Sunday, 10 December 2017

2017 FIFA Club World Cup - Referee Appointments

Appointments of match officials at 2017 FIFA Club World Cup, in United Arab Emirates.

Play off for second round
6 December 2017, 18:00 CET
Al Jazira (UAE) - Auckland City FC (NZL) 
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Fourth Official: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Video Assistant Referee 1: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Video Assistant Referee 2: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)

Second round
8 December 2017, 14:00 CET
CF Pachuca (MEX) - Wydad Casablanca (MAR)
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Video Assistant Referee 1: Mark Geiger (USA)
Video Assistant Referee 2: Simon Lount (NZL)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)

8 December 2017, 17:30 CET
Al Jazira (UAE) - Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)
Referee: César Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernández (MEX)
Fourth Official: Felix Brych (GER)
Video Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Video Assistant Referee 2: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Andrés Cunha (URU)

Match for fifth place
12 December 2017, 15:00 CET
Wydad Casablanca (MAR) - Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)
Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Lount (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
Fourth Official: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Video Assistant Referee 1: Artur Dias (POR)
Video Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT)

12 December 2017, 18:00 CET
Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense (BRA) - CF Pachuca (MEX)
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Fourth Official: Malang Diedhiou (SEN) 
Video Assistant Referee 1: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Video Assistant Referee 2: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)

13 December 2017, 18:00 CET
Al Jazira (UAE) - Real Madrid CF (ESP)
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Andrés Cunha (URU) 
Video Assistant Referee 1: Artur Dias (POR)
Video Assistant Referee 2: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)  


  1. As expected, Felix Brych appointed for Gremio v Pachuca and Sandro Ricci for Al-Jazira v Real Madrid

  2. If I'm not wrong, Andrés Cunha is the first referee appointed as fourth official among the ones called only as VAR.

  3. Matthew Conger appointed for the 5th place playoff

    1. If anyone plans to watch Conger, it would be really interesting to hear his performance.
      I think he will attend WC in any case, but it is not certain.
      Brych and Ricci on the contrary, are certain names for Russia.

    2. Matthew Conger has been told he is going to the World Cup and I believe he has given interviews in New Zealand about him going to Russia next year!

  4. Awkward situation this morning in Bundesliga match Köln-Freiburg.

    14'. Köln gets a penalty, but referee Robert Kampka finds out that the penalty spot has been "erased" by the snow.

    No problem. 11 long steps (1 step = 1 yard) and it's OK!

    1. And then, after that, two penalties in the last minutes of the game, with Freiburg winning 4-3. Incredible match for Kampka.

    2. 35 years old, does he has any chances for FIFA badge?
      I watched him for few matches and he was good everytime.

    3. I think due to his age it has to be next year (Gräfe turns 45, so there should be a free spot) or it will be too late. But there are also some other candidates (Brand, Osmers, Stegemann), who all are younger.
      So he has chances, but I would say less than 50% at the moment.

    4. I watched the full match and I was very impressed with my first viewing of this official. Strong body language and good control in difficult circumstances.

      As for the penalty mark I actually thought it was funny he took six steps to the goal area line then only another five!! I'm positive it was 9.15m though!!

    5. The penalty mark is 12 yards / 11 metres from the goal line - twice the goal area (aka the "6 yard box"). So he was one short as he took 6 strides out to goal area but then only 5 to the penalty spot!

  5. OT
    Three red cards in Shakhtar`s team against Zorya:


    What`s Your thoughts about this?

    1. Not knowing how the entire game played out it's difficult to asses. If you look at each decision in islolation id suggest:

      I do not think this is a penalty. I would prefer play on but you can say player exaggerated contact. Supportable.

      In isolation I don't think this enough to merit a second caution.

      Very good penalty call. This is where a referee needs to be smart. You have already ordered two players off and now a decisive penalty. Ignore his blatant display of dissent and close the game out. By law though, the caution is correct and direct red card for aggressive contact towards the referee is correct.

      Terrible scenes at the final whistle. I'm sure there will be further sanctions issued.

    2. 1) Play on is better decision IMO but as a observer I would support the ref

      2) No YC for me. The second YC needs to come out of the pocket on its own and I'm affraid this isn't the case.
      Probably referee thought it was stamping.

      3) Great call, and second YC is impulsive decision.
      Althought referee's facial expression is very calm (which is fantastic) I'm sure that he has eruption of emotions inside of him. Smarter decision is not to give YC

    3. Agreed with Gerry and DrMr

      Referee is Boiko who was much pushed during Collina's time in Ukraine (he even attended U21 EURO Semifinal), but didn't have the required skills, IIRC especially in personality and reading the match, to come even close to a CL debut.
      I think this match can serve as a proof of that; Ukraine is still without a top referee in it's History.

  6. There's been a controversial penalty situation in La Liga.

    Real Sociedad-Málaga. Goalkeeper Rulli fouls striker Borja Bastón in the penalty area (so, that's penalty), referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande doesn't blow the whistle (even if he brings it to the mouth) as Bastón doesn't fall and inmediately shoots to goal, but there's a goal-line clearance. Finally, Del Cerro Grande blows the whistle and indicates the penalty spot.

    What do you think? There's a good use of (non-profited) advantage in the penalty area?


  7. Perfect solution for me. Don't signal advantage and allow scoring opportunity. If not taken then award penalty.

    If only we seen this in the 2006 CL final.

  8. I don't know if it has been mentioned but I can't believe the penalty awarded in the Liverpool derby. Looking on UK media outlets I'm even more surprised that a lot of the expert former players support the decision.

    1. It was a clear penalty- push in the back. I can totally understand the reasoning behind the decision which was correct.

  9. Irmatov is 4th official in Conger's match, while Soares Dias, Saidov and Al Jassim are the VARs.

    Not sure, why Soares Dias needs to be VAR on two consecutive days, while Vigliano and Geiger don't get a match...

  10. If Pachuca qualifies for the final, I think Irmatov will be the only option...

    1. They can give it to Diedhiou or Conger?

    2. After having watched most of his game, I don't think that the Senegales will be appointed again, but of course everything is possible. About Conger, it never happened that an OFC crew got something big in a FIFA tournament, there isn't trust by committee. The only exception so far was the excellent "exploit" by Anna-Marie Keighley at 2015 Women World Cup, with a semifinal...

    3. Hester in the 2009 U17s on a semifinal is the ONLY time since 1990 that an OFC official has been the referee on a semifinal or a final at the U17s, U20s, Olympics, CWC or World Cup.

  11. CL Draw for Round of 16

    Juventus - Tottenham
    Basel - Manchester City
    Porto - Liverpool
    Sevilla - Manchester United
    Real Madrid - PSG
    Shakhtar - Roma
    Chelsea - Barcelona
    Besiktas - Bayern

    We will enjoy this KO stage, many top clashes there and Chelsea - Barcellona, well, you all remember...

    1. Let's try some very early predictions :

      JUV v TOT : Mateu Lahoz/Marciniak
      BAS v MCI : Hategan/Sidiropolous
      POR v LIV : Karasev/Çakir
      SEV v MUN : Turpin/Eriksson
      RMA v PSG : Brych/Mazic
      SHK v ROM : Makkelie/Kassai
      CHE v BAR : Rocchi/Kuipers
      BES v BAY : Skomina/Orsato

    2. Thanks for inviting me Soham. ;)

      JUV v TOT : Skomina (SVN) - Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
      BAS v MCI : Hategan (ROU) - Karasev (RUS)
      POR v LIV : Orsato (ITA) - Zwayer (GER)
      SEV v MUN : Mazic (SRB) - Marciniak (POL)
      RMA v PSG : Brych (GER) - Kuipers (NED)
      SHK v ROM : Oliver (ENG) - Makkelie (NED)
      CHE v BAR : Rocchi (ITA) - Çakir (TUR)
      BES v BAY : Turpin (FRA) - Taylor (ENG)

    3. I have a feeling about the English referees, that Taylor will get a CL game while Oliver still not for this time.

    4. Waiting for your full predictions too, Chefren :D

    5. My early predictions
      JUV v TOT : Karasev / Mateu Lahoz
      BAS v MCI : Fernandez Borbalan / Rocchi
      POR v LIV : Makkelie / Turpin
      SEV v MUN : Cakir / Eriksson
      RMA v PSG : Mazic / Skomina
      SHK v ROM : Taylor / Hategan
      CHE v BAR : Brych / Marciniak
      BAY v BES : Orsato / Kuipers

    6. Here my predictions:
      JUV v TOT : Hațegan / Turpin
      BAS v MCI : Eriksson / Karasev
      POR v LIV : Orsato / Kuipers
      SEV v MUN : Brych / Marciniak
      RMA v PSG : Mažić / Rocchi
      SHK v ROM: Mateu Lahoz / Kassai
      CHE v BAR: Skomina / Çakır
      BAY v BES: Taylor / Collum

    7. JUV v TOT : Brych/ Marciniak
      BAS v MCI : Turpin/ Orsato
      POR v LIV : Karasev/ Rocchi
      SEV v MUN : Hategan/ Sidiropolous
      RMA v PSG : Skomina/Mazic
      SHK v ROM: Oliver/Collum
      CHE v BAR: Cakir/Kuipers
      BAY v BES: Lahoz/ Eriksson

      This are the last matches for Marciniak and Mazic. IMO they are the final-referees

    8. Here mine:

      Juventus - Tottenham
      Basel - Manchester City
      Porto - Liverpool
      Sevilla - Manchester United
      Real Madrid - PSG
      Shakhtar - Roma
      Chelsea - Barcelona
      V. KASSAI - C. CAKIR
      Besiktas - Bayern

      I really don't understand if Atkison is still in the FIFA list


    10. My picks:

      JUV-TOT: Sidiropoulos/Makkelie
      BAS-MCI: Hategan/Zwayer
      POR-LIV: Marciniak/Orsato
      SEV-MU: Mazic/Karasev
      RMA-PSG: Skomina/Rocchi
      SHK-ROM: Taylor/Mateu
      CHE-BAR: Kuipers/Çakir
      BAY-BES: Soares Dias/Eriksson

  12. EL Draw for round of 32

    Napoli - RB Leipzig
    Borussia Dortmund - Atalanta
    FC Kopenhagen - Atlético Madrid
    Olymp.Lyonnais - Villarreal
    Celtic - FC Zenit
    östersundsFK - Arsenal
    Loedogorets - AC Milan
    Olymp.Marseille - Sporting Braga
    Real Sociedad - FC Salzburg
    FC Astana - Sporting Portugal
    OGC Nice - Lokomotiv Moskou
    Spartak Moskou - Athletic Club
    FCSB - Lazio
    R.Ster Belgrado - CSKA Moskou
    AEK Athene - Dinamo Kiev
    Partizan Belgrado - Viktoria Plzen

    Some hot games like Napoli-Leipzig.

    1. Trying some predictions
      Napoli - RB Leipzig: Kulbakov / Buquet
      Borussia Dortmund - Atalanta: Moen / Eriksson
      FC Kopenhagen - Atlético Madrid: Zwayer / Collum
      Olymp.Lyonnais - Villarreal: Sidiropoulos / Kassai
      Celtic - FC Zenit: Marciniak / Rocchi
      östersundsFK - Arsenal: Boyko / Lechner
      Loedogorets - AC Milan: Undiano / Kuipers
      Olymp.Marseille - Sporting Braga: Banti / Stieler
      Real Sociedad - FC Salzburg: Vincic / Soares Dias
      FC Astana - Sporting: Jug / Gil Manzano
      OGC Nice - Lokomotiv Moskou: Raczkowski / Schörgenhofer
      Spartak Moskou - Athletic Club: Kehlet / de Sousa
      FCSB - Lazio: Kruzliak / Kralovec
      R.Ster Belgrado - CSKA Moskou: Gözübüyük / Bognar
      AEK Athene - Dinamo Kiev: Grinfeld / Bebek
      Partizan Belgrado - Viktoria Plzen: Beaton / Bastien

    2. Some tough matches here but only those attending the course can be considered, so you will need to find seven alternatives.

      I think they will test the experienced category 1s as the elite are proven and will feature in the later demanding EL fixtures.

    3. Very very early prediction
      Napoli - RB Leipzig Makkelie/Taylor
      Borussia Dortmund - Atalanta Estrada Fernandez/ Kehlet
      FC Kopenhagen - Atlético Madrid Vincic/ Kulbakov
      Olymp.Lyonnais - Villarreal Zwayer/ Beaton
      Celtic - FC Zenit Bebek/ Kruziliak
      östersundsFK - Arsenal Arthur Dias/ Kassai
      Loedogorets - AC Milan Jug/Gil Manzano
      Olymp.Marseille - Sporting Braga Bognar/ Gozubuyuk
      Real Sociedad - FC Salzburg Nijhuis/ Moen
      FC Astana - Sporting Portugal Aytekin/ Buquet
      OGC Nice - Lokomotiv Moskou Schorgenhofer/ De Sousa
      Spartak Moskou - Athletic Club Kralovec/ Grinfeeld
      FCSB - Lazio Mazeika/Madden
      R.Ster Belgrado - CSKA Moskou Banti/ Undiano Mallenco
      AEK Athene - Dinamo Kiev Raczkowski/ Bastien
      Partizan Belgrado - Viktoria Plzen Eskov/ Blom

    4. Mine for EL:

      Napoli - RB Leipzig KRALOVEC-BORBALAN
      Borussia Dortmund - Atalanta ESTRADA F.-JUG
      FC Kopenhagen - Atlético Madrid MAZEIKA-STIELER
      Olymp.Lyonnais - Villarreal SIDIROPOLUS-MOEN
      Celtic - FC Zenit GIL MANZANO-BEBEK
      östersundsFK - Arsenal VERTENTEN-KEHLET
      Loedogorets - AC Milan DELFERIERE-EKBERG
      Olymp.Marseille - Sporting Braga GOZUBUYUK-MADDEN
      Real Sociedad - FC Salzburg DA SOUSA-AYTEKIN
      FC Astana - Sporting Portugal KULBAKOV-SIEBERT
      OGC Nice - Lokomotiv Moskou VINCIC-RACZKOWSKI
      Spartak Moskou - Athletic Club VAD-SOARES DIAS
      R.Ster Belgrado - CSKA Moskou TAYLOR-BUQUET
      AEK Athene - Dinamo Kiev BASTIEN-OLIVER
      Partizan Belgrado - Viktoria Plzen TREMANIS-KRUZIAK

  13. Minute 90' in Fifth Place Game: the first VAR review of the tournament. Conger was invited to rewatch a penalty area incident (holding). Penalty in favor of Wydad Casablanca was therefore assigned. The procedure was a bit complicated, Conger watched for a long time and then he decided for the penalty. It was clear that he had not still a good familiarity with the technology.
    If possible I will try to make a video.

    1. In Irmatov's QF there was also a VAR review: (0:15)
      I expected a different outcome...

    2. Clear SFP there, how does Irmatov not issue a red card here?

    3. @Philipp thanks, I didn't watch all games but I trusted the commentator, he said that today VAR was used for the first time, I'm sorry...

    4. @Stake
      Busacca? I have a fear.

    5. @Chefren
      I was exactly thinking the same. Right decision to review the incident, but to consider this only being reckless (after VAR review) is quite beyond belief...

    6. Well. Another mess in FIFA competition... VAR is not entitled to intervene if there has not been a CLEAR red card. So if VAR has intervened the referee should have given a red card. And it was a red card all day long. Disgusting...

      Conger took a very long time before the final decision, as said, procedure was really long.

    8. Yet another clear RED CARD incident in a FIFA Competition that was under-punished? I can't believe this! Of course I'm being sarcastic. But hey, in a few months we'll get to enjoy the battles at FIFA War Cup. Oops, I meant World Cup. Thanks Busacca! Keep up the terrible job.

    9. Full incident from Ermatov's game...

  14. OT
    Mazic will ref Serbian Derby between Partizan - Crvena Zvezda

    1. Surprising appointment ;-)

      Saying that, didn't Grujic whistle an Eternal Derby last season and do a very good job?

    2. Well, it's not suprising but neither expected...

      Mazic is back in action after Grujic refereed 2 matches in a row.
      Last 5 derbies, Mazic whistle only one :)

    3. There are some problematic things with Mazic.
      First, what is problematic to me (and very, very unusual) is that Mazic was in charge in Partizan's match this Sunday! In 3 days he will oversee 2 matches where Partizan played, one of them is Eternal Derby, the most important match in Serbian football. He shouldn't be there on Sunday.
      Second, Crvena zvezda (at the moment far the best team in Serbia) is in some kind of war with Football Association and it's president, accusing him that he wants to take over Crvena zvezda and become a director of the club (several years ago he was vice-president of Zvezda). Also, they asked Mazic no to referee their matches anymore, after one loss in 97' minute 2 months ago (fist and only so far), accusing Mazic that added time, which was 6 minutes, was too long and there was no need for extra time (the problem with Mazic started in Serbian Cup final Partizan-Crvena zvezda where Mazic didn't whistle obvious penalty in favor of Zvezda - after that partizan scored a winning goal). So, today, when Mazic's nomination was announced, Zvezda wrote a statement in which they protested about that nomination. Besides that, in media there is a big pressure from Partizan fans and government on the referee because Partizan didn't get single one penalty in last 20 years in matches against Crvena zvezda. Even Partizan's manager told that he has no problem with that who will take the penalty kick (on Sunday Mazic whistled a PK for Partizan and 2 players argued who will take it), because it wont be any for his team.
      So, Mazic will be under enormous pressure in very important match (if Zvezda wins, it would be very difficult for Partizan to reach them). It will be very interesting to see how he will handle that. I have to say that refereeing Eternal Derby is far more harder for the ref, than for example Juventus-Barcelona (and Mazic said that in one of his interviews). It is one of the biggest and one of the most passionate derby matches in the world - Partizan and Zvezda, their fans and government hate each other a lot. So, it is much more than a regular football match.

    4. Beside Mazic and Grujic, maybe Jovanovic i dont see anyone who can handle our derby at any look..

  15. The louder the scream or the more theatrical the fall is. The easier that Brych is conned into calling a foul or showing a card. Yet another Euro ref that has little to no understanding of the intricacies that Latin American futbol has.

    1. Your popularistic phrases I cannot agree with, however Brych did rather struggle also in the Latinoamericano duel at Olympics 2012, between Brazil - Honduras (yet he was still better than Juan Soto, much better...).

    2. If European ref doesn't understand Latinamerican football, what can we say about Latinoamerican refs and their understanding of European football?

    3. Maybe referee is struggling with latino national teams but it doesnt mean that he has lack of understanding

    4. An interesting debate I think, to look at Hispanic / Spanish duels in last years

      Argentina - Brazil, Martín Vazquez (8,5)
      Chile - Spain, Marco Rodriguez (7,4ish)
      Brazil - Chile, Howard Webb (8,5)
      Spain - Paraguay, Carlos Batres (7,7/8,0ish)
      Honduras - Spain, Juan Soto (6,0)
      Brazil - Honduras, Felix Brych (7,1)
      Brazil - Uruguay, Enrique Osses (8,4)
      Brazil - Chile, Howard Webb (8,7)
      Colombia - Uruguay, Björn Kuipers (8,2)
      Brazil - Colombia, Carlos Velasco (6,9)
      Brazil - Colombia, Cüneyt Çakir (7,8(1)ish?)

      There are merits to both styles, UEFA and CONMEBOL. I tend to think a strong match reader, a determined but empathic personality (referees like pre2014 Rodriguez, Batres, Brych, Orsato in the playoff who are hardliners usually don't succeed, despite the logic they have a Latin style), with the possibility to show many cards if nessessary and have only a distant empathy, succeed best in these matches.

    5. Hispanic duels and you include Brazil?? You've meant Latin or South American duels.

  16. UEFA Women's Categories

    Jana Adámková (CZE), Sandra Braz Bastos (POR), Stéphanie Frappart (FRA), Gyöngyi Gaál (HUN), Riem Hussein (GER), Katalin Kulcsár (HUN), Pernilla Larsson (SWE), Lina Lehtovaara (FIN), Kateryna Monzul (UKR), Monika Mularczyk (POL), Sara Persson (SWE), Anastasiya Pustovoytova (RUS), Esther Staubli (SUI), Bibiana Steinhaus (GER), Carina Susana Vitulano (ITA), Lorraine Watson (SCO), Olga Zadinová (CZE)

    Vesna Budimir (CRO), Amy Fearn (ENG), Florence Guillemin (FRA), Sofía Karagiórgi (CYP), Zuzana Kováčová (SVK), Ivana Martinčić (CRO), Petra Pavlíková (SVK), Marte Sørø (NOR), Eszter Urbán (HUN)

    1. Second
      Eléni Antoníou (GRE), Ewa Augustyn (POL), Julia-Stefanie Baier (AUT), Paula Brady (IRL), Voĺha Ciareška (BLR), Silvia Andreia Rosa Domingos (POR), Tania Fernandes Morais (LUX), Cheryl Foster (WAL), Marta Frías Acedo (ESP), Sarah Garratt (ENG), Simona Ghisletta (SUI), Désirée Grundbacher (SUI), Marta Huerta de Aza (ESP), Justina Lavrenovaitė (LTU), Maria Marotta (ITA), Elvira Nurmustafina (KAZ), Tess Olofsson (SWE), Lois Otte (BEL), Meliz Özçiğdem (TUR), Vivian Peeters (NED), Graziella Pirriatore (ITA), Barbara Poxhofer (AUT), Ivana Projkovska (MKD), Angelika Söder (GER), Tanja Subotič (SVN), Karolina Tokarska (POL), Rebecca Welch (ENG)

    2. Third
      Ainara Andrea Acevedo Dudley (ESP), Victoria Beyer (FRA), Sabina Bolić (CRO), Bríet Bragadóttir (ISL), Catarina Isabel Ferreira Campos (POR), Merima Čelik (BIH), Aleksandra Česen (SVN), Tinna Høj Christensen (DEN), Solen Dallongeville (FRA), Iuliana Elena Demetrescu (ROU), Emilie Rodahl Dokset (NOR), Galiya Echeva (BUL), Valentina Finzi (ITA), Michaela Fritz (AUT), Chrýso Georgíou (CYP), Khristiyana Guteva (BUL), Liliya Hasanova (KAZ), Lizzy Josette van der Helm (NED), Rasa Imanalijeva (LTU), Jeļena Jermolajeva (LVA), Hanna Kaplainen (FIN), Frida Mia Klarlund Nielsen (DEN), Veronika Kovářová (CZE), Marina Krupskaya (RUS), Ifeoma Kulmala (FIN), Səbayel Kuzutürk (AZE), Triinu Laos (EST), Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sęk (POL), Irina Lyussina (BEL), Jurgita Mačikunytė (LTU), María Dolores Martínez Madrona (ESP), Dimitrina Milkova (BUL), Ana Minić (SRB), Neslihan Muratdağı (TUR), Henrikke Holm Nervik (NOR), Vera Onică (MDA), Hannelore Onsea (BEL), Vera Opeykina (RUS), Cristina Elena Părăluță (ROU), Jelena Pejković (CRO), Tamara Petrić (SRB), Ruzanna Petrosyan (ARM), Ionela Alina Peșu (ROU), Aleksandra Ponomarova (RUS), Yuliya Qurbanova (AZE), Tanja Račić (BIH), Laura Rapp (SWE), Viola Raudziņa (LVA), Anastasiya Romanyuk (UKR), Araksya Saribekyan (ARM), Meitar Shemesh (ISR), Rachel Shkuri (ISR), Shona Shukrula (NED), Nelli Stepanyan (ARM), Sandra Strub (SUI), Lucie Šulcová (CZE), Lyudmyla Telʹbukh (UKR), Cansu Tiryaki (TUR), Cristina Mariana Trandafir (ROU), Dimítra Tsagánou (GRE), Andromáchi Tsioflíki (GRE), Reelika Turi (EST), Iryna Turoŭskaja (BLR), Kateryna Usova (UKR), Irena Velevačkoska (MKD), Marina Višnjić (SRB), Karoline Wacker (GER), Ruth-Anne Wright (NIR)

    3. Thank you so much, a post will follow soon.

    4. Can you give link for ARs? thanks

    5. ARs will be published at around 1 January.

    6. Any chance you have the futsal categories for 2018?

  17. I got the information that Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver are going to be promoted into the Elite Group. Ekberg from Sweden is also going to be promoted but I don't know in which category he was until now.

    1. Ekberg has been promoted from Category 2 to Category 1, replacing Stefan Johannesson (retired from FIFA list).
      At the same time, Oliver and Taylor have been promoted in Elite Category. These are the only changes, and then of course the new FIFA referees have been added.
      A detailed post will follow soon.

  18. Anyone else watching Mazic in Belgrade?
    I have doubts about the first YC, but so far well handled by the referee team for the hot derby IMO (20').

    1. Not a totally predictable line in cards, but still a strong performance.
      And now a penalty, totally correct, awarded by AAR1 Dokic. (60')

    2. AAR1 Danilo Grujic :D Correct penalty.

    3. Of course, for some reason I thought Grujic and Dokic swapped sides :-D.
      Why did player totally stopped, otherwise one could according to LOTG expect a freekick to defending team. I think Mazic took the sensible decision, in any case.


    5. 75' Too players are down injured, one clearly isn't injured but Mazic goes to him second, whilst walking over to the first without any intensity. His lack of feeling for the upcoming riot at the irritation to the to the second injury, led to a fairly big riot and a YC. Not great management in that moment, but really good acceptance (even remarkable, it is an Eternal Derby!) on whole in this match.

    6. On the whole a really strong performance by Mazic, especially impressive was his relations with the players, it was clear that players had a big respect for this great referee. Maybe we can talk about one or the other situation that there wasn't a totally clear line in cards, but I think any doubts about his designation have been proved wrong; neither team can have complaints I think. Also really impressive ARs, especially Ristic can call himself one of the best in the world, and Grujic one of the best AARs in UEFA, another correct penalty communicated here.

    7. @Mikael

      I'm glad that you are interested for our derby, for sure there wasn't great football, although both teams qualified for EL KO stage, but always passionate and great atmosphere. And of course great refereeing :)

      About Mazic's ARs, call me biased but i feel that they are a bit uderrated and never received as many praises as they really deserve (compared to English, Turkish, Dutch,Italian,Swedish ARs)

      Next year, I will start one interesting study.

      I would like to look again at all the matches in the Champions League and European League led by the Serbian team and counting how many crucial mistakes they were made. Even now. I'm quite sure that parcentage of crucial mistakes is very very low, maybe lowest in UEFA.

    8. About crucial mistakes, I meant Assistan referees crucial mistakes :)
      Mikael, where are you from?
      If you are interested in our derby or refereeing, you can contact me via mail.

  19. Minute 23' in Al Jazira - Real Madrid, very good decision by Ricci. A goal scored by Real Madrid was disallowed for a previous foul in penalty area by Cristiano Ronaldo, incident occurred off the ball (he pushed the opponent). Ricci spotted that, it was not so easy, as said, because ball was elsewhere.
    VAR confirmed the choice without any intervention.

    1. 29': now Ricci whistled a deliberate handball against a player from Real Madrid, denying an attack by Spanish team, it should be a mistake.

    2. 31' another goal scored by Real Madrid was disallowed, this time for offside, procedure was really long. Ricci had whistled a foul immediately after the goal, then he changed idea and allowed the goal (very likely a silent check) but then again another change, with VAR review, he checked the monitor and goal was finally disallowed for offside, correct, but more than a big mess there...

    3. Honestly speaking, I see Sandro Ricci a bit aggressive against Real Madrid players. I don't know why.

    4. If Madrid loses today, there will certainly be some conspiracy theories regarding a Brazilian referee and a Brazilian team waiting in the final...

    5. It's completely laughable that Busacca and Co. don't have the necessary vision and forward thinking to take in to consideration what Phillip just said. But hey, officiating at FIFA Tournaments is, has been, and will be in a crisis because of ONE man. Busacca = the Donald Trump of FIFA. "Making International Officiating Great Again". Yeah right.

    6. Nando I must disagree, when these appointments were made to this Club WC, it was about Quarterfinal / Semifinal of Libertadores, one couldn't know Gremio would be champion. And even at the Club WC, confederational neutrality meant Ricci de facto had been appointed for this match months ago.
      So (for a change) I wouldn't blame Busacca here, rather it is just unfortunate.
      And I'm sorry your last two sentences are nonsensical, it's not one man (Busacca is merely a puppet at times, I think), and the politics comparison is at best distasteful.

    7. I don't think that Busacca makes these appointments. IMO, PLC has a clear saying on these.

    8. I don't know. Jim Boyce was correspondent to Collina and I doubt he had something to say.

    9. For those who do not know yet, the responsible for the assignments in a FIFA competition is the director of the Refereeing Department, Massimo Busacca. Obviously to do them he has to, or at least should, listen to other people, like Colina. But any mistake that may occur, due to bad performance or wrong designations, Busacca who will be responsible to the direction of FIFA.

    10. I really doubt that this is the case. Especially since on the last WC, the selection of UEFA referees was made even before the official FIFA meeting.

  20. German magazine kicker is reporting about an IFAB workshop on the VAR with participants from the 11 nations, which test the VAR and from England and Spain.
    Some points:
    - Due to big difficulties in the interpretation of "clear mistake", it will be changed to "clear and obvious mistake"
    - In Europe VAR situations should be shown in the stadium (as in USA and Australia) to increase understanding and transparency
    - The VAR is used too often - especially in Germany
    - IFAB does not consider stopping the experiment
    - No changes to the procedure (like a challenge-system) are planned
    - Spain and England will introduce VARs

    Maybe there will be more information tomorrow.

    1. Thanks.

      One of those unnecessary reviews were made a hour ago:

    2. Wow, that took a long time. Review decision is supportable, in my opinion, but of course the whole procedure should be solved faster.

    3. For me penalty (defender holds first) and no penalty (both work with arms, not enough to fall) are supportable decisions, therefore the VAR should not have intervened.

  21. Predictions:

    César Ramos

    Third Place Final
    Malang Diedhiou

    1. Mine are:
      Final: Ramos, Torrentera, Hernandez, Irmatov, Geiger, Rasulov, AlJassim
      3rd place: Conger, Lount, Makasini, Brych, Vigliano, Lupp, Cunha

      Of course, if same langugage is more important than confed neutrality, the VAR teams should be swapped.

      I would prefer that Conger collects some more experience, before refereeing at the WC, but it also would make sense to test Diedhiou again.

    2. Mine
      IV: CONGER
      VAR: CUNHA


  22. VAR incident from Al-Jazira - Real Madrid. How could Ricci have allowed the goal if he blows his whistle before the ball crossed the goalline? I fear the WC 2018 will be a disaster...

    1. Yes, very strange that he so quickly changes his decision without VAR gesture - and as you point out, irregularly.
      So that should mean, he realized himself, that there was no foul and thought, he had whistled only after the goal.

      Also it is not obvious that Benzema was interfering with play - so some doubts, whether the VAR intervention was correct. Apparently Soares Dias also had doubts, otherwise the OFR was not necessary.

    2. What I find important now before all the other aspects, is that referees from all confederations should get more familiarity with the technology. As I reported yesterday, Conger needed a very long time to decide for a quite clear penalty, perhaps he was not even convinced at all.
      Then now today Ricci with this chaotic management.
      All referees while using VAR should be calm, confident and ready.
      However, if we remember what happened at Confederations Cup with Gassama, now it is surely a bit better.
      In any case I would say that all WC selected officials should make practice with VAR many times, even more than twice in a week, if possible. Otherwise, as RayHD said, WC will be a trouble.

    3. Yes, more training and also match practice with VARs is surely needed. But how can they do that? Maybe let the WC referees work in foreign leagues with VAR. But would the leagues accept that?
      So we might have a situation at the WC, where many of the referees have less than 10 matches experience with the system - sounds not like a good idea...
      Probably the best IFAB/FIFA decision would be to continue the VAR introduction, but not use it for the World Cup.

      What would also help is to be more strict in the question of a "clear and obvious mistake", i.e. just don't change the decision if there are still doubts for the VAR and avoid so many on-field reviews, which confuse the referee.

    4. This is the biggest problem in Poland - too many unnecessary reviews. Changing one controversy into another.

      But then, you see Ermatov issuing a yellow card AFTER REVIEW when VAR rightly invited him to watch the SFP. Oh my...

    5. The biggest issue I have with VAR is the very poor image it portrays referees. Here Ricci, who is a confident referee, looks puzzled, unsure and looking for help. Coupled with the unavoidable crowding when awaiting information it really does nothing for the image of football, or the referee. I have seen this many times in MLS and the referee is made look a fool.

      I think you can practice all you want but almost every situation is different and VARs are more worried to make a mistake that they are taking too long. Did Germany not operate offline for a season prior to its introduction? With results we are seeing there, it hasn't helped. Live testing is a must, no way that will be accommodated now due to competition rules so I would much rather see the WC without VAR but I'm sure that won't be the case.

      VAR along with Bussaca's weak leadership and guidance leaves me deeply concerned for the World Cup.

  23. There is no offside offence in that goal. It might be possible to support offside, but VAR rules say that you intervene when it is clear. This is at the other end of clear. Probably the offside was taken as there was a mess and the fould could not be taken, but the goal could not be allowed also.

  24. Collina yesterday was at stadium and he watched Sandro Ricci.
    It would be very interesting to know his opinion about the management of the disallowed goal :)

  25. Final : Cesár Ramos (Mexico)
    3rd place match : Malang Diedhiou (Senegal)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Al Jazira vs Pachuca:
      A: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
      AA1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
      AA2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
      4to: Matt Conger (NZL)
      VAR: Clement Turpin (FRA)
      AVAR: Artur Dias (POR)
      VAR2: Simon Lount (NZL)

    3. FINAL - Real Madrid vs Gremio:
      A: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
      AA1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
      AA2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
      4to: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
      VAR: Mark Geiger (USA)
      AVAR: Felix Zwayer (GER)
      VAR2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)


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