Friday, 8 January 2021

FIFA 2021 Refereeing International list

After a long waiting, FIFA has finally published the 2021 international list with all the new referees from all over the world.

You can read and download the full document here: FIFA 2021 Refereeing International List


  1. Any info about Faghani? He is a referee in Australia, but on the list his nationality is a priority. Any info about WC2022?

    1. As you could see, he is included in Iran's list for 2021.

  2. Regarding Germany: Felix Brych and Deniz Aytekin aren't mentioned as VMOs.
    But: Mark Borsch (Brych's AR1) is VMO.
    DFB announced it slightly different...

  3. My special congratulations go to Nawaf Shukralla (born in 1976) who became a FIFA referee in 1997 at the age of (still) 20 and to Bernadettar Kwimbira (born in 1981) who became a FIFA referee in 1996 at the age of (still) 14.

    1. Hahaha! Those errors repeat every year... no one can become a FIFA referee before turning 25.

    2. But seriously: Konrad Sapela seems to be the real senior member on the current list. Having started his international career in 1998, he will celebrate his 50th birthday this July in his 24th international year as an assistant referee and currently be entrusted with matches in the UEFA Europa League and the Nations League A.

    3. Yes, indeed!

      Speaking of errors, check how they spelled Bitigen's name :)

    4. Not to mention some hilariously bad flag errors... Mauritania’s flag was changed over three years ago, yet they still use the old one. Oman’s flag looks rather orange instead of red.

  4. Among the big names and Euro candidates, Brych, Kuipers and Skomina are only referees, but not VMOs. This indicates two things: (1) there will be separate lists of dedicated referees and VARs (referees will not do VAR roles) and (2) they are considering retirement at the end of 2021, with no plans to continue as VMOs afterwards.

  5. Are there any officials on the VMO list, that have not been on another FIFA list before (or are currently on one)?
    I haven't found one so far, so it seems a condition to have worked internationally before and it's not possible to get on the list by being a domestic VAR specialist
    E.g. Günter Perl from Germany was rumoured to be included, but was omitted, maybe because of that reason.

    1. Tim Ford from the USA is one example. He was never on any FIFA list before his VMO nomination.

    2. Thanks. So not a fixed rule then.

    3. The written rule is clear: minimum 2 years of refereeing in the highest national league plus 15 matches as VMO. No prior FIFA experience required (although preferred).

    4. As anonymous mention, yes the US has some examples. Tim Ford, and also Allen Champman. Furthermore, we have Chris Penso and Edvin Jurisevic who had been on the FIFA list previously as referees, had left the FIFA list, and now return as VMOs.

  6. Does someone know the status of Alan Kelly?
    He seemed to be the leading VAR in CONCACAF (based on FIFA tournaments), but he is not on the list (neither for USA nor for Ireland).
    So probably he is out from the WC as well?

    1. I guess that he was not eligible to nomination by the USA due to citizenship issues, but do not know any details.

    2. At the U20 World Cup, he was listed as Irish. I have no idea what his situation is, it seemed like he was poised to push for Qatar 2022. In a little surprised not to see him on this list.

    3. He was listed as Irish in media reports due to his citizenship, but he was definitely selected/sent via CONCACAF and the US.

      I learned a few weeks ago Kelly would not be on the list and I'm trying to figure out what happened. As people likely know, PRO controls professional refereeing in the US, but the US federation still controls the final say on FIFA appointments. There have been a few screw ups in the last few years. Quite frankly, our federation doesn't pay enough attention to our professional leagues to make any determinations on FIFA status, yet they still exercise power. It's a really bad system.

      If I had to guess, I would say PRO put Kelly forward as a VAR and the USSF Referee Committee vetoed him. Obviously there is no recourse to go through the FAI because he has not performed as a VAR in Ireland. My understanding is there is a clause whereby FIFA could separately certify him directly but that either did not happen or was not announced with this list.

      Like I said, I'll try to find out more. But most everyone in the know on MLS refereeing matters was shocked when they heard USSF did not submit his nomination.

    4. At the same time, it is worth noting that until this past year, Kelly did not regularly serve as a VAR in MLS the way some others have. Jurisevic, for example, is now exclusively a VAR... and a very good one. Penso is also very good at it, too (and still a very good referee, but you'd have to ask Brian Hall why he disagrees).

      Kelly's and Villarreal's promotion as VARs has been all about getting them to FIFA tournaments. So I could imagine a scenario where the federation vetoed Kelly, the Irishman, in order to give Villarreal a leg up.

      Also... Chapman and Ford are not that good at the VAR role. I was surprised to learn they got this designation. Quite frankly, I think it's political. They are older and missed their opportunities for FIFA referee badges. So the VMO badge feels like a consolation prize.

  7. I wonder how Vincic, Hategan and Kovacs got their Video Assistant Refereee badge, as they are from countries without VAR, right?

    1. They did VAR certification a few years ago in UEFA. Same time as Madden, Ekberg, Treimanis etc.

  8. Douglas Ross confirmed on Scottish list is a big surprise to me.

  9. For me the biggest (of course positive) surprise is Kristo Tohver on VMO list, but for example no VMOs from Czech Republic although there is VAR in Czech league.

    1. According to FIFA regulations, VMOs can be certified directly by FIFA or the confederations. Probably, Tohver was certified in the same way as Vincic, Hategan and Kovacs.

      Czech Republic... we all know the issues with Damkova and Kralovec. Speaking of Damkova, she is out from UEFA, but still listed in this document as FIFA Ref Com member... wondering whether that is an error or indeed she is still with FIFA, in spite of everything?

  10. Appointments- Spain La Liga MD18


    21:00 Celta de Vigo - Villareal
    Xavier Estrada Fernández - Roberto Alonso Fernández , Guadalupe Porras Ayuso - Enrique Gao Aladro
    [Mario Melero López,José Luis Martínez Serrato]


    14:00 Sevilla - Real Sociedad
    Javier Alberola Rojas - Iván Hernández Ramos, Marcos Cerdán Aguilar - Alberto González Hernández
    [Juan Martínez Munuera,Miguel Martinez Munuera]

    16:15 Atlético de Madrid - Athletic Club
    Alejandro José Hernández Hernández - José Enrique Naranjo Pérez, Diego Sanchez Rojo - Abraham Domínguez Cervantes
    [Pablo González Fuertes,Alfredo Rodriguez Moreno]

    18:30 Granada - Barcelona
    Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea - Roberto Díaz Pérez Del Palomar, Jon Núñez Fernández - Manuel Angel Perez Hernandez
    [Valentin Pizarro Gomez,José Antonio Garrido Romero]

    21:00 Osasuna - Real Madrid
    Cesar Soto Grado - Juan José López Mir , Israel Bárcena Rodríguez - Carlos Aranda Anquela
    [David Medié Jiménez,Joan Méndez Mateo]


    14:00 Levante - Eibar
    Santiago Jaime Latre - Jorge Bueno Mateo , Fernando Tresaco Escabosa - Néstor Holgueras Castellanos
    [José Luis González González,Diego Barbero Sevilla]

    16:15 Cádiz - Alavés
    José María Sánchez Martínez - Raúl Cabañero Martínez , José Gallego García - Miguel Domato Pedreira
    [Carlos del Cerro Grande,Gonzalo García González]

    18:30 Elche - Getafe
    Jose Luis Munuera Montero - Iñigo Prieto López De Cerain , Alfonso Baena Espejo - Alejandro Lucena Perdomo
    [Mario Melero López, José Alcoba Rodríguez]

    21:00 Valladolid - Valencia
    Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez - Antonio Ramón Martínez Moreno , Álvaro Yeray Carreño Cabrera - Jesus Delfa Ramos
    [Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva,Teodoro Sobrino Magán]


    21:00 Huesca - Real Betis
    Adrián Cordero Vega - Aitor Villate Martínez , Antinio Luis Cerezo Parfenof - Alberto Fuente Martín
    [Valentin Pizarro Gomez, Pau Cebrián Devis]

    Top games of this MD goes to Alberola Rojas and Hernández Hernández. Estrada and De Burgos with interesting ones.

    1. Atlético-Athletic postponed due to Filomena storm causing heavy snowfalls, maybe more matches will follow.

    2. Some changes have been made due to the storm:

      - Xavier Estrada Fernández replaces Santiago Jaime Latre in Levante - Eibar, meaning he has two games this MD.
      - Guillermo Cuadra Fernández is a replacement of Jorge Figueroa Vázquez, who is injured.
      - Alfredo Rodríguez Moreno replaces Diego Barbero Sevilla as AVAR in Levante - Eibar.
      - Carlos Alberto Carbonell Hernández replaces Néstor Holgueras Castellanos as 4OF in Levante - Eibar. This must have been an emergency, because Carbonell Hernández is from Valencian Community, as is Levante, and that is usually not allowed.

    3. Good performances of Alberola Rojas in Sevilla. My opinion.

  11. Interesting 1st half for Osmers in M'Gladbach - Bayern. Penalty for handball at 19' after OFR - silly movement towards the ball from a M'Gladbach defender, later rejected penalty appeal at 28' - correct, the ball touched the chest of a Bayern defender.
    No card issued, at least one was mandatory at 4' - reckless challenge by Pavard.
    Not really the best presentation in some circumstances but the teams mostly accepted his decisions and played fair

    1. Regarding the handball penalty after OFR, how silly the movement to the ball, do we have evidence of the defender actually touching the ball?


  12. In regards to Guatemala's list.
    I know that Walter Lopez (Referee) and Gerson Lopez (Assistant Referee) are brothers. Does anybody know if Guatemalan Bryan Amed Lopez Castellanos (Referee) is related to them?

  13. Appointments - Germany:

    Bundesliga Matchday 15

    9th January

    15:30 Bayer Leverkusen - Werder Bremen
    Benjamin Cortus - Florian Heft, Christian Leicher - Mark Borsch
    [Deniz Aytekin, Rafael Foltyn]

    15:30 SC Freiburg - FC Köln
    Robert Schröder - Jan Neitzel-Petersen, Stefan Lupp - Markus Schmidt
    [Sven Jablonski, Michael Emmer]

    15:30 FC Union Berlin - VfL Wolfsburg
    Patrick Ittrich - Sascha Thielert, Christian Dietz - Tobias Stieler
    [Tobias Welz, Holger Henschel]

    15:30 FC Schalke - TSG Hoffenheim
    Felix Zwayer - Thorsten Schiffner, Marcel Pelgrim - Sascha Stegemann
    [Günter Perl, Dominik Schaal]

    15:30 FSV Mainz - Eintracht Frankfurt
    Bastian Dankert - René Rohde, Markus Häcker - Tobias Reichel
    [Matthias Jöllenbeck, Eduard Beitinger]

    18:30 RB Leipzig - Borussia Dortmund
    Daniel Siebert - Lasse Koslowski, Jan Seidel - Norbert Grudzinski
    [Sören Storks, Frederick Assmuth]

    2nd Bundesliga Matchday 15

    9th January

    13:00 Osnabrück - Würzburger Kickers
    Thorben Siewer - Mitja Stegemann, Fabian Maibaum - Fabian Porsch
    [Benedikt Kempkes, Henry Müller]

    13:00 FC St. Pauli - Holstein Kiel
    Frank Willenborg - Guido Kleve, Steven Greif - Florian Exner
    [Christof Günsch, Marcel Gasteier]

    13:00 FC Nürnberg - Hamburger SV
    Felix Brych - Thomas Stein, Lars Erbst - Tobias Endriß
    [Christian Dingert, Tobias Fritsch]

  14. In Spanish 2nd division three matches have been postponed due to Filomena storm: Mirandés-Rayo Vallecano, Alcorcón-Albacete and Leganés-Almería.

    Appointments for the weekend:

    Friday 8th January

    21:00 Zaragoza - Logroñés
    Luis Mario Milla Alvendiz - Roberto Tejero García, Iván Ríos Vargas - David Iglesias Gutiérrez
    [Francisco José Hernández Maeso, Judit Romano García]

    Saturday 9th January

    18:15 Málaga - Oviedo
    David Gálvez Rascón - Saúl Daniel Ortiz Pérez, Álvaro Granel Peiró - Roberto Gonzalo Sánchez
    [Santiago Varón Aceitón, Asier Pérez de Mendiola González de Durana]

    Sunday 10th January

    16:00 Mallorca - Las Palmas
    Aitor Gorostegui Fernández-Ortega - Javier Merino Sánchez, Eliana Fernández González - Jorge Díaz Escudero
    [Miguel Ángel Ortiz Arias, Diego Santaúrsula Aguado]

    18:15 Tenerife - Cartagena
    Alejandro Muñiz Ruiz - Adrián Díaz González, José Francisco García Lozano - Raúl Martín González Francés
    [Álvaro Moreno Aragón, Rodrigo Blázquez Sánchez]

    21:00 Espanyol - Castellón
    Óliver de la Fuente Ramos - Daniel Pescador Hernández, Samuel García Aguilera - Daniel David Baiges Dones
    [Francisco José Hernández Maeso, Judit Romano García]

    Monday 11th January

    19:00 Ponferradina - Girona
    Saúl Ais Reig - Marcos Saenen Álvarez, Sergiy Nizhelovsky Pereginets - Miguel Ferrol Muñiz
    [Daniel Ocón Arráiz, Francisco Javier García Sabuco]

    19:00 Sporting - Fuenlabrada
    Rafael Sánchez López - Sergi López Freixa, Javier Garrido Concha - Ibai Rezola Etxeberría
    [Gorka Sagués Oscoz, Manuel López López]

    21:30 Sabadell - Lugo
    Iñaki Vicandi Garrido - David Pérez de Colosia Alonso, Víctor Jara Cordobés - Francisco José Ortega Herrera
    [Miguel Ángel Ortiz Arias, David Bernal Martín]

  15. I don’t agree on the Vallejo red card in Granada-Barcelona (78”). At the moment of the contact the attacker lost control of the ball and already moved in the other direction than the ball was moving. So no DOGSO in my opinion.

    1. The attacker is far away from the ball and definitely the GK is closer and would've reached the ball first, so indeed it looked more SPA than DOGSO. Therefore the latter is not a clear mistake as one could understand the possible opportunity without this trip.
      So at least supportable and correct from VAR not to intervene IMO.

  16. Mentioned situation with dogso

  17. Some interisting situation from the game Granada-Barcelona
    Offside or not:

  18. Did you notice that the 2021 FIFA List does not include the fitness test regulations and the special referee award regulations? They were part of the FIFA Lists in all previous years. Are they separate now? Does anyone have the 2021 version of these documents?

    1. Does FIFA still have different reference times for the fitness tests of male vs female referees, despite the "gender-neutral" lists?


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