Friday, 7 September 2018

EURO 2020 - a very early analysis of a possible referee selection

UEFA Nations League has started. We are on the road to UEFA EURO 2020. Two years are missing, but we can already make an early analysis of the officials who might get the call for the big tourmament, to be played in 2020 in several European city. 

The first thing we must consider is the number of selected officials: in 2016, 18 referees were called for the major tournament in France. So we can assume that (at least) the number should remain the same. 18 Elite referees (if not more) will get this honor.

As of today, this is the list of UEFA Elite referee (25 officials): Aytekin, Bastien, Brych, Çakır, Collum, Gil Manzano, Hațegan, Karasov, Kassai, Královec, Kuipers, Makkelie, Marciniak, Mateu Lahoz, Mažić, Oliver, Orsato, Rocchi, Sidirópoulos, Soares Dias, Skomina, Taylor, Turpin, Undiano Mallenco, Zwayer.

We can immediately notice that the number of Elite referee is not so high: so, if we rule out the referees who are about to retire, and other referee who will not attend the tournament, at least so far, September 2018, we have a very limited set of options.

Kuipers, Mažić and Rocchi are the first names we can remove, as they will retire for sure before EURO 2020 and they are not planned for this tournament. Then, Undiano Mallenco, Spanish Elite referee, who is at his last season in Spain and he will leave the FIFA list as well on next December.

These are the remaining choices (21): Aytekin, Bastien, Brych, Çakır, Collum, Gil Manzano, Hațegan, Karasov, Kassai, Královec, Makkelie, Marciniak, Mateu Lahoz, Oliver, Orsato, Sidirópoulos, Soares Dias, Skomina, Taylor, Turpin, Zwayer.

If we take a look at referees who could miss the tournament due to consideration by committee, at moment in my opinion we should mention: Aytekin, Kassai, Královec, Sidiropoulos. This would leave only 17 referees, even below the minimum number of needed officials for such a big tournament.

Therefore, we can surely say that committee will be forced to "recover" some of these aforementioned referees, and maybe the observation by a committee member for Sidiropoulos (reserve referee at EURO 2016) can be read under this point of view. In any case, if we compare this situation to the ones before the previous EURO tournaments, we are forced to say that something is missing in terms of variety.

One conclusion we can draw, and here it would be interesting to read your opinion, is that very likely we will have two referees from the same country at EURO 2020. This could happen for: England (Oliver, Taylor), Spain (Mateu Lahoz, Gil Manzano), Germany (Brych and Zwayer) and maybe France (Turpin, Bastien). Indeed, if we rule out also referees just because they are from the same country of other officials, we would have even bigger troubles. At EURO 2016 only England had this honor, now it will be surely different.

Another thing to add is that there could be a chance for a Category 1 referee to be promoted and then to join the tournament in 2020 as main referee, but, according to our opinion, that's very difficult. Two years seem to be a long time, but in terms of development for a referee is not a so long period. We can mention Oliver who is already Elite but for sure he needs still to develop in these further two years, before attending EURO 2020. 

In  case of selection from Category 1, Kružliak could be an option in case of quick promotion, but as for the rest, I don't see other choices, considering also that it will be quite difficult to see referees like Stieler (he has two countrymen ahead) and Buquet (the same). 

Last but not least, Alexey Kulbakov was a reserve referee atr EURO 2016, but it seems as after that he didn't manage the effort to be promoted to Elite. The same speech as said before, if not immediately promoted, it will be quite difficult to see him in this big tournament. 

And you? What are your thoughts? Just have your say by adding a comment. It will be very appreciated. 


  1. We should evaluate the work of PLC also from this perspective. At least half of those "sure" names for EURO 2020 are unexperienced in terms of high profile games. Even Hategan, after 11 years as FIFA referee, doesn't have a CL quarter-final in his palmares.
    So, after Collina we have (more or less) a desert ....

  2. You forgot Brych and Zwayer as multiple officials choice from the same country.
    What about VAR? Will there be referees dedicated to it?

    1. Yes sorry, I forgot them.
      About VAR, that's the big question, my feeling is that we will have VAR at EURO 2020.

    2. Again, great job, I love to read your analyzes :D

  3. One more problem, probably you won't agree with me:

    In 2020 Brych will be 45 years old. He already has 3 final tournaments (WC 2014, EURO 2016, WC 2018). It's really necessary to choose him for EURO 2020 ? He already had the opportunity to whistle at two World Cups (where, tbh, he didn't impress).
    He is not in the same situation likeRocchi or Orsato who had (or will have) their 1st final tournament at 45 years.
    Sam discurs is valid for Kassai, also him will be 45 years old in 2020. He missed WC 2014 and WC 2018 because of his poor performances, I don't know if it's realy necessary to pick him for 2020.

    Cakir and Skomina will be only 44 years old in 2020, but also them have a superlong history in international games. For Cakir it will be his 5th final tournament (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018). Honestly, it's too much. Cakir isn't the only referee on this planet...

    1. Brych mentioned in interviews that there is one big goal left for him: a match in Munich at EURO 2020

    2. If you exclude also these big names like Brych, Cakir and Skomina the situation becomes even worse. I even think that committee encouraged Cakir and Skomina to stay at least until EURO.
      Hategan could have got something more, you are right about that, if we exclude WC play off he was never so bad, he could have handled at least a CL quarterfinal. Then, there was also this management by Collina to appoint for a very long time always the same names everywhere (Cakir and Clattenburg are paramount examples).
      Now with Rosetti something must change for sure.
      Appointments must be always different, we must see new talents.

    3. A bigger question is who the German and Italian names for 2022 will be. You need to start preparing them now. And having them at EURO 2020 will be ideal.

    4. About Italy, after Orsato, who wont be at 2022 WC also due to Italian age limits, the situation is definitely dark.
      Massa seems to be at moment the only option, but he needs a very quick development at high level in these 4 years.

    5. The only potential game that Brych can whistle in Munchen at EURO 2020 is a QF. That's because the games from group of Germany will be played in Munchen (and Budapest). It's impossible for a referee, even for Brych, to ask in 2018: "I want to be designated to QF that will be played in Munchen at EURO 2020" ...
      Honestly, it won't be a tragedy if Brych won't get a place for EURO 2020. Do you think that he was so impressive in his previous final tournaments ? Do you think that we will be missed so much ? I think it's a matter of common sense that after 3 (not very impressive) tournaments to let a younger referee to whistle a final tournaments.

      P.S Brych is one of my favourite referees. I like very much his style (he whistle what he see without the "tactical" approach of other "big" referees). But what I wrote here it's a matter of principle, of common sense. Otherwise, imho Zwayer it's a disaster :) (no penalty in german cup final, some unbelievable non-decisions as VAR in Rusia 2018 etc.)

      About Massa: I watched him many times, I saw him even live last year at Partizan- Olympiakos. Honestly, I can't see him in Qatar ...

    6. @Chefren
      "If you exclude also these big names like Brych, Cakir and Skomina the situation becomes even worse. I even think that committee encouraged Cakir and Skomina to stay at least until EURO. "

      Not just those two names ;)

  4. I want to add something: I was harsh with Brych. He is a good referee, I like his style a lot. The rest of german referees are far behind him. Brych is currently the only valid name for EURO 2020.
    My opinion was theoretical, about a principle. I have nothing against Brych and I'm really sorry that I was so hurs with him.

    If there is someone who I don't want to see at EURO 2020 that person is Cakir. I didn't like his current "tactical" approach, his new "pervers" style. I can't explain very well what I want to say but a referee should whistle in favour of football, not in favour of himself.

    1. Aytekin is in German Bundesliga since 2 years clearly ahead of Zwayer and even a bit ahead of Brych. Only Gräfe (!) and the most promising young talent Siebert whistle on the same very high level. The only problem of Aytekin seems to be still Barca-PSG. Zwayer is a politically acting referee, but from time to time as mentioned here with unbelievable errors and a remarkable arrogance. If he really is appointed for Euro20, that would disappoint many refs in Bundesliga, cause Brych and Aytekin are much more teamplayers. But I have to concede that in ITA-POL he did a good job.

    2. Wholeheartedly agree that Aytekin is badly punished because Suarez, on one occasion, felt that gravity was particularly strong.

      Zwayer, for all the assignments he gets, is just not Elite. With Siebert, Brand and Dankert, Germany does have quite a few promising referees, particularly for 2022, but 2020 should really be Aytekin’s time to shine IF there was to be a second German besides Brych.

  5. Well I think the situation is not bad as mentioned. We have with Brych an extraordinary referee. Zwayer is behind him, but I think Aytekin is in front of him. Not in comitee eyes but his work in Bundesliga is very constant.
    With Stieler we have a candidate for Elite category and Siebert is for sure one of the candidates for future world cups.
    For FIFA-List we have with Benjamin Brand and Harm Osmers two very talented and young referees.
    So all in all two referees for the next EURO should be possible. I would go for Brych and Aytekin but UEFA believes not that much in him.

    1. I said my opinion about Zwayer, for me this guy is a disaster (of course, it's only an biased opinion). I saw Stieler on TV last year in Crvena Zvezda- Krasnodar: better not to say what I'm thinking about him. I don't understand how was possible to get a CL groups game (Juve- Olympiakos) immediatly after that terrible game (in front of Vassaras, a committee member) ...

      Imho, there were some great german referees in recent history like Merk, Fandel, Stark or Brych. Actual generation is far away behind them.

    2. IMO the "young" German referees all got a problem with personality. They all think that they are the Greatest...

      Only eyception: Siebert

    3. Aytekin acts absolutely contrary to your completely wrong description. And Siebert, that is right, is the most promising young talent. Stieler is a difficult case. He has an extremely unique style, tries to calm down things very (often too) long - believing in his skills being psychologe - and when that not works, he ends in a punishing furor. I saw him brilliant - and I saw catastrophes... For me he is just not constant enough.
      When you dare to judge German talents... do you know Brand - who should be the next on the Fifalist? His problem was the lack of self-confidence and therefor personality. But he made bug steps forward the last years. His style reminds me to Lubos Michel in his good years. And we have Osmers, Jablonski, Petersen, Storcks - the strongest young talents I can remember for many years. So don't worry about Germany my friend and be proud of Gözöbüyük, Makkelie... they are really great!

  6. I don‘t see Zwayer as bad as you do. Especially in international matches he always performs quite well. He is also still young and could develop further in the next years.
    But I also think that Aytekin is a better referee than him. Aytekin‘s problem is just the evening in Barcelona... Since that he has no trust by comittee anymore and his name will always be related to this match

  7. Thx for the good analysis. In most of the points I go with you. I would see the following refs as a more or less clear bet:
    Brych, Cakir, Gil Manzano, Hategan, Karasev, Kralovec, Makkelie, Marciniak, Oliver, Orsato, Sidiropoulos, Soares Dias, Skomina.
    If we now ad refs according to a 1 country = 1 ref - rule, then why not ... Kruzliak, Kulbakov - and Andris Treimanis, whom I see on a very good way. Or a last chance for Kassai. If not - then I go for Aytekin (NOT Zwayer!) Taylor and Bastien or Gözöbüyük, whom I ecpect im Elite soon - deserved!
    But allmin all my list of desire for now would be...
    Aytekin, Brych GER
    Bastien, Turpin FRA
    Cakir TÜR
    Collum SCO
    Gil Manzano ESP
    Hategan RUM
    Karasev RUS
    Kralovec CZ
    Kruzliak SVK if only 1 per country
    Kulbakov BELO if only 1 per country
    Makkelie NED
    Marciniak POL
    Oliver ENG
    Orsato ITA
    Sidiropoulos GRE
    Skomina SLN
    Soares Dias POR
    Treimanis LVA

  8. My early prediction (and desire) of 18 referees, with 1 country = 1 ref rule:

    Felix Brych (GER)
    Damir Skomina (SVN)
    Cüneyt Çakir (TUR)
    Clément Turpin (FRA)
    Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
    Michael Oliver (ENG)
    Daniele Orsato (ITA)
    Danny Makkelie (NED)
    Artur Soares Dias (POR)
    Szymon Marciniak (POL)
    William Collum (SCO)
    Pavel Královec (CZE)
    Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
    Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
    Sergey Karásev (RUS)
    Ivan Kruzliak (SVK)
    Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
    Andreas Ekberg (SWE)