Remembering former FIFA World Cup referee Mikkelsen

Peter Mikkelsen, one of world football’s leading referees in the 1980s and 1990s passed away on Tuesday at the age of 58 following a long illness. Mikkelsen made his officiating debut in the Danish Super League in 1985 and became a FIFA referee the same year. He finished his international career in 1996 and officiated at his last game in Denmark in 1998. He refereed at five FIFA World Cup matches, two in Italy in 1990 and three in the USA in 1994. He also refereed at two UEFA European Football Championship tournaments, 1992 in Sweden and 1996 in England. Mikkelsen won the World Referee of the Year Award in 1991 and 1993. He was a UEFA referee observer and took care of young Danish referees. Mikkelsen was a valued member of the FIFA Referees Committee for many years. 
Speaking about Mikkelsen’s death, Chairman of FIFA’s Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina said: “Peter was passionate about football and a highly respected sportsman throughout his career. He truly lived football and his skill in refereeing was acknowledged far beyond Danish borders. We will remember him fondly in particular for his commitment to instilling the same passion in young referees that so distinguished him on the pitch. He was probably Denmark’s best referee and was a true role model for all of us. His many colleagues in Denmark, FIFA and the global football community will remember him with much affection and admiration.” 

Source: FIFA

AFC Asian Cup Final 2019: Irmatov (UZB)

Ravshan Irmatov, widely regarded as one of the best match officials in the world of refereeing, has been appointed to oversee the eagerly-anticipated final between Japan and Qatar at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on Friday. The 41-year-old from Uzbekistan, who is no stranger to high-profile encounters, will be officiating in his second AFC Asian Cup final, having managed the 2011 final between Japan and Australia in Qatar. Ravshan Irmatov will be assisted by compatriots Abdukhamidullo Rasulov and Jakhongir Saidov (UZB) with Ma Ning from China PR named as the fourth official. Italian Paolo Valeri has been appointed as the VAR and will be supported by assistants Muhammad Taqi bin Jahari from Singapore and Australia’s Christopher Beath. At the age of 32, Irmatov was the youngest referee at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa before going to set the record for managing the highest number of matches at the FIFA World Cup when he officiated his eleventh encounter last June in Russia 2018. The five-time AFC Referee of the Year award recipient has also taken charge of the AFC Champions League final on five occasions in his illustrious career. His other notable highlights include appointments at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2017 and 2008 FIFA Club World Cups, the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, and the 2012 Olympic Games Football Tournament. (Source: AFC)


1 February 2019
Japan – Qatar
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Ma Ning (CHN)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR 1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
AVAR 2: Christopher Beath (AUS)

FIFA Futsal World Cup 2020 – UEFA Qualifiers (Preliminary Round)

29 January – 3 February 2019

Group A
1. Besart Ismajli (KVX)
2. Kirill Naishouler (FIN)
3. Jacob Pawlowski (GER)
4. Lukas Pesko (SVK)

Group B
1. Victor Berg-Audic (FRA, photo)
2. Eduards Fatkulins (LVA)
3. Shota Kukhilava (GEO)
4. Daniel Matkovic (SUI)

Group C
1. Moshe Bohbot (ISR)
2. Viktor Bugenko (MDA)
3. Grigori Osomkov (EST)
4. Dario Pezzuto (ITA)

Group D
1. Vladimir Kadykov (RUS)
2. Kaloyan Kirilov (BUL)
3. Fredric Nilholt (SWE)
4. Slawomir Steczko (POL)

Group E
1. Alem Bajrovic (BIH)
2. Hennadiy Hora (UKR)
3. Alessandro Malfer (ITA)
4. Jacob Van Dijke (NED)

Group F
1. Vlad Ciobanu (ROU)
2. Maksim Dzeikala (BLR)
3. Alejandro Martinez Flores (ESP)
4. Stefan Vrijens (BEL)

Group G 
1. Daniele D'Adamo (SMR)
2. Javier Moreno Reina (ESP)
3. Costas Nicolaou (CYP)
4. Hikmat Qafarli (AZE)

Group H
1. Josip Barton (MKD)
2. Norbert Szilagyi (HUN)
3. Dejan Veselic (SVN)
4. Grigori Zelentsov (RUS)

FIFA AR Bekker spends 3 months at Greek hospital after suffering stroke

Ukrainian assistant referee Serhiy Bekker has been staying at a hospital in Greece for three months in a row. In October 2018, Bekker was appointed AR in a game in this country; however, on the eve of the match, they found him at a hotel suite, suffering consequences of a stroke. Kostyantyn Andriyuk, a sports journalist, posted that on Facebook. Serhiy Bekker received no financial aid from the national football federation of Ukraine
"Assistant referee Serhiy Bekker was assigned 21 or 22 top games between Dynamo and Shakhtar in Ukraine. On October 24, the day before a European competition game in Greece, he was found at a hotel suite with the stroke. They saved him, but that entailed a long-lasting treatment. The UEFA insurance policy allowed to allocate 80,000 Euros and the Greek football federation gave some more money. The Football Federation of Ukraine gave 0 Euros, 00 percent. Serhiy Bekker is still at a Greek hospital. One month of treatment costs some 10,000 Euros", said Andriyuk. According to him, the referee's father sold his own car to save his son. Ukrainian football referees also joined in. In total, they collected some 6,000 dollars. I wonder how much Luciano Lucci, the head of the Referees Committee, and the leaders of the Ukrainian federation donated for that purpose? There are the people who came here to develop football and care about it. But what about caring about the life and health of their own employee?', Andriyuk wrote. He turned to the teams' owners, presidents and club managers, asking to help treat the referee and bring him home.

Source: 112

CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations 2019

Niger, 2-17 February 2019

Referees
1. Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (BDI)
2. Antoine Effa (CMR, photo)
3. Souleiman Djama (DJI)
4. Mohamed Omar (EGY)
5. Peter Waweru (KEN)
6. Boubou Traoré (MLI)
7. Imtehaz Heeralall (MRI)
8. Mohamed Moussa (NIG)
9. Jean Ishimwe (RWA)
10. Hassan Mohamed (SOM)
11. Kokou Ntale (TOG)
12. Haythem Guirat (TUN)

Assistant Referees
1. Luis Barbosa (CPV)
2. Jospin Malonga (CTA)
3. Gamal Samir (EGY)
4. Firmino Bassafim (GNB)
5. Lionel Hasinjarasoa (MAD)
6. Fabien Cauvelet (MRI)
7. Mustapha Akerkad (MAR)
8. Mathew Kanyanga (NAM)
9. Abdoul Saley (NIG)
10. Hamza Abdi (SOM)
11. Dick Okello (UGA)
12. Samuel Atango (ETH)

Copa Libertadores – First Round

First Leg, 22-23 January 2019

Delfin – Nacional
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Edson Cisternas (CHI)
Fourth Official: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)

Deportivo La Guaira – Real Garcilaso
Referee: Cesar Deischler (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Alejandro Molina (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Urrutia (CHI)
Fourth Official: Felipe Gonzalez (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Miguel Buitrago (VEN)

Bolívar – Defensor Sporting
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Atoche (PER)
Fourth Official: Kevin Ortega (PER)
Referee Assessor: Jose Carpio (ECU)

Second Leg, 29-30 January 2019

Real Garcilaso – Deportivo La Guaira
Referee: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Julio Fernandez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Dario Herrera (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Juan Corozo (ECU)

Nacional – Delfin
Referee: Andres Rojas (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Murillo (COL)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Pastorino (URU)

Defensor Sporting – Bolívar
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Franchescoly Chacon (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Freddy Arellanos (PER)

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Semi-finals

28 January 2019

Iran – Japan
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Fourth Official: Kim Dong-Jin (KOR)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR 1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
AVAR 2: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)

29 January 2019
Qatar – UAE
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR 1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
AVAR 2: Christopher Beath (AUS)

Africa: FIFA issues life time ban to Chaibou, CAF lifts suspensions of Charef and Sikazwe

One of world's most infamous match-fixing cases was settled Thursday when a referee notorious for corrupt calls was banned for life. The corrupt games in Ibrahim Chaibou's career were key to revealing how easily international friendlies could be manipulated for betting scams, forced FIFA to change the rules for appointing referees, and helped expose the influence of convicted fixer Wilson Perumal. "Chaibou was probably the most corrupt referee the game of football has seen," former FIFA investigator Chris Eaton told The Associated Press on Thursday. Still, it took more than eight years to confirm his life ban from any involvement in soccer. FIFA ethics committee judges found the referee from Niger guilty of taking bribes to corrupt international friendly games in 2010 and 2011, soccer's world governing body said. Chaibou was fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($201,000), though it is unclear what power FIFA has to make the long-retired referee pay. He can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Niger official was paid bribes to influence the outcome of national-team games played in Africa, the Middle East and South America. His favoured tactic was awarding questionable penalty kicks - often for real and imagined handball offences - to help increase the number of goals scored. FIFA did not specify which games its ethics committee took into account when judging Chaibou. However, his most suspect games are well established. In May 2010, a warm-up game for World Cup host South Africa in Polokwane ended in a 5-0 win over Guatemala. Chaibou awarded three penalties for handball and South Africa scored two of them. Betting monitoring agencies noted a spike in wagers on at least three goals being scored in the game. In September 2010, Bahrain won 3-0 against a team making itself out to be Togo's national team but which was actually a group of impostor players. Chaibou's job that time was to limit the number of goals scored, according to evidence from Perumal after his arrest. Both games in 2010 were organized by Perumal from Singapore, whose agency could be hired by national soccer federations to organize a game and provide the referee. FIFA leadership was then not alert to the spreading risk of match-fixing. Its official line immediately after the Bahrain-Togo fiasco was not to investigate because neither member federation had complained. Chaibou was then appointed for national team games in Bolivia and Ecuador, and oversaw another notorious incident when Nigeria hosted Argentina in June 2011. With Nigeria leading 4-0 late on, Chaibou allowed the game to continue beyond the allotted stoppage time and then awarded Argentina a penalty for a non-existent handball against defender Efe Ambrose. A 4-1 result paid out bets of five goals to be scored. "I judged it to be a penalty, so I gave a penalty ... to make everyone happy. That's it," Chaibou told the AP in a telephone interview for an article published in February 2013. Eaton, who opened FIFA's investigation of Chaibou before leaving in 2012, said Perumal described his favoured referee as courageous for awarding suspect penalties late in games. "It wasn't courage, it was pure unadulterated corrupt greed," said Eaton, a former detective and Interpol official. He praised FIFA for pursuing the referee long after Chaibou's mandatory retirement from the international list of approved referees after turning 45 in 2011. "It's a well-deserved shaming of the man who disgraced African football more than any other", Eaton said. (Source: CTV)
CAF has lifted the provisional suspension of top referee Janny Sikazwe after being accused of corruption in November last year. The top referee who has been flying the Zambian and African flags high has been handed a reprieve by the CAF Disciplinary Committee. “After having thoroughly checked the elements presented to them regarding the violation by Mr. Janny Sikazwe of CAF Regulations, in particular Arts. 82, 136, 152, of the CAF Disciplinary Code: The Disciplinary Board decided that there is no sufficient evidence to implicate the involvement of Mr. Janny Sikazwe regarding the allegations of corruption made against him. Therefore, the Disciplinary Board decides: The provisional suspension of Mr. Janny Sikazwe is lifted”, states correspondence from CAF. Sikazwe was suspended following corruption allegations – in violation of CAF Regulations Articles 82, 136 and 152 of the CAF disciplinary code – raised by Angolan Primeiro de Agosto in their 2018 CAF Champions League semi-final, second leg match with eventual champions Esperance de Tunis. Sikazwe officiated at the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018 making history as he became the first Zambian to achieve that feat, (Source: Zambia Reports)
The Algerian Football Federation announced that the CAF Disciplinary Committee decided to lift the sanctions imposed on the Algerian referee Mehdi Abid Charef after the CAF Champions League final. The international referee had been sanctioned for "poor performance" in that match, when Charef awarded two penalty kicks extremely generous to the Egyptians. In both cases, the VAR had been accessed without the decision being changed despite the images and the Tunisian club had cried foul. Abid Charef was interviewed on 15 December 2018 by the president of the FAF, Kheireddine Zetchi, and members of the Federal Bureau to hear his story after his temporary suspension by CAF. "Abid Charef, gave explanations and members of the Federal Bureau concluded there is no evidence regarding any allegations of corruption made against him, so CAF lifted his provisional suspension", informed the FAF. (Source:Africa Top Sports)

UEFA VAR Seminar 2019

In preparation for the knock-out stage of the Champions League, UEFA has invited 27 referees and 22 assistant referees to a VAR seminar in Malaga (Spain), between 4 and 7 February 2019.


Referees
1. Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
2. William Collum (SCO)
3. Bastian Dankert (GER)
4. Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
5. Marco Fritz (GER)
6. Paweł Gil (POL)
7. Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
8. Marco Guida (ITA)
9. Ovidiu Hațegan (ROU)
10. Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
11. Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
12. Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
13. François Letexier (FRA)
14. Danny Makkelie (NED)
15. Szymon Marciniak (POL)
16. Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
17. Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
18. Milorad Mažić (SRB)
19. Michael Oliver (ENG)
20. Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
21. Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
22. Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
23. Barış Şimşek (TUR)
24. Damir Skomina (SVN)
25. Anthony Taylor (ENG)
26. Clement Turpin (FRA)
27. Pol van Boekel (NED)

Assistant Referees
1. Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
2. Simon Bennett (ENG)
3. Gary Beswick (ENG)
4. Stuart Burt (ENG)
5. Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP)
6. Nicolas Danos (FRA)
7. Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
8. Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
9. Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
10. Bahattin Duran (TUR)
11. Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
12. Cyril Gringore (FRA)
13. Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
14. David Mc Geachie (SCO)
15. Adam Nunn (ENG)
16. Tarik Ongun (TUR)
17. Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
18. Milovan Ristić (SRB)
19. Octavian Sovre (ROU)
20. Graeme Stewart (SCO)
21. Robert Vukan (SVN)
22. Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)

UEFA Advanced Course for Top Referees (Winter 2019)

Lisbon (Portugal), 27-31 January 2019

Men
1. Aliyar Aghayev (AZE, Cat. 1)
2. Alexei Kulbakov (BLR, Cat. 1)
3. Georgi Kabakov (BUL, Cat. 1)
4, Pavel Kralovec (CZE, Elite)
5. Michael Oliver (ENG, Elite, photo)
6. Anthony Taylor (ENG, Elite)
7. Craig Pawson (ENG, Cat. 1)
8. Mattias Gestranius (FIN, Cat. 1)
9. Clement Turpin (FRA, Elite)
10. Benoît Bastien (FRA, Elite)
11. Ruddy Buquet (FRA, Cat. 1)
12. Nicolas Rainville (FRA, Cat. 2, VAR)
13. Deniz Aytekin (GER, Elite)
14. Felix Brych (GER, Elite)
15. Felix Zwayer (GER, Elite)
16. Tobias Stieler (GER, Cat. 1)
17. Daniel Siebert (GER, Cat. 1)
18. Bastian Dankert (GER, Cat. 2, VAR)
19. Marco Fritz (GER, Cat. 2, VAR)
20. Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE, Elite)
21. Viktor Kassai (HUN, Elite)
22. Orel Grinfeeld (ISR, Cat. 1)
23. Daniele Orsato (ITA, Elite)
24. Gianluca Rocchi (ITA, Elite)
25. Davide Massa (ITA, Cat. 1)
26. Marco Guda (ITA, Cat. 2, VAR)
27. Massimiliano Irrati (ITA, Cat. 2, VAR)
28. Gediminas Mažeika (LTU, Cat. 1)
29. Andris Treimanis (LVA, Cat. 1)
30. Björn Kuipers (NED, Elite)
29. Danny Makkelie (NED, Elite)
30. Serdar Gözübüyük (NED, Cat. 1)
31. Pol van Boekel (NED, Cat. 2, VAR)
32. Jochem Kamphuis (NED, No FIFA, VAR)
33. Szymon Marciniak (POL, Elite)
34. Paweł Raczkowski (POL, Cat. 1)
35. Paweł Gil (POL, Cat. 1, VAR)
36. Artur Soares Dias (POR, Cat. 1)
37. Tiago Martins (POR, Cat. 2, VAR)
38. Ovidiu Haţegan (ROU, Elite)
39. István Kovács (ROU, Cat. 1)
40. Sergei Karasev (RUS, Elite)
41. William Collum (SCO, Elite)
42. Robert Madden (SCO, Cat. 1)
43. Milorad Mažić (SRB, Elite)
44. Srdjan Jovanović (SRB, Cat. 1)
45. Ivan Kružliak (SVK, Cat. 1)
46. Damir Skomina (SVN, Elite)
47. Matej Jug (SVN, Cat. 1)
48. Slavko Vinčić (SVN, Cat. 1)
49. Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP, Elite)
50. Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP, Elite)
51. Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP, Elite)
52. Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP, Elite)
53. Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP, Cat. 2, VAR)
54. Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP, Cat. 2, VAR)
55. Andreas Ekberg (SWE, Cat. 1)
56. Cüneyt Çakır (TUR, Elite)
57. Hüseyin Göçek (TUR, Cat. 1, VAR)
58. Barış Şimşek (TUR, No FIFA, VAR)

Women
1. Ivana Martinčić (CRO, Cat. 1)
2. Jana Adamkova (CZE, Elite)
3. Lina Lehtovaara (FIN, Elite)
4. Stephanie Frappart (FRA, Elite)
5. Florence Guillemin (FRA, Cat. 1)
6. Riem Hussein (GER, Elite)
7. Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, Elite)
8. Katalin Kulcsár (HUN, Elite)
9. Monika Mularczyk (POL, Elite)
10. Sandra Braz Bastos (POR, Elite)
11. Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS, Elite)
12. Pernilla Larsson (SWE, Elite)
13. Sara Persson (SWE, Elite)
14. Esther Staubili (SUI, Elite)
15. Kateryna Monzul (UKR, Elite)

Guests
1. Lei Zhang (CHN)
2. Yinhao Shen (CHN)

FIFA Referee Gillett moves from Australia to England

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today confirmed that they have accepted the resignation of referee Jarred Gillett who will finish his duties in March 2019 to pursue both academic and refereeing opportunities overseas. Gillett graduated with a PhD in Biomechanics from The University of Queensland in December 2018, which focused on children with Cerebral Palsy. Gillett has been offered and accepted a position at Liverpool John Moore's University, where he will continue his research, which starts in April 2019, but he was also keen to continue working as a referee. To that end, Gillett will join the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) Select Group 2 for season 2019/20 being the group who referee in the English Football League Championship. Gillett, one of FFA's foundation full-time referees, has refereed 154 matches since 2010 including five (5) Hyundai A-League Grand Finals and has been named the Hyundai A-League Referee of the Year five (5) times. Gillett was also one of the first Hyundai A-League match officials trained as a Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
FFA Head of Leagues, Greg O'Rourke, acknowledged that Gillett's resignation caused mixed emotions given the impact of losing one of our best from the Hyundai A-League, but fully understood his desire to advance his career and wished him well for the future. "It is a sad day to lose a referee of Jarred's calibre both for his on-field performances but also as a colleague and a mentor to many. We fully understand and respect his decision to pursue opportunities in both academia and Refereeing in the UK and we wish him and his wife all the best for the future, said O'Rourke. "Since joining the Hyundai A-League referee panel in 2010, Jarred has proven himself on field as one of the best referees that Australia has ever produced. It is not only domestically that Jarred has excelled, but also internationally with plenty of high profile appointments in the AFC Champions League & AFC Cup as well as exchanges in the J-League (Japan), Chinese Super League and the Saudi Pro-League. Although Jarred is moving on, he has provided a benchmark for the many young Australian referees coming through the ranks looking to emulate his achievements”, concluded O'Rourke.
FFA Director of Referees, Ben Wilson, was disappointed but pragmatic about Jarred leaving the Hyundai A-League. "Referees are just like players and I fully understand Jarred's decision to look for other challenges outside Australia, said Wilson. "Having watched Jarred's development over the 8 past years, he has definitely grown into a word-class referee that has the respect of players, coaches and fans alike. Whatever Jarred chooses to do in the future, I am sure he will continue to be successful," concluded Wilson.
Jarred Gillett also had mixed emotions about making the decision to resign and move to the UK but believed that the time was right. "The Hyundai A-League provided the opportunity for me to progress from grassroots to a full-time professional referee and I'm grateful to the FFA, my coaches, mentors and colleagues who have played a role in my career so far," said Gillett. "It was a difficult decision, but I leave the Australian game with many great memories. Pursuing academic and football opportunities in the UK was an opportunity too good to pass up and I'm excited by the challenges ahead", concluded Gillett. His final referee appointment will be in Round 21 of the A-League 2018/19 season.


Milestones and awards
- Total A-League matches (including A-League Finals Series): 154
- FIFA Referee since 2013
- AFC Elite Panel Referee 2014- present
- One of the inaugural FFA full-time professional referees: 2015 - present
- Five times A-League Grand Finals (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)
- FFA Cup Final 2018 Referee
- AFC President's Cup Final 2014
- AFC Champions League 2014-19
- AFC and OFC FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
- AFC Ul9 Championships 2016 Semi-Final
- J-League, Indian Super League, Saudi Pro League, Chinese Super League
- A-League Referee of the Year 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Source: A-League.com

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Quarter-finals

24 January 2019
China – Iran
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
VAR: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
AVAR 1: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
AVAR 2: Danny Makkelie (NED)

Vietnam – Japan
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE)
VAR: Christopher Beath (AUS)
AVAR 1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
AVAR 2: Paolo Valeri (ITA)

25 January 2019
Korea – Qatar
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Ma Ning (CHN)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR 1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
AVAR 2: Fu Ming (CHN)

UAE – Australia
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Fourth Official: Turki Al-Khudhayr (KSA)
VAR: Danny Makkelie (NED)
AVAR 1: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
AVAR 2: Cesar Ramos (MEX)

Candidate Referees for FIFA World Cup 2022

FIFA has selected the candidate referees for the 2019-2022 preparation cycle, leading to the World Cup in Qatar. They will attend FIFA Seminars in Doha: CAF, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL officials from 13 to 17 February 2019 and AFC, OFC and UEFA officials from 25 February to 1 March 2019.

Seminar 1 (CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL)

CAF

Referees
1. Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, 1985)
2. Ndala Ngambo (DRC, 1987)
3. Redouane Jiyed (MAR, 1979)
4. Victor Gomes (RSA, 1982, photo)
5. Maguette Ndiaye (SEN, 1986)
6. Sadok Selmi (TUN, 1984)

VARs
1. Ghead Grisha (EGY, 1976)
2. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)
3. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)

CONCACAF

Referees
1. Mario Escobar (GUA, 1986)
2. Hector Martínez (HON, 1991)
3. Oshane Nation (JAM, 1991)
4. Fernando Guerrero (MEX, 1981)
5. Marco Ortiz (MEX, 1988)
6. Ismail Elfath (USA, 1982)
7. Armando Villarreal (USA, 1986)

VARs
1. Drew Fischer (CAN, 1980)
2. David Gantar (CAN, 1975)
3. Adonai Escobedo (MEX, 1987)
4. Edvin Jurisevic (USA, 1975, former FIFA Referee)
5. Alan Kelly (USA, 1975, former FIFA Referee)
6. Kevin Stott (USA, 1967, former FIFA Referee)

CONMEBOL

Referees
1. Fernando Rapallini (ARG, 1978)
2. Gery Vargas (BOL, 1981)
3. Raphael Claus (BRA, 1979)
4. Roberto Tobar (CHI, 1978)
5. Nicolas Gallo (COL, 1986)
6. Carlos Orbe (ECU, 1982)
7. Mario Díaz de Vivar (PAR, 1983)
8. Diego Haro (PER, 1982)
9. Leodan Gonzalez (URU, 1983)
10. Alexis Herrera (VEN, 1989)

VARs
1. Patricio Loustau (ARG, 1975)
2. Mauro Vigliano (ARG, 1975)
3. Anderson Daronco (BRA, 1981)
4. Wilton Sampaio (BRA, 1981)
5. Julio Bascunan (CHI, 1978)
6. Andres Rojas (COL, 1984)
7. Esteban Ostojich (URU, 1982)
8. Jesus Valenzuela (VEN, 1983)

Seminar 2 (AFC, OFC, UEFA)

AFC

Referees
1. Christopher Beath (AUS, 1984)
2. Ma Ning (CHN, 1979)
3. Adham Makhadmah (JOR, 1986)
4. Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR, 1982)
5. Ahmad Al-Kaf (OMA, 1983)
6. Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT, 1987)
7. Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN, 1986)

VARs
1. Jarred Gillett (AUS, 1986)
2. Fu Ming (CHN, 1983)
3. Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN, 1982)
4. Kim Hee-Gon (KOR, 1985)
5. Khamis Al-Marri (QAT, 1984)
6. Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE, 1982)

OFC

Referees
1. Nicholas Waldron (NZL, 1982)
2. Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH, 1981)

UEFA

Referees
1. Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR, 1979)
2. Georgi Kabakov (BUL, 1986)
3. Michael Oliver (ENG, 1985)
4. Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP, 1984)
5. Benoît Bastien (FRA, 1983)
6. Daniel Siebert (GER, 1984)
7. Davide Massa (ITA, 1981)
8. Andris Treimanis (LVA, 1985)
9. Srdjan Jovanović (SRB, 1986)
10. Ivan Kružliak (SVK, 1984)
11. Slavko Vinčič (SVN, 1979)
12. Andreas Ekberg (SWE, 1985)

VARs
1. Craig Pawson (ENG, 1979)
2. Paul Tierney (ENG, 1980)
3. Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP, 1976)
4. Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP, 1982)
5. Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP, 1982)
6. Marco Guida (ITA, 1981)
7. Massimiliano Irrati (ITA, 1979)
8. Pol van Boekel (NED, 1975)
9. Serdar Gözübüyük (NED, 1985)
10. Danny Makkelie (NED, 1983)
11. Paweł Gil (POL, 1976)
12. Paweł Raczkowski (POL, 1983)
13. Artur Soares Dias (POR, 1979)
14. Hüseyin Göçek (TUR, 1976)

Netherlands: Referee-VAR audio footage of penalty incident

The Dutch FA published the audio footage of the penalty incident that occurred recently in the first division match played between Ajax and Heerenveen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Sb0QMKw2nZ4). Match officials involved: Serdar Gözübüyük (referee, photo), Dennis Higler (VAR), Angelo Boonman (AVAR).


Referee: No, No, No, No; play on.
VAR: Possible foul.
Referee: Just a football contact.
VAR: Play back, play back, I want to see it large.
Referee: Dennis, there is contact, just a football contact. See how easy he is falling. Play on
VAR: I want to see a total view. Angelo, what’s your opinion? The ball is now out of play. What’s your opinion Angelo?
AVAR: Show me the replay.
VAR: Serdar, wait with the restart!
Referee: Yes, Yes.
AVAR: He thinks it’s a football contact, but the goalkeeper missed the ball and touched the player. Yes, let’s do an OFR.
VAR: Serdar, Serdar, you think it is a football contact, but I think the ball is gone without being touched by the goalkeeper and then he hits the player. I ask you to do an OFR.
Referee: Where do you see doubt?
VAR: I think you have to do an OFR.
Referee: OK, I do an OFR.
During OFR
VAR: You see a moment in the replay when the ball is gone. Striker was not able to get to the ball.
Referee: I watch, I know. See how he comes in? Where does the goalkeeper touch the striker? What else could the goalkeeper do?
VAR: Goalkeeper does not touch the ball.
Referee: I know, but look at the football duel. Do you have other views? Behind the goal? I want to see the legs, is there a touch?
VAR: The body is the point of contact, neither feet, nor legs.
Referee: OK, he is too late
VAR: You get the ‘’in-goal camera’’.
Referee: He’s too late. No, No; this is too easy for a penalty. Let’s play on.

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Round of 16

20 January 2019
Jordan – Vietnam
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Fourth Official: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)
Additional AR 1: Mohanad Sarray (IRQ)
Additional AR 2: Liu Kwok Man (HKG)

Thailand – China
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Deniye Hemathunga (SRI)
Additional AR 1: Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE)
Additional AR 2: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)

Iran – Oman
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Fourth Official: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Additional AR 1: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Additional AR 2: Ali Al-Qaysi (IRQ)

21 January 2019
Japan – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)
Additional AR 1: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Additional AR 2: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)

Australia – Uzbekistan
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Deniye Hemathunga (SRI)
Additional AR 1: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Additional AR 2: Ahmed Al-Kaf (OMA)

UAE – Kyrgyzstan
Referee: Fu Ming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Huo Weiming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN)
Fourth Official: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Additional AR 1: Ma Ning (CHN)
Additional AR 2: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)

22 January 2019
Korea – Bahrain
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Fourth Official: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Additional AR 1: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Additional AR 2: Turki Al-Khudhayr (KSA)

Qatar – Iraq
Referee: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Koh Min Kiat (SIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Serhei Grishchenko (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Rashid Al-Ghaithi (OMA)
Additional AR 1: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
Additional AR 2: Ahmed Al-Ali (JOR)

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 33-36)

17 January 2019

Oman – Turkmenistan
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamed Salman (BHR)
Additional AR1: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Additional AR2: Khamis Al-Kuwari (QAT)
Fourth Official: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)

Japan – Uzbekistan
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Additional AR 1: Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE)
Additional AR 2: Ali Al-Qaysi (IRQ)
Fourth Official: Huo Weiming (CHN)

Saudi Arabia – Qatar
Referee: Kim Dong-Jin (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Park Sang-Jun (KOR)
Additional AR 1: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
Additional AR 2: Fu Ming (CHN)
Fourth Official: Cao Yi (CHN)

Lebanon – Korea DPR
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Additional AR 1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Additional AR 2: Liu Kwok Man (HKG)
Fourth Official: Koh Min Kiat (SIN)

Concacaf Referees of the Year 2018: Ramos & Venegas

Mexico is enjoying a clean sweep in the Concacaf Referee of the Year Awards for 2018. Liga MX referee Cesar Ramos has been named Concacaf Men’s Referee of the Year, while, for the second straight year, Lucila Venegas of Liga MX Femenil has taken home Concacaf Women’s Referee of the Year honors.
In was in 2018 that Ramos earned the distinction of refereeing in a FIFA World Cup for the very first time. The Sinaloa native officiated three matches at Russia 2018: Brazil-Switzerland and Poland-Colombia in the group phase, plus Uruguay-Portugal in the Round of 16. Ramos was also in charge of the two biggest matches in Liga MX in 2018, officiating the second leg of the Liga MX Torneo Clausura Final between Toluca and Santos Laguna, won 3-2 on aggregate by Santos. Six months later in the second leg of the Final of the Liga MX Torneo Apertura, Ramos was the referee for Club America’s 2-0 victory over Cruz Azul.
It was also a busy 2018 for Venegas, who was appointed two matches at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship, including the Final won 2-0 by the United States against Canada. The Jalisco native also worked two matches at the 2018 FFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup: Uruguay-Ghana and Germany-Cameroon. (Source: Concacaf)

Men
1. Cesar Ramos (MEX)
2. Mark Geiger (USA)
3. Joel Aguilar (SLV)

Women
1. Lucila Venegas (MEX)
2. Crystal Sobers (TRI)
3. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 29-32)

16 January 2019

Korea – China
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohd Bin Muhamad (MAS)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamad Bin Zainal (MAS)
Additional AR 1: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Additional AR 2: Khamis Al-Kuwari (QAT)
Fourth Official: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)

Kyrgyzstan – Philippines
Referee: Turki Al-Khudhayr (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Al-Abakry (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Koh Min Kiat (SIN)
Additional AR 1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Additional AR 2: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
Fourth Official: Deniye Hemathunga (SIN)

Iran – Irak
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Additional AR 1: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Additional AR 2: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)
Fourth Official: Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)

Vietnam – Yemen
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rashid Al-Ghaithi (OMA)
Additional AR 1: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Additional AR 2: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)
Fourth Official: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)

VARs selected for UEFA Champions League KO stage

According to El Espanol, UEFA has selected 24 Elite referees eligible to be appointed as VARs in the knock-out stage of the Champions League.
Spain (4): Carlos Del Cerro Grande, Jesus Gil Manzano, Antonio Mateu Lahoz, Alberto Undiano Mallenco.
Germany (3): Deniz Aytekin, Felix Brych, Felix Zwayer
Italy (2): Daniele Orsato, Gianluca Rocchi
Netherlands (2): Björn Kuipers, Danny Makkelie
France (2): Benoît Bastien, Clement Turpin
England (1): Anthony Taylor
Portugal (1): Artur Soares Dias
Slovenia (1): Damir Skomina
Hungary (1): Viktor Kassai
Greece (1): Anastassios Sidiropoulos
Serbia (1): Milorad Mazic
Romania (1): Oliviu Hategan
Czech Republic (1): Pavel Kralovec
Poland (1): Szymon Marciniak
Scotland (1): William Collum
Russia (1): Sergei Karasev

Source: El Arbitraje

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 25-28)

14 January 2019
UAE – Thailand
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Additional AR 1: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Additional AR 2: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)
Fourth Official: Mohd Bin Muhamad (MAS)

India – Bahrain
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)
Additional AR 1: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Additional AR 2: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Fourth Official: Koh Min Kiat (SIN)

15 January 2019
Australia – Syria
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Additional AR 1: Liu Kwok Man (HKG)
Additional AR 2: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Fourth Official: Deniye Hemathunga (SRI)

Palestine – Jordan
Referee: Mohanad Sarray (IRQ)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Additional AR 1: Ali Al-Qaysi (IRQ)
Additional AR 2: Khamis Al-Kuwari (QAT)
Fourth Official: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 22-24)

13 January 2019

Korea DPR – Qatar
Referee: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Deniye Hemathunga (SRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Additional AR 1: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Additional AR 2: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)
Fourth Official: Matthew Cream (AUS)

Oman – Japan
Referee: Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohd Bin Muhamad (MAS)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamad Bin Zainal (MAS)
Additional AR1: Peter Green (AUS)
Additional AR2: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
Fourth Official: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)

Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan
Referee: Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Additional AR1: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Additional AR2: Turki Al-Khudhayr (KSA)
Fourth Official: Mohammed Al-Abakri (KSA)

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 19-21)

12 January 2019

Vietnam – Iran
Referee: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Koh Min Kiat (SIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)
Additional AR1: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Additional AR2: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
Fourth Official: Deniye Hemathunga (SRI)

Yemen – Iraq
Referee: Fu Ming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Huo Weiming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN)
Additional AR1: Ma Ning (CHN)
Additional AR2: Liu Kwok Man (HKG)
Fourth Official: Mohamad Bin Zainal (MAS)

Lebanon – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Ali Al-Qaysi (IRQ)
Assistant Referee 1: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rashid Al Ghaithi (OMA)
Additional AR1: Mohanad Sarray (IRQ)
Additional AR2: Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS)
Fourth Official: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)

UEFA Women's Futsal Euro 2019

Portugal, 15-17 February 2019

Referees
1. Raquel Gonzalez Ruano (ESP, 1976)
2. Chiara Perona (ITA, 1987, photo)
3. Irina Velikanova (RUS, 1980)
4. Fatma Tursun (TUR, 1988)
5. Gelareh Nazemi (IRN, 1984)
6. Zari Fathi (IRN, 1988)

Geiger named PRO Director of Senior Match Officials

The Professional Referee Organization is pleased to announce that Mark Geiger, one of the most heralded U.S. referees over the past two decades, has been appointed as Director of Senior Match Officials. He will oversee the work of officials operating at the Major League Soccer level with immediate effect.
The new role will see the two-time MLS Referee of the Year Geiger retire from refereeing to join PRO’s management team after an illustrious 21-year career that saw him officiate at two FIFA World Cups, three Concacaf Gold Cups and the Olympic Games. As Director of Senior Match Officials, Geiger will lead a team of staff who are responsible for the coaching education and continual improvement of on-field and video match officials who work in MLS. “Having worked games in MLS for 15 years and internationally for 11, I felt it was time for me both personally and professionally to hang up my whistle and boots and start this new chapter,” the New Jersey native said. “I am extremely excited to join a team that is so dedicated and committed to improving the standards of refereeing in North America. I hope that my experiences will help our referees excel and take their individual games to the next level.” Geiger first took charge of an MLS game back in May 2004 when Columbus Crew SC hosted San Jose Earthquakes, and he went on to referee 186 regular season games in MLS, plus showpiece games including the MLS Cup between LA Galaxy and New England Revolution in 2014. That same year he was named as both the Concacaf Referee of the Year and MLS Referee of the Year (for the second time) after appearing at his first World Cup in Brazil, where he became the first American to referee a knockout stage match, as well as being the fourth official for the World Cup semi-final between Brazil and Germany. At last year’s World Cup, he refereed a further three games and had an additional eight assignments as Video Assistant Referee (VAR) or Assistant Video Assistant Referee (AVAR). His final assignment as a center official was an MLS Western Conference Championship Second Leg and he signed off last month as an AVAR at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi.
PRO General Manager Howard Webb added: “I’m delighted to have somebody of Mark’s caliber joining the PRO management team after he decided to call time on a truly wonderful active career. Mark is a man of huge integrity and has enormous pride in the work he does. These are qualities which make him ideal for a senior role in PRO. He has been a trailblazer for American officiating on the international stage and his achievements have helped to raise the credibility of our program globally. The experience and knowledge he has acquired in reaching such a high level will be extremely valuable as we look to continually raise the standard of our officials”.

Source: PRO

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 13-18)

10 January 2019
Bahrain – Thailand
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Additional AR 1: Peter Green (AUS)
Additional AR 2: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Fourth Official: Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)

Jordan – Syria
Referee: Kim Dong-Jin (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Park Sang-Jun (KOR)
Additional AR 1: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Additional AR 2: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
Fourth Official: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)

India – UAE
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Additional AR 1: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Additional AR 2: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)
Fourth Official: Rashid Al Ghaithi (OMA)

11 January 2019
Palestine – Australia
Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Additional AR 1: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Additional AR 2: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Salman (BHR)

Philippines – China
Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Additional AR 1: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Additional AR 2: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)

Kyrgyzstan – Korea
Referee: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Additional AR 1: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Additional AR 2: Khamis Al-Kuwari (QAT)
Fourth Official: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)

World’s Best Futsal Referee 2018: Jelic (CRO)

1. Nikola Jelic (CRO, photo) 487 p
2. Irina Velikanova (RUS) 434 p
3. Ricardo Amaral (BRA) 302 p
4. Gelareh Nazemi (IRN) 301 p
5. Hiroyuki Kobayashi (JPN) 282 p
6. Valeria Palma (CHI) 171 p
7. Mohamed Hassan (EGY) 147 p
8. Antony Riley (NZL) 103 p
9. Lance VanHaitsma (USA) 102 p
10. Khalid Hnich (MAR) 71 p

Source: FutsalPlanet

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 10-12)

9 January 2019

Japan – Turkmenistan
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Additional AR1: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Additional AR2: Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS)
Fourth Official: Mohamad Bin Zainal (MAS)

Uzbekistan – Oman
Referee: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Park Sang-Jun (KOR)
Additional AR1: Kim Dong-Jin (KOR)
Additional AR2: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
Fourth Official: Mohd Bin Muhamad (MAS)

Qatar – Lebanon
Referee: Ma Ning (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Huo Weiming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN)
Additional AR1: Fu Ming (CHN)
Additional AR2: Liu Kwok Man (HKG)
Fourth Official: Koh Min Kiat (SIN)

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 5-9)

7 January 2019
Korea – Philippines
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Salman (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Additional AR1: Mohanad Sarray (IRQ)
Additional AR2: Turki Al-Khudhayr (KSA)
Fourth Official: Mohammed Al-Abakry (KSA)

China – Kyrgyzstan
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Additional AR 1: Ali Al-Qaysi (IRQ)
Additional AR 2: Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE)
Fourth Official: Ahmad Al-Roalle (JOR)

Iran – Yemen
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Additional AR1: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)
Additional AR2: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Fourth Official: Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)

8 January 2019
Iraq – Vietnam
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Additional AR 1: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Additional AR 2: Khamis Al-Kuwari (QAT)
Fourth Official: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)

Saudi Arabia – Korea DPR
Referee: Peter Green (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Additional AR 1: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Additional AR 2: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Fourth Official: Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)

Referee Beaton given police escort

Referee John Beaton was given a police escort into Ayr United's Somerset Park after allegedly receiving threatening messages following the Old Firm derby. Beaton was criticized after Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was not punished for several incidents in the 1-0 win over Celtic at Ibrox last week. Beaton refereed Ayr-Falkirk in the Scottish Championship on Saturday. Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said "a line has been crossed" and urged "respect" for officials. Police Scotland confirmed "a complaint has been made regarding texts and calls received by a 36-year-old man". With police inquiries "ongoing", Maxwell said: "It is with deep dismay that, in the last 24 hours, we learned of one of our match officials having had threats made against him and his family. We are in close contact with those involved and with Police to ensure they are safe and those responsible are identified and held accountable for their actions."
Beaton was driven to the Ayr-Falkirk game by SFA head of security Peter McLaughlin and escorted into the ground by two police officers and a steward. "This is not the first time in recent weeks that our match officials have been targeted," Maxwell said. "Another referee was allegedly threatened and assaulted at a lower-league game prior to Christmas. These incidents are isolated, but are they are unacceptable and extremely concerning when they occur." Match officials have been criticized by several Premiership clubs this season following high-profile incidents. On Friday, Scottish champions Celtic said Beaton should be allowed to explain his decisions publicly, after no retrospective action was taken when the SFA reviewed incidents in which Morelos appeared to make contact off the ball with Celtic's Scott Brown, Anthony Ralston and Ryan Christie. Celtic also want a meeting with Maxwell, and the SFA said it would be happy to meet with clubs to discuss concerns. Maxwell said: "Our match officials make hundreds of decisions each game. They take huge pride in their work, but it is inevitable and accepted that some of their decisions will be viewed differently and debated by others. When differences of opinion, however, manifest as threats to our officials or their families, a line has been crossed. I call on everyone involved in Scottish football, from the public parks to the international stage, to respect our match officials".

Source: BBC

FIFA Elite Referees seminar in Qatar

Referee Victor Gomes has been included on FIFA’s shortlist and invited to a seminar for elite officials next month as the first step towards making the panel for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He will travel to Doha, Qatar, from 14 to 17 February 2019, along with another five African referees for fitness tests, as well as theoretical sessions and practice with a VAR (video assistant referee) simulator. This seminar falls under FIFA’s preparations for their upcoming football competitions and will be split into two groups. The first group which will consist of CAF, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, will attend the seminar from 14 to 17 February 2019, while AFC, OFC and UEFA referees’ seminar will take place from 25 February to 1 March 2019. 
The 2017/18 PSL Referee of the Season is the only South African to have been selected in the country to form part of the six African referees that are to represent CAF in this upcoming workshop. Other fellow African match officials to attend this workshop alongside Gomes include Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria), Redouane Jiyed (Morocco), Maguette Ndiaye (Senegal), Ndala Ngambo (DR Congo) and Sadok Selmi (Tunisia). Gomes’s invitation to the course gives him a good chance to make the World Cup‚ even though they are still just under four years away. If he does get to officiate in 2022, he will follow in the footsteps of Ian McLeod‚ in France 1998‚ and Jerome Damon at home in 2010 as the only South Africans to handle matches at the World Cup. Daniel Bennett made the reserve list for the 2014 tournament in Brazil. The 36-year-old Gomes is already on the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) elite list and handled last year’s CAF Confederation Cup final. He is expected to have a good chance to go all the way at the next Nations Cup and referee the final. The elite seminar does not include assistant referees. Zakhele Siwela was on the panel in Russia last year and would be expected to return again in Qatar in 2022. 

AFC Asian Cup 2019 – Group Stage (Matches 1-4)

Jordanian referee Adham Makhadmeh has been appointed to officiate the opening match between hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in the capital, Abu Dhabi, which will kick-off at 8pm local time. Together with assistants and compatriots, Ahmad Moannes Al Roalle and Mohammad Mustafa Al Kalaf, he will lead the AFC’s largest-ever cast of 60 match officials of referees and assistant referees, including a trio from CONCACAF. Makhadmeh has been a FIFA referee since 2013 and officiated in the first-leg of the 2017 AFC Champions League final between Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal and Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds. He was also one of the Additional Assistant Referees for the deciding leg in last year’s AFC Champions League final between Persepolis and Kashima Antlers in Tehran and the AFC U23 Championship final between eventual winners Uzbekistan and Vietnam in China earlier in 2018. Making his continental debut in the 2014 AFC Cup, the Jordanian is widely-regarded as one of the rising stars of Asian refereeing, having graduated from the 2007 batch of the Project Future Referees program, which has since been replaced by the AFC Referee Academy. Makhadmeh’s commendable performances have seen him manage several prominent international matches, which include China PR vs. Islamic Republic of Iran, Syria vs. Korea Republic and Iraq vs. UAE in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Final Round Qualifiers. (Source: AFC)


5 January 2019
UAE – Bahrain
Referee: Adham Makhadmeh (JOR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ahmad Al-Roalle (JOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammad Al-Kalaf (JOR)
Additional AR 1: Turki Al-Khudhair (KSA)
Additional AR 2: Ahmed Al-Ali (JOR)
Fourth Official: Mohammed Al-Abakri (KSA)

6 January 2019
Australia – Jordan
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rashid Al-Ghaithi (OMA)
Additional AR 1: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Additional AR 2: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Fourth Official: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)

Thailand – India
Referee: Liu Kwok Man (HKG)
Assistant Referee 1: Huo Weiming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN)
Additional AR 1: Ma Ning (CHN)
Additional AR 2: Fu Ming (CHN)
Fourth Official: Koh Min Kiat (SIN)

Syria – Palestine
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Additional AR 1: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Additional AR 2: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)
Fourth Official: Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)

AFC referees recognized for world-class achievement

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) presented the 2018 AFC Referees Special Award to the men’s trio from Iran - Alireza Faghani, assistant referees Reza Sokhandan and Mohammad Reza Mansouri – at the Armed Forces Officers Club and Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The trio were honoured for their appointment to the third-place playoff between Belgium and England in Saint Petersburg at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, where the AFC were represented by a record 16 match officials. AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who presented the trio with their awards on the eve of the biggest-ever AFC Asian Cup which kicks off tomorrow at the Zayed Sports City Stadium said: “There is no better way to honour Asia’s finest match officials than to do it here in the UAE on the eve of the biggest ever AFC Asian Cup. Each year, Asian refereeing continues to set new standards of excellence and the incredible performances of our match officials reinforce the Continent’s position as global leaders in refereeing. The achievement of our trio is inspiration not just for our match officials, but also is a level of excellence that players, officials and coaches aspire to and it is the AFC’s aim to build on this incredible momentum and undeniable promise. We have invested in our referees and the AFC will invest even more in the next two years to ensure our referees remain at the top of the world game and develop even further”. 
This is the second time the Iranian trio have been recognized for their achievements after receiving the same award in 2016 for officiating the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup final between River Plate and eventual winners Barcelona in Yokohama, Japan. Less than nine months later, Faghani, Sokhandan and Mansouri created history by becoming the first Asian refereeing team to officiate in the final of the Men's Olympic Football Tournament between Germany and gold medalist Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Faghani, who officiated the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 final between the host nation and Korea, joins an exclusive group of Asian referees to have officiated in the FIFA World Cup third-place playoff, which include UAE's Ali Bujsaim in USA 1994, Kuwait’s Saad Kameel in Korea/Japan 2002 and Toru Kamikawa from Japan in Germany 2006. 

Source: AFC