Thursday, 7 March 2019

Europa League 2018/19 - Round of 16 - Referee Appointments (I)

UEFA Referees Committee has chosen the following officials to handle the first leg games to be played for Round of 16 of 2018/19 Europa League.
7 March 2019, 18:55 CET - Frankfurt am Main (Commerzbank-Arena)
Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) - FC Internazionale Milano (ITA)
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Francis Connor (SCO)
Fourth Official: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Walsh (SCO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Manuel Díaz Vega (ESP)
UEFA Delegate: Aristídis Stavrópoulos (GRE)

7 March 2019, 18:55 CET - Zagreb (Stadion Maksimir)
GNK Dinamo (CRO) - SL Benfica (POR)
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Fourth Official: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Andre Marriner (ENG)
UEFA Referee Observer: Darko Čeferin (SVN)
UEFA Delegate: Dennis Cruise (IRL)

7 March 2019, 18:55 CET - Seville (Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán)
Sevilla FC (ESP) - SK Slavia Praha (CZE)
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Julien Pacelli (FRA)
Fourth Official: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Amaury Delerue (FRA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: François Letexier (FRA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)
UEFA Delegate: Siarhiej Iĺič (BLR)

7 March 2019, 18:55 CET - Rennes (Roazhon Park)
Stade Rennais FC (FRA) - Arsenal FC (ENG)
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomáš Somoláni (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Fourth Official: Ján Pozor (SVK)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kráľovič (SVK)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Filip Glova (SVK)
UEFA Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)
UEFA Delegate: Ronald Zimmermann (GER)

7 March 2019, 18:55 CET - St. Petersburg (Gazprom Arena)
FC Zenit (RUS) - Villarreal CF (ESP)
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Fourth Official: Giorgio Peretti (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)
UEFA Delegate: Kuanysh Kanapyanov (KAZ)

7 March 2019, 21:00 CET - London (Stamford Bridge)
Chelsea FC (ENG) - FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
Referee: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: Danilo Filacchione (ITA)

7 March 2019, 21:00 CET - Naples (Stadio San Paolo)
SSC Napoli (ITA) - FC Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)
Referee: Aliaksiej Kuĺbakoŭ (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dzmitryj Žuk (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alieh Maslianka (BLR)
Fourth Official: Juryj Chomčanka (BLR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Dzianis Ščarbakoŭ (BLR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Dzmitryj Dzmitryjeŭ (BLR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Guy Goethals (BEL)
UEFA Delegate: Mark Evans (WAL)

7 March 2019, 21:00 CET - València (Mestalla, Camp del València)
Valencia CF (ESP) - FC Krasnodar (RUS)
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roi Hassan (ISR)
Fourth Official: Idan Yarkoni (ISR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Erez Papir (ISR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ziv Adler (ISR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Stávros Tritsónis (GRE)
UEFA Delegate: Wolfgang Thierrichter (AUT)


  1. Kassai and Bastien not appointed so far...

    1. Kassai had Betis-Rennes in Round of 32. However, it is not understandable how Bastien has not been appointed yet. He's not injured, as far as I know...

    2. Sorry, you are right. I forgot that.

  2. I didn't watch Olympiakos - Milan but apparently it was not a good game from Bastien.

    1. UEFA assessed missed penalty in Galatasaray - Schalke as a crucial mistake ( I thought he was good in the Olympiakós - AC Milan game, but the decisive penalty was too soft; if not a formal mistake then a de facto one.

      If Bastien gets nothing next week then we can say that UEFA have 'punished' him for these decisions.

    2. Kassai not punished because the mistake didn't affect the outcome? This wouldn't be fair, however it seems as this argument exists.

    3. Well, that is FIFA's interpretation of performance principle anyway :-)

      My feeling is that Bastien will get a return match next week in EL. It would be particular to 'punish' just him as you say, especially as Kassai's was much more blatant.

  3. Do you know if Rocchi is a replacement of somebody else ? Massa ? It's so strange to see him in EL after his appearance in CL.
    Anyway I was exepecting Collum and Oliver in CL and somebody else (Moen ?, Gozubuyuk ?, Bebel ?, Bastien?, Ekberg ?) in spite of Rocchi

    1. It happened to Antonio Mateo lahoz so it is not a problem imo

    2. F, you mentioned some referees who didn't attend the Winter Course. Moen and Bebek can't get appointments in any case.
      In addition, Mateu Lahoz got a CL game and then a few days after another one in EL. It is not the first time for a referee in this KO stage.

  4. Most of the names are pretty much expected.

    And since most of those referees had a previous appointment on either CL or EL, then the performance principle seems to have come in effect.

  5. Do I understand correctly that we saw the last appointments of this season for the 1st category referees?

    1. These matches are first legs, we will see other Category 1 referees on next week. Then, yes, starting from Quarterfinals Category 1 referees shouldn't be allowed to handle games.
      However, this is not a written rule and I think everything is possible. In case, an assignement for a Category 1 in EL Quarterfinals would be a more than big signal for a possible promotion, but I tend to exclude that this will happen.
      About Champions League, until 2012-13 season, only Elite referees were allowed to officiate in KO stage, then something changed and committee with Collina became more flexible. We had Mazic in 2013 getting a CL game (PSG - Valencia) before his promotion to Elite, the same happened to Karasev one year later in 2014 (Real - Schalke).

    2. Bebek and Aydinus also got their CL knock out matches while they were first category. Mazic and Cakir both had EL semi finals althoug they were not elite (at that moment they were in elite development group).

    3. can I get more info‘s about juan luca sacchi please

  6. OT:

    Albanian FIFA Third Category referee Eldorjan Hamiti was brutally assaulted in last matchday by FC Kamza (local) supporters and even by club president after a late penalty awarded to visitors. Albanian FA has relegated Kamza to 3rd category, and Albanian referees have called of a strike, claiming for proper police protection in stadiums. Awful.

    Video of those terrible scenes:

    PK was IMO spot-on.

  7. A quick 'update' from me ahead of and mostly unrelated to tonight's matches in EL

    Firstly, I want to say how shocking the incidents are from Albania (thanks Quilava). It is really disgusting the idea that referees are not even safe on the pitch, let alone away from the matches. Some people are pure idiots. My deepest well wishes to all officials involved especially Eldorjan Hamiti who was attacked for making a fully correct penalty decision. I really hope that all support possible will be made available for these men. I am glad that the referees association called a strike there, and most importantly that referees can be safe there in the future.

    It provides an interesting context to Albania's Derby, between KF Tirana - Partizani Tirana, which took place on Friday. No.1 referee Enea Jorgji who made his EL debut earlier this season was the referee, and you can find extended highlights in the link below.

    (My upspeed is f*cked, so I'll post the link for highlights below as soon as it uploads :-))

    Jorgji fulfilled the basic requirements and avoided bigger mistakes in this very challenging match so he should rest easy with his performance, but I found his approach too passive to call it any more than satisfactory.

    1. Robert Jones, surely a future PL and FIFA referee from England, handled the East Midlands Derby and below is highlights of his performance which is surely an excellent recommendation for even higher tasks

    2. Ahead of this weekend's Kyiv Derby between Arsenal - Dynamo to be whistled by Yevhen Aranovs'kyy, I watched the last match between the two which was handled by Mykola Balakin, UEFA 3rd Cat. referee 30yrs old who convinced me in the recent Zorya Luhansk - Vorskla Poltava match. I was really impressed by his performance in both matches, highlights below of the former where he sorted out ten cards, two of them RCs (1H | 2H). |

      I would be really interested if our Ukrainian readers (Sviat, Ref12UKR) could inform more on Balakin, who I see as (finally!) a talent from Ukraine who I hope can attend U17 EURO this summer.

      If anyone has any notes they want me to cut into refereeing highlights from tonight's matches, you can reach me on mikaelthereferee(at)

    3. Apologies for the many posts. It was not such a quick update as I planned :-)

      Full refereeing highlights of Enea Jorgji's Albanian Derby can be found below

    4. Mikael, I`ll try to give You more information about Balakin soon;)

    5. Mikael, thanks for sharing the East Midlands Derby highlights. A very accomplished performance from Robert Jones - demonstrating superb game management

  8. Minute 20' in Frankfurt, penalty to Inter, very soft decision, if not a real simulation. Collum was deceived by a very easy fall there. I wouldn't have whistled it.

    1. In my opinion, the penalty for Inter was fully correct. Look at the frontal replay - Fernandes creates a significant contact by his left knee with the left knee of Martínez.

  9. Wrong penalty whistled by Collum in Frankfurt. Clear dive but fortunately for him the GK saved the penalty kick

  10. Collum a little bit off colour?
    Now a YC for nothing for Inter after advice of the AR?

  11. Wrong offside now from Collums AR2..

    1. Significant mistake there, as the player was clearly ONSIDE, no tight situation, my feelinjg is that AR totally missed the defender who kept onside the opponent.

  12. Good decision by Rocchi and his team for allowing the 1:1 for Zenit.

  13. Excellent assessment in St. Petersburg by AR2 Passeri when Zenit scored 1-1. A palyer from Villarreal was temporarily out of the pitch for play's reasons, so to be considered on the line for offside assessment. The attacker scored when he was alone in front of the keeper but indeed he was ONSIDE. Rocchi explained that to players from away-team.

    1. Short video of it the goal at speed (no replays):

  14. Oliver with a correct penalty in Zagreb.

    1. Excellent positioning and assessment from Oliver to determine immediately that the foul took place inside the area and whistle for a penalty. 100% correct decision

    2. It really was Excellent positioning.

  15. Great onside decision on zenit's 1-1 by Rocchi's AR2. Both last defenders including the GK were outside of the goal line so they deemed to be on the goal line. Mild protests by villareal players but Rocchi explained them the situation

  16. What about the goal of Zenit? Any comments or video . Very interesting situation

  17. Second YC to Papastathopoulos in Rennes looks like a correct decision by Kruzliak.

    1. Superb officiating from Kružliak, managed the situation very well. Both mandatory cautions

    Zenit goal .

  19. Correctly disallwed goal by AR1 in Frankfurt (50'). Attacker tried to play the ball in front of keeper, in offside position. No matther whether he touched the ball or not.

  20. 53' penalty appeal by Eintracht, I think one can agree with Collum. Not a clear situation.

    1. Agree, not clear. But if you compare this situation with the penalty from the first half, I see more of a penalty here than before.

    2. Yes, this was the reason for which Eintracht players were quite angry after this decision.

    3. Manager of Frankfurt was sent off as well after the penalty appeal

    4. Taking into account that Hasebe should have been booked for dissent after the penalty awarded in the first half, he was lucky to stay on the pitch after another wild dissent after the penalty incident in 53'. In both cases, strong physical contact with referee occurred...

  21. Crucial mistake by AR1 in Seville: 3-2 for home-team wrongly disallowed.

  22. Second last and last replay, look at the knee. Careless kick and clear penalty for my taste. :)

    1. That can be painful even if it is not made with high intensity. Correct PK for me.

    2. Disagree. More simulation and excessive theater about the contact than clear PK. Unlikely in my opinion.

    3. Exactly, Quilava, it had to be quite painful!

    4. Wherever a contact exists you can always justify a call. This one is so soft to me. And I see a little delay between contact and starting to fall. Also the way he falls is unnatural and not suiting to the cause. Is the penalty a mistake? No. But I think you better should not award it.

  23. Excellent onside by AR1 in Naples for 1-0! Very quick action, live to me looked like a clear offside, I praise him.

    1. 16' disallowed goal by AR2 for offside following a rebound between attacker and defender. In this case, referee correctly confirmed to AR2 that last touch had been by attacker, so offside. Not easy situation, despite of a crystal clear offside position, well solved.

    2. Correct YC to Koulibaly - very rare by Kulbakov in the middle of first half - but this challenge was too much reckless. Player deserved that.

    3. Two minutes later (28') Salzburg asked for a second YC to Koulibaly for SPA. He stopped an attack. I think that referee decision can be backed, however a second YC wouldn't have been a wrong choice.

    4. Three correct and mandatory YC in second half - overall an expected level by Kulbakov. Game was not that difficult, very positive notes for assistant referees.

  24. Sorry but Collum had a really poor match tonight. Penalty for Inter was super soft for hardly any contact and 99% simulation. Way more contact against Haller in the second half, and no penalty there.
    Even worse the foul on Kostic on the border of the penalty area, which after replays was rather clearly inside the box than outside. The YC for Asamoah for a foul by the Frankfurt player against Asamoah was a complete joke.
    Nothing Elite about this performance with 3 wrong penalty (non)decisions.

  25. Highlights of William Collum in Eintracht Frankfurt v FC Internazionale Milano

    MLS Assignments for this weekend:

  27. The red cards and penalties from Europa League round of 16 leg 1 games:
    Rennes v Arsenal - Sokratis red card
    Dinamo Zagreb v Benfica -
    Frankfurt v Inter Milan - Is this enough for a penalty?

  28. Highlights of Orel Grinfeld in Valencia CF - FK Krasnodar

    1. 6' -> missed YC for KRA #98 for a reckless tackle.
      59' -> missed foul + YC (at the very least, IMO it can be a RC too). It is of course not a deliberate act, but the stamp is in a very dangerous place, with the whole body's weight.
      70' -> possible missed YC for SPA.
      77' -> missed foul + YC.
      79' -> poor management of the situation. Foul + YC is mostly OK, but then KRA #9 should have been booked for dissent and/or confronting an opponent. In the end, it is VAL #17, who suffered a punch on the mouth, who gets the same punishment as the offending player. IMO, if you book him, the booking for KRA #9 becomes mandatory.

      All other incidents were correctly assessed, IMO. Also, I want to note the very good body language and calmness he showed during the whole game. Foul detection should be improved, though.

    2. Thanks, George! At least someone watch the highlights :D

    3. I'm sure a lot of people watch them even if not everyone can Always comment. Continue the good work, but also pay attention that refereeing and blogging is not all! (also said to Mikael, who is doing a fabulous and time consuming Job too)

    4. vlad i really love your HL, I watch them regularly even on replay many times to study the referee. Pls dont stop them, make them even more frequent if your time allows that, I would really appreciate. Thank you

    5. Thanks for your kind words!

    6. Some nice body language in here (as George) noted above. It'd be nice to pull a few of those out as they can make for good teaching material.

    7. I also watch the highlights for most matches. Thanks for providing these clips!

  29. UEFA statement about VAR decisions:

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