Wednesday, 30 May 2018

2018 FIFA WC - Selected officials - Final list (UPDATE 30/05/18)

FIFA has published the final list of referees who will officiate at 2018 WC. A total amount of 36 referees and 63 assistant referees has been selected. 
AFC
Referee: Fahad Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Mohamed (UAE)
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)

Assistant Referee: Abdullah Al-Shalawi (KSA)
Assistant Referee: Mohammed Al-Abakry (KSA)
Assistant Referee: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Assistant Referee: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Assistant Referee: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee: Hasan Almahri (UAE)
Assistant Referee: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN) 
Assistant Referee: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)

CAF
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Referee:  Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (ETH)

Assistant Referee : Albdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Assistant Referee: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee: El Hadj Samba (SEN)
Assistant Referee: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee:  Marwa Range (KEN)
Assistant Referee: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Assistant Referee: Jerson dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee:  Zakhele Siwela (RSA)

CONCACAF
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Referee: César Ramos (MEX)

Assistant Referee: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee: Joe Flechter (CAN)
Assistant Referee: Frank Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee:  Corey Rockwell (USA)
Assistant Referee: Juan Carlos Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee: Miguel Hernández (MEX)

CONMEBOL
Referee: Julio Bascuñán (CHI)
Referee: Enrique Cáceres (PAR)
Referee: Andrés Cunha (URU)
Referee: Néstor Pitana (ARG)
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL)

Assistant Referee: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee: Nicolás Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee: Hernán Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee: Juan Pablo Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee: Marcelo van Gasse (BRA)
Assistant Referee: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee: Cristian De La Cruz (COL)

OFC
Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH)

Assistant Referee: Simon Lount (NZL)
Assistant Referee: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
Assistant Referee: Bertrand Brial (NCL)

UEFA
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Referee: Sergey Karasev (RUS)
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)

Assistant Referee: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Assistant Referee: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee: Tarık Ongun (TUR)
Assistant Referee: Anton Averyanov (RUS)
Assistant Referee: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)
Assistant Referee: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Assistant Referee: Paweł Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Assistant Referee: Pau Cebrián Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee: Roberto Díaz Pérez del Palomar (ESP)
Assistant Referee: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee: Dalibor Đurđević (SRB)
Assistant Referee: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee:  Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Assistant Referee: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee: Cyril Gringore (FRA)

Source: FIFA.COM (link to official PDF file)

Based on the previous selections for FIFA tournaments, I tried to pair referees with assistant referees, this is the result:

(THE FOLLOWING LIST IS ONLY AN ASSUMPTION)

AFC
Referee: Fahad Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdullah Al-Shalawi (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammed Al-Abakry (KSA)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)

Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Mohamed (UAE)
Assistant Referee: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)

Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee: Toru Sagara (JPN)

Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Assistant Referee: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)

Assistant Referee: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)

CAF
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Albdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN)

Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadj Samba (SEN)

Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2:  Marwa Range (KEN)

Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)

Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2:  Zakhele Siwela (RSA)

Referee:  Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (ETH)

CONCACAF
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee: Juan Zumba (SLV)

Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Joe Flechter (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Anderson (USA)

Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Assistant Referee:  Corey Rockwell (USA)

Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee: Juan Carlos Mora (CRC)

Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)

Referee: César Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernández (MEX)

CONMEBOL
Referee: Julio Bascuñán (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Schiemann (CHI)

Referee: Enrique Cáceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)

Referee: Andrés Cunha (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolás Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)

Referee: Néstor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernán Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Pablo Belatti (ARG)

Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo van Gasse (BRA)

Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Cristian De La Cruz (COL)

OFC
Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Lount (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tevita Makasini (TGA)

Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH)
Assistant Referee: Bertrand Brial (NCL)

UEFA
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)

Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarık Ongun (TUR)

Referee: Sergey Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averyanov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)

Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)

Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez del Palomar (ESP)

Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Đurđević (SRB)

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2:  Mauro Tonolini (ITA)

Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)

Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)

172 comments:

  1. So, all referees from UEFA and CONMEBOL have been selected with their assistant referees, all can be main referees on the paper.
    Some referees have been appointed with only one assistant referee and they will work only as Fourth Officials (I guess).
    The only case of referee without assistant referee is Bamlak Thessema Weyesa, so he will be paired with an African assistant referee from the other trios.
    Big doubts in CONCACAF as it seems Aguilar wont handle games (only one assistant referee). Marrufo with only one assistant referee.
    Charles Morgante, originally in Geiger's team, has been ruled out.
    Who will replace him? We have two USA assistant referees, very likely one will be for Geiger, the other one for Marrufo...
    Finally, in AFC big surprise, if you ask me, that Al Mirdasi has been appointed with two assistant referees, and so very likely main referee, despite of Shukralla (reserve referee?).
    We can start our discussion!

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    1. Aguilar's another AR failed the fitness Test so that absence is a bit different... I think Aguilar will lead matches without problem... Fahad Al-Mirdasi ahead of Shukralla or Sato is a travesty and it's a dark day in Asian refereeing I'm sorry to say...

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    2. Oh thanks I had missed this news, so good for Aguilar, it was indeed strange to see only two main referees from CONCACAF. So he will get an U.S. assistant referee?
      Do you know more?

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    3. Great work pairing the trios and duos, many regards.

      Thanks to @Usaref to reporting that, Aguilar's AR2 failed the fitness test, so I think there will be a 'makeshift' Salvadorian-American trio with Rockwell as you said. Even the ARs from Panama and Costa Rica are an option for Aguilar. When Marrufo functions as Fourth Official, I guess he'll have another fluent English AR with him as Reserve AR (sorry for our American readers but I cannot see much other than politics for Marrufo attending WC).

      I think the Tunisian AR will work with Tessema, in any case congratulations to CAF for a record four teams on the pitch (probably), since FIFA worked in set trios.

      There is a problem though in AFC- Saudi (I hope Al-Midarsi proves my opinion wrong that he is no WC referee YET), Iranian and Uzbek trios are sure. All other referees have a first AR from their nation only. However there is a Qatari AR who is not belonging to anyone.
      I know that state politics should not be relevant to refereeing, but one cannot ignore that Bahrain and UAE have severed international ties with Qatar surely makes it unlikely that they will join Mohamed or Shukralla.
      So this leaves Sato, but my question is surely there was a Japanese AR2 for his trio (or maybe like Aguilar failed a fitness test?). Many questions here IMO.

      Smooth in OFC, UEFA and CONMEBOL.

      Leaving twenty-nine referees, same like Brazil 2014.

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    4. Indeed I think the AR of Marrufo is most likely in Aguilar's team as usaref suggested... As Mikael also said, with all due respect, Marrufo doesn't deserve to be anything more than the FO...

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    5. To clarify a few things...

      1) Morgante was dropped from Geiger's team last year after the Confederations Cup. He was never in consideration for this World Cup since August 2017 or so. Note that Geiger's trio for the intercontinental playoff had Frank Anderson and Joe Fletcher.

      2) So Geiger's trio is Geiger/Fletcher/F. Anderson.

      3) Ian Anderson and Corey Rockwell went to the UAE and passed the fitness test. Americans were under the impression that Marrufo had a second trio.

      4) One of Aguilar's ARs failed fitness. Aguilar was still selected. Brian Hall of CONCACAF loves Aguilar and there was no way he wasn't having him picked. So Aguilar goes with one AR.

      5) But notice only Rockwell was picked and Ian Anderson was left home. My guess is that Rockwell will work with Aguilar. I don't know what that means for Marrufo, but I suspect it means he's a VAR. That is all just a guess, though.

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    6. What you suggest in 5) is the best option for Marrufo although being FO seems more deserving for him ;)

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    7. He has been a VAR at Confederations Cup and MLS uses the VAR system rather well at the moment. If Marrufo becomes a dedicated VAR and performs well, it could help Geiger's team in the latter stages. FIFA will want referees for knockout matches who are working well with the VARs and vice versa. I could see Geiger getting a very late round match with Marrufo as his VAR.

      Same goes for Kuipers. It could also apply to Brych and Pitana, if Germany and Argentina do not advance to the semis.

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    8. Indeed VAR for Marrufo would make sense, otherwise I. Anderson could have accompanied him functioning as Reserve AR, and Rockwell working as Second Assistant with Aguilar. Especially as VAR is in MLS this would be a decent solution to my mind, also following performance principle.

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    9. @usaref Kuipers and Makkelie? Brych and Zwayer? Pitana and Vigliano? Rocchi and Orsato? What's your view?

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    10. My view is that those are five clear pairs of Referees-VARs.

      I doubt FIFA will ALWAYS assign them together. But as the tournament progresses, we are going to see mistakes with VAR--perhaps big mistakes. So FIFA is going to need to be confident in the assignments it makes for the latter stages of the tournament. And that gives a leg up to the 5 pairs you just identified.

      Think back to World Cup 2002. After a lot of controversies, the pressure was on FIFA to assign the semis and finals based on what we now call the performance principle. FIFA abandoned it's more political assigning. And then FIFA mandated trios for WC2006. If this tournament has officiating problems and big controversies, there will be pressure to put good teams on the field for the QFs, SFs and Final. And I think that helps the five identified pairs.

      I truly think Kuipers goes into this tournament placed #1 overall. He has done two FIFA Finals already. He's done the UCL Final. He has two of the best ARs in the world. And he can be paired with one of the most experienced VARs in the world. Plus his nation didn't qualify. If not for his recent injury, he'd be the clear #1 walking into Russia.

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  2. Taleb Al Marri from Qatar seems to be the only assistant referee without a referee assigned, we have some options there:
    1) member in Shukralla or Abdulla Mohamed team.
    2) paired with Tessema Weysa and working as fifth official only.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would make most sense that Al Marri would accompany Shukralla, but considering the political situation (Bahrain, UAE have severed international ties with Qatar) one could call that unlikely.
      Maybe Sato's Second Assistant also failed the test, and Al Marri can join the Japanese team, agreeing with @usaref, there isn't really another explanation.

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  3. As an overall conclusion, CAF has been over represented... None of the names based on performances deserve a KO game other than Sikazwe and maybe Diedhiou... CONCACAF and AFC has been under presented and the AFC selections particularly has been a shame !!

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  4. Al Mirdasi is for sure a big surprise there. Despite of a not so good Confederations Cup, if you ask me, FIFA seems to have a very big trust on this young Saudi referee. I think that he should have been more than satisfied even in case of selection "only" as fourth official, but he will handle games. I don't know how much physical tests can play a role, maybe both Saudi assistant referees were excellent in their performances during the meetings and this was another good argument for his selection... we can't know.

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    1. I follow Asian refereeing quite a lot and I feel for Sato and Shukralla... Their all hardwork and performances have gone to an unfair conclusion... I don't care about Busacca's trust and if that trust has blinded him to this extent it's an absolute shame... Sorry but no performance statistics of last 4 years can justify this selection and even merit, personality and quality wise Sato is a galaxy ahead of Al-Mirdasi!!

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  5. Disagree soham about Gassama. Deserved presence IMO. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Get ready for more of Mexico v New Zealand ;)

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  6. About CAF, indeed Hmila could be paired with Tessema Weyesa and so we would have 4 full trios and 2 reserve duos. That would be more logical, because 5 full trios it is definitely too much....

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  7. I don't know anything for sure, but my guess is that one of Sato's ARs failed fitness. It looks similar to the Aguilar situation. Nothing else makes sense. Do we have anyone in the Japanese FA or in AFC who could investigate?

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    Replies
    1. I can make an attempt usaref... Trying to gather some info!!

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  8. Sergei Karasev has somehow made it :D

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    Replies
    1. What do you think about him and Turpin, both on the pitch as main referees? Both with their assistant referees... in any case, another excellent signal for UEFA.

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    2. The host nation has had a referee whistle at least one match at every World Cup tournament ever. He is #10 in UEFA right now, but I'd be shocked if he doesn't whistle a match.

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    3. Based on Turpin's recent development and good performances he absolutely deserves to be main referee... But I'm not sure about Karasev, if I make a ranking of all the 36 refs Karasev will be in 33rd position at the moment so I don't think he deserves to be main ref at all... But host country, politics and all that made him a sure name even before Turpin... Karasev, Turpin, Marciniak, Mateu Lahoz and maybe even Rocchi (?) I think won't get matches beyond Group stage from UEFA!!

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    4. I disagree. I think all but Karasev have chances based on performance, and Karasev just because doesn't seem to be trusted in UEFA right now (and with Collina now in FIFA too, that could have an impact).

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    5. I can't see more than 5/6 UEFA refs getting a KO match... Other confeds have a lot of candidates too and they will also get a chance so Brych, Kuipers, Cakir, Rocchi, Skomina and Mazic are my names... Others are either too inexperienced or too inconsistent for matches at that level!!

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  9. If here will be WC referees presentation before World Cup? Chefren and co, do You have interesting ideas?

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    Replies
    1. Good idea... id can help too, if needed :)

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    2. Me too, despite the fact that I'm a newcomer

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    3. I will try to do something, a help would be more than welcome... we can keep in touch. If you want, you can send a mail to law5blog[at]gmail.com so I can use it as contact.

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    4. Sure I'm dropping a mail there :)

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  10. Can we start making very early predictions for Group stage matches?

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    Replies
    1. Soham, what do you think about opening match (Russia - Saudi Arabia) and the first match at group B (Spain - Portugal)? Referee from UEFA?

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    2. Geiger for the opener, and Pitana for Spain - Portugal?

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    3. Geiger will be an excellent option, but American at opening match with Russian team ...:) too many political talks will be

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    4. I agree about that. Maybe Ramos is a good alternative.
      Or whoever is considered as CAF's number 1.
      My favourite for Spain-Portugal is Brych, who has a lot of experience with Spanish and Portuguese teams (in CL). Same for Skomina and English teams, so maybe he gets ENG-BEL, another top clash.
      Pitana might get GER-MEX (again), I think.

      Maybe I will do some more predictions in the next days, but it really would be more fun, if we had the definitive list of who will referee and who not...

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    5. At the group stage will be nearly 4-5 "hot" matches, like:
      Spain-Portugal
      Germany-Mexico
      Poland-Colombia
      England-Belgium
      Argentina-Croatia
      and may be Uruguay-Egypt

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    6. I don't think Geiger will get the opener because of the Russia angle.

      I do think he'll be a hot pick for a semi if he does well in the group stage. And I think Geiger is the non-European favorite for the Final if it's UEFA-CONMEBOL. A lot could go wrong for him to make him not the favorite. But, on paper, I don't see anyone else. I can't see Irmatov or Faghani ahead of him right now.

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    7. I'd say Pitana for the opener with Vigliano as his VAR. Maybe Ricci as the alternative? FIFA will want to make an impression with a good referee/VAR performance. If it's not a UEFA referee and it's not Geiger, CONMEBOL makes the most sense.

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    8. My thoughts :

      Spain-Portugal : Felix Brych
      Germany-Mexico : Sandro Ricci
      Poland-Colombia : Mark Geiger
      England-Belgium : Damir Skomina
      Argentina-Croatia : Alireza Faghani
      Uruguay-Egypt : Björn Kuipers

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    9. My first set of predictions:

      MD1:
      Group A:
      Russia – Saudi Arabia: Ricci (BRA)
      Egypt – Uruguay: Turpin (FRA)

      Group B:
      Morocco – Iran: Karasev (RUS)
      Portugal – Spain: Rocchi (ITA)

      Group C:
      France – Australia: Al-Midarsi (KSA)
      Peru – Denmark: Gassama (GAM)

      Group D:
      Argentina – Iceland: Charef (ALG)
      Croatia – Nigeria: Conger (NZL)

      Group E:
      Costa Rica – Serbia: Diedhiou (SEN)
      Brazil – Switzerland: Aguilar (SLV)

      Group F:
      Germany – Mexico: Roldán (COL)
      Sweden – South Korea: Bascuñán (CHI)

      Group G:
      Belgium – Panama: Faghani (IRN)
      Tunisia – England: Ramos (MEX)

      Group H:
      Colombia – Japan: Kuipers (NED)
      Poland – Senegal: Cunha (URU)

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    10. For the opener Russia v Saudi Arabia, I think someone like Pitana will be surplus to requirement but that said we always need a trustworthy name for the opener with the hosts so if I'm to trust any referee outside UEFA blindly, it will be Pitana ahead of Ricci for me!!

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    11. Inspired from George, I too predict for the full MD 1 :

      My first set of predictions:

      MD1:
      Group A:
      Russia – Saudi Arabia: Nestor Pitana (Argentina)
      Egypt – Uruguay: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)

      Group B:
      Morocco – Iran: Clement Turpin (France)
      Portugal – Spain: Felix Brych (Germany)

      Group C:
      France – Australia: Cesar Ramos (Mexico)
      Peru – Denmark: Malang Diedhiou (Senegal)

      Group D:
      Argentina – Iceland: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
      Croatia – Nigeria: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay)

      Group E:
      Costa Rica – Serbia: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)
      Brazil – Switzerland: Mark Geiger (United States)

      Group F:
      Germany – Mexico: Sandro Ricci (Brazil)
      Sweden – South Korea: Joel Aguilar (El Salvador)

      Group G:
      Belgium – Panama: Fahad Al-Mirdasi (Saudi Arabia)
      Tunisia – England: Andrés Cunha (Uruguay)

      Group H:
      Colombia – Japan: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
      Poland – Senegal: Alireza Faghani (Iran)

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    12. @George: Al-Mirdasi shouldn't be under consideration for France - Australia given that the latter are member of the Asian confederation.

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    13. Completely true. On my mind I placed it in OFC... why could have it been for?
      Group C:
      France – Australia: Cáceres (PAR)

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    14. Confed neutrality can be broken... Ben Williams did South Korea in 2014 IIRC... Abdulla Mohammed did Vietnam in U-20 World Cup... So I don't think Confed neutrality is thaaaat big an issue for FIFA!!

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    15. With all the respect, Costa Rica-Serbia needs referee with more experiance. I expect referee from Asia... Irmatov/Faghani

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    16. Justification fory choice :

      Janny Sikazwe is comfortably one of the best referees in Africa and has a Club World Cup Final in his palmares... And with all respect to Serbia, I think they would be really lucky to get such a referee... I can even imagine more inexperienced referees like Al-Mirdasi or Grisha is this Costa Rica v Serbia tie and I'll never use up a big name referee in such a tie, again with all the respect to both teams involved!

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    17. Prediction (M1-M16)

      RUS-KSA : Cesar Arturo Ramos (MEX)
      EGY-URU : Clemént Turpin (FRA)
      MAR-IRN : Matthew Conger (NZL)
      POR-ESP : Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
      FRA-AUS : Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
      PER-DEN : Damir Skomina (SVN)
      ARG-ISL : Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
      CRO-NGA : Sandro Meira Ricci (BRA)
      CRC-SRB : Alireza Faghani (IRN)
      BRA-SUI : Mark Geiger (USA)
      GER-MEX : Nestor Pitana (ARG)
      SWE-KOR : Sergei Karasev (RUS)
      BEL-PAN : Bakary Gassama (GAM)
      TUN-ENG : Fahad Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
      COL-JPN : Joel Aguillar (SLV)
      POL-SEN : Enrique Caceres (PAR)

      Delete
    18. Prediction (M1-M16)

      RUS-KSA : Cesar Arturo Ramos (MEX)
      EGY-URU : Clemént Turpin (FRA)
      MAR-IRN : Matthew Conger (NZL)
      POR-ESP : Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
      FRA-AUS : Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
      PER-DEN : Damir Skomina (SVN)
      ARG-ISL : Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
      CRO-NGA : Sandro Meira Ricci (BRA)
      CRC-SRB : Alireza Faghani (IRN)
      BRA-SUI : Mark Geiger (USA)
      GER-MEX : Nestor Pitana (ARG)
      SWE-KOR : Sergei Karasev (RUS)
      BEL-PAN : Bakary Gassama (GAM)
      TUN-ENG : Fahad Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
      COL-JPN : Joel Aguillar (SLV)
      POL-SEN : Enrique Caceres (PAR)

      Delete
  11. I think, the referees on this list will also be used as AVAR3, and their ARs then as AVAR2 on the same match.
    This would explain the "job description" of AVAR3, who should help the communication with AVAR2. Some ARs are probably less used to speaking a foreign language. Furthermore you have some experienced referees in the VAR room, who can give valuable input.
    And as far as I know, there are no ARs, who were specificially trained as AVAR2 during the last seminars.
    VAR and AVAR1 might then be chosen from the specialized VARs.

    ReplyDelete
  12. First interview given by Björn Kuipers after selection to World Cup :

    "I also only received the confirmation today", Kuipers responds. "It all took much longer than in previous years. That had everything to do with the introduction of the VAR at the World Cup. We were together in Italy, Abu Dhabi and last week in Qatar to prepare ourselves as well as possible. The objective is to work with regular teams. That is ultimately good for everyone, for the referees themselves, for the participating countries and for the tournament. For me, yes, I am in the fortunate circumstance that I have a compatriot with Danny Makkelie who was one of the first to work with the VAR system."

    For Kuipers, the World Cup is his last trick. "In terms of the final tournament yes," he hastens to say. "Internationally, I want to continue after the World Cup. Maybe a year, maybe two or three years, I do not know that yet. I watch that every year. I simply find it too much fun to stop already. I definitely want to continue. It is an honor to be able to referee at the World Cup, but it is also necessary to take a step aside afterwards at the right time. We have a worthy successor in Danny Makkelie. He is doing very, very well internationally. That is why it would be great for him if he was present at this World Championship as VAR."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So the big news is that Kuipers could still be a FIFA referee for even two or three further years... he changed idea!

      Delete
    2. Did Kuipers actually say anything about 'retirement' before? Might be possible that he only said that World Cup 2018 will be his last major Final tournament and all of us may have misinterpreted that and thought he will retire completely like Velasco did after Euro 2016?? If he is fit and his body permits, I would love to see him in action for another year or so!!

      Delete
  13. https://www.championat.com/football/article-3389407-sergej-karasjov---o-rabote-na-chempionate-mira-2018.html

    Extractions from the first Karasev's interview:

    - Nothing would be possible without my fantastic assistants, Tikhon Kalugin and Anton Averyanov. We depend on each other. This time, they had to pass fitness tests. I am grateful to them, they did all that they could in order to make the dream true for our team. However, it is not guaranteed that we will be in charge of a match at the World Cup. We are among TOP 36 teams. Some of the referees will be among support referees. They are needed for unforseen circumstances. For example, in case of an injury. We will be happy to referee the matches at the World Cup and we hope to manage it on a decent level.

    -How did you know about getting in the final list?
    -Recently I got an email from Massimo Busacca. In brief, he congratulated us and said that we have made a long journey.

    -Explain it, please.
    -It started 4 years ago. There were 120-130 main referees at the first seminar in Zurich. 80 of them were young referees aged 30-35. At that time, I was not in the UEFA elite list. We were among promissing referees. Later, such top referees as Cakir, Skomina, Brych joined us.

    ...
    several paragraphs about fitness tests
    ...

    -What's next?
    -It was not the final meeting. There they just selected 36 teams. There will be a meeting in the mid-April. We have to confirm our privilege to be in the final list. 10-12 days before the tournament, there will be a training camp.

    -You watched the referees from all over the world. Your impressions?
    -It's an outstanding level, I admire these people. We became friends with referees from South America and Africa. We know europeans well, and it was the first time we met South Americans. They are very fit! Not a single gramm of a fat!

    -They control your fat?
    -They check your fat 3 times during the camp. These 36 men have a fantastic fitness form! I watched them at the breakfast, dinner, and supper, and noticed what they eat. They know it in details what to eat and how to rest. That's why they are in the final list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. - Did you doubt that you will make it?
      - Surely, we believed in ourselves. But, to be honest, from time to time we had some doubts. We tried to ignore these doubts. We just did what we shoud and what they tell to us. The reason is not only this camp. They watched us closely (and Busacca mentioned in the letter). The main criteria was our performance. FIFA and UEFA bosses don't think that fitness test is the main criteria. But if you are unable to follow the game, you will be out. It is clear that referees make mistakes. It is not important how you run if you are making mistakes.

      - Why did you doubt? It was due to that Criscito's 'sending off'?
      - No. For the EURO, they choose 17 referees out of TOP-27 referees. They started the process 1,5 years before the tournament. For the World Cup, it's a 4-years cycle. The competition is very intense, all referees from all continents want to work at the World Cup. It is more difficult to get into this list.

      Delete
    2. Karasev even speaks about telling his grandchildren one day about the 1st World Cup match that he will referee... This shows how valuable a World Cup call-up is in the life of a referee :)

      Delete
    3. -What's new at this World Cup?
      - It's VARs. I hope that this system will surprise all of us in a good sense. We were discussing it in details during the last camp. The main point is to use it only when necessary. Football is a very dynamic game, it's important to use VARs no more than 1 time during a match, and to make the decision fast. We tested the system and got a valuable feedback from referees from Italy, Germany, and Portugal. Carlos Velasco was very helpful in putting theory into practise. We did exercises with players: they modelled the situation, and we made decisions.

      -Did you discuss why there are so few Russian referees?
      -It was always the same - one Russian team at one big tournament [my comm.: what an optimist!] At this moment, we are the only referees from Russia in the elite list. Only me and my assistants were considered from Russia for the World Cup. But it's not Russia-specific, it's the same for each country. For such tournaments as EURO and World Cup, the organizers are trying to invite referees from as many countries as possible. There were two English teams at EURO-2016: Clattenburg's and Atkinson's. It's a very rare case. This time, there will be no English referees. Clattenburg could do it but he decided to end his career and to start working for Saudi Arabia.

      -Russia is accused for Skripal's poisoning. Nobody looked askance at you?
      - Never felt strange sights on me. We are friends with Portuguese, Polish, French teams. We discussed Russia with Mateu Lahoz, Soares Dias, Daniele Orsato. Recently, they worked in Russia, and they were adired by stadiums in Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg, and Moscow. The only problem is a cold weather. All other things are top-quality. I cheered them up and said that it will be warm in June.

      Delete
    4. -Did they analyze the mistakes?
      -Yes. Not for pointing at us but to understand how it happened. We are good referees but football is so fast nowadays that mistakes can happen. We are working so many years but sometimes something goes wrong and we wrongly evaluate the episode. We analyze both positive and negative moments. The most important thing is to find the reason. Not to scold.

      -Did they praise you?
      -It never happens that all is good. They say: "Guys, you are here not for be praised. It's your work, you must see the episode. You are top referees, you are working at the World cup. Find the ways to see the episode correctly. Each referee can evaluate the regular episode. Only you can evaluate the difficult one." I am sure that this is a good thought.

      -What do you expect from the World Cup?
      -It will be a great event! All guys came to us and asked: "So, how the things are going in Russia?" I calmed them down and said: "come in Russia". It will be one of the best World Cup in the history. Russia is famous for its hospitality, the event will be organizaed at the top level. We are ready for the tournament and are awaiting it. Me and my assistants congratulated each other but we remember that the next camp in April will come. We are waiting for the first game, and when we will get it, we will be the most happy men in the world. We will talk to our grandchildren about it. We are realists and we have to work hard to get it. It is a responsibility, especially taking into account that we will host the tournament. We can't let down our teachers. Some of them are alive, some are not. We should remember them and remember our first steps.

      Delete
  14. Saudi King's Cup semi-final

    Al-Faysali Al-Majma'ah - Al-Ahli Jeddah
    Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
    Assistant Referee 1: Mario Diks (NED)
    Assistant Referee 2: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
    Fourth Official: Fahd Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
    Video Assistant Referee: Artur Manuel Ribeiro Soares Dias (POR)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Saudi Association cannot trust Al-Mirdasi in their own big matches and that ref is called by Busacca for a World Cup (!)... Well done FIFArce!!

      Delete
    2. @RayHD I assume this designation was made by Mr Clattenburg?
      And IIRC that he doesn't trust the local referees (Al-Midarsi included), which is a big problem?

      Delete
    3. For what I know, Clattenburg is responsible for making all appointments, so this should be his choice.

      Delete
    4. There was even an intervention from FIFA (two months ago or so) to start appointing Fahd Al-Mirdasi to top division games because otherwise he can't go to the WC 2018...

      From long time, Clattenburg doesn't appoint any Saudi referees (apart form Al-Mirdasi, but he was forced to do that) what makes the form of refereeing in Saudi Arabia even weaker, if you ask me. He was expected to be a healer and it seems he just invites his colleagues from Europe...

      There are rumours that Pierluigi Collina can be his successor.

      Delete
    5. Fully agreed, totally short term solution. In case Clattenburg leaves KSA, one can wonder what he'll do next...
      Regards!

      Delete
    6. When Clattenburg joined, his job was to "improve the quality of refereeing in Saudi Arabia"... If Fahad Al-Mirdasi is the best referee they can offer, we all know in what state the country's refereeing is!!

      Delete
    7. Please Soham
      Al-Midarsi is no bad referee, he is a referee that took his chances very well to my mind.
      After years of the unique Al-Ghamdi for KSA, Al-Midarsi was to attend Asian Cup 2015 as a no-name referee, and his first match was an excellent performance (reminding me on Gassama at AFCON 2012 situation), and he eventually whistled a good Quarterfinal.
      Then clearly he impressed Busacca at U20 WC, and IIRC did an overall decent job at the final.
      A sign of AFC's trust also: they sent him to North Korea - Malaysia after all what happened (other referee was Faghani).
      Maybe he did mess up the Confederations Cup but he is no bad referee.
      Whether he is on a WC level is a different question.

      Delete
    8. I'm never saying he's a bad referee and I can never say that... But at the same time whatever I follow of Asian refereeing I think there are at least 5-6 names that come before his name... He is a young, raw talent but far from the finished product yet and IMO he isn't ready for a World Cup yet... He is a little out of form too currently and his AFC appointments are also not too appealing... All in all other candidates like Sato can be considered extremely unlucky to miss out :)

      Delete
    9. Coming to North Korea v Malaysia, the two legs were handled by Al-Mirdasi and Ahmed Al-Kaf from Oman as far as I can remember... Never seems to be the standard of game worthy of appointing Faghani or Irmatov :)

      Delete
    10. Indeed it was Al-Kaf, apologies. I think what you wrote there^ is fair, I agree :-).
      Hopefully he proves us wrong on the pitch.

      Delete
    11. I'm sure he will get one Group stage game or at most two involving teams the likes of Panama or maybe Serbia and so on... This will be a good learning curve for him and I'm sure by 2022 he will be one of the leading referees in Asia... As I said he is just not the finished product yet, but he is a very promising and talented referee who has a whole lot of years ahead of him... This year Sato would've deserved a call up as the main referee much more I feel :)

      Delete
  15. Chiqimarco Referee has announced his rankings of Russia 2018 referees on Twitter :

    "Chiquirankings árbitros 🇷🇺 2018: Çakir🇹🇷, Kuipers🇳🇱, Faghani🇮🇷, Irmatov🇺🇿, Ricci🇧🇷, Brych🇩🇪, Rocchi🇮🇹, Pitana🇦🇷, Roldán🇨🇴, Mateu Lahoz🇪🇸, Skomina🇸🇮, Ramos🇲🇽, Mazic🇷🇸, Aguilar🇸🇻, Cáceres🇵🇾, Turpin🇫🇷, Geiger🇺🇸, Bascuñan🇨🇱, Shukralla🇧🇭 y más ...."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just his opinion. For example, if we talk about AFC, Irmatov in terms of consideration by committee, is clearly ahead of Faghani, and the Uzbek is a candidate for the final.
      I can agree that inside UEFA Cakir and Kuipers are the strong names, the most liked by FIFA committee for sure, as we already reported on the blog.
      Also, Geiger can't be listed after Aguilar, just to make one name...

      Delete
    2. Then Skomina and Mazic cannot be after Mateu Lahoz, also Pitana cannot be so far down below Faghani... Lots of disagreements with the Chiquirankings!!

      Delete
    3. Who cares what some guy thinks about who is the best ref in the WC?

      Delete
    4. We always tend to be interested in the thoughts and opinions of the high profile ex-referees who themselvet have been at this level... Chiqui is surely one of them and that's why I shared the Chiquirankings here!!

      Delete
    5. Would maybe have helped to explain that this is Marco Rodriguez' twitter.

      Delete
    6. Indeed Phillip... I wrote Chiqi and all that but for more clarity should've mentioned that it's Marco Rodriguez :)

      Delete
  16. The german Wikipedia page (I know, it's wikipedia) about the FIFA WC 2018 says that Gassama, Grisha, Sikazwe, Tessema Weyeza, Marrufo and Hauata will only serve as assistents, whatever that is supposed to mean (VAR, FO etc.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely that's wrong??

      Delete
    2. Everybody can write on wikipedia, please don't take it as reliable source! In any case it is surely wrong because you can't have so many CAF officials working as reserve :)
      Source for reliable info must be only FIFA: they have already announced that everything is still possible for each official, all of them can be main referees, reserves, and VARs.

      Delete
    3. I checked the page right now:
      https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fu%C3%9Fball-Weltmeisterschaft_2018#Schiedsrichter

      Simply, the reader who edited the voice has paired the referees of a nation with all the assistants from the same country, leaving out those who had no pairings. In any case, this is a conjecture and nothing else.
      There will be of course mixed teams :)

      Delete
    4. Grisha, Sikazwe and Gassama's regular team is all mixed so obviously they will have those teams... If anything, the officials whose only 1 AR is called won't be main referee IMO... Obviously Aguilar and Shukralla may be exceptions!!

      Delete
  17. Well, if we follow the idea of 27 main referees ( AFC Al Mirdasi/ Faghani/Irmatov), (CAF Abid Charef/Diedhiou/Gassama/Grisha), (Concacaf Aguilar, Geiger, Ramos) we have 27 refs for the first 10 matchdays - so I would suggest:
    RUS-KSA Ricci
    EGY-URU Mazic
    MAR-IRN Karasev
    POR-ESP Brych
    ARG-ICE Grisha
    FRA-AUS Roldan
    PER-DEN M.Lahoz
    CRO-NIG Faghani
    CRC-SER Diedhiou
    GER-MEX Pitana
    BRA-SUI Geiger
    SWE-SKO Cunha
    BEL-PAN Al Mirdasi
    TUN-ENG Irmatov
    COL-JPN Turpin
    POL-SEN Ramos
    RUS-EGY Caceres
    POR-MAR Bascunan
    URU-KSA Marciniak
    IRN-ESP Conger
    DEN-AUS A.Charef
    FRA-PER Gassama
    ARG-CRO Aguilar
    BRA-CRC Cakir
    NIG-ICE (Roldan)*
    SER-SUI Rossi
    BEL-TUN (Ricci)*
    SKO-MEX Skomina
    GER-SWE Kuipers
    *depending on an acceptable 1st performance)
    Best wishes...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Under the assumption that 28 referees (27 with trio above + Aguilar) are used on the field, my predictions are partly similar to yours:
      RUS-KSA Gassama
      EGY-URU Mateu MAR-IRN Marciniak POR-ESP Brych
      ARG-ICE Charef FRA-AUS Cunha PER-DEN Conger CRO-NIG Aguilar
      CRC-SER AlMirdasi GER-MEX Pitana BRA-SUI Geiger
      SWE-KOR Diedhiou BEL-PAN Sikazwe TUN-ENG Bascunan
      COL-JPN Turpin POL-SEN Faghani

      RUS-EGY Caceres
      POR-MAR Roldan URU-KSA Mazic IRN-ESP Ricci
      DEN-AUS Grisha FRA-PER Irmatov ARG-CRO Ramos
      BRA-CRC Cakir NIG-ICE (Conger) SER-SUI Rocchi
      BEL-TUN (Cunha) KOR-MEX Skomina GER-SWE Kuipers
      ENG-PAN (Diedhiou) JPN-SEN Karasev POL-COL (Charef)

      Delete
    2. @Andrasch: SER-SUI will definitely not be handled by "Rossi". ;-)

      Delete
    3. I Really hate automatic correction. Sorry :-)

      Delete
    4. MD 1

      GROUP A
      RUS-KSA: GASSAMA
      EGY-URU: MAZIC

      GROUP B
      MOR-IRN: BRYCH
      POR-SPA: SKOMINA

      GROUP C
      FRA-AUS: ROLDAN
      PER-DEN: SATO

      GROUP D
      ARG-ICE: GEIGER
      CRO-NIG: AGUILAR

      GROUP E
      CRC-SRB: SHUKRALLA
      BRA-SWI: FAGANI

      GROUP F
      GER-MEX: IRMATOV
      SWE-KOR: SIKAZWE

      GROUP G
      BEL-PAN: GRISHA
      TUN-ENG: CACERES

      GROUP H:
      COL-JPN: KARASEV
      POL-SEN: RAMOS

      Delete
  18. Is there on-going seminar for WC referees?
    Mazic didnt had game but his ARs had today game..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No seminar in progress, the last one ended one week ago.
      The next will be on April in Italy.
      Maybe Mazic wasn't appointed because he already handled the friendly game on last Tuesday... but well, the same was for his assistant referees. I don't know, maybe there isn't a specific reason this time, he is candidate for Juventus - Real Madrid if you ask me.

      Delete
    2. I would also like Mazic in Sevilla v Bayern Munich... That might suit Mazic's style very well also!!

      Delete
  19. Mazic was in Juventus-Barça.
    I believe that Juventus-Real will be for Skomina or Çakir.

    ReplyDelete
  20. As far as I understand, everyone has a chance to work in the field, obviously as mentioned, 26-27 referee should certainly receive this honor, but if for example in the last round of the groups if we have one or another match that may already be with the group defined, certainly someone like Sato, Montero, Hauata, etc. could receive this honor, even with a mixed double of assistants.

    ReplyDelete
  21. For the opener, Russia - Saudi Arabia, another important aspect to underline is that FIFA could appointed a referee who is already experienced with VAR, to be sure that in case of need, he could manage it without issues, giving also a very good "picture" to people and fans watching. Well, if we remember again what happened at Confederations Cup in Gassama's game.... in any case, I hope that these problems have been totally solved with a long and very detailed training for all referees from the six confederations.
    In case, Geiger would perfectly suit also for this reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pitana will be more than okay too for the opener... He has prior experience with the Confed Cup and then also in the Libertadores... But honestly some people are predicting Gassama, which I can never see happening to be honest!!

      Delete
    2. I agree. I don't see Gassama, not for Gassama himself, but for Busacca and his ideas. He will never appoint a CAF referee for the first game.
      Pitana seems too much for Russia - Saudi Arabia, to be honest, he should be kept for other clashes, if you ask me.

      Delete
    3. That was my view too when I made the prediction, surplus to requirement... Then will they go with someone like say Ricci or maybe Cunha or Caeceres then?? They always look for big names in the opener and I think CONMEBOL names appear to be the best... Geiger I'll avoid because of political situation plus he is always too much for the match... Maybe Aguilar??

      Delete
  22. OT :

    Azerbaijan v Macedonia friendly game on 27 March used VAR... Cüneyt Çakir 🇹🇷 was the VAR in that game and there was a review to assign a missed penalty!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and Hüseyin Göçek AVAR. I had found this news as well, but I forgot to post it on the blog...

      http://www.ajansspor.com/futbol/galeri/27-03-18/226595/azerbaycan---makedonya-macinda-cuneyt-cakir-ve-huseyin-gocek-gorev-aldi-var/#2

      Delete
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euE-jCC3K4I
      4:04 missed penalty by both referee and AR, VAR called for penalty..

      Delete
    3. Yes this was the situation... Incredible that they could arrange all technology so nicely in Azerbaijan!!

      Delete
    4. The game was played in Turkey.

      Delete
    5. Oh I see... I didn't note that :)

      Delete
  23. Another instance that appears to be a VAR failure in the A-League today...

    I'm not entirely sure how this was not deemed deliberate handling, but...

    https://streamable.com/tajq1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure he sticks his arm out deliberately but he didn’t handle it deliberately. His hand should be in that position in the first place anyway. 50/50

      Delete
    2. Victor: Look where he puts his arm at the start of the move.

      It's behind him. As the attacker begins to kick the ball, he moves his hand out into the path of the ball.

      That movement to put the hand there deliberately means that he's deliberately handling the ball.

      Delete
    3. Alex is right, saying that the defender put the hand in a different position, making himself bigger, when the ball is kicked towards the goal.

      Victor is right, saying that the handling wouldn't have been deemed as deliberate if the ball was in such position from the beginning.

      We have a very difficult situation for both referee and VAR here. One can interpret it in two ways. Therefore, one can say that the lack of VAR intervention was correct according to the protocol (no clear and obvious mistake).

      Delete
    4. Exactly. 50/50. Therefore VAR should not do anything.

      Delete
    5. I'm sorry, but saying the hand WOULD have been there normally is a hypothetical. We can only deal with what actually happens.

      The defender puts his arm behind his back as a deliberate action to demonstrate he cannot handle the ball. He then moves the hand (another deliberate action) to his side as the ball is played toward him. That movement of the hand takes away space, makes the defender bigger, and gives the defender an advantage. When the ball then hits the hand, we have handling. That is 100% a penalty. He's doing nothing to avoid the handling and, in fact, he's made a deliberate movement to ensure it can happen.

      Delete
  24. Minute 62' in Crystal Palace - Liverpool: Mane from Liverpool deliberately handled and stopped because he wanted a foul to be whistled. Pawson punished him, but incredible, he missed the second YC. This handball clearly stopped a promising attack at the edge of penalty area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, Swarbrick, not Pawson.

      Delete
    2. Referee is Swarbrick, and I fully agree.
      Not the best ticket to the FA Cup Final...

      Btw is anyone planning to watch Moss later in West Ham - Southampton?

      Delete
    3. I'm planning to watch Tierney in Everton v Manchester City... That will be telecasted here!!

      Delete
    4. Not so clear SPA nowadays, one can surely issue a 2nd YC but I can live with Swarbrick's decision to avoid it.

      Delete
    5. It looked like Swarbrick was already whistling before the handling. I'm very surprised he didn't call a foul on Crystal Palace first, because that looks like what he was planning to do initially.

      All very confusing.

      Delete
  25. Minute 30' Athletic - Celta, missed penalty by Del Cerro Grande who decided simulation. Wrong decision, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Some incidents I came across this afternoon:

    Penalty awarded to Rangers away at Motherwell by referee Nick Walsh, surely this is not even a foul?

    https://streamable.com/fehkc

    RC to the GK for handball: https://streamable.com/8plwz - players complain about offside but the good thing about VAR is it's there to confirm the decision.

    Eventful Chinese match with VAR: https://streamable.com/yesoj - used to confirm a penalty, then award a penalty/RC, and good to see it disallow a goal for encroachment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regarding Motherwell - Celtic: imo, the defender's intervention is unsuccessful, he doesn't shield the ball, so one can say the penalty is correct. I wouldn't interpret it as a mistake.

      Delete
    2. Penalty to Rangers in my opinion not even a contact there.
      Lazio - Benevento: excellent onside by AR and correct RC.
      And... I didn't know that VAR had been introduced in China as well :)

      Delete
    3. I think the penalty in China is very wrong. Not deliberate in any way. Arm tucked in the body and he headed the ball and it hit the arm by accident.

      Delete
  27. Minute 51 Real Madrid vs Palmas. Horrible tackle by Bale. Very easy SFP when you see the replay. He didn’t even get a yellow.

    ReplyDelete
  28. OT :

    For anyone who maybe interested :D I didn't know that our Elite ref has so many other talents... What a pleasant surprise for me this one :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is our elite referee? I don't understand, Soham...

      Delete
    2. Extremely sorry Chefren... After writing all that I missed out on inserting the link... Here is the link :

      https://youtu.be/qv6H_-D5AAY

      Have a look Chefren :D

      Delete
    3. Ahahahah :) I couldn't imagine that. What a voice! An excellent singer! Congratulations to Cüneyt. He has a future after refereeing :)

      Delete
    4. The Voice of Turkey in 2016... I was searching for one of Cüneyt's interviews in YouTube and suddenly this came up... I clicked it and boom... I was completely blown away, I don't understand anything of the language but still it was crystal clear that he's just a wonderful singer... And as you said, more surprising for me because I couldn't just imagine that :D

      Delete
    5. Every year they record special episode for New Year at The Voice Turkey. He sang last year. He is good for an amateur. I hope he can whistle World Cup final...

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    6. So many people dressed in Santa clothing made me think that it's somewhere near about Christmas time... I'm no expert but I absolutely loved the singing and even his colleagues are all impressed on seeing this and he has to do a show to all his colleagues either in the April seminar or in Russia itself :D Coming to the World Cup final, I would want Çakir for a SF and someone else for a Final :D

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  29. Geier has the first ever LA Galaxy v LA FC derby right now. Pretty great atmosphere. Will also be Zlatan's first match in MLS. Interesting test coming off his WC appointment. Frank Anderson is AR1.

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    1. Worked last night in Toronto.

      PRO does not assign regular crews. There are some referees and ARs who like to work together and they get a lot of matches together. And there are some that PRO keeps from working together. But there aren't regular trios. Geiger and Anderson working together today is more of a coincidence than anything.

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    2. It's good actually... Before the World Cup the team should be together as often as possible!!

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  30. My predictions:
    Juventus-Real, Skomina
    Sevilla-Bayern, Marciniak
    Barcelona-Roma, Turpin
    Liverpool-City, Matéu

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    Replies
    1. I do not think Marciniak will get Bayern (even if he gets any more game at all this season), as Lewandowski is a super hero in Poland, and there would be too much pressure on Marciniak.

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    2. Marciniak shouldn't get anything in UCL this season!!

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  31. Very good and understated first half by Mazzoleni in Turin. His calm approach tonight arouses respect from the players, and makes it a very relaxed match revolving around pleasant football and fair play.
    Two correct YCs, and he resisted another one for André Silva. Then VAR Massa asked him to review a potential penalty for handball, but Mazzoleni decided that player in question was fouled- correct and common sensical.
    Overall I am really impressed, I rather remember him as an arrogant, distant, autocratic referee; I saw another side to him this first half, he showed a very mature performance, good luck for the second half!

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    1. I agree, a very good performance so far.
      In my opinion the VAR intervention was not necessary at all there, but well, if this can help to solve doubts... it is ok. Would have been a clear mistake to call that penalty!

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    2. It's sad he doesn't get CL group and knockout stage games.

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    3. Very good second half also, top class performance! Using his big experience in the whole match, sophisticated performance.
      His tattoos make Clattenburg's look nothing also ;-)

      @victor I can agree but
      1) Maybe his style works thanks to his (Italian) communication and not in CL, eg Manuel Grafe
      2) He does not see 'eye-to-eye' with Collina. When Collina was working in AIA, he had an argument in a meeting with Mazzoleni, because he designated him for a Serie B match. And Collina is head of UEFA refereeing as we know.
      3) There are many other Italian referees also

      But tonight he showed that he can be one of the top European referees, I fully agree.

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    4. Wow, Mikaeal, you know many things, and I'm surprised, you are for sure a referee expert :) Indeed, it is true, when Collina was still at the head of serie A referees, until 2009-10, there weren't good relations with Mazzoleni.
      I think Collina would have never promoted him as FIFA referee, indeed this happened only later with the new responsible (Braschi). I also think that Collina had planned to promote FIFA referees Valeri and Russo. Valeri was confirmed, but Russo had a very poor game in 2010, Brescia - Roma, and this was the reason of the change. Mazzoleni was selected and appointed as FIFA referee for 2011.

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    5. Sorry for Russo, it seems that was the decisive match of his career...
      I find the intricacies of matches that can define a career in top level refereeing, for better and for worse, really interesting.
      Many thanks! :-)

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  32. Watching the French Coup de la Ligue, some early drama for Turpin on 4 minutes.

    A clear foul in the penalty area against a PSG player, though it looked like another player had advantage but didn't score.

    Penalty was awarded but I think offside given against the player who had advantage. VAR checks, referee reviews and eventually penalty awarded again!

    Replay of the VAR: https://streamable.com/qt9br need to see it from a wider angle again though.

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    Replies
    1. Goal ruled out for offside by VAR on 37 min: https://streamable.com/a6dl7

      Looks like the Monaco player is in line with the ball?

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    2. Correct decision to assign the penalty after VAR review, advantage was not possible there, given the offside.
      Surely VAR was very helpful in this situation.

      About the disallowed goal, to be honest the player looks on level with the ball, as you wrote. Here in Italy, in case of such situations, Rizzoli has stated that it is better to back AR's decision on the pitch, because there isn't a clear evidence. But I don't know the level of accuracy of the French VAR, so this argument could be not valid.

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  33. Mazzoleni with a great management and leadership as usual. His style makes it very easy for him. He is relaxed and is like ''what are you talking about I am refereeing here''.

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  34. @DrMr Are you here in the blog? If you see this please reply!

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    Replies
    1. Is there any way I can contact you?? An email id or something?? Want to talk to you about something friend!!

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  35. Al-Faisaly - Al-Ahli (Danny Makkelie, VAR Artur Soares Dias)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRLjwpq51Zg

    4:52 - no penalty after undeliberate handling the ball
    5:20 - VAR detects that the ball has crossed the line, goal
    6:55 - no penalty after alleged pushing
    7:34 - RC for violent conduct, kick from behind with excessive force

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, all decisions are correct / supportable!

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  36. For our American readers, how was Geiger in Los Angeles' Derby?

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    Replies
    1. Thought somebody shared a couple of situations from Geiger's game but the comment seems to have disappeared now... Can't find it anywhere 🤔🤔

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  37. No issues. Only card was to Zlatan for a shirt removal.

    Anderson had two KMIs he got right. A goal line decision (goal awarded) and he rightly kept the flag down on the winning goal when Zlatan avoided active involvement. Expected at this level but still important to get these correct. Builds confidence for the WC.

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    1. My opinion.

      1-0 was a clear arm in the chest before the counter attack in an unfair way that made the get the ball. Should have been a foul not a goal.

      Zlatan's 4-3 looks like offside by a few centimeters. Would like a good photo with lines. Might have been 10 cm offside.

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    2. And I mean on the second pass not by the pass he deliberately avoided to not be offside. I mean the pass he scored on.

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    3. I think the alleged foul is debatable. Sometimes called. Sometimes not called. Certainly not a match-critical mistake. Besides, LAFC lost and regained possession between that incident and the goal.

      VAR confirmed that the offside decision was not obviously wrong. I think it’s a good call. He looks level with the ball at the moment it was struck. Video below but might only be available in North America.

      https://matchcenter.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2018-03-31-la-galaxy-vs-los-angeles-football-club/details/video/147560

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  38. Juventus v Real Madrid : Cüneyt Çakir (Turkey)

    Sevilla v Bayern Munich : Daniele Orsato (Italy)

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  39. Sato promoted as main referee ? It seems so adding a new assistant from Japan

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  40. So Sato will be now be a referee on the pitch... It's well deserved and should've been what FIFA should have actually decided in the first place!!

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  41. Referees will be able to give retrospective red cards for incidents spotted by Video Assistant Referees during matches at the World Cup.

    IFAB -- the International Football Association Board -- confirmed that the VAR can inform the referee of off-the-ball incidents even after that phase of play has ended. Players can be sent off following review and even at halftime if guilty of violent conduct, biting, spitting or making offensive gestures.

    IFAB's technical director David Elleray told The Times that the rules changes are a precaution.

    "We do not anticipate this happening very often," he said.

    "However, if there is something away from the action that has been missed and it later comes to the attention of the VAR or the assistant VAR, then they can inform the referee and he can send the player off, even if it is later in the match.

    "This would only be for serious red-card offences."


    Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/football/fifa-world-cup/story/3513443/world-cup-will-see-var-able-to-hand-out-retrospective-red-cards

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    1. I'm against this procedure. A RC must be immediately issued. You can't go too much back in a game, other facts happen after the incidents, if you assume that the same player who committeed the RC infringment, is involved again, you have already the idea that it will be a mess.

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    2. In essence IFAB is accounting for a potential huge f*ck up in Russia.

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    3. Something like this would have bailed out Marco Rodriguez in Brasil in the Suarez biting incident.
      And I'm all for it. If a player does something despicable on the pitch regardless if the referee's catch it immediately. He deserves to be sent off. We need to stop coddling and pretending the thugs and goons who do more bad than good to the beautiful game.

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  42. According to the Arbitro Internacional, the assistant Hasan Almahri of the United Arab Emirates is also invited to the World Cup. So now it's the five full AFC trios.

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    1. BTW I can't imagine Mohammed Abdulla Mohamed handling games...

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    2. In other news Al-Mirdasi's AR1 Al-Shalawi has announced retirement after being struck off the World Cup list... Abitro Internacional reports it as well

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    3. @Chefren Even Mehdi Abid Charef has both his ARs called but I don't expect him in the middle... Same for Mohammed!!

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