. Denmark equalized in 94:37 after Meier awarded only 4 minutes of ET (ok, it was a substitution in ET, so 30 seconds more, but Romania lost the qualification in 94:37)

    3. This time Soham was wrong by provoking with that answer and I have no trouble in admitting that. You were just answering on a different topic. I invite Soham to avoid such behaviors.

    4. However, let me say, thay also depreciating someone's views only because he is of Indian descent is equally, if not more, offensive. What about Alain Hamer from Luxembourg? According to perschovschi's arguments, he had no chance to play/see/watch a lot of competitive football and he was an elite referee. A very poor argument and I would be really sad to read something similar with regard to me.

      Appeal for petschovschi, just try to be less arrogant and stuffy. We should respect each other, no matter where are we from! A man from Andorra can have a bigger knowledge in refereeing than a man from England. EOT

    5. Yes indeed I got sarcastic over there which wasn't necessary... I should avoid such things in a private forum and I acknowledge it :) Sorry to petchovski... Please don't take offence as it was meant as a joke but it didn't come out in the right way I admit!! :)

  14. OT: Appointments DFB-Pokal Semifinals

    Bayer 04 Leverkusen - FC Bayern München (Tuesday, 8:45 PM)
    Ref: Daniel Siebert (FIFA)
    Ass 1: Lasse Koslowski
    Ass 2: Markus Häcker (FIFA)
    FO: Harm Osmers
    VAR: Dr. Jochen Drees
    AVAR: Daniel Schlager

    FC Schalke 04 - Eintracht Frankfurt (Wednesday, 8:45 PM)
    Ref: Robert Hartmann
    Ass 1: Christian Leicher
    Ass 2: Markus Schüller
    FO: Dr. Robert Kampka
    VAR: Günter Perl
    AVAR: Florian Badstübner

  15. A very interesting situation from Italian serie B.
    Red card for DOGSO to keeper (not a genuine attempt to play the ball):
    Referee assessed that keeper had put his arm on purpose to stop the opponent without any intent to play the ball. One can agree with this decision, however for certain aspects it could be still discussed because keeper is allowed to control the ball by hands in penalty area, so one could say it was still an attempt to get it. But in my opinion absolutely supportable by referee, the keeper seems to made that action on purpose just to stop the opponent.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. The penalty should have been retaken, due to the encroachment by the defending player?

    3. ...and why not at the end of the next year ?

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. OT :

    Who is refereeing the 2018 KNVB Cup Final on 22 April, Sunday?? I think Gözübüyük might be the favourite this year!!

    1. Not yet known. Will be published next week tuesday.

      Usual options: Nijhuis (4 or 5 seasons ago), Blom (6 seasons ago), Gözöbüyük.

      Out: Liesveld (injured), Makkelie (last season), Kuipers (2 seasons ago).

      I'd say G is a reasonable option,but there may be another option. For years and years, Ed (Peter) Janssen has been a very reliable official. Not the most shiny referee, but certainly a very constant one. He has been active internationally as 6th official with Kuipers, Nijhuis, etc. and he was really good at that.
      He will stop after this season. I think he deserves to be in charge of a cupfinal before the end.

  17. In case of Mazic planned for the final, could it be possible to see Skomina in Real vs Bayern or Bayern vs Real as a sort of reward for his good season? And a test for a future CL final?

    1. If Mazic gets the CL final, then Skomina will definitely appear for a UCL SF match as he can't whistle the EL final this time... Not sure Bayern v Real is the suitable match for him after all that happened with Kassai last year... In case I want Skomina for Liverpool v Roma because he is always rxceexcel with English teams and this season has done well with Italian clubs... That I don't think this will need to be considered as I believe will be Kyiv in May ;)

  18. To be fair, I think the draw result should mean no more matches for Rocchi in UCL this season. He has already been appointed to handle Real Madrid in KO stage this season, against one of the favourite teams (as is Bayern)... and it was also controversial. Add to that last year's match with Kassai in the middle and it is a pretty good idea to avoid such appointment if possible. Yes, he is a more experienced official than Oliver was, but I think the context makes him unsuitable. Therefore, my prediction is Skomina/Kuipers. Liverpool-Roma for Çakir in the return leg and some other referee in the first leg which doesn't belong to the top Elite or who has made some crucial mistake this season (but not Mateu Lahoz because he handled Liverpool in the previous round).

    1. Maybe Turpin/ Undiano Mallenco in Liverpool?? But don't you see Cakir as a candidate for Real v Bayern, George?? If Skomina gets the final then maybe Kuipers and Cakir for Real v Bayern and Undiano Mallenco and Mazic for Roma v Liverpool??

    2. I would not appoint Çakir given he handled Real Madrid in the previous round. Of course, if the committee doesn't care about that, he is a candidate, but I think they should try to avoid that kind of things.

    3. Even last year it wasn't maintained actually so I think this time with not so many options available it will even more difficult to maintain... Çakir did Real Madrid in R16 and SF, Kuipers did Juventus in QF and SF and Mateu Lahoz did Monaco in R16 and SF in the UCL last time so I expect similar things this time too!!

  19. LALIGA SANTANDER - Matchday 34

    20 April 2018

    CD Leganés - RC Deportivo de La Coruña (21:00 CET)
    Referee: Alfonso Javier Álvarez Izquierdo
    Assistant Referee 1: Juan Carlos Barranco Trejo
    Assistant Referee 2: Joan Méndez Mateo
    Fourth Official: José Luis Guzmán Mansilla

    21 April 2018

    SD Eibar - Getafe CF (13:00 CET)
    Referee: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
    Assistant Referee 1: Alfonso Costoya Rodríguez
    Assistant Referee 2: Enrique José Ramos Ferreiros
    Fourth Official: Pablo Brea Peón

    RC Celta de Vigo - Valencia CF (16:15 CET)
    Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 1: Diego Barbero Sevilla (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 2: Iñigo Prieto López de Ceraín
    Fourth Official: César Díez Cano

    22 April 2018

    Girona FC - RCD Espanyol de Barcelona (12:00 CET)
    Referee: Javier Alberola Rojas
    Assistant Referee 1: Iván Hernández Ramos
    Assistant Referee 2: Abrahám Álvarez Cantón
    Fourth Official: Daniel Yuste Querol

    Málaga CF - Real Sociedad de Fútbol (16:15 CET)
    Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernández (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 1: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 2: Francisco Javier Martín García
    Fourth Official: Salvador Lax Franco

    UD Las Palmas - Deportivo Alavés (18:30 CET)
    Referee: Mario Melero López
    Assistant Referee 1: Manuel Ángel Torre Cimiano
    Assistant Referee 2: José Luis Martínez Serrato
    Fourth Official: Antonio Santos Pargaña

    Club Atlético de Madrid - Real Betis Balompié (20:45 CET)
    Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 1: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (FIFA)
    Assistant Referee 2: César Manuel Noval Font
    Fourth Official: Miguel García Aceña

    23 April 2018

    Athletic Club - Levante UD (21:00 CET)
    Referee: José Luis Munuera Montero
    Assistant Referee 1: Alfonso Baena Espejo
    Assistant Referee 2: José Alcoba Rodríguez
    Fourth Official: Iosu Galech Apezteguía

    1. One question to Spanish readers, why Copa del Rey final will be played so early this season?

    2. I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with the preparation for the WC. Playing it earlier allows Spain national team to gather most of its players sooner than if it was played after the end of the season.

    3. I think so. But that didn't happen in 2016.

    4. It happened in 2014 tho. So maybe they only doing in WC years?

  20. Scottish Cup - semi-finals

    14 April

    Motherwell v Aberdeen (11:15 UTC)
    Referee: Kevin Clancy
    Assistants: Douglas Ross, David Roome
    Additional Assistants: Andrew Dallas, Alan Muir
    Fourth Official: Greg Aitken

    15 April

    Celtic v Rangers (13:30 UTC)
    Referee: Bobby Madden
    Assistants: David McGeachie, Graeme Stewart
    Additional Assistants: Don Robertson, Nick Walsh
    Fourth Official: Steven McLean

  21. Two quick yellow cards for dissent in Sevilla - Villarreal. Referee: Pablo González Fuertes

    1. Of course we can never discuss on cards issued for dissenting behavior, so well done by González Fuertes.
      However, in this case there is in my opinion a point for improvement for referee, he showed the second YC in a too nervous and theatrical manner, he could have managed the same thing with a better body language.

    2. A think that surprises me about "ourselves" is that only in Spain the referees keep both cards in the same pocket, without any card set.

  22. He has got it wrong. Had to give YC TO the Villareal player who committed the foul over Banega. Doing so would not give 2 YC to the Sevilla player.

    1. IMO neither a clear SPA nor a reckless kick.

  23. My SF predictions:
    Liverpool - Roma: Cakir / Kuipers
    Bayern - Real: Skomina / Mazic
    Marseille - Salzburg: Marciniak (if not fit: Oliver) / Orsato
    Arsenal - Atletico: Rocchi / Brych

    1. Both CL final candidates for the semifinal and then one of them for the final? Seems unlikely ...

  24. Danilo Grujic and his team using new Addidas kits for derby.

    1. @Jovan regards for the stream!
      Just started watching at 14', anything significant happened before?

    2. Very hot start. Around 6' Partizan players wanted YC for CZ defender for SPA - CZ defender got big warning to avoid that.
      Correct play-on in 10' after Partizan played tried to simulate - maybe he could whistle simluation + YC but he only warned left back from Partizan.

      Really good managment from Grujic so far in hot match.

    3. World class onside decision prior Red Star's second goal from Milovan Ristic.
      About Grujic: excellent start. You never whistle this derby strictly by the rules. He "missed" maybe 2 YCs for fouls and 2 for players that gesticulated him to show YC, but it is much smarter to avoid YCs at the beginning of this kind of match. The atmosphere calmed down, particularly when Red Star scored 2 goals in 3 minutes.

    4. Impressive player management from Grujic so far from what I saw, really accepted and approachable authority in spite of the hot atmosphere.
      Correct YC for removing the shirt, but tmm clear YC:SPA missing at 41' for PAR#55 (considering the score, atmosphere, expectation etc it would have been sensible to adminish him).
      Otherwise convincing first half from my view, but I missed the hottest moments, it seems the way he solved these assured his control :-).

    5. Yes, he missed YC in 41'. He should give it giving the circumstances.
      And yes, Mikael, the way he solved the "problems" at the beginning assured his control and authority.

    6. Correct PK in 96' but missing RC for DOGSO?

    7. Hot end after Partizan score'd - Correct 2 RC for both teams, correct YC for goalkeeper for Crvena Zvezda.

    8. Agreed, @Jovan he would have had easy chance to score without the shirt tug. Good advice of AAR1 Nikolic for the penalty though.
      I was rather impressed by Grujic, ten YCs(!) and he was absolutely not pedantic in his line. There were riots between the players, but these were solved well (missing prevention after the 2-1, Grujic turns his back on the ball which the GK and PAR player fight for, the two RCs could have been prevented with this proactivity).
      He radiated calmness, presented himself as the player's friend but was firm against threats to his authority (YC for dissent at around 76' was good).

      8,6/7 performance, great control in such an atmosphere, crucial decisions, personality, card management etc.
      - 0,1 for the clear missing YC:SPA at 41'
      And probably a crucial mistake to not dismiss CRV04 for DOGSO

      So another 7,9(6/7) this week IMO :-)

    9. Great performance with one mistake that doesn't hurt :)

  25. Mistake by Moss in Tottenham-ManCity
    Moss gave a PK while the foul was made outside the box.

    1. And it should e a red card for serious foul play.

    2. If red card, it would have been for DOGSO.

      This was clearly a reckless challenge. Look at where the foot of the GK makes contact with his opponent -- on the side of the foot. FIFA has shown (time after time) over the past 5+ years that this is reckless, NOT excessive force.

  26. Also a missed red card for Alonso of Chelsea against Southampton by Mike Dean. Chelsea came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, doubt that would've happened with 10 men.

    You do wonder just how many crucial mistakes it will take by referees for English clubs to allow VAR to be used in the Premier League...

    1. Yes that Alonso tackle was horrific. PL refs would have to change many decisions if VAR was implemented.

    2. FA announced that they were looking at it for retrospective discipline as the referee, Mike Dean, stated that he did not see the contact.

    3. And a further update, appeal denied, 3 match ban.

  27. An interesting penalty situation from Hungary. What do you think?

  28. According to media in Croatia, Collina was asked by media on Oliver's penalty and he said that he watched situation several times from all possible angles and that Oliver's decission to award a penalty was absolutely correct.

    1. Still news about Collina, but let me say I'm not sure.
      We are reading everything, we still miss reliable sources.
      Said with all the respect for your source, I think Collina can't make any statement about Oliver's performance.

    2. If Collina would ever give his opinion about a situation like this he would do it in a press conference or simply a video so everyone would know it’s his words. But it’s not appropriate for this situation because I am sure he would get threats no matter what he says.

  29. We can't tolerate anymore what is happening between some Juventus "fans" and Oliver with his wife. This should end soon. I'm really disappointed, but better say shocked, and I would like to apologize on this blog, for what it can count, in front of the entire English world of refereeing, not only Oliver and his wife. We offer our help to police if needed, but first of all in any case, our big solidarity.

    1. +1 no words for what some "fans" have done in the last days... :-(
      And Buffon says he is standing by his words, surely he realises the power that he has and carries on severely criticising Oliver...

  30. News from Holland:

    AZ - Feyenoord
    Referee: Kuipers
    ARs: Van Roekel, Zeinstra
    4th: Van Boekel
    VAR: Makkelie
    AVAR: Kamphuis

    Seems to me like a worldcup team in training.

  31. What do you think of this situation? Penalty or not?
    Referee is Wim Smet not a fifa referee.
    Game is in the championship group in Belgium. (0.32)

    1. I don't think there is even a contact.

    2. They introduced VAR in the play-offs. So the videoref didn't intervent in this situation. The referee also didn't take a look to the screen.

    3. No penalty in my opinion. Not a supportable decision to whistle it. Contact is missing. It was more simulation, but having to make a decision, play on.

    4. No contact at all. Correct decision would be simulation + YC in my opinion.

  32. What an offside prior Utrecht's goal for 1-1 against Feyenoord. AR2 was well positioned and it was very easy decision - offside was at least 1 meter. Incredible that he missed it.

  33. PSV - Ajax:
    Excellent RC by Makkelie for SFP, very well detected.
    It was not easy, such challenges are very often misread.
    With that action from behind with studs up, the player clearly aendangered opponent's safety.

  34. Some incidents from Lotto Ekstraklasa

    Lech Poznań - Korona Kielce (Krzysztof Jakubik, UEFA Third Group)

    penalty for holding

    Jagiellonia Białystok - Górnik Zabrze (Tomasz Kwiatkowski)

    violent conduct?

    disallowed goal upon an on-field review (foul in the build-up)

    potential 2nd YC for SPA

    - - -

    Pogoń Szczecin - Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza (Bartosz Frankowski, UEFA Second Group)

    penalty incident - the play-on call upheld upon an on-field review

    penalty incident (goalkeeper slightly touched the ball, but also the head of an opponent), game stopped due to injury (should the referee allow the attacking team to score or not?)

    penalty incident - play-on call after handling the ball (unnatural hand position but also a deflection from the body)


    1. - - -

      Śląsk Wrocław - Sandecja Nowy Sącz (Piotr Lasyk)

      unsporting behaviour vs violent conduct

      penalty incident - the play-on call upheld upon an on-field review

      violent conduct against the referee after a 2nd YC for reckless foul

      advantage issue and two YCs for dissent

    2. Sito Riera is just an asshole. I remember this from him.

    3. And from that...

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Same still frame is enough. Clear SFP. So, the Italian VAR goes in the direction of the German one?

    2. VAR is Rocchi this evening...

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.


    Here a reliable news. UEFA Referee Observer Francesco Bianchi has been interviewed by a Swiss site about the penalty call by Michael Oliver. I'm quite astonished by the statements made by the Swiss observer. He talked without any problem about Oliver, Buffon and also Collina. For those who don't understand Italian, in a short resume, I can report that according to his opinion the penalty is fully correct, but Oliver did a mistake because he had to send off Benatia (due to the pushing from behind). He also criticized Buffon for his reaction and behavior by using very strong words which I prefer not to translate.
    In addition, most interesting thing, about Collina's choice to appoint Oliver he has stated: "We should ask Collina for knowing which criteria he used to appoint Oliver in Madrid, it is true that there were more experienced referees, but Oliver was not so bad, he did well".
    Then, there are some questions and answers about VAR.
    Of course one can agree with almost everything he said about Oliver decision and Buffon behavior, but let me say I find really incredible that as official UEFA observer, he can talk about all these things. I'm sure and I'm sorry for this Swiss site: Collina wont be happy after reading these words.

    1. Because it's so much better to continue to work it complete secrecy. Transparency is good. Don't resist it. We need more people like this gentleman, not less. Earn the trust of the public by being less secretive.

      We should be able to view the match assessors report.
      We should know the how and why the referee received the marks he did.
      And referee committees should be more public in backing up and supporting an under fire referee.
      But they should also come out publicly and accept when mistakes have been made.
      That is all.

      Transparency is never a bad thing. Get it?

  37. Situation in Getafe-Espanyol. Referee Mario Melero López.

    Referee issues 2nd YC to Flamini, but:

    a) When Flamini intervenes, he doesn't commit any foul, makes a clean challenge.
    b) At the same time, his teammate makes a reckless challenge.

    So, why did Melero López sent off Flamini? Mistaken identity or wrong call about Flamini's challenge? He's just in front of the play.

    Video below, sorry I didn't find anyting better.

    1. I guess it's a mistaken identity... I mean it's really hard to explain because he is just in front of the play as you said. His teammate didn't take a YC so probably mistaken identity.

  38. Have you any news about the FUFA world cup referees meeting in Italy ?


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