Sunday, 16 December 2018

2018 FIFA Club World Cup - Referee Appointments

Appointments of match officials at 2018 FIFA Club World Cup, in United Arab Emirates.

Play off for second round
12 December 2018, 16:30 CET
Al Ain FC (UAE) - Team Wellington FC (NZL) 
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Fifth Official: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Video Assistant Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Gil (POL)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 3: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)

Second round
15 December 2018, 14:00 CET
Kashima Antlers (JPN) - CD Guadalajara (MEX)
Referee: Bamlak Thessema Weyesa (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed Ali (SUD)
Fourth Official: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Fifth Official: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Video Assistant Referee: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 3: Danny Makkelie (NED)

15 December 2018, 17:30 CET
Espérance Sportive de Tunis (TUN) - Al Ain FC (UAE)
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA)
Fourth Official: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Fifth Official: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Video Assistant Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Gil (POL)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 3: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)

Match for Fifth Place
18 December 2018, 14:30 CET
Espérance Sportive de Tunis (TUN) - CD Guadalajara (MEX) 
Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Rule (NZL)
Fourth Official: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Fifth Official: Frank Anderson (USA)
Video Assistant Referee: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 3: Danny Makkelie (NED)

18 December 2018, 17:30 CET
CA River Plate (ARG) - Al Ain FC (UAE)
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Fifth Official: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Video Assistant Referee: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Gil (POL)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 3: Mark Geiger (USA)

19 December 2018 17:30 CET
Kashima Antlers (JPN) - Real Madrid CF (ESP)
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Fifth Official: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
Video Assistant Referee: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 3: Danny Makkelie (NED)


  1. Interesting btw, that Gil is there again. At the WC he didn't get a single appointment as VAR1 if I remember well. Still, apperently he was appreciated.

    1. He seems to be a specialised AVAR1.
      At the WC he had 16 appointments in that role (including 12 matchdays in a row).

  2. OOT Does anyone know what has happened with RayHD ???

    1. If I am not mistaken, he is just posting under a different name now. His choice to reveal it or not.

    2. The real question is what happened to Alberto? :D

    3. Why would you want to hide under different nicknames? Strange ...

  3. I watched Sato from 22'. Easy going 1H for Japanese team. At 28' VAR team correctly identified a foul in the build up to a goal for Al Ain, and Sato correctly cautioned him for a reckless studs tackle after a long review, which could have been a bit shorter. He showed to be football's friend and stayed in the background with a quick verbal warning at +46'. Saying that, no (at least) verbal warning for a SPA-esque foul at 24' was too much even here.

    Now that Al Ain just scored for 1-3, should be an interesting 2H.

    1. Thanks for this update. Unluckily this tournament is not aired in Italy so I wont be able to watch any game if not after having downloaded it... a pity.

    2. I didn't manage to watch 2H, but decent work in ET including a correct 2nd caution (card procedure was really awful though). Now match goes to a penalty competition.

  4. QF predictions
    Kashima - Guadalajara: Sampaio, Figueiredo, Boschilia, Tessema - Makkelie, Gil, Siwela, Irrati
    Tunis - Al Ain: Conger, Makasini, Rule, Marrufo - Rocchi, Geiger, Anderson, Vigliano

  5. Thank to Mikaeal references to the game, I made two clips about the most interesting incidents.

    28': VAR intervention, foul before a goal scored

    120'+1: Second YC - Management

  6. Correct intervention by Makkelie. Clear stamp on the foot. Second yellow card also correctly given for reckless.

  7. Now I think Rocchi and Sampaio with semifinals, Conger fifth place and then we will see for the rest.

  8. I watched Fedayi San officiate the top clash in Switzerland's Super League, FC Basel - Young Boys Berne, where he was a late replacement for Sandro Schärer.
    Remarkable season so far for the 3rd Cat. referee, from 'nowhere', he has officiated a huge match in Greece, entered the Nations League, and was chosen to referee in Saudi Arabia.

    This time though it was a disappointing performance by Mr San.

    Crucial situations:
    40', Missed Red Card, Violent Conduct (good management which reached it's target, but he clearly pokes opponents' eye, referee team HAVE to see that) =>

    +47', Missed Red Card, Serious Foul Play (a dark RC, brutal tackle, which San missed on an expectation->perception->recognition level, his management of injury was poor besides) =>

    68' Missed Foul before Corner leading to the crucial equaliser, with AR1 Sladan Josipovic

    89', 2nd Yellow Card, for either excessive celebration after 1-3 or unsporting behaviour, no real conclusive footage, but surely San will be backed by observer in the stands.

    San struggled to find the 'rhythm' of this match, perhaps because he was a late replacement; his usual strengths of firmness and a very good prevention were not so visible here. His disciplinary control was good, but he missed a YC for SPA at 78'. He had an extreme positioning problem at 27' where he blocked a ball from a corner.
    The mark should be around 7,2 area.

    00:49 penalty by Thessema Weyesa confirmed by VAR, I agree, one can say soft call but surely not clear mistake, replays here:

    01:24 penalty after VAR intervention and OFR, I think referee should have whistled it on the pitch

    1. Fully agreed with your analysis.

      I managed to watch the full match, and I have to say that Tessema needs time at a FIFA level. There were quite a few points for improvement that are either easily resolved or things that will come in due course (eg. a better foul detection / selection, at CAF he showed to be very good here), but one thing did stand out to me:

      His distinction between careless and SPA fouls was quite poor. At 9' and 21' Kashima committed borderline SPA fouls, without any verbal warning, where even one clear public warning at the latter would have solved it adequately. Then he opens the cards at 23' for a lesser SPA by Guadalajara (although, one could argue it was disrespecting the game). This irritated the Mexicans when it could have been avoided. The rest of the game was similar, there was no predictable line, although it was clear he knew when the game 'needed' a card to calm it down, however this had not-so-much correspondance to where it was on the spectrum careless-SPA. This was the same at Tunisia's Derby in CL which he handled earlier this year.
      I would recommend to develop a more stepwise approach, by recognising a continuum between careless-SPA and by showing to be a 'fair' referee by being able to assess SPA on a team, not just individual basis.

      Tessema is still a very 'raw' talent, let's see if he can improve, I have good faith that he will.

  10. Thank you again for this analysis!
    In Marrufo game, one could discuss about the first goal: foul on keeper?
    No VAR intervention.

  11. OT:
    Bebek had a good match in Dinamo-Hajduk.
    He was in full control,dished out 5 bookings,most of them for SPA.
    He is better and better,looks like he is fully recovered from Braga night.

    1. There is only one controversial decision.

      Goal was scored from free kick,but was there any foul to whistle free kick?

  12. OT

    3 Penalty area scenes from Greek Superleague today

    Panathinaikos - Atromitos (Sidiropoulos)

    Olympiakos - Lamia (Diamantopoulos, New FIFA)

    1. Sidiropoulos:

      -1st situation: Supportable PK, look at the legs.
      -2nd situation: There's a clear shirt pulling, but very difficult for the referee to spot it. AR should have helped him.

      Diamantopoulos: Good management of players. I have doubts about IFK + YC as the best decision, instead of just playing on.

  13. De volledige loting voor achtste finales Champions League:
    Schalke 04 - Manchester City
    Atlético Madrid - Juventus
    Manchester United - Paris Saint-Germain
    Tottenham Hotspur - Borussia Dortmund
    Olympique Lyon - FC Barcelona
    AS Roma - FC Porto
    Liverpool - Bayern München
    Ajax - Real Madrid

  14. Let's make a very early early prediction for the UCL round of 16

    1. Schalke 04 - Manchester City
      Del Cerro Grande, Orsato

      Atlético Madrid - Juventus
      Mažić, Çakır

      Manchester United - Paris Saint-Germain
      Brych, Mateu Lahoz

      Tottenham Hotspur - Borussia Dortmund
      Rocchi, Kuipers

      Olympique Lyon - FC Barcelona
      Oliver, Makkelie

      AS Roma - FC Porto
      Marciniak, Collum

      Liverpool - Bayern München
      Hațegan, Turpin

      Ajax - Real Madrid
      Skomina, Zwayer

    2. Mine:
      Schalke 04 - Manchester City: Makkelie, Turpin
      Atlético Madrid - Juventus: Skomina, Zwayer
      Manchester United - Paris Saint-Germain: Cakir, Rocchi
      Tottenham Hotspur - Borussia Dortmund: Hategan, Mateu
      Olympique Lyon - FC Barcelona: Brych, Taylor
      AS Roma - FC Porto: del Cerro Grande, Collum
      Liverpool - Bayern München: Mazic, Kuipers
      Ajax - Real Madrid: Orsato, Marciniak

  15. S 04 - MANCH. CITY
    REF: ORSATO IV: Massa VAR: Irrati
    REF: MATEU LAHOZ IV: Martinez Munuera VAR: Del Cerro Grande
    REF: TURPIN IV: Millot VAR: Buquet
    REF: HATEGAN IV: Fesnic VAR: Kovacs
    REF: KUIPERS IV: Blom VAR: Makkelie
    REF: BRYCH IV: Siebert VAR: Zwayer
    REF: MARCINIAK IV: Razkowski VAR: Gil
    REF: MAKKELIE IV: Gozubuyuk VAR: Kuipers
    REF: ZWAYER IV: Stieler VAR: Dankert
    REF: COLLUM IV: Beaton VAR: Madden
    REF: UNDIANO MALLENCO IV: Estrada Fernandez VAR:Gil Manzano
    REF: OLIVER IV: Pawson VAR: Taylor
    REF: ROCCHI IV: Guida VAR: Valeri
    SKOMINA IV: Jug VAR: Vincic
    REF: MAZIC IV: Grujic VAR: Jovanovic
    REF: CAKIR IV: Ozkaya VAR: Gocek

  16. Harald Lechner handled the historic Vienna Derby at the weekend, between Austria Wien - Rapid Wien.

    Crucial situations:

    2' Serious Foul Play? Referee chose a YC (My FMR broke for this clip apologies)

    32' Red Card (DOGSO)

    60' Serious Foul Play?

    Besides, I saw a preventative performance by Mr Lechner who showed his experience in this match. Different impression than his U21 EURO, which probably cost him any chances of ascending to Elite. His firm reactions against protests, including an 'aggressive' YC for dissent, worked well in this match. Lechner can probably reflect slightly sadly that he never officiated a CL match because I think he has a talent, but he never managed to convince enough apparently (Poland - England being the raison d'etre).

    If I may ask our Austrian readers, what do you think the future holds for the next generation of referees there?

  17. OT:
    Refereeing expert in Croatia ,Marijo Strahonja said that Ivan Bebek had excellent match as he handled biggest croatian match,Dinamo vs Hajduk.
    No situation for Strahonja to analyze az all,which rarely happens,and we have to have in mynd that this was a big match,so big compliments to Ivan Bebek.

  18. Interesting VAR from Netherlands :

  19. Passive movement and positioning of the referee. This is asking for troubles of you do like this. More movement and changing position would be much better to avoid this kind of mistakes.

  20. Sorry, I have to agree with Juan García here. Why referee is so passive on the pitch? He seems not interested in assessing what is happening there. More reaction, alertness, movements...

  21. Conger with two VAR interventions for assigning two penalties in first half.
    This is the first incident:

    1. OT

      Hi, Chefren.

      I would like to thank you for running this amazing blog. Maybe I don't comment a lot but I log in almost everyday to see the posts and comments.

      I have a small suggestion, I think there should be a post where we can show interesting incidents from games all over the world and have the opinion of as many readers as possible.

      I think it will be really useful for referees or people who have an interest in refereeing to have one specific place where we can share clips.

      Thank you again!

    2. Thank you for this suggestion, I will consider to open a specific topic about match incidents, however for now feel free to comment and write on the blog in all discussions.

    3. The ball has already been passed by the fouled player. Sometimes this is taken as argument against the penalty. But I think in that case the referee should tell this to the VAR before the OFR. Once the OFR is done, it would be very difficult to explain no penalty.

    Indeed Philipp, this video shows what you said. Referee didn't notice the foul because he followed the ball. Was that a clear and obvious mistake? I would rather answer NO. Maybe the challenge was too reckless to play on? Vigliano took this decision.
    00:30 the penalty for handball, this was very difficult to spot live. Very quick action.
    To follow, in the last minutes of second half a RC for second YC and a straight RC for SFP (directly assessed by Conger without VAR).
    You can find these incidents starting from 00:50 with the first YC shown by Conger to the player.

    1. For me it's a clear penalty. The defender did not only make contact on the left leg (foot) of the attacker but also on his right leg. The contact on the right leg is even more clear. I am surprised the referee missed this fout. Football expect penalty here.

    2. It's Conger. He's simply not that great of a referee. But he's the "biggest fish in the tiniest of ponds (OFC)". Thus the reason he's always selected. There are no better options available in that region. And his lack of exposure to top level football is painful to watch when he's on the international stage.

      For people to suggest that "play on" would have been acceptable on that type of tackle is laughable. That tackle is whistled 10 out of 10 times anywhere else on the pitch. But because it happens in the penalty area it's okay to overlook it? Get outta here with that rubbish. A foul is a foul.

  23. Rocchi game.
    Interesting situation minute 00:45
    Offside is clear, but what about the nature of the pass? Deliberate play, deflection? Difficult to understand who makes the last touch... I think that also for this reason AR stayed down with flag.

    1. Chefren. Live it’s not the easiest decision but on replay it’s very easy. Defender makes a deliberate play that touches the attacker, so now it’s an attackers pass, but then it hits the defender again but this touch is obviously not deliberate since it comes from a deflection from the attacker and then moves to the offside standing player. Offside is correct.

    2:45 VAR review, penalty.

  25. No doubt that EURO referee's are gullible and are so easily duped by South American "gamesmanship".

  26. Horrible news coming from Greece: Athanasios Tzilos (UEFA listed by 2019) was hit by 4 masked men this morning outside his house in Larissa City. According to reports he is at hospital with head, knee and rib injuries.

  27. Shocking news. Unbelievable to have such news on 2018.

    His last league match was Xanthi - Olympiakos last week. He was appointed on a Cup match tomorrow but he will be replaced.

    1. This is shocking for sure. As blog, we wish the best to Tzilos. A soon recover from this terrible event.

    2. All the referees and AR's from the 1st category will be unavailable for the 15th and 16th matchdays. It is said that their decision is final.

  28. I have to say that I think it is very harsh to throw Conger under the bus for the first penalty incident. If you watch the video closely and properly you can clearly see that his view of the contact is obstructed by no.30. This is not the referees fault. That is why we have VAR to help the referee with incidents where he is blocked or cannot see.

    01:22 disallowed goal by AR2 then corrected by VAR. Very good procedure by AR2 who waited before raising the flag, even after a backpass.
    There were many VAR interventions in a so limited number of games, very different from World Cup.
    My prediction for the final is Rocchi.

    1. It would be a choice without credibility, after the penalty that he did not whistle for Al Ain, even after an OFR.

  30. Chefren how did you analyse the OFR with Rocchi? Clear handball (arm above the head and making a movement to the ball). I can't see an explanation that justify not to give this penalty. VAR correctly sent the referee to reconsider his decision and then Rocchi is stubborn. He is out for the final if you ask me.

  31. Craig Thomson in Hibernian v Rangers.

    Penalty for handball - deliberate movement to the ball, but where does the arm begin?

    Only a yellow for this tackle (first of the match), should it have been a RC?

    1. Deliberate handball and... everywhere you would expect a red card to be issued, but hey!, it's Scotland ;)

  32. CWC- Prediction for final? Marrufo? Sampaio?

    1. My predictions
      Kashima - River Plate: Marrufo, Anderson, Rockwell, Tessema - Geiger, Mohammed, Tonolini, Irrati
      Real - Al Ain: Conger, Makasini, Rule, Sampaio - Vigliano, Gil, Correa, Makkelie

      The referees from the SFs seem unlikely to me. CONCACAF had the final last year. Sato is from the same confederation as Al Ain. Tessema was only a replacement. Furthermore the last two have not refereed at the WC. Therefore I chose Conger by exclusion.
      It seems a good chance for a rare final for OFC, also considering the big difference between the finalists.

  33. Some incidents from FC Schalke 04 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen refereed by Deniz Aytekin.

    Wrong offside call at 0-1 goal quickly corrected by VAR

    Controversial yellow card for simulation

    0-2 goal. Did the attacking player deliberately handled the ball?

    Two SPA incidents in a matter of seconds, only one of them ended with a yellow card being issued.

    Another controversial yellow card for simulation

    1. 2) and 5): both no penalties for me, but the YCs seem too harsh, because there is some contact
      3): If any contact, it is not deliberate, but caused by the push of the opponent
      4) The reason might be, that the attacker is directed more towards the goal in the second case. But at least not good tactically to book only one of them.

    2. 1st yellow for simulation I think is wrong but watching from the original 'live' angle it did look like simulation but with additional information I think penalty would be more correct. The 2nd yellow for simulation I think is fully correct and at the very least a supportable decision.

    3. 1) Correct VAR intervention.
      2) Correct YC for diving. The attacker initiated the contact in order to deceive the referee.
      3) Decision can at least be backed.
      4) It would have been smarter to book both.
      5) For me less simulation than 2). I would have prefered play on.

      I didn‘t watch the game, however, it seemed like Aytekin was not as cool and relaxed as usual.

  34. I quick summary of the refereeing so far at FIFA Club World Cup, waiting for the designation of the last two matches.

    Sato: He showed to be a good referee as in U17 WC last year in his easy match in 1R. He showed to be quite a discreet referee, a bit too distant from the players, at least for my taste. Worked against him that Kashima took the AFC spot, or he'd be good name for 3/4 playoff.
    Tessema: No real good impression from his 2R match, I saw significant lacks to be honest- Ethiopian needs time. Not a name for the Final, but high potential
    Marrufo: No big controversies from his game. Good chances for the Final.
    Conger: Good performance in his 5/6 match. He adapted his tactical approach during the match, effective verbal warnings, all cards were correct (a couple missed though), I don't blame him for missing the two penalties. Showed to be a real solid name in his last two important matches, he would be my choice for the Final.
    Rocchi: He was clearly well prepared for his match. Rocchi surely didn't assign penalty after OFR because he thought defender was fouled or at least 'forced' in handling. Penalty to River is soft, but we know the Italian's sharp line in the box; I'd have rather played on, but okay choice I think.
    Sampaio: No problems that I saw from extended highlights and live tickers, besides offside OFR. Match seemed to be an easy going one.

    My choice for the Final would be Matthew Conger, but I think FIFA will assign Jair Marrufo's team.

  35. Phew, disaster adverted!
    Conger will not be the man in the middle for the Final.
    Marrufo and his crew in the Final.
    Rocchi and his stubborn and smug attitude in the 3rd place match.

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