Sunday, 17 November 2019

Andris Treimanis in charge of 2019 FIFA U17 WC final

Latvia's Andris Treimanis s has been appointed by FIFA referees committee to handle the final of 2019 Under 17 World Cup, to be played on Saturday in Brasilia between Mexico and Brazil.

He will be assisted by his countrymen Haralds Gudermanis and Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs.  Christopher Beath (AUS) will be fourth official while Italian Marco Di Bello will work as VAR.

23:00 CET - Brasília (Estádio Walmir Campelo Bezerra)
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Christopher James Beath (AUS)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Video Assistant Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Dennis Higler (NED)

In addition, Andreas Ekberg from Sweden has been appointed to handle the third place game, involving Netherlands and France, to be played a few hours eariler at the same stadium.

19:00 CET - Brasília (Estádio Walmir Campelo Bezerra)
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Rédouane Jiyed (MAR)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Lahcen Azgaou (MAR)
Video Assistant Referee: Drew Fischer (CAN)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)


  1. Good games for Treimanis and Ekberg. Good luck.

  2. Wasn't expecting the final for Treimanis, to be honest. Of course, I am very, very happy about this appointment, as I am his countrymen. In addition, the match will be played on the 101th Latvia's birthday, so a great "gift" from the Latvian. :) Thanks god that the state TV has surpisingly decided to stream the match on internet. I will try to provide a link at a point for them who don't have alternatives but you may need a proxy. Good luck to all involved match officials of both games!

    1. Live stream:

      By the way:
      => Match commissioner -
      Rafael FERNANDEZ (URU)
      => General coordinator - Michael BOYS (CHI)

  3. Interesting to note that Ekberg has been appointed directly from the group stage. His only involvement in the knockouts was to be 4th official twice.

    1. Same happened with Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar) in 2015.

  4. Great tournament so far for UEFA referees, congratulations to Treimanis and Ekberg. :)

  5. Korea Republic – Mexico 0-1 (0-0)
    Diego Mirko Haro Sueldo

    Key Match Incidents


    Application of the LOTG

    Referee Diego Haro faced a normal difficulty match. He mostly stayed in the background allowing both teams to play fair and intervened when it was absolutely necessary. He had a clear and consistent foul detection, making only a few smaller mistakes without any impact on the final score (e.g. missed foul for KOR at 65’). Advantage rule was applied on the best possible way (good, delayed whistle at 4’ and 33’ / the adv. at 66’ is a little risky especially since the foul is an attacker’s one and is happening inside MEX penalty area.)

    Management/Disciplinary Control

    Diego Haro managed the match quite well even though he wasn’t challenged a lot. He started with a proactive warning at min. 08’ before an execution of a foul. 2 more warnings came before the first 20’ (15’, 19’). The last preventative warning came at 47’. However, the referee should use more his body language to make his message clear. A small “don’t hold” isn’t enough especially on that age. Let’s not forget that we are talking about 17 y.o. footballers.
    There was only 1 caution at min. 71’ ( and it’s a correct decision. However, the referee missed a caution at 20’ for this challenge ( The referee only warned the player but since this is the 1st big foul of the match, it isn’t enough. Moreover the foul at 28’ (also warning here) can be described as lighter than the previous one.

    Physical Condition/Movement

    The referee has a good physical condition. The pace of the match was medium and the referee adapted his running skills to it. Moreover his movement was also good.

    Co-operation with AR’s/FO

    Good co-operation with both AR’s and FO. The referee recognized their signals and agreed to them. There wasn’t any clash between the Ref and both AR’s. Also good co-operation with FO. Additional time was 2’ (2:26’ played) and 4’ (5:02’ played).

    Overall the performance was good. The referee had good foul detection and was always in control of the match. Also good physical condition. On the negative side, there was a missed caution (20’) and a small issue with body language. Good luck to the future.

  6. I heard there was a VAR intervention in the final. What happened?

    1. Yep, in 84th minute there was a (IMO correct) PK awarded after VAR review for careless challenge, Mexicans on social media are very angry.

      Plus, Treimanis had to face some ugly scenes after final whistle, he issued 2 or 3 YC to Mexican players for protests (YCs that surely would be RC if Treimanis was able to understand Mexican Spanish)

  7. So, what about the decisive PK decision after VAR review? :D

    Mexicans have gone berserk on social media, poor Treimanis.

    I have my doubts about if it was VAR material but for me it's a correct decision, Brazilian player jumps after passing the ball but there's an undeniable and not small contact.

    Watching the replay I think Treimanis noticed that 'something' happened because of the arm gesture but he missed it as maybe he was following the ball direction and not the involved players' action.

    1. I checked now the situation, I think criterion for VAR intervention was the fact that tackle was directly on opponent, without any chance to play ball. Very late.
      This, regardless of the intensity of the contact, can make a clear and obvious mistake of it. For sure one can understand Di Bello's reasons, diffrently from the case happened in semifinal.
      For me OFR was correct, even more if Treimanis didn't assess the challenge properly.
      However, not good for Treimanis that a so crucial penalty and I would say not so much difficult to see live, had to be assigned after OFR.

    2. Do you have video of this situation?


    4. That's a rather clear penalty for me. Ball has been played and a tackle I would deem reckless comes in and catches the player. Penalty correct and quite a miss, also should have been a YC for my taste.

  8. Netherlands-Paraguay, Khamis Mohammed Al Marri (QAT)

    The refereeing trio did not convince in a game that was mostly fair but had a number of important decisions to be assessed that required alertness and where they seemed not focused enough, with lacking collaboration. There were also two potentially missed SFP situations, with only YC being issued.

    Al Marri tried to let the game flow and stay in the background, trying to only issue verbal warnings at the beginning. This shows his first weakness, as the referee warned the players three times in the first half on corners (4’, 7’, 30’) but was much less effective in using a stepped approach when assessing fouls. A few of them at least required a warning, if not a YC (17’, 20’, 64’). The referee’s communication was minimal, more aimed at reducing dissent and explaining the decision than actually warning the guilty player. Furthermore, and this could be extended to modern refereeing and not only to this single game, the warnings before corner kicks looked more like a protocol than a real threat. After two warnings YCs should come out, so the 3rd warning on a corner kick at 30’ really did not make sense.

    Prevention on corner kicks

    No YC or verbal warning on FK - lack of prevention - mandatory YC

    At 23’ a silent check on a possible handball, but the replay doesn’t show anything significant, so the referee should be backed here

    Then started the unlucky afternoon for ARs. First with a very likely wrong offside from AR1 at 35’, then again referee and AR1 did not signal offside from a NED forward who obstructed the view to the goalkeeper after being in an offside position. VAR room suggested an OFR and the goal was cancelled. Similar happened at 67’, where AR2 did not signal an offside position of a Dutch player interfering and Al Marri was invited to an OFR. We must acknowledge that both ORF situations were complex, especially the latter, but overall the team did not seem to have worked well together when assessing the incidents.
    35’ wrong offside:
    37’ offside:
    67’ offside:

    Later in the game, the only two YCs of the game were issued, to NED #2 and PAR #5. In both cases a RC seemed more appropriate. In the first case the referee was not so close to the action, so it was difficult to spot (VAR might have recommended another OFR), whereas in the second case the referee was well positioned. He probably assessed that contact was minimal, but the lack of control and intensity of the challenge by PAR #5 could have been much more dangerous and it was just a matter of luck if the opponent was barely hit.
    YC NED #2
    YC PAR #5

    A couple of good decisions were taken around the later stages. Furthermore fitness was at an expected level, with Al Marri able to sprint and keep a reasonable distance to the play.
    Correct play on
    Onside #1
    Onside #2

    Summary: Al Marri did not show consistency in his preventive approach, being pedantic on corner kicks but never reacting to that accordingly, and not showing the same level of communication in other circumstances. His overly lenient line in disciplinary control led to some bad fouls that could have resulted in a RC. Furthermore, inaccuracies from both AR1 Mohammad Dharman and AR2 Ramzan Al-Naemi and failed cooperation required OFR to disallow two NED goals.

  9. France - Brazil, Iván Barton

    General impressions:

    - Disciplinary line
    Lenient, but still within an acceptable or tolerable range. Only one blatant YC missed for SPA, in the other cases his decision not to caution e.g. BRA #5 earlier are supportable. Warnings were frequent and well done.

    Tried to talk to the players a lot, but seemed quite angry at times, especially when they did not listen or showed dissent. He also tried to act nicer at occasions, smiling and joking. I prefer less angry reactions and more action from a referee though. If they annoy you, book them. That said, it was an effective mixture and it seemed as if he reached them with what he did. The match was fair and he was in full control all the time.

    Crucial decisions

    - Three decisions by the ARs were crucial: AR1 cancelled the first FRA goal for offside, VAR proved he was onside. Decision was very tight, I would not blame him for it, this is VAR stuff. If he needed redemption, he did so fully later on. Brazil's first goal was an excellent onside decision.

    - AR2 cancelled a late FRA goal (would have been 3-2). Again it is very tight, but correct. Very well done.

    - Penalty for BRA was cancelled after OFR when the score was 2-0. I fully accept that I'm playing devil's advocate, but I agree with the decision. My initial impression was that the French defender tackles the BRA player in a late and reckless way (missed YC then) after he had crossed the ball. Replays however show that the tackle itself misses the player and the contact is between the BRA player trying to jump over the FRA player and falling over him. Therefore, I support the choice to call for an OFR, especially if Barton's impression on the pitch was the same as mine.

    Iván Barton is a young and very promising referee. His style seems natural, he has an approach that is entirely his own and that he keeps successfully throughout the match. Any point of criticism would be the balance of the disciplinary line, especially if you have quite strict and angry warnings. Missing blatant cards (in this game only one, but still) undermines your approach here.

    Unless anything happens, we should see Barton at the WC one day. If not in 2022, then for sure in 2026. I have been heavily disappointed with CONCACAF referees the last few years, but Barton is by far the most promising one.

  10. FIFA U17 3rd Place Match
    Netherlands – France 1-3 (1-1)
    Andreas Ekberg (SWE)

    Key Match incidents
    69’ AR1 flags for offside the FRA player. He gains the ball (the ball hits a defender but it’s not a deliberate play) and is tackled by a defender. Referee whistles for a penalty but after consultation with AR1 he awards an IFK for offside. Correct decision which was checked by VAR. However AR’s flag definitely came to early.

    Application of the LOTG

    Referee Andreas Ekberg faced, perhaps, the easiest match on his career so far. Both teams were playing in a very fair manner, without harsh tackles, without dissent and concentrated only to present their technical abilities. He had a clear and consistent line in foul detection and managed to avoid unnecessary stops to the match. As a result, he whistled only 13 fouls (6-7). A very good case of the advantage rule is right before FRA 1-3. The referee managed well all the injured players as well as those who are substituted. He had good signals and good usage of the whistle. Additional time was 0’ and 3’ (3:00 played).

    Disciplinary Control/Management of the Match

    Due to the fair atmosphere of the match, the referee didn’t have to issue any caution. There weren’t any harsh tackles or dissent.
    His management of the match was the required one. A couple of good verbal warning at the first half plus a good public warning at 54’ (holding before a corner-kick). The referee fulfilled the basic requirements of this match. After all, you can only referee what’s in front of you.

    Physical condition/Movement.

    His physical condition is good. He used sprinting ability a couple of times that it was required. He didn’t appear tired or without power at any point of the match. We have to note that the pace of the match was rather medium to low.
    Positioning and movement is an area for development. Especially at the first half he was too static and as a result at 35’ he was caught into play. Perhaps he should be behind the ball especially when it was played near the penalty area.

    Assistant Referees

    AR1 correctly flagged for offside at 69’ (see above). He had another offside call at 34’ which was also correct. AR2 with a correct offside call at 13’ but with a rather incorrect one at 39’.

    Overall the performance was on expected level. The referee faced an easy match but he was careful and managed everything well. He is certainly very talented but today he was only able to present only a few of his skills. The referee should be tested on more difficult matches. Good luck to the future.

  11. Mexico - Brazil, Andris Treimanis (LVA)

    Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
    Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs (LVA)
    Fourth Official: Christopher James Beath (AUS)
    Reserve Assistant Referee: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
    Video Assistant Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
    Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Dennis Higler (NED)

    Despite showing excellent fitness and player management, and overall managing the final well, Treimanis made a couple of important errors that had or might have had a significant impact on the game. One of them was corrected by VAR.

    The game, especially in the first half, flowed quietly with very few interruptions - a total of 26 fouls were whistled, most of which in 2nd half. The Latvian did not need to show cards in the 1st half but he could have cautioned BRA #4 at 23’ for SPA. He did not make extensive use of verbal warnings but the few ones he gave were understood and accepted by players, e.g. at 53’ after a small confrontation. - missed YC or at least verbal warning - excellent player management

    Second half was more challenging. Treimanis rejected a penalty appeal by BRA at 52’, based on the replays it’s hard to assess the challenge as no proper footage closer to the action was shown. Given the perfect angle of the referee to assess the incident I would support the decision, which VAR did as well, however I am not 100% sure.

    Another key incident happened about 5 minutes later at 60’, as BRA #7 hit with his stamp MEX #7 on a late attempt to get the ball. The referee whistled the foul but did not take any disciplinary measure, which was clearly wrong. Looking at the replay my personal decision would have been a RC for SFP, as the leg of BRA #7 is almost fully stretched and the consequence is an unnatural and injury threatening movement of the MEX player's leg. The dismissal would not have suited to the spirit of the game until that point, but should have been IMO the most appropriate decision. However, no card was surely a wrong decision, which implies that the referee did not have a good perception of the tackle and reinforces my idea that VAR Di Bello should have intervened.

    The first two cautions were given at 62’ and 73’, both supportable although in the first one the application of the advantage could have been managed a bit better. Another two cautions were given in the latest stages for dissent, I will not come back to that as there is nothing to argue about. - YC BRA #5 - reckless challenge - YC MEX #19 - holding/SPA

    Lastly, the crucial episode was the penalty conceded to BRA after OFR. VAR showed the referee a contact between BRA #7 and MEX #4 after the ball was touched by the attacker. It is one of those typical VAR-driven penalties that the referee would probably not be that confident to whistle, especially in a final, however it still was a mistake by Treimanis.

    AR did not have a challenging game. only one offside was whistled. Added time was adequate and the benches did not challenge 4th official much.

    Overall, Andris Treimanis did not have a fully convincing final. He missed a couple of obvious cards, one of which could easily have been a red one. Furthermore, he awarded a penalty after OFR, missing the foul on live perception. However, I do not forget that he showed very good soft skills in managing the players. He did not limit himself to the pretty useless verbal warnings on corner kicks that seem to be now a standard procedure among FIFA, and showed a remarkable ability to interact with players in order to explain his decisions and prevent confrontations. So, by the time he will reduce his mistakes in foul detection and some over confidence in card management I predict he should keep progressing at high pace internationally.

  12. I have published a fresh 6 minutes long video interview with the final referee Andris Treimanis (LVA; UEFA 1st) on my YouTube channel. It's in Latvian with English subtitles (has to be turned on as option). Treimanis talks about differences in usage of VAR in FIFA and UEFA, the penalty incident in the final, how many didn't know where he's from in the beginning but then he became the 'winner' and more.
    Link to the video interview:
    (The interview is created by, I have only published it on YouTube and added English subtitles. Match situations are clipped due to copyrights. Here's a video of the penalty incident:
    I hope you'll enjoy and please like the video if you do. ;)

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