Thursday, 10 January 2019

2019 AFC Asian Cup - Referee Appointments for Group Stage MD2

Appointments for MD2 at 2019 AFC Asian Cup. 
10 January 2019, 12:00 CET - Dubai (Al-Maktoum Stadium)
Referee: Chris Beath (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Fourth Official: Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Peter Green (AUS)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ryuji Sato (JPN)

10 January 2018, 14:30 CET -  Al Ain (Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium)
Referee: Kim Dong-jin (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Park Sang-Jun (KOR)
Fourth Official: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ko Hyung-jin (KOR)

10 January 2018, 17:00 CET - Abu Dhabi (Zayed Sports City Stadium)
Referee: César Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Hernández (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Rashid Al Ghaithi (OMA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)

11 January 2018, 12:00 CET - Dubai (Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium)
Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Salman (BHR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)

11 January 2018, 14:30 CET - Abu Dhabi (Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium)
Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Fourth Official: Mohammed Al Hammadi (UAE)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Jumpei Iida (JPN)

11 January 2018, 17:00 CET - Al Ain (Hazza bin Zayed Stadium)
Referee: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Abdu Al-Amri (OMA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Additional Assistant Referee 2:  Khamis Al-Kuwari (QAT)

12 January 2018, 12:00 CET - Abu Dhabi (Al-Nahyan Stadium)
Referee: Muhammad Taqi (SIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ronnie Koh Min Kiat (SIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergey Grishchenko (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Deniye Gedara Palitha Parakkrama Hemathunga (SRI)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: César Ramos (MEX)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Hettikankanamge Chrishantha Dilan Perera (SRI)

12 January 2018, 14:30 CET - Sharjah (Sharjah Stadium)
Referee: Fu Ming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Huo Weiming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN)
Fourth Official: Mohamad Muazi Zainal Abidin (MAS)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Ma Ning (CHN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Liu Kwok Man (HKG)

12 January 2018, 17:00 CET - Dubai (Al-Maktoum Stadium)
Referee: Ali Sabah (IRQ)
Assistant Referee 1: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rashid Al-Ghaithi (OMA)
Fourth Official: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Mohanad Qasim Sarray (IRQ)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mohd Amirul Izwan bin Yaacob (MAS)

13 January 2018, 12:00 CET - Al Ain (Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium)
Referee: Hettikankanamge Chrishantha Dilan Perera (SRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Deniye Gedara Palitha Parakkrama Hemathunga (SRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)

13 January 2018, 14:30 CET - Abu Dhabi (Zayed Sports City Stadium)
Referee: Mohd Amirul Izwan bin Yaacob (MAS)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohd Yusri Bin Muhamad (MAS)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamad Muazi Zainal Abidin (MAS)
Fourth Official: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Peter Green (AUS)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ko Hyung-jin (KOR)

13 January 2018, 17:00 CET - Dubai (Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium)
Referee: Ammar Aljneibi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Mohammed Al Abakry (KSA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Abdulla Mohamed (UAE)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Turki Alkhudhayr (KSA)


  1. Kim is appointed only one day after being AAR - not ideal regarding mental rest.

    1. And the two Korean ARs Yoon and Park have a match yesterday and today - very rare situation in top level football.

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  2. Appointments 10, 11, 12

  3. Cerro Grande in Bilbao, excellent….

  4. I really don't get why Green and Sato, two main referees, have to go there as AAR's.... Same counts of course for two Japanese AAR's for Ramos. What's the logic behind that? Communication will be very difficult, and I can't imagine that it's good for their concentration.

    1. Maybe the Japanese officials are quite good in the English language? As there are no other Spanish native speakers among the officials, there would be no better solution.
      Furthermore there are already 21 of the 30 referees appointed in the middle, so some of those main referees need to work as AAR anyway.

    2. Every country has a different way to English. I don't want to say that they are bad at it, but quick communication between AAR and ref is best done in the native language. There is no time to talk slowly...

  5. A good game by Chris Beath.
    But should this have been yellow?
    Only thing he missed all game by my reckoning.

  6. BAHRAIN - THAILAND (Christopher James Beath)

    Video minutes
    26:14 - YC #6 THA for reckless kick
    27:39 (28:55) - handball in the wall, penalty should've been awarded?
    33:32 - YC #15 THA for reckless tackle / SPA
    40:10 - advantage issue
    55:43 - YC #9 THA for reckless kick in the head
    57:52 - YC #5 THA for off-the-ball holding
    1:16:32 - missed YC #13 BHR for reckless use of arm
    1:18:35 - cynical character of the foul but neither reckless nor SPA
    1:30:00 - public warning #3 BHR for off-the-ball holding, not in line with 57:52
    1:44:04 - another foul committed by #3 BHR, should have been a YC for persistent infringing?

    Another Australian case of being in the background and simply refereeing what is in front of you. Both Green and Beath impressed me how they handled their games. Cool, unfussy, just doing their job. However, the interesting question regarding Green v Beath 'battle' is whether the not whistled penalty for handball will be assessed as mistake?

    1. More deliberate than the handball in Ning's match - should be a penalty IMO, but not sure, whether it is a clear mistake.

      Does anyone know, who is considered as Australians number one? Beath got much more in the last CL season, but Green has more experience and got the slightly better match (on paper) at this tournament.

    2. I know Beath is rated highly by AFC and is a full time referee whereas Green is not full time.

    3. 1st YC: Absolutely no doubts about it, very good that he gave it quickly.
      PK appeal: For me it is one. Clearly enlarges the body and hits the ellbow.
      YC #2: Another mandatory caution.
      40:10 - Free kick would have been the better option I think.
      YC #3: No doubts about that one either.
      YC #4: Blatant holding, correct. A warning for the BAH player who demanded the caution would have been good as well.
      1:16:32 - Reckless use indeed, missed caution.
      1:18:35 - Borderline, but no YC acceptable for me.
      1:30:00 - Fine with warning only here, as two defenders were quite close to the scene.
      1:44:04 - Considering he's on a warning, YC now for me.

      I really liked the calm way he handled the fouls in the first half, although it felt like in the 2nd half the consistency was a bit lacking once or twice. For me, it should have been a penalty, but considering how handballs are judged, hard to say what the ones in charge will think.

  7. JORDAN - SYRIA (Kim Dong-Jin)

    31:27 - YC #19 SYR for very reckless trailing leg tackle. SFP? Foul whistled and card showed with a significant delay, most likely upon advice from AR2 or simply after seeing the pain. Terrible lack of alertness...
    44:20 - Another case of very late whistle, missed YC #14 SYR for reckless tackle?
    46:38 - Missed YC #3 SYR for reckless tackle?
    1:01:00 - Missed YC #4 SYR for reckless tackle?
    1:02:25 - YC #15 SYR for reckless challenge
    1:07:55 (1:08:47) - Foul and missed YC #3 SYR or simulation?
    1:13:38 - Missed AT LEAST YC #2 SYR for reckless-SFP studs attack from behind. The fouled player has been heavily injured and had to be substituted... (
    1:45:08 - Advantage at offside
    1:51:35 - Possible violent conduct by #4 SYR but no evidence
    2:06:38 - Blatant holding and mass confrontation afterwards. Lack of anticipation, quick reaction after holding offence...
    2:20:20 - Another holding and dissent

    Surely the worst performance so far regarding management. Total lack of alertness, prevention and anticipation. The referee looked unfocused and demotivated.

    1. The link :)

    2. 31:27 - Brutal foul, for me more of a RC than yellow. The referee completely failed to spot it at first and seemed completely unaware of what had happened. AR2 most likely the only reason this didn't went completely unpunished.
      44:20 Late with studs showing. Mandatory YC, once again he completely missed it at first.
      46:38 How on earth is that not a yellow? Blatant late tackle stopping an attack.
      1:01:00 Looked very similar to 44:20.
      1:02:25 Late challenge, mandatory caution.
      1:07:55 Contact is there, but outside. Free kick + YC.
      1:13:38 Brutal challenge, studs showing, RC. No doubt. Referee seemed completely uninterested.
      1:45:08 Player in offside position touches the ball, therefore call it.
      1:51:35 Can't say from the pictures.
      2:06:38 Both YCs correct, but referee far too slow in his reaction, credit to AR2 for doing his job.
      2:20:20 Holding is more like a YC, kicking the ball away was close enough to the whistle to get away with a warning.

      For me, the referee failed to protect the (Jordanian) players with a bad foul detection and almost abyssmal disciplinary control. All of these unpunished challenges were endangering the safety of the opponents and that "only" one got injured is down to look. Referee wasn't alert and lacked the personality to solve this without using his cards. That he didn't do as well and the result we can see. Definitely the worst performance so far, though the crucial mistake scenes are not 100% clear (RC in 3', 2nd YC for SYR #3 if he is booked twice, VC).

  8. INDIA - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos)

    Not much to report on this performance. Good, expected level by relaxed Mexican as we know him from the World Cup. He didn't fall for some exaggerated falls what made the game a bit more fluent. However, it was not a good football game. Below some incidents

    Two minor potential DOGSO incidents but surely not mistakes to play on, rather only to discuss about

    Visible problems with communication between the referee and Japanese AAR2

    YC for reckless use of arm showed with a significant delay, most likely upon advice of 4OF

    And the second yellow card from this game

    1. Those communication problems are like I predicted... Good to see that they communicated in a positive way, but not really well done...

    2. DOGSOs: Is does him a great favour that he tackles the ball clear after the push. Both scenes could have gone the other way if the opponent goes down, but as you said, no mistakes.

      About the communication: It seemed like it happened in a positive way with thumbs up instead of yelling or hasty gestures and the decisions appeared correct as well in the end. So kudos for that, such problems can only be avoided if the team has more time to work with each other I think.

      YC #1 is correct but as replays show he had a perfect view on the incident, I'm confused with the decision took so long.

      YC #2 is mandatory.

      As always, thank you for the clips and the report. :)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. It is reported "video not available"

      Sorry guys this is right one

    3. The player is in offside position, everything is about the real touch of the ball before it entered the net. If the player touched the ball before that, offside. If not, correct decision to allow the goal. Player is in offside because there are two attemps to save: at first by keeper then by defender, never a deliberate play there.

  10. Janueray 12:

    January 13:

  11. Khamis Al-Marri trying to avoid YCs and it was one of the games I'm fine with this approach, as it was mostly fair. Two late challenges left him not other options, otherwise he was very lenient when it came to 2-3 cases of SPA. There was one scene in the second half, a penalty appeal for handball that would have a RC for DOGSO as well. Solid performance.

  12. Minute 62 shocking studs in teh face by the GK on the attacker. Clearly deliberate. No decision taken. Only drop ball.Leeds vs Derby.


      Andy Davies surely missed it on an expectation-perception-recognition level, but you're right, what a brutal tackle and shocking decision...

  13. I watched Alberola Rojas in Rajo Vallecano - Celta Vigo.
    I strongly suggest to watch the first half, especially the early minutes. This was an amazing game with a quite good officiating. Some offside issues solved by VAR, but Alberola in terms of control and crucial decisions was simply excellent...

  14. Impressive performance by Alberola this evening, first half full of episodes all solved correctly. Excellent !!!!!

  15. Hello. Does anyone have a link UEFA RAP 2018 - 1?


  16. Appointments for Monday:
    🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates vs Thailand 🇹🇭: Ryuji Sato (JPN🇯🇵)
    🇮🇳 India vs Bahrain 🇧🇭: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB🇺🇿)

  17. To be honest, for what I watched so far, I don't like this policy by AFC making such appointments. Too many mixed teams, officials getting games two days in a row, communication problems... I think that this tournament was not perfectly organized under the refereeing's point of view. Then in KO stage everything will change. Also, not a clear line in appointing referees, it seems as so far all should get games. I'm a bit disappointed. For sure, a different world than UEFA.

    1. I'm disappointed about the level of officiating so far. Too many mistakes, not convincing disciplinary control and foul detection.

  18. OT: The following referees have officiated this weekend in Saudi Arabia (Referee - Assistant Referees - Fourth Official)

    Szymon Marciniak (POL) - Pawel Sokolnicki (POL), Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL) - Tomasz Marciniak (POL)

    Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR) - Kim Haglund (NOR), Magnus Lundberg (NOR) - Majed Al Shamrani (KSA)

    Viktor Kassai (HUN) - Györgi Ring (HUN), Peter Berettyan (HUN) - Adam Farkas (HUN)

    Mark Clattenburg (ENG) - Jake Collin (ENG), Bader Al Shamrani (KSA) - Radu Petrescu (ROU)

    Damir Skomina (SVN) - Jure Praprotnik (SVN), Robert Vukan (SVN) - Györgi Ring (HUN)

    Pawel Raczkowski (POL) - Pawel Sokolnicki (POL), Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL) - Tomasz Marciniak (POL)

    Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA) - Mauro Vivenzi (ITA), Filippo Valeriani - Piero Giacomelli (ITA)

    A question for Polish readers on here (Vlad): is Tomasz Marciniak related somehow to Szymon (brother, cousin?). And how do you feel (also the others), that Sokolnicki and Listkiewicz have had two matches in less than 24 hours?

    1. Tomasz Marciniak is Szymon's brother. He handles games in 2nd tier.

      I don't know what to think about assistants being appointed day after day.

  19. OT : French appointments - MD 20

    11/01/2019 19:00CET
    Referee: Thomas Léonard
    Assistant Referees: Frédéric Hebrard - Gilles Lang
    4th official: Cédric Dos Santos
    VAR: Christian Guillard - Arnaud Baert

    11/01/2019 20:45CET
    Referee: Benoît Millot (FIFA - 2nd)
    Assistant Referees: Stéphan Luzi - Aurélien Drouet
    4th official: Antoine Valnet
    VAR: Éric Wattellier - Sébastien Moreira

    12/01/2019 17:00CET
    Referee: Florent Batta
    Assistant Referees: François Boudikian - Mathieu Grosbost
    4th official: Pierre Gaillouste
    VAR: François Letexier (FIFA - 2nd) - Stéphane Bré

    12/01/2019 20:00CET
    Referee: Nicolas Rainville (FIFA - 2nd)
    Assistant Referees: Julien Aube - Yannick Boutry
    4th official: Alexandre Perreau-Niel
    VAR: Frank Schneider (FIFA - 2nd) - Romain Lissorgue

    12/01/2019 20:00CET
    Referee: Karim Abed (FIFA - 2nd)
    Assistant Referees: Mikael Berchebru - Éric Danizan
    4th official: Guillaume Paradis
    VAR: Johan Hamel - Yohann Rouinsard

    13/01/2019 15:00CET
    Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FIFA - 1st)
    Assistant Referees: Guillaume Debart (FIFA) - Julien Pacelli (FIFA)
    4th official: Antoine Grare
    VAR: Antony Gautier - Romain Delpech

    13/01/2019 17:00CET
    Referee: Benoît Bastien (FIFA - Elite)
    Assistant Referees: Frédéric Haquette (FIFA) - Nicolas Henninot
    4th official: Pierre Legat
    VAR: Jérôme Brisard (FIFA - 2nd) - William Lavis

    13/01/2019 17:00CET
    Referee: Hakim Ben El Hadj
    Assistant Referees: Gwenael Pasqualotti - Hicham Zakrani (FIFA)
    4th official: Rémi Landry
    VAR: Alexandre Castro - Abdelali Chaoui

    13/01/2019 21:00CET
    Referee: Mikael Lesage
    Assistant Referees: Huseyin Ocak - Cyril Mugnier (FIFA)
    4th official: Sylvain Palhies
    VAR: Jérôme Miguelgorry - Wilfried Bien

    1. OT : French appointments - Postponed matches

      15/01/2019 19:00CET (MD 17)
      Referee: Éric Wattellier
      Assistant Referees: Christophe Mouysset - Alexandre Viala
      4th official: Bastien Dechepy
      VAR: Stéphanie Frappart - Stéphane Bré

      16/01/2019 19:00CET (MD 17)
      Referee: Hakim Ben El Hadj
      Assistant Referees: Gwenael Pasqualotti - Stéphan Luzi
      4th official: Mathieu Vernice
      VAR: Bruno Coué - Jérémie Pignard

      16/01/2019 19:00CET (MD 17)
      Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FIFA - 1st)
      Assistant Referees: Guillaume Debart (FIFA) - Julien Pacelli
      4th official: Yohann Rouinsard
      VAR: Jérémy Stinat - Sylvain Palhies

      16/01/2019 19:00CET (MD 17)
      Referee: Benoît Bastien (FIFA - Elite)
      Assistant Referees: Hicham Zakrani (FIFA - Elite) - Frédéric Haquette (FIFA)
      4th official: William Lavis
      VAR: Alexandre Castro - Arnaud Baert

      16/01/2019 21:00CET (MD 17)
      Referee: Antony Gautier
      Assistant Referees: Michael Annonier - Frédéric Hebrard
      4th official: Bartolomeu Varela
      VAR: Johan Hamel - Pierre Gaillouste

      16/01/2019 19:00CET (MD 18)
      Referee: Clément Turpin (FIFA - Elite)
      Assistant Referees: Nicolas Danos (FIFA) - Cyril Gringore (FIFA)
      4th official: Lakhdar El Bedoui
      VAR: Willy Delajod - Lionel Jaffredo

    2. Does Stephanie frappart acts as only VAR in ligue 1

    3. Yes, in Ligue 1 only as VAR. She officiates games in Ligue 2 as main referee.
      However, I think a promotion to Ligue 1 could follow soon... according to many positive reports I heard day after day about her performances.

  20. I 'stand-in' for Vlad, and try to go some of the way to replicating his excellent coverage of the Asian Cup so far. As a silent reader who watched most of the games, I want to thank all contributors so far; may it continue!

    PALESTINE - AUSTRALIA, Valentin Kovalenko

    => Management of Australia no22. (Were 11' and 13' really fouls? Was it acceptable to not caution at 41' for PI, if we say the verbal warning at 13' was about fouls of that format?)

    => Conflict management and then YC for Unsporting Behaviour, 34'.
    Watch at 1:30, can we accept a YC there?

    => Missed Yellow Cards? (25', 31', 41', 48', 59')

    => Yellow Card for Not Respecting the 9.15m distance, 55'

    => Onside by Abdukhamidullo Rasulov for 0-3, 89'

    Rather lenient performance, also in fouls detection / selection, (clear YC missed 31' eg.), and it would not be wrong to say there was no real visible stepped approach. To be fair, I like his way of dealing with players, while still keeping a distance, he is really sure of himself and gets his message across. I had the feeling that he understood what this match needed from it's referee; I hope that in case of different setting, we could see a more rigorous approach by Kovalenko.
    Personally, I hope he is the Uzbek that goes further, but I rather doubt that...

    1. AUS #22: I accept the foul calls, but yes, all those infringements combined should have been a YC at 42', especially since the holding alone would be enough for me. Also, no warning to the PLE players demanding a caution.

      First YC: Should have called a foul against the PLE player for his pulling, which results in him getting hit in the first place. The player then shows clear dissent, pushed the referee slightly and is rightfully booked (slight push, seemed not 100% intentional, so I accept YC). Referee did not seem firm enough when dealing with dissent earlier, so maybe that contributed.

      26' Clear foul, missed foul and YC.
      32' Similar case, again YC for me.
      42' As said above, YC, if not for holding/SPA then for PI.
      49' Textbook of-the-ball holding, not briefly, but repeatedly. YC.
      60' Late sliding challenge, catches ball and opponent. Can accept no YC, but it's a foul.

      YC#2 Correct decision, but not gonna lie, I find that it's not good if that ends with an immediate caution when much harder fouls are "ignored". (Same goes for the final YC for time wasting, which seemed overly harsh.)

      Goal - Very tight, I support the AR here.

      Quite similar to other performances at this Asian Cup. They are surely not bad, but many referees seem to want to avoid cards and for me, he lacked a clear line: YCs were given for dissent, not retreating and time wasting; and while they are correct, I don't like the inbalance with tackles/SPA not being punished.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. And the appointments for Tuesday:

    🇦🇺 Australia vs Syria 🇸🇾: César Arturo Ramos (MEX🇲🇽)
    🇵🇸 Palestina vs Jordan 🇯🇴: Mohanad Qasim Sarray (IRQ🇮🇶)


    Yeah, those are the correct appointments.

  24. I'll try to assist Mikael W in being a stand-in for Vlad and his excellent coverage of the tournament.
    I'll try to find some video material for the scenes described below later on.


    I'm impressed and very happy so far with his performance. While the match is a rather one sided affair, there was quite a number of late or reckeless challenges. The referee showed four YCs in the first 17 minutes and all of them were undoubtebly correct (late stomp, late tackle, reckless use of ellbow and a combination of SPA and arm to the face). I have to praise this - all these fouls were worthy of bookings and he did not hesitate to show them. YC #5 was for yet another late tackle as DPR Korea's players were flying into these ones.

    Still, his communication is good, relaxed and calm, but in no ways passive. He gave good verbal warnings at 26' and 32' (first one could have been another yellow compared to the one in 7').

    Additional bonus points for the way he hands out the YCs. Quick when possibly, but when the player lies on the ground, he waits for them to get up before booking them, but has the YC already in hand to avoid protests from the opposing team.

    Otherwise, there was a minor penalty appeal (3') that I need to have a look at it again, as well as a no foul call at the start of the Qatar attack that led to the 3rd goal. First impression is correct call in both cases, but I need to have another look later.

    1. Much quieter second half, as Qatar routed DPR Korea.

      53' Late Tackle by PRK #13 studs showing and catching his opponent's shin. I believe the referee didn't see the full extent of the foul, should have been a YC at least.
      54' YC PRK #10, late tackle. Correct decision, but a less severe foul than thatin the minute before.
      55' 0-4 Qatar, appeals for offside made, didn't catch a conclusive replay.
      90' 2nd YC for PRK #11 for yet another tackle in the midfield. Correct decision.

      Overall, I really liked his performance in a match that wasn't evenly contested, but still had a fair share of rough play. The referee immediately took action against it and remained mostly consistent with his card choices (except 32' and 53') all of which were correct in my eyes. Also, I liked his personality and communication. No big fuss, just a well-handled match.

      I'll have another look at some key incidents later on and try to find some video material.

  25. Prieto Iglesias ( Athletico Madrid-Levante) with a terrible penalty decision imo for handball with VAR in my surprise backing the referee even with no OFR. No video available yet but if someone has seen it Id love to hear any comments

    1. Video of the action.

      IMO a perfect case of an undeliberate handball that never should be called. Wrong penalty, VAR should have intervened.

      Not a good season so far for Prieto Iglesias after his recent promotion. Also, it's not the first time González González decides not to intervene on clear mistakes (e.g. Mario's challenge on Coquelin, Villarreal-Valencia).

    2. I was astonished by the call, probably Prieto influenced by the heat of the athletico players who surrounded him immediately but no excuse there for VAR

    3. It is always the same issue with handballs. Nothing new. According to UEFA RAPs, this particular case (handball while trying a tackle) is the most difficult to assess. It is at referee's discretion to decide whether the player has deliberately increased his body's volume, despite of the natural position of the arm, given the attempt of challenging the opponent for the ball. We had many different interpretations on that, so there isn't a 100% correct decision, VAR was right in supporting this choice, it would have been the same in case of contrary decision. You just have to accept that...

    4. I fully agree with Chefren.
      In addition, more and more we observe players who deliberately increase their body volumes.
      Defenders seem sometimes a second goalkeeper by throwing themselves in the direction of the ball

      Also, players must be aware that when performing a tackle in high speed, their body volume increases after the player involved falls to the ground. IMO, the player who carries out the tackle in such a way is responsible for any consequences.


    I'm a bit at a loss what to say about the performance. It was not an easy match and he remained in full control. But we have two crucial scenes that need to be discussed as well as a disciplinary line I wasn't really able to understand fully.

    CRUCIAL scenes
    26' penalty for Japan, a rather cynical swing by the Omani defender. But it appears he hits the ball first, then the opponent. The replays I've seen were inconclusive, but there were quite a few complaints.
    45' penalty appeal after JPN #5 throws himself into a shot. My initial impression was that the ball hit the players ribs, but another replay suggests handball.

    Disciplinary management - Cautions
    26' YC OMA #12 - dissent after the penalty decision, correct.
    36' YC JPN #21 - apparently for time wasting at a throw-in. Seemed harsh.
    49' YC OMA #6 - late challenge.
    67' YC JPN #9 - tripping his opponent from behind.
    90'+2 YC OMA #11 - extensive holding/SPA.

    Disciplinary management - Others
    40'/44' - Two already cautioned players with fouls that have "SPA character". At least verbal warnings would have been needed, if a 2nd YC wants to be avoided.
    56' Late challenge by OMN #17, a foul harsher than the one leading to a YC at 49'. Referee only gives a warning.
    65' OMA #15 jumps into his opponent intentionally with no chance of playing the ball to stop this attack. Once again, no YC.
    89' Warning for JPN #19 after a lunge into the legs of his opponent.
    11'/54'/62' Good verbal warnings after minor incidents.

    The referee was unfazed and calm despite quite a few protests by the players, especially in the key scenes. His use of the whistle was bit extensive.

    Overall, I felt it was a mixed performance and the final assessment will depend on the two crucial scenes.

  27. PHILIPPINES - CHINA PR, Hiroyuki Kimura

    Short refereeing highlights can be found in the above link.

    => Kimura largely did fine in quite a tough match. A sound foul detection combined with the ability to deliver good verbal warnings were the assets that saw the referee succeed on the pitch (especially 24' [2:45], where a slow verbal warning helped the game return to calm).

    => Referee decided not to award a penalty at 49' [6:10], slow motion reveals that player manages to block the ball largely with his hand whilst (marginally) successfully enlarging his body surface; I wonder whether AFC would like a penalty here. Play-on corresponds surely to the players / audience expectations as well as common-sense. Surely no crucial mistake anyway.

    => The verbal warning issued at 3' [0:00] would have been better used at 4' [0:25] after an actually reckless strike which it seemed the referee misread, but a YC there would have inflamed the game. At least a firm warning should have been the outcome.

    => After a good warning at 11' [1:00], referee ought not to have played the advantage and cautioned the same player at 13' [1:30], optimal moment to open the cards was not used here.

    => I liked the decision not to book at 47' [5:00] despite China protests, but he missed clear cautions at 35' [4:10] and 60' [7:20] for a reckless strike and tactical foul respectively.

    => All three YCs given were correct.

    => As aforementioned, referee showed quite a sophisticated foul detection. With Philippines exaggerating and China demanding whistles (and cards) after many tackles, Japanese did really well in his assessment of duels. Furthermore, after the 0-3, referee took a more rigorous line in foul selection: I really liked this common-sensical approach.

    => I liked his way of dealing with players. He was able to communicate on the players' level using empathy in his verbal warnings. He showed the determination to get his point across in 13', one could say this is hyper-aggressive but considering his approach was centred about being reasonable, I liked that he showed everyone he could be 'strong' as well. He showed the required determination in his decisions, eg 47', when needed in 2H. He might not be the most natural match-manager in AFC, but he used his skills really well here.

    Decent performance by Hiroyuki Kimura in this match, with some points for improvement but also some considerable strengths. Based on the performance principle he should be the Japanese that goes further at this championship; I doubt that will be the case though.

    1. Thank you for this excellent summary of the performance! Looking at the video material, I agree: CHN #10 should have been cautioned at 14', especially after the earlier warning. I like the way he gives them, but at some point, he has to back them up with cards, otherwise the players don't take them seriously. YC at 55' is more quite incosistent with this scene especially.

      In the overall context, one of the good performances surely. I'd like a bit more consistency when it comes to discipline, but if it is handled like it was in this match, good job.


    A derby that was decided at the latest at half-time. The referee chose a quite lenient approach, but it wasn't a problem since the match was quite fair and the teams accepted it as well.

    But one crucial scene was twenty seconds in: TKM attacker is tripped while entering the penalty area. Referee gives a free kick and no YC. For me, both decisions are wrong: YC + penalty. Quite an important call and a crucial mistake in my opinion.

    1' Missed YC for UZB #13 for SPA, regardless of free kick or penalty.
    23' Warning for UZB #17 after a late tackle. For me a YC, but in line with later decisions.
    46' Another late tackle by TKM #7 this time. Again only a warning, consistent, but more of a YC for me.
    61' No YC for UZ #11 after a case of holding/SPA.
    71' Only YC of the match for UZB #5 for a boot to the face.
    86' Late tackle by TKM #5, again no card.

    In this game, the very lenient line did work. I hope he will employ a much stricter line if the match is different. Unfortunately, a rather clear crucial mistake for me, which ranks his performances quite low in my eyes.

  29. OT: There is a list of VAR's for the rest of the CL season. I'm not sure how accurate is the list.

    Spain : Mateu Lahoz, Gil Manzano, Del Cerro Grande and Undiano Mallenco,
    Germany : Deniz Aytekin, Felix Brych and Felix Zawyer
    Italy : Daniele Orsato and Gianluca Rocchi
    The Netherlands : Björn Kuipers and Danny Makkelie
    France : Clément Turpin and Benoît Bastien.
    England : Anthony Taylor
    Portugal : Artur Soares
    Slovenia : Damir Skomina
    Hungary : Viktor Kassai
    Greece : Anastasios Sidiropoulos
    Serbia : Milorad Mazic
    Romania : Oliviu Hategan
    Czech Republic : Pavel Kralovec
    Poland : Szymon Marciniak
    Scotland : William Collum
    Russia : Sergei Karasev.

    Original source:

    1. Indeed, I don't know how much this is reliable... this sounds just like a list of Elite referees, with a few names missing.
      For example, impossible to think that Irrati wont be appointed in this role, but also all the other Category 1 and 2.

    2. If this is to be believed also it implies Taylor will work primarily as VAR for Oliver and I don't know maybe he 'll get a game

    3. Except other refs from other countries can acts as VAR from refs from another country

    4. And Taylor has been working as VAR in England while Oliver hasn't

  30. Real Betis’ equalizer (67’) that was initially disallowed was given by VAR. But it looks like the player was (marginally) offside [upper body].


    2. I have no idea what program is used by VAR but I think they see the same terrible angles as the tv viewers when they watch offside situations and how no access to lines or anything. Then this will happen. 2-3 years ago La Liga used to show offside lines with a wall for all heigts not just a line on the ground. Only then can yiu truly see if a player is offside.

  31. A canceled goal after OFR from tonight game between Marseille and Monaco:

    What do you think?

    1. Correct decision to assess it as foul, I think. Also correct to recommend the OFR, because the referee probably did not see the stepping on the leg.
      Could even be offside by the player, who fouled, at the moment of the shot on goal, because he is still obstructing the GK...

    2. Disagree completely and this is NOT the correct use of VAR. Does anyone--for a moment--think this would be given as a penalty if the roles were reversed? Of course not.

      By the book, yes there is a foul here. The attacker carelessly stepped on his opponent. But is it clear and obvious? Did anyone expect it as a call? And did it have an affect on the end result? No.

      We can't fall into the trap of using VAR to cancel goals that, in the past, most people accepted as legitimate. If VAR leads to fewer goals in the name of perfect accuracy ... that's not a good thing for the sport.

    3. Agree with Usaref, you never call this as a foul. You expect attacker and GK to get into contact but GK never had a single chance to get up and do something.

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