CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2015 – Quarter-finals

31 January 2015
Congo – DR Congo
Referee: Bernard Camille (SEY, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)

Fourth Official: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)

Tunisia – Equatorial Guinea
Referee: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Edibi (NIG)
Assistant Referee 2: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)

Fourth Official: Koman Coulibaly (MLI)

1 February 2015
Ghana – Guinea
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)

Fourth Official: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD)

Côte d'Ivoire – Algeria
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Aboubacar Doumbouya (GUI)

Fourth Official: Ali Lemghaifry (MTN)

Soto was injured in a kidnapping

FIFA referee Juan Soto, from Venezuela, is hospitalized in Caracas after being the victim of a "quick kidnapping" last night. Fortunately, Soto is already recovering well from the injuries suffered during this incident. According to medical reports, surgery is required to repair the damage and will take place this Saturday. Soto was appointed to referee the Copa Libertadores match Morelia - The Strongest, next week, in Mexico, but CONMEBOL is expected to replace him due to this unfortunate incident. (Source: Arbitro Internacional)
Soto is remembered by his presence at the 2012 Olympic Games, where he was surrounded by the Spanish players (photo) following their surprising defeat to Honduras. Soto cautioned seven players, while Martin Montoya and Alberto Botia could have been shown red cards for violent tackles. Later on the same year, the Bolivian Football Federation asked CONMEBOL to indefinitely suspended Soto from for failing to send off John Hurtado who caused a double fracture of tibia and fibula of Francisco Arguello. The incident happened in the return match between Deportes Tolima and Oriente Petrolero, for the second phase of Copa Sudamericana. Although Arguello’s injuries required emergency surgery at a local clinic and put him off the field for six months, Soto just pulled a yellow card. (Source: ABC.com)

AFC Asian Cup Final 2015: Faghani (IRN)

31 January 2015

Final
Australia – Korea

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA)
Reserve AR: Abdulla Al Shalwai (KSA)
Referee Observer: Shamsul Maidin (SIN)

Match for Third Place
Iraq – UAE
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Williams (AUS)
Reserve AR: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Referee Observer: Ali Al Traifi (KSA)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2015 – Group Stage (Matches 19-24)

26 January 2015
Cape Verde – Zambia
Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Marwa Range (KEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Fourth Official: Juste Ephrem Zio (BFA)

DR Congo – Tunisia
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG)
Fourth Official: Koman Coulibaly (MLI)

27 January 2015
South Africa – Ghana
Referee: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR) 
Assistant Referee 2: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Fourth Official: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)

Senegal – Algeria
Referee: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Waleed Ahmed (SDN) 
Assistant Referee 2: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Fourth Official: Joaquin Eyang (EQG)

28 January 2015
Cameroon – Côte d'Ivoire
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)

Fourth Official: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)

Guinea – Mali
Referee: Mohamed Kordi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anouar Hmila (TUN)

Assistant Referee 2: Malik Salifu (GHA)
Fourth Official: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)

CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final 2015: Martinez (CUB)

25 January 2015

Mexico – Panama
Referee: Yadel Martinez (CUB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiran Dopico (CUB)
Assistant Referee 2: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Fourth Official: Marlon Mejia (SLV)

AFC Asian Cup 2015 – Semi-finals

26 January 2015
Korea – Iraq
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Reserve AR: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Referee Observer: Shamsul Maidin (SIN)

27 January 2015
Australia – UAE
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Abdulrahman Hussain (QAT)
Reserve AR: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Referee Observer: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAS)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2015 – Group Stage (Matches 13-18)

23 January 2015
Ghana – Algeria
Referee: Koman Coulibaly (MLI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Hassan Egueh (DJI)
Fourth Official: Joaquin Esono Eyang (EQG)

South Africa – Senegal
Referee: Ali Lemghaifry (MRT)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Assistant Referee 2: Theogene Ngadijimana (RWA)
Fourth Official: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)

24 January 2015
Côte d'Ivoire – Mali
Referee: Bouchaib El Ahrach (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Malik Salifu (GHA)
Fourth Official: Juste Ephrem Zio (BFA)

Cameroon – Guinea
Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Fourth Official: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)

25 January 2015
Gabon – Equatorial Guinea
Referee: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Aboubacar Doumbouya (GUI)
Fourth Official: Bernard Camille (SEY)

Congo – Burkina Faso
Referee: Joseph Lamptey (GHA)
Assistant Referee 1: El Hadji Malick (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Oamogetse Godisamang (BOT)
Fourth Official: Victor Gomes (RSA)

Proenca has retired from refereeing

On 10 September 2000, Pedro Proenca Oliveira made his debut game in the Portuguese top flight. The first match of the young referee was Desportivo Aves – Campomaiorense. In min. 17, Duka was the target of a yellow card shown by the referee from Lisbon, the first of eight that Proenca would show in that match. "The game went wrong”, he admitted later. Proenca was challenged by the fans of the home team and only managed to get out of the stadium two hours after the game, under police escort. After 14 years, Pedro Proenca has become a reference in international refereeing, accumulating presence in all major competitions. On Thursday, the 44-year-old referee from Lisbon announced what was one of the worst-kept secrets, "a decision taken in consciousness": the end of his career as a referee. Proenca justified the decision with the "physical and mental strain" suffered during his long career. Thus, a little less than a year of reaching the age limit, the last game of Proenca's career turned out to be Cruz Azul – Auckland City, which defined the third-placed team at the FIFA Club World Cup, last December.
"I would like to leave an image of competence, professionalism and credibility. While acknowledging that I may have been wrong on the pitch and suffering from these mistakes, I did everything I could to improve my skills", said the now former referee, ensuring that he leaves the arbitration with well wishes for everyone and not referring to the problems he had in the recent past with Vítor Pereira, the president of the Referees Committee of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). In his speech, Vítor Pereira also did not refer to these differences, ranking the retirement of Proenca as "premature". In his good-bye speech, Proenca showed that he was pleased by the career. "I was in extraordinary competitions with the most talented players. Being present in big finals, as the Champions League and the European Championship, was a journey for which I and my team worked very hard. My deep gratitude goes to them”. Proenca may return to football and refereeing in the near future. "I am ready to contribute as necessary in support of refereeing and the Portuguese football", he said. But his immediate future, he added, will see him working as administrator and financial officer, and devote himself to academic teaching. Considered the best Portuguese referee of the century, Proenca stressed that it is time to "leave room to young referees" and that "the future of the Portuguese refereeing is assured".
Proenca’s retirement ceremony was held at the FPF headquarters and was attended by many personalities of the Portuguese football, including Luis Duque, president of the Portuguese League, Fernando Gomes, president of the Portuguese Football Federation, and old players like Pauleta and Humberto Coelho, as well as Luís Filipe Vieira, president of Benfica, Bruno de Carvalho, president of Sporting, Carlos Pereira, president of Maritimo. Porto was represented by Antero Henrique, Director-General of SAD FC Porto, who the day before had been expelled during the SC Braga – Porto for protesting against the referee Cosme Machado – the reason why the Braga Football Association was not present at the ceremony. 
Referee since he was 17, Pedro Proenca rose to the first category in 2000, became international in 2003, with a presence in the final stages of Euro 2012 (in which he directed the final) and the World Cup 2014. According to the accounts of the FPF, since 2000, Proenca refereed 466 games, including 362 in national competitions and 104 in international competitions. The first division of the Portuguese league was the competition “most visited" by Proenca, with 179 games, followed by the second division, with 113. Internationally, he did 37 games in the Champions League, including the 2012 final, in Munich, between Bayern and Chelsea. The World Cup final is the only one missing from his CV.

Source: Publico

CAF Africa Cup of Nations – Group Stage (Matches 9-12)

21 January 2015
Equatorial Guinea – Burkina Faso
Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Kordi (TUN)

Gabon – Congo
Referee: Victor Gomes (RSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Edibi (NGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abo El Sadat (EGY)
Fourth Official: Ghead Grisha (EGY)

22 January 2015
Zambia – Tunisia
Referee: Mario Bangoura (GUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Fourth Official: Bakary Gassama (GAM)

Cape Verde – DR Congo
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Malick (SEN)
Fourth Official: Joseph Lamptey (GHA)

AFC Asian Cup 2015 – Quarter-finals

22 January 2015
Korea – Uzbekistan
Referee: Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA, photo)

Assistant Referee 1: Abdulla Al Shalwai (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)
Fourth Official: Abdullah Al-Hilali (OMA)
Reserve AR: Badr Al-Shumrani (KSA)
Referee Observer: Hany Taleb Safar (QAT)

China – Australia
Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jeong Hae-Sang (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Fourth Official: Abdulrahman Hussain (QAT)
Reserve AR: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Referee Observer: John Chia Eng (SIN)

23 January 2015
Iran – Iraq
Referee: Benjamin Williams (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo (AUS)
Fourth Official: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Reserve AR: Chun Kit Chow (HKG)
Referee Observer: Noboru Ishiyama (JPN)

Japan – UAE
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Reserve AR: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
Referee Observer: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAS)

Updated List of Prospective Referees for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015

After Busacca took over the women refereeing from Denoncourt, FIFA updated the list of prospective referees for the Women’s World Cup 2015 by removing 12 referees and adding 10 new names. Jin He (CHN), Ji Yeong Park (KOR), Fadouma Dia (SEN), Therese Sagno (GUI), Alondra Arellano (MEX), Gillian Martindale (BRB), Sirley Cornejo (COL), Esther Azzopardi (MLT), Christine Baitinger (GER), Christina Pedersen (NOR), Morag Pirie (SCO) and Silvia Spinelli (ITA) were replaced by Rita Gani (MAS), Lilia Abdeljaoued (TUN), Melissa Borjas (HON), Mirian Leon (SLV), Michelle Pye (CAN), Maria Carvajal (CHI), Olga Miranda (PAR), Tupou Patia (COK), Stephanie Frappart (FRA), Monika Mularczyk (POL). The referees on the updated list (see below) will attend a FIFA seminar in Portugal, from 23 to 27 February 2015.

AFC
1. Rita Gani (MAS, 1977)
2. Fusako Kajiyama (JPN, 1977, photo)
3. Abirami Naidu (SIN, 1983)
4. Liang Qin (CHN, 1979)
5. Hyang Ok Ri (PRK, 1977)
6. Sachiko Yamagishi (JPN, 1973)

CAF
1. Lilia Abdeljaoued (TUN, 1979)
2. Aissata Amegee (TOG, 1975)
3. Gladys Lengwe (ZAM, 1978)
4. Therese Neguel (CMR, 1981)
5. Ledya Tafesse (ETH, 1980)

CONCACAF
1. Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX, 1975)
2. Melissa Borjas (HON, 1986)
3. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN, 1977)
4. Margaret Domka (USA, 1979)
5. Mirian Leon (SLV, 1986)
6. Michelle Pye (CAN, 1978)
7. Cardella Samuels (JAM, 1983)
8. Lucila Venegas (MEX, 1981)

CONMEBOL
1. Maria Carvajal (CHI, 1983)
2. Salome Di Iorio (ARG, 1980)
3. Ana Marques (BRA, 1979)
4. Yeimi Martinez (COL, 1981)
5. Olga Miranda (PAR, 1982)
6. Silvia Reyes (PER, 1981)
7. Claudia Umpierrez (URU, 1983)

OFC
1. Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL, 1982)
2. Tupou Patia (COK, 1984)
3. Finau Vulivuili (FIJ, 1982)

UEFA
1. Jana Adamkova (CZE, 1978)
2. Teodora Albon (ROU, 1977)
3. Cristina Dorcioman (ROU, 1974)
4. Stephanie Frappart (FRA, 1983)
5. Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN, 1978)
6. Katalin Kulscar (HUN, 1984)
7. Pernilla Larsson (SWE, 1976)
8. Efthalia Mitsi (GRE, 1980)
9. Kateryna Monzul (UKR, 1981)
10. Monika Mularczyk (POL, 1980)
11. Esther Staubli (SUI, 1979)
12. Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, 1979)
13. Carina Vitulano (ITA, 1975)

IFFHS World’s Best Woman Referee 2014: Steinhaus (GER)

German Bibiana Steinhaus, winner last year and second in 2012, has been confirmed with a large majority that she is the 2014 Number 1 woman’s referee in the World. Editorial staff and experts from 60 countries from all the football continents took part in the third running of the IFFHS annual election of The World’s Best Woman Referee. The 37-year-old policewoman has a great personality and is the first German woman to whistle games in the Men’s Second Bundesliga. She is also a fourth official in Germany’s major football competition, the Bundesliga. In a close competition for the minor placings, with many challengers, Kateryna Monzul (33) from Ukraine took second place after finishing fifth last year. She was appointed to control the Women’s Champions League 2014 final between Wolfsburg and Tyresö. Monzul has had great experience in Ukraine, where she referees in the Men’s Second Division and has been in charge of more than 60 international games since 2004. Canadian Carol Anne Chenard (37), who is a microbiologist, was voted into third place in the 2014 poll. She was the referee for the final of the Women’s U20 World Cup between Germany and Nigeria, played in Canada. The Swiss Esther Staubli, italian Carina Vitulano and the USA referee Margaret Domka were just behind the place getters, but the biggest improver was Hungarian Katalin Kulcsar (30), who took 7th place after beginning her international career less than a decade ago.

IFFHS World’s Best Women Referees 2014

1. Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, photo) 116 p 
2. Kateryna Monzul (UKR) 58 p
3. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN) 50 p
4. Esther Staubli (SUI) 41 p
5. Carina Vitulano (ITA) 37 p
6. Margaret Domka (USA) 31 p
7. Katalin Kulcsar (HUN) 23 p
8. Sachiko Yamagishi (JPN) 19 p
9. Lucila Venegas (MEX) 16 p
10. Amy Fearn (ENG) 2 p

AFC Asian Cup 2015 – Group Stage (Matches 19-24)

18 January 2015
Uzbekistan – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Benjamin Williams (AUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo (AUS)
Fourth Official: Ammar Aljneibi (UAE)
Reserve AR: Akane Yagi (JPN)
Referee Observer: Hany Taleb Safar (QAT)
   

China – Korea DPR
Referee: Abdulrahman Hussain (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Ramzan Al Naemi (QAT)
Fourth Official: Mohd Yaacob (MAS)
Reserve AR: Yusri Muhamad (MAS)
Referee Observer: Edward Lennie (AUS)
 

19 January 2015
Iran – UAE
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Reserve AR: Jeffrey Goh (SIN)
Referee Observer: Farkhad Abdullaev (UZB)
 

Qatar – Bahrain
Referee: Abdullah Al Hilali (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamed Al Mayahi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abu Al Hamri (OMA)
Fourth Official: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
Reserve AR: Najah Alhamaidah (IRQ)
Referee Observer: Yim Yau Cheung (HKG)
 

20 January 2015
Japan – Jordan
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Ammar Aljneibi (UAE)
Reserve AR: Palitha Hematunga (SRI)
Referee Observer: Hany Taleb Safar (QAT)
 

Iraq – Palestine
Referee: Abdulla Mohamed (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Mohd Yaacob (MAS)
Reserve AR: Yusri Muhamad (MAS)
Referee Observer: Edward Lennie (AUS)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2015 – Group Stage (Matches 1-8)

17 January 2015
Equatorial Guinea – Congo
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)
Fourth Official: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD)
Referee Observer: Essam Abd El Fatah (EGY)

Burkina Faso – Gabon
Referee: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Kordi (TUN) 

Referee Observer: Lim Kee Chong (MRI)

18 January 2015
Zambia – DR Congo
Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Assistant Referee 2: Abo El Sadat (EGY)
Fourth Official: Juste Ephrem Zio (BFA)

Tunisia – Cape Verde
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Aboubacar Doumbouya (GUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Theogene Ndagijimana (RWA)
Fourth Official: Ali Lemghaifry (MRT)

19 January 2015
Ghana – Senegal
Referee: Bernard Camille (SEY)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Edibi (NGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hassan Egueh (DJI)
Fourth Official: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)

Algeria – South Africa
Referee: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Assistant Referee 1: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Fourth Official: Mario Bangoura (GUI)

20 January 2015
Côte d'Ivoire – Guinea
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahaya Mahamdou (NIG)
Fourth Official: Joaquin Esono Eyang (EQG)

Mali – Cameroon
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Oamogetse Godisamang (BOT)
Fourth Official: Juste Ephrem Zio (BFA)

Proenca - Portuguese Referee of the Century

Pedro Proenca has been chosen as the Referee of the Century by the Portuguese Football Federation, which celebrated its centenary in 2014. He received the award at the Casino Estoril from Pierluigi Collina, the UEFA Head of Refereeing. "It's obviously an honor to receive the award, but I cannot forget Antonio Garrido and Vitor Pereira. It is a generation that had to deal with many things and this award is dedicated to all referees. This award is also dedicated to Collina, in appreciation of his very important contributions to refereeing", said Proenca (photo). He represented Portugal at the FIFA World Cup 2014 and FIFA Confederations Cup 2013, both in Brazil, and refereed the Euro 2012 final, as well as the UEFA Champions League 2012 final. The other candidates for the “Portuguese Referee of the Century” were Antonio Garrido (World Cups 1978 and 1982, Euro 1980, European Cup final 1980, European Super Cup 1977) and Vitor Melo Pereira (World Cups 1998 and 2002, Euro 2000, UEFA Cup final 2002).
Pierluigi Collina, who is responsible for UEFA refereeing, ranked Pedro Proenca "as one of the best European referees" and expressed the wish that the Portuguese will continue his refereeing career. The former top referee, who was speaking at the "Football Talks" event at the Estoril Congress Centre, addressed the recent claims regarding Proenca’s retirement plans if he would have refereed the FIFA Club World Cup final, which turned out to be otherwise. "It's a personal decision. Pedro Proenca is one of the best referees of UEFA. In 2012, he directed the final of the Champions League and UEFA European Championship. I would love to have him continue with us, because I believe he is very important to refereeing. However, we will all have to respect the decision he might take", said Collina. He revealed that he has already spoken to Proenca about this situation: "Last summer I tried to convince him to continue his career". On the other hand, the responsible for European refereeing believes that after Proenca’s possible end of the career, the Portuguese will continue to be an important asset for UEFA, helping to train young referees. "UEFA is always receptive to use former top referees to help form new generations of referees. We have already created a group of referee coaches, composed of recently retired referees. Our intention is to keep these referees, with great teaching potential, to pass the knowledge to the younger referees", concluded Collina.

Source: Mais Futebol / DNoticias

AFC Asian Cup 2015 – Group Stage (Matches 13-18)

15 January 2015
Bahrain – UAE
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Chun Kit Chow (HKG)
Fourth Official: Yudai Yamamoto (JPN)
Reserve AR: Najah Alhamaidah (IRQ)
Referee Observer: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAS)

Qatar – Iran
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS)
Reserve AR: Jeffrey Goh (SIN)
Referee Observer: Cheung Yim Yau (HKG)

16 January 2015
Palestina – Jordan
Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR
Assistant Referee 1: Jeong Hae-Sang (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Fourth Official: Ammar Aljneibi (UAE)
Reserve AR: Yusri Muhamad (MAS)
Referee Observer: Hany Taleb Safar (QAT)

Iraq – Japan
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Hettikankanange Perera (SRI)
Reserve AR: Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)
Referee Observer: Farkhad Abdullaev (UZB)

17 January 2015
Australia – Korea
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Reserve AR: Jeffrey Goh (SIN)
Referee Observer: Farkhad Abdullaev (UZB)

Oman – Kuwait
Referee: Fahad Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Badr Al-Shumrani (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdulla Al-Shalwai (KSA)
Fourth Official: Yudai Yamamoto (JPN)
Reserve AR: Azman Ismail (MAS)
Referee Observer: John Chia Eng (SIN)

CONMEBOL U-20 Championship 2015

Uruguay, 14 January – 7 February 2015

Referees
1. Mauro Vigliano (ARG, 1975)
2. Alejandro Mancilla (BOL, 1979)
3. Ricardo Marques (BRA, 1979, photo)
4. Julio Bascunan (CHI, 1978)
5. Adrian Velez (COL, 1976)
6. Roddy Zambrano (ECU, 1978)
7. Enrique Caceres (PAR, 1974)
8. Diego Haro (PER, 1982)
9. Andres Cunha (URU, 1976)
10. Jose Argote (VEN, 1980)

Assistant Referees
1. Ezquiel Brailovsky (ARG, 1979)
2. Wilson Arellano (BOL, 1980)
3. Kleber Gil (BRA, 1977)
4. Marcelo Barraza (CHI, 1974)
5. Wilmar Navarro (COL, 1979)
6. Luis Vera (ECU, 1980)
7. Milciades Saldivar (PAR, 1981)
8. Raul Lopez (PER, 1977)
9. Nicolas Taran (URU, 1980)

10. Jairo Romero (VEN, 1982)

Referee Observers
1. Carlos Alarcon (PAR)
2. Ernesto Filippi (URU)
3. Abel Gnecco (ARG)
4. Wilson Seneme (BRA)

AFC Asian Cup 2015 – Group Stage (Matches 9-12)

13 January 2015
Kuwait – Korea
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Yudai Yamamoto (JPN)
Reserve AR: Najah Alhamaidah (IRQ)
Referee Observer: Farkhad Abdullaev (UZB)

Oman – Australia
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Reserve AR: Jeffrey Goh (SIN)
Referee Observer: Hany Taleb Safar (QAT)

14 January 2015
Korea DPR – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Abdullah Al Hilali (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamed Al Mayahi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abu Al Amri (OMA)
Fourth Official: Ammar Aljneibi (UAE)
Reserve AR: Akane Yagi (JPN)
Referee Observer: John Chia Eng (SIN)

China – Uzbekistan
Referee: Abdulla Mohamed (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Hettikankanange Perera (SRI)
Reserve AR: Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)
Referee Observer: Edward Lennie (AUS)

CAF Referee of the Year 2014: Gassama (GAM)

Gambian Bakary Gassama has been adjudged the best referee for the year 2014. The Gambian referee clinched the top prize at the expense of Cameroonian Neant Alioum and Ivory Coast’s Noumadiez Doue and was honoured at the CAF Awards Gala held in Lagos, Nigeria.
Gassama (photo) was unarguably one of the foremost African referees during the year under review. The Gambian was one of three Africans selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, officiating the Netherlands – Chile clash in the group phase. Gassama has officiated at his second African Champions League final last year when he took charge of the decider between eventual winners Entente Setif from Algeria and Vita Club of DR Congo. He also officiated the 2013 decider between Al Ahly from Egypt and Orlando Pirates from South Africa. He refereed in the semifinals of the CAF Confederation Cup earlier last month and also made history when he officiated two games in the Qatari domestic football league last month and became the first non-Asian referee to do so. He also officiated at the 2013 Club World Cup in Morocco, as well as games in the qualifiers for the Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015.

Source: AllAfrica

AFC Asian Cup 2015 – Group Stage (Matches 5-8)

11 January 2015
UAE – Qatar
Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR
Assistant Referee 1: Jeong Hae-Sang (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Fourth Official: Yudai Yamamoto (JPN)
Reserve AR: Najah Alhamaidah (IRQ)
Referee Observer: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAS)

Iran – Bahrain
Referee: Benjamin Williams (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo (AUS)
Fourth Official: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Reserve AR: Akane Yagi (JPN)
Referee Observer: John Chia Eng (SIN)

12 January 2015
Japan – Palestine
Referee: Abdulrahman Hussain (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Ramzan Al-Naemi (QAT)
Fourth Official: Mohd Bin Yacoob (MAS)
Reserve AR: Yusri Muhamad (MAS)
Referee Observer: Noboru Ishiyama (JPN)

Jordan – Iraq
Referee: Fahad Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Badr Al-Shumrani (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdulla Al-Shalwai (KSA)
Fourth Official: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
Reserve AR: Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)
Referee Observer: Edward Lennie (AUS)

Referees chairman detained in Cyprus

Police have detained Referees Association Chairman Michalis Argyrou and former referee Michalis Spyrou over their alleged involvement in the ongoing investigation into match-fixing. A Cyprus court has ordered Michalis Argyrou (photo) to remain in police custody for three days because of allegations he tried to influence the outcome of a first-division match nearly three years ago. Michalis Spyrou was detained for four days on suspicion that he tried to influence the outcome of lower-league matches as well as under-21 games four years ago.
The arrests were prompted by the allegations of referee Marios Panagi, who held a press conference last month in which he essentially slammed the hierarchy of the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) and the Referees Association of being in cahoots with several clubs in the fixing of certain football matches. Some of Panagi’s allegations, in which he also fingered CFA boss Costakis Koutsokoumnis and, more vehemently, First Deputy Chairman George Koumas, concerned the fixing of specific games to ensure some teams avoided relegation in the previous years. The CFA’s outgoing Referees Committee Head Hans Reijgwart, who Panagi also accused of turning a blind eye to the match fixing, also gave a statement to police this week. With regards to Argyrou, a witness came forward to back the claim of Panagi that he attempted to influence the referee in fixing the outcome of the Enosis Neon Paralimniou-Aris Limassol game back in 2012 – a game that Paralimni went on to win. During Thursday’s remand hearing, the court had heard how 56-year-old Spyrou had attempted to put pressure on another referee to alter the outcome of four games between 2010 and 2011 – two lower league games and two under-21 games. During those years, Spyrou had served as a member of the CFA’s Referees Committee and was chief of refereeing matters for Limassol and Paphos. The referee, in his statement to police, said that Spyrou had telephoned him and asked him to help “certain clubs that had right-wing affiliations”. The games in question, according to investigators, are the third division game between Spartakos and Digenis Oroklini, the fourth division game between KE Trachoni and Ayia Marina Chrysochous, as well as the under-21 games Aris Limassol-Omonia and Omonia-Paphos. He is under investigation for charges relating to corruption, bribery, abuse of power and dereliction of duty. Panagi, who was this week stripped of his referee status by the CFA for a series of alleged “infringements”, reportedly recorded many conversations he had with high-ranking football officials but are said to be not admissible in court and were not accepted by the Legal Services. Police investigations are far from cracking the alleged corruption ring described by Panagi but prosecutors are hopeful that the recent arrests could open up a can of worms and break the silence.

Source: InCyprus News

AFC Asian Cup 2015 – Group Stage (Matches 1-4)

9 January 2015
Australia – Kuwait
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS)
Reserve AR: Yusri Muhamad (MAS)
Referee Observer: John Chia Eng (SIN)

10 January 2015
Korea – Oman
Referee: Peter O’Leary (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hintz (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Rule (NZL)
Fourth Official: Yudai Yamamoto (JPN)
Reserve AR: Najah Alhamaidah (IRQ)
Referee Observer: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAS)

Uzbekistan – Korea DPR
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Ammar Aljneibi (UAE)
Reserve AR: Azman Ismail (MAS)
Referee Observer: Noboru Ishiyama (JPN)

Saudi Arabia – China
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Reserve AR: Jeffrey Goh (SIN)

Referee Observer: Edward Lennie (AUS)

CONCACAF U-20 Championship 2015

Jamaica, 9-24 January 2015   

Referees 
1. David Gantar (CAN, 1975) 
2. Henry Bejarano (CRC, 1978) 
3. Hugo Cruz (CRC, 1982, photo) 
4. Yadel Martinez (CUB, 1985) 
5. Sandy Vasquez (DOM, 1977) 
6. Merlon Mejia (SLV, 1979) 
7. Oscar Reyna (GUA, 1983) 
8. Sherwin Moore (GUY, 1976) 
9. Armando Castro (HON, 1983) 
10. Valdin Legister (JAM, 1979) 
11. Fernando Guerrero (MEX, 1981) 
12. John Pitti (PAN, 1978) 
13. Javier Santos (PUR, 1978) 
14. Kimbell Ward (SKN, 1983) 
15. Leo Clarke (LCA, 1979) 
16. Armando Villarreal (USA, 1986)   

Assistant Referees 
1. Adrian Goddard (BRB, 1972) 
2. Philippe Briere (CAN, 1979) 
3. Warner Castro (CRC, 1980) 
4. Hiran Dopico (CUB, 1975) 
5. Geovany Garcia (SLV, 1981) 
6. Ronaldo De la Cruz (GUA, 1979) 
7. Walter Lopez (HON, 1978) 
8. Keble Williams (JAM, 1973) 
9. Juan Rangel (MEX, 1971) 
10. Keytzel Corrales (NCA, 1980) 
11. Jairo Morales (PUR, 1979) 
12. Graeme Browne (SKN, 1977) 
13. Caleb Wales (TRI, 1988) 
14. Corey Parker (USA, 1986)

IFFHS World’s Best Referee 2014: Rizzoli (ITA)

World Cup final referee Nicola Rizzoli has won the poll to determine The World’s Best Referee for the year 2014. Rizzoli, from Italy, had finished second in the 2013 voting but was a runaway winner with 131 points after his great performances at the World Cup finals in Brazil. Selected editorial offices and experts from 55 countries around the world took part in the 2014 annual election for the top referee, the 28th time it has been carried out by the IFFHS. The leading group come from 10 different countries and eight of them were in the Top 10 in 2013. 
Rizzoli, who is 43, began his senior career in 2002, became an international at 2007 and made a great jump to the Top World referees in 2013 with his second place. English referee Howard Webb, on 78 points, was runner-up after another season of consistency and continued respect in the football world. Webb has been in the Top 3 ranking since 2009 with two Awards as The World’s Best Referee in 2010 and 2013. Germany’s Felix Brych (39) came third on 61 points and has made a great jump in the last two years with his clear-sighted performances. Björn Kuipers, Ravshan Irmatov and Pedro Proenca completed the ranking similar to their efforts from the previous year. Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez and Argentine Nestor Pitana jump for the first time into the World’s Top 10. 

                                             IFFHS World’s Best Referees 2014

1. Nicola Rizzoli (ITA, photo) 131 p 
2. Howard Webb (ENG) 78 p 
3. Felix Brych (GER) 61 p 
4. Bjorn Kuipers (NED) 45 p 
5. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB) 37 p 
6. Pedro Proenca (POR) 34 p 
7. Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP) 16 p 
8. Cüneyt Cakir (TUR) 13 p 
9. Marco Rodriguez (MEX) 13 p 
10. Nestor Pitana (ARG) 7 p

Former PGMOL chief Hackett criticizes “appalling” standards

Former referees' boss Keith Hackett claims officiating standards in the Premier League over Christmas were "bordering on appalling". Hackett, 70, has named five current top-flight referees who should be removed at the end of the season. In addition, he believes successor Mike Riley should step down from his job. Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) has rejected Hackett's claims, stating standards have risen since Riley replaced Hackett in 2010.
Former FIFA referee Hackett (photo) claims he counted "over 20 major errors" during the Christmas period. He cited Wayne Routledge's red card during Swansea's game at QPR on 1 January, which was later overturned, as being of particular concern. "I see standards falling," he said. "Over the Christmas period it reached standards that were bordering on appalling. "Routledge received a reckless challenge. My expectation was that his opponent might receive a red card." Hackett added: "There was a pretty poor performance from Andre Marriner in the Manchester City-Everton game. First of all the failure to spot a challenge that resulted in Sergio Aguero having to go off, then a non-penalty decision. "I was with a group of FIFA referees from Nigeria who watched with amazement. Do you think I took joy in that?" Marriner is one of the five referees identified by Hackett in his blog, You Are The Ref, who in his view should finish at the end of the season. Mike Jones, Lee Mason, Chris Foy and last season's FA Cup final referee Lee Probert are the others. "You can't live on your reputation," Hackett said. "At the moment, these guys are performing well below the level." Hackett, who refereed at the European Championship and the Olympic Games in 1988 and who led PGMOL for almost six years after replacing Philip Don in March 2004, feels Riley should take responsibility. "I am criticizing very strongly," said Hackett. "If the guy is at the bottom of the league then his job is at risk. At this moment in time he [Riley] is more than bottom. "I am seeing a regression. The performances of the referees are not acceptable. He must carry the responsibility." 
Information supplied to the BBC by PGMOL states that the accuracy of decision-making by referees in the Premier League is currently at an all-time high. The figures claim accuracy on major decisions was up to 95% from 94.1%, accuracy on decisions in the penalty box stood at 98%, and offsides were now 99% accurate, compared to 92% when Riley took over. PGMOL adds that delegate marks for referees have gone up every season since Riley succeeded Hackett and the latest data shows referees are being asked to do 176 high-speed runs and 50 sprints in a game - a 64% increase on five seasons ago.

Source: BBC Sports

Ricci took a sabbatical leave after World Cup due to stress

An absence from the field caught the attention of Arnaldo Cezar Coelho (1982 World Cup final referee and current commentator in Brazil) during the final stretch of the Brazilian Championship. Sandro Ricci, who was the Brazilian representative at the 2014 World Cup, requested a sabbatical leave due to stress. Coelho considered that the sabbatical was requested at a bad time and may damage the referee’s reputation.
“I sent a message to all the referees: where is Sandro Ricci? I discovered that he excused himself to the Brazilian Confederation (CBF) because he was much stressed and did not want to referee for a while. One of the referees said: Arnaldo, he cannot referee the Brazilian Cup final Cruzeiro vs. Atletico because he is not accepted by Cruzeiro, but can officiate the games deciding the relegation. There it is more important the referee's name than his abilities. It is the credibility of the referee and Ricci came from a World Cup. I think that this sabbatical was requested at a bad time, I think it is bad for him and the other referees”, said Arnaldo Coelho during the “Well, Friends!” program. Representative of the hosts in last year's World Cup, Sandro Ricci excused himself from national competitions in Brazil, but remained active in CONMEBOL, because there was a chance for him to referee the Copa Sudamericana final, if Sao Paulo would have not advanced, said Arnaldo Coelho. In 2010, Ricci was chosen the best referee of the Championship. In 2013 and 2014 was the best referee of the Campeonato Pernambucano. He refereed the finals of the 2012 Brazil Cup, the 2013 Club World Cup, the 2014 Copa Libertadores and the third place match at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Source: Arnaldo Coelho / Well, Friends!

AFC Asian Cup 2015

Australia, 9- 31 January 2015
 
Referee: Benjamin Williams (AUS, 1977, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Centrangolo (AUS, 1978)

Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR, 1974)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN, 1977)

Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN, 1971)

Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR, 198)
Assistant Referee 1: Jeong Hae-Sang (KOR, 1971)
Assistant Referee 2: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR, 1976)

Referee: Abdullah Al-Hilali (OMA, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamed Al-Mayahi (OMA, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Abu Al-Amri (OMA, 1982)

Referee: Abdulrahman Hussain (QAT, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT, 1988)
Assistant Referee 2: Ramzan Al-Naemi (QAT, 1986)

Referee: Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA, 1985)
Assistant Referee 1: Badr Al Shumrani (KSA, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdulla Al Shalwai (KSA, 1975)

Referee: Abdulla Mohamed (UAE, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE, 1984)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE, 1978)

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ, 1970)
 

Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB, 1975) 
Assistant Referee 1: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB, 1979)
Assistant Referee 2: Chun Kit Chow (HKG, 1981)
 

Referee: Peter O’Leary (NZL, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hintz (NZL, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Rule (NZL, 1981)

Fourth Officials
1. Ammar Aljneibi (UAE, 1982)
2. Christopher Beath (AUS, 1984)
3. Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN, 1986)
4. Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS, 1986)
5. Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI, 1978)
6. Yudai Yamamoto (JPN, 1983)

Reserve ARs
1. Najah Alhamaidah (IRQ, 1980)
2. Jeffrey Goh (SIN, 1971)
3. Palitha Hemathunga (SRI, 1981)
4. Azman Ismail (MAS, 1974)
5. Yusri Muhamad (MAS, 1979)
6. Akane Yagi (JPN, 1974)