Friday, 21 December 2018

Jair Marrufo in charge of 2018 FIFA Club World Cup Final

A trio from USA has been appointed to handle 2018 FIFA Club World Cup  final, between Al Ain FC and Real Madrid CF. Italian Gianluca Rocchi will officiate the third place game. 
22 December 2018, 17:30 CET
Al Ain FC (UAE) - Real Madrid CF (ESP)
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA)
Fourth Official: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Fifth Official: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Video Assistant Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Mark Geiger (USA) 
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 3: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)

Third Place Final
22 December 2018, 14:30 CET
Kashima Antlers (JPN) - CA River Plate (ARG) 
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Fifth Official: Waleed Ahmed Ali (SUD)
Video Assistant Referee: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 3: Paweł Gil (POL)


  1. Interesting that Makkelie has been appointed as main VAR for Marrufo with Geiger as AVAR1.

  2. This shows to me that Makkelie is the number one VAR for FIFA. Collina and Busacca goes for "safe hands". If I am correct, this is the fourth final for him as VAR at a FIFA tournament.

  3. Makkelie's probably the best VAR in the world. About ref conf criterium is well respected!

  4. Good achievement for Marrufo, who was already on a high at the end of the last decade with the Olympic tournament 2008 and his selection for the WC 2010, before being withdrawn.
    After several years slighlty below the very top, he now had a surprising match at the WC and the CWC final in this year. And he is only 41, so still available for the next WC.

    Maybe a reason for the VAR appointment is, that Geiger already was VAR in last year's final.

    1. Reports from US readers about his performances in domestic league have been mostly negative on this blog, I never watched him as MLS referee, but it seems as now at FIFA level he is having a very good time and he can be indeed selected for WC 2022.

    2. Geiger's performances have been fine Chefren. It's popular to complain about him these days (and has been since at least 2015) but those complaints are not justified. He's still a top referee in the league and this was supported when the second legs of our playoff semifinals went to Marrufo and Geiger, respectively (neither could have the final because they had to be in UAE for the CWC obviously).

    3. Chefren was talking about Marrufo.

      Marrufo, for years, has been a referee who avoided cards and was difficult for many ARs to work with. He has had the lowest cards-per-match count in the league for some time. Oddly, he doesn't have much soft management skills either. From my perspective, he simply calls fouls and aims for the path of least resistance. I, admittedly, have not liked him in the past.

      But his style has slowly merged with what FIFA seems to want at the international level. What we saw in 2014 and 2018--with referees appearing to keep their cards in their pockets when most of us think they should be out--is how Marrufo has been refereeing for a decade.

      I think Marrufo is having a moment. He's in the right place at the right time and he performed well in his one opportunity in Russia. I know for a fact that Busacca/Collina have asked him to aim for 2022. It was long assumed that Villarreal or Elfath would be the US candidate for 2022. It won't be. It will be Marrufo. Rockwell has also been asked to stay on even though he will be well past 45. Marrufo/Anderson/Rockwell will be the American crew in 2022. Hopefully he does well over the next few years and can walk into that tournament ready to perform well.

      But the bottom line here is that, domestically, Geiger and Marrufo are a LOT different.

  5. it's an insignificant competition.

  6. Rocchi Kashima Antlers - River Plate
    00:45 offside detected by VAR, disallowed goal
    01:25 penalty directly whistled by Rocchi, absolutely correct, however I think clear mistake in missing a card (player was not booked), this scenario should be DOGSO, if genuine attempt (and one can agree, even thoug it resulted in a late tackle) at least YC to be issued. In any case, correct no VAR intervention.

    1. He must have evaluated it as SPA, but I agree with your comment.

      In the final, apparently no major refereeing incidents in a (maybe expected) easy game.

      As a side note: Only two referee kit coulours used during the tournament - black and red (which were the least used during the WC in summer)

  7. Lazio - Cagliari
    Ref: Gianluca Manganiello
    VAR: Marco Guida

    Goal allowed after quite long verbal communication with VAR

    Penalty awarded after an on-field review. Watch the live sequence, please. It seems the strike occured split second before the corner kick execution.

  8. Excellent Sánchez Martínez tonight, in Athletic-Valladolid. Correct PK call for handball and a correctly allowed goal because of a defender being out of the field of play (thus breaking offside), a case like Fröjfeldt in Netherlands-Italy of EURO 2008.

  9. It's been quite a good year for American referees!


    Refereeing highlights that I cut from Scotland

    Aberdeen - Heart of Midlothian, John Beaton
    0:00 Foul before Goal?
    0:20 Penalty, Pushing?
    1:00 Penalty, Holding
    1:18 Violent Conduct?
    2:10 2nd Yellow Card, SPA

    Hibernian - Livingstone, Greg Aitken
    2:33 Penalty, Tripping

    Hamilton Academicals - Kilmarnock, Bobby Madden
    2:53 Penalty, Handling (Advantage?)
    3:18 Penalty, Handling?
    3:38 Penalty, Holding?
    3:53 Penalty, Pushing?


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