Tuesday, 18 June 2019

UEFA Category Revisions - Aliaksiej Kuĺbakoŭ and Ivan Kružliak are promoted to Elite

UEFA Referees Committee have computed the promotions and demotions in their category revisions of Summer 2019. Please find all changes in the document below.

Having taken charge of ten UEFA Champions League games in his career, and passed the many tests of top matches with very important observers this season, Aliaksiej Kuĺbakoŭ from Belarus has ascended to Elite. He is joined by Ivan Kružliak, observed this season by Bo Karlsson and Marc Batta; Slovakian has handled five matches at a Champions League level. It will be interesting to see how these two men fare in the fight to attend UEFA EURO 2020. In addition, thirteen referees have been moved into First Category, and a further seventeen from Third to Second. We would like to wish all referees a big congratulations!

On the other hand, we can also reflect on an end of an era regarding some demotions. Referees such as Vladislav Bezborodov, Jorge Sousa and Martin Strömbergsson have been relegated to Second Category. Politically valuable swaps, injuries/fitness and performance principle can be different reasons for the eleven demotions this time. Such moves that surely preempt the end of international careers, we would like to thank all these referees for their hard work, and wish them all the best for the future.




  1. Wow, just wow on changes in first and second category. Kulbakov and Kruzliak expected IMO.

  2. I was expecting the end of Euro U21 before deciding the new categories but games are done.
    Well, while Kulbakov's promotion was expected and well deserved I'm very surprised by Kruzliak's one. I think that his performances were aligne dto the oens of Vincic, Ekberg and Treimanis and for sure lower than Mazeika and Buquet. I really don't understand while the French and the Lithuanian were not promoted, while Kruzliak yes.
    On other hand I still think that i t does make sense to keep 48 referees in the 1st category. It's too much populated !!! with so big differences between good performers like as Buquet or Vincic and forgotten referees Lechner, Bognar, Boiko, Neaton, Ozkaha, just as for example.
    Regretted for Bezbodorov, may be he deserved a little bit more.

    1. Buquet after that penalty decision in Bulgaria lost his chances of promotion. As the matter of fact, actually president of Montenegrin FA said on TV that Rossetti has told him that Buquet is currently suspended from UEFA because of that decision

  3. Wow I see just now that Moen is now dropped in second category!!!!!!. I cannot believe is just matter of performances. I guess he did something wrong at disciplinary level. It's impressive his regression from world cup to second
    I didn't expect Zelinka's demotion too.
    Strange for me that Irrati and Van Boeckel who are the most important VAR are still in second category, especially Irrati who has supervised the WC final match behind the monitor.
    Anyway generally speaking my feeling is that Rosetti, in spite of Collina, pays more attention to change. During Collina's leading few changes happened even in the direction of demotion. Now I see a lot of changes in 3rdm, 2nd and 2st categories in both direction.

  4. Congrats to the promoted referees! Most certainly Nicolas Rainville will lose his FIFA badge in favor of Willy Delajod next year.

  5. Finally the new list!
    IMO few strange (wrong) decisions, but I didnt watch all there games so I hope Palabiyik in 1st and Aytekin kept in Elite wont be a huge mistake. Looking forward to see Letexier, Peljto and Kulbakov of course, who really showed class in some tough games.

  6. Andrew Dallas is missing on the list or am I wrong?

    1. Now we can say that Andrew Dallas has officially left FIFA lists.
      This was the unofficial source
      but I didn't know if it was reliable.

    2. Which is the reason ?

  7. I must admit I am quite surprised that Slavko Vinčič has not been promoted to the Elite Category. I believe he would desereve the promotion based on his performances in recent years. But it seems that it would be too much for some persons in UEFA that one Slovenian referee (Skomina) officiated the CL Final and the other (Vinčič) would have been promoted to the Elite in the same year. Sometimes, I have a feeling that having the President of UEFA from the same country is not an advantage but rather a hindrance for the compatriot referees...

    1. Vinčič is deserving promotion for some years. It's unbelievable that there are outside reasons to keep him in first category while others (weaker than him) are promoted.

      "Sometimes, I have a feeling that having the President of UEFA from the same country is not an advantage but rather a hindrance for the compatriot referees." - spot on

  8. Finally Tohver got promoted to the 1st category. I think it's very much deserved and maybe should have happened earlier. Congratulations!

  9. The promotions of Kulbakov and Kruzliak were expected. I don't know about Vinčić, maybe he can keep the hope for the future (natural replacement when Skomina will retire?). We will see.
    Most of referees leaving Category 1 are for age reasons, especially Bezborodov, for sure nothing related to performances, at least in my opinion. Moen is a very particular case: being still 40 years old, he could have stayed in Category 1, so there could be something more behind that. Very happy, among other names, for Tohver, who has a very particular and long story as Category 2 and now finally he gets what he deserved in past. Please note that all referees promoted to Category 1 are born after 1980. There aren't referee born before this year, that's another signal. Spain made an important choice: Sanchez Martínez new Category 1, Hernandez Hernandez will be "only" VAR expert. Among the demoted officials to Category 2, for sure one must also mention Zelinka, who was a very promising referee but he didn't manage to cinform expectations, after having officiate Youth League final. Ardeleanu, promoted to Category 1, is older than him and that's a very particular signal. All referees called for Under 19 in Armenia, reported on the blog yesterday, have been already promoted now, if I'm not wrong. So UEFA has a great trust in them.
    Sorry to read that Dallas has retired due to big pressure for international officiating: this is something we should consider more in our analysis, without being alwaysharsh against certain performance. Martin Strombergsson demotion is surely another disappointment, but he had too many controversial games and also injuries. About Italy, Guida promotion was expected.
    Good luck to all officials and a special thank to thos who left the list (Undiano Mallenco, Dallas...).

  10. WOMEN

    CRO Ivana Martinčić
    CZE Jana Adámková
    CZE Olga Zadinová
    FIN Lina Lehtovaara
    FRA Stéphanie Frappart
    FRA Florence Guillemin
    GER Riem Hussein
    GER Bibiana Steinhaus
    HUN Katalin Kulcsár
    POR Sandra Braz Bastos
    RUS Anastasiya Pustovoytova
    SCO Lorraine Watson
    SUI Esther Staubli
    SWE Pernilla Larsson
    SWE Sara Persson
    UKR Kateryna Monzul

    ENG Amy Elizabeth Fearn
    ENG Rebecca Welch
    ESP Marta Frías Acedo
    ESP Marta Huerta de Aza
    GRE Eleni Antoniou
    HUN Eszter Urbán
    KAZ Elvira Nurmustafina
    MKD Ivana Projkovska
    POL Ewa Augustyn
    POL Monika Mularczyk
    POR Sílvia Andreia Rosa Domingos
    SUI Désirée Grundbacher
    SVK Zuzana Kováčová
    SVK Petra Pavlíková
    SWE Tess Olofsson
    TUR Melis Özçiğdem
    WAL Cheryl Foster

    AUT Barbara Poxhofer
    BEL Lois Otte
    BLR Voĺha Ciareška
    BUL Galia Echeva
    BUL Hristiyana Guteva
    CRO Sabina Bolić
    CRO Vesna Budimir
    CZE Lucie Šulcová
    DEN Tinna Høj Christensen
    DEN Frida Mia Klarlund Nielsen
    ENG Sarah Garratt
    ESP María Dolores Martínez Madrona
    EST Reelika Turi
    GER Angelika Söder
    IRL Paula Brady
    ITA Maria Marotta
    ITA Graziella Pirriatore
    LTU Justina Lavrenovaitė
    LVA Viola Raudziņa
    NED Vivian Peeters
    NED Shona Shukrula
    NOR Henrikke Nervik
    ROU Iuliana Elena Demetrescu
    RUS Vera Opeykina
    SUI Simona Ghisletta
    SVK Zuzana Valentová
    SVN Aleksandra Česen
    SVN Tanja Subotič

    ALB Emanuela Rusta
    ARM Ruzanna Petrosyan
    ARM Araksya Saribekyan
    AUT Marina Aufschnaiter
    AZE Yuliya Qurbanova
    BEL Viki De Cremer
    BEL Hannelore Onsea
    BIH Merima Čelik
    BIH Tanja Račić
    BLR Iryna Turaŭskaja
    BUL Dimitrina Milkova
    CRO Jelena Pejković
    CYP Ioánna Allagiótou
    CYP Chrýso Georgíou
    CZE Veronika Kovářová
    ENG Abigail Byrne
    ESP Ainara Andrea Acevedo Dudley
    ESP Zulema González González
    EST Triinu Laos
    FIN Ifeoma Kulmala
    FIN Minna Mäenpää
    FRA Victoria Beyer
    GER Karoline Wacker
    GRE Andromáchi Tsioflíki
    HUN Katalin Sipos
    ISL Bríet Bragadóttir
    ISR Meitar Shemesh
    ITA Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi
    ITA Valentina Finzi
    KAZ Tatyana Sorokopudova
    LTU Rasa Imanalijeva
    LTU Jurgita Mačikunytė
    LVA Jeļena Jermolajeva
    MDA Vera Onică
    MKD Irena Velevačkoska
    NED Lizzy van der Helm
    NOR Emilie Dokset
    NOR Sarah Fatemeh Zangeneh
    POL Michalina Diakow
    POL Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sęk
    POR Catarina Isabel Ferreira Campos
    ROU Ionela Alina Peșu
    ROU Cristina Mariana Trandafir
    RUS Marina Krupskaya
    RUS Aleksandra Ponomareva
    SRB Jelena Cvetković
    SRB Tamara Petrić
    SRB Marina Višnjić
    SUI Michèle Schmölzer
    SUI Sandra Strub
    SWE Laura Rapp
    TUR Neslihan Muratdağı
    TUR Cansu Tiryaki
    UKR Anastasiya Romanchuk
    UKR Lyudmyla Telbukh
    UKR Kateryna Usova

  11. When Rosetti took over from Collina and started making changes to CL GS this year, I was expecting big things from him. But today he disappointed me.

    There is no logic to keep the Elite Category as a closed group. Once you get there, you won't be demoted no matter what. You only go when you reach age retirement. That's why there are only 2 promotions each year.

    Congratulations to Kulbakou and Kruzliak. Both promotions are deserved. I expected Vincic as well but he stays at 1st group. Not the best management from a psychological point of view.

    The promotions on 1st group are pretty much expected. I don't understand why Martinez Munuera stays on 2nd group. He had the U19 final last year and instead UEFA selected Sanchez Martínez.

    No changes for Greece. Hardly a surprise. That's the result when you call foreign referees for League matches.

    1. I agree, elite could be a bit more open group. Kassai and Aytekin, with all respect, are not the referees for decisive matches, so 1st category is more suitable IMO. Vincic on the other hand, and some other refeeres deserved to be there

    2. A referee managed to be demoted from Elite: Moen. So, guys, it is possible, but for sure you must make big disasters to achieve that.

    3. Moen, Nijhuis, Bebek have recently been relegated to Category 1 ...
      The promotion of Kulbakov, even if it is deserved, is it not too late? He is already 40 years old, will he have time to make enough progress to hope for a final?
      Letexier already promoted in Category 1, can we hope for a third French referee in the Elite category?
      What happened with Moen? His huge mistake in Iceland just after the Euro 2016 (and the behavior of the player to whom he should have given a red card) she "killed" his career?

  12. So, if I'm not wrong.

    Promoted to Elite:

    Alexey Kulbakov (BLR, 1979)
    Ivan Kruzliak (SVK, 1984)

    Promoted to First:

    Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT, 1983)
    Irfan Peljto (BIH, 1984)
    Petr Ardeleanu (CZE, 1980)
    José María Sánchez Martínez (ESP, 1983)
    Kristo Tohver (EST, 1981)
    François Letexier (FRA, 1989)
    Marco Guida (ITA, 1981)
    Nikola Dabanović (MNE, 1981)
    Tiago Martins (POR, 1980)
    Radu Petrescu (ROU, 1982)
    Sergei Ivanov (RUS, 1984)
    Sandro Schärer (SUI, 1988)
    Ali Palabiyik (TUR, 1981)

    Promoted to Second:

    Lawrence Visser (BEL, 1989)
    Duje Strukan (CRO, 1984)
    Pavel Orel (CZE, 1988)
    Jørgen Daubjerg Burchardt (DEN, 1982)
    Georgi Kruashvili (GEO, 1986)
    Robert Hennessy (IRL, 1990)
    Alain Durieux (LUX, 1985)
    Dumitru Muntean (MDA, 1985)
    Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT, 1985)
    Espen Eskås (NOR, 1988)
    Krzysztof Jakubik (POL, 1983)
    João Pinheiro (POR, 1989)
    Horatiu Mircea Fesnic (ROU, 1989)
    Donald Robertson (SCO, 1987)
    Glenn Nyberg (SWE, 1988)
    Mykola Balakin (UKR, 1989)
    Iwan Arwel Griffith (WAL, 1988)


    Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR, 2nd)
    Manuel de Sousa (POR, 2nd)
    Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS, 2nd)
    Martin Strömbergsson (SWE, 2nd)
    Hüseyin Göçek (TUR, 2nd)
    Nikola Popov (BUL, 3rd)
    Ville Nevalainen (FIN, 3rd)
    Nicolas Rainville (FRA, 3rd)
    Hugo Miguel (POR, 3rd)
    Sebastian Coltescu (ROU, 3rd)

    Out of the list:

    Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
    Andrew Dallas (SCO)

    1. Forgot to add Mazić to the 'out of the list'. :D

    2. Yes indeed Mazic, I forgot him as well... a special thank to Serbian.

    3. Schörgenhofer and Welz are also demoted.

  13. I was a little surprised on not seeing Martínez Munuera promoted and being Sánchez Martínez instead as the former seemed to have more confidence from UEFA (e.g. U19 Euro 2018 Final), however IMO they made the right choice, Sánchez Martínez has more potential and is better considered in CTA-RFEF, e.g he's already handled 4 Clásicos in 2 seasons while Martínez Munuera's most sonorous clash until now has been the Madrid derby (Real Madrid-Atlético Madrid last year).

    I hope Martínez Munuera will still be considered as a candidate in further promotions, I don't see a Elite potential on him but he's got the level to be a solid First Category (and also reliable in domestic competition) referee like Estrada Fernández.

    Happy also for the others, both Kulbakov and Kruzliak deserved their promotions IMO.

  14. I said in winter about Sebastian Coltescu demotion. He is 42 and had no perspective for the future. Radu Petrescu had a good season so he deserved it. Horatiu Fesnic didn't have a good spring in this year in the Romanian League, but he could be a promisiuni referee.

  15. The case of Svein Odvar Moen is an example for the current and future UEFA Referee Committee's about the dangers of "pushing" a referee too much too soon. As it can easily lead to referee "burn out". Unfortunately once a referee becomes a spent cartridge, there is no salvaging it.

  16. Please ant legitimate reason why Andrew Dallas is of the list.

    1. From above:

  17. Kuipers is already 46 and Rocchi will be 46 in a 2 months, but they are in list for next season! How it`s possible?

    1. Age limits for FIFA referees have been abolished.
      Regarding Italy, Rocchi should retire now because age limit is still valid (45) , but he will get a derogation for 2019-20 season.
      About Kuipers, I think in Netherlands there aren't strict age limits, but I'm not sure. I remember Vink...

    2. Hi Chefren

      which rumors in Italy about demotion form Serie A and promotion from Serie B to Serie A ? Do you think that only Banti and Mazzoleni will leave Serie A or somedoby else for performance reason ?

    3. About the promotions from serie B to serie A, it is clear that Piccinini and Giua are the names, they officiated play off finals, as it happened in all the previous seasons, they will be promoted. Giua is a choice for the future, Rizzoli wants to have a young referee who can become potentially FIFA.
      Regarding serie A, I think Mazzoleni and Banti out will be the only decision, no technical choices about other referees. At least this is what I can perceive looking at the appointments of this season, with some referees who made very clear and blatant mistakes, but they were appointed after that even for good games. In case of technical selection, the choice would have been between (still my opinion of course) Manganiello and Pairetto, with the former in a very, very difficult situation.
      But I think, as said, only Mazzoleni and Banti will leave.

    4. Remenber Dick Jol and Roelof Luinge were all +50 referees and Pieter Vink was 50 when they retired!

    5. I am correct that there are also no age limits in UEFA (not only in FIFA)?

    6. UEFA belongs to FIFA, there isn't a specific regulation for UEFA referees about their age, the same for AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and OFC. Once you become international referee, you are a FIFA official.

  18. Netherlands have no age limit. In the past Roelof Luinge refereed in the Eredivisie until he was almost 55.


  19. Huge achievements for Dabanovic, especially since he comes from a small country. It is very unusual and strange that he is not always with same refereeing team. I was trying to find who was in his team on most of the matches and I found two names: Milovan Djukic and Jovica Tatar.
    Milovan Djukic has two finals, U17 and U19. From this I can conclude that he is a logical choice to be in Dabanovic team and that he must be his AR1.
    Searching about Jovica Tatar, I didn’t find anything special, only that he was AR an the final match of Montenegrin Cup.
    Overall he deserved it.

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