Friday, 6 November 2020

Focus on: Zwayer handball in Chelsea - Rennes

Let's have a closer look at the most discussed decision of this week's CL games: the handball whistled by German Elite referee Felix Zwayer in Chelsea - Rennes, after having been called by VAR to make an OFR. 

The incident occurred in the 36' minute of first half, when a shot by a player from English side has been blocked by a defender, at first with a rebound on his leg and then with a second touch with a raised arm, not in natural position. Felix Zwayer, very likely not in the best position to judge the incident live, has missed it. VAR has then invited to an OFR, and after a long analysis in front of monitor, penalty has been assigned to home-team, with the player guilty of the handball booked for the second time and therefore sent off from the game.

Video of the incident (thank to Stake):

This decision has led to many different opinions: was that a punishable handball? Can we consider it as shot on goal, despite of the previous deflection (ball changing trajectory)? Is YC mandatory  after havig whistled it? Just give us your opinion by answering to the poll. 

Your assessment about the handball in Chelsea - Rennes.
No penalty, no punishable handball.
Penalty, no card.
Penalty, yellow card.
Penalty, red card.
Created with Quiz Maker


  1. I confirm my opinion that penalty is correct call and VAR intervention definitely OK if Zwayer missed the incident, however for me no YC but not because it should have been second one for the player, just because ball had clearly changed the path after the first touch, so it wasn't a shot on goal anymore before the "illegal" touch by arm. However, this situation should be for sure clarified by UEFA and then also IFAB, I would say.

    1. I agree, for me the touch by arm doesn't stop a promising attack, the player foot does.

    2. I agree your pov. correct call for me but no card IMO
      Not mandatory card but managable card.
      All wanted evolution of LOTG after decades of no change...but now it's worse than rugby...too many changes and not for the sake of the game.
      Even refs get lost with so many changes and much interpretation.
      back to former old law. Deliberate or not with only ref opinion. Let's get law more simple to understand and to apply. We can give tools to refs but as anyway refereeing is interpretation, so let the to interpret.


    Matchweek 8


    20:00 Fortuna Sittard-PEC Zwolle
    Edwin van de Graaf - Richard Polman, Sjoerd Nanninga - Robin Gansner
    [Joey Kooij, Michael Osseweijer]


    16:30 ADO Den Haag-FC Twente
    Rob Dieperink - Dyon Fikkert, Don Frijn - Jannick van der Laan
    [Kevin Blom, Ralf van Vlokhoven]

    18:45 VVV Venlo-Heracles Almelo
    Richard Martens - Erik Kleinjan, Yorick Weterings - Luca Cantineau
    [Erwin Blank, Freek Vandeursen]

    21:00 RKC Waalwijk-Sparta Rotterdam
    Ingmar Oostrom - Bas van Dongen, Erik Koopman - Sam Dröge
    [Alex Bos, Kevin Bodde]


    12:15 FC Utrecht-Ajax
    Björn Kuipers - Sander van Roekel, Erwin Zeinstra - Marc Nagtegaal
    [Jochem Kamphuis, Richard Brondijk]

    14:30 Feyenoord-FC Groningen
    Danny Makkelie - Mario Diks, Hessel Steegstra - Robin Hensgens
    [Martin van de Kerkhof, Richard Polman]

    14:30 Vitesse-FC Emmen
    Jeroen Manschot - Roy de Nas, Cristian Dobre - Nick Smit
    [Glenn Bijl, Rob van de Ven]

    16:45 SC Heerenveen-AZ
    Dennis Higler - Jan de Vries, Nicky Siebert - Clay Ruperti
    [Bas Nijhuis, Joey Waleveld]

    20:00 PSV-Willem II
    Allard Lindhout - Mark Strijker, Peter Janson - Stan Teuben
    [Laurens Gerrets, Patrick Inia]

  3. IMO we have discussed a lot about zwyer's performances in the recent time.
    But in this case, I can't see the "scanal" some has called out.
    For me, a penalty is mandatory, the handball is deliberate and away from the body.
    The 2ndYC issued is definetly not mandatory.
    But answering the question, if it blocks a shoot on the goal isn't as easy to answer as some say.
    Of course, one can argue that the ball changed his direction, but I'm not sure if that is enough to say that t isn't a shot on goal anymore. Extremely diffucult to assess, I think.

  4. Appointments - Bundesliga Germany
    Matchday 7:

    6th November

    20:30 Werder Bremen - FC Köln
    Florian Badstübner - Markus Schüller - Thomas Stein - Martin Thomsen [Günter Perl - Christian Leicher]

  5. Zwayer likes to be in the spotlight, he doesn't need help.

  6. Would there have been this much fuss if this had happened in a game with Brych / Kuipers / Skomina / Orsato as referee? Most probably not. I've seen far more obvious mistakes (is it even a mistake?) being described as 'at least supportable' calls by the referee and this is what everybody complains about!? I'm sorry, but this is directed towards Zwayer and not towards the decision made.

    1. I don't remember anyone on this blog not liking Zwayer's hair or eyes. Of course, his decisions, and unfortunately very often.

    2. Answer honestly: would anyone objective have called this 'scandalous' if this had been a Brych game?

    3. Honestly Brych had a far more terrible performance that same night than his compatriot, but this is not only the blog doing the rounds on Zwayer here but so many media houses and even a lot of experts and analysis are against because it resulted in a sending off for a player so early in game, this is more about it being extremely harsh and unwarranted, people saw it as extra judicial and this same uproar from the expert and analysis would have been the same it where to be any referee but some news outlets like L'equippe are taking it to far to attack the referees integrity but aside from that, everywhere you look everyone feels disgusted by the sending off, and that's what prompted and revealed the letter Ceferin wrote to the FIFA president on handball, which was written long ago in October but came to light because of the uproar of that decision which everyone termed very harsh and uncalled for with most not even caring who the referee was and most do not even care who the referee was they are just attacking the decision, but on the blog here some take it too far to attack referee but honestly the 2 yellow cards was mostly uncalled for.

    4. My problem is mostly with this blog: if a defender gives an attacker the slightest push and referee gives PK and RC for DOGSO, it is quickly called 'at least supportable', even if this push was no reason at all for the attacker to fall. So why is this decision 'scandalous', even though there are much more arguments which support Zwayer's decision compared to other situations?

    5. Anonymous 00:05

      What sort of situations do you have in mind?

    6. Brych did not have as many controversies as Zwayer. Do not forget Juventus - Lyon, which was not that long ago.

  7. Lol is this nowhere near a penalty. The games gone.

  8. Had the ball hit the right harm, the penalty was correct. But this, my dears, can’t be a penalty

  9. Manuel Gräfe appointed for the Klassiker

    1. And debut for Matthias Jöllenbeck in Union Berlin - Arminia Bielefeld. He is not on the list for 1. Bundesliga, so it's kind of a trial game. It was announced before the season that Jöllenbeck and Reichel would get such games. Jöllenbeck is 33 and has done 37 matches in 2. Bundesliga.

  10. The questions whether this is a correct penalty in the current LotG, and whether this should be assessed as a penalty (in my opinion) would lead to different answers. Putting aside my view of Zwayer more generally - you can't blame him here, this situation is not about Felix Zwayer.

    The (interesting) debate about whether a second yellow card should have been issued taps into a wider notion about modern refereeing. We have mandatory cards for removing your shirt in celebration, handling which blocked a shot on goal and so on, and yet referees at the last WC were 'banned' from cautioning players for simulation and dissent, red card relativism is widespread and officials are encouraged not to make "brave and unpopular decisions" and instead to practice "big picture refereeing". And that is besides a VAR project that disallows goals for a millimetrical offsides and simultaneously supports referees when they have made a de facto clear mistake, finding some small reason to support them.

    Without being pessimistic for the sake of it, I don't think it is the best time to be an elite football referee at the moment.

  11. Appointments - Bundesliga Germany
    Matchday 7:

    7th November

    15:30 RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
    Felix Zwayer- Thorsten Schiffner
    Marco Achmüller - Benjamin Cortus [Marco Fritz - Markus Häcker]

    15:30 Union Berlin - Arminia Bielefeld
    Matthias Jöllenbeck* - Christian Gittelmann - Rafael Foltyn - Tobias Stieler [Markus Schmidt - Mark Borsch]

    15:30 FSV Mainz - FC Schalke
    Patrick Ittrich - Sascha Thielert - Robert Wessel - Sven Waschitzki [Tobias Reichel - Dominik Schaal]

    15:30 FC Augsburg - Hertha BSC
    Frank Willenborg - Arne Aarnink - Christian Bandurski - Philipp Hüwe [Daniel Schlager - Jan Seidel]

    15:30 VfB Stuttgart - Frankfurt
    Sascha Stegemann - Mike Pickel - Frederick Assmuth - Robert Hartmann [Tobias Welz - Stefan Lupp]

    18:30 Dortmund - Bayern München
    Manuel Gräfe - Guido Kleve - Markus Sinn - Martin Petersen [Benjamin Brand - Christian Leicher]

    *Matthias Jöllenbeck (33 years old) is part of the "Refereeing perspective cadre". Those referees are appointed to 5 matches in the 1st division throughout the season in order to prove whether they are ready for an 'real' promotion or not.

    1. In addition, Bastian Dankert is active in today's 2nd division match VfL Bochum - SpVgg Greuther Fürth.
      Moreover, Daniel Siebert is appointed as VAR in 2nd division for the match FC Nürnberg - Fortuna Düsseldorf.

    2. Grafe offered again another good, pleasant performance that matched the game: correct decisions, cards only when really needed, allowing play to flow, communication, acceptance.

    3. I also saw good decisions from Zwayer.

  12. Two huge games in Belarus today in the third-to-last round of the season. Relegation 'six-pointer' FK Sluck - FK Haradzieja will be handled by Amin Kurhchieli (UEFA 3rd). The winner of Šachcior Salihorsk - BATE Barysaŭ will amost definitely be crowned Vyšejšaja Liha champions, and that game is in the hands of the excellent non-FIFA referee Siarhiej Sciacuryn. Good luck to both officiating teams!

    13:00 FK Sluck - FK Haradzieja
    Amin Kurhchieli - Andrej Hiecikaŭ, Viktar Hiecika - Zachar Dzihilievič

    17:00 Šachcior Salihorsk - BATE Barysaŭ
    Siarhiej Sciacuryn - Siarhiej Kasaviec, Andrej Hierasimuk - Vitaĺ Paltaržycki

  13. Update FIFA-lists Germany:
    No changes on the men'sreferee list.
    Christian Dietz replaces Mike Pickel (45) on the AR list.
    Dietz is 36 years old, has done 116 BL matches and is the regular AR1 of Deniz Aytekin.
    I.e. Brych and Schiffner are kept (probably for the EURO) despite reaching the former age limit of 45.
    On the women's list Bibiana Steinhaus is replaced by Franziska Wildfeuer (26, 25 BL matches).

    1. Does anyone know when Fifa will confirm new list of referees for 2021?

    2. If you mean official publication of the names on FIFA site, not before 01/01/2021.

    3. many thanks Chefren

    4. National FAs will receive the confirmation from FIFA at the beginning of December. At that point, it will be up to each national FA to decide whether they publish their lists.

    5. Schiffner (Zwayer's AR) kept for Euro? Do you think that both Germans Brych and Zwayer will be selected?

    6. Well, it is at least the most likely explanation for keeping him on the list.
      I think, Zwayer should still be in the Top 18 of UEFA even after the recent controversies. So if nationalities don't matter, I would expect both Germans (as well as Taylor&Oliver, Mateu&del Cerro, Kuipers&Makkelie and maybe even Turpin&Bastien).
      If UEFA wants more country diversity, Zwayer's place could be in danger though.

    7. Zwayer is in competition for WC2022, so that is more likely the reason for keeping his AR1 on the list until 2022.

    8. Chefren,If I'm not wrong you had the list of Uefa new referees for 2020 about December 8th last year? Can we expect it again in first half of december?

    9. HFF (Greece) announced their FIFA list.

      Fotias will replace Kominis on the mens list. Meintanas is a new AR.

      Video Match Officials are: Sidiropoulos, Papapetrou, Evaggelou, Skoulas, Fotias, Gortzilas and Manouchos.

    10. @Philipp S: who are the VMOs nominated by DFB? I guess Brand, Steinhaus, Dankert, Fritz and Perl should be on that list.

    11. @Anonymous 9:34
      Yes, there isn't a fixed date, it depends on when committee will have the meeting for deciding the new categories for second half of the season. This happens, usually, on the early days of December, close to the last matchday of group stages (sometimes even before that date). As soon as we will have info, we will publish them.

  14. Unbelievable situation by Tierney and VAR with MC Guire ´si horrible tackle on Digne (Everton - MU). No check and no card...Unacceptable !

    1. Nothing new in your beloved Premier League.

    2. Please Frenchref, more and more your opportunistic, chauvinistic and condemning comments annoy me. Whenever certain French referees, French teams or French players - in your eyes - are harm done you’re losing touch with reality and start fulminating.
      In this particular situation there’s hardly a problem. Maguire deserved a (mandatory) yellow card for his studs on foot tackle, nothing more and nothing less. VAR did check the situation, and came to the conclusion that the offside called before the Maguire tackle was correct (so no penalty) and the Maguire tackle didn’t require a mandatory sending off. No problems (except the referee should have cautioned Maguire).
      It would be good for you - and then blog - to comment in a more objective manner.

    3. Thanks for your anonymous answer. I guess when Marciniak sent off two players from PSG and gave a clear penalty after VAR intervention and I said masterclass performance from polish ref, you were asleep. Concerning Rennes, please see poll results from blog for Zwayer ridiculous exclusion. If it was the contrary with RC from Chelsea, my comments should be the same. Have a nice weekend and keep your frenchophobia away. Thanks.

    4. And that’s why I said CERTAIN French teams and CERTAIN French referees :)
      And when I look at the poll result I don’t see arguments for ‘a ridiculous decision’, I see a mixed image with a preference for penalty/no card.
      Of course a nice weekend to you too and take it easy, it’s better for the heart.

    5. Without any frenchphobia, as i'm also french, i'd say the rc for Rennes is a very bad call but not ridiculous only IMO against the spirit of the game. Ok for penalty but card is not mandatory in my opinion. Nothing to say against 2 RC for Paris.
      We can debate about calls but i respect these top level refs who are humans and also can mistake.
      Climbing on the top of european refereeing is so hard, remain more difficult let's debate but please not attack ref as you would not be so much critisized as person. We can argue about performance.

      I'm observer and i try to debate and assess performance with refs but i respect the man and woman even if i dont appreciate his/her performance on the game.

      I know too much how it's difficult to reach and remain on top national list.

    6. Maguire & Digne clip:


  15. Did anyone see the red card in the Barcelona game?

    1. Correct DOGSO handball on the goal line, Cuadra Fernández should have spotted it himself without help of VAR.

      Another correct PK for Barcelona was whistled in the 1st half.

  16. Appointments - Bundesliga Germany
    Matchday 7:

    8th November

    15:30 VfL Wolfsburg - TSG Hoffenheim
    Sven Jablonski - Norbert Grudzinski - Eduard Beitinger - Christof Günsch [Daniel Siebert - Jan Seidel]

    18:00 Leverkusen - Mönchengladbach
    Harm Osmers - Robert Kempter - Thomas Gorniak - Martin Thomsen [Bibiana Steinhaus - Markus Häcker]

  17. My decision is: penalty ok, but no YC because not direct shoot on the goal.


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