Copa Libertadores Semi-finals

First Leg

Santos FC - Cerro Porteno
Referee: Jorge Larrionda (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Pablo Fandino (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: William Casavieja (URU)
Fourth Official: Hector Martinez (URU)

Penarol - Velez Sarsfield
Referee: Carlos Amarilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Yegros (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Fourth Official: Julio Quintana (PAR)

Second Leg

Cerro Porteno - Santos FC
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Abraham Gonzalez (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Fourth Official: Albert Duarte (COL)

Velez Sarsfield - Penarol
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Mondria (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Patricio Basualto (CHI)
Fourth Official: Patricio Polic (CHI)

Kassai thrilled by "very big honour"

Viktor Kassai became the youngest final referee in UEFA Champions League history. The 35-year-old Hungarian has been selected to take charge of the showpiece between FC Barcelona and Manchester United."A Champions League final is an absolutely top match, so we can expect a celebration of football," Kassai told UEFA.com. "I hope all the spectators in the stadium and watching on TV will enjoy the match, and I hope it'll be a nice game."

Kassai has plenty of big-match experience, having taken charge of last summer's FIFA World Cup semi-final between Spain and Germany, and he will draw on that knowledge ahead of the match. "Our preparation is the same as before; the trick is to never change your style," he explained. "Mentally, we have to be very concentrated, physically we have to be at peak fitness. In both senses we are and we are absolutely ready for the match."

The travel agent will become the fourth Hungarian to referee European Champion Clubs' Cup final and the third, Sándor Puhl, who oversaw Borussia Dortmund's 1997 victory against Juventus, has fond memories of the occasion. "For a footballer it's a very important step to be involved in such event; for a referee it's exactly the same," Puhl said. "Viktor knows his job. I cannot give any hints and I don't think it is possible to give advice. What's definite is that he should do [his job] well."

Kassai is under no illusion as to how much it means to his country, adding: "It's a very big honour for me and for my team, because it's very important that the referee is not alone in officiating the match. We have a team of seven officials and we'll do our best. Of course we're proud; after Károly Palotai did the final twice, the last [Hungarian], Sándor Puhl, was 14 years ago. It's a very, very big honour and a pleasure for us to continue this legendary level of Hungarian referee. All of us are very very proud, but it's also a responsibility to continue their good work."

Kassai's predecessor as UEFA Champions League final referee, Howard Webb – who went on to do the FIFA World Cup final last summer – has some words of advice for his colleague. "He should go out there, be confident and have a good game because they've proven themselves over a period of time and on many occasions," Webb told UEFA.com. "The day will fly by because it always does but try to take it all in, have a good look around and appreciate what an amazing thing you're involved in. At some point in the night, take a second to just appreciate where you are and what you're doing and what a privileged position you're in."

Webb was 38 when he took charge of last season's showpiece in Madrid – the UEFA Champions League final's previous youngest referee – and, at three years younger, Kassai is aware of how quickly this honour has come his way. "If I'm honest I didn't [expect it so soon]," he said. "But in refereeing, and in football, it's not important how old you are, the most important [thing] is the performance. If a referee goes on to the field, no one asks how old he is or which country he's from; it's important to make good decisions and give a good performance. That's all."

Source: UEFA

UCL Final 2011: Viktor Kassai (HUN)

Viktor Kassai (Hungary, 36) has been appointed to referee the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final. He became a FIFA Referee in 2003 and moved up quickly in the international ranking. He was selected for the 2005 UEFA U-19 Euro, 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 2008 Olympic Games (including the final Argentina – Nigeria), 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup (four matches, including the semi-final Spain – Germany). He has officiated more than 60 UEFA matches in his refereeing career. Kassai has handled one UEFA Europa League and five UEFA Champions League matches since the beginning of the current season, including, among others, the round of 16 first leg between Inter Milano and Bayern Munchen, as well as the group-stage match between Valencia CF and Manchester United.
28 May 2011
FC Barcelona – Manchester United
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabor Eros (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Gyorgy Ring (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Mihaly Fabian (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Tamas Bognar (HUN)
Fourth Official: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Robert Kispal (HUN)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Learning from Rosetti and Vergara

The world’s best referee in 2008, Roberto Rosetti (Italy), and the best ever Canadian assistant referee, Hector Vergara, conducted a fascinating International Referee Symposium in Montreal.
From “Chicken” to “Eagle”
Roberto Rosetti shared his experience with the participants. He began refereeing very early, when he was only 16 years old and reached the pinnacle of his career in 2008 by refereeing in the Euro Final, Spain - Germany. Rosetti used a very suggestive comparison, speaking about growing from a “chicken” to an “eagle”. In spite of having some “problems” when, as a very young referee, awarded a penalty kick against the home team in the last minute of the game, Rosetti moved on quickly and became even more ambitious. “Passion, confidence and courage are the keys of achieving the success,” said Rosetti. He was initially appointed only as a reserve referee for the 2006 World Cup, but De Santis was removed from the list because of the Calciopoli and Rosetti took his place. Rosetti was untainted by the match-fixing scandal which affected Italian football in 2006. Luciano Moggi, then general director of Juventus, had described Collina and Rosetti as being too “objective” in an intercepted telephone call. His very successful performances established him as one of the best referees in the world. He refereed the Euro 2008 final and three UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Last year, the Italian was one of the main candidates for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, but one of his assistants made a major mistake in Argentina - Mexico. Although it was not his own mistake, Rosetti was sent home, according to FIFA’s trio policy. “As a trio, we celebrate successes together and we stick together in difficult times. My Italian colleagues wanted me to continue, but I felt that moment as it was the end of my career,” said Rosetti. Although age-eligible for Euro 2012, he took full responsibility and resigned. He was immediately offered the referee designator position in Serie B, which he accepted.
In a technical session, Rosetti presented various aspects regarding the handball, offside, penalty kick and sending-off offences. He mentioned the importance of the referee’s positioning, as well as having the courage to make critical decisions, by taking the correct decision in difficult situations rather than finding an easy way out. He illustrated those situations with video clips from the UEFA Champions League and Serie A. As a personal example, he mentioned the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final Estudiantes - Poohang Steelers, where he sent off three South Korean players: “As a referee, you need to be strong; you must recognize and punish right away such behaviour, which was closer to karate than to soccer”. On a different note, Rosetti seemed pleased with the implementation of the additional assistant referees. He said that FIFA will return to the classic diagonal in the 5-referee system that will be used at Euro 2012.
The Road to Gold
Hector Vergara started with an inspiring presentation about his participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he was one of the assistant referees in Benito Archundia’s trio. Vergara and Archundia were also paired up in Germany four years ago where they reached the semi-final. Their goal for South Africa was to officiate the final. Being a Mexican-Canadian combination, they did not have many chances to work together in the qualifying matches. Prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Vergara travelled to Mexico at his own expense. Together with his two Mexican colleagues, Benito Archundia and Marvin Torrentera, they spent a week together, training and preparing for their journey at the upcoming World Cup. “We wanted to be as prepared as we possibly could”, said Vergara, who underlined that they went to the 2010 World Cup with the intention of refereeing the final. After a long wait, they started the tournament with a sensitive situation in the 25th second of the match Italy - Paraguay. In spite of that, both teams showed respect and trust in the referees’ abilities and that game went on without any problems. After another long wait, they got a second game, Brazil - Portugal, with another excellent performance, which entitled them to hope for the final. At the end, it was disappointing – they were appointed to the third place match. Vergara has written himself into Canadian soccer history as the only referee or assistant referee with three World Cups under his belt.
The most decorated Canadian official conducted a practical session and also offered advice for developing a career in refereeing. “You can control 99% of your career”, stressed Vergara in front of all referees who attended the seminar. He offered his own example, as a young and ambitious referee in Canada. “Since, at that time, there were not many opportunities available, I took my whistle and my flag and went to the park. I was the only person on the field, whistling and doing various drills. It might have looked silly, but I was fully aware that I had to do that if I wanted to go far in refereeing,” said Vergara. He then spoke about various aspects of preparation as a referee: regularly reading the laws of the game, training, relaxation exercises, watching soccer games and, of course, gaining experience by refereeing. “The experience can only come through refereeing, so you should referee regularly. Be very careful though, since doing too many games will affect you mentally, if not physically as well”. He suggested that competitive referees should not officiate more than 1-2 games per week. Hector feels that it is important for young referees to aspire and “dream big”. He emphasized that setting goals along the way is a good approach to reaching your big dream. Having refereed at three straight World Cups, Vergara has certainly set plenty of goals along the way and achieved every referee’s dream.

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2011

USA, 5-25 June 2011

Referees
1. Joel Aguilar Chicas (SLV, 1975)
2. Neal Brizan (TRI, 1969)
3. Courtney Campbell (JAM, 1968)
4. Francisco Chacon Gutierrez (MEX, 1976)
5. David Gantar (CAN, 1975)
6. Walter Lopez Castellanos (GUA, 1980)
7. Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)
8. Marlon Mejia Carrillo (SLV, 1979)
9. Jose Molina Orellana (HON, 1971)
10. Roberto Moreno Salazar (PAN, 1970)
11. Walter Quesada Cordero (CRC, 1970)
12. Marco Rodriguez Moreno (MEX, 1973, foto)
13. Jeffrey Solis Calderon (CRC, 1974)
14. Trevor Taylor (BRB, 1974)
15. Baldomero Toledo (USA, 1970)
16. Enrico Wijngaarde (SUR, 1974)

Assistant Referees
1. Jose Camargo Callado (MEX, 1972)
2. Joe Fletcher (CAN, 1976)
3. Adrian Goddard (BRB, 1972)
4. Leonel Leal Bermudez (CRC, 1976)
5. Hermenerito Leal Mo (GUA, 1972)
6. Gerson Lopez Castellanos (GUA, 1983)
7. Ramon Louisville (SUR, 1970)
8. Ricardo Morgan (JAM, 1972)
9. Charles Morgante (USA, 1974)
10. Alberto Morin Mendez (MEX, 1980)
11. Ainsley Rochard (TRI, 1981)
12. Marvin Torrentera Rivera (MEX, 1971)
13. William Torres Mejia (SLV, 1975)
14. Oscar Velasquez Zelaya (HON, 1973)
15. Hector Vergara (CAN, 1966)
16. Daniel Williamson (PAN, 1977)

UEL Final 2011: Velasco Carballo (ESP)

Carlos Velasco Carballo has been selected to referee the 2011 UEFA Europa League final between FC Porto and SC Braga in Dublin. Spanish referee Velasco Carballo has handled one UEFA Europa League and six UEFA Champions League matches this season, including the first leg of the semi-final between FC Schalke and Manchester United. An engineer from Madrid, Velasco Carballo became a FIFA Referee in 2008. He was promoted onto the UEFA Elite Referees list on 1 January 2011 and only five months later was appointed for the Europa League final. Only Collina, with an Olympic Games final after only one year on the FIFA List, climbed the ladder faster than Velasco Carballo! As a coincidence (or maybe not?), Collina will be his observer in the UEL Final.
18 May 2011
FC Porto – SC Braga
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Calvo Guadamuro (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Clos Gomez (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Rubinos Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Pierluigi Collina (ITA)

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2011

Colombia, 29 July – 20 August 2011

AFC
Referee: Kim Dong Jin (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Jungmin (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yang Byoung Eun (KOR)

Referee: Abdulrahman Mohammed Abdou (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammad Dharman (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Fares Alshammari (KUW)

CAF
Referee: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohsen Ben Salem (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)

Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ayman Degaish (EGY)
Assistant Referee 2: Foaad El Maghrabi (LBY)
 
CONCACAF
Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Hurd (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Joe Fletcher (CAN)

Referee: Walter Lopez Castellanos (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Gerson Lopez (GUA)

CONMEBOL
Referee: Antonio Arias Alvarenga (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)

Referee: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jairo Romero (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Urrego (VEN)

Referee: Patricio Polic (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Julio Diaz (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Maturana (CHI)

Referee: Wilson Luiz Seneme (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)

Referee: Dario Ubriaco (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: William Casavieja (URU)

Referee: Hector Parra (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Berrio (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL)

OFC
Referee: Peter O’Leary (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ravinesh Kumar (FIJ)
Assistant Referee 2: Jackson Namo (SOL)

UEFA
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Child (ENG)

Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graham Chamber (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alasdair Ross (SCO)

Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Alain Hoxha (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Mario Strudl (AUT)

Referee: Markus Strombergsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Fredrik Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Magnus Sjoblom (SWE)

Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gyorgy Ring (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Zsolt Atilla Szpisjak (HUN)

Howard Webb, MBE

Howard Webb had a very successful 2010, when he became the first referee to officiate both the UEFA Champions League Final and the FIFA World Cup Final in the same year. Webb received the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from the Prince of Wales and was joined at the Palace by his wife Kay and their three children Hollie, 12, Jack, 10, and seven-year-old Lucy. "I never dreamt when I started refereeing that I would get something like this. It's on behalf of the lads who work with me”, said Webb. "We are quite often doing thankless work, week in week out. You develop a thick skin and you've got to have a lot of self belief. I was there to do a job and do it to the best of my abilities. I was hoping that football would be the winner and that they would remember the game for the right reasons not for all the cards we had to show”. He added: "The Prince said it was nice that somebody had recognised referees as it's such a difficult job. He mentioned that it wasn't an easy game in the final. It was a great honour to do and nice to have some representation from England".

Webb will be travelling to Brazil in November to take part at the 2011 Soccerex Global Convention in Rio de Janeiro. Webb will be a part of a special panel titled “The Great Football Debate”, which will include a mix of big name football industry stakeholders including leading journalists, club and business figures. The panel will give their different perspectives on some of the biggest issues affecting global football today. The 2010 Football Festival saw legends teams from Argentina , Brazil , Holland and England with the Brazilians beating the Dutch in the final to take home the trophy. Players such as Ruud Gullit, Denílson, Jorginho and Romario were all in attendance. In recent years, the festival has attracted other such legendary players as Eric Cantona, Carlos Alberto Torres, Eusebio, Leonardo, Bryan Robson, Phil Thompson, Ossie Ardiles, Lucas Radebe, Ronald de Boer and George Weah.

Ruiz, early retirement

One of the best South American referees, Oscar Ruiz Acosta (Colombia) announced that the Copa Libertadores game between Cerro Porteno and Estudiantes, played on 5 May 2011, was his last international match. He could have continued for three more years, being age-eligible for a fourth World Cup, but he decided to stop his refereeing career. “I am very pleased with what I did in my 27 years of refereeing, with the last 17 spent on the FIFA List”, said Ruiz in an interview with the Colombian Radio Caracol. Voted the third best referee of the first decade of this century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), Ruiz refereed at three World Cups: Korea/Japan 2002, Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010. "It would have been nice to referee a World Cup final, but it was not a frustration for me because I performed at the top and I put in all my honesty. I may have been wrong sometimes, but always acted in good faith," said Ruiz. He will stay involved in the elite refereeing by becoming a FIFA RAP (Referee Assistance Program) Instructor for South America.
In spite of missing the World Cup Final, his palmares is very impressive:
1995 FIFA U-17 World Cup – Ecuador
1995 CONMEBOL Copa America – Uruguay
1997 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Malaysia
1998 Copa Merconorte Final: Deportivo - Atletico
1999 CONMEBOL Copa America Final – Paraguay: Uruguay - Brazil
1999 FIFA Confederations Cup – Mexico
2000 FIFA Club World Cup – Brazil
2000 Intercontinental Cup: Boca Juniors - Real Madrid
2001 CONMEBOL Copa America – Colombia
2001 FIFA Confederations Cup – Korea/Japan
2002 FIFA World Cup – Korea/Japan
2002 Copa Libertadores Final: Santo Andre - Olimpia
2003 FIFA U-20 World Cup – UAE
2003 Copa Libertadores Final: Boca Juniors - Santos
2004 CONMEBOL Copa America – Peru
2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Netherlands
2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup – USA
2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup – Peru
2006 FIFA World Cup – Germany
2006 Recopa Sudamericana Final: Sao Paulo - Boca Juniors
2006 FIFA Club World Cup – Japan
2007 Copa Libertadores Final: Gremio - Boca Juniors
2007 CONMEBOL Copa America – Venezuela
2007 Copa Sudamericana Final: Arsenal – America
2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Egypt
2010 FIFA World Cup – South Africa

Damkova in the UWCL Final

UEFA appointed Dagmar Damkova (CZE) for the 2011 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final, Lyon - Potsdam, which will be played on 26 May 2011 in London. Damkova is one of the best female referees in the world, having already refereed the 2008 Olympic Games final and the 2009 UEFA Women’s Euro final and also officiated at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007 and FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cups 2006 and 2010.

Chenard: "Referees are perfectionists"

“I have been refereeing since I was 16,” Carol Anne Chenard, who will be on duty at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011, told FIFA.com. “I started refereeing children’s games, just as a way for me to put a little extra money aside for college, but I enjoyed it so much and I got such good feedback that I decided to put more into it. And in 2006 I became an international referee.”

The chance to officiate at Germany 2011 is a dream come true for the 34-year-old and will add a new dimension to an international career that is already studded with achievement. Asked to pick out her favourite games to date, she is unequivocal: “The semi-final of the U-20 World Cup Chile 2008 between France and Korea DPR, which was also a racism awareness day, and the final of the U-20 World Cup Germany 2010 between the hosts and Nigeria. One of the most important things is getting your concentration back when something happens. "Once you have made a decision you can’t go back or have any doubts about it. You need to keep going, stay sure of yourself and handle the pressure, and all while keeping an eye on your assistants too. Referees are perfectionists. We always want to get it right, but that’s not possible, especially with the speed you have to make decisions at.” In fact, the modern game is so fast and such is the level of concentration demanded of referees that she is rarely able to enjoy a game: “There is no time. You watch the game in a different way. You are watching the ball, checking your position and looking out for everything that’s happening on the pitch, watching the play in a different way to the fans.”

“We’ll be refereeing the greatest women players in the world on the best possible stage,” said Chenard in reference to Germany 2011. “It’s the fulfilment of a dream. We have been working together as a group of referees for a long time now. We are friends and colleagues, and we are strong and ready for the challenge.”

Source: FIFA

UEL Semi-finals, Second Leg

5 May 2011

Braga – Benfica
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Lee Mason (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Michael Jones (ENG)
Fourth Official: Andre Marriner (ENG)

Villarreal – Porto
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristiano Copelli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Elenito di Liberatore (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Bergonzi (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Andrea De Marco (ITA)
Fourth Official: Daniele Orsato (ITA)

UCL Semi-finals, Second Leg

3 May 2011

FC Barcelona - Real Madrid
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Vromans (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Simons (BEL)*
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Luc Wouters (BEL)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Peter Vervecken (BEL)
Fourth Official: Serge Gumienny (BEL)

*Mark Simons is replacing Peter Hermans, who is injured.

4 May 2011

Manchester United - FC Schalke
Referee: Pedro Proença Oliveira (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Garcias Bolinhas Trigo (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Ferreira Santos (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: João Santos Capela (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: João Lopes Ferreira (POR)
Fourth Official: Duarte Pereira Gomes (POR)