Steinhaus relishes Cardiff date

Referee Bibiana Steinhaus has no doubts about how she will feel when she lines up with the two teams before the UEFA Women's Champions League final between Lyon and Paris Saint-German at the Cardiff City Stadium. "I will probably have goosebumps," says the 38-year-old police officer from the town of Bad Lauterberg, in the Lower Saxony region of northern Germany. "It's probably the moment that I enjoy the most; the feeling of being there, of having been selected for this match together with my team", she reflects. "I'm really grateful to be there, and that people have trusted me enough to send me there."
Even if she is already well accustomed to taking charge of the biggest matches that women's football has to offer – such as the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup final in her home country and the gold medal match at the 2012 Olympic women's football tournament in London – Steinhaus says that the feeling of excitement never goes away with each new appointment. "It's a real honour to be asked to referee the match in Cardiff and to be part of the Women's Champions League, which is an amazing competition." Steinhaus will be accompanied at the final by assistant referees Katrin Rafalski and Christina Biehl, and fourth official Riem Hussein, all from Germany. Reserve official Sian Massey (England) completes the referee team. She sees Thursday's all-French encounter in Wales as an ideal opportunity to highlight the massive strides that women's football – and women's refereeing – have both taken in recent years. "The speed and dynamics of women's football have developed, for sure," Steinhaus explains. "The players are now athletes – and women referees have had to develop at the same pace. At this final and at the coming Women's Euro, we will have a chance to see just how much progress has been made. "UEFA is giving huge support to women's football and women's refereeing, and this has been a big factor." Another piece of good news came Steinhaus's way recently. Next season she will become the first female referee to officiate in the German men's Bundesliga – a fitting reward not only for her refereeing qualities, but also for the hard work that she has put in over the years. "I became a referee because I wasn't a very good player," she recalls. "And refereeing got into my blood. I just enjoy what I'm doing, from game to game." Steinhaus feels that respect is crucial in football, between players, coaches, referees and everyone else involved in the game. "We all wear Respect badges on our shirts, but we really have to all treat Respect as a real living value. We are all working on the same 'product' – football – and we have to come together, and 'sell' this product as it should be sold to the world." The referee team in Cardiff will be focused and united. All of the officials will also be deploying the essential people management skills that referees need to succeed. "I firmly believe that managing people is a key part of refereeing," Steinhaus emphasises. "It's like in life – how you react to people and how they respond to you. A referee is a decision-maker on the field; half of the players will agree with your decision, and half won't! That's the job of a decision-maker, in life as well. "I always ask myself: 'Have I done the best job I could? Did I prepare in the right way? Did I do all I could to take the right decisions?' If I can say that I did all these things, then I'm able to feel comfortable with myself".

Source: UEFA

Adidas 2018 World Cup Referee Kits

The first adidas 2018 World Cup product has been leaked. The adidas 2018 World Cup referee strips are set to be launched in late 2017 and will be also used for the 2018-19 season (pictures via @hendocfc).
Featuring a understated look, the new adidas 2018 World Cup referee jersey features a ton-on-ton Adidas logo on the bottom part of the shirt net to the new Climacool branding. 
The new Adidas 2018 referee shirt comes with subtle hoops and a black collar. Interestingly, the collar is the same used for the Adidas Condivo 16 template.
The new adidas 2018 World Cup referee shirt will be available in at least three different colors: yellow/black, red/black and light blue/black. It is expected to retail at 60 Euro and will be available from December 2017.

FIFA U-20 World Cup – Round of 16

30 May 2017 

Venezuela – Japan
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
VAR 1: Danny Makkelie (NED)
VAR 2: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
AVAR: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)

South Korea – Portugal
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)
VAR 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
VAR 2: Christian Lescano (ECU)
AVAR: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)

31 May 2017
Uruguay – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)

Fourth Official: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
VAR 1: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
VAR 2: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
AVAR: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)

England – Costa Rica
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Fourth Official: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
VAR 1: Gery Vargas (BOL)
VAR 2: Jonny Bossio (PER)
AVAR: John Pitti (PAN)

Zambia – Germany
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: William Torres (SLV)
Fourth Official: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
VAR 1: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
VAR 2: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
AVAR: Ricardo Montero (CRC)

1 June 2016

Mexico – Senegal
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)

Fourth Official: Norbert Hauata (TAH)
VAR 1: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
VAR 2: Gyorgy Ring (HUN)
AVAR: William Collum (SCO)

France – Italy
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
VAR 1: Felix Zwayer (GER)
VAR 2: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP)
AVAR: Nicholas Waldron (NZL)

USA – New Zealand
Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
VAR 1: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
VAR 2: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
AVAR: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

Stark: “Every referee has its own style, which should not change in big games or final tournaments”

Wolfgang Stark had to end his refereeing career because he has reached the age limit. The last game of the man who has officiated the most Bundesliga matches ever was Borussia Mönchengladbach - SV Darmstadt on 20 May 2017. That was his 344 Bundesliga game, who recently surpassed the old record of Markus Merk (338). Stark has officiated at the 2008 Olympic Tournament, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and Euro 2012 in Poland/Ukraine. The German referee was also appointed for the Europa League final in 2012 between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. He was interviewed in a recent issue of Schiedsrichter Zeitung, the official magazine of the German referees.
His Bundesliga debut happened on 4 April 1997 with the game FC Köln - MSV Duisburg. “That is what I always made myself aware of”. He tries to stay humble and tries to remind himself that what he had achieved was already awesome. So no worries about what will happen in the future, keep positive. That worked out well. Only two years later he became a FIFA referee. “Every referee has its own style, which should not change in big games or final tournaments”, says Stark. “If it is something that suits you, something you feel comfortable with, there is no reason to change it.” Stark says his focus is on allowing the game to flow. “Not many whistles, let the players to play their game. However, you have to remain in control. As a referee, you always have to know when to intervene. Refereeing finals is the icing on the cake”, says Stark. “Those are the games you will always remember, especially if you perform well. So you, as referee, do not want to be the subject of people’s talks afterwards”.
Unfortunately, games not always end that way. Not even for referees with World Cup experience. There are not many big errors made by Stark, but he also had some negative experiences in his career. “Admitting your mistakes is also part of our job”, he says looking back. He once showed Marcel Schmelzer a red card for a handball, but the ball has touched his knee. “Nobody is immune for making mistakes, so when you make them, make use of it for yourself.” Immediately after the game between Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg, Stark talked to the media about his error to send Schmelzer off. He gained a lot of sympathy by his honesty. And the card also got rescinded. Stark says that you need negative experiences, because you can learn a lot from them. “Probably these games are at least as important as games that only have positive aspects.”
The Stark family has some referee genes. Stark started when he was aged 14, with support from his dad, who was a Bundesliga assistant referee in the team of Aron Schmidhuber. “I had the advantage that my father himself was a referee. Even if he sometimes criticized me, he was also the one who praised me for my performances”. And that is what every referee needs, says Stark. He stresses that recognition is very import for every referee. As a Bundesliga referee, he is probably praised more often than referees on grassroots level. That is why Stark joined a special campaign to say “thank you” to referees at lower levels in German football. He wanted to honour the referees who are now refereeing at the levels where he once started his career. He did not forget where he came from and wanted to pay these referees some attention. Before the Bundesliga game between Hannover and Hoffenheim he honoured 63 local referees. He even put all the names of these referees on the back of his shirt and put it on while officiating his Bundesliga game that weekend. “Every referee needs recognition”, says Stark. “Referees should not get only negative, but also positive reflection. The performances from referees at grassroots level need to be appreciated. All Bundesliga referees started there and that is what we should never forget. As referees, we all belong to one big family”.

Source:
SR Zeitung

Copa Sudamericana – Round 1 (Matchday 3)

30 May 2017
Defensor Sporting – LDU Quito
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ariel Scime (ARG)
Fourth Official: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Torres (PAR)

Universidad Catolica – Club Petrolero
Referee: Adrian Cabello (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Elbis Gomez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jose Hoyo (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Jose Lara (ECU)

Patriotas – Everton
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Espinoza (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

31 May 2017
Sol de America – Estudiantes Caracas
Referee: Omar Ponce (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Macias (ECU)
Fourth Official: Luis Quiroz (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Atilio Invernizzi (PAR)

Huracan – Anzoategui
Referee: Jorge Osorio (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Patricio Polic (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Saul Laverni (ARG)

Fuerza Amarilla – O'Higgins
Referee: Jonathan Fuentes (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Oscar Rojas (URU)
Referee Assessor: Nilson Moncao (BRA)

Alianza Lima – Independiente
Referee: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guilherme Dias (BRA)
Fourth Official: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Ana Perez (PER)

1 June 2017
Comerciantes Unidos – Boston River
Referee: Raul Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Cardozo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Fourth Official: Ivo Mendez (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Escano (PER)

Bolívar – Tolima
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Reway (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Armando Aliaga (BOL)

Cuenca – Oriente Petrolero
Referee: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Dewson Freitas (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Sandro Vera (ECU)

Rionegro Aguilas – Racing Club
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Roman Hermoso (VEN)

FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group Stage (Matches 33-36)

28 May 2017

New Zealand – France
Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kim Young-Ha (KOR)
Fourth Official: Alioum Alioum (CMR)
VAR 1: Danny Makkelie (NED)
VAR 2: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)

Honduras – Vietnam
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
VAR 1: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
VAR 2: Anastasios Sidiropolous (GRE)

Senegal – Ecuador
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
VAR 1: Felix Zwayer (GER)
VAR 2: Nicholas Waldron (NZL)

USA – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Lopez (PER)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
VAR 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
VAR 2: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)

Referee Madden takes charge of Scottish Cup final in special circumstances

Football isn’t a matter of life and death. Scottish Cup Final referee Bobby Madden knows that better than anyone. Madden was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last April. By August, he was undergoing critical surgery.
For Madden, football paled into insignificance as he put his health and family first during a frightening ordeal. But as he prepares to take charge of his first Scottish Cup Final on Saturday, he admits the prospect of such days helped keep him going through a dark period. Madden said: “I was first told there was a problem in March 2016. I went to Monklands Hospital to have a lump on my neck checked and I thought I would only be there for ten minutes. It was the day of a game and I ended up there for four hours. The doctor told me he was 80 per cent sure I had thyroid cancer. It was a shock, and I didn’t tell my family for four weeks until it was confirmed because I didn’t want to alarm anybody. When I was driving up to the match that night, any time I got stopped in traffic I was looking for the signs of thyroid cancer. When I was signalling for a throw-in during the game, I was thinking, ‘Is that dry skin?’ The game that night didn’t go as well as I would have liked. I made an error. It just shows you. I thought, ‘I’ll deal with this’ but obviously it had an impact. When it was confirmed in April it was thyroid cancer the prognosis was quite positive. After the surgery to remove the thyroid I was to have radioactive iodine. So, there was no chemo or radiotherapy. It all went very well. I delayed it until after going up to the Euros. The biggest thing was getting back to a level of health to support the family and then hopefully back to refereeing. I was really focused to get back better than I was before. The doctor was unsure whether I would get back to refereeing, because I would need to take drugs to replace the thyroid. But it became clear that I would return. People are out longer with a calf strain. That is how I looked at it. I was just so focused on coming back. My first game back was Brechin v Livingston and then ten days later I was refereeing Portugal v Latvia in a World Cup qualifier. That was good, Ronaldo etc. It went well and then gradually I was put back in. I built my fitness up and everything else just fell in line.” Madden had only just given up his full-time job as a distribution manager for a publishing company a few months before he was hit with the diagnosis. That led to an initial worry, but the SFA were fully supportive of his desire to come back after his operation. He said: “John Fleming was one of the first to know, after my family. I wanted him to know what was going on. The SFA were very supportive, they told me to take as long as I needed before coming back. Pierluigi Collina sent me a very nice email, too, saying, ‘Don’t hurry back, UEFA will wait for you’. Hugh Dallas was phoning every week pretty much and that was great. It showed that people cared for me and wanted me to return. I still have one final full body scan to make sure all the cancer has been removed and hasn’t spread anywhere else. It was scheduled for the start of June but I go to the Under-21 finals in Poland for two weeks as a main referee and take a team of five Scottish referees there. I have delayed it until after that. I just need to come off the medication for a few weeks. I am very confident the news will be good but I don’t want any wee issues to distract me from that.”
Madden was fourth official for last year’s Scottish Cup Final and was hailed for his response during shameful post-match pitch battles. The whistler hopes for a quieter day this time and admits it’s the pinnacle, 14 years after he started as a ref. He said: “It’s a massive honour. When you start refereeing, you probably don’t think you will ever take charge of the Scottish Cup Final. But as you progress through your refereeing, even when you reach the Juniors, you start to wonder if one day you might get there. It’s probably only when you get to Category One that it becomes realistic, and then you need a lot of luck, some good performances along the way, too. Domestically, this is what you want to achieve. There are big games in our league, a lot of big games. But growing up, everyone has memories of the Cup Final, the last game of the season.” Madden had one Old Firm controversy involving Celtic this season when Leigh Griffiths was tackled by Clint Hill in the closing stages of the 1-1 March draw. But he stands by his decision not to award a spot-kick — and he denies asking the Hoops striker if he had been fouled. Madden said: “That’s incredible, you can see me on TV saying twice he played the ball. I was adamant he played the ball. Leigh maybe misquoted me! Yes, you can argue is the contact with the man first, but my thought process is that if you play the ball going in for a challenge then it’s okay. I saw the ball moved and I was comfortable with that”.

Source:
The Scottish Sun

FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group Stage (Matches 29-32)

27 May 2017

Uruguay – South Africa
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averianov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
VAR 1: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
VAR 2: William Collum (SCO)

Costa Rica – Zambia
Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Lount (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
Fourth Official: Norbert Hauata (TAH)
VAR 1: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
VAR 2: Ryuji Sato (JPN)

Portugal – Iran
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Andres Cunha (URU)
VAR 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
VAR 2: Gery Vargas (BOL)

Japan – Italy
Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Fourth Official: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
VAR 1: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
VAR 2: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)

FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group Stage (Matches 25-28)

26 May 2017

Guinea – Argentina
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gyorgy Ring (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ivan Kruzliak (SVK)
VAR 1: Felix Zwayer (GER)
VAR 2: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)

England – Korea
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
VAR 1: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
VAR 2: John Pitti (PAN)

Mexico – Venezuela
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Warnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
VAR 1: Danny Makkelie (NED)
VAR 2: William Collum (SCO)

Germany – Vanuatu
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Fourth Official: Yadel Martinez (CUB)
VAR 1: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
VAR 2: Nicholas Waldron (NZL)

Skomina honoured at final date

Damir Skomina is proud at being selected to take charge of the UEFA Europa League final, and the Slovenian referee says his team are determined to perform to the best of their ability. Skomina is treating his latest assignment – UEFA Europa League final between Ajax and Manchester United in Stockholm – with the focus that has taken him to the refereeing summits.
The 40-year-old father of two from Koper, on Slovenia's Adriatic coast, close to the borders with Italy and Croatia, described his appointment for the game as "a great honour". An international referee since 2003, Skomina will be joined at the Stockholm match by five compatriots – assistant referees Jure Praprotnik and Robert Vukan, additional assistant referees Matej Jug and Slavko Vinčić, and reserve assistant referee Tomaž Klančnik. Fourth official Gianluca Rocchi from Italy completes the refereeing team.
Skomina has been a regular in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for several years, and is clearly used to big occasions. He took charge of the 2012 UEFA Super Cup match between Chelsea and Atlético Madrid, as well as the 2007 European Under-21 Championship final featuring the Netherlands and Serbia, and was fourth official at the 2013 UEFA Champions League final, which brought together German rivals Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München. In addition, he was in the refereeing team for UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016. He began refereeing in 1992 at the age of 16. "I played football," he reflects, "but when I was 15, I was told by doctors to stop because they thought I had a health problem. But then, at the age of 21, they told me that they had made a mistake, and that I could play again if I wanted – but it was too late, I was already refereeing!"
The referee team will prepare for the UEFA Europa League final in the dressing-room with music playing in the background – "We have a choice of music that we like," Skomina says. Focus and motivation will be total as the kick-off approaches. "When I'm refereeing a match and I'm standing in the line [with the teams]," he adds, "I don't think of anything else – I'm focusing on the match to come." Part of a top referee's match preparation now involves studying team tactics and players' characteristics – an innovation that Skomina welcomes whole-heartedly. "If you prepare well like this," he stresses, "you give yourself a better chance of being successful." The referee team in Stockholm will also be very much aware that they will be helping to protect football's image on the field. "UEFA has had a strong slogan of Respect for some years now," Skomina explains, "and many young people watch the game. It is important to set an example to these young people." Skomina and his colleagues are determined to perform to the very best of their ability on Wednesday night. "We are a team along with the two teams playing," he emphasises. "We will be encouraging each other, and giving each other the feeling 'I'm there for you' – and we will be doing our very best to succeed as a team in this important match".

Source:
UEFA

FIFA U-20 World Cup – Group Stage (Matches 21-24)

25 May 2017

France – Vietnam
Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe Revel (TAH)
Assistant Referee 2: Bertrand Brial (NCL)
Fourth Official: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
VAR 1: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
VAR 2: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)

New Zealand – Honduras
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Lopez (PER)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
VAR 1: Gery Vargas (BOL)
VAR 2: Jose Argote (VEN)

Ecuador – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Alioum Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Elvis Noupue (CMR)
Fourth Official: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
VAR 1: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
VAR 2: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)

Senegal – USA
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Fourth Official: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
VAR 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
VAR 2: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)

Italy mourns former referee Farina

Italy's former international referee Stefano Farina, who took charge of the 2006 UEFA Super Cup match, has passed away at the age of 54. He was ill for some time but his family wanted to protect his privacy. A distinguished career brought Farina assignments in major European competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, and he was appointed to take charge of the 2006 UEFA Super Cup match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at the Stade Louis II in Monaco. Born in Ovada in 1962, Stefano Farina took up refereeing at the age of 16. He made his debut in Serie A in January 1995 and became an international referee in 2001.
The news was announced on the website of the Italian Association of Referees (AIA): "At the age of 54, the former international referee and current Head of CAN B, Stefano Farina, has left us. He made his debut in Serie A in January 1995, refereeing 236 Serie A and 117 Serie B matches. He has refereed two Italian Supercoppa finals”. In a 27-year career, he has refereed several high-profile matches in Serie A and the UEFA Champions League, including the 2006 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco. During this time, he also had an appearance in the movie Goal 2 as the referee of the fictional Champions League final between Real Madrid and Arsenal. Farina officiated in qualifiers for the 2004 and 2008 European Championships, as well as preliminary matches for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He is known to have served as a FIFA referee during the period from 2001 to 2007. He retired internationally in 2007 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 45 and became UEFA referee observer.


The AIA President, Marcello Nicchi, posted an open letter on their website:

Dear Stefano,
Your game, the most important one, ended in an unexpected way, prematurely, without giving you the opportunity to recover. It is very hard, in these moments, to write or say something... even more so for those who, like me, have had the opportunity to share a life long experience with you. We will remember you as we have known you: a meticulous professional, a very good referee and a great manager, a master of training. An exemplar father, husband and friend. Your family and the refereeing family lose a point of reference. The world of football loses a great sports man.
Ciao "Principe"!

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has asked for a minute of silence to be observed in memory of Farina at all matches in Italy over the coming days. Referees will also wear black armbands, along with Italy’s national teams. Italy play San Marino in a senior friendly in Empoli next Wednesday.

Source: AIA

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 8)

23 May 2017
Santa Fe – The Strongest
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Fourth Official: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Herrera (ECU)

Nacional – Lanus
Referee: Ulises Mereles (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Canete (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Dario Ubriaco (URU)

Chapecoense – Zulia
Referee: Gustavo Murillo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian De la Cruz (COL)
Fourth Official: Juan Ponton (COL)
Referee Assessor: Claudio Cerdeira (BRA)

Santos – Sporting Cristal
Referee: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Caceres (PAR)
Fourth Official: Julio Quintana (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

24 May 2017
Palmeiras – Tucuman
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Leon (COL)
Fourth Official: Luis Sanchez (COL)
Referee Assessor: Francisco Mondria (CHI)

Penarol – J. Wilstermann
Referee: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Coty Carrera (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Raez (PER)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivanez (PER)
Referee Assessor: Joel Ruiz (PAR)

25 May 2017

Emelec – Melgar
Referee: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Horacio Ferreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Lugones (BOL)

River Plate – Medellin
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Gremio – Zamora
Referee: Juan Albarracin (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Baren (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Flavio Nall (ECU)
Fourth Official: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Perassi (BRA)

Guarani – Iquique
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Fourth Official: Diego Abal (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

Atletico Nacional – Barcelona
Referee: Juan Nelio (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Montano (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Antelo (BOL)
Fourth Official: Victor Hurtado (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Estudiantes – Botafogo
Referee: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Barraza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Carlos Ulloa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Rodolfo Otero (ARG)

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 – Group Stage (Matches 17-20)

24 May 2017

Zambia – Iran
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Yadel Martinez (CUB)
VAR 1: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
VAR 2: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)

South Africa – Italy
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
VAR 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
VAR 2: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)

Costa Rica – Portugal
Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Ivan Kruzliak (SVK)
VAR 1: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
VAR 2: Nicholas Waldron (NZL)

Uruguay – Japan
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
VAR 1: Danny Makkelie (NED)
VAR 2: William Collum (SCO)

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 – Group Stage (Matches 13-16)

23 May 2017

England – Guinea
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: William Torres (SLV)

Fourth Official: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
VAR 1: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
VAR 2: John Pitti (PAN)

Venezuela – Vanuatu
Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kim Young-Ha (KOR)
Fourth Official: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
VAR 1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
VAR 2: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)

Korea – Argentina
Referee: Cüneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarık Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
VAR 1: Felix Zwayer (GER)
VAR 2: William Collum (SCO)

Mexico – Germany
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Fourth Official: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
VAR 1: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
VAR 2: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)

Referees step up Women's Euro preparations

Europe's women referees are ready for UEFA Women's EURO 2017 after meeting in the Netherlands to fine-tune their preparations, and they can also feel the growing excitement about this summer's event. Almost 40 match officials who will act as either referee, assistant referee, fourth official or reserves have been at the outstanding Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) campus in Zeist this week for their EURO preparatory workshop.
The agenda featured briefings, practical sessions and a fitness test to make sure that the match officials are all primed for the main event from 16 July to 6 August. Both UEFA and the referees are confident that the first Women's EURO finals to feature 16 teams will set new standards for women match officials – in tandem with the standard of football that will be evident on the pitch. The workshop in Zeist has raised the anticipation another important notch. "You can feel the excitement everywhere, and I hope the referees can feel it too," said UEFA Referees' Committee member and experienced former top referee Dagmar Damková who, together with fellow committee member Bo Karlsson, has been leading the three days of preparations. "I think that after the fitness test and conclusion of the workshop, everyone is going to feel that we are ready for the EURO. This event has given motivation to everybody." Damková welcomed the opportunity to gather the match officials shortly before the finals, especially as a team-bonding exercise. "I absolutely support the idea,"she stressed, "and I'm particularly happy for the assistant referees, because it brings them together with the referees onto the same page in terms of what to expect." UEFA's care in preparing women referees is also reflected in the differences that Damková herself now sees since the time that she was taking charge of major women's European and world matches. For example, a referee fitness team has been present in Zeist under the leadership of Belgian expert Jean-Baptiste Bultynck – they put the referees through their fitness paces, and will be constantly in contact with the officials, giving invaluable advice and instructions in the weeks up to the big kick-off. "I reflect on how lucky the referees are today," she said. "They are provided with material and other things that we didn’t have. They have so many opportunities to learn through online studies, practical sessions and [video] examples, as part of the general process of helping them to get better".
Referees who will be taking charge of the 31 matches at seven Dutch venues range from experienced officials to newcomers who will be savouring their first taste of the EURO atmosphere. Ukraine's Kateryna Monzul will be taking part in her third Women's EURO. She told us about what goes through her mind when she lines up with the teams and hears the national anthems: "It's a really strong feeling. You can't compare it with anything. At that moment, there’s only that moment and that time." Riem Hussein from Germany is going to her first EURO, and recalled the moment when she heard that she would be part of the refereeing team. "I was very surprised and a little bit shocked," she admitted, "because I never thought it could be possible. I’m proud to be part of this." Another first-timer is Sweden's Pernilla Larsson: "You can really feel that the tournament is getting closer. Not many referees get to go to a EURO – it’s like a fairy tale to know that I'm one of them".

Source: UEFA

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 – Group Stage (Matches 9-12)

22 May 2017

France – Honduras
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
VAR 1: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
VAR 2: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)

Ecuador – USA
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
VAR 1: Danny Makkelie (NED)
VAR 2: Ryuji Sato (JPN)

Vietnam – New Zealand
Referee: Alioum Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Noupue (CMR)
Fourth Official: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
VAR 1: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
VAR 2: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)

Saudi Arabia – Senegal

Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: György Ring (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Fourth Official: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
VAR 1: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
VAR 2: Jose Argote (VEN)

Steinhaus will be the first female referee in Bundesliga

The 38-year-old police officer has been named as one of four new referees in Germany's top flight for 2017-2018. Steinhaus has overseen Bundesliga 2 matches since 2011 and also refereed the women's gold medal match between Japan and the United States at the London Olympic Games in 2012, but she was nonetheless overwhelmed by her nomination. "For us all, it's a dream come true. I'm very much looking forward to the task that awaits me", said Steinhaus, who will referee the Women's Champions League final between Lyon and Paris St-Germain in Cardiff on 1 June.
“When Lutz-Michael Frohlich [the head of German referees] informed me, I was quite speechless”, Steinhaus told the official DFB website. “I feel disbelief, joy, happiness, relief, curiosity - it was simply a roller-coaster ride of emotions! It has always been my dream to be a Bundesliga referee. That this dream will come true naturally fills me with joy. On one hand it is confirmation of my hard work, and on the other hand it is a great incentive to continue to work hard. I am aware that I will be the first female referee in the Bundesliga and will be closely watched by the media and the public. I am used to this pressure and am convinced I will find my feet quickly. I have worked very hard for this in the last few years and suffered a few setbacks".
Steinhaus made the news seven years ago after then-Hertha Berlin defender Peter Niemeyer was infamously caught on camera accidentally touching her left breast during a match against Alemania Aachen. When fourth official at a Bayern Munich match in October 2014, then Bayern coach Pep Guardiola put his arm around her shoulders as he argued about a refereeing decision. She brushed his arm off but the Spaniard was subsequently criticised in the media. Fortuna Dusseldorf midfielder Kerem Demirbay was banned for five games in 2015 for saying "women have no place in men's football" after Steinhaus sent him off for a second bookable offence. He later apologised but was ordered by his club to referee a girls' football match as punishment.
Steinhaus' partner, Howard Webb, refereed the 2010 World Cup final between Holland and Spain, becoming the first English referee to take charge of a World Cup final since Jack Taylor in 1974 – a game in which Holland lost to West Germany. Webb, 45, moved abroad to live with Steinhaus after splitting from his wife Kay, mother to his three children. 

Source: Daily Mail

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 – Group Stage (Matches 5-8)

21 May 2017

Zambia – Portugal
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)

Fourth Official: Yadel Martinez (CUB)
VAR 1: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
VAR 2: John Pitti (PAN)

Iran – Costa Rica
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Warnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official: Ivan Kruzliak (SVK)
VAR 1: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
VAR 2: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)

South Africa – Japan
Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Lount (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
Fourth Official: Diego Haro (PER)
VAR 1: Nicholas Waldron (NZL)
VAR 2: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)

Italy – Uruguay
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Fourth Official: Norbert Hauata (TAH)
VAR 1: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
VAR 2: Gery Vargas (BOL)

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 – Group Stage (Matches 1-4)

20 May 2017

Venezuela – Germany
Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Fourth Official: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
VAR 1: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
VAR 2: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)

Argentina – England
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
VAR 1: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
VAR 2: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)

Vanuatu – Mexico
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averianov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)
VAR 1: Felix Zwayer (GER)
VAR 2: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

Korea – Guinea
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
VAR 1: Gery Vargas (BOL)
VAR 2: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)

UNFP Trophies: Turpin at all costs

Ruddy Buquet (photo) has been elected the best referee of Ligue 1 for the fourth consecutive year by his peers. A vote that was not liked by Pascal Garibian, the Technical Director of the French refereeing, who requested a special prize for Clement Turpin.
The French refereeing, who has deserted the Champions League and Europa League this season, stands out again. As every year, French football met recently to showcase the players in the professional championships. A trophy also rewarded the best referee of Ligue 1. Ruddy Buquet has again recorded the largest number of votes. A distinction that he has also received for the past three consecutive years. Buquet has again had a very good season and is very appreciated by his colleagues in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. This is far from Clement Turpin, whose popularity is at the bottom with his comrades of the whistle.
Number one by default, Turpin (photo) can nevertheless count on the unfailing support of his hierarchy, who does not hesitate to fly to his rescue. Le Parisien revealed recently that Pascal Garibian asked SAFE, the union of elite referees, "to find a solution so that Clément Turpin is rewarded". SAFE has accepted. Its president, Olivier Lamarre, explains in the columns of the daily newspaper that "the union has accepted to play the game in the general interest of French refereeing". The title "The best French referee on the international stage" was born on the occasion of this 26th edition of the UNFP Trophies. "I do not want to interfere in the UNFP trophies, but it is important that the French number one in the eyes of UEFA and FIFA is recognized by the French professional football", explained Pascal Garibian to Le Parisien. Many media have evoked this new episode which discredits a little more the French refereeing: "Small arrangements between referees at the UNFP trophies" (Le Parisien), "We must save the soldier Turpin: the French referee tinkers made an honorific title especially for Clément Turpin" (www.20minutes.fr), "The referees invent and obtain a trophy for Clément Turpin" (www.foot01.com), "The management of refereeing did not want to humiliate Turpin at the UNFP trophies UNFP" (www.sports.fr).

Source: Arbitrage 57

UEFA U-17 Euro Final 2017: Maae (DEN)

Danish official Jens Maae has been chosen to referee the 2017 UEFA European Under-17 Championship final on Friday between Spain and England. The physiotherapist from Silkeborg will be accompanied at NK Varaždin stadium – kick-off 20:00CET – by assistants Mika Lamppu from Finland and Russia's Alexei Vorontcov, while Greek Anastasios Papapetrou will act as the fourth official. The title decider will be Maae's third assignment as a man in the middle in Croatia, none of which involved either of the finalists, and the biggest of an international career that began when he ascended to the FIFA list in 2014. "This is a very important tournament for all of us because we're learning from the best observers in the world," Maae told UEFA.com. "It's vital to perform well and continuously improve." Maae, who has been overseeing top-flight games in his homeland since the beginning of the 2012/13 campaign, describes his appointment as a "big relief and a great honour", adding: "The championship is not only important for the players but also for the referees too. I'm very happy." The fixture in Varazdin – a city approximately 80km north of Croatian capital Zagreb – will be his 17th UEFA engagement of a season that started on 7 July in San Marino with a UEFA Europa League first qualifying round encounter. During that time Maae has served in a variety of roles and locations, from handling a UEFA Youth League tie in the Netherlands and working as a fourth official at a European Qualifier in Moldova to being an additional assistant referee at San Siro for a UEFA Europa League group stage game involving Internazionale Milano. "It's a big advantage to feel the pressure from matches at the highest level," he explained. "I'm lucky to travel with the best referees in Denmark. It's useful to be able to bring that experience into this tournament. Seeing the huge stadiums and feeling the pressure of being at the top will only help you improve." For now, though, the 35-year-old is concentrating fully on the job in hand: the third meeting of Spain and England in a U17 Euro showpiece, after 2007 and 2010. "I watched a couple of their matches, live and on television, so I've done my homework," he said. "I've also spoken to my colleagues about them, so I feel well prepared. Ideally, we'll be speaking about a good match that featured a lot of teamwork and cooperation. Hopefully it'll be an entertaining game for the officials, the teams and the spectators". (Source: UEFA)


19 May 2017
Spain – England
Referee: Jens Maae (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mika Lamppu (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksey Vorontsov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Anastassios Papapetrou (GRE)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 7)

16 May 2017
Independiente Medellin – Emelec
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Referee Assessor: Alicio Pena (BRA)

Atletico Mineiro – Godoy Cruz
Referee: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Victor Raez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Atoche (PER)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcon (PER)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)

Zulia – Nacional
Referee: Patricio Polic (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Barraza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Carlos Ulloa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Miguel Buitrago (VEN)

Libertad – Sport Boys
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Franchescoly Chacon (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jose Hoyo (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Torres (PAR)

17 May 2017
Universidad Catolica – Atletico Paranaense
Referee: Jonathan Fuentes (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

San Lorenzo – Flamengo
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: Julio Quintana (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Victor Rivera (PER)

Lanus – Chapecoense
Referee: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Fourth Official: Andres Rojas (COL)
Referee Assessor: Angel Sanchez (ARG)

The Strongest – Santos
Referee: Dario Herrera (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivan Nunez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jorge Balino (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Martin Vazquez (URU)

Sporting Cristal – Santa Fe
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Espinoza (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Sandro Vera (ECU)

18 May 2017
Melgar – River Plate
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Fourth Official: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Antequera (BOL)

Botafogo – Atletico Nacional

Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Coty Carrera (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Yupanqui (PER)
Fourth Official: Luis Garay (PER)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Barcelona – Estudiantes
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Fourth Official: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Hugo Munoz (CHI)

Gold Cup 2017 Referee Candidates

A key element of preparing referees for CONCACAF’s premier competition got underway as the Gold Cup Referee Candidate Course opened in Dallas (USA). From an elite group of 19 referees and 29 assistant referees, the finest will be selected to manage the region’s biennial championship for national teams, which will be contested in the United States from July 7-26, 2017. In addition to the 48 referees in contention for Gold Cup appointments, CONCACAF invited 12 referees from the “Targeted Advanced Referee Program” (TARP). With an eye on the future, these talented referees will participate in all training and preparation afforded their elite-level colleagues, readying them for their future at the top. The six assessors appointed to the tournament are also in attendance, so that they receive the same information provided to the referees.
“This new and unique approach to training and selecting referees for the Gold Cup is focused on optimizing the preparation, from a technical and physical perspective, of the referees”, said CONCACAF Director of Refereeing, Brian Hall, outlining the objective of the four-day gathering. “We are committed to be the most prepared team in the competition and, as such, our referees continue to exhibit their commitment to a world-class approach to meeting the demands of the Gold Cup.” As part of the course, participants will undergo thorough classroom instruction, technical sessions on the field of play utilizing players, and they will all be required to pass the FIFA World Cup Candidate referee fitness test. FIFA Technical and Fitness Instructors will lead training, with the objective of ensuring that all match officials are in the best physical and mental condition possible. Rodolfo Sibrian, CONCACAF and FIFA Instructor, believes that the course “Is a key component in the providing referees with new tools to manage world-class players and teams in world-class games. We are using technical sessions on the field and video tests in the classroom to coach the referee team to a common goal – maximizing performance”.
As FIFA states on its website, the global nature of football requires that the Laws of Game be applied consistently wherever it is played. An essential factor of uniform application is a referee or assistant referee’s overall degree of physical conditioning. In order to determine that level, officials are obligated to pass a fitness test. At the University of Dallas, elite match officials taking part in the Gold Cup Referee Candidate Course - including those in the Targeted Advanced Referee Program - were required to pass the FIFA World Cup Candidate Fitness test, so that they could potentially be considered for an appointment to CONCACAF’s most important competition. “As part of the evaluation of a referee’s readiness to officiate in CONCACAF’s premier competition, the Gold Cup, we administered the FIFA World Cup Candidate fitness test,” said Alan Brown, a FIFA fitness instructor. “As part of the CONCACAF focus on excellence, we used the test to ensure our referees have world-class endurance and explosiveness.” This assessment tool is significantly more difficult than the standard fitness test required by FIFA and CONCACAF for previous Gold Cup editions. All referees selected for the World Cup are required to pass the test, which consists of interval runs and sprints. Brian Hall, CONCACAF’s Director of Refereeing, was delighted with the test’s results and what it said about the dedication of match officials throughout the region. “All of CONCACAF can be proud of the results displayed by our Gold Cup candidates,” he expressed. “The fitness test results from our elite corps of referees showed that they are committed to being the best they can be and that they understand the demands of the modern game as well as the importance fitness plays in making educated decisions on the field of play.” The participants in the Gold Cup Referee Candidate Course will discover in the near future if they are to work at the competition that starts on July 7 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Source: CONCACAF

CIES: Booking policies throughout European championships

For the first time, issue number 182 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents data on cards issued by referees. The 31 top division European championships surveyed are ranked according to the average number of cards given per game. The Greek Super League heads the table (5.52), while the Norwegian Eliteserien is at the bottom of the rankings (2.93). Southern and Eastern European countries are over-represented among those where the referees issue the most cards. On the contrary, in the majority of Northern and Western European countries, the number of cards given is relatively low. These gaps reflect the existence of different cultures both from a player and a referee behaviour perspective. Generally speaking, the number of yellow cards is correlated to that of red cards. The French Ligue 1 is an exception. At international level, French referees issue few yellow cards, but a lot of red ones. At the opposite end of the spectrum, in the English Premier League, the amount of red cards is very low compared to that of yellow cards.

Average cards per match during the 2015 season (Yellow/Red/Total)


Source: CIES

UEFA Champions League Final 2017: Brych (GER)

German Felix Brych, who has officiated at five UEFA Champions League fixtures this season, will referee next month's final between Juventus and Real Madrid in Cardiff. Brych, who has been an international match official since 2007, has taken charge of five UEFA Champions League fixtures this season – including the round of 16 first leg between Porto and Juve – as well as the UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg between Anderlecht and Manchester United. The 41-year-old was part of last summer's UEFA Euro 2016 refereeing team. He was the man in the middle for the Sweden-Belgium and England-Wales group stage games, as well as the quarter-final between Poland and Portugal. Brych was also the referee for the 2014 UEFA Europa League final between Sevilla and Benfica in Turin. (Source: UEFA)


Cardiff, 3 June 2017
Juventus – Real Madrid
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: Milorad Mazic (SRB)
Reserve AR: Rafael Foltyn (GER)

Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

UEFA Europa League Final 2017: Skomina (SVN)

Slovenian referee Damir Skomina, 40, will be the man in the middle for the 2017 UEFA Europa League final between Ajax and Manchester United on 24 May in Stockholm. Skomina, 40, has been an international referee since 2003. He was part of the UEFA Euro 2016 refereeing team, overseeing four games including Iceland's last-16 win against England and the quarter-final between Wales and Belgium. This season Skomina officiated at six UEFA Champions League matches, including the quarter-final second leg between Monaco and Borussia Dortmund. He has taken charge of six semi-finals in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League over the past five campaigns, but this will be his first final. (Source: UEFA)



Solna, 24 May 2017
Ajax Amsterdam – Manchester United
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Matej Jug (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Slavko Vincic (SVN)
Fourth Official: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Reserve AR: Tomaz Klancnik (SVN)

Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 2017: Steinhaus (GER)

Bibiana Steinhaus will referee the 2017 final between Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain in Cardiff on 1 June, having overseen the sides' semi-final first-leg meeting last season. The 38-year-old German police officer, whose father was also a referee, has been officiating at international level since 2005, and was fourth official for the first leg of the 2007 UEFA Women's Cup final – the predecessor competition to the UEFA Women's Champions League. Steinhaus also took charge of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup final, when Japan beat the USA on penalties in Frankfurt, and the final of the 2012 Olympic women's football tournament at Wembley, when the US overcame Japan 2-1. Last season she officiated when Lyon and Paris met in the first leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final, Lyon running out 7-0 winners. (Source: UEFA)


Cardiff, 1 June 2017
Olympique Lyonnais – Paris St. Germain
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Christina Biehl (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Fourth Official: Riem Hussein (GER)
Reserve AR: Sian Massey (ENG)

Referee Observer: Antonia Kokotou (GRE)

UEFA Women’s U-17 Euro Final 2017: Baier (AUT)

The referee team for Sunday's UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final has been announced, with Austria's Julia-Stefanie Baier awarded the honour of officiating the showpiece between Germany and Spain in Pilsen. With a team made up of assistants Alexandra Theodora Apostu from Romania and Lithuania's Ieva Ramanauskiene, together with fourth official Meliz Özçiğdem from Turkey, Baier is preparing for one of the biggest games of her career, and a stepping stone towards even more. "I'm definitely very proud," said the 28-year-old to UEFA.com. "I was delighted and completely overwhelmed when I found out – I cannot even describe it." With a background teaching music and fitness, Baier discovered her passion for refereeing after a few years playing football for her local team. She is grateful for the encouragement that she has received along the way. "Definitely the development work being carried out with referees in Austria is fantastic," Baier said. "We get more and more help through mentors, coaching and seminars – everything is there for us." Just as it has been for all the officials based in Pilsen over the past few weeks, receiving close support, training and guidance from UEFA. "At the moment, what matters to me is that I am gaining experience internationally as a referee, step by step, progressing and establishing myself. Certainly there are no obstacles placed in our way and we get support, so if a woman in Austria wants to be a referee, she will receive support. "Baier has garnered all this support to nurture her passion, learning by the day and pursuing a dream. "The big dream of taking part in a European Championship or World Cup is not something exclusive to the players," she said. "It would certainly be a dream of mine to referee at another big international tournament at some stage, and to be part of it – I think every referee dreams of that. When you see those occasions on the television, you really get goosebumps and say 'I want to be there too'. But as I said, it is a long way to go for us, there is a lot to learn and the most interesting thing for me as a referee is that you learn something new every day. You can't expect things to be the same each time – the most important motto for us is 'expect the unexpected' and for me the most important thing is, hopefully, taking small steps forwards. Not everybody can make it, and we've got to recognise that, but it's a dream and it would be extremely wonderful to get there." Women’s refereeing is developing apace alongside the women’s game. "Definitely I will go away with memories of some very good women's football here," Baier said. "Technically and physically, the players have improved a great deal and there are some great players here. I will definitely look back on this tournament and see that women's football has developed greatly." She will be able proudly to say the same about herself after officiating in Sunday's final. (Source: UEFA)


14 May 2017
Germany – Spain
Referee: Julia Baier (AUT,)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexandra Apostu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ieva Ramanauskiene (LTU)
Fourth Official: Melis Ozcigdem (TUR)

UEFA Europa League – Semi-finals (Second Leg)

11 May 2017

Manchester United – Celta Vigo
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Sebastian Coltescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)

Olympique Lyonnais – Ajaz Amsterdam
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Additional AR 1: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
Additional AR 2: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Fourth Official: Radoslaw Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez (ESP)

Referee Thomson showed the red card to his assistant

Assistant referee Andrew McWilliam was tasked with running the line during the Scottish Premiership showdown between Kilmarnock and Dundee when things took a turn for the worst. He stood next to Killie midfielder Jordan Jones as he lined up to take a corner kick in the first half, but halted play before turning away from the pitch clutching his stomach. Incredibly, just seconds later, he vomited on the pitch while the disbelieving crowd went wild. And if he thought he was due any sympathy, he was to be left severely disappointed. Because instead of an arm around the shoulder he was shown a red card by the referee. But in the early stages of the game he took ill and started spewing on the sidelines.
Spotting the commotion, referee Craig Thomson jogged over to check if his colleague was alright. In a rare moment of humour, FIFA referee Craig Thomson showed him the red card as players erupted in laughter. Even McWilliam saw the funny side and was to continue officiating.
Last year, two match officials in the Czech Republic were stripped of their licenses after showing up to officiate a game while visibly intoxicated.

Source: Daily Record

Recopa Sudamericana 2017 (Second Leg)

10 May 2017

Atletico National – Chapecoense
Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Barazza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Jorge Osorio (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Wilson Seneme (BRA)

Copa Sudamericana – Round 1 (Matchday 3)

9 May 2017
Sport Huancayo – Nacional Potosí
Referee: Juan Albarracin (ECU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Macias (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwin Bravo (ECU)
Fourth Official: Luis Quiroz (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Ana Perez (PER)

Sportivo Luqueño – Deportivo Calí
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Luiz de Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Alberto Tejada (PER)

Gimnasia y Esgrima – Ponte Preta
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Referee Assessor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)

10 May 2017
Atletico – Palestino
Referee: Dewson Freitas (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Reway (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Roman Hermoso (VEN)

Nacional – Cruzeiro
Referee: Gustavo Murillo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Fourth Official: Luis Sanchez (COL)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

Universidad de Chile – Corinthians
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Fourth Official: Oscar Rojas (URU)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Liverpool – Fluminense
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Sanchez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Fourth Official: Marlo Escalante (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Claudio Puga (CHI)

11 May 2017
Arsenal – Juan Aurich
Referee: Raul Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Antelo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Reluy Vallejos (BOL)
Fourth Official: Juan Garcia (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)

Caracas FC – Cerro Porteno
Referee: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Imer Machado (COL)

Sao Paulo FC – Defensa y Justicia
Referee: Ulises Mereles (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Canete (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Nilson Moncao (BRA)

Danubio – Sport Recife
Referee: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Edson Cisternas (CHI)
Fourth Official: Carlos Ulloa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Juan Cardellino (URU)

UEFA Champions League – Semi-finals (Second Leg)

9 May 2017
Juventus – AS Monaco
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED, photo)
Assistant Referee: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Additional AR 2: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Fourth Official: Mario Diks (NED)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Sajn (SVN)

10 May 2017
Atletico Madrid – Real Madrid
Referee: Cüneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Ali Palabiyik (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Baris Simsek (TUR)
Fourth Official: Emre Eyisoy (TUR)
Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)

CONCACAF U-17 Championship Final 2017: Martinez (HON)

7 May 2017

Mexico – USA
Referee: Hector Martinez (HON, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: David Moran (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Stephens (GUY)
Fourth Official: Ismael Cornejo (SLV)
Reserve AR: Daniel Ake (BLZ)

OFC Champions League Final 2017

First Leg, 30 April 2017

Auckland City – Wellington
Referee: Nick Waldron (NZL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Glen Lochrie (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Folio Moeaki (TGA)
Fourth Official: Campbell-Kirk Waugh (NZL)

Second Leg, 7 May 2017

Wellington – Auckland City
Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe Revel (TAH)
Assistant Referee 2: Bertrand Brial (NCL)
Fourth Official: Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH)

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Final 2017: Namazov (UZB) & Ostrowski (POL)

The dream of every referee around the world is to take charge of a tournament final and Beach Soccer officials are no different. Bakhtiyor Namazov from Uzbekistan and Lukasz Ostrowski from Poland have been selected to referee the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 final between Tahiti and Brazil. Namazov and Ostrowski both have experience officiating in the latter stages of past Beach Soccer World Cups. Namazov was a reserve assistant referee for the Portugal 2015 Final, while Ostrowski was the head referee for the semi-final between Portugal and Russia a few days earlier. They shared their thoughts with FIFA.com ahead of the big match. Bakhtiyor Namazov: “We are very happy. All the referees have been at a very high level. A big dream for any referee is to take charge of a final match. The goal of the referee is to make no mistakes in the match. The best team tomorrow will win”. Lukasz Ostrowski: “For me it is a big honour to be designated for the final game. We have just heard the appointments and there are no words to describe our feelings. I am very, very happy. Of course, I think the level of the refereeing was very good during the tournament. For me, it’s a big pleasure to be designated for the final with Bakhtiyor. We want to do our best to show our skills, our knowledge, our potential. We trained very hard before this tournament. We had theoretical and practical sessions; we trained a lot with a fitness coach. We just want to maintain our performance until the end. We know that even if we referee well all tournament, everyone will remember the final”. (Source: FIFA)


7 May 2017

Final
Brazil – Tahiti
Referee 1: Bakhtiyor Namazov (UZB)
Referee 2: Lukasz Ostrowski (POL)
Third Official: Gionni Matticoli (ITA)
Timekeeper: Ebrahim Al-Mansory (UAE)
Reserve AR: Said Hachim (MAD)

Match for Third Place
Iran – Italy
Referee 1: Ivo Moraes (BRA)
Referee 2: Mariano Romo (ARG)
Third Official: Micke Palomino (PER)
Timekeeper: Juan Angeles (DOM)

Reserve AR: Sofien Benchabane (FRA)