Friday, 22 February 2019

Current domestic competitions appointments

Just click below to know current domestic competitions appointments of many European countries.


  1. Well, I want to praise José Luis González González. He never made it to the FIFA list, but he has always been one of the best referees in LaLiga and so is regarded by CTA, as shows his appointment for a return leg in Copa del Rey semifinal. Congratulations!

    BTW, Mateu Lahoz has been appointed for all Sevilla matches against the top-three in LaLiga in this second leg: Real Madrid, Atlético and Barcelona. In about a month. Furthermore, he is from Valencia, which happens to be one of the main competitors for the last CL spots, something that might trigger attacks against him from Sevilla fans even before the start of the match. Was such appointment really necessary? Aren't there any other referees able to handle such matches?

    1. Furthermore Mateu had EL yesterday, so only a short break before the match.
      Gil Manzano would have been a good alternative looking at previous appointments.

  2. What can we expect for CL second legs?
    It will be very interesting to know committee's choices.
    We have so far some sure names who should be: Mazic, Kuipers (if available), Marciniak (it seems as now he is OK, Vlad maybe can confirm), Turpin and Brych.
    These are the very experienced referees who also have VAR experience (5), but there are 8 matches.
    If one wants to consider Gil Manzano and Undiano Mallenco, we must underline that already two games without Spanish teams were assigned to Spanish referees in first leg, so very difficult to see them again. Only option would be Munchen, for Undiano. It looks quite difficult.
    So in case, committee should appoint again Spanish referees for the same matches, if this is not a problem, then Gil and Undiano in Manchester and Dortmund.
    Soares Dias maybe a candidate for a game, given his VAR experience. But which game? He has still to make his debut in CL KO stage, and one maybe could have expected him rather for a first leg. He doesn't seem to have the same consideration by committee like other Elite referees.
    Of course, if committee wants to appoint also referees without a great VAR experience, there wouldn't be problems, but looking at all the names who already got a game and at least 5 good options representing a similar pattern in second legs, I think that all the 16 games will be treated at the same manner...

    1. Gil Manzano and Undiano Mallenco did not attend the course in Málaga, IIRC, so that should mean they are out of CL for now, right?

    2. Besides the five "sure" names, I expect Soares Dias, one "not experienced with VAR" and one referee, who had a first leg.
      I think, Soares Dias could go to Dortmund where we are having the clearest first leg result - and I think, he is also experienced enough to handle it, if it gets tighter.
      Without VAR experience, it should be either Hategan or one of the three British Elite referees. The Real match might be suitable for all of them - I would prefer the Romanian (who could also get the match in Dortmund, if Soares Dias is not considered - then there would be space for e.g. Collum in Madrid).
      For a double appointment, I would assume Skomina, because
      - he was only a replacement in Amsterdam
      - he only had 2 GS matches
      - he should be tested again regarding a potential CL final
      - he can gain more VAR experience before the next rounds

      I don't think Undiano has a real chance after only one GS match. There are also Aytekin and Bastien with VAR experience, if that really is required, but also unlikely IMO.

    3. You can expect Serbian for the second leg for sure.

    4. We all do :)
      In Porto or Munich, I think.

  3. For me it's preety clear that Hategan, Collum, Kralovec, Sidiropoulos won't whistle a game in KO stage of Champions League. Totally unfair situation for them. I can't imagine that is so complicated for an Elite referee (with a certain value, btw) to whistle a game with VAR. All of them have some FIFA/ UEFA courses about VAR protocol, Hategan (and maybe the others) has some games with VAR in Saudi Arabia. How complicated can it be ?
    I'm thinking about Mazic, Skomina and the rest of referees from WC with very limited VAR experience. They whistled few games at WC u20 and Confederations Cup (there were WC referees who didn't have any kind of VAR experience in a senior game). If it was possible for Mazic, Slomina, Karasev and all the rest to whistle world cup games I think it wouldn't be outrageous that Hategan, Collum or Kralovec will whistle a game in 2nd leg of CL (last 16). Honestly, Tottenham is already qualified after 3-0 in 1st leg. Same situation for Man City. Both games are suitable for the referees in question.

    1. I agree with everything except the first sentence. ;)

    2. Well I do understand that UEFA goes for safety and appoint only referees who has enough experience in VAR. Especially when you start with VAR you want to be ensure, but also to avoid criticism from media when things goes wrong. And what you say about "already qualified after 3-0 win" is a totally wrong thought. Perhaps you forgot what happened to Oliver and Turpin last season in Madrid and Rome. It's understandable you want to support the referees, but there are also other interests/values. Besides this, some of the referees you mentioned has made clear errors in UEL last round.

  4. Karim Abed with an expected level in a very poor game (Dijon FCO against AS Saint Étienne).
    Minor mistakes in foul detection but a strong body language and clear gestures. He was very fit and always in a good position. The assistent referees were very good too. In the additional time a clear offside position was identified by assistent and VAR supported the decision. Very fast and transparent for the spectator.

  5. Dijon FCO 0:1 AS Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 22.02.2019

    Referee: Karim Abed (France)
    Assistent Referee 1: Mickael Annonier (France)
    Assistent Referee 2: Mikael Berchebru (France)
    Fourth Offical: Romain Lissorgue


    Referee welcome/greetings =

    First "hard" foul (11') =

    Shoulder against shoulder challenge (14') =

    First warning (16') =

    Bad foul from Subotić (51') =

    0-1 AS Saint-Etienne (63') =

    Fourth foul number 4 Dijon FC0 (86') =

    Clear offside Dijon FCO (90+3') + VAR intervention =

    End whistle =

  6. Poll for the best officiating - CL Round of 16 - Week 2

    Gianluca Rocchi in Liverpool - Bayern 63 votes 40%
    Cüneyt Çakır in Olympique Lyonnais - Barcelona 50 votes 31%
    Felix Zwayer in Atlético Madrid - Juventus 24 votes 15%
    Carlos del Cerro Grande in Schalke 04 - Manchester City 22 votes 14%

  7. Fair tackle or foul? - Sepsi vs Viitorul, Liga 1 Romania - ref Marcel Barsan

    1. Foul, this can be even RC for SFP. No matter that he touched the ball before. More than reckless. YC, borderline to RC.

    2. I don't think there is anything borderline here. Seems like 100% a red card to me. There is no reason whatsoever to swing that wildly. The tackle clearly endangered the safety of an opponent; the blood on the knee can attest to that fact.

  8. AC Milan 3:0 FC Empoli Serie A 22.02.2019

    Referee: Piero Giacomelli (Italy)
    Assistent Referee 1: Stefano Liberti (Italy)
    Assistent Referee 2: Rodolfo Di Vuolo (Italy)
    Fourth Offical: Daniele Minelli (Italy)


    Referee welcome/greetings =

    First warning (5') =

    AC Milan offside goal + VAR intervention (11') =

    Good no penalty call (19') =

    Good no penalty call (45+2') =

    Yellow card no.2 FC Empoli (55') =

    Yellow card no.10 AC Milan (71') =

    Disallowed goal AC Milan after VAR review (81') =

    End whistle =

    1. * Disallowed goal AC Milan after VAR review (81') =

  9. OT
    Milorad Mazic had offer from China to join them. Some rumors are saying he'll fly to China in a few days to sing a contract with them.

  10. OFR now in Getafe - Rayo for a possible offside. Alberola Rojas considered player did not interfere with play nor an adversary… but the attacking player went towards the ball and conditioned the actions of the defender. IMO, it is a crucial mistake by him.

      In my opinion a very interesting situation in which Alberola Rojas interpretation is supportable. True that player in offside tried to reach the ball, but was that a real challenge on the opponent for that? Without the player in offside, defender would have made the same things, attempting to play the ball, but without real chances. Under this point of view, one can discuss whether the action by attacker in offside was decisive for the defender. I think the answer can be NO, but surely offside could have been called.
      In any case, for sure a grey area for me.
      If you know more about the assessment by RFEF-CTA please let us know :)

    2. Going "towards the ball" isn't sufficient to be considered a challenge. I look at this and see that the player in Blue runs, slows down when he realizes that the defender's getting there first (or not at all as it turns out).

      During this time, he makes no challenge for the ball at all, no movement to try to play the ball.

      Then the player from onside position comes and plays the ball.

    3. In my opinion #24 gets close enough to the defender to be considered as challenging his opponent. I think, the defender realized it and was influenced by the attacker's presence.
      But surely not a clear situation.

  11. Süper Lig match Istanbul Başakşehir FK against Bursaspor canceled because of heavy rain.
    Referee was Halis Özkahya.

  12. Solid performce by Jerome Miguelgorry in EA Guingamp vs. Angers SCO first half. Very strong gestures and clear foul detecion. First yellow card (no.21 EA Guingamp 7') was fully correct!

    Maybe he's one of the candidates for Coupe de France final because the "sure" names Benoit Bastien, Clement Turpin and Antony Gautier already had some. Only Ruddy Buquet has no Coupe de France final but "only" two Coupe de la Ligue finals 12/13 and 15/16.
    But this year France has also a very strong young Francois Letexier. What do you think about Coupe de France final 2019?

    1. My thoughts: for Coupe de France Final, the most logical choice should be Ruddy Buquet, especially because that is still lacking in his career and to be fair: being one of the most solid pair of hands in L1, he should definitely receive it. Letexier is still too young and Miguelgorry lacks some big games in L1 to get it.

      The more interesting question will be the League Cup Final between Strasbourg and Guingamp next month: given the fact that Paris didn't qualify, it should be the perfect opportunity to appoint Benoît Millot (who lives in the Paris area and cannot take charge of PSG games therefore). Furthermore, he's getting quite some big games this season, made a convincing debut in Europa League group stage. This would be the most logical choice.

  13. And now a correct yellow card was given to no. 25 Angers SCO (47').

  14. About Benfica- Galatasaray:

    Capture from romanian television

    1. The black player's foot is slightly on the white line and the two red players are standing in front of it. Impossible to say, whether the hip of the player in the front is over the line or not. So probably offside, but too close to be sure without technology (it's also not sure, that it is the correct moment - the ball seems to be flying already)

    2. Philipp S is correct. This moment is not the correct one. It should be a few more frames in before.

  15. OT
    Chinese FA recently announced the first five professional referee in China. The list includes three Chinese referee: Ma Ning, Fu Ming, and Zhang Lei; as well as two internationals: Mark Clattenburg and Milroad Mazic.
    It's good to see the professionalization in China. There's a few promising referees.
    The new season of Chinese Super League starts next month.

    1. The hiring of Mazic really intrigues me. Last year when he officiated the CSL, his attitude was terrible. He seems slack and unprofessional. Very interesting to see him get this job after a bad first impression.

    2. Interesting. I found Mažić to be one of the best referees that I saw officiate in Saudi Arabia (together with Makkelie) also in terms of motivation, acceptance etc. As you say, interesting to see whether this will trigger to termination of appointments in UEFA competition.

      Natural for Clattenburg to go there, especially having been removed from KSA (by his nemesis, David Elleray, who runs the VAR project for IFAB).
      I found his performance in the first leg of the China's FA Cup Final to be a good one.
      One can speculate if he will use his contacts book in order to appoint other 'top class' international referees to Super League games, or do CFA plan to use exclusively Chinese referees besides the Englishman and the Serb?

      Having watched both Ma and Fu during the recent Asian Cup, I would be interested in your impressions of Zhang Lei (I saw he whistled Super Cup today)?

    3. Mazic wanted to accept offer from Saudia Arabia but his ARs didnt want to move there. Lets see what happen for China..

    4. "Last year when he officiated the CSL, his attitude was terrible. He seems slack and unprofessional."


    5. Mikeal, unfortunately I didn't watch enough CSL games (even though I Chinese lol). Zhang Lei is a decent referee and has the approval from the CFA (he was elected Best Referee in CSL last year). He hasn't receive many opportunities at the AFC competitions, but he just got promoted to AFC Elite. He can handle most of the games, but I think he need more chances on key matches.

    6. Last season, CFA appointed foreign referees for every single matchdays. There were some success like Kassai, but plenty of failures such as the Korean referees. Inviting high level foreign referees, IMO, won't change much in the next season, because it's not only a method to improve the refereeing level, but also to reduce the pressure form the public. The consensus environment for referees is not very friendly in China, especially towards Chinese referees.

      As for Mazic's CSL game, I found a full match video.
      You can see his body language at 73' and 90+5' after OFR. Not very serious about the game.

  16. The question is, will Mazic officiate the rest of the European season. If no, then it's almost certain he won't officiate UCL as well.

  17. I wrote a detailed report about Felix Zwayer's performance in the Atlético Madrid - Juventus game.
    I hope it offers a slightly different angle to the match, and is interesting and thought-provoking to read.

  18. Mateu Lahoz refereed Sevilla vs Barcelona. Penalty appeal by Suarez of which Lahoz says that the defender got the ball and points for a corner. Replay clearly shows the defender did not touch the ball and in fact contacted Suarez. The fact that is definitely not a corner makes this a clear and obvious error for me. Decision stood and no OFR.
    For me there should have been a review and IMO a penalty given.

    1. I agree. Difficult to understand, why no OFR was done, when the referee's perception was obviously wrong and a penalty seemed quite possible.

    2. The fact that is definitely not a corner makes this a clear and obvious error for me.

      It doesn't depend on that. It isn't automatically a clear and obvious error if just the corner was incorrect. It depends on not giving a penalty being clearly and obviously wrong or not.

      From most replay angles I also have doubts. There's one at 27 seconds which is the only clear replay. Maybe VAR focussed on different angles and supported Mateu Lahoz for that reason.

    3. @lucac2218 is correct. Starting from the corner kick decision shows a fundamental lack of understanding about how VAR is supposed to work. VAR is not used to determine whether or not a corner kick was wrongly awarded. If you use that as your test, the slope is quite slippery.

      The question is whether or not it was clearly wrong not to call a penalty. Whether the referee then called a goal kick or corner kick is supposed to be irrelevant to the VAR. VARs do not exist to correct goal kicks or corner kicks. Just because this was wrongly given as a corner kick does not mean it's a penalty--that is flawed logic. And just because this was wrongly given as a penalty does not mean it warrants an OFR--again, that shows an incorrect understanding of how VAR works.

      The referee said "no penalty." Unless the VAR can say, "yes, clearly penalty, you should look again," there should be no OFR. The incorrect corner kick has nothing to do with anything.

  19. The first VAR audio from the A-League released in Australia (as far as I can tell) for a rather standard offside check after a goal.
    I hope that they release some more VAR audio for something more significant in the future.

  20. Hello, I'm Japanese

    0:43 This offside is interesting. I remember Ajax-Real Madrid

    1. Actually two decisions to make:
      1) The player, who is offside at the moment of the cross, shortly blocks the path of the defender
      2) The player, who is offside at the moment of the shot on goal, is lying unter the GK.

      I think, the interference in 1) is debatable, because the defender is not about to play the ball. But 2) should be punished, because he interferes with the GK's ability to play the ball.

  21. Disallowed goal for a previous deliberate handball:
    VAR supported this decision.
    What do you think?

  22. I dont have any video,but interesting situation in City-Chelsea Cup Final.

    Jon Moss with a very interesting decision in 73'.
    City was breaking and having a promising attack and then Rudiger made one foul worthy of a YC,Moss lets the advantage and then Rudiger makes another foul for which he was only showed YC.
    Moss didnt caution foul moments earlier and to me that was wrong decision.
    We saw examples of some refs punishing 2 fouls in a row past like Rocchi,Cakir.
    What do you think?

    1. First foul neither stopped an attack nor was reckless. It was careless and because of the advantage there was zero reason to give a yellow for it. The second foul was reckless so that’s a yellow card. The Cakir situation was 2 seperate reckless challenges.

  23. Penalty given in LEV-RMA after an OFR made by Iglesias Villanueva for handball.

    1. Now another penalty rewarded by Iglesias Villanueva, no VAR intervention. What's going on with the Spanish VAR? I'll try to get a better video and post it later

    2. Second YC to Nacho for SPA, and now second YC to Koshina for dissent on the bench. This game is extremely intense

    3. Here's a better video of the 2nd penalty:

    4. Unbelievable decision to confirm this phantom foul. Var was certainly sleeping...

    5. I'm sorry to say but Iglesias Villanueva is clearly deserving relegation since 2-3 years...maybe he's not been already relegated because that would mean the end of his career as he's already too old to officiate in 2nd Division (Iglesias Villanueva is 43 years old and 2nd Division referees must retire at 41)

    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  24. Perhaps not the game with the biggest medial coverage internationally but Dunajská Streda - Slovan Bratislava looked to be without question one of the hardest matches to officiate in top European competition last weekend.

    Not least the home team had to win order to realistically keep the race for the championship open, it was 2nd vs 1st, but also two teams who had a history of tension which entailed huge riots at this match in 2008.

    We must not forget the cultural significance that this match took on with Dunajská Streda being "strongly supported by the Hungarian minority in Slovakia", amongst other important contexts.

    Filip Glova, thirty years old referee who was recently promoted to UEFA 2nd Cat. took charge of this hotly anticipated match, and refereeing highlights can be found in the link below.

    1. I made a post about his handball situations in the penalty area. For me it is a same category to whistle. I talk about the penalty for Slovan Bratislava (0-1) and a critical mistake (for me) in 90+ that not whistle for Dunajska Streda. In the Hungarian media and the players from Dunajska Streda involved Glova. What is your opinion Mikael ?

    2. In my opinion, neither penalty assigned at 78' or appeal at 90' are deliberate handballs.

      78'. In my opinion a mistake. Defender tries to turn in order to face the attacker, with his arms only slightly out for balance, when the ball strikes him merely passingly on the arm; it doesn't even change the trajectory of the ball. He is never even cognisant of the ball actually heading towards him.

      90'. Good decision to play on from my eyes. Especially with attacker standing right besides you, it is impossible to jump for the ball without some kind of leverage using your arms. His whole attempt to get near the ball is very awkward and off-balance, which explains the 'weird' handling that we get.

      As you say, the (medial) problem was that he whistled one and not the other.

      I don't think Filip Glova had his best afternoon, missed penalty besides (82') and partly inexplicable disciplinary control (Slovakian FA even publically reported that they considered 82' and 90' as mistakes; I disagree regarding the second interpretation though).

      All of this sets up quite an interesting opening round of EURO Qualification in March...

  25. A ridiculous penalty decision by Abisso in fiorentina inter match. Ref gives phantom handball and confirms it after OFR in the 95th minute. A true disgrace that cost inter a win.

    1. I wouldn't say "ridiculous" because I don't like this language, but indeed this time this decision has no explanations at all behind a monitor.

  26. OT: Ligue 1 Conforama (Matchday 27)

    01.03 (Friday)
    Girondins de Bordeaux - Montpellier, 20:45 CET, referee: Jérôme Brisard (VAR: Mikaël Lesage)

    02.03 (Saturday)
    Caen - Paris Saint-Germain, 17:00 CET, referee: Hakim Ben El Hadj (VAR: Christian Guillard)
    Stade de Reims - Amiens, 20:00 CET, referee: Frank Schneider (VAR: Alexandre Castro)
    Nîmes Olympique - Stade Rennais, 20:00 CET, referee: Florent Batta (VAR: Aurelien Petit)
    Angers - Monaco, 20:00 CET, referee: Antony Gautier(VAR: Stephane Bre)

    03.03 (Sunday)
    Lille - Dijon, 15:00 CET, referee: Olivier Thual (VAR: Johan Hamel)
    Nice - Strasbourg, 15:00 CET, referee: Eric Wattellier (VAR: Alexandre Castro)
    En Avant de Guingamp - Nantes, 15:00 CET, referee: Ruddy Buquet (VAR: Karim Abed)
    Olympique Lyonnais - Toulouse, 17:00 CET, referee: Thomas Léonard (VAR: Jérôme Miguelgorry)
    Olympique de Marseille - Saint-Étienne, 21:00 CET, referee: Clément Turpin (VAR: Nicolas Rainville)

    1. I believe Turpin should not be appointed for the next CL week. Benoit Bastien is in Doha for fifa World cup prospective stage (25 February to 1 March 2019).

    2. Indeed with a game on Sunday evening he is clearly out from Tuesday CL games, maybe also from Wednesday's ties (there is also PSG game on that day).
      Very likely he has CL on 12 or 13 March.
      I would predict him for Bayern - Liverpool.

    Hernández Hernández will officiate El Clasico, Gil Manzano appointed on Monday in La Liga. The latter shouldn't appear in CL on next week.

    1. 4th season in a row with Clásico for Hernández Hernández.

    2. TBH, I don't think it is deserved…

    3. More impressive even for Sánchez Martínez. Given the fact that he's only in LaLiga since 2015 and FIFA listed since 2017, he has this CV:
      - 2017: 2 Clásicos (Supercopa second leg + LaLiga)
      - 2018: 1 Clásico (LaLiga)
      - 2019: 1 Clásico (so far!) (Copa Del Rey, semifinal second leg).

      More than an impressive CV and I think he really can make it to the top of refereeing. The last time I watched him was in Barcelona-Sevilla (Copa Del Rey, QF second leg), which was overall again very good.

    4. I wonder if we'll see De Burgos Bengoetxea appointed for a Clásico again. I think Gil Manzano should get more, IIRC his last one was in 2015. Munuera Montero, Martínez Munuera and Alberola Rojas also should handle one in the near future, but nowadays CTA-RFEF is relying too much on Hernández², Mateu and Sánchez Martínez.

      (Friendly reminder that neither Estrada Fernández nor Del Cerro Grande can handle a Clásico as the former is a Catalan and the latter is from Alcalá de Henares located in Madrid community)


    DJ Pitana

  29. Kuipers has a match this week in the Dutch Eredivisie on Friday, so if he was injured, he seems to have recovered in time for a possible UCL match.

  30. Seems considering a spanish article from As that Deniz Aytekin has been blacklisted by uefa since his poor performance in Camp Nou with PSG. Any informations by our spanish readers?

    1. What do you mean by "blacklisted"? He is still a regular Elite referee with assignments in Champions and Europa League.
      Of course, he has lost the opportunity to make a further step in his career, but this was due to his performance, and nothing more.

    2. What they mean is that he has not been appointed for CL KO stage since then, nor for a "top" match in GS, and they think that it might be due his performance in Barcelona - PSG.

  31. Can anyone tell me the list of referees summoned to the Doha stage?


  32. Excellent performance by Daniele Orsato in Lazio Milan, the first semi-final of the Italian Cup: technical maturity, determination, authority; very well the tactical set-up (proximity between)

    1. Agreed! I would even say a masterclass in officiating, I rarely saw such a faultless and complete performance. My respect, Mr Orsato.

  33. I just read an article saying milorad mazic and Mark clatternburg will form part of the referee professionals in China. How true is that

    1. Still waiting for some official confirmations...


      Given this article, it seems as if Chinese FA have confirmed it. However, does this affect now Mazic's appointments in UEFA? In contrary to Clattenburg in 2017, Mazic participated at the UEFA Winter Course and is therefore eligible to handle KO matche in CL.

    3. Indeed, it will be interesting, in case of confirmation, to know about that.
      Clattenburg had left Premier League as deliberate choice and for this reason he had been removed from English FIFA list. Mazic so far is a different case, despite of being still a Serbian FIFA referee, he has officiated only a few games in hid domestic league in recent months (this news has been reported by some readers) and Serbian Federation has accepted this choice made by Milorad. Now if he joins Chinese Super League, I think he could officially leave Serbia, but maybe at the same time it is still possible that he keeps the FIFA badge for his country. Surely the world of refereeing in recent times has changed, a few years ago it was impossible to think about something like that, now everything seems to be possible.
      We have just to wait.
      And yes, to add, Mazic differently from Clattenburg, has attended the Winter Course, at least on paper until the end of this KO stage he could get further games.

    4. Yes, it has been confirmed by the Chinese Football Association and publicly communicated.

      (Translated from the article) ""
      The Chinese Football Association will officially launch the professional referee system. It is proposed to invite three local elite referees, Ma Ning, Fu Ming, Zhang Lei, and two well-known foreign referees, Klattenberg and Mazic, to be the first professional referees to be hired by the Chinese Football Association. This reform not only encourages more excellent referees to fully engage in law enforcement work, but also is an important measure for the Chinese Football Association to continuously promote the professionalization of the league and practice "let professional people do professional things."

      I also keenly await whether Mažić will still be entered into the (Serbian) FIFA list for 2020, especially as UEFA persuaded him to stay and officiate at the EURO next year.

    5. Is UEFA loosening the age limit for elite referee recently?

    6. @Ligo FIFA has abolished age limits for international referees, UEFA has just followed the same rules... there aren't limits now for Elite referees.

    7. Thanks Chefren. I just found out the age limit has been abolished for 4 years and I'm still unaware of that...

  34. Sánchez Martínez tonight in Clásico 2nd leg.

  35. Bad minutes by Sánchez Martínez's team now: a missed foul on Busquets results in a missed YC for Rakitic immediately afterwards followed by a wrong corner kick (AR1 made the call) when the ball was completely in the pitch.

    1. Another missed YC for Casemiro earlier IMO.

    2. Well, after the first half, an unsatisfying performance, IMO. A possible missed penalty for Real Madrid, but not a clear and obvious mistake as VAR did not intervene. However, he has set a very tolerant line with the cards, missing some that are, IMO, mandatory. Rakitic and Casemiro should both be booked for reckless fouls. Kroos, for SPA, or if not him, Reguilón, who made yet another foul which was finally whistled (no more advantage).

      There is an "ethical" problem with this approach in a semifinal, and that is that there are players who, if booked, will miss the final. But tomorrow there is another semifinal, refereed by another person, the winner of which will play against the team that qualifies tonight. If Sánchez Martínez sets the booking line so high and González González doesn't do the same tomorrow, it might result in a player of tomorrow's match missing the final while others in this, who might have had to be booked, are able to play it. The answer? Book players who deserve a YC.

    3. Finally, correct first YC (57')

    4. Possible penalty missed for Barcelona (stamp), minute 59-60. Correct penalty appeal rejected for Real Madrid (61').

    5. Very good onside before 0-2!!

    6. Better performance in the second half. However, I think the penalty in the first half for Real Madrid was clear, as was the one I posted earlier on Rakitic, and specially given that he whistled the second, which was almost the same kind of foul.

      On the positive side (I've been too negative tonight, I admit that), full control of the match at all times, very good fitness and alertness.

    7. IMO, missed PK for Real Madrid in the first half.

  36. Undiano Mallenco replaced Hernández Hernández (injury) for El Clásico.

    1. Very likely he got injured during the FIFA seminary in Qatar.
      From what I know, the officials called as VAR make training and physical tests like the other referees. It happened to Irrati in another seminary before WC 2018, despite of having been called as VAR, he got injured.

    2. So fifa is making a lot of injuries:-), Van Boekel in Holland also replaced bij Kamphuis in Feyenoord-Emmen due slight injury

  37. François Letexier and his FIFA AR’s are refereeing in the Ligue 2 on Friday night, maybe for a EL game on next Thursday ?

  38. PAOK vs Panionios, Greek Cup, 2nd match-round of 8. Referee Emmanouil Skoulas ( newly FIFA listed). Many interesting situations and a lot of protests in the final whistle.

    2:38 ( of the video): Penalty appeal by PAOK. Missed holding/ missed penalty imo
    5:20 : Good onside on goal by AR2 Kourompylia ( female fifa listed)
    7:29 : good play on penalty appeal for handball
    12:22 : cancels PAOK's goal for foul against the GK
    13:37 : Is there an offensive foul on GK before PAOK's goal? not much imo
    14:35 : Skoulas calls a penalty for handball and also RC (2nd YC). Having seen all the replays im not convinced there is something there, the ball goes from the players ribs to the hand, imo it is no penalty.

    Also there was an interesting situation after the penalty. Panionios players, refused to restart the play after the goal, referee decided to give YC to the only player of Panionios who had not seen on ( 15 YC in total, 11 of which was for Panionios players) for delaying the restart. Do you agree with his decision? What would you do?

    In general, it was a really difficult evening for Skoulas, 2 major calls were wrong and also he missed 2 RC ( which were not shown in the video) one for every team - PAOK's was a 2nd YC for holding and Panionios' was a straight RC for violent tackle.

  39. Any info about Qatar seminar?
    There is Serbian derby in saturday, i heard Srdjan Jovanovic is in Qatar to prepare for something..
    Mazic is starting in China so Danilo Grujic will get this game again.


  40. A 'mini-update' from Greece.

    => Refereeing highlights of the top games from the last three rounds in Super League that I cut can be found below.

    PAOK - Olympiakós, Jesús Gil Manzano (1H | 2H) |

    Olympiakós - AEK, Tobias Stieler

    PAOK - Aris (Thessaloníki Derby), Tore Hansen

    => As xristos already alluded to, return matches in the quarterfinal of the Kýpello Ellados were played in this midweek.
    Anastásios Papapétrou, Aristoménis Koutsiáftis, Emmanouíl Skoulás handled the games already completed.
    Geórgios Komínis will officiate the second leg of the Olympiakós - Lamía game later today, the first match finished 3-3.

    Thank you for your report xristos! If you have any words on the other games, it would be great to hear them. (if you want to link to missed RCs, full matches from Wednesday can be found here:

    => Today, Tasos Sidirópoulos, joined by Pavel Královec and Ovidiu Alin Hațegan, will officiate in Saudi Arabia. He will lead a Greek trio handling the Ash-Shabab - An-Nassr (Riyadh Derby) match. Polychrónis Kostarás and Lázaros Dimitriádis will run his lines, Ivan Bebek is the fourth official and Bakary Papa Gassama will function as the VAR.

    A gentle reminder that you can watch all Saudi Pro League games, either live or on demand, in high definition by going to the website:

    => Appointments for the next round of Super League matches have been released. Among others, Jakob Kehlet from Denmark will lead the Panathinaïkós - PAOK match and Aristotélis Diamantópoulos will referee the Aris - AEK game. Full appointments can be found on the extensive domestic appointments page on the Kronika sędziowska blog.

    1. Thank you for the highlights. Both Papapetrou and Koutsiaftis had an expected level of performance, no major calls had to be taken, they used their whistle according to the flow of the game.

  41. IMO a GREAT refereeing by González González in Copa del Rey SF 2nd leg Valencia-Betis.

    Most reliable Spanish non-FIFA referee so far. I hope to see him in 2020 Copa final or in a Clásico (as the next season will be the last for him due to age limits).

    1. Agree. Possible missed penalty on Lo Celso by Paulista, but IMO not a clear mistake as the situation was very quick and the player didn't have too much time to lower his leg after the clearing. The rest was great.

      I hope he gets the kind of appointments he deserves, looking at his performances instead of his badge.

  42. AL SHABAB - AL NASSR (T. Sidiropoulos, GRE)
    => Highlights:

    Some situations in this game:
    => 2:05: shouts for deliberate handball. Sidiropoulos waves play-on, going by that single angle, I would support that decision. We cannot clearly determine where the ball hits the arm (it looks like the upper arm, but I could be wrong). Furthermore, no VAR intervention was possible as the situation occurred outside the penalty area.
    => 3:54: leading goal, but big protests because of a foul in the penalty area by SHA#4. VAR Gassama didn't call Sidiropoulos for an OFR (at least in the clip). Should this goal have been disallowed? IMO, the answer is yes: SHA#4 illegally uses his arms and makes a foul, that happens in the build-up to the goal. For me, it is a clear and obvious error to allow this goal, at least an OFR should have been suggested.
    => 5:08: yellow card issued for reckless use of arms. Supportable decision, not a RC for me, the force was not excessive enough for me to be considered as violent conduct.
    => 7:14: accidental kick in the face or deliberate act? Sidiropoulos decided it was purely accidental and therefore went with NO CARD. What are your thoughts on this situation?

    Some general things: I'm still shocked about the level of dissent that UEFA referees allow in Saudi Arabia. However, Sidiropoulos looks in the YC:dissent situation (4:15, after the goal) too passive, absolutely zero body language displayed and I'm not much a fan of his facial mimic (to me, it looks "bored" and as if he was not interested). Especially with the high level of dissent, he should be more firm and not just issue a card! He cannot tolerate as well that he is surrounded and even touched by so many players. Strong verbal warnings and gestures are needed, it looks to me as if the Greek lacks this...

  43. Is it an offside?

  44. Yes, offside: white 28, in offside position, impacts goalkeeper

  45. Does somebody has some news or details about the FIFA workshops for perspective world cup referees just concluded ?

  46. This is the list of the attendees at both seminar; any speculation about the outcome ? Like as an example I red that Victor Gomes for Southafrica was impacted by a terrible mistake in his country, where a penalty kick was assigned after a handball of the attacker. Any impact on his future steps ?



    1. Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, 1985)
    2. Ndala Ngambo (DRC, 1987)
    3. Redouane Jiyed (MAR, 1979)
    4. Victor Gomes (RSA, 1982, photo)
    5. Maguette Ndiaye (SEN, 1986)
    6. Sadok Selmi (TUN, 1984)

    1. Ghead Grisha (EGY, 1976)
    2. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)
    3. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)


    1. Mario Escobar (GUA, 1986)
    2. Hector Martínez (HON, 1991)
    3. Oshane Nation (JAM, 1991)
    4. Fernando Guerrero (MEX, 1981)
    5. Marco Ortiz (MEX, 1988)
    6. Ismail Elfath (USA, 1982)
    7. Armando Villarreal (USA, 1986)

    1. Drew Fischer (CAN, 1980)
    2. David Gantar (CAN, 1975)
    3. Adonai Escobedo (MEX, 1987)
    4. Edvin Jurisevic (USA, 1975, former FIFA Referee)
    5. Alan Kelly (USA, 1975, former FIFA Referee)
    6. Kevin Stott (USA, 1967, former FIFA Referee)


    1. Fernando Rapallini (ARG, 1978)
    2. Gery Vargas (BOL, 1981)
    3. Raphael Claus (BRA, 1979)
    4. Roberto Tobar (CHI, 1978)
    5. Nicolas Gallo (COL, 1986)
    6. Carlos Orbe (ECU, 1982)
    7. Mario Díaz de Vivar (PAR, 1983)
    8. Diego Haro (PER, 1982)
    9. Leodan Gonzalez (URU, 1983)
    10. Alexis Herrera (VEN, 1989)

    1. Patricio Loustau (ARG, 1975)
    2. Mauro Vigliano (ARG, 1975)
    3. Anderson Daronco (BRA, 1981)
    4. Wilton Sampaio (BRA, 1981)
    5. Julio Bascunan (CHI, 1978)
    6. Andres Rojas (COL, 1984)
    7. Esteban Ostojich (URU, 1982)
    8. Jesus Valenzuela (VEN, 1983)

    Seminar 2 (AFC, OFC, UEFA)


    1. Christopher Beath (AUS, 1984)
    2. Ma Ning (CHN, 1979)
    3. Adham Makhadmah (JOR, 1986)
    4. Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR, 1982)
    5. Ahmad Al-Kaf (OMA, 1983)
    6. Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT, 1987)
    7. Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN, 1986)

    1. Jarred Gillett (AUS, 1986)
    2. Fu Ming (CHN, 1983)
    3. Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN, 1982)
    4. Kim Hee-Gon (KOR, 1985)
    5. Khamis Al-Marri (QAT, 1984)
    6. Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE, 1982)


    1. Nicholas Waldron (NZL, 1982)
    2. Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH, 1981)


    1. Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR, 1979)
    2. Georgi Kabakov (BUL, 1986)
    3. Michael Oliver (ENG, 1985)
    4. Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP, 1984)
    5. Benoît Bastien (FRA, 1983)
    6. Daniel Siebert (GER, 1984)
    7. Davide Massa (ITA, 1981)
    8. Andris Treimanis (LVA, 1985)
    9. Srdjan Jovanović (SRB, 1986)
    10. Ivan Kružliak (SVK, 1984)
    11. Slavko Vinčič (SVN, 1979)
    12. Andreas Ekberg (SWE, 1985)

    1. Craig Pawson (ENG, 1979)
    2. Paul Tierney (ENG, 1980)
    3. Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP, 1976)
    4. Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP, 1982)
    5. Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP, 1982)
    6. Marco Guida (ITA, 1981)
    7. Massimiliano Irrati (ITA, 1979)
    8. Pol van Boekel (NED, 1975)
    9. Serdar Gözübüyük (NED, 1985)
    10. Danny Makkelie (NED, 1983)
    11. Paweł Gil (POL, 1976)
    12. Paweł Raczkowski (POL, 1983)
    13. Artur Soares Dias (POR, 1979)
    14. Hüseyin Göçek (TUR, 1976)

  47. Incredible game in Turkey's Cup this midweek. Galatasaray won the first match of the quarterfinal against Hatayspor 2-0, and were 0-2 (0-4) up in the return match against the 1st Division team. Hatayspor managed to remarkably score four goals in the last half-an-hour and the resolution of this match was only decided in the last seconds with the record champions advancing by virtue of their away goals only.

    Referee in the middle of this match in partly unlikely surroundings was Yaşar Kemal Uğurlu, 38yrs non-FIFA referee, and he and his team faced many crucial decisions that were crucial for the outcome.

    Crucial Situations:

    21'. After an On-Field Review, referee decides that there was no punishable handball in this situation and awards the goal to Galatasaray.
    Is it hitting the shoulder or is this a crucial mistake?

    +46'. VAR supports the referee to play on in this situation.
    Could an On-Field Review have been justified here?

    57'. Referee awards a penalty to Hatayspor for a careless trip.
    Black-white correct decision here from my eyes.

    68'. Referee awards a penalty to Hatyaspor for pulling and a caution to defender for Stopping a Promising Attack.
    Was this whistle too soft? Should the referee have shown a Red Card for DOGSO?

    78'. Serkan Çimen AR1 plays an excellent onside, supported by VAR, for the 3-2 goal.

    84'. Very interesting situation which took around five minutes for the officiating team to solve. Serkan Çimen AR1 signals a goalkick, before the goalkeeper manages to score a disastrous own goal. After a long review, the goal is awarded to Hatyaspor.
    Has the ball crossed the goal line? Have the LotG been adhered to regarding the time of the whistle? Has the VAR seen all the relevant angles before communicating the decision to the referee?

    +96'. Önder Yilmaz AR2 takes an excellent decision to disallow a Hatayspor goal.

    Besides that, an interesting match regarding management and disciplinary control.

    Full refereeing highlights can be found in the link below.

    A question for our readers from Turkey, it would be really interesting if you could inform about the refereeing in the other three quarterfinal matches!

    1. 21': I think, it's quite clearly the upper arm and not the shoulder. Without VAR never a crucial mistake, with the pictures available it probably is - unless other observers have a different perception than me...
      46': I can't detect a clear foul. An OFR would be only justified, if the VAR saw a clear contact and the referee missed that. We don't know that.
      68': Too soft IMO. But if a foul, the YC is OK, because of the angle and the other defender.
      84': I can't hear the exact moment of the whistle. For me, the ball had not left the field, but I can't be sure. And I have some doubts, that the VAR could be sure (which he needs to be for an intervention). YC for dissent would be a good choice.
      96': Interesting question, whether the goalscorer still needed to be booked for taking his shirt of. I think, he should be, but I am not sure.

    2. Regarding 96':

    3. Thanks.

      Some further situations from the quarterfinal:

      Ümraniyespor - Trabzonspor, Alper Ulusoy

      0:33 VAR supports the referee to play on after a handball scene (my feeling is that referee misses it on a perception level)
      1:24 After an on-field review, referee whistles a penalty for handball (missed on a perception level)
      2:13 Having awarded a penalty on the pitch for holding, after an on-field review referee changes his decision to a dropped ball

      Göztepe - Malatyaspor, Serkan Çınar

      1:00 Referee doesn't whistle a penalty after handball situation, which is supported by VAR

      Kasımpaşa - Akhisarspor, Arda Kardeşler

      3:32 Referee declines to a whistle a penalty after this handball incident, backed by VAR and sorts out a yellow card for dissent
      5:10 Many conflicts after the final whistle, resulting in two cautions and a red card after an on-field review (was an OFR really necessary here?)

  48. Rumours from Germany: There seems to be a conflict between Brych, Borsch and Lupp. According to a newspaper report, Brych has partly blamed his assistants for his weaker performances this season, which they did not accept. Then Brych asked for temporarily new assistants.
    Today he is refereeing in Bundesliga with different ARs.
    Nothing confirmed yet.
    We will see the implications on international level with the next appointments.

    1. Interesting, thanks for reporting the rumors, but honestly, it is difficult to believe. I would never blame my assistant referees asking for better performances. Brych, Borsch and Lupp are very likely in the last stage of their international career, on the road to EURO 2020. After so many yesrs spent together, this would be quite strange...


    The ref gave a penalty for handball.
    I think this is a gray area. What do you think?

  50. No handball.The movement is congruous for the dynamics: the green defender arm is used as a natural support to cushion the fall. He didn't make himself bigger

  51. Great RC decision by Taylor.

    1. But mistake by AR prior to PK whistled at 90’. And PK should be retaken after Vertonghen crossed the line before shoot.


      The AR in question, IMO adopts a terrible posture to properly assess the offside position. Why is he leaning and crouching? Why is he not inline, upright and sidestepping? I know that there are many players in his sight line, but Kane is clearly and obviously in an offside position at the time the ball is played.

    3. Also what if defensive line or attackers move before freekick is taken, how can AR in that position keep up with second last defender?

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. Today the International Football Association Board (IFAB) held its 133rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Aberdeen, Scotland. The meeting was chaired by the President of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Alan McRae and was attended by representatives from FIFA and the football associations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Discussions focused on several areas aimed at fine-tuning the Laws for the benefit of the game as well as an assessment of the use of Video Assistant Referees (VARs).

    On the topic of defining handball, a decision was taken by The IFAB to provide a more precise and detailed definition for what constitutes handball, in particular with regard to the occasions when a non-deliberate/accidental handball will be penalised. For example a goal scored directly from the hand/arm (even if accidental) and a player scoring or creating a goal-scoring opportunity after having gained possession/control of the ball from their hand/arm (even if accidental) will no longer be allowed.

    Following experiments in different parts of the world, the AGM also approved changes to the Laws of the Game related to a player being substituted having to leave the field of play at the nearest boundary line, yellow and red cards for misconduct by team officials and the ball not having to leave the penalty area at goal kicks and defending team free kicks in the penalty area.

    Additional approved Law changes included: measures to deal with attacking players causing problems in the defensive ‘wall’, changing the dropped ball procedure, giving a dropped ball in certain situations when the ball hits the referee and the goalkeeper only being required to have one foot on the line at a penalty kick.

    Following the historic decision taken a year ago at the 132nd IFAB AGM to approve the use of VARs, the FIFA President Gianni Infantino in unity with fellow members of The IFAB expressed their satisfaction with the significant impact and success VAR has had. Partly as a result of its success in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia, VAR is now an accepted part of football and has brought greater fairness to the game without any significant interruption with reviews on average taking just over a minute once every three games. The members were also updated on the current worldwide use of VARs and The IFAB/FIFA approval process which all competitions wishing to use VARs must complete and it was agreed that FIFA, together with The IFAB, will continue to drive and assist the global implementation of VAR.

    Plans were announced for a comprehensive digitalisation programme to support FIFA and The IFAB in the process of education of Refereeing and the Laws of the Game as well as throughout the football community. As part of The IFAB’s play fair! initiative the AGM also agreed to continue to explore ways in which the Laws of the Game can be used to improve on-field behaviour and, now that the major Law revision period is drawing to a close, increase football and the wider public’s understanding and appreciation of the Laws of the Game and the role of the referee.


    1. Are the exact changes available or do we have to wait? Because there are some statements that are really vague ("changing the dropped ball procedure" or "giving a dropped ball in certain situations when the ball hits the referee").

      Also, I would like to know more about "the goalkeeper only being required to have one foot on the line at a penalty kick" and why has such change been made instead of enforcing referees to apply the current version of the Laws of the Game regarding penalty kicks.

    2. Link doesn't work for me.

  53. Sorry to say, but I repeat myself: Undiano is clearly underperforming on his very last season.

  54. Does anybody watch El Clásico? What do you think about Ramos’ elbow against Messi only seconds before half-time and about Undiano’s management, who whistled immediately for half-time. IMO, clear violent conduct by Ramos, he should have been sent off...

    1. I disagree. I believe it is not a deliberate act, so no VC. Also, I don't think it is SFP, so foul + YC would be OK for me.

  55. The Pope remains Catholic, bears still shit in the woods, and Undiano adds on three minutes of additional time at the end of the 2H.

    Points for improvement indeed (basic faults in foul detection especially in 1H, missed caution for simulation at 30'), but I found his performance to be quite a good one.

  56. I am very sorry to say that but in my opinion Undiano Mallencos performance was bad. We all know that the players are the best actors out there, and the difficulty of referring games like this one are on the highest levels, but I still think that a good referee is the one that doesn’t let the players climb on their heads. I saw Undiano Mallenco very focused, but his ability to manage the game is not on point. I know some will not agree, but this is my honest and personal opinion of what I think about Mallencos performance and generally about every referee. Football is of course a very tough sport to referee and I will always repeat that if a referee can’t handle a game where he is the leader, then it is not a job for him.


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