UEFA Europa League – Semi-finals (First Leg)

26 April 2018

Arsenal – Atletico de Madrid
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

Olympique de Marseille – FC Salzburg
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Francis Connor (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Robert Madden (SCO)
Additional AR 2: John Beaton (SCO)
Fourth Official: Douglas Potter (SCO)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

24-26 April 2018

Deportivo Lara – Millonarios
Referee: Michael Espinoza (PER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Orue (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Atoche (PER)
Fourth Official: Luis Garay (PER)

Atletico Nacional – Bolivar
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Fourth Official: Dewson Freitas (BRA)

Santos – Estudiantes
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jose Mendez (PAR)

Atletico Tucuman – The Strongest
Referee: Luis Oliveira (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)

Nacional – Real Garcilaso
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)

Monagas – Defensor Sporting
Referee: Andres Rojas (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Leon (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Betancur (COL)

Boca Juniors – Palmeiras
Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Cesar Deischler (CHI)

Santa Fe – Flamengo
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Fourth Official: Esteban Ostojich (URU)

River Plate – Emelec
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Raez (PER)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivañez (PER)

Cruzeiro – Universidad de Chile
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Vera (ECU)
Fourth Official: Juan Albarracin (ECU)

Peñarol – Libertad
Referee: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guillherme Camilo (BRA)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Marques (BRA)

Junior – Alianza Lima
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Fourth Official: Marlon Escalante (VEN)

Vasco da Gama – Racing Club
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Lopez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Sanchez (PER)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcon (PER)

UEFA Champions League – Semi-finals (First Leg)

24 April 2018
FC Liverpool – AS Roma
Referee: Felix Brych (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Additional AR 2: Marco Fritz (GER)
Fourth Official: Markus Häcker (GER) 

Referee Observer: Juan Fernandez Marín (ESP)

25 April 2018
Bayern München – Real Madrid
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR 2: Dennis Higler (NED)
Fourth Official: Charles Schaap (NED)
Referee Observer: Sandor Piller (HUN)

Laws of the Game Changes 2018-2019

  • There is no limit on the number of substitutes that can be used in youth football 
  • Permission is needed from The IFAB for any modifications not already permitted 
  • Temporary dismissals – System B: a player who receives two temporary dismissals and a non-temporary dismissal caution (YC) may not be substituted/replaced 

Law 1
  • Clarification of measurements on the field of play 
  • Reference to substituted players being permitted to be in the technical area 
  • Commercial advertising is not permitted on the ground in the Referee Review Area (RRA) 
  • Reference to the Video Operation Room (VOR) and Referee Review Area (RRA) 

Law 3
  • Competition rules may permit the use of an additional substitute in extra time (even if not
  • all permitted substitutes have been used) 
  • A maximum of 12 substitutes can be named for international ‘A’ friendly matches 

Law 4
  • Small, hand-held electronic or communication devices are permitted in the technical area
  • if used for coaching/ tactics or player welfare 
  • Introduction of a FIFA quality mark for EPTS, and data from EPTS may be received in the
  • technical area during the match 
  • Detailed guidelines for what can and cannot appear on players’ equipment 
  • Player who has left the field because of an equipment issue and returns without
  • permission and interferes is penalised with a direct free kick (or penalty kick) 

Law 5
  • Reference to video assistant referees (VARs) and assistant VARs (AVARs) and the ability of a referee to use video replays for decision making as part of VAR system 
  • Some sending-off offences can be reviewed even if play has restarted 
  • Distinction between ‘on-field’ match officials and ‘video’ match officials 
  • Match officials are not permitted to wear cameras 
  • Inclusion of the referee ‘check’ and ‘review’ signals used in the VAR process 

Law 6
  • Duties of the video assistant referee (VAR) and assistant VAR (AVAR) 

Law 7
  • Drinks breaks should not exceed one minute 
  • Allowance must be made for time ‘lost’ for drinks breaks and VAR checks/ reviews 

Law 10
  • Kicks from the penalty mark – a replacement for a goalkeeper cannot take a kick in that
  • ‘round’ if the goalkeeper has already taken a kick 

Law 11
  • The first point of contact when the ball is played/touched is the moment when offside position is judged 

Law 12
  • Biting is included as a direct free kick and sending-off offence 
  • Throwing an object at the ball or hitting the ball with a held object are separate direct free kick offences (not a form of handball) 
  • If the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper this does not prevent the goalkeeper handling
  • the ball a second time even if the first attempt to catch/holds the ball was deliberate 
  • If the referee plays advantage for a DOGSO the offender is cautioned (YC) whether or not a
  • goal is scored 
  • Entering the RRA or excessively showing the TV signal are cautions (YCs) 
  • Where 2 separate cautionable (YC) offences are committed in close proximity, both cautions (YCs) must be issued; same principle if one is a sending off offence 
  • Entering the VOR is a sending-off (RC) offence 
  • If a player commits an offence outside the field of play (ball in play) against someone from their own team (including a team official) it is an indirect free kick on the boundary line 

Law 13
  • Clarification that free kicks can also be awarded for offences by a substitute, substituted or sent off player, or a team official 

Law 15
  • A player must stand to take a throw-in (kneeling, sitting etc. not permitted) 

Deleted text in Law 2
  • Reference to previous ball quality marks: Balls carrying previous quality marks such as “FIFA Approved”, “FIFA Inspected” or “International Matchball Standard” may be used in aforementioned competitions until 31 July 2017 

Source: IFAB

UEFA Women's Champions League – Semi-finals (First Leg)

22 April 2018

Manchester City – Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Chrysoula Kourompylia (GRE)
Fourth Official: Riem Hussein (GER)
Referee Observer: Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)

Chelsea LFC – VfL Wolfsburg
Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Belinda Brem (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Susann Küng (SUI)
Fourth Official: Désirée Grundbacher (SUI)
Referee Observer: Antonia Kokotou (GRE)

UEFA Futsal Cup Final 2018: Sorescu (ROU) & Tomic (CRO)

22 April 2018

Sporting – Inter 

Referee 1: Bogdan Sorescu (ROU, photo) 
Referee 2: Sasa Tomic (CRO)
Third Referee: Angelo Galante (ITA)
Timekeeper: Maria Marin Pastor (ESP)

Match for Third Place
Gyor – Barcelona
Referee 1: Ondrej Cerny (CZE)
Referee 2: Angelo Galante (ITA)
Third Referee: Sasa Tomic (CRO)
Timekeeper: Maria Marin Pastor (ESP)

UEFA Futsal Cup 2018 – Semi-finals

20 April 2018

Gyor – Sporting
Referee 1: Ondrej Cerny (CZE, photo)
Referee 2: Angelo Galante (ITA)
Third Referee: Sasa Tomic (CRO)
Timekeeper: Maria Marin Pastor (ESP)

Inter – Barcelona
Referee 1: Bogdan Sorescu (ROU)
Referee 2: Sasa Tomic (CRO)
Third Referee: Angelo Galante (ITA)
Timekeeper: Maria Marin Pastor (ESP)

VAR decisions at World Cup to be explained on giant screens

Fans attending World Cup matches in Russia won’t be left wondering about the reasons behind decisions of the video assistant referee. After the VAR’s decision is made, replays will be shown on giant screens inside the stadiums accompanied by a written explanation, as part of the VAR information system recently unveiled by FIFA.
FIFA will place someone in the VOR (video operations room) who will listen in to the VAR’s decisions and communicate them to both TV commentators and stadium personnel operating the giant screens. “So we will have graphics on the giant screens, we will have replays after the decision on the giant screens, and we will also inform the fans about the outcome of a VAR incident and review,” said Sebastian Runge, group leader of football innovation at FIFA. With the VAR making its tournament debut during the June 14 -July 15 World Cup, FIFA is holding its final training camp this month for the 99 match officials — 36 referees and 63 assistants — who have been selected to go to Russia. Thirteen VARs have been pre-selected and are being trained at Italy’s Coverciano complex, and FIFA referees chief Pierluigi Collina said more VARs and AVARs will be chosen from the 99 match officials. Three of the 13 VARs come from Italy’s Serie A and two from Germany’s Bundesliga — elite competitions that already use video assistants. The VAR can support the referee in four game-changing situations: goals and offences leading up to a goal, penalty decisions and offences leading up to a penalty, direct red card incidents and cases of mistaken identity. Still, VARs in both Italy and Germany have received vehement criticism for long delays and bungled decisions this season. On Monday, Mainz was awarded a penalty during half-time against a rival Freiburg side that had already left the pitch for the break — prompting the unusual scene of a team returning from the changing room to defend a penalty. “Yesterday we had already discussed this incident here and gave match officials and VARs clear indication about what should be done if something similar in a FIFA competition - specifically the World Cup - happens,” Collina said without providing further details. He added that the VAR should not be overused, adding that ideally it would intervene at all in a match. “The goal of VAR is to avoid major mistakes,” Collina said. “The objective is not to have clear and obvious mistakes committed on the field of play. This is the target, the goal is not to re-referee the match using technology. “There will continue to be incidents when a final answer will not be given and there will be different opinions,” Collina added.

VAR Control centre in Moscow
FIFA will follow the Bundesliga model of a central control centre for the VAR rather than using trucks outside stadiums. “We will have all of the referees based in Moscow, so there won’t be any stress in terms of travel,” Collina said. For each match, Collina will select one VAR and three AVARs. Training operation rooms presented to media included six monitors for the VARs and two more for technical assistants enabling the VARs to see requested replays. There could be up to four technical assistants in the room for World Cup matches.

Offside cameras
FIFA will install two extra cameras at matches to monitor offside decisions. The cameras will be in addition to the 33 cameras used for broadcasters and they will be installed under stadium roofs. Broadcasters will not have direct access to the cameras, but if they are used by the VAR then broadcasters can show the video. Runge added that three dimensional technology - considered the ultimate strategy for determining offside - is not ready for real-time access yet.

Sweat and stress
VARs will not officiate more than one match per day. “It’s not like watching a match on the sofa sipping coffee,” Collina said. Collina, who officiated Brazil’s 2-0 win over Germany in the 2002 World Cup final, explained why the VARs will wear track suits similar to referees’ on-pitch attire. “The reason is at the end they sweat as much as someone on the field, because the tension is very high,” Collina said. “They cannot do two matches per day - it’s too stressful.”

Communications and hacking
The Moscow control centre will be connected to match officials via a fiber optic network. If the network fails, the backup plan includes an old-fashioned land telephone line and a telephone stationed near the fourth referee for emergency use. “Worst-case scenario includes a backup plan on site. That’s when the IBC is down - no power, no fiber network,” Runge said. “Then we have a plan in place where the fourth official would become the VAR and the fourth official would be replaced by the reserve assistant referee. “We have a cabin in the broadcast compound from where we send all of the feeds to the IBC anyway. That cabin can be turned into a smaller, light version of the VOR.” Hacking has also been considered. “We are aware that there might be something, but our IT department put measurements in place that will protect us from that,” Runge said.

Post-match briefings
In extraordinary circumstances, FIFA will hold post-match briefings to explain decisions in greater detail. “If something should happen that we think should properly and accurately be explained - and it doesn’t matter if it’s related to VAR or something different - if it is a matter to explain the background of a decision, as an exception certainly we will do it,” Collina said. “But it won’t be a post-match press conference for every match, explaining every single decision taken during every single match”.

Source: AP

UEFA Youth League Final 2018: Ekberg (SWE)

Semi-finals (20 April 2018)

Chelsea – FC Porto
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Fedayi San (SUI)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Manchester City – FC Barcelona
Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zeynal Zeynalov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Akif Amirali (AZE)
Fourth Official: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Final (23 April 2018)

Chelsea/FC Porto – Manchester City/FC Barcelona
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Kristoffer Karlsson (SWE)

Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

CONCACAF Champions League Final 2018 (First Leg)

17 April 2018 

Toronto FC – Chivas Guadalajara 
Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Ainsley Rochard (TRI)
Fourth Official: Hector Martinez (HON)