Monday, 4 January 2021

FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 - Selected officials

Selected officials for 2020 CWC, to be played in Qatar from 1 to 11 February 2021.


Referee: Mohammaed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE)
Assistant Referees:  Mohammed Alhammadi (UAE), Hasan Almahri (UAE) 
VAR: Khamis Al Marri (QAT)  


Referee:  Maguette N'Dyaie (SEN)
Assistant Referees: Djibril Camara (SEN), El Hadji Malick Samba (SEN)
VAR: Redouane Jiyed (MAR)


Referee: Mario Escobar (GUA)
Assistant Referees: Nicholas Anderson (JAM), Humberto Panjoj (GUA)
VAR: Drew Fischer (CAN) 


Referees: Edina Alves Batista (BRA), Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Assistant Referees:  Neuza Back (BRA), Mariana de Almeida (ARG), Nicolas Taran (URU), Richard Trinidad (URU)
VAR: Nicolas Gallo (COL), Julio Bascuñán (CHI)


Referee: Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH)
Assistant Referees:


Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Referees:  Mario Diks (NED), Hessel Steegstra (NED)
VAR: Kevin Blom (NED), Jochem Kamphuis (NED)


  1. So the final confirmation that men and women will work together even in such tournaments that were attended only by men in past.
    FIFA hasn't specified the trios in detail and it is not reported who will be the reserve referee, but this is not difficult to understand. As it was one year ago, Zitouni from Tahiti will take this role, he is there without assistant referees.
    As for UEFA, Makkelie is an absolutely expected name, if I'm not wrong this will be his first FIFA tournament on the pitch, after having attended many big games as VAR in this role. Very particular.
    Edina Batista (I didn't like heir performances at last Women World Cup, to be honest), will surely get a game as well.
    I didn't know that VAR is used in Morocco, I checked that and indeed that's a very good thing for CAF to have also a referee in this role.
    This is how FIFA has changed nowadays with men and women together and more flexibility in pairing referees and assistant referees...

    1. Makkelie was at U17WC 2015, but yes, he is a logical choice (as would have been Orsato or Taylor).
      Also no (male) surprises from the other confederations, I think. All referees were involved in the late stages of their continental competitions, are pre-selected for WC2022 (lists from Jan/Feb 2020) and haven't been to a CWC before.

    2. @Chefren: it used to be like this with the "mixed"-teams (at least considering the nationalities) until EC1996, i think? EC1996 was the first tournament when at least the trio on the pitch was from the same nation. the WC2002 was then the first FIFA competition with same-nation trios. WC1998 saw also mixed teams. i remember a debate before wc2002 that the majority was unhappy with the performance of the mixed teams in the tournaments before. when was the first tournament either UEFA or FIFA used "specialist-asstitants"? I dont recall tbh...maybe someone can help out...

    3. The referee crews at Korea/Japan 2002 were "mixed" Confederations and Nations.

  2. Tomorrow night Milan-Juventus, definitely the most important match of this Serie A season so far. Who will be appointed? IMO the favourites are Mariani, Di Bello and Valeri. Massa and Orsato refereed yesterday so they are probably candidates for other top matches next Sunday.

  3. Which referees do you think that will be selected for 2020(1) Olympic tournament if it takes place?

    Consider that traditionally the confederation spots have been like this: 5 UEFA referees, 3 CONMEBOL, 3 AFC, 2 CAF, 2 CONCACAF & 1 OFC.

    1. Can the names from Euro repeat or will there be different referees?

    2. UEFA: Kruzliak (SVK), Makkelie (NED), Marciniak (POL), Orsato (ITA), Taylor (ENG)
      CONMEBOL: Tobar (CHI), Herrera (VEN), Rojas (COL)
      AFC: Al-Jassim (QAT), Ning (CHN), Shukralla (BHR)
      CAF: Ghorbal (ALG), Ngambo (COD)
      CONCACAF: Escobar (GUA), Marrufo (USA)
      OFC: Zitouni (TAH)

    3. UEFA: Vincic (SVN), Jovanovic (SRB), Taylor (ENG), Marciniak (POL), Soares Dias (POR)
      CONMEBOL: Tobar (CHI), Rojas (COL), Rapallini (ARG)
      AFC: Al-Jassim (QAT), Ning (CHN), Shukralla (BHR)
      CAF: Ghorbal (ALG), Tessema Weyesa (ETH)
      CONCACAF: Escobar (GUA), Elfath (USA)
      OFC: Waldron (NZL)

  4. @ anonymous

    MILAN – JUVENTUS h. 20.45

  5. Makkelie already get Final match for sure👌

    1. Nope - It's actually rare to see the UEFA referee appointed for the final match, last time it was Çakir in 2012 edition. The UEFA referee is usually appointed for the semifinal match not involing CL winner (although Hategan last year was appointed for a QF)

      2019: Al-Jassim (QAT)
      2018: Marrufo (USA)
      2017: Ramos (MEX)
      2016: Sikazwe (ZAM)
      2015: Faghani (IRN)
      2014: López (GUA)
      2013: Ricci (BRA)

    2. Proença was actually appointed to the final (his last ever match) in 2014, but San Lorenzo rejected him for the Iberian connection to Real Madrid; López was the compromise option accepted by both, and Proença finished his career with the match for third place.

      Eriksson and Kassai both attended tournaments after WC 2014 on the premise they would be in Russia, but they both (deservedly, one must say) missed out!

    3. Mario Escobar (GUA) will add a 3rd Final without any cards shown to his "illustrious" resume. He is the prototypical referee that is wanted and desired at the moment.

    4. “ Proença was actually appointed to the final (his last ever match) in 2014, but San Lorenzo rejected him for the Iberian connection to Real Madrid”

      This sort of thing really annoys me. Teams shouldn’t have a say in who the referee is!

    5. IMO, matches involving teams from two different Confederations should always have a referee team from a third Confederation. I have been, currently am, and will always be a staunch supporter of Confederational Neutrality. It is what is fair and what is good for the game.

  6. Some clips from this weekend's Bundesliga Matchday Germany

    1) Bayern München - FSV Mainz, handeled by Markus Schmidt [VAR: Frank Willenborg]:
    Foul prior goal? - not given; no VAR intervention

    2) VfB Suttgart - RB Leipzig, handeled by Christian Dingert [VAR: Felix Zwayer]:
    Penalty? - PK given; no VAR intervention

    3) Werder Bremen - FC Union Berlin, handeled by Tobias Stieler [VAR: Tobias Welz]:
    Penalty (handball)? - no PK given; no VAR intervention

    4) Borussia Dortmund - VfL Wolfsburg, handeled by Manuel Gräfe [VAR: Bibiana Steinhaus]:
    Penalty (handball)? - no PK given; no VAR intervention

    5) TSG Hoffenheim - SC Freiburg, handeled by Robert Hartmann [VAR: Guido Winkmann]:
    Penalty (handball)? - PK given; no VAR intervention
    + Information: Head of VAR project, Jochen Drees, announced that the non-intervention is considered as fully correct, as there is no camera angle, which can prove a clear error.

    1. My opinions:
      1) correct decision (fair amount of physical play)
      2) Should not be a penalty. No VAR intervention is still OK (it is tripping somehow) regarding the strict German interpretation of "clear and obvious"
      3) Correct decision (natural position, moving away, short distance)
      4) Correct decision (ball seems only to touch right arm, which is not increasing the body surface)
      5) Looks like the wrong decision, but I agree, that it probably could not be proven. Even now, I am not 100% sure, which part of the body touched the ball.

      Thanks for the clips. If you want, you can also comment them here to start some German discussions on the situations:

    2. Here are my opinions:

      1) Clearly correct decision, as there is a normal physical play and no clear movement of the ellbow towards the opponent.

      2) No penalty for me. Probably no clear error, but this little contact isn't enough to justify a penalty.
      And: There seems to be a stamp on the foot by the attacker, which could be punished as well:

      3) Rather correct decision, as the arm is moved away and the body surface isn't significantly increased. Point of contact:

      4) Rather difficult to assess, whether the ball touches the left arm or not. The contact with the right arm isn't important, as it is in a natural position. No VAR material for me, as there isn't a clear evidence for a mistake by the referee. Point of contact:

      5) Extremely difficult scene. I don't know if there is a contact with the arm, however, I agree with the aforementioned statement by Jochen Drees. Point of contact:

  7. To me the most interesting development is Nicholas Anderson from Jamaica being at Escobar's side; that is a very good signal for the Guatemalan, in my view (increases the political value of appointing them for WC 2022).

    Anderson was at Adonai Escobedo's side for U17 WC 2019, so from that I would also take that it will be a real fight between Escobedo and Ramos to take Mexico's place in Qatar (what a shame for previously excellent Mexican refereeing...).

    It's a real shame that the poor Edina Alves Batista will handle a match (there are better female referees than her!) and not talented Kader Zitouni, but such is the trend nowadays!

    My guess for the final would be Mario Escobar - I think FIFA are very interested in this man and his style.

    The other option would be that they want to test Muhammed for big games; we will find out if Faghani has been removed by the Iranian association from the FIFA list in the next few days, if so, I would guess the Emirati would be pushed quite a lot from AFC.

    1. The Concacaf trios at the U17WC 2019 were Escobar - Panjoj, Anderson and Escobedo - Arrieta, Barwegen, so no changes in Escobar's team.

    2. Indeed, you are right; it would have been helpful to have checked that myself before writing my comment :)

      Though the point that it increases his chances for Qatar remains I think.

    3. Escobar is currently rated No. 1 in Concacaf (2019 Gold Cup final and 2020 Concacaf CL final), so, unless something catastrophic happens, his WC22 spot is guaranteed by Hall/Concacaf.

    4. IMO there really is no competition between Ramos and Escobedo. Ramos is the tried and tested referee while Escobedo is still an unknown. Also, within Liga MX, Ramos is rated higher than Escobedo. However, looking into past, I am left highly disappointed by these two. They are nowhere near the talent Mexico has produced previously. But this lack of talent is affecting CONCACAF as a whole.

    5. Also, why does the FIFA Ref Comm insist on "wasting" Mr. Zitouni's time and talent? Why invite him to a competition they have zero interest in actually assigning him a match as a main referee? The FIFA Ref Comm is turning this man into nothing more than a bonafide 4th Official.

    6. @anonymous, I think it's important to remember that Mexican and US referees usually can't work finals. Indeed, they were not included in the recent CCL tournament completion.

      So it's a stretch to say Escobar is "rated #1 by CONCACAF." You have two likely returning WC referees in Ramos and Marrufo. Escobar is likely rated #1 outside the US and Mexico, but when we start talking about WC slots and FIFA assignments, that matters quite a bit.

    7. Good point by usaref.

      As for Zitouni, is he actually a good ref? I haven’t seen too much of him, but I get the sense that FIFA just invites him to this tournament every other year to make up the numbers, to give OFC representation... if this is the method, that’s not how FIFA should operate. There should not be quotas of referees to be from each confederation.

    8. @usaref: I never said that Escobar is better than the top Mexican or US referees. However, the statistical reality is that Escobar got the top Concacaf appointments in the last two years (current WC selection cycle), which no Mexican or US refs did, regardless of the circumstances.

    9. Let's be honest. The current crop of "top" CONCACAF referee's is one of the if not the weakest group of referee's in recent times. So to say that Escobar is as good if not better than current Mexican and USA referee's isn't as far fetched as some may want to make it seem. I personally despise Escobar's style. But in all honesty, he is exactly what those currently in power want in a referee. His style is the blueprint for the "modern way".

  8. I really can't understand the role of the OFC confederation within the world football, especially after Australia left it.
    OFC never has one regular place at FIFA world cup but every time they have to run a play off against a more quoted country. Same for the referees; they are never considered for (main) FIFA competitions. I agree on the fact that Zitouni deserves more than Batista or N'Dayie to officiate a match as main referee.
    I think his management is completely respectless; he can't be called every time just to act as 4th official.

  9. For FIFA Olympic Games I would appoint the following officials:

    UEFA; C. DEL CERRO GRANDE, W. COLLUM (as farewell competition), A. EKBERG, S. JOVANOVIC, T. STIELER
    OFC: ZITOUNI (as main referee and not 4th official :-) ,

    1. I rather expect the Olympic Games officials to (just) be selected from last year's list of prospective referees for the World Cup 2022:

      1. Christopher Beath (AUS, 1984, photo)
      2. Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, 1976)
      3. Ma Ning (CHN, 1979)
      4. Alireza Faghani (IRN 1978)
      5. Ryuji Sato (JPN, 1977)
      6. Adham Makhadmeh (JOR, 1986)
      7. Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT, 1987)
      8. Mohammed Abdulla (UAE, 1978)

      1. Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, 1985)
      2. Ndala Ngambo (COD, 1987)
      3. Amin Mohamed (EGY, 1985)
      4. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)
      5. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
      6. Redouane Jiyed (MAR, 1979)
      7. Victor Gomes (RSA, 1982)
      8. Maguette N’Diaye (SEN, 1986)

      1. Ricardo Montero (CRC, 1986)
      2. Mario Escobar (GUA, 1986)
      3. Said Martinez (HON, 1991)
      4. Adonai Escobedo (MEX, 1987)
      5. Cesar Ramos (MEX, 1983)
      6. Ivan Barton (SLV, 1991)
      7. Ismail Elfath (USA, 1982)
      8. Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)

      1. Fernando Rapallini (ARG, 1978)
      2. Facundo Tello (ARG, 1982)
      3. Gery Vargas (BOL, 1981)
      4. Raphael Claus (BRA, 1979)
      5. Wilton Sampaio (BRA, 1981)
      6. Roberto Tobar (CHI, 1978)
      7. Andres Rojas (COL, 1984)
      8. Guillermo Guerrero (ECU, 1985)
      9. Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR, 1983)
      10. Jose Mendez (PAR, 1983)
      11. Kevin Ortega (PER, 1992)
      12. Leodan Gonzalez (URU, 1983)
      13. Alexis Herrera (VEN, 1989)

      1. Matthew Conger (NZL, 1978)
      2. Nicholas Waldron (NZL, 1982)
      3. Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH, 1981)

      1. Georgi Kabakov (BUL, 1986)
      2. Michael Oliver (ENG, 1985)
      3. Anthony Taylor (ENG, 1978)
      4. Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP, 1976)
      5. Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP, 1984)
      6. Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)
      7. Felix Zwayer (GER, 1981)
      8. Daniele Orsato (ITA, 1975)
      9. Andris Treimanis (LVA, 1985)
      10. Danny Makkelie (NED, 1983)
      11. Szymon Marciniak (POL, 1981)
      12. Artur Soares Dias (POR, 1979)
      13. Ovidiu Hațegan (ROU, 1980)
      14. Srdjan Jovanović (SRB, 1986)
      15. Ivan Kružliak (SVK, 1984)
      16. Slavko Vinčič (SVN, 1979)
      17. Andreas Ekberg (SWE, 1985)

  10. About Irrati appointment for Milan - Juventus on Wednesday, maybe for most of the people unexpected appointment, but I had a feeling that he could have got it. He suffered an injury for a quite long time and his last game in serie A had been Sassuolo - Inter on last 28 November, then after that he mostly worked as VAR. He officiated some days ago Chievo - Venezia in serie B after this long break from the pitch. Technically he is a very good referee, but being always busy as VAR in both serie A and international competitions has blocked his career in the meaning that he can't get more than Category 2 at UEFA level, but some seasons ago he got some top clashes in serie A and he did very well. Then, there will be other big games on next matchdays and we will see the choices by Rizzoli, Mariani seems indeed reay to get something big as well...

  11. OT

    Lamia-Aris (Ref Skoulas UEFA 3rd) (VAR Fotias UEFA 3rd)

    1. Correct intervention by VAR (stamp) and for me the penalty execution is legal.

    2. IMO clearly correct penalty + VAR intervention, no reason to disallow the goal.

    3. Correct intervention on both incidents. However, in the second case I think that OFR is needed.

    4. Agree, but once you open VAR protocol and VAR get involved in decision (due to wrongly disallowed goal from PK) the final decision has to be correct, which is retake for encroachment from both teams.

  12. Bad news from Sweden: FIFA AR Joakim Amri Nilsson has been jailed on serious organized crime activity (fraud and money laundering), and has been banned from refereeing for betting on games in Allsvenskan.

    1. He had massive debts due to a betting addiction. Ended up abusing the trust of family, business contacts and women (even some fellow referees!) by asking for loans under false pretenses, claiming he'd repay them, which he didn't. The investigation also showed that he was having relationships with several women at the same time (including several referee colleagues), when he also married a woman. He was even messaging with his "girlfriends" on the day of the wedding!

      This winter he was convicted of theft in a supermarket, but it had no consequences for his refereeing. There are however, many referees who have been uneasy around him for a long while, several reports have been made to the federatiom but nothing happened until he was jailed this fall.

    2. The public debt collector (Kronofogden) were making big deductions in his wage payments from the federation every month. But nobody at the federation cared about it...

    3. Is it public info (source?) or just rumours?

    4. From what I see, official Info is suspension for 15 months for betting with total stakes of 12000 kr

    5. Here are 2 penalties that he called. Both were seen as suspicious. See for yourself if you think these are reasonable for an AR to intervene or not. One is obviously 100% wrong.

  13. Today's games from WC 2010:

    Cameroon - Denmark, Jorge Larrionda

    Slovakia - Paraguay, Eddy Maillet
    Italy - New Zealand, Carlos Batres (HL up, report tomorrow)
    (Brazil - Côte d'Ivoire, Stéphane Lannoy will be among the games uploaded tomorrow)

  14. England
    Carabao Cup Semifinals

    Tuesday 05th January

    20:45 Tottenham - Brentford
    Mike Dean - Ian Hussin - Dan Robathan - Lee Mason
    [Peter Bankes - Neil Davies]

    Wednesday 6th January

    20:45 Manchester United - Manchester City
    Martin Atkinson - Harry Lennard - Nick Hopton - David Coote
    [Jonathan Moss - Lee Betts]

  15. Just a thought - do you think that DFB will be able to lobby Tobias Stieler onto the WC 2022 pre-list?

    1. I think DFB is able to lobby everything, their position is extremely strong. 4 referees in elite although the level of refereeing is very poor in Germany (only Brych really deserves it, tbf).

    2. the german chairman lutz froehlich is from berlin, and so is felix zwayer...i don't see chances for stieler. maybe in ec2024 which is played in germany, as a host nation they will be allowed two. but for 2022 i dont even see any german going there at the moment. unfortunately, i must agree with anonymous that the performances on international level were surely below expectation. many var-interventions and sometimes unusual and unexplainable bundesliga so far, apart from some mistakes that can happen, it seems quite calm, which is normally a good sign that the referees dont take too much criticism

  16. The appointments for the next 2 matchdays in the Netherlands are out. Among others, the two top games will be refereed by Kuipers (Ajax - PSV, VAR Van Boekel) and Gözübüyük (PSV - AZ, VAR Manschot). Based on those appointments, next week's Klassieker (Ajax - Feyenoord) will go to either Makkelie or Blom.

  17. Still waiting for FIFA update about new international list.
    No info at all about Faghani?

    1. Unfortunately, Faghani is out...

  18. Why fifa hasn't published yet the referee list for 2021!

    1. 2 years ago it was published at 1 January. Last year at 3 January, this year let's wait until tomorrow ;)

    2. Maybe FIFA needs time to remove the Swedish AR due to the latest news? :)

  19. Shocked by Javier Alberola Rojas' management of the last minutes of 1H in Marbella - Real Valladolid...

    1. Why? What happened?

    2. Late (probably reckless) foul, Alberola just blows for a 'normal' freekick (whistle language, presence), which inflames the players, and then referee cautions two players in quite a provocative manner with no prior warning.

      Correct no handling call at +92' for Marbella equaliser (at least it seems so on the stream :)) but no enlargement of additional time, so he blew at 93:01 despite there being a goal in +3 added time; how Spanish! :D

    3. Interesting penalty call for Marbella which I missed for only having the game on in the background.

    4. Question for Spanish readers - is Alberola Rojas always as passive like in this game (card or nothing, no reaction to the ball being kicked away for DtR / dissent) or was he simply disinterested in this cup match in freezing cold rain?

      Difference between he and Díaz de Mera is much in the latter's favour, IMO.

    5. Alberola Rojas will be FIFA. In my opinion is the best referee in La Liga, young and calm. Players respect him.

    6. I disagree, Alberola Rojas didn't show any special progress or development since his promotion in 2017 and (as for now) he doesn't deserve to become FIFA. He was the last young referee pushed by old CTA-RFEF, at least he's not in risk of demotion and becoming Vicandi Garrido 2.0 but he must improve because he has technical (and specially) physical conditions.

    7. I think that the referee Alberola Rojas showed a lot of progress. He use calm, laught and serious faces depend of the situations. 1-2 years only serious. The control of the matches is spectacular. Is the referee that less YC show per match. Players love this kind of mannegement. But is only my opinion. Thanks

    8. @Quilava,you are absolutely spot on with Arbelola's comparison to Inaki.

      Similar lenient and passive style, if he doesnt change something about that I dont think that he will go far in his refereeing career.

    9. Evidently Velasco Carballo thinks differently from you, fortunately. Sevilla - Real Sociedad.

  20. Today's game from World Cup 2010:

    Brazil - Côte d'Ivoire, Stéphane Lannoy

  21. Translated articles about the case of Swedish FIFA AR Joakim Amri Nilsson:

    1. Sweden... Strombergsson... Nilsson...

  22. Appointments - Germany:

    2nd Bundesliga Matchday 12 (rescheduled match)

    6th January

    20:30 Würzburger Kickers - FC St. Pauli
    Michael Bacher - Tobias Fritsch, Johannes Huber - Tobias Endriß
    [Nicolas Winter, Patrick Kessel]

  23. France - Ligue 1 Uber Eats

    Wednesday 6 January 2021

    FC Lorient - AS Monaco FC (19:00)
    Frank Schneider - Brice Parinet Le Tellier, Alexandre Viala - Ludovic Genest
    [Jérôme Miguelgorry, Frédéric Haquette]

    FC Metz - FC Girondins de Bordeaux (19:00)
    Antony Gautier - Michaël Annonier, Julien Aube - Aldric Chancioux
    [Bruno Coué, Romain Delpech]

    FC Nantes - Stade Rennais FC (19:00)
    Jérémie Pignard - Bastien Courbet, Julien Haulbert - Antoine Valnet
    [Bastien Dechepy, Hamid Guenaoui]

    RC Strasbourg Alsace - Nîmes Olympique (19:00)
    Benoît Millot - Stephan Luzi, Mathieu Grosbost - Mehdi Mokhtari
    [William Lavis, Stéphane Bré]

    Stade Brestois 29 - OGC Nice (19:00)
    Jérémy Stinat - Guillaume Debart, Huseyin Ocak - Cédric Dos Santos
    [Dominique Julien, Yohann Rouinsard]

    AS Saint-Étienne - Paris Saint-Germain (21:00)
    Clément Turpin - Nicolas Danos, Yannick Boutry - Alexandre Perreau Niel
    [Benoît Bastien, Johan Hamel]

    LOSC Lille - Angers SCO (21:00)
    Thomas Léonard - Gilles Lang, Christophe Mouysset - Pierre Legat
    [Alexandre Castro, Arnaud Baert]

    Olympique de Marseille - Montpellier HSC (21:00)
    Stéphanie Frappart - Mikaël Berchebru, Erwan Finjean - Bartolomeu Varela Teles
    [Wilfried Bien, Hicham Zakrani]

    Olympique Lyonnais - RC Lens (21:00)
    Éric Wattellier - Aurélien Berthomieu, Matthieu Lombard - Robin Chapapria
    [Mikaël Lesage, Benjamin Pagès]

    Stade de Reims - Dijon FCO (21:00)
    Amaury Delerue - Bertrand Jouannaud, Mehdi Rahmouni - Pierre Gaillouste
    [Hakim Ben El Hadj Salem, Cyril Mugnier]

  24. Really really interesting start for Paolo valeri.... 3 penalties given, two after an OFR and one rescinded by VAR for a factual decision being the foul happened outside the box

  25. I just saw on Twitter that Alberto Undiano Mallenco will be the new technical director of refereeing in Mexico, replacing Arturo Ángeles.

    1. Technical director or VAR Project Leader?

    2. Arturo Angeles? The former FIFA referee from USA has a position within the Mexican Referee Commission?

    3. Yes, Angeles has been the VAR coordinator for FMF since 2019 and his term ends now. The rumours are that Undiano will replace him.

    4. Thanks, I was unaware of Angeles' involvement with Liga MX. But I now understand why VAR is a disaster in Mexico ;)

    5. I don't watch much Mexican football (I started watching a league final handled by Ramos and preferred to stop watching before the end), but it does seem that Angeles has been a disaster there.

      Both Felipe Ramos Rizo (more polemicist) and Benito Archundia were staunch critics of Angeles' work, and Marco Rodríguez / Francisco Chácon also celebrated his removal.

      It's terrible that Angeles could get such an important role as FMR VAR director simply for being friends with Arturo Brizio Carter (among others, they attended WC 1994 together).

      I had the same question as Anonymous - what has happened, if anything, to Brizio Carter now? If he is indeed the new technical director, then surely that means he has been removed as well.

      I did smile at seeing it was Undiano going into that role - Mexican refereeing nowadays couldn't be more different from the style of this man whose aim on the pitch had nothing to do with 'game feeling' or 'event management', but by being ultra-consistent. But of course I doubt too much will change in the 'ideology' of FMF refereeing.

    6. Mikael, I wouldn't be surprised if Angeles got the job for simply being "buddy buddy" with Brizio Carter. I

      n regards to Brizio Carter, I actually got my hopes up when he was hired and replaced Codezal. I figured that a referee who was so great in his time on the pitch. That he would be able to instill and expect his level of greatness into Mexican referee's. To include the Law and Order he became known for on the pitch. But as we see with multiple referee's throughout the world (Bussaca, Seneme, Collina, Hall, Rosetti, etc...) who were good on the pitch. But as administrators they have moved so far away from who and what they were on the pitched. They've allowed themselves and their positions in power to be manipulated by an erroneous approach to officiating football.

      So the question is, will Mallenco (if this hiring is true) stay true to who he was as a referee? Or will he simply be an unrecognizable shell of his former self and become yet another puppet for "the modern way"?

  26. OT

    Apollon Smyrnis - Panathinaikos (Ref Koutsiaftis, VAR Kotsanis)

    3 VAR interventions




    1. 29' I thought that original PK call was a correct decision but I didn't notice the handball, correct intervention by VAR. Also, RIP to both players noses... >.<

      48' I don't understand this one. First of all it is a quite soft PK but contact seems to happen definitely INSIDE. Also, why a YC?

      77' Tight offside as the replay shows.

    2. 1 - excellent decision, good VAR-intervention.

      2 - difficult scene. Rather correct penalty, however, I'm not sure würde the incident exactly happened. Regsridng this picture, rather correct call:

      3 - correct.

    3. For me, VAR at 29' is wrong.
      29' The "handball" and the horrible misjudged challenge (and foul!) from the GK are at the same time for me. At the frame, where the ball hits the arm, the GK arm is already making contact with the attackers neck/cheek. Not the full collison with the body, but for me this is not what football expects (getting away with bad challenge, because it hit the attackers arm 10ms earlier.) I don't think anyone whould have complained (post match), if the PK stood, but I could be wrong^^
      48' Probably the right decision. As with offside, it's eather in or out, no margins. I also think a (S)YC was not correct, no SPA for me.

  27. Poor performance by Massi Irrati in Milano.
    Clear missed foul prior the equalizer for AC Milan.
    Clear 2nd YC missed for Bentacur after a very good advantage.
    Crystal clear wrong YC for Danilo after a clean tackle on the ball.

    1. Very poor and I'm really sorry for him. I must agree.
      I think he can now continue as VAR, but regarding the field, time seems to be over. He had this last chance, but he failed.
      Too evident mistakes. Regarding the foul before 1-1, one can wonder whether Orsato could intervene or not, but it seems as Irrati assessed the incident so no room for OFR.

    2. Maybe too much time spent behind the monitor and not on the pitch?

  28. Bad performance by Irrati and VAR Orsato.
    In additional time a clear and to be honest easy penalty for Milan missed.Last replay showed a contact with the knee.

    1. Strongly disagree with regard to the extra time penalty incident. This in no way is a clear and obvious error, so IMO correct non-intervention. Not every contact is a foul.

    2. I agree that not every contact is automatically a foul.
      But the last replay showed a clear contact with the knee and that why the player fall down.
      And Irrati had already his whistle in his mouth...

    3. IMO attacker notices the contact and uses that to organize his fall himself. The slight contact for me is not enough to make attacker fall.

  29. Today's games from World Cup 2010:

    Portugal - DPR Korea, Pablo Pozo
    Chile - Switzerland, Khalil Al-Ghamdi
    Spain - Honduras, Yūichi Nishimura

    Highlights and reports for each of the first thirty-two games can be found here:

    (that initiates a short break from WC 2010 games for me; I should be back uploading within the next fortnight, hopefully sooner!)

  30. Excellent straight RC issued by Leodan González last night in the Libertadores SF match River Plate - Palmeiras.

  31. Here is the incident mentioned above from the AC Milan - Juventus game handled by Massimiliano Irrati [VAR: Daniele Orsato].

    => +93' Penalty to Milan?

    1. Not enough, no penalty

    2. IMO borderline, but absolutely acceptable decision. The attacker searches for the contact and increases its importance, however, a penalty decision shouldn't be wrong as well.

    3. IMO, there is a significant contact on the knee, mainly caused by the defender and therefore it should be a penalty.
      But apparently not a clear one, given the different opinions here.

  32. Terrible performance for Irrati in Milan- Juve. Sorry, but this game was too much for him.

    - in the start of the game he missed two clear fouls on Chiesa, made by Theo Hernandez. In both cases Hernandez could have been booked. During the hame he was very lenient with Milan's fouls on Chiesa and Dybala.

    - goal of Milan came after a clear foul made by Calhanoglu against Rabiot. Sorry, but such mistake is not acceptable at this level. Unbelievable, but VAR didn't intervene. Orsato, did you sleep well ?

    - 2nd yellow card for Bentancur. Crystal clear.

    - wrong yellow card for Danilo, when it was preety clear for everyone that Danilo played the ball

    - there were some other (minor) problems: advantage not given, some fouls not given and the impression that his fitness is not the best.

    Sorry for him, but I can't trust such a referee as VAR in important international games.

    1. Juventus fan... please...
      why you didn't mention possible PK for Milan at the end?
      Typhus must be put aside while talking here..

    2. @ref paul

      You're right. We don't need fans here. On the other hand, we need smart people, who are able to read and understand.

      I said that Irrati missed a crystal clear yellow card for Bentancur (which would have been the 2nd one). If you don't know, Bentancur plays for Juventus. So, I criticized Irrati for a mistake in favour of Juventus ...

      I didn't mention that possible penalty for Milan because it was not a clear mistake (even you say "possible PK"). All the situations that I mentioned were clear mistakes of Irrati. If you add that penalty, than the performance of Irrati is even worse.

  33. Would seem that the rumours about Alireza Faghani not being on the Iranian association's list of FIFA referees were ultimately false.

    Faghani states that he was removed from a provisional list made by the association, but he was re-entered by the referees committee for the final list sent to FIFA, after a 'public outcry'. Association denies this, and says Faghani was always on their list.

    So, Faghani should be on the FIFA List for 2021. Let's wait for FIFA's official publication before reaching any definitive conclusions though.


    1. To be honest, Mikael, I start to think that FIFA is in trouble to publish this list just for this reason (and maybe also for other questions). Too much time has passed since 01/01 and there aren't explanations for no publication so far. Differently from the past, in which everything was planned and very clear, I feel that nowadays also FIFA is suffering by something, in the meaning that they try to be more "flexible".
      This is the direction where major bodies of refereeing are going nowadays. I hope I'm wrong.

    2. I was told by someone who has seen the pdf sent to the confederations and the national FAs in December that Faghani was not on Iran's list. Maybe it was being updated at the beginning of this year causing a delay in publishing it?

    3. Mikael, do you know whether the interview took place before 31 December 2020 or in the new year, once the 2021 FIFA lists were approved?

    4. If my understanding of the Persian calendar is correct, then the interview was published on the 27/Dec 2020.

      I don't follow Iranian football closely, but my understanding of the situation is that it's a huge mess. Iranian association allegedly did not submit their list by the FIFA deadline, the new chairman of the referees committee also wanted to remove his regular AR1 Mohammadreza Mansouri from the list; I can't find out if Mansouri made that final list Faghani was talking about (Anon. 17:12 - do you know if Mansouri was on that list?).

      Apparently, the plan was to before remove Bijan Heidari, 1980-born who had made little international progress since entering the list in 2015, but that plan was abandoned.

      Faghani says that sources told him the association rejected him for "security (political) reasons", while it seems they reason that if he doesn't handle domestic games in Iran (he hasn't), FIFA will reject him for Qatar 2022, and therefore there would be no reason to keep him on the list.

      So it seems that there has been some upheaval in the association('s refereeing committee) with some traction to remove Faghani, but according to the ISNA interview - from what I can gather a trustworthy source - the top Iranian referee is IN for 2021, but only after this huge drama.

      Quite how this will play out on the road to WC 2022 I don't know, but in any case it seems the large patriotic consensus of Iranian (refereeing) people 'saved' him from sth of a coup by some people in the association.

    5. Faghani was in charge of Adelaide United v Melbourne City game on January 3rd. If anyone has access to replay, please check if he is wearing his FIFA 2021 badge.

    6. I didn't find a replay of the whole match, but a highlight collection.
      Here, it seems as he isn't wearing a FIFA badge:

      02:34 it seems no FIFA badge but domestic Australian one...
      ahi ahi


      Faghani still wears the 2020 FIFA badge.

    9. Sorry, I must correct myself, I found another video with the confirmation that he is wearing the badge.
      Very good!

    10. Oooh Stake, but the 2020 one....


      As another example, Anthony Taylor wearing the 2020 badge on 3/Jan.


      And Jérémie Pignard from France wears his FFF badge, despite being FIFA-listed from 1st January on. I believe FIFA may not have send out the badges to the respective referees.

    13. Will that imply that Faghani is on the list for 2021 and just waiting to receive the 2021 badge? (Like Taylor is waiting since we know that Taylor is FIFA 2021 for sure)

    14. No list, no badges... is anyone working at FIFA? :)

    15. Maybe COVID playing a role on this delay, not so many people working at FIFA.

  34. Italy Serie A
    Matchweek 17

    Saturday 09th January

    15:00 Benevento - Atalanta
    Gianluca Manganiello - Tarcisio Villa - Gamal Mokhtar - Giacomo Camplone
    [Gianpaolo Calvarese - Salvatore Longo]

    18:00 Genoa - Bologna
    Daniele Doveri - Dario Cecconi - Luigi Lanotte - Alberto Santoro
    [Maurizio Mariani - Sergio Ranghetti]

    20:45 Milan - Torino
    Fabio Maresca - Mauro Galetto - Emanuele Prenna - Michael Fabbri
    [Marco Guida - Valentino Fiorito]

    Sunday 10th January

    12:30 Roma - Inter
    Marco Di Bello - Fabiano Preti - Daniele Bindoni - Daniele Orsato
    [Paolo Mazzoleni - Giacomo Paganessi]

    15:00 Parma - Lazio
    Luca Pairetto - Stefano Del Giovane - Christian Rossi - Simone Sozza
    [Aleandro Di Paolo - Rodolfo Di Vuolo]

    15:00 Udinese - Napoli
    Fabrizio Pasqua - Pasquale De Meo - Matteo Bottegoni - Livio Marinelli
    [Luigi Nasca - Alessio Tolfo]

    15:00 Hellas Verona - Crotone
    Luca Massimi - Luca Mondin - Fabio Schirru - Gianluca Aureliano
    [Paolo Valeri - Alessandro Giallatini]

    18:00 Fiorentina - Cagliari
    Piero Giacomelli - Filippo Valeriani - Michele Lombardi - Matteo Gariglio
    [Luca Banti - Filippo Meli]

    20:45 Juventus - Sassuolo
    Davide Massa - Davide Imperiale - Valerio Colarossi - Rosario Abisso
    [Daniele Chiffi - Damiano Di Iorio]

    Monday 11th January

    20:45 Spezia - Sampdoria
    Marco Piccinini - Edoardo Raspollini - Giuseppe Perrotti - Federico Dionisi
    [Federico La Penna - Stefano Liberti]

    1. Irrati out from appointments after the very poor performance in Milan - Juventus. Di Bello in a very good form.

    2. Some episode of Fabio Maresca performance in match Milan-Torino:
      1st half, penalty after VAR review:
      2nd half, penalty cancelled after VAR: and

  35. Italy Serie B
    Matchweek 5 recovery game

    Saturday 9th January

    14:00 Reggiana - Cittadella
    Francesco Fourneau - Ciro Carbone - Gaetano Massara - Alessandro Prontera

  36. Appointments - Germany:

    Bundesliga Matchday 15

    8th January

    20:30 Mönchengladbach - Bayern München
    Harm Osmers - Robert Kempter, Thomas Gorniak - Arne Aarnink
    [Christian Dingert, Mike Pickel]

    2nd Bundesliga Matchday 15

    8th January

    18:30 SV Sandhausen - FC Heidenheim
    Florian Badstübner - Markus Schüller, Patrick Hanslbauer - Lothar Ostheimer
    [Christof Günsch, Tobias Fritsch]

    18:30 Karlsruher SC - Greuther Fürth
    Timo Gerach - Patrick Kessel, Timo Klein - Justus Zorn
    [Sven Jablonski, Henry Müller]

  37. FIFA 2021 Referees PDF is out!

    Could be seen here :

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