Thursday, 24 January 2019

2019 AFC Asian Cup - Referee Appointments for Quarterfinals

Appointments for Quarterfinals at 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Starting from this stage of the competition, VAR will be used. 
24 January 2019, 14:00 CET - Dubai (Al Maktoum Stadium)
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Mohamed (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Ammar Aljneibi (UAE)
Video Assistant Referee: Chris Beath (AUS)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Muhammad Taqi Aljaafari Bin Jahari (SIN)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Paolo Valeri (ITA)

24 January 2019, 17:00 CET - Abu Dhabi (Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium)
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: César Ramos (MEX)
Video Assistant Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Danny Makkelie (NED)

25 January 2019, 14:00 CET - Abu Dhabi (Zayed Sports City Stadium)
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongier Saidov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Ma Ning (CHN)
Video Assistant Referee: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Muhammad Taqi Aljaafari Bin Jahari (SIN)
Assistant Video Assisstant Referee 2: Fu Ming (CHN)

25 January 2019, 17:00 CET - Al Ain (Hazza bin Zayed Stadium)
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Fourth Official: Turki Al Khudhayr (KSA)
Video Assistant Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Nawa Shukralla (BHR)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: César Ramos (MEX)


  1. Please why does sian-massey Ellis not wear her fifa barge when she officiate in Chris kavanaghs team(premier league)

    1. I don't know but I also noticed a similar thing in France, when Stéphanie Frappart officiates as main referee in Ligue 2, she doesn't wear the badge, but only the French logo.
      Maybe there are some particular reasons for that...

    2. At least for Frappart, I could try to explain. It's maybe because her FIFA status only counts for female matches. In male competitions, she is ranked as "Arbitre Fédéral 2" (Federal referee 2), and therefore she has to wear the badge that corresponds to her rank. (In France, each level has their own badge: "Arbitre fédéral 1" for L1, "Arbitre fédéral 2" for L2, etc.)

      The same is also the case for Frappart's regular UEFA assistant Manuela Nicolosi, who wears the "Assistant Fédéral 2" badge during her games.

      However, no idea why Sian Massey-Ellis doesn't wear her FIFA badge in PL, I saw her sometimes with FIFA badge in male FA Cup games...

    3. Because Babiana steinhaus wears hers in the bundesliga

    4. The female referees in Australia also wear theirs on the A-League.

    5. I've read somewhere (sorry, I can't remember where) that female referees can wear badge during male competitions only after passing 'male' fitness tests.

  2. Is it rare that the same crew officiate two KO stage game consecutively?

  3. Thanks to Mikael W, refereeing highlights from several games

    SAUDI-ARABIA - QATAR, Kim Dong-jin

    JORDAN - VIETNAM, Alireza Faghani

    THAILAND - CHINA PR, Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohammed

    IRAN - OMAN, César Ramos
    Penalties (opinions please!):
    Disciplinary control:

    1. @Ramos' penalties: First one looks clearly correct in full speed, but the slow-motion replays reveal that the attacker most likely tripped himself without punishable interference by the defender. Should be no penalty IMO. Debatable, whether it is enough for VAR.
      Some doubts about the second one as well, because the attacker seems to fall quite deliberately. However there is the leg contact caused by the defender, which makes the penalty still supportable IMO.

    2. Well, Kim Dong-jin's refereeing was bad, a wrongly disallowed goal for non-existent foul, some YC missed and passive attitude. But not as bad as Juan Soto in Spain-Honduras, IMO.

    3. Very poor performance by Kim Dong-jin, for me an unacceptable one (6,6 would be my mark) and among the worst I ever saw. One has to watch the whole match to realise just how bad it was, but the montage I hope gives a good impression. I agree though, it wasn't as disastrous as Soto in Honduras - Spain, which was probably the most defective performance I was ever 'lucky' enough to see.

      Faghani disappointed me a bit, not the best performance from him. I didn't get the impression he had the full motivation / concentration there, but I can be wrong. I don't think it will affect a further appointment though.

      Very good performance by Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohammed, one of the best that we saw so far. Well done!

      I am disappointed by the exploits of César Ramos in this championship. I am not really convinced by him in general, to be honest. My feeling is that CONCACAF, and probably Mexico, has better referees than him.

    4. The thing about Kim Dong-jin is, and that was maybe even worse in JOR - SYR, is his utter lack of any sort of authority. He whistles and that's it. Not strictness, no warnings, almost as if he isn't interested at all. (Best example the YC in 7'). In both matches, he too some extent failed to protect the players; in this one with a strange (because late) penalty decision and a goal that was cancelled for nothing. Soto I only have seen glimpses of, but it looked more disastrous than this one. I tend to say he was more like Velasco Carballo (2014 BRA - COL, 2016 CRO - POR).

      Faghani was a disappointment too, he seemed either not interested or tired. It is a bit telling he got only two appointments so far and not one in the QFs. Maybe it is for the best, he had a long year.

      MAHM definitely with a very good job, after two (for me) avarage performances he really upped this game.

      I've never been a fan of Ramos' refereeing to be honest and even if you back most of his controversial decisions in his matches, the public view of his performances is a very critical one. If the goal was to have a top referee from another federation available to handle matches well, I must say it failed. I'm curious who will get sent to the Gold Cup. (I would suggest Al-Jassim TBH.)

    5. I think, Faghani would be the obvious choice for Gold Cup. Geiger and Ramos are the two most sonorous CONCACAF referees at the moment, so AFC might send their two best known (Faghani and Irmatov) in return.

      I wonder, whether there will also be AFC referees at the Copa America, because there are two Asian teams participating.

    6. Why would the AFC get to send (2) referee crews to the CONCACAF Gold Cup? When CONCACAF only sent (1) crew to the AFC Asian Cup.

      And as far as I know, CONMEBOL and the AFC have no referee exchange agreement in place.


    Video clips:

    => 100' Penalty assigned, decisive for the outcome

    => Other crucial scenes to evaluate (52' DOGSO? ; 83' Penalty?)

    => Disciplinary Control (7', 9', 22', 28', 51', 77', 82', 86', 89', 100', 112', 117', 118')

    => Crucial decisions taken by Huo Weiming (23') and Cao Yi (63', 73') regarding goals

    Remarkable game for the Chinese referee, which was not decided until the last seconds. I find it really hard to categorise how challenging this game was, technically it was weak and players largely played fairly but still it demanded a lot from it's referee; I think it was a typical game that we see in a major international championship.
    Fu Ming was rewarded for his satisfying performance in Yemen - Iraq, in one of the few applications of the performance principle that we saw so far by AFC. I dare say that this game exceeded their expectations though.
    Overall, decent performance by the Chinese, but there is some crucial scenes that take the focus.

    1. => We have to start by talking about the penalty that referee whistled at 100', which allowed UAE to convert the winning goal. While I imagine that the decisions will be backed in terms of marks, it was definitely the more 'unsmart' of the two potential outcomes. Holding does occur, but it is rather minimal. I think that Fu Ming will be disappointed when he watches this in the de-brief; it wasn't really enough to decide this game.
      But, rather than just castigating him, I want to try and work out why he took this decision. The answer lies in his positioning.
      I wouldn't say it is bad positioning per se, but referee is a bit too reactive and also slightly unlucky. He has a reasonable position from the throw-in but then he fails to move and chooses to lean in; then he has to make a quick decision to move left or right- he opts for the latter, which is not the best choice, although the fully logical one looking at where the ball is coming back, considering he is close to moving into the diagonal channel (and there is AARs) and he has no real look into the scene. Even then, there is a minute corridor where he could have had the perception by running even more into the right, but my feeling is that he just misses it. Hence, he has no real insight angle, and elects to whistle a penalty.
      This (positioning critique) shouldn't even serve as a criticism, okay Fu Ming was slightly too passive, but he was moreover just unlucky here.
      Whether he should have whistled based on what he saw is a different discussion though...

      => About the two other crucial situations. I am fully okay with play on in 52', there was some pull but player I am sure was doing everything he could to 'win' a foul, knowing he couldn't reach the ball. At 83', if the ball deflected off the UAE player before it hit his arm, then it is a fully correct decision. If it was directly blocked by the hand, this should be a crucial mistake. I tend towards the former, but the last replay puts some doubts in my mind.

      => His disciplinary control was okay. He basically managed to pick out the most reckless / tactical of the fouls (7', 22', 77', 86'), only missing 82' that was the clear mistake. To be fair, it was more or less predictable when he was going to show the Yellow Card, which is a virtue.

      => My biggest point for improvement would be regarding the use of a more stepped approach. While I think he had quite a good feeling for what fouls (moments) needed cautions, he should work more in prevention. He only gave one verbal warning, and this was at 89' for kicking the ball away. When the first relevant scene of the game is a mandatory caution at 7', it's hard to make a 'real' stepped approach, but I didn't like his presentation of card / no card as black / white.

      => He managed to irritate Kyrgyz Rep. in the 1H by some unsmart whistling, but managed to rectify this with a couple of smart 'compensation' fouls in 2H, and ultimately his fouls detection felt relatively uniform and most importantly 'fair'.

      Overall, decent job by Fu Ming. Some facets of his performance prevent me from talking about a fully good one though, but he still did well in the biggest match of his life so far.
      His performance was characterised though by the penalty awarded at 100', which for me is a bad decision.
      In balance, Fu Ming should reflect on an overall good championship, where he surely exceeded his expectations by officiating the host nation in the Knockout Stage, and in my opinion made certainly the best recommendation of any Chinese referee at this championship to be entered into FIFA's prelist for WC 2022.

    2. A performance I would describe as solid (there were some mistakes you pointed out very well) has been "tainted" with a penalty call I can't support. Minimal holding, but for me this isn't a penalty and of course you should always whistle the same; but especially not in extra time. It certainly does not help the impression that in doubt the hosts get help. A shame, because otherwise it was good or at least solid.

  5. OT : penalty from Coupe de France match Toulouse vs Reims
    118' in prolongation, decisive penalty for 4-4 equalizer. There is no VAR at this stage of the competition.

  6. Benfica - Porto (Carlos Xistra, VAR Fábio Veríssimo)

    1:03 - potential foul before goal, VAR says no foul, no OFR
    1:52 - OFR due to potential handball in the build-up
    3:06 - VAR confirms offside call of AR1, goal disallowed
    4:01 - funny scene with two balls, Xistra did everything to not stop the play

  7. @Chefren: Any reason why only two of the three VARs are mentioned in the tableau? According to the PDF: Taqi and Valeri are AVARs 1 and 2 for VIE - JPN and Al-Marri and Makkelie for CHN - IRN.

    1. Something has changed, the original PDF was reporting only VAR and AVAR. Not clear communication by AFC...

  8. Something slightly off topic.
    AFC elite panel referee Jarred Gillett, one of 3 full time referees in Australia and the referee of the last 4 A-League grand finals in a row, has resigned from Football Federation Australia. He will be moving to the UK where he will join PGMOL select group 2 and will referee in the English Championship next season. One of Australia's best ever referees, we wish him well and hope to see him in the English Premier League one day. And maybe even in Europe???
    Here is the link to the full article:

  9. Rosetti has released a very interesting interview to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. I would like to publish the whole text but it is very long.
    I try to summarize the most interesting arguments.
    He thinks that CL referees starting from today must have a strong leadership, personality, and they must be ready to change decisions, being in any case the leader of his team. According to Roberto, VAR wont change the status of the main referee on the pitch.
    About the language, basically it will be English, but if possible UEFA will try to appoint teams talking the same languase (for example, Italian). However, in any case, he says that most important thing to avoid is COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS.
    Additional assistant referees wont be used anymore, they are not compatible with VAR. VAR takes their role.
    The team behind the monitor: a main VAR and an AVAR. Rosetti didn't specify whether AVAR will be assistant referee or not, I think so.
    All VAR officials will work in the stadiums, there wont be a central room because impossible.
    About the protocol, VAR will intervene only in case of clear mistake by referee. For sure handballs are the most difficult topic. A player can be guilty of handball by increasing his volume with the innatural position of the arm. IFAB is already working for this issue, to give further and better interpretations.
    Offside is an objective assessment: in this case VAR is the best solution. Human eye can't see what VAR can see. Offside will be assessed thank to a 3D Software "Cross-Air".
    It is impossible to solve everything because football is full of grey areas, but for sure many mistakes will be solved by VAR.
    It is also important to talk about the concept of "missed incident", in this case, when VAR notices that referee has totally missed a potential foul / situation, technology is even more fully entitled to intervene.
    Finally, Roberto says that referees must officiate as they did before, without thinking to VAR, but then, once a situation / potential clear mistake happens, they must accept without any trouble to go to monitor, the correct decision must be taken and this is the most important thing.

    1. Thanks Chefren, I didn't find the full article on Gazzetta website. Is it only on the paper ? When can I retrieve the full interview ?

    2. 1/3

      «Avevamo il dovere di anticipare i tempi. Di dare agli arbitri e al calcio europeo uno strumento importante per diminuire errori che possono costare caro ai club e agli arbitri stessi. L’abbiamo fatto». Si parte subito, dagli ottavi. La Var entra in Champions League e il nuovo designatore Uefa, Roberto Rosetti, già responsabile della VAR al Mondiale, ci spiega la rivoluzione.

      Era ora, no?
      «In questo calcio sempre più veloce, tecnico e difficile da “leggere”, è inevitabile ricorrere alla tecnologia. Un gol in chiaro fuorigioco o segnato con la mano non sarebbe più accettato. Non dimentichiamo mai, però, che la Var non è perfetta, non risolve tutti i problemi. In campo e al video ci sono sempre uomini che possono sbagliare, anche se con l’allenamento e la futura specializzazione del ruolo lo faranno sempre meno.Mala Var sarà decisiva su situazioni oggettive come il fuorigioco: qui è impossibile pretendere la precisione umana in situazioni al limite. Esi eviterà un paradosso inaccettabile».

      «Che tutti in tempo reale possano rivedere quello che è successo, e l’unica persona che dovrebbe, per decidere al meglio, non può farlo. Sa cosa succedeva? Che a fine partita gli arbitri andavano subito a consultare i messaggi degli amici, per capire com’era andata. Purtroppo a posteriori».

      Si dice: si perde tempo, il calcio si snatura…
      «No, come dimostrano gli studi dell’Ifab su oltre mille partite. Si perde molto più tempo per punizioni (quasi 9’ a partita), sostituzioni, calci di rinvio (6’), rimesse laterali (7’). Ma poi, se chiedessimo a un giocatore, un allenatore, un tifoso, se è disposto a perdere un minuto e mezzo per avere una decisione corretta, cosa direbbe? Io risponderei: anche due minuti. Serve per eliminare falli gravi e violenze, per salvaguardare bellezza del gioco e incolumità dei calciatori. Proteste e simulazioni sono diminuite. E il tempo perso può essere interamente recuperato».

      La Var le avrebbe fatto comodo al Mondiale 2010, quando il suo assistente convalidò un gol che sul megaschermo era fuorigioco.
      «Certo. Chiesi agli arbitri di Serie A di pensare ai tre errori più gravi della loro carriera e se avrebbero potuto essere risolti dalla Var: è risultato che la tecnologia avrebbe corretto il 94%. È sui gravi errori che si decide una carriera. Non c’è arbitro che non voglia la Var».

    3. 2/3

      A costo di perdere centralità?
      «Non la perderà. Deciderà sempre lui. I Var al video possono solo raccomandare una revisione. Non ha senso che un arbitro possa prendere decisioni al buio, a meno che non siano oggettive. Deve rivedere, decidere e spiegare ai giocatori».

      Come sarà l’arbitro di Champions?
      «Forte leadership e personalità. Utilizzo del Var e capacità di comunicazione. Deve sapersi mettere in discussione perché, in caso, deve avere la forza di cambiare la sua decisione. Naturalmente deve essere preparato tatticamente e tecnicamente, essere un atleta e saper gestire la sua “squadra”».

      Squadre fisse di arbitri in Champions?
      «Dipende dai casi e dall’esperienza nel progetto. L’obiettivo è che parlino lo stesso linguaggio tecnico. Per la lingua c’è l’inglese, ma dove possibile creeremo squadre della stessa nazione. Rocchi potrebbe avere la sua “squadra” italiana».

      Addio agli arbitri di porta?
      «Sono incompatibili con la Var. Stiamo uscendo da una fase di transizione in cui lo stesso arbitro a volte aveva la Var, altre no, altre ancora gli arbitri di porta, o senza… Una confusione».

      Sarà una Var meno «spettacolare» che al Mondiale?
      «Avremo un Var e un Assistente Var al video, come in tutti i campionati europei, e non 4 come a Mosca. Inoltre lavoreranno sul luogo, in un van attrezzato. Non è possibile la gestione centralizzata per questioni di connettività. E ci sono una cinquantina di tv, non una come in A o al Mondiale».

      Ceferin ha cambiato idea da settembre a novembre. Ha fatto bene, ma è stato lo stesso sorprendente…
      «Il presidente ha un forte senso di responsabilità verso il calcio europeo. È una persona seria. Aveva bisogno di garanzie di operatività, perché ogni nazione ha un proprio broadcaster, e di tecnologia. Io gli ho dato le mie sugli arbitri. Ha fatto bene a cambiare idea quando la situazione è cambiata».

      Parliamo del protocollo?
      «Che dice clear and obvious mistake, cioè errore evidente e ovvio. Il protocollo è unico in tutto il mondo, ma poi bisogna applicarlo. Definisce il quadro generale e dice che la Var deve intervenire solo se l’immagine al video evidenzia un errore. Noi diamo linee tecniche specifiche per ogni categoria di situazioni. Ed è importante spiegare e comunicare agli addetti ai lavori ma anche ai tifosi. Prenda il fallo di mano…».

    4. 3/3

      Non facile da gestire.
      «Quando il braccio è vicino al corpo, o in una posizione congrua della dinamica del movimento, non è da punire. Diverso se il braccio è distante dal corpo in posizione innaturale o all’altezza o, addirittura, sopra il livello delle spalle. Il difensore non può ampliare il proprio corpo utilizzando le braccia per fare ostacolo. La Var interviene quando l’immagine contraddice la decisione dell’arbitro e non coincide con le linee interpretative. L’Ifab sta lavorando per definire meglio il tutto.

      E il fuorigioco?
      «In teoria è perfetto per la Var perché richiede una valutazione oggettiva. Abbiamo il miglior software in 3D, il CrossAir, che definisce la proiezione del corpo sul campo nel modo più preciso possibile. Un problema quasi eliminato. E la tecnologia presto ci darà strumenti più affinati».

      Al Mondiale è sembrato che il protocollo fosse «allargato»: nel dubbio, controlliamo sempre al video. No?
      «Non mi piace la definizione “nel dubbio andate a vedere”. È inesatto. Occorre avere immagini ed evidenze perché il controllo video in campo abbia un senso. Non deve essere un contentino. Quando un contatto è basso ed evidente, tipo sgambetto o pestone, c’è sempre un’interpretazione ma supportata da un’immagine che evidenzia il fatto, e si può intervenire, forse ampliando un po’ il concetto di “chiaro e ovvio”. Invece un contatto alto, una spinta, una carica, dipendono dall’intensità e dalla forza e l’intervento Var è più difficile. Diverso, infine, se la situazione è fuori dal controllo visivo dell’arbitro perché è un missed incident. In ogni caso, il protocollo per ora non cambierà ed è unico per tutti. Il calcio è pieno di situazioni al limite, e l’uniformità assoluta è utopia».

      Cosa dirà ai suoi arbitri prima di cominciare gli ottavi?
      «Decidete sempre con coraggio senza pensare alla Var. Ma, quando ci sarà una valutazione errata, quello che conta è uscire dal campo con la decisione corretta. Prima la giustizia».

      L’Italia è così importante nella Var perché la moviola è nata qui?
      «La Figc ha dato un contributo essenziale. Io lavoro in stretto contatto con i manager arbitrali europei e Rizzoli. In Italia, quando ero responsabile del progetto, il protocollo Ifab era solo un testo scritto: l’abbiamo fatto diventare realtà. Cominciando dalla prima partita, Italia-Francia. Gli olandesi sono i pionieri, ma l’Italia è il punto di riferimento. In preparazione del Mondiale è stato fatto un gran lavoro con Velasco Carballo, presidente degli arbitri spagnoli. Inoltre la collaborazione con il capo degli arbitri Fifa, Collina, è ottimale».

      Collina di cui lei ha preso il posto.
      «Ha fatto un eccellente lavoro. La proposta di sostituirlo è stata inaspettata, una grande responsabilità che premia il lavoro fatto. L’Uefa è il top. Gli obiettivi sono chiari. Garantire qualità arbitrale. Lavorare su una nuova generazione di arbitri (da agosto 13 giovani hanno debuttato in Champions). Una sfida difficile ma abbiamo idee e visione. Occorre alzare il livello e sappiamo come farlo, anche con la Var».

    5. Very interesting, thanks.

      I assume, the AVAR will be a referee, because there are so many possible VARs and AVARs at the seminar, but no assistant referees. So, there would be no preparation for them.

      @ "missed incident": Basically, it makes sense, to lower the barrier for intervention in that case. But the danger is to get too many unneccesary VAR interventions, where the chance of a changed decision (after OFR) is rather small. Therefore this needs more clear instructions, how sure the VAR needs to be of a wrong decision in the case of a "missed incident".
      E.g., if the ball touched the hand, the referee missed it and the VAR thinks, it is not deliberate, but in grey area. Should he intervene or not?

    6. Thank you so much Chefren for the whole article !!!!

  10. So the semifinal will be Faghani, and Cesar Ramos?? Final might be Shukralla?

    1. I expected Faghani in one of the remaining two quarterfinals: Should Iran reach the semifinals, he would probably be out for it and even for the final since he handled the last one four years ago. In my opinion, a very risky attitude to "hope" that China will defeat Iran ...

    2. Ramos CANNOT possibly get another game at this tournament.

    3. I agree with Peter regarding Faghani.
      Shukralla should be a good candidate for a SF.
      Maybe also Al-Kaf can get a direct SF.
      There might be a chance for Taqi Bin Jahari as well. (How did he do yesterday?)
      Ming or Mohamed are only possible, if their countries go out.

    4. Me too was expecting Faghani in a quarterfinal, to send him in the final in case of good performance, but IU agree with Peter. If Iran will move to SF and considering that Faghani has officiated the last AFC final cup match, who could be the referee for the last appointment ? Irmatov ? Shukrallah ?
      I would dare:
      Bin Jahari and Al Kaf for the SF and Shukrallah and Faghani for the finals (is there 3/4 place ?) according to Iran's attendance
      Peter, many times I have asked you some news about Austrian refereeing, since we don't see (like fro Belgium, Switzerland and maybe Portugal) big names. Any perspective for the future ? How do you see next officials ?

  11. Appointments:

    Korea Republic - Qatar: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
    Australia - UAE: Ryuji Sato (JPN)

    Wasn't convinced by Sato in any of his matches, Irmatov only slightly better... At least the Uzbek has disciplinary control.

    Short refereeing highlights can be found in the above link.

    Sato is a referee with an aesthetically pleasing optic, both running and dealing with players seems to be what comes naturally to him. But, his toleration of heavy tackling (at least three CLEAR cautions missed, two standing leg tackles...) disappointed me, even if his approach succeeded this time, unlike Iran - Yemen.

    1. The worst thing is that he continues his ultra lenient, harmful to safety of the players approach, what shows that the powers that be are satisfied with his performances. Frightening.

    2. In my eyes, clearly the worst performance in the Ro16. Disciplinary control as if it were the WC 14 all over again, virtually no card use even by heavy/late tackles or SPA cases. Far too generous when dealing with dissent. No crucial scenes.

      This style was ok in UAE - THA, where both teams agreed to play with half power. It was horrendous in IRN - YEM and simply bad here. Frankly, I'm very disappointed by the ultra lenient line Japanese and Korean officials displayed at this tournament.

  13. Maybe a good counter-example for Sato?

    Refereeing highlights from AUSTRALIA - UZBEKISTAN, Abdulrahman Al-Jassim

    Thanks @MikaelW!

    1. Some points for improvement on the highest level - too late whistles close to assistants, no need to sell the yellow card in 109' in such an excessive manner as everybody expected that card to follow. Overall, the decisions were mostly good. However, I would opt for a warning in 2' instead of a yellow card and a straight red card in 46' instead of only yellow.

  14. QATAR - IRAQ, Muhammad Taqi 1st Half Highlights 2nd Half Highlights

    For me, this was the most difficult Round of 16 match for a referee. Two teams there were almost evenly matched, many fouls, many emotions and exaggerations and lots of dissent.

    Taqi has quite a unique style I never have seen before. He is no loud talker, not one with huge gestures or overly energic sprinting. For the best impression, look at the scene in 5:00 in the first video. Enormous dissent after a YC. Taqi keeps him at bay with an outstretched arm, talking and getting stricter, but still very calm. How he stands his ground is almost eerie. I felt like nothing would faze him at all during his match. Especially in the first 24 minutes, there were several smaller penalty appeals, fouls and hecticness coupled with dissent and I feared he would loose control over the match at some point. But he never did. His style worked. Of course, the match remained scrappy and the players weren't all happy with every decision. But it never went out of line, he kept his style and did really well.

    All crucial scenes (penalty appeals, foul call that let to the deciding free kick) were judged correctly in my eyes. He is only 32 mind you! His disciplinary control was fitting, strict enough to keep the game in line, but not overly strict to make things even more difficult by whistling everything. I won't recap every scene, but MikaelW did an excellent job on the videos, which should give you a good impression.

    Although I had some initial doubts about his player management, Taqi had a strong performance in my eyes and proved he can be a referee with a bright future. His young age, the fact that he is from a smaller country (good for tournaments!), a good feeling for when cards are needed and an excellent foul detection all make me hopeful that we'll see him at the World Cup one day. I wouldn't shy back from appointing him in the semi-final at least, especially if higher-ranked colleagues are unable due to their own countries advancing.

    1. A very good performance from the Singaporean!

      I would back him regarding all penalty appeals - the first one was abstract (attacker's movements, etc.), the second one was a total accident and nothing that could have been avoided by a defending player, the last one could have been given because of a clear trip, but taking into account the ball was almost in goalkeeper's hands and the contact was an accidental tangle, I think that the optimal call was made.

      Regarding disciplinary control, he missed a yellow card for reckless use of arm at the beginning, but one can easily understand that such a contact was totally unexpected in such kind of scene. The rest was very strong - clear, very balanced line, not card happy but also not too lenient, great no card (last chance) to already booked Madibo in the second half after a SPA-like foul (great because the ball was moving away from the penalty area and there were no teammates the ball could have been passed to). I can imagine Mr Taqi was at the very limit of patience at dissent incident. He didn't want to send the player off and managed to not do that in a very good way. Most of the referees would have totally ignored the dissenting player afterwards but Singaporean approached him once again and warned him. One should emphasize that Mr Taqi always tries to have an eye contact with players.

      All in all, a very good performance in a very challenging game, maybe even above 8.4, what is the greatest recommendation regarding WC 2022.

  15. VAR is very active in this first game. I saw that there have been already a check for a disallowed goal (handball) and now it seems as a penalty was whistled following an OFR.

    1. Both correct and very much needed interventions by VAR Chris Beath.

    2. VAR Chris Beath with two very good interventions, well done!

  16. Any thoughts about the penalty? Thought it was quite soft myself, was it an obvious enough error? both the VAR team and Mohammed abdullah seemed to have quite a discussion about it.


      Ignore the comment, just for the video. Supportable decision for me. But clear and obvious enough?

    2. Also what about the yellow card? With another defender tight to Doan and the richochet off his shin bringing the ball so close to the gk, don't think it really is an obvious goal scoring opportunity, especially as the defender has made an attempt for the ball.

  17. VIETNAM - JAPAN, Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Mohammed (VAR: Chris Beath)

    Crucial situations to evaluate:

    => 23' After intervention by VAR Chris Beath, referee disallows the goal for handball.

    => 52' After an OFR called by VAR Chris Beath, referee decides the in-box duel was a reckless foul and whistles a penalty.

    Other situations:

    40' Yellow Card, Stopping a Promising Attack (?)

    59' Yellow Card, Reckless Tackle

    +91' Missed Advantage

    Not much happened in this match for Mohammed. Both teams showed to be a good technically, and were happy to play a match revolving around football and fair play.

    This performance was basically fully characterised by two crucial decisions, where decisions taken on the pitch were changed after an OFR. Disallowed goal at 25' was no real deliberate handball, but the trend is to cancel any goal which scored off the hand. You might argue that 52' is a soft penalty, but for me it is a decisive contact at the feet; good intervention by VAR Chris Beath in my eyes. Yellow Card is correct according to the guidelines that try to eliminate such fouls, but one could argue it was partly unnecessary here; on the other hand, it helped support the penalty decision.

    About the rest, it was the same as Mohammed's two group matches: solid work.
    He was football's friend and allowed a match with few interruptions, but a handful of his play-on decisions (+46', 57', 85') were fully unexpected by the players / audience. Tackle at 59' wasn't really reckless (or even a foul?), but it offered Mohammed a good moment to open the cards, it seemed YC was somehow the expected call on the pitch. I can understand no caution at 40', the game didn't really demand it, but I would rather a YC because such fouls presented a threat to his approach of allowing a fair, attacking game to flow. There should have been a warning at least.

    So, three basically solid performances by the Emirati in addition to one very good show in the last round (Thailand - China). My feeling is that this will be his last assignment taking the whistle, in case, he should be proud of what he managed in this Asian Cup.

    1. Video was deleted to I provide an alternative link for the crucial situations

      => 23' After intervention by VAR Chris Beath, referee disallows the goal for handball.

      => 52' After an OFR called by VAR Chris Beath, referee decides the in-box duel was a reckless foul and whistles a penalty.

    2. Agreed, a game that had two crucial scenes, but wasn't overly difficult apart from them. Missed YC at 41' and perhaps at 89' were my only points about his management, his style was quite good for a match that doesn't need too much intervention.

      I'm still not 100% sure about the handball, mainly because no replay really highlights it. But it seems the arm was involved, so cancelling it is the safer option. The final replay removed all lingering small doubts about the pk.

      A good tournament for him!

  18. How much more obvious could the penalty have been? A clear stomp by the Vietnamese player on the foot of the Japanese player. Such a stomp that the studs of the Vietnamese player became entangled in the Japanese players laces and tore them. Soft? No way at all. You want to see a "soft" penalty? Look no further than Fu Ming's call that decided UAE vs Kyrgyzstan.

    1. I agree, you can see that the laces were torn.

  19. For me an incorrect intervention by VAR in the 32nd minute after Iran's 2nd goal. There is a slight hand on the shoulder of the China player but I don't see this as a clear and obvious error. The Qatari referee Al-Jassim looked at the monitor but stuck with his original (I think correct) decision of goal.

    1. Following on;
      I thought Al-Jassim had another very good game. Two penalty shouts early first half which he correctly turned down were supported by the VAR. His foul detection is excellent and gave several warnings to players talking to players at corners to prevent holding.
      I think he should be a contender for the final, especially if Qatar lose to South Korea.

    2. Perhaps the referee missed the "possible" foul (slight holding) and wanted to see the contact with his own eyes. He was a bit far from the situation. I see this happening more often here in Italy when it's related to goals and penalty's. In this case the referee can take the final decision as he's the man in charge. Recently durinf a press conference Busacca said that the referee should have a second chance in case of doubt in missed incidents. Otherwise people will complain after the match why the VAR was not involved. I agree with Jackson that Al-Jassim is a contender for the final.

  20. Here in our league we have the same discussion about missed incidents. When the referee couldn't see clearly what happened the people wants the referee to have a second look even when the decision can be supported by the VAR. The criticism we have here is mostly because the people say why we don't use the technology in case there is a doubt and the referee missed the incident. I think this will be the next step in VAR. Situations clearly seen by the referee is different.

  21. OT

    CAF has exonerated Janny Sikazwe and Mehdi Abid Charef from allegations of corruption, and has lifted their provisional suspensions.
    The point remains however, that they both executed really poor performances in Espérance de Tunis - 1º de Agosto and Al-Ahly - Espérance de Tunis respectively, which they should be disappointed with.

    1. I bet that having gone through this. It will ignite a fire within both of them to raise their level and be better. Nothing better than added pressure and scrutiny to make people improve.

    2. Made mehdi charef to miss club world cup and will want to do better not to miss out on any important tournament again

    3. Well, despite of the fact that Abid Charef has been confirmed as guiltless, I really don't understand and it is still difficult to explain his performance in CL final. He must be technically really poor for taking such decisions, really sorry but one must be honest.

  22. Dutch KNVB cup Ajax - Heerenveen (ref: Kevin Blom/ VAR: Bas Nijhuis): Connection between OFR station and the VAR replay center was broken, so they played the game without VAR.

  23. OT: What are your thoughts on this incident in Copa del Rey last Tuesday (Getafe - Valencia)?

    Referee was Jesús Gil Manzano. Alejandro José Hernández Hernández was in the VOR as VAR. The incident caused a mass confrontation in which two other players (not the ones involved on the video above) were booked (Jaime Mata from Getafe and Jaume Doménech from Valencia).

    1. As VAR, I would try to find pictures, which prove that there was significant contact.
      If there was, I would recommend an OFR, and the referee can decide whether it is VC or only unsporting behaviour.
      If not, nothing can be done.

  24. CHINA PR - IRAN, Abdulrahman Al-Jassim

    I wasn't quite as much impressed as with his earlier games, but I believe that was simply because he had less to do. The match itself was a bit the opposite of AUS - UZB: quite a lot of fouls, but almost none that required disciplinary action. A firm eye on PI is needed then, but he had that handled.

    Communication appeared a little bit over the top at times (he oversells sometimes), but these are small points for improvement. Several key scenes were handled well and it was mostly smooth sailing for him.

    In short: Average game, solid performance. Definitely a great tournament for him, one of the best performers without any doubt.

  25. I feel like Irmatov is losing control. The most obvious YC ever (QAT #2, 53') just missed, game's much faster now.

  26. Brilliant offside call by AR1 Abdukhamidullo Rasulov. Cancelled Korea's equalizer, confirmed by VAR.

    1. Are you basing it off of the position of the attacker in reference to the defenders? Or the attackers position in reference to the line of the ball? Big difference there.
      Yes the Korean player is ahead of the Emirati defenders. But is the Korean player even or slightly behind the ball which is beyond the Emirati defensive line?

      And what happened to keeping the flag down on such close plays? This allowing VAR to do it's job.

  27. Well done German VAR...

    1. Bad enough Brych missed it (one of the refs I at least had some hope would be strict in such cases), but Perl not demanding a review is shocking.

    2. That player is lucky to have a broken leg. But in this so called "modern style" of officiating, it's what has to happen in order for a referee to even contemplate showing a Red Card. This isn't the beautiful game I know. Nor is it the referee's who were more concerned in looking out for player safety and not such so worried about the "spectacle".

  28. From today's UAE v Australia match... Ref was very quick with the caution here, thoughts?

    1. Obviously a Red Card. A player has no business going into a tackle with his studs at that height. But for Sato, it's nothing new. He's been a limp wristed overly lenient WIMP all tournament long.

  29. KOREA REPUBLIC - QATAR, Ravshan Irmatov
    Link to short refereeing highlights can be found above.

    It was by no means the best performance of this Asian Cup, but Ravshan Irmatov repaid the trust AFC put in him to officiate this quite challenging Quarterfinal, with a decent performance.

    Especially in the first half, very good refereeing by the Uzbek. I had the sensation that he was fully prepared for this match. I was impressed with all three of his YCs given in 1H, most of all at 8' ( where after an okay advantage, referee correctly punished the reckless tackle. Furthermore, he resisted to give a caution at 42' ( what was good. I was fully convinced by his first half; he really managed to 'take charge' on the pitch.

    Second half was more of a mixed bag. His decision not to give a (dark) YC at 53' ( was a really poor one, tackle was very heavy. While there were no other clear mistakes, my feeling is that Irmatov lost part of the mental strength and full concentration with which he officiated in the 1H, but his fouls detection remained on quite a high level, and his showing was still okay.

    Irmatov had his usual style of 'floating' through his matches, which was a high risk strategy especially around 50'-60' when the match was very hectical, but supported by his strong soft skills and management as well as excellent fitness and positioning (, Uzbek managed to succeed in this match.

    Whether this designation is coherent with the performance principle is another matter, but Ravshan Irmatov showed a good performance in this match, particularly in the 1H. While it wasn't the best performance we saw at this Asian Cup, it was one of the better ones in my opinion.
    If he is not appointed for the Iran - Japan Semifinal, then this match will end the championship of the Uzbek, at least from the knockout stage he can can reflect on a positive resonance.

    1. How did I forget to mention it: incredible eagle eye by Abdukhamidullo Rasulov to spot the offside at 79'!

      Extremely impressive, the best decision computed by an assistant referee at these championships, just in front of Sergei Grishchenko from Krygyzstan (the three of them forming a WC 2022 trio?).

    2. Are you basing it off of the position of the attacker in reference to the defenders? Or the attackers position in reference to the line of the ball? Big difference there.
      Yes the Korean player is ahead of the Emirati defenders. But is the Korean player even or slightly behind the ball which is beyond the Emirati defensive line?


      Absolutely world class decision by Abdukhamidullo Rasulov.

    4. A strange performance by Irmatov. A very good first half, but after 50 minutes, I felt like he wasn't really in it anymore. Foul detection still strong, but no accompanying disciplinary measures anymore - the foul at 54' is more and more SFP for me, letting the player escape uncarded - even after another foul later, is unacceptable. His view on the incident was perfect - what kept him?

      Rasulov of course with an utterly brilliant and crucial call - the ARs from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan really impress at this Asian Cup.

  30. OT: Some situations from Marseille vs Lille match

    Canceled goal (Offside) OFR:

    Penalty + YC after OFR:

    Thauvin RC:

    1. Only excellent decisions IMO. One could discuss about a RC with the PK, but YC is acceptable I think.

    2. I am amazed to see some journalists reactions on twitter for Thauvin RC. For me it's clear violent conduct.

    3. 100% agree. Well spotted by Amaury Delerue.

  31. A semifinal for César Ramos...


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