Youth Olympic Games 2018 – Futsal Tournament

6-18 October 2018, Buenos Aires

AFC
1. Hussain Al Bahhar (BHR, 1980)
2. Hiroyuki Kobayashi (JPN, 1980)
3. Po Fu Lee (TPE, 1988)
4. Qingyun Liang (CHN, 1985)
5. Gelareh Nazemi (IRN, 1984)

CAF
1. Mohamed Hassan (EGY, 1977)
2. Khalid Hnich (MAR, 1981)

CONCACAF
1. Jose Barrera (SLV, 1989)
2. Diego Molina (CRC, 1986)
3. Roberto Sanchez (CUB, 1979)
4. Lance VanHaitsma (USA, 1982)

CONMEBOL
1. Ricardo Amaral (BRA, 1983)
2. Tayana Moreno (VEN, 1992)
3. Valeria Palma (CHI, 1990)
4. Andres Pena (ARG, 1984)
5. Rafael Villalba (PAR, 1992)

OFC
1. Anthony Riley (NZL, 1985)

UEFA
1. Victor Berg Audic (FRA, 1985)
2. Ovidiu Curta (ROU, 1976)
3. Nikola Jelic (CRO, 1982)
4. Miguel Oliveira (POR, 1981)
5. Chiara Perona (ITA, 1987)
6. David Urdanoz (ESP, 1979)
7. Irina Velikanova (RUS, 1980)

Support Referee - CONMEBOL
1. Leandro Lorenzo (ARG, 1975)

UEFA Europa League – Play-Offs (First Leg)

23 August 2018

Partizan – Beşiktaş
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomáš Somoláni (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Fourth Official: Filip Glova (SVK)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

Zenit – Molde
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Fourth Official: Harm Osmers (GER)
Referee Observer: Sabri Çelik (TUR)

Torpedo Kutaisi – PFC Ludogorets
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kemal Yılmaz (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Fourth Official: Koray Gençerler (TUR)
Referee Observer: Petteri Kari (FIN)

Sigma Olomouc – Sevilla FC
Referee: Robert Madden (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Francis Connor (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Potter (SCO)
Fourth Official: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

AS Trenčín – AEK Larnaca
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Referee Observer: Stephen Lodge (ENG)

Apoel – Astana
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Lasse Koslowski (GER)
Fourth Official: Frank Willenborg (GER)
Referee Observer: Andreas Schluchter (SUI)

Suduva – Celtic
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Mario Zebec (CRO)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

Sheriff Tiraspol – Qarabağ
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Fourth Official: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Referee Observer: Volodymyr Petrov (UKR)

Sarpsborg FF – Maccabi Tel Aviv
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Valeriy Danchenko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Aleksey Yes'kov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Andrejs Sipailo (LVA)

Malmö FF – Midtjylland
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Novak Simović (SRB)
Referee Observer: Michális Koukoulákis (GRE)

FC Basel – Apollon Limassol
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Fourth Official: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

Atalanta – København
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Nádvorník (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Kamil Hájek (CZE)
Fourth Official: Petr Ardeleánu (CZE)
Referee Observer: Nuno Castro (POR)

Olympiakós – Burnley
Referee: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Olimpija Ljubljana – Spartak Trnava
Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lee Betts (ENG)
Fourth Official: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

F91 Dudelange – CFR Cluj
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Kristoffer Karlsson (SWE)
Referee Observer: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)

Rapid Wien – FCSB
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Ross (SCO)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Walsh (SCO)
Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

KRC Genk – Brøndby IF
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Golubevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

Zorya Luhansk – RB Leipzig
Referee: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Haquette (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Fourth Official: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

KAA Gent – Girondins de Bordeaux
Referee: Aliyar Ağayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zeynal Zeynalov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Rza Mammadov (AZE)
Fourth Official: Orxan Mammadov (AZE)
Referee Observer: Michael Ross (NIR)

Rangers – Ufa
Referee: Daniel Stefański (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcin Boniek (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dawid Golis (POL)
Fourth Official: Zbigniew Dobrynin (POL)
Referee Observer: Michel Piraux (BEL)

Rosenborg – Shkëndija
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roy Hassan (ISR)
Fourth Official: Alon Yefet (ISR)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

UEFA Champions League – Play-Offs (First Leg)

21-22 August 2018

Benfica – PAOK
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Fourth Official: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Nenad Djokić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Referee Observer: László Vágner (HUN)

Bate Borisov – PSV Eindhoven
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Fourth Official: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Tobias Welz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Referee Observer: Ichko Lozev (BUL)

Crvena Zvezda – Red Bull Salzburg
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Fourth Official: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Marco Guida (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)

Young Boys – Dinamo Zagreb
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Additional AR 2: José Sánchez Martínez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Kaj Østergaard (DEN)

MOL Vidi – AEK Athens
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

AFC Ajax – Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)

CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana – Round of 16 (Matchday 1)

21-22 August 2018

San Lorenzo – Nacional
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Defensa y Justicia – Banfield
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Fourth Official: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Pablo Silva (ARG)

LDU Quito – Deportivo Cali
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Referee Assessor: Candelario Andarcia (VEN)

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018 – Semi-finals

20 August 2018

France – Spain
Referee: Melissa Borjas (HON, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Shirley Perello (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Yudilia Briones (MEX)
Fourth Official: Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL) 

Reserve AR: Maria Salamasina (SAM)

England – Japan
Referee: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luciana Mascarana (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Monica Amboya (ECU)
Fourth Official: Lidya Abebe (ETH)
Reserve AR: Uvena Fernandes (IND)

Cakir: from striker to referee

He was born in Kuzguncuk, an old Istanbul neighborhood where the popular soap opera “Perihan Abla” was shot. When he was 10, he started playing football for Kartalspor. He was the striker. They were Istanbul champion in the junior league. They beat Fenerbahçe actually; he scored the goal. One day he fell and broke his arm. When he recovered and rejoined the team, his manager gave him a defense position. He was demoralized; he took off his jersey. He put on a referee shirt, like his father. He was 17, not even full age.
He was in a youth project: his family supported him. His father was his coach, he had a good score in the university entrance examination; he registered at Kocaeli University, finishing his undergraduate studies in business management. His mother, Vildan, attended a seminar for wives of referees in the 1990s in Kuşadası. Every week there is a match, all the talk is on football. How did she manage? She was like a statue of sacrifice; she was trained for all of this. For years, she packed her husband and her son’s suitcases. She always smiled even if she did not feel like it. Since her life was football, she is in command of all the rules of the game like a professional. His wife, Gamze, is from Bandırma. They have been married for nine years. They are childhood sweethearts. She is the first person he calls right after a game. When he comes home, they watch together the recorded game he has officiated. She never goes to a match he is refereeing. Unfortunately, in this country, it has been forgotten than referees are human... As a matter of fact, we owe it to Gamze the peak he has reached today. In training, games, away games, overseas games, he spends 156 days of the year away from home, public holidays, vacations. They do not have any kids now. He owns an insurance company. He split from his partner two years ago and formed his own agency with his wife but it is his wife who takes care of the business. He does not have time. He never accepts any clients who have any association with any football club – as a principle. He tells them to seek another agency. When you are a real man, this is what happens. He has a recording device at home and at work. He records all the games in Europe. Every day he watches at least two games. He picks up sample decisions, makes his team watch. He has the widest archive of all. He speaks English. He is fit; he is keen on his diet. He exercises two hours every day. He goes to bed at 11 p.m. He does not drink alcohol; he does not smoke. He likes going to the movies, plays with his wife and friends. He is respectable, modest, decent and normal. He listens to rock music. Many think he looks like Tolga Çevik. Fans take his picture thinking he is Tolga. He reads a few hours every evening. 
He is Cüneyt Çakır. His father is Serdar Çakır, both of whom are prides of Turkey. He was given an honorary doctorate from Mehmet Akif Ersoy University. President Professor Mustafa Saatçı said this at the ceremony: “He is a master in his job. He has carried our country’s name to international platforms. Cüneyt Çakır has written his own story. We are meant to share, support and be proud of his achievements.”

Source: Hurriyet

FIFA referee Madley has quit abruptly

The Premier League referee Bobby Madley, one of the rising stars among the league’s officials, who took charge of last year’s Community Shield, has abruptly quit and ended his career in English football. The 32-year-old was on the FIFA list and one of those whom the Premier League had hoped would become one of Europe’s leading referees and the circumstances around his departure are still unclear. It is understood that it could be linked to a video on social media although that could not be confirmed. 
Madley, from West Yorkshire, had been a FIFA list referee since January of last year making him eligible to take charge of international fixtures and also European games. He was well-regarded at the Premier League, for which he had been taking charge of games for more than three years and was one of the youngest senior referees. His older brother, Andrew, 34, is a Football League referee in the select group 2 and took charge of his first Premier League game last season. Bobby Madley was trusted with some high-profile fixtures in recent seasons including Manchester United’s home games against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea and Liverpool - Arsenal. He had refereed the Community Shield game between Arsenal and Chelsea in August last year. His departure, revealed by Telegraph Sport online, had not been disclosed to Madley’s fellow select group referees by their organisation Professional Game Match Officials. He had been left off the matchlist for the first rounds of Premier League and Football League fixtures which is unusual but not unprecedented in an organisation in which referees can come in and out of favour. In a statement PGMOL said: “Bobby Madley is no longer employed by PGMOL. We understand that he has decided to relocate due to a change in his personal circumstances.” He was not present at the mandatory pre-season meeting of all select group officials at St George’s Park where they are briefed and prepared. His sudden departure leaves the select group of 18 referees down to 17. The other referee not yet appointed to a game so far is Roger East, although no reason has been given so far for that decision. Mike Riley, the managing director of PGMOL, who is a key figure in preparing for the Premier League’s adoption of video assistant referees next season, is expected to address his referees on the details of Madley’s departure this week. The select group will gather at St George’s Park for the first of this season’s regular meetings in which they review performances and discuss decisions. PGMOL are under pressure to develop a new generation of referees and especially from next year, with the introduction of VAR, given the increased number of officials that will require for every game. Riley and his PGMOL deputy Adam Gale-Watts, a former assistant referee, are in charge of assigning referees and assistants to games. They are also the most influential figures in developing their careers and competence of their top referees and the loss of Madley will come as a blow to the organisation. The select group lost Mark Clattenburg, who quit in the 2016-2017 season to become the head of refereeing for the Saudi Arabian football federation. Martin Atkinson stepped down from refereeing international competitions last season. PGMOL have 18 select group referees from whom they make their appointments. Referees can fall off the list if they get injured or if they fail the annual fitness tests. 

Source: The Telegraph

Collina: "No more football without VAR. Leaving UEFA? My personal decision"

The World Cup final in Moscow was exactly a month ago, when Argentine Nestor Pitana refereed the match between France and Croatia. A month passed, but not without some rumours because, after the refereeing success of the Russian tournament and, above all, the introduction of VAR, Pierluigi Collina decided to leave UEFA, remaining only at the command of the FIFA Referees Committee. Not an easy choice and who knows whether it was linked to the UEFA decision not to use VAR or even to the Real Madrid – Juventus match in the Champions League, when Andrea Agnelli asked for his resignation on live TV. After the UEFA press release from Nyon, in which "personal reasons" were invoked, Collina also received several messages from those who feared there was something else behind this decision: "I am fine, it was simply my choice because the time for change has arrived".
- It cannot be denied that the refereeing at the 2018 World Cup, including VAR, was a success. Did you, Busacca and Boban anticipate that?
- It is nice to hear that from neutral observers and football fans. After Euro 2016 it was said that the moral winner had been the refereeing team, the same happened after Russia 2018. Not a random result, because nothing at this level is just a coincidence. The process started four years ago, immediately after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with the first selection of candidates and then with a long series of seminars, where each detail was treated with the utmost care.
- Could you give us some examples?
- For example, we organized a friendly tournament at the beginning of June in Moscow, so referees do not lose the form between the end of their championships and the start of the World Cup. This had never been done before. When I was still an active referee, I asked for officiating games in Serie B to keep my form. Then I want also to mention the confirmation of the importance of our match-analysts, experts who have studied teams and players to offer technical and tactical input to referees.
- How do you identify the best referees from all the continents?
- Knowing that nowadays there are digital platforms that allow you to see and study everything, when Infantino wanted me to join FIFA, I suggested, first of all, that it should not be political members in the referees committee but only technicians, former referees and in particular refereeing heads of the six confederations. In a short time we will start again the road to Qatar 2022, when many of the 2018 World Cup referees will be out from selection due to age reasons.
- Where could you find good referees for the future? 
- Not only in Europe or South America. Other continents are developing as well. For example, Iranian Faghani has made a World Cup at very high level and also the Senegalese Diedhiou was among the best referees.
- Can we say that you worked as a "group" in Russia, along with Busacca, Rosetti and Boban?
- Boban did not have a direct involvement, but as FIFA Deputy Secretary, we wanted him to stay with us, deciding from the first day to stay in our hotel. This pleased me because the refereeing team is one of the best "national teams" for FIFA. He stayed with us, without interfering in our choices, but at the same time never lacking support, helping us when we asked for something for referees.
- You, Busacca and Rosetti are colleagues.
- We shared our daily work with Massimo, starting from 10 km of running in the morning to stay in shape and then the management and the assignments, always in agreement. Together we worked very well. I chose Rosetti as VAR expert for this World Cup. If UEFA would have not appointed him when I resigned as Chief Refereeing Officer, I would have assigned Roberto a very important and central role for refereeing in FIFA; this had already been planned in any case.
- Is there anything at this moment that can be studied to improve refereeing?
- In the last 10 years many things had been done; today's referees are really prepared, as it was never before, their knowledge of the game is at a very high level and physically they are real athletes, so that today we need to work more on injury prevention. For sure, there is always room for improvement. I would like to see referees being more reactive to the changes in football, so that they could adapt their style faster.
- Is the non-use of VAR in Champions League be the reason of your departure from UEFA?
- Everything has been said, even that I would have promoted the VAR development with FIFA and the slowdown with UEFA; obviously this is not the case. FIFA immediately believed in it and started the preparation much sooner, but there are some differences: so far, VAR has been used in championships and tournaments played within only one country. Trying to use VAR in the Champions League, where matches are being played in many countries and with many broadcasters, is surely more complicated. But I am sure that UEFA will make the decision to implement it and referees will find themselves ready for the use of technology.
- Has anyone asked for your resignation?
- No, when I informed UEFA, they asked me to change my decision.
- What about your relationships with Infantino and Ceferin?
- With Infantino we shared the idea and the project to change the refereeing in Europe. I still remember the very long phone calls at the beginning of 2010 when we discussed what was necessary to do to improve the performance of the referees. Then, once he became FIFA president, he wanted me to join his team. The evening of the World Cup final he came to our hotel to celebrate the success with all referees. I am grateful to Ceferin because he gave me his full trust, by confirming my role, when he was elected as new UEFA president.
- Is there any risk that top referees, being used to VAR, could have trouble to return to "human referees"?
- VAR gives you more peace of mind; it does not make you change the way you referee. On the pitch, the referee will decide in the same manner, and then, in case of a clear mistake, VAR will save him. So, a referee should not change his mind only because he is going to officiate a match with VAR help. It is very important, and I asked for that since the first IFAB meeting in which this topic was discussed (November 2014), that the referee must have the final decision, If there is a fact, for example an offside, no problem, but otherwise it is only the referee who must review the images before deciding. In any case, some officials have been forced to change their usual style.
- Who?
- Assistant referees, who have been told to delay the flag on some occasions, because it is better to score the goal and then evaluate the situation on video, rather than wrongly stopping an action that afterwards turns out to be correct. In Russia, we almost never talked about offside issues. This was an excellent success.
- In short, there is no future in football without VAR?
- I do not think so, partly because people would not understand since we live in an age where everything we do is based on the use of technology. We tried years ago to reduce errors with the human eye, with the additional assistant referees, but then the technology did not allow today's precision. Nowadays, it is even improving: before the World Cup we went from a 2D to a 3D evaluation for offside that is necessary to evaluate more accurately the position of a foot compared to a head.
- Would you have liked to use VAR when you were still a referee? 
- Nobody is happy when making mistakes and then being criticized for that. Of course, for those who used to decide by themselves it is not easy, but you have to be open to change, in the end what matters is the final result.

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018 – Quarter-finals

16-17 August 2018

Spain – Nigeria
Referee: Qin Liang (CHN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Cui Yongmei (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Fang Yan (CHN)
Fourth Official: Kate Jacewicz (AUS)
Reserve AR: Uvena Fernandes (IND)

France – Korea DPR
Referee: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
Fourth Official: Melissa Borjas (HON) 

Reserve AR: Katrin Rafalski (GER)

England – Netherlands
Referee: Ri Hyang Ok (PRK)
Assistant Referee 1: Hong Kum Nyo (PRK)
Assistant Referee 2: Kim Kyoung Min (KOR)
Fourth Official: Jana Adamkova (CZE)
Reserve AR: Chrysoula Kourompylia (GRE)

Germany – Japan
Referee: Edina Alves (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Neuza Back (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Tatiane Sacilotti (BRA)
Fourth Official: Esther Staubli (SUI)
Reserve AR: Luciana Mascarana (URU)

Marciniak counts down the days to the Super Cup

Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup referee Szymon Marciniak admits that he wasn't the official's best friend when he was a player – and the Pole says a red card he received one day actually put him on the path to his current career. As a combative midfielder for Polish top-flight outfit Wisła Płock, Szymon Marciniak did not have the greatest respect for referees by his own admission – but a red card dealt out to him one day was to change his life and set him off on the route to the European and world refereeing elite.
"I wasn't the easiest player by any means," says the 37-year-old Polish match official, who is preparing for his latest major assignment – the UEFA Super Cup encounter between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid in Tallinn. "I was ambitious, I wanted to win, and I used to make referees' lives very difficult. I complained all the time. But then in one match, the referee sent me off. I didn't agree with his decision, of course, and I let him know exactly what I thought. After the game, I told him that he was one of the worst referees that I had ever seen. He replied: 'If you think it's so easy, you try and do it.' So I did." He enrolled on a refereeing course – and the rest is history. Marciniak and the referee went on to become great friends and colleagues. "We used to joke about how I was as a player, and when I became an international referee, he accompanied me as a fourth official at an Under-21 qualifying match. And I always told him that he had taken the right decision when he sent me off! It's a lovely story." Since then, Marciniak has gone on to referee at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2016, as well as in major European club matches. Last season, he was named as the fourth official for the UEFA Europa League final in Lyon, in which Atlético defeated Marseille. He was also the fourth official for the 2016 UEFA Super Cup in Trondheim, where Real Madrid overcame Sevilla. In 2015, he officiated at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final between Sweden and Portugal. Marciniak believes his experience as a player help him to manage players on the pitch. "Man-management is one of the most vital aspects of refereeing," he says. "It's important that you're able to establish a relationship with players. So if you've played, then you have an understanding of how players react to situations." Marciniak is grateful to UEFA for the training he received in graduating from the UEFA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) programme in 2011 – the same year that he became an international referee. "I met some great people, and they taught me so much," he says of his time being primed for his future career. "I gained considerable knowledge that I've been able to put into practice along the way."
Five compatriots from Poland will join Marciniak for the Super Cup outing in Tallinn - assistant referees Paweł Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz, additional assistant referees Paweł Raczkowski and Tomasz Musiał, and reserve official Radosław Siejka. Romania's Ovidiu Haţegan will serve as the fourth official. Marciniak says that the pre-match rituals will be no different to any other game. "We'll have some music in the dressing-room – it especially helps to keep me calm – and we'll be ready, focused and concentrated. We'll also prepare for the match by studying the teams' tactics, as well as the players and their characteristics – it's become so important to know has much as you can about teams before you go out on the field." Marciniak is determined to keep his feet on the ground and savour every moment of his career. "I try and stay the same person – you have to be yourself," he reflects. "To be given the chance to take charge of matches like the Super Cup is a reward for the hard work and sacrifices that you make to reach this level. I'm very proud." And what of the future? "I take things one at a time," he explains. "You can't look too far ahead. I'm at a good refereeing age and I've now got a lot of experience which I hope will stand me in good stead in the years to come. As someone once told me: 'When you've reached a high level, the difficult part comes in staying there.' Now I'm counting down the days to the Super Cup – and after that, you then start thinking about the next match."

Source: UEFA