Monday, 12 August 2019

EURO 2020 - a perspective analysis at the beginning of 2019-2020 season

About one year ago I wrote this analysis about the possible selection for EURO 2020. Now, after a year, we can for sure draw some conclusions, when the decisive season is about to start for Top UEFA Officials. 

Let's start with the current pool of Elite referees:
Deniz Aytekin (GER), Benoit Bastien (FRA), Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Cakir (TUR), William Collum (SCO), Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP), Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP), Ovidiu Hategan (ROU), Sergei Karasev (RUS), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Kralovec (CZE), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR), Björn Kuipers (NED), Danny Makkelie (NED), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Michael Oliver (ENG), Daniele Orsato (ITA), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE), Damir Skomina (SVN), Artur Soares Dias (POR), Anthony Taylor (ENG), Clement Turpin (FRA), Felix Zwayer (GER).

First question we can try to answer is the following: did committee manage to recover some Elite officials at higher level, if compared to the list one year ago? Unluckily the answer seems to be negative. Regarding this matter, the names who come in my mind are: Sergei Karasev (RUS), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Kralovec (CZE) and Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE). Said with a great respect, it seems very unlikely at moment to have them at the big tournament on next year. Especially the Russian was (my opinion) a big disappointment on last season. Kralovec had some injury troubles, Sidiropoulos didn't manage to make a big step, and Kassai is not the old Kassai we knew. So, if nothing extra-ordinary will happen, I hardly believe they will be selected.

Second topic is surely about the Elite referees who don't have still the needed experience and they were not highly tested by committee in recent times, names are: Benoit Bastien (FRA), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR), Artur Soares Dias (POR). For them, it is quite unlikely to get selected for the tournament, but for sure in case of VAR experts (Soares Dias first name coming to my mind) they could get the call behind the monitor. Let's specify that this analysis is about "main referees".

Jesus Gil Manzano from Spain is a very particular case, as he has still waiting for very big games and very important assignments, del Cerro Grande, his countryman, despite of having been promoted to Elite quite recently, is ahead and very likely he will be selected as referee, with Gil Manzano keeping his (big) chances for World Cup 2022. 

We should remove from this list Gianluca Rocchi as well, who has got alredy a derogation for officiating this further year (2019) and he should be out for 2020, leaving only Orsato as Italian candidate for the major tournament.

Deniz Aytekin (GER) has for sure Brych and Zwayer ahead and for this reason it will be unlikely to see him as main referee.

On a different note, two referees, Hategan (ROU) and Turpin (FRA) have strongly developed and they have confirmed they are on the right path for officiating at EURO 2020, deserving this call for sure more than other colleagues. 

So, the remaining referees (15) are:
Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Cakir (TUR), William Collum (SCO), Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP), Ovidiu Hategan (ROU),  Björn Kuipers (NED), Danny Makkelie (NED), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Michael Oliver (ENG), Daniele Orsato (ITA),  Damir Skomina (SVN),  Anthony Taylor (ENG), Clement Turpin (FRA), Felix Zwayer (GER).

As I already reported one year ago, for EURO 2016, 18 referees were called. Now it is even difficult to imagine more than 15 referees, at least merely based on performance (but of course on paper everything is still possible).

The upcoming season will be very important for some referees, maybe there will be surprises, but  basically  I must repeat again that the choice will be quite limited. 

One could discuss about some referees I included in the list, with the Polish coming to my mind in this regard. His recent performances in UEFA have been quite below expectations, but I can't imagine him out from this tournament, otherwise committee would be even in a bigger trouble. 

Last consideration is about Collum, I expect more from him. Let's hope he can manage to do the final very big step. Every now and then he makes some mistakes that shouldn't happen. Differently from other Elite referees, he is very difficult to describe, in terms of consistency. Let's hope his bad times are over.  However, I think he will be referee at EURO 2020 without doubts. 


  1. Maybe female referees at 2020 EURO?

  2. If we have such limitations I see no reason why UEFA won't call Aytekin and Gill Mazano which means we will have 2 sets of country having 3 referees which I see as a no brainer tho depending on thier performance

  3. OT: LaLiga MD1 appointments

    Athletic Club - FC Barcelona (16/08/2019 21:00)
    Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande
    VAR: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández

    RC Celta - Real Madrid (17/08/2019 17:00)
    Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernández
    VAR: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea

    Valencia CF - Real Sociedad (17/08/2019 19:00)
    Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
    VAR: Eduardo Prieto Iglesias

    RCD Mallorca - SD Eibar (17/08/2019 20:00)
    Referee: Mario Melero López
    VAR: David Medié Jiménez

    CD Leganés - CA Osasuna (17/08/2019 21:00)
    Referee: Javier Alberola Rojas
    VAR: José Luis Munuera Montero

    Villarreal CF - Granada CF (17/08/2019 21:00)
    Referee: Adrián Cordero Vega
    VAR: José María Sánchez Martínez

    Deportivo Alavés - Levante UD (18/08/2019 17:00)
    Referee: César Soto Grado (debut)
    VAR: Pablo González Fuertes

    RCD Espanyol - Sevilla FC (18/08/2019 19:00)
    Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera
    VAR: José Luis González González

    Real Betis - Real Valladolid (18/08/2019 21:00)
    Referee: Santiago Jaime Latre
    VAR: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz

    Atlético de Madrid - Getafe CF
    Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández
    VAR: Alfonso Álvarez Izquierdo

  4. Are you sure Rocchi won't be available? Does that mean that he will only be able to handle matches in the GS and then retire?

    1. Yes these are the recent reports about him.

    2. Very strange. I guess the same happens in Italy, otherwise he could just do as Undiano and be on the list for the first six months.

  5. Is there not going to be a separator for the appointment of international referees in the respective countries?

    1. I think Sidiropoulos will be present in Euro 2020 as fourth official along with the 3 newcomers. Kassai might get in last minute. I think Bastien, Kralovec and Karasev will be off. I would like to see Cakir doing the final as a farewell to his lovely career.

    2. Chefren, has Uefa specified the number of refs that will be needed in Euro 2020? I think there might be more than 15 considering the way the tournament is organised.

    3. Cakir is only 42, I highly doubt the Euros will be a farewell for him – I'd be surprised if he's not at the next World Cup, to be honest. That said, I too would like to see him do the final, it's a crying shame that he's only had one big final in his career.

  6. To be honest I think it will be partly impossible to guess UEFA EURO 2020 referees for a number of reasons:

    * Female referees? If so, how many?
    * First ever continent-wide EURO (more referees?)
    * First ever EURO with Video Assistant Refereeing (eg. Makkelie, Zwayer working both on the pitch and behind the monitor, or in single role? Fixed Ref-VAR teams, or what we saw at WC 2018?)
    * First ever EURO for Roberto Rosetti as Chief Refereeing Officer

    After first two rounds of CL group stage I believe that the picture should be a bit clearer.

  7. With 36 group games plus 8 Ro16 matches I think you could go with 22 referees, each with 2 matches
    If you stick to group games only then 18 sounds about right
    I believe that any referee in the Elite category should be considered good enough so take the best 18 on performance, irrespective of age, country or experience
    I would doubt we will see more than 2 from outside Elite group, if any
    If they want to use any of the Elite women then they need to be given meaningful qualification games to test them