Wednesday, 3 February 2021

2020 FIFA Club World Cup - Referee Appointments - Second Round

Appointments of match officials at 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, in Qatar. 

Mario Escobar from Guatemala will officiate Al Duhail - Al Ahly

Second Round

4 February 2021, 15:00 CET
Club de Fútbol Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (MEX) - Ulsan Hyundai FC (KOR)
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1:  Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Fourth Official: Edina Alves Batista (BRA)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Neuza Back (BRA)
Video Assistant Referee: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Julio Bascuñan (CHI)

4 February 2021, 18:30 CET
Al-Duhail Sports Club (QAT) - Al Ahly Sporting Club (EGY)
Referee: Mario Escobar (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Panjoj (GUA)  
Assistant Referee 2: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
Fourth Official: Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Mariana de Almeida (ARG)
Video Assistant Referee: Drew Fischer (CAN)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)


    Matchweek 17

    Thursday, 4th February

    16:00 SC Farense-CD Santa Clara
    Vítor Ferreira - Nélson Cunha, Valdemar Maia - David Silva
    [Artur Soares Dias, Rui Licínio]

    20:00 Belenenses SAD-FC Porto
    Fábio Veríssimo - Bruno Rodrigues, Sérgio Jesus - Miguel Nogueira
    [Rui Oliveira, Pedro Ribeiro]

    22:00 SC Braga-Portimonense SC
    Rui Costa - Nuno Manso, João Bessa Silva - Cláudio Pereira
    [Bruno Esteves, Rui Teixeira]

    22:30 FC Famalicão-Moreirense FC
    André Narciso - Paulo Brás, Marco Vieira - Bruno Rebocho
    [Vasco Santos, Luciano Maia]

    Friday, 5th February

    18:00 Rio Ave FC-CD Nacional
    Iancu Vasilica - Álvaro Mesquita, Tiago Mota - Carlos Macedo
    [Bruno Esteves, Rui Teixeira]

    20:00 Marítimo M.-Sporting CP
    Hugo Miguel - Bruno Jesus, Ricardo Santos - Ricardo Baixinho
    [André Narciso, Paulo Brás]

    20:00 SL Benfica-Vitória SC
    Nuno Almeida - André Campos, Pedro Felisberto - Marcos Brazão
    [António Nobre, Nélson Pereira]

    22:00 Boavista FC-Gil Vicente FC
    Hélder Malheiro - Rui Cidade, Gonçalo Freire - Rui Lima
    [Rui Oliveira, Pedro Ribeiro]

    22:00 FC Paços de Ferreira-CD Tondela
    João Pinheiro - Tiago Costa, Nuno Eiras - João Gonçalves
    [Luís Ferreira, Jorge Fernandes]

  2. Partido Final por el ascenso a Primera Nacional, entre Primera División “B” y Federal “A”

    Jueves 4 de febrero
    21.30 San Telmo - Deportivo Madryn, en Newell's Old Boys (TV)

    Árbitro: Diego Abal

    Asistente 1: Andrés Barbieri

    Asistente 2: Adrián Delbarba

    4to. árbitro: Nazareno Arasa

  3. Predictions for the semifinals (VAR in parentheses):

    5th place game: Alves Batista (Gallo)
    TIG/ULS vs PAL: Makkelie (Kamphuis)
    DUH-ALY vs BAY: Abdulla (Al-Marri) if ALY wins, N'Diaye (Jiyed) if DUH wins

    1. Agreed. Third place game to Abdulla / N'Diaye, whoever doesn't get the SF (they might swap this assignment with the 5th place game and give Batista the third place game), and then, I guess we are left with Escobar/Ostojich on the final, depending upon who wins TIG/PAL, provided there's no disaster in the second half here for Escobar.

      Of course, I'm making some assumptions that FIFA have broken at the CWC before (i.e. that the final referee should ave a previous game) so who knows.

  4. Appointments - Germany:

    DFB-Pokal (German Cup) Round of 16

    3rd February

    18:30 VfL Wolfsburg - FC Schalke 04
    Felix Zwayer - Rafael Foltyn, Thomas Stein - Alexander Sather
    [Benjamin Brand, Philipp Hüwe]

    18:30 RB Leipzig - VfL Bochum
    Bastian Dankert - René Rohde, Markus Häcker - Florian Badstübner
    [Robert Schröder, Markus Sinn]

    20:45 Jahn Regensburg - 1. FC Köln
    Robert Hartmann - Christian Leicher, Markus Schüller - Michael Bacher
    [Pascal Müller, Markus Wollenweber]

    20:45 VfB Stuttgart - Mönchengladbach
    Daniel Siebert - Lasse Koslowski, Jan Seidel - Timo Gerach
    [Tobias Welz, Mike Pickel]

  5. Where can someone see the referees appointed to CAF matches on the CAF website?

  6. Today's games at World Cup 2010:

    Paraguay - Japan, Frank De Bleeckere
    Spain - Portugal, Héctor Baldassi

    (WC 2010 blog will return with the QFs on Saturday / Sunday)

  7. Escobar for sure a better choice for than Alves Batista for this match. But not by much. It will entirely depend on which "version" of Escobar shows up.
    With the wrong approach, this match can very easily turn into a nightmare for any referee.

    In support of Tigres, Mexico, and CONCACAF. I am highly relieved that an experienced, tried, and tested CONMEBOL referee crew was assigned to their match.

    1. With an "acceptable" performance. This assignment sets up Escobar to become yet another CONCACAF referee who handles a Club World Cup Final.

    2. Unless Zitouni will also get a match with ARs from a different confederation (as it happened in 2019), which will make it 7 matches for 7 referees, so no one will have 2 games.

    3. Indeed that is an option. I personally think that Zitouni is more deserving of a main referee assignment than Alves Batista.

  8. Great onside decision by Siebert‘s AR1 before 2-1.

    1. What game are you talking about?

    2. Stuttgard-Gladbach, German Cup, R16

  9. Scotland's newest FIFA listed referee David Munro - missed SFP

    1. Brutal, but not surprised.

      "Modern Refereeing" + Antiquated British Football Mentality = Only a caution being given for a Leg Breaker tackle

    2. I disagree: That has nothing to do with 'Modern Refereeing' (which indeed leads to more SFPs forgiven), but this one is a CLEAR RC in all cases!

  10. Three controversial scenes from German Cup Round of 16:

    1) Regensburg - Köln, handled by Robert Hartmann [VAR: Pascal Müller]:
    Offside? - Goal disallowed after VAR-intervention

    2) Stuttgart - Gladbach, handled by Daniel Siebert [VAR: Tobias Welz]:
    Penalty (Handball)? - Not given; no VAR-intervention

    3) Wolfsburg - Schalke, handled by Felix Zwayer [VAR: Benjamin Brand]:
    Penalty (Foul)? - PK after OFR

    1. My opinions:

      1) The DFB announced that the situation was classified as 'delibearte save', because the white player blocked the ball away, but it was a shoot on goal.
      One can discuss that one, but supportable call for me.

      2) There are arguments in favor of and against a penalty. The arm is in an unatural position and enlarges the body surface a bit, but the ball is also deflected. In the end, the decision is supportable for me.

      3) The most difficult one: The white player hits the green player at the foot and does not reach the ball. When it's a 'Serious Missed Incident', I'm okay with the OFR and PK, but I don't think that it's a clear error.

    2. 1) Strictly according to the text of the laws not wrong, but for me it does not correspond to the common interpretation, because it was not even a shot on goal (but rather a sharp pass) IMO.

      2) For me rather punishable, but not clear enough for an intervention.

      3) The penalty kick is okay, but in my opinion it was not clear enough for an intervention. After all, the ball has already been played and the foul is not extremely hard (= not necessarily reckless) - so the foul often is ignored in such situations in the penalty area.

      I would be especially interested in opinions from other countries for 1). Should that be considered a "deliberate save"?

    3. Hartmann - agree totally with Philipp, I don't see the need to surprise (football fans) by being 'too clever' here.

      Siebert - personally, I like the play on call (arm still close to the body, rather short distance, 'ball to hand' in old parlance)

      Zwayer - very surprised a DFB VAR intervened there, by the same token, I very much doubt there would be an intervention in UEFA; if there's no studs contact, rather careless and better to play on anyway.

      Thanks for the clips!

    4. Flip, thanks for the clips - 3 very interesting and very different situations. I usually only comment the mistakes made by the referees because I think that this is the way to improvement but in this case I must say that for me these are 3 sensationally good calls. And that is exactly how VAR should work. I am ready to bet that if it was England the three calls would be absolutely the opposite.
      1 - the most confusing one (but absolutely correct for me). The referees very often read too much into the words in the law and don't try to understand the meaning of the law. This particular law IMO is created to punnish a possible mistake by the defender - i.e. back pass to the goalkeeper when there is an attacker who was previously in an offside position but did not interfere with the defender. It is not created to punnish a defender who is trying to clear or cut the ball when there is an attacker in an offside position. The problem for me lies in the explanation given by IFAB. If they change 'intentional play' with 'control of the ball' everything will be more clear;
      2 - absolutely unintentional play by the defender - he didn't adjust the position of the hands so to make himself bigger;
      3 - very clever intervention by VAR because I suggest that Zwayer saw the contact in the upper parts of the bodies but did not see clearly the contact in the legs;
      Once again - for me 3 briliant interventions by VAR.

  11. APPOINTMENTS Serie B Matchday 21

    Friday, 5th February
    21.00 Lecce - Ascoli
    Matteo Marchetti - Valerio Vecchi - Marco Scatragli - Giacomo Camplone

    Saturday, 6th February
    14.00 Brescia - Cittadella
    Federico Dionisi - Riccardo Annaloro - Gaetano Massara - Marco Serra

    14.00 Cosenza - SPAL Ferrara
    Eugenio Abbattista - Emanuele Yoshikawa - Francesca di Monte - Antonio Rapuano

    14.00 Cremonese - Pisa
    Ivano Pezzuto - Eugenio Scarpa - Daniele Marchi - Lorenzo Illuzzi

    14.00 Frosinone - Venezia
    Daniel Amabile - Alberto Tegoni - Luigi Lanotte - Ivan Robilotta

    14.00 Pescara - Reggina
    Fabio Maresca - Edoardo Raspollini - Fabrizio Lombardo - Francesco Meraviglia

    14.00 Salernitana - Chievo Verona
    Simone Sozza - Fabio Schirru - Marco Trinchieri - Riccardo Ros

    16.00 Monza - Empoli
    Antonio Giua - Manuel Robillota - Robert Avalos - Valerio Marini

    18.00 Pordenone - Vicenza
    Manuel Volpi - Alessio Saccenti - Gabriele Nuzzi - Giovanni Ayroldi

    Sunday, 7th February
    21.00 Reggiana - Virtus Entella
    Matteo Gariglio - Pasquale Capaldo - Domenico Palermo - Lorenzo Maggioni

  12. ligue 1 referees for this weekend?

  13. APPOINTMENTS Serie A Matchday 21

    Friday, 5th February
    20.45 Fiorentina - Internazionale
    Federico La Penna - Fabiano Preti - Mauro Galetto - Fabrizio Pasqua
    [Paolo Mazzoleni - Mauro Vivenzi]

    Saturday, 6th February
    15.00 Atalanta - Torino
    Francesco Fourneau - Matteo Passeri - Rodolfo Di Vuolo - Daniele Doveri
    [Paolo Valeri - Daniele Bindoni]

    15.00 Sassuolo - Spezia
    Juan Luca Sacchi - Marco Fiore - Filippo Bercigli - Luca Massimi
    [Luigi Nasca - Stefano Alassio]

    18.00 Juventus - AS Roma
    Daniele Orsato - Filippo Meli - Marco Fiorito - Gianpaolo Calvarese
    [Daniele Chiffi - Luca Mondin]

    20.45 CFC Genoa - SSC Napoli
    Gianluca Manganiello - Alessandro Costanzo - Emanuele Prenna - Marco Piccinini
    [Marco di Bello - Stefano Liberti]

    Sunday, 7th February
    12.30 Benevento - Sampdoria
    Gianluca Aureliano - Giuseppe Perotti - Michele Grossi - Daniele Paterna
    [Alessandro Di Paolo - Ciro Carbone]

    15.00 AC Milan - Crotone
    Luca Pairetto - Alessandro Lo Cicero - Marco Bresmes - Davide Gherisini
    [Davide Massa - Stefano Del Giovane]

    15.00 Udinese - Hellas Verona
    Alberto Santoro (Serie A debut!) - Alessandro Giallatini - Filippo Valeriani - Maurizio Mariani
    [Michael Fabbri - Alessio Tolfo]

    18.00 Parma - Bologna
    Marco Guida - Lugi Rossi - Gerardo Pagnotta - Antonio Di Martino
    [Piero Giacomelli - Giorgio Peretti]

    20.45 Lazio - Cagliari
    Massimiliano Irrati - Niccolo Pagliardini - Andrea Zingarelli - Alessandro Prontera
    [Luca Banti - Dario Cecconi]

  14. England Premier League
    Matchweek 23

    Saturday 06th February

    13:30 Aston Villa - Arsenal
    Chris Kavanagh - Daniel Cook - Constantine Hatzidakis - Darren England
    [David Coote - Sian Massey-Ellis]

    16:00 Burnley - Brighton
    Anthony Taylor - Gary Beswick - Adam Nunn - Peter Bankes
    [Stuart Attwell - Neil Davies]

    16:00 Newcastle - Southampton
    Craig Pawson - Ian Hussin - Richard West - John Brooks
    [Robert Jones - Adrian Holmes]

    18:30 Fulham - West Ham United
    Mike Dean - Darren Cann - Simon Long - Kevin Friend
    [Lee Mason - Scott Ledger]

    21:00 Manchester United - Everton
    Jonathan Moss - Marc Perry - Dan Robathan - Andy Madley
    [Andre Marriner - Andy Halliday]

    Sunday 07th February

    13:00 Tottenham - West Brom
    Stuart Attwell - Harry Lennard - Mark Scholes - Lee Mason
    [Darren England - Andy Halliday]

    15:00 Wolves - Leicester
    Martin Atkinson - Lee Betts - Nick Hopton - David Coote
    [Peter Bankes - Andy Halliday]

    17:30 Liverpool - Manchester City
    Michael Oliver - Stuart Burt - Simon Bennett - Chris Kavanagh
    [Paul Tierney - Constantine Hatzidakis]

    20:15 Sheffield - Chelsea
    Kevin Friend - Simon Beck - Eddie Smart - Andy Madley
    [Simon Hooper - Timothy Wood]

    Monday 08th February

    21:00 Leeds - Crystal Palace
    Andre Marriner - Scott Ledger - Adrian Holmes - Robert Jones
    [Kevin Friend - Simon Beck]

  15. France Ligue 1
    Matchweek 24

    Saturday 06th February

    17:00 Fc Lorient - Stade Reims
    Thomas Leonard - Gilles Lang - Philippe Jeanne - Marc Bollengier
    [Willy Delajod - Abdelali Chaoui]

    19:00 Olympique Lyon - Racing Strasbourg
    Amaury Delerue - Bertrand Jouannaud - Yannick Boutry - Arnaud Baert
    [Mikael Lesage - William Lavis]

    21:00 Racing Club Lens - Stade Rennais
    Jérémy Stinat - Julien Aube - Julien Haulbert - Anthony Ustaritz
    [Aurélien Petit] - Cyril Mugnier]

    Sunday 07th February

    13:00 Stade Brest - Bordeaux
    Karim Abed - Brice Parinet - Michael Annonier - Benjamin Lepaysant
    [Bruno Coué - Hamid Guenaoui]

    15:00 Montpellier - Dijon
    Frank Schneider - Matthieu Lombard - Gwenael Pasqualotti - Ahmed Taleb
    [Dominique Julien - Alexandre Castro]

    15:00 OGC Nice - SCO Angers
    Jérôme Miguelgorry - Christophe Mouysset - Aurélien Berthomieu - William Toulliou
    [Jérémie Pignard - Christian Guillard]

    15:00 Olympique Nimes - Monaco
    Clément Turpin - Nicolas Danos - Cyril Gringore - Mehdi Mokhtari
    [Bastien Depechy - Lionel Jaffredo]

    15:00 AS Saint-Etienne - Metz
    Ruddy Buquet - Guillaume Debart - Mohamed Benkemouche - Romain Delpech
    [Yohann Rouinsard - Stéphane Bré]

    17:00 FC Nantes - LOSC Lille
    Stéphanie Frappart - Mikael Berchebru - Mehdi Rahmouni - Rémi Landry
    [Francois Letexier - Benjamin Pagés]

    21:00 Marseille - PSG
    Benoît Bastien - Frédéric Haquette - Hicham Zakrani - Johan Hamel
    [Antony Gautier - Wilfried Bien]

  16. Spain La Liga
    Matchweek 22

    Friday 5th February

    21:00 Deportivo Alaves - Real Valladolid
    Cesar Soto Grado - Carlos Álvarez Fernández - Joan Méndez Mateo - Antonio Monter Solans
    [Jesús Gil Manzano - Javier Martínez Nicolás]

    Saturday 06th February

    14:00 UD Levante - CF Granada
    Adrián Cordero Vega - Aitor Villate Martínez - Antonio Luis Cerezo Parfenof - Manuel Pozueta Rodriguez
    [Javier Alberola Rojas - Iván Hernández Ramos]

    16:15 SD Huesca - Real Madrid
    Xavier Estrada Fernández - Diego Barbero Sevilla - Guadalupe Porras Ayuso - Gonzalo Romero Freixas
    [Pablo González Fuertes - Alfredo Rodriguez Moreno]

    18:30 Elche CF - Villarreal CF
    Mario Melero López - José Luis Martínez Serrato - José Alcoba Rodriguez - José David Martínez Montalbán
    [Santiago Jaime Latre - Jorge Bueno Mateo]

    21:00 FC Sevilla - Getafe CF
    Juan Martínez Munuera - Angel Nevado Rodriguez - Iker De Francisco Grijalba - Jorge Tárraga Lajara
    [José Luis González González - Jose Carlos Escuela Melo]

    Sunday 07th February

    14:00 Real Sociedad - Cadiz CF
    Valentin Pizarro Gomez - José Antonio Garrido Romero - Iván Massó Granado - Jaime Ruiz Alvarez
    [Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz - Pau Cebrián Devis]

    16:15 Athletic Club - Valencia CF
    Jose Luis Munuera Montero - Inigo Prieto López De Cerain - Alfonso Baena Espejo - Germán Cid Camacho
    [Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva - Roberto Alonso Fernández]

    18:30 Osasuna - SD Eibar
    Jorge Figueroa Vásquez - Antonio Ramón Martinez Moreno - Álvaro Yeray Carreno Cabrera - Gerard Brull Acerete
    [David Medié Jiménez - Juan Carlos Barranco Trejo]

    21:00 Real Betis Sevilla - FC Barcelona
    Carlos Del Cerro Grande - Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez - Gonzalo Garciá González - Manuel Gonzalez Campo Lopez-M.
    [Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea - Jon Núnez Fernández]

    Monday 08th February

    21:00 Atletico De Madrid - RC Celta de Vigo
    Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez - Teodoro Sobrino Magán - Juan José López Mir - Carlos Pérez Fernández
    [Isidro Díaz De Mera Escuderos - Rubén Becerril Gómez]

  17. OT

    Andris Treimanis (UEFA 1st) will handle the AEK-Aris match on Sunday. His Assistants will be Haralds Gudermanis and Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs. VAR will be Rob Dieprerink (NED).

  18. OT: CTA-RFEF confirmed that Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea has been selected for U21 Euro, assisted by Íñigo Prieto López de Ceráin and José Enrique Naranjo Pérez.

    The official note says that UEFA has selected 12 trios only for the Group Stage in March.


    1. So I guess that from 12 referee trios will handle 2 GS matches each one and then go home.

      UEFA seems to be mixing referees from First (Visser) and Second (Higler, de Burgos Bengoetxea) for GS matches.

    2. And likely referees from host countries.

    3. Can you ask RFEF if they have the full list? I'm looking for it and it seems impossible to find. I also ask all our readers, if you want to share this info, you can contact us privately!

    4. IIRC, it's the first time since at least 2010 that 2nd Group referees are appointed on the U21 FT.

  19. Pierluigi Collina also in the stands in Doha...

    1. Well it's normal, he stepped down from his role in UEFA but he's still the FIFA referees committee chairman.

  20. I don't understand what happened with ball in the early seconds of the game, officials looked to be unsure about what to do. There is always something weird in all FIFA games :)

    1. The ball was not properly inflated! Who is supposed to check the balls at FIFA competitions? If fourth official, not a good start for Alves...

    2. The camera focused on her a couple times during that sequence so yeah...

    3. A very calm first half for Ostojich, nothing to say about officiating. A few fouls and nothing more. Easy game.
      However, I would have assigned at least three minutes of added time.

    4. Well, I wrote too early... OFR for a possible penalty and penaty awarded.
      I must say quite chaotic management by referee who went to monitor without making any signal and then booked the player very far away from the scene of the incident.

    5. No offside prior to the corner kick that led to Ulsan goal?

    6. I don't think it was too chaotic personally - actually an excellently quick procedure by Gallo in my view.

      I guess Ostojich made the same 'error' I did, looking elsewhere at a potential holding penalty for holding, and missed the clear offence. Correct outcome was reached.

      Indeed easy 1H but the Uruguayan referee hasn't totally convinced me in terms of foul selection and managing the game, to be honest.

    7. Video of incident:

    8. IMO that's indeed a clear penalty.
      I absolutely don't think it's caotic, but very efficient and quick
      Well done, almost no waiting time.

    9. Good procedure. Quick and he made the TV signal both before and after watching the replays. Correct.

    10. Ostojich blew his whistle to stop the match. He then did indeed make the VAR signal. Trotted over to the monitor. Had a quick yet thorough look at the incident in question. Walked away from the monitor blew his whistle and signaled penalty. And lastly correctly booked the Ulsan player who had moved closer to the touchline. Or was Ostojich supposed to ask the Ulsan player to kindly follow him to the penalty area just to caution him there? That to to me would be a waste of time an effort.

      IMO it was an efficient use of VAR IMO that didn't take an eternity to come to the correct and just decision.

  21. 50' missed YC, AR1 should have reported that.

  22. General question: if a referee misses a penalty kick that is eventually awarded after VAR intervention (final decision correct), would the referee still gets 7.9 or no?

  23. Besides the missed caution that Chefren mentions, good performance in an unremarkable game by Ostojich. Nicolás Taran's call to disallow an Ulsan goal (58') was well-seen. Really impressed by Nicolás Gallo again as VAR, seems he could be a top name at the Qatar WC in that role.

    That being said, there were some deficiencies in the ref's aptitudes in foul detection (12', 43', +47', 50', 61', 88') and managing the game (unnecessary card at 84', verbal warning at 41' only after pressure from Ulsan players, tactical signals at the end of the 1H, managing DtR offences) and of course missing the penalty scene 'live'.

    So overall, expected level, but Leodán González should be a safe (Uruguayan) bet ahead of Ostojich for WC 2022 in my eyes.

    1. So, is it 8.3 (expected level) or 7.9 (missed KMI)?
      Why Gallo again? Did he previously show good VAR qualities in another FIFA competition?
      Finally, has the pre-list been updated or still the names from last year?

    2. To be honest I don't know how FIFA formally assess performances in their competitions. Just personally, I prefer a different system (1-10) for VAR games, maybe I can explain that at some point.

      Gallo impressed me in the Libertadores SF this year. I think he's attended previous FIFA competitions before too?

      To be honest, I think the pre-list is de facto redundant now that FIFA youth tournaments will not happen this year, so a 'Mažić run' (on the road to 2014) could easily see a trio selected. So today's match was (of course) very important for Ostojich, with González ahead of him in the race.

  24. OT: Again Soares Dias in a "Big" Portugal match.

    Matchweek 18

    Sunday, 7th February

    SC Braga-FC Porto
    Artur Soares Dias - Rui Licínio, Paulo Soares - David Silva
    [João Pinheiro, Tiago Costa]

  25. By far more impressed by Escobar than Ostojich, he looked to be more focused in the game. Good interaction with players, visibly aware of the course of the game. With some fans on the stands, it was quite fascinating for me to see such a game again after all these months.
    The difficulty was not that high, however, he correctly rejected a penalty appeal. I would say expected level with a positive trend.
    Maybe candidate for the final.

    1. Not a major miss. But, did he possibly miss a "pass back" to the keeper by Al-Duhail in 62nd minute?

    2. Why did Escobar stopped play at min. 81???
      And why did he ask an Ahly player to leave the pitch after his opponent who fouled him got a yellow card? In case of a bookable offence, are the injured players not allowed to remain on the field after treatment?

    3. Anonymous, what you said is right , therefore it is written in the same section of Law 5 (what a coincidence :) ) that the injured player can stay on the pitch after suffering a bookable offense only if the injury evaluation/ treatment delivery is done quickly. As there isn't really a precise time shown, I assume this has to be settled by Escobar, who might have decided that the aforementionned treatment was delaying the restart of the game too much.

    4. Anonymous,
      The situation in the 81st minute is quite confusing. The ball is in play with Al-Duhail in possession when Escobar for no apparent reason blows his whistle to stop play. It seems that somebody via comms told him to stop play. Because Escobar then looks over to Zitouni with a bewildered look on his face. A kind of "what are you doing man" look. A Zitouni who is preparing a substitutions for the team who didn't possess the ball (Al-Ahly). Escobar did however get the restart right. As Al-Duhail restarted with an unopposed drop ball.

      I blame Zitouni for possibly losing concentration and overstepping his boundaries by forcing Escobar to stop the match so a substitution could be made. A substitution that could have waited until the next dead ball situation.

    5. Yes, but he did not request that be player be removed for treatment. He actually waited for the treatment to be over and then asked the player to leave, delaying the restart until he left rather than restarting right away after the physio left. Where is the time saved?

    6. Upstylon is right - actually, I thought Escobar solved this scene (87') optimally. Forcing the Al Ahly player to leave on a stretcher would have been too antagonistic, but allowing him to stay on afterwards would have encouraged "time-wasting". It is slightly more problematic if Escobar just ordered him off because he forgot about the caution, but rather peanuts in the bigger picture.

      81' was a bit poor. I guess Zitouni communicated with him "substitution at the next stoppage" through the comms kit, Escobar misunderstood him and just blew his whistle. At least the restart was managed okay.

    7. The situation with the the Al=Ahly player who Escobar forced to go off the pitch after being fouled and the Al-Duhail player cautioned.
      The Al-Ahly medical staff were really slow in entering the pitch after being summoned by Escobar. The actual treatment on the pitch took well over a minute, close to 2 minutes by the time all of the Al-Ahly personnel exited the pitch.
      During the entire incident you see that the Al-Duhail coach and bench personnel are quite annoyed with the Al-Ahly coach and his personnel's antics.
      As Escobar instructs the Al-Ahly player to leave the pitch. You can see him make multiple gestures that they (Al-Ahly) were wasting time.

    8. Ah yes, you're right - indeed, Escobar gestured that clearly. Good interpretation of the LotG / management.

  26. Predictions for next games:
    Ulsan - Al-Duhail: N'Dyaie, Camara, Samba, Escobar - Jiyed, Bascunan
    Palmeiras - UANL: Makkelie, Diks, Steegstra, Zitouni - Blom, Kamphuis
    Al Ahly - Bayern: Mohammed, Alhammadi, Almahri, Batista - Al Marri, Fischer

  27. The ball incident early in the Tigres de la UANL vs Ulsan Hyundai match was comical and amateurish. Should these things happen at the "highest level" to FIFA level referees?

    I did notice that the few times the camera focused on Alves Batista during the "deflategate" incident. She looked annoyed, dismissive and wanted the players to just get on with the match with clearly underinflated match balls.

    So ultimately, whose responsibility is it to ensure that the match balls are properly inflated prior to start of a match?
    The Referee?
    The Assistant Referee's?
    The 4th Official?
    The Additional Assistant Referee?
    The match delegate/organizer?

  28. Extremely violent collision in Belenenses vs FC Porto, between home team GK and an opposing player. No penalty awarded (ref. Fabio Verrisimo).

    1. That's a penalty and at a minimum a Yellow Card. But I wouldn't disagree with a Red Card either. But to not call anything at all, is unacceptable and unforgivable.

      The keeper at no point comes anywhere close to actually playing the ball. The keepers intention may not have been to totally demolish the opposing player. But he is solely responsible for his actions on the pitch. The keeper chose to attack the ball in that manner and as such is responsible for the consequences.

      Was there VAR at this match? If there was, did the VAR intervene?

    2. Penalty and YC to be issued, but it seems as the attempts by keepers to get balls in such situations are always allowed by referees. That's not good.

    3. This situation resulted in 3 YC for the coach of FC Porto, and two players for FC Porto. The FC Porto player lost his vital signs but is already stable. He will remain in hospital for observation.
      Fábio Veríssimo advanced with a complaint about the coach of FC Porto because he said in the flashinterview "We were robbed here".

    4. Red card for me. The level of force is very very high (excessively slow) and the challenge for aure endangers the safety of the opponent.

    5. So let me get this straight. The FC Porto player suffers an on field medical emergency and ends up in the hospital. The FC Porto coach will likely be suspended for standing up for his player.
      But it's the referee who feels aggrieved?
      In what world does that even begin to make any sense?

      I don't know how the Portuguese Ref Comm handles its referees. But it would be a case of gross negligence on their behalf. If this entire referee crew doesn't face some type of disciplinary action.

  29. Today Mario Escobar was completely and totally unrecognizable referee to me. But that is a very good thing. Today's version of Escobar was nothing like the Esocabar's we saw in the Gold Cup Final and the CONCACAF Champions League Final. This version of Mario Escobar could very easily become CONCACAF's #1 (if he isn't already).

    On a personal level. I like the fact that Escobar hasn't bought into the overpriced hype of the Molten Valkeen whistle. As he continues to use the Acme Tube Design Original Tornado Whistle. Which was the first whistle I ever purchased and which continue to be my favorite whistle.

    1. As I saw him in last Gold Cup Final and was vastly disappointed with his performance, I must say I was pleasantly surprised today. Proactive, not afraid to step in when needed or close eyes to bookable offenses, just refereeing what he sees and that's just good stuff.

      Thanks for sharing what type of whistle Escobar uses, actually a quite unique sound provided but as I watch almost only European matches, I never heard it.
      UEFA referees mainly use good old fox40 classic, fox40 Sonik Blast or Molten Valkeen (good but ridiculously expensive (sigh)) whistle.

    2. The difference between the two versions of Escobar show that what he displayed at the Gold Cup and CCL final was directly related to the Concacaf teaching and expectations, not necessarily his personal style. He adapts very well to the environment. He is currently No 1 in Concacaf.

    3. The Brian Hall effect within CONCACAF?

    4. Upstylon
      The Acme Tube Design Original Tornado Whistle is actually quite popular with referee's in Mexico and in Central American countries.
      It does indeed have a different sounding tone which makes it stand out among all the other "cookie cutter" similar sounding whistles.
      For the price of 1 Molten Valkeen, you can buy 8 Acme Tube Design Original Tornado Whistles.

    5. Valkeen isn't overhyped. Best whistle I've ever had and I have a very large collection of whistles.

    6. If it made users better referee's by simply using it. Then maybe I'd buy into hype. But no whistle is capable of doing that. And Escobar managed to do great today with his $5.95 whistle.

  30. Some clips from Escobar's game:

    30' Foul before the goal?

    38' Missed tight offside (Nicholas Anderson); goal annulled by VAR

    48' Correctly rejected penalty appeal (trifling charge)

    62' Deliberate pass to the goalkeeper?

    71' VERY clear reckless foul not penalised by the ref

    81' Random stop to play for a substitution (communication breakdown)

    Agree with everyone, good performance by Mario Escobar. I liked his rigorous foul selection early in the game, good disciplinary choices (89' YC was even a bit harsh / wrong for me), successful interactions. Had the impression he tired slightly at the end (68', 71', 76', 81'), but generally a great mover around the FoP.

    Biggest issue with this performance was the borderline SFP (IMO only RAP 7 though) foul at 71' not whistled, but then you can see he verbally warned the offender before play restarted... but in the bigger picture, good impression (stronger than Ostojich).

    I guess he'll get the final now? (Makkelie + Muhammad SFs, Batista / N'Diaye 3rd/5th?)

    1. 71'
      I know it's "splitting hairs" and a case of millimeters. But does the Al-Duhail player actually make contact with the shin of the Al-Ahly player? On the replays it looks as if he just misses stamping on the shin.

    2. On 71': Yes he does make contact, on the very close up angle you can see it. Also, if the contact is a bit stronger, we would be talking RC here IMO.

    The mistake by AR2 in first half is in my opinion serious, no matter how clearly player was in offside but if you watch the video, you can see that he totally lost the positioning of second last defender without any apparent reaason. The action is quick but absolutely not so much to have this lack of concentration, from his wrong positioning he would have made even a clearer and very obvious mistake.

  32. The possible back-pass to keeper would have been whistled by most of the referees, but for me not a 100% clear mistake, as the defender seems just to touch the ball without a very clear intention to pass it to keeper, at least at first glance. However there are always many different interpretations about how to apply this rule, sometimes it seems enough that ball is touched and passed back without analyzing the intentions of the player. I would back referee, for sure not a major miss in any case.

    1. It needs to be deliberately kicked to the GK. It is clear that this is deliberately kicked but also clear that it wasn’t to the GK. Not his intention.

  33. I must say, pitch quality seems very poor... And could they have found a bigger thing for Zitouni to hold up with the substitution numbers?

  34. Appointments Dutch Eredivisie

    Matchday 22
    Friday, February 5th

    20:00 Fortuna Sittard - Heracles Almelo
    Martin Pérez - Roy de Nas, Ralf van Vlokhoven - Jesse Rozendal
    [Christiaan Bax - Peter Janson]

    Saturday, February 6th

    14.00 PEC Zwolle - RKC Waalwijk
    Björn Kuipers - Sander van Roekel, Erwin Zeinstra - Clay Ruperti
    [Stan Teuben - Martijn Beijer]

    14.00 FC Emmen - AZ
    Pol van Boekel - Bas van Donge, Christian Dobre - Sam Dröge
    [Jannick van der Laan - Dion Fikkert]

    16.30 PSV - FC Twente
    Siemen Mulder - Jan de Vries, Dave Goossens - Robin Hensgens
    [Sander van der Eijk - Rob van de Ven]

    16.30 SC Heerenveen - Vitesse
    Bas Nijhuis - Erik Kleinjan, Jermain Lapar - Martijn Vos
    [Erwin Blank - Erik Koopman]

    Sunday, February 7th

    12.15 Ajax - FC Utrecht
    Allard Lindhout - Charl Schaap, Rens Bluemink - Richard Martens
    [Dennis Higler - Marco Ribbink]

    14.30 FC Groningen - Feyenoord
    Serdar Gözübüyük - Joost van Zuilen, Johan Balder - Jannick van der Laan
    [Martin van den Kerkhof - Bas van Dongen]

    14.30 Willem II - ADO Den Haag
    Jeroen Manschot - Rogier Honig, Richard Polman - Stan Teuben
    [Ingmar Oostrom - Roan van Marrewijk]

    16.45 VVV-Venlo - Sparta
    Christiaan Bax - Peter Janson, Patrick Inia - Nick Smit
    [Alex Bos - Thomas Krijt]

    TOTO KNVB Beker (Dutch FA Cup) appointments:

    Tuesday, February 9th

    20.00 Excelsior - Vitesse
    Dennis Higler - Rens Bluemink, Mark Strijker - Luca Cantineau
    [Laurens Gerrets - Roy de Nas]

    Wednesday, February 10th

    18.45 NEC - VVV-Venlo
    Bas Nijhuis - Jan de Vries, Maarten Ketting - Ingmar Oostrom
    [Joey Kooij - Mark Janssen]

    21.00 Ajax - PSV
    Serdar Gözübüyük - Joost van Zuilen, Johan Balder - Christiaan Bax
    [Jeroen Manschot - Erik Kleinjan]

    Thursday, February 11th

    20.00 SC Heerenveen - Feyenoord
    Björn Kuipers - Sander van Roekel, Erwin Zeinstra - Rob Dieperink
    [Pol van Boekel - Maarten Ketting]

  35. OT

    AEL - PAOK (Greek Cup)

    Offside? Your thoughts

    1. Thanks for having posted this very interesting situation.
      All is about assessing the nature of the touch by defender.
      In my opinion NO OFFSIDE is correct decision, because I think it was a deliberate play.
      This should be the key frame:
      He puts the leg for intercepting the ball, you can see that this movement is different than his running before.
      So, not a deflection, in that case the player would have been hit by ball without having any intention to play it.
      If referee and assistant referee spotted that, I must say it was a very good decision.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I agree with Chefren on this one

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Appointments - Germany:

    Bundesliga Matchday 20

    5th February

    20:00 Hertha BSC - Bayern München
    Robert Schröder - Jan Neitzel-Petersen, Norbert Grudzinski - Bastian
    [Benjamin Brand, Guido Kleve]

    2nd Bundesliga Matchday 20

    5th February

    18:30 Erzgebirge Aue - Hamburger SV
    Florian Badstübner - Thomas Stein, Patrick Hanslbauer - Henry Müller
    [Harm Osmers, Felix-Benjamin Schwermer]

    18:30 FC St. Pauli - SV Sandhausen
    Patrick Alt - Nikolai Kimmeyer, Katrin Rafalski - Lukas Benen
    [Günter Perl, Thomas Gorniak]

  38. Very turbulent period for refereeing in Croatia.
    After few games with big mistakes, according to both the clubs and referee commitee, the situation is very tense.

    The culmination was last round in Rijeka, when there were 5 or 6 VAR interventions, one of which ended in double mistake (decision and protocol violation) because the regular goal in 89' was disallowed by VAR for alleged "passive" offside for influencing the game, without OFR. It seems that the referees in VAR room somehow missed/forgot (?!?!) who scored the goal in the process of drawing lines.

    There is a serious possibility of firing the whole referee organization, and that we see new names in charge.

    1. The video of the incident:

    2. To be honest I doubt that Committee will be fired since the head of Committee is also the vice-president of Croatian football federation. Furthermore, the man who could fire him, general director of Croatian football federation is the member of same political party as head of committee. And the biggest irony of all, president of Rijeka, who was the loudest in his complaints on refereeing is also vice-president of Croatian football federation just as president of Referees Committee.

    3. And all three of them - general director with all vice-presidents are curently in Dubai visting their National Association. Again, big irony. One vice-president publicly calling for firing another vice-president as head of Referers Committee while at that exact moment they are both enjoying in Dubai (not to mention that traveling during COVID crisis was totaly unnecessary)...

    4. Well, I agree partially, but my opinion is that Kulusic was never too tied to his position so he might accept to resign, and in that case there wont be a problem. Personally I think that his overall role was in the end positive and that things improved moderately since he is a head of Commitee. In some critical moments they managed to find referees who could deal with the situation. And in his mandate VAR was implemented, which is a big thing.
      But still, I believe that the best option for the head of referees would be the foreigner who would have a complete public trust. Someone like Mazic or Kassai for example.

    5. I agree with you that Croatian football federation needs foreigner on the head od Referees Committee, that is actually the best solution (personaly I would also like Kassai but I doubt if we can pay him the same money as Russians).

    6. I am horrified by the aforementioned video.
      A VAR as well as the referee needs 90+ minutes full concentration.
      This scene discovers a clear lack of concentration (and knowledge?).


    Check 4:39 and 6:35 and 10:11

    1. Penalty shouldn't have been cancelled as there is a strong contact caused by trailing leg but federation should step in and sanction the blue team for wild dissent after each decision. Impossible for the referee to control that (I fear he would be physically attacked in case of further cards for dissent) so the club should be awarded minus points.

    2. IMO
      1 - Good decision.
      2 - Again very good call.
      3 - Wrong here. The Ball is played but the contact with the trailing leg is quite signifcant.

      + The behavior of the blue team is unbelievable. I agree with Anonymous.

    3. I would say very very brave behaviour from this kuwaitian fifa ref. Unbelievable attitude by blue team. Agree with wrong penalty reverse but this is VAR issue. Overall respect for the calmness and firmness behavior from the ref.

  40. FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020
    5th Place
    Ulsan Hyundai - Korea Republic vs Al Duhail SC - Qatar
    Referee: Edina Alves Batista (BRA)
    Assistant Referee 1: Neuza Back (BRA)
    Assistant Referee 2: Mariana de Almeida (ARG)
    Fourth Official: Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH)
    Reserve Assistant Referee: Humberto Panjoj (GUA)
    Video Assistant Referee: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
    Assistant Video Assistant Referee 1: Julio Bascuñán (CHI)


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