Saturday, 26 January 2019

2019 AFC Asian Cup - Referee Appointments for Semifinals

Appointments for Semifinals at 2019 AFC Asian Cup. 
28 January 2019, 15:00 CET - Al Ain (Hazza bin Zayed Stadium)
Referee: Chris Beath (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Fourth Official: Kim Dong-jin (KOR)
Video Assistant Referee: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Muhammad Taqi (SIN)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Ko Hyung-jin (KOR)

29 January 2019, 15:00 CET - Abu Dhabi (Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium)
Referee:  César Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Hernández (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Video Assistant Referee: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Muhammad Taqi (SIN)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee 2: Chris Beath (AUS)


  1. AFC Referees Committee should be ashamed of themselves.

    How they appointed Ramos (instead of Taqi) is actually unbelievable, I can only assume that they didn't watch the games in this championship. They can't even use the VAR excuse, Singaporean executed AVAR function so is obviously cleared for the role by IFAB; they really are just sh*t and have total disregard for the performance principle or any fairness.

    At least, deserved assignment for Beath, and Shukralla should be the name for the Final.

    The way AFC have organised the referees in this Asian Cup has been a disaster. If I was a referee there I would be absolutely furious with them.

    I'm sorry for such words, but one has to be honest.

    1. I watched less of this Asian Cup than you, but basically I got the same feelings, especially in terms of organization. The appointment of a guest referee for a semifinal is surely in any case a bad signal for the whole confederation. Of course, with all the respect for the Mexican. Then, if you see that his performances were very likely worse than other referees, you can't find explanations. It seems as everything has been decided without watching games, without making analysis... we would have done a better work. Very poor signal by AFC to FIFA.

    2. I agree with both of you.

      I have watched only a couple of matches but the videos posted here gives us a pretty good idea of the performances.

      Ramos appointment makes absolutely no sense. His performances were below par and that penalty against Australia should have bought him an 1 way ticket to Mexico. Instead, he is rewarded with a SF. Really poor appointment process and management by AFC.

      I believe that many referees will be disappointed and especially those who performed better than Ramos.

    3. I'm sorry, but this time I can't say it any other way: This appointment is a bl**dy joke and I sincerely wonder what would have happened if Australia made it through...

      Beath's appointment is supportable. One could argue he got a penalty scene in each of his game's wrong, but he's a firm man in charge, someone who doesn't polarize much. With Iran - Japan having the biggest remaining names in it, there were few enough options (at least in the eyes for the AFC).

      Ramos is perhaps the most ludicrous appointment there can be. You have talented young referees that have had good performances, and you give a semi-final to a guest referee whose three performances ranged between "ok" and "more than one crucial mistake with significant areas of improvement". I'm not repeating what happened in this match; but the likes of Taqi, Perera, Green and even Al-Jassim or Shukralla (unless he gets the final) certainly feel slapped in the face.

      The fact the from these names: I only recognize Kamikawa and Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh as former referees can be overstated, but it is a bit telling, isn't it?

    4. For Asia when knowing international relations, whole gulf with political ban to qatar. even bahraini referee cannot do qatar. big problem since some of best referee coming from arabic country

    5. Thank you Unknown and domedi for extremely valuable comments.

      Would you be willing to give us the full list of those approved by IFAB to execute roles as Referee w/ VAR, VAR and AVAR?

    6. So many delicious flavors in this world and yet each and every one of you choose to be bitter and salty.

    7. I have to agree with everyone here about Ramos. It is an absolute disgrace that a referee can make awful penalty decisions in 2 of his games and be rewarded with a semi final. Never mind that he is a guest referee, any referee in a tournament environment must be judged on performances. And his performances have not been good enough!

    8. You all act as if no other Ref Comm or FIFA itself assigns in this very manner. Not one national team tournament is held without the respective Ref Comm making head scratching referee assignments. It happens in CAF, UEFA, OFC, AFC, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF and even with Busacca and FIFA.

  2. Taqi not approved as referee to officiate with VAR. IFAB process give approval for the three diferent roles (ref, VAR, AVAR) Same Peter Green... Perera never worked with VAR... Only Shukralla

    guess Ramos appointment due to extreme political tension between the emirates and qatar

  3. UAE - AUSTRALIA, Ryūji Satō
    1st half:
    2nd half:

    Sato's performance was much like in his earlier matches, but this time, there weren't too many brutal challenges. The final minutes were pure chaos and horrible to manage with injuries that made added time last twelve minutes.

    I would rate the performance of the team as satisfying (good call to cancel Australia goal in 65'), well-spotted handball (61') and he did not lose control in the final minutes. In that case, his seemingly unfazed personality helped.

    Where such an approach was absolutely wrong in my eyes was at 78', a scene which we see far too often nowadays and which demonstrates what I don't like about the referee and the seemingly "modern refereeing". One lunge comes in, isn't stopped, another more brutal one follows and this one he whistles. He books the UAE player, but there is no strictness, no clear reprimand. It's just a YC (they are rare for him, yes, but still). We have strong arguments for SFP here and his approach was almost Kim-like. "Okay, that happened. Let's not make a big deal out of it."

    But I guess, as long as the big decisions (goal, penalty) are correct, the AFC does not care so much.

    By no means a bad performance by Sato, but in my eyes, these are significant areas for improvement.

    1. As I posted in the AFC QF discussion, here's just the 78th minute incident:

  4. Paolo Valeri VAR for both semifinals.

    1. So than Makkelie will probably do the final?

    2. Makkelie has left UAE, he will officiate tomorrow in Netherlands and after that he has the UEFA course.

  5. IR IRAN - JAPAN, Christopher James Beath
    Short refereeing highlights can be found in the above link.
    If you prefer, I cut the clips into individuals montages below.

    Video clips:

    => 62' Penalty assigned for handball, confirmed after an OFR

    => Management (15', 30', 39', 43', 55', 57', 75', 77', 86', +91')

    => Disciplinary Control (23', 34', 35', 43', 45', 74', +91')

    => Other in-box decisions (22', 28')

    => 57' Peculiar situation at the 1-0

    Chris Beath was rewarded for two satisfying group stage performances with the direct assignment to this sonorous Semifinal.
    This was a game played on a sophisticated technical level, in that respect maybe we saw the game of the championship, and also despite players largely focusing on an aesthetic piece of football, a tense undercurrent what is natural for such a match.
    Overall, we got what we expected from Chris Beath. Sensible, unobtrusive and basically good refereeing. But the resonance of his performance strongly depends on a crucial decision taken at 62'.

    1. => Let's start at that crucial decision. Beath whistled a penalty at 62', and having been called to an OFR by the VAR team led by Paolo Valeri, confirms his original decision to punish the handling.
      In UEFA, I'm sure this would be treated as a CLEAR mistake. Archetypal situation which we see in RAPs, incidental contact of a reasonable slide on the floor. Hence, no surprise to see UEFA Second Category referee Paolo Valeri calling the Australian over to an OFR. However, as we saw in this championship, AFC are much more rigorous in their interpretation of handling then our usual 'sphere' of European football.
      That leads me towards two conclusions from this situation:
      1) Valeri said "it's not a penalty in (UEFA)", Beath said 'I think it is in AFC" and then the Italian "well you might as well look at it again" hence the OFR and confirmed decision.
      2) AFC would also prefer play on here and Beath is an arrogant man.
      I tend more towards the first. Personally, I much prefer play on, but I don't know what AFC asks of it's referees regarding handball.

      => Beath operated a good disciplinary control. He managed to pick out all three of the clear caution offenses, a couple of reckless tackles and a handball which blocked a shot (23', 43', 45'). In this sense we saw exactly what we saw from the Australian in both of his group matches, just taking the decisions the game asked of him, and just refereeing another game. Well done.

      => Especially in the first thirty minutes, we saw a really energetic and elegant piece of football, which allowed the referee to stay in the background. Referee did well to detect the rising tension, in addition especially Iranian irritation at him for taking a lot of (correct) minor decisions against them, decided to break his distant tactical approach in so order to give an empathic verbal warning at 30'. This really impressed me, because it helped execute many targets (manage the pace of the game, decrease Iranian irritation at him, prevention regarding that careless elbow, identification of a problem player). Really smart management there; well done.
      Basically, this was Beath's approach. Phlegmatic, but he knew when he needed to get involved. He wasn't really interested in making friends, but able to make a point when needed. I think it worked in this match.

      => Fouls detection was actually really tricky, with many exaggerations and players trying to conceal their fouls. His foul detection was not outstanding, but rather satisfactory. The best way to describe it is probably sensible.

      => As you can see at +91', the game finally 'boiled over' into a large mass confrontation. I just want to say, I hate this idea that a mass confrontation automatically means that a referee lost control (7,5-7,7) of a match, and if there isn't, referee automatically kept control: this is not the case!! To be fair, we couldn't see what actually caused thanks to the host broadcaster, so maybe Australian failed in prevention, but I don't really see how Beath could have avoided this, with the score at 0-3. His management in it, and also in some comparable but much smaller situations, was good for a game with VAR, being able to pull away the 'trouble-maker'. Maybe we could have had more YCs, but one each was surely okay here.

      => Some finer points of improvement that I found:
      * Beath could try to avoid late whistles, as it makes the players more anxious when it is evitable.
      * Referee should change his positioning from freekicks. He positions himself (still) in order to perceive any handling in the wall- this can be the job of the fourth official. It would allow him to take up more optimal positioning to see the rest of the play.
      * When VAR is computing a decision, make sure a referee team member takes hold of the ball, for it increases your sovereignty.

    2. In balance, we saw a good performance by Chris Beath. He repaid the trust AFC put in him to officiate this match which has been coined "the real final". He showed a good piece of officiating, and he can be content that he is fully able to handle such top clashes. The crucial penalty decision at 62' is what will define his resonance from this performance; my feeling is that AFC will like it, but I would (much) rather play on there.
      Australian can reflect that on a successful mission at this Asian Cup, where he was one of the best referees.

      // Sorry, that was really long :-D
      I hope at least some people find it in interesting analysis.

    3. I do, at least. Thank you so much!

    4. Apologies, I am conscious I am taking much comment space.

      Correct link can be found below:

      => Management (15', 30', 39', 43', 55', 57', 75', 77', 86', +91')

    5. I get it was the end of the game but he clearly missed a violent conduct by #3 Iran, strangle grip and hand to the face during the mass confrontation. VAR also didn't bother to intervene. But I guess they don't want to when it's 1 minute left. #20 Iran same thing, hand to the face, striking an opponent. At least 2 clear violent conducts missed.

    6. Thanks, Mikael, for your report. I find it very interesting and analytical, as always.

      Regarding penalty, I don't really know what is the current interpretation, even in UEFA. For example, see C16 in the newest RAP. Handball is a lottery nowadays.

      I have to agree with Victor. At least IRN #20 is guilty of CLEAR violent conduct (strike in the face).

    7. With regards to the penalty and VAR/OFR...

      I think that a large part of this problem comes down to two different teachings about handling when sliding.

      Most of FIFA (CONCACAF and AFC at the minimum) teach as per the Esse handball video seminar that was released by the USSF a year or so ago.

      UEFA (as per their 2018:2 RAP DVD) has been teaching more along the lines of handball when it hits below the elbow (hand or forearm), and no handball if it hits above (bicep through shoulder) on a slide.

      This one appeared (to me) to hit the bicep, so UEFA VAR says "no handling", but AFC Referee says "handling"...

    8. Mostly, I was very impressed. A strong performance, strong player management: He was very clear in his decisions, dealt with dissent well. For me, the pk was quite a clear one for handball, I was quite surprised it was checked.

      But: Missed VC in 77' and added time by IRN #20. While in the first scene, one could have been very merciful and leave it at a booking, RC was absolutely mandatory. No matter what time it is in the game. Referee had a good view, but VAR should have intervened in both scenes. It's a pity he lost a bit of control in the end, otherwise it was in my eyes a very good performance. I hope Ramos has taken notes...

  6. Final will be Japan - Qatar: a "fully neutral" choice would be Irmatov. In particular, I think that a referee from Arabic country wont be appointed. Let's see what they have in mind.

    1. An Australian referee, maybe a South Korean referee or indeed Irmatov.

    2. Presuming Green is gone and everyone agrees Kim is not up to the task... it has to be Irmatov. There's no other choice.

    3. Irmatov already officiated 2011 Final...

    4. Rik, how could Sato officiate a Final in which Japan is a contender? XD

    5. Would be a madness to appoint one of the 2 Chinese referees?

    6. I wrote a really detailed analysis where I analysed each contender, but I managed to delete it. So I shortly paraphrase it.

      * Referees from Japan or Qatar are out
      * Referees from nations that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar are out:
      * Referees who are not permitted by IFAB to use VAR are out:
      GREEN, TAQI, et al.

      This leaves some names, where I write the arguments against their appointment:
      - RAMOS, invitee, humiliation for Asian refereeing
      - BEATH, handled a Semifinal
      - MA, not good enough in QTR-LIB
      - FU, much controversy from UAE-KGZ
      - IRMATOV, handled the 2011 Final
      - FAGHANI, handled the 2015 Final
      - KIM, don't even... two worst performances of the championship

      My choice would be Chris Beath, but there is no utopian answer.
      I really don't envy AFC here...

      By the way, you can expect Howard Maxi's report on the Qatar - United Arab Emirates game, a very challenging job for César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, at the latest tomorrow evening.

    7. Do we even know which referees are still there?

      Irmatov seems the most obvious choice but he handled the 2011 final and this could count against him.

      If not Irmatov, then I fear that we might see Kim.

    8. Sorry, I changed the country... But in my opinion, Irmatov is the most sensible option.

    9. I would go with
      Ming, Weiming, Yi (all CHN), Bin Jahari (SIN) - Irmatov (UZB), Shukralla (BHR), Valeri (ITA)

      Fu Ming should have experience with VAR from the Chinese league, which might give him a small advantage.

    10. Would Arab nations be happy to see Faghani referee Qatar given Iranian involvement there?

      I'm sorry, but I don't see how it's not Irmatov. The fact he's done it before is irrelevant. They could have given Irmatov a semifinal. They didn't. He was held for a reason.

    11. Mikael W, I have to ask. Why is Green not permitted to use VAR by IFAB...?????? He uses it every week in Australia.

  7. My choice would be Taqi. Why is he not permitted to use VAR?

  8. QATAR - UAE, César Ramos

    Video highlights to follow.

    The political tension aside, it was a match I personally thought wasn't as challenging as it could have been. Difficult scenes were there and not few of them, but they were isolated events, not one or two teams out to get each other anytime.

    About the key scenes: Correct RC for VC in added time after VAR consultation. The incident itself was hard to see, so he shouldn't be blamed for missing it initially. However, for me there was another case of VC immediately after QAT scores the third goal. Also, a scene where a penalty for QAT would have been possible at least.

    Let's talk about the field that was needed the most, disciplinary and player management. Three correct YCs given, three more missed (Late tackle, Reckless use of ellbow, late tackle). That makes it a bit unbalanced in the final tally, as similar infringements weren't punished the same way. More critical for me was his player management, he was quite overselling himself a number of times, shouting or appearing erratic. I'll post video material of it later, that will be more telling than my words.

    Not his worst performance, surely, but we all agree that his tournament wasn't a good one. This match was a mixed bag from him in my eyes, but something tells me AFC will be quite happy with it.

  9. I want to say that I did not watch the whole match but from what I did see (About 20 minutes of highlights) I was not impressed again by Ramos. For me he lacked control and did not take the right actions needed when the game heated up with Qatar looking likely to win. Yes it may be easy to miss the RC for VC and well done VAR for getting involved but after that 3rd goal I thought it was pretty clear that something was going to boil over. Whether it was a mass confrontation, VC or SFP and Ramos did not do enough to anticipate something might happen or lay enough groundwork through his player management to calm things down.
    I know there is political tension between Qatar and UAE but those scenes from the crowd towards the end of the match were very nasty indeed.


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