Elite referees prepare for Euro 2012

As the countdown continues to UEFA Euro 2012, the 12 referees who will officiate at this summer's tournament got together on a winter course organised by UEFA in Antalya, Turkey. UEFA.com caught up with "the 17th team" to find out about their preparations for Poland-Ukraine and receive an insight into what it takes to become an elite referee.
For the chosen dozen, the 20th UEFA Advanced Course for Top Referees was the perfect forum to bond and exchange ideas ahead of a major championship – and an opportunity which Howard Webb, who took charge at UEFA Euro 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, particularly values. "We've all dedicated so much of our lives to get to this level so we all share so much in common," Webb told UEFA.com. "We all have a passion for football and for officiating, we all have families who have supported us, we all suffer the same pressures week in, week out on the field of play; but outside of the game as well, some guys have to juggle work as well as their refereeing commitments. Because of that we are like-minded people." Perhaps because the 40-year-old Englishman, whose performances in South Africa two years ago earned him the honour of overseeing the World Cup final, does a job that can leave you feeling very lonely at times, such courses represent a welcome chance to come together "as a family".
For Craig Thomson, meanwhile, the gathering on 31 January and 1 February helped the referees ensure they are united in addressing the same concerns. "This course is very important for us in terms of consistency," said the Scot. "That's what the clubs want, what the players want, what the officials want, and that's what the spectators want – a consistent level of approach and decision-making. So it's important that we come together as a group, with the referees, and get the expertise from our coaches, Pierluigi Collina and Hugh Dallas”.
One main area of focus heading towards the Euro is fitness, with referees running on average between 10 and 13km per match and sprinting 50 times. According to Belgian referee instructor Werner Helsen, this is a "dramatic improvement" on five or six years ago. "In terms of high-intensity running, the amount has just doubled from 2003/04 to last season; and for the very first time, for example in the English Premier League, the referees showed more high-intensity running than the players."
German referee Wolfgang Stark says that physical fitness is key to mental clarity at crucial moments. "You can see that the matches have become faster and more physical, and that means more requirements from the referees regarding their physical condition. It's very important that a referee is fit, that he can follow the match, and that can be a decisive aspect in taking the right decisions on the pitch."
In Antalya, video examples of incidents were shown to highlight potential match scenarios, and referees now have their eyesight tested to make sure they can spot the right things in a fast-moving game. Above all, though, it is strength of mind that defines the best men in the middle.
"All the professional referees in England did a piece of research recently with a local university about the life of a professional football referee," said Webb, "and the thread that came out of all those interviews was the requirement for mental toughness, real resolve and self-belief. They are absolutely key. Without that, you won't get to the very top of the game”.

Source: UEFA

International Friendly Matches

28-29 February 2012

England – Netherlands

Referee: Felix Brych (GER, photo)

Romania – Uruguay

Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)

Germany – France

Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)

Switzerland – Argentina
Referee: Florian Meyer (GER)

Bosnia – Brazil

Referee: Sascha Kever (SUI)

Spain – Venezuela

Referee: Andris Traimannis (LVA)

Wales – Costa Rica
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)

Italy – USA

Referee: Firat Aydinus (TUR)

Ireland – Czech Republic
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)

Hungary – Bulgaria

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

Poland – Portugal

Referee: Alon Yefet (ISR)

Armenia – Serbia

Referee: Leontios Trattou (CYP)

Slovenia – Scotland

Referee: Alexandar Stavrev (MKD)

Cyprus – Serbia

Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)

Austria – Finland

Referee: Paolo Valeri (ITA)

Denmark – Russia
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN)

Israel – Ukraine
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)

Greece – Belgium
Referee: Daniel Stalhammar (SWE)

Turkey – Slovakia
Referee: Thorsten Kinhofer (GER)

Northern Ireland – Norway
Referee: Huw Jones (WAL)

Georgia – Albania
Referee: Ghennadi Sidenco (MDA)

Croatia – Sweden
Referee: Mitja Zganec (SVN)

Montenegro – Iceland
Referee: Ognjen Viljec (BIH)

Latvia – Kazakhstan
Referee: Lasha Silagava (GEO)

Moldova – Belarus
Referee: Gediminas Mazeika (LTU)

Armenia – Canada
Referee: Marios Panayi (CYP)

Malta – Liechtenstein
Referee: Mark Whitby (WAL)

Mexico – Colombia
Referee: Terry Vaughn (USA)

Ecuador – Honduras
Referee: Imer Machado (COL)

Paraguay – Panama
Referee: Patricio Polic (CHI)

FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifiers – AFC

29 February 2012

Australia – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Kim Dong Jin (KOR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jeong Hae Sang (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jang Jun Mo (KOR)
Fourth Official: Kim Jonghyeok (KOR)

Korea Republic – Kuwait
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Akane Yagi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Yudai Yamamoto (JPN)

Iran – Qatar
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Vladislav Tseytlin (UZB)

Tajikistan – Korea DPR
Referee: Banjar Al-Dosari (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Marad (KUW)
Assistant Referee 2: Fares Al-Shammari (KUW)
Fourth Official: Khamis Al-Kuwari (QAT)

Oman – Thailand
Referee: Masaaki Toma (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Haruhiro Otsuka (JPN)
Fourth Official: Jumpei Iida (JPN)

China – Jordan
Referee: Minh Tri Vo (VIE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ngoc Ha Nguyen (VIE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hoang Minh Nguyen (VIE)
Fourth Official: Dinh Dung Phung (VIE)

UAE – Lebanon
Referee: Peter Green (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Hakan Anaz (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Fourth Official: Timur Faizullin (KGZ)

Bahrain – Indonesia
Referee: Andre El Haddad (LIB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ziad Birak (LIB)
Assistant Referee 2: Hadi El Kassar (LIB)
Fourth Official: Radwan Ghandour (LIB)

Iraq – Singapore
Referee: Abdullah Al Hilali (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamad Al Mayahi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Khalid Al Hinai (OMA)
Fourth Official: Yasser Al Rawahi (OMA)

Japan – Uzbekistan
Referee: Abdullah Balideh (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Ramzan Al-Naemi (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Fourth Official: Ali Shaban (KUW)

Ex-FIFA referee Joe Attard convicted for bribery

Former coach Ilir Pelinku and ex-FIFA referee Joseph Attard, who was stripped of his FIFA referee badge, received a suspended jail term and fined 500 euro each for trying to bribe a goalkeeper before an international match in 2008. The Malta Football Association handed down a life ban to both men in 2010, after their involvement in an attempt to rig the UEFA Cup preliminary round match between Marsaxlokk and Slaven Belupo first came to light in 2008. During the criminal case against the two men, magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona heard how they had approached Marsaxlokk goalkeeper Saviour Darmanin, now retired, asking him to give his opponents a three-goal advantage. Darmanin refused the offer outright. Marsaxlokk lost 4-0, but the goalkeeper was still exonerated by former MFA president Joseph Mifsud during a press conference where he named the accused, who said that he was in no way involved and neither were any other Marsaxlokk officials. In the judgement, magistrate Micallef Trigona said that it “was abundantly clear” that, on the day before the match, the accused had approached goalkeeper Darmanin to ask him to give Slaven Belupo a three-goal advantage. The magistrate noted that referee Joe Attard had received two phone calls on the day before the match, the first originating from a landline traced back to coach Pelinku and the other from goalkeeper Darmanin. Pelinku could not explain why the first call had been made. The magistrate found both Pelinku and Attard guilty of trying to bribe Darmanin and handed down a six-month jail term suspended for a year and fined them 500 euro each.

Source: Times of Malta

Algarve Cup 2012

1. Abirami Apbai (SIN, 1983)
2. Liang Qin (CHN, 1979)
3. Nami Sato (JPN, 1978)

1. Aissata Amegee (TOG, 1975)

1. Irazema Aguilera (CUB, 1971)
2. Margaret Domka (USA, 1979, photo)
3. Lucila Venegas (MEX, 1981)

1. Jesica Di Iorio (ARG, 1980)

1. Jana Adamkova (CZE, 1978)
2. Katalin Kulcsar (HUN, 1984)
3. Pernilla Larsson (SWE, 1976)
4. Morag Pirie (SCO, 1975)
5. Carina Vitulano (ITA, 1975)

Assistant Referees
1. Emi Chiba (JPN, 1975)
2. Longman Cui (CHN, 1979)
3. Yan Fang (CHN, 1979)
4. Supawan Hinthong (THA, 1985)
6. Thi Kieu (VIE, 1978)

1. Emmanuella Aglago (GHA, 1979)
2. Diana Mukasa (UGA, 1978)

1. Enedina Caudillo (MEX, 1984)
2. Marie-Josee Charbonneau (CAN, 1982)
3. Stacy Greyson (JAM, 1986)
4. Milagros Leonardo (DOM, 1983)
5. Kimberly Moreira (CRC, 1986)
6. Marisol Salazar (GUA, 1977)

1. Luzmilia Gonzalez (COL, 1976)
2. Nadia Weiler (PAR, 1985)

1. Eveline Bolli (SUI, 1982)
2. Ourania Foskolou (GRE, 1979)
3. Giuliana Guarino (ITA, 1976)
4. Petruta Iugulescu (ROU, 1979)
5. Angela Kyriakou (CYP, 1977)
6. Monica Lokkeberg (NOR, 1985)
7. Sian Massey (ENG, 1985)
8. Sanja Rodak (CRO, 1983)
9. Adriana Secova (CZE, 1982)
10. Petra Sever (SVN, 1977)

Alon Yefet – indicted for tax evasion?

Officials from the Israel Football Association and the Referees Union are keeping close tabs on developments in the tax evasion case against senior Israeli referee Alon Yefet. A recent report in Haaretz that the Tax Authority intends to indict Yefet over his failure to pay tax on overseas earnings was greeted with shock and consternation in both organizations. The chairman of the Referees Union, Benzion Salman, said that he hoped Yefet, like the dozen other referees who were found to owe taxes, would be able to reach some agreement with the Tax Authority and avoid having an indictment filed. “Obviously, ignorance of the law is no excuse”, Salman told Haaretz, “but according to what several referees have told me, they did not know that tax was not deducted at the source. I would like to believe that if the Tax Authority has reached an agreement with most of them, they recognize that they are guilty of nothing more than making an innocent error and not of systematically evading taxes”. Salman described Yefet as “one of the top international referees”, stating, “Our decision − despite the report that he is facing an indictment − is to allow him to continue to officiate matches until a final decision is made. Alon knew that the Tax Authority is planning to indict him and he still took charge of one of the toughest games in Israeli soccer − Beitar Jerusalem against Maccabi Tel Aviv. He ran the game perfectly and there were no signs that he was distracted or under any kind of pressure. We will continue to assign him to games as usual”, Salman added. “At the moment, there is no question of suspending him. When we get all the details of the charges from the Tax Authority, we will reconsider our position”.
The Tax Authority, meanwhile, is to submit a summary of the arrangement it has reached with 13 referees to the Israel Football Association and the Israel Basketball Association. If, as reported in Haaretz, it is proven that the 13 referees named in the report paid an out-of-court settlement to the Tax Authority, the respective associations are likely to suspend them, pending internal disciplinary action. However, since the 13 officials are considered the top soccer and basketball referees in Israel, it is unlikely that they will be expelled or suspended for any length of time.

Source: Haaretz

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (Second Leg)

22 February 2012
Manchester City – FC Porto

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (GER)
Additional AR 1: Florian Meyer (GER)
Additional AR 2: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Fourth Official: Marco Fritz (GER)

23 February 2012
Valencia – Stoke City

Referee: Markus Strombergsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Additional AR 1: Martin Hansson (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Tobias Mattsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Johan Hamlin (SWE)

Athletic – Lokomotiv Moskow

Referee: Pawel Gil (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Piotr Sadczuk (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
Additional AR 1: Hubert Siejewicz (POL)
Additional AR 2: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Fourth Official: Robert Malek (POL)

Twente – Steaua Bucuresti

Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Alain Hoxha (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Armin Eder (AUT)
Additional AR 1: Rene Eisner (AUT)
Additional AR 2: Thomas Gangl (AUT)
Fourth Official: Alexander Harkam (AUT)

PAOK – Udinese
Referee: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andas (NOR)
Additional AR 1: Tommy Skjerven (NOR)
Additional AR 2: Espen Berntsen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Dag Vidar Hafsas (NOR)

PSV – Trabzonspor

Referee: Tony Chapron (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Eric Dansault (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fredji Harchay (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Said Ennjimi (FRA)
Fourth Official: Alexendre Castro (FRA)

FC Brugge – Hannover SC

Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Derek Rose (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Graham Chambers (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Alan Muir (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Robert Madden (SCO)
Fourth Official: Crawford Allan (SCO)

Standard Liege – Wisla Krakow
Referee: Milorad Mazic (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristic (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Igor Radojcic (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Milenko Vukadinovic (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Bosko Jovanetic (SRB)
Fourth Official: Vlado Glodjovic (SRB)

Besiktas – Braga
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabor Eros (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Kispal (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Mihaly Fabian (HUN)
Additional AR 2: Tamas Bognar (HUN)
Fourth Official: Sandor Ando-Szabo (HUN)

Manchester United – Ajax Amsterdam

Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Primoz Arhar (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Matej Zunic (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Matej Jug (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Slavko Vincic (SVN)
Fourth Official: Roberto Ponis (SVN)

Sporting – Legia

Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikolay Golubev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Vyacheslav Semenov (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Vladimir Kazhmenko (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Vitaly Meshkov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Stanislav Sukhina (RUS)

Schalke – Viktoria Plzen
Referee: Alan Kelly (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Damien MacGraith (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Marc Douglas (IRL)
Additional AR 1: Padraigh Sutton (IRL)
Additional AR 2: Tomas Connolly (IRL)
Fourth Official: Neil Doyle (IRL)

Metalist – Salzburg

Referee: Antony Gautier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Annonier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frederic Cano (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Fourth Official: Herve Piccirillo (FRA)

Olympiacos – Rubin Kazan
Referee: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Fredrik Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Magnus Sjoblom (SWE)
Additional AR 1: Michael Lerjeus (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Martin Strombergsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Daniel Stalhammar (SWE)

Anderlecht – AZ Alkmaar
Referee: Pedro Proenca (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional AR 1: Manuel de Sousa (POR)
Additional AR 2: Duarte Gomes (POR)
Fourth Official: Hugo Miguel (POR)

Atletico Madrid – Lazio Roma
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Child (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Fourth Official: Andre Marriner (ENG)

UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 (First Leg)

21 February 2012
CSKA Moskow – Real Madrid
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR 2: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Fourth Official: Danny Makkelie (NED)

Napoli – Chelsea
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Carlos Clos Gomez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (ESP)

22 February 2012
Olympique Marseille – Inter Milano
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Huseyin Gocek (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Bulent Yildirim (TUR)
Fourth Official: Tolga Ozkalfa (TUR)

FC Basel – Bayern Munchen
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato Faverani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Fourth Official: Mauro Bergonzi (ITA)

FIFA AR Joao Santos suffered an unusual head injury

Joao Ferreira Dos Santos (44) started his refereeing career in 1991 and became FIFA AR in 2003. He was the victim of an unusual accident during the Portuguese first division match Uniao Leiria – Beira Mar, played yesterday afternoon at the Municipal Stadium in Marinha Grande. In the 18th minute of the first half, when player John Ogu (Uniao Leiria) was preparing to return to the field of play after receiving medical attention, the AR Joao Santos made a sprint to follow the play and violently hit the Nigerian player getting both lying on the field. The player was able to recover and returned to play, but Joao Santos was removed on a stretcher and taken to the changing room immediately. He was later transported to the hospital in Leiria.
Uniao Leiria’s medical doctor, Amilcar Silva, who provided first aid, said: "He suffered a head injury, lost his consciousness and had a seizure, but always maintained a palpable pulse. He was referred to the Hospital Centre Leiria-Pombal, where he is being evaluated. When he left the stadium, he was already conscious, but agitated. Now they must perform a CT scan so they can tell if it is just a bruise or something else".
"Joao Santos had the misfortune of hitting a rock in motion", explained Leiria’s coach, Manuel Cajuda, alluding to the strong physique of the Nigerian Ogu. “I worry much more about the AR’s health than the fact that we did not win the game", he assured at the end of the match.

Source: Record

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

21 February 2012
Arsenal – Zamora

Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Maturana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Nestor Pitana (ARG)

Penarol – Atletico Nacional

Referee: Carlos Amarilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Yegros (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Caceres (PAR)
Fourth Official: Hector Martinez (URU)

Bolivar – Union Espanola

Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Cesar Franco (PAR)
Fourth Official: Johnny Cuellar (BOL)

Cruz Azul – Deportivo Tachira

Referee: Imer Machado (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: Jorge Gasso Flores (MEX)

22 February 2012
Universidad Chile – Godoy Cruz

Referee: Wilson Seneme (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Claudio Puga (CHI)

Velez Sarsfield – Chivas Guadalajara

Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Braatz (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodrigo Joia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Sergio Pezzotta (ARG)

23 February 2012
Olimpia – Lanus

Referee: Dario Ubriaco (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Fourth Official: Antonio Arias (PAR)

The Strongest – Juan Aurich

Referee: Federico Beligoy (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivan Nunez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)

Universidad Catolica – Atletico Junior

Referee: Pablo Lunati (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ariel Bustos (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jorge Osorio (CHI)

Attwell: out from the Select Group, kept on the FIFA List

Stuart Attwell has lost his place on the list of Select Group of referees and will return to Football League duty on the National List of England. Attwell, 30, will maintain his FIFA Referee badge obtained in 2009. The move, which is said to come by mutual consent, comes after Attwell made a string of high-profile errors after being promoted to the elite group of referees at the start of the 2008-09 season, aged just 25. He spent only one year on the national list and made his Premier League debut as a referee in the 1-1 draw between Blackburn and Hull in August 2008. Only weeks into that season, Attwell attracted heavy criticism for awarding Reading a goal against Watford when John Eustace had kicked the ball over the goal line four yards wide of the goal before it was put back into play by Noel Hunt. Attwell's assistant Nigel Bannister signalled for a goal. Further controversies followed when he was accused of "losing control" of a Derby-Nottingham Forest match, having disallowed two Derby goals in the final stages, booking eight players and sending off Forest's Lewis McGugan. He has also attracted the ire of Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, who accused the referee of lying about his reasons for sending off Gary Caldwell in April 2010, while Stoke's Danny Higginbotham claimed Attwell could be too easily influenced by players. Later that year, he awarded Liverpool a highly controversial goal against Sunderland. He had awarded the Black Cats a free-kick inside their own half and Michael Turner touched the ball back to Simon Mignolet, apparently for the goalkeeper to take the set-piece, but Attwell ruled the ball active, allowing Fernando Torres to steal it and set up Dirk Kuyt to finish into an empty net. More recently in December, Attwell sent off Gary Cahill, then of Bolton, for fouling Scott Parker only yards over the halfway line, saying he had denied Tottenham a clear goal-scoring opportunity. The red card was overturned on appeal.
"I have learned a great deal from my involvement in the Select Group over the last four years and I am now looking forward to building on that valuable experience. I strongly believe I have a lot to offer refereeing and I now look forward with commitment and enthusiasm to the new challenge that I am undertaking. This is supported by a determination to continue my career development and return to the Select Group as soon as possible", said Attwell.
Professional Game Match Officials Limited general manager Michael Riley backed Attwell to improve as a referee and return to the top level. "Throughout his career in the Select Group, Stuart has demonstrated great courage and mental strength in responding to the challenges that he has faced," Riley said. "He has shown many of the attributes of a top flight official, but the Premier League is an exacting standard with huge demands. It is imperative that PGMOL deliver the best officiating possible to the English game at all levels. This is not the end for Stuart. There are several match officials who have returned to the National List and benefited from it. Stuart has a high level of maturity and responsibility and I am convinced that he has a long-term future as a referee at the very highest level. PGMOL sincerely hopes to be welcoming Stuart back to the Select Group in the future".

Source: ESPN

Former World Cup referee Lu Jun jailed for match-fixing

A Chinese court sentenced four top football referees to up to seven years in prison after convicting them of corruption and match-fixing.
The best Chinese referee, Lu Jun, has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison by a court in Liaoning Province after accepting $128,000 to fix seven matches in China's national league from 1999 to 2003. He was the first Chinese official to referee at a World Cup, when South Korea and Japan hosted the showpiece event in 2002. Prior to that, he had taken charge of matches at the Sydney Olympics of 2000 and he was twice voted Referee of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation. But the court in the city of Dandong, near the border with North Korea, found that Lu had altered the outcome of seven games that involved four clubs including Shanghai Shenhua. The court ordered the confiscation of Lu's personal property worth 100,000 yuan.
Huang Junjie was convicted of accepting $247,975 for fixing several matches from 2005 to 2009, including two friendly games pitting Chinese teams against English giants Manchester United and Australia's Sydney FC. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and will have his personal property worth 200,000 yuan confiscated. Huang had refereed for more than 20 years and was certified as a FIFA referee in 1998.
Zhou Weixin was proved to have taken $77,829 to fix eight games and was sentenced to three years and six months in prison. In 2004 he awarded a penalty in a Chinese Super League match that prompted seven clubs to protest against the Chinese Football Association.
Wan Daxue was convicted of accepting $149,306 to influence games and was sentenced to six years in prison. Wan was known as a "patriotic whistle" because he appeared to favour China when he refereed international friendly matches.
Ex-director of the CFA referee committee, Zhang Jianqiang was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for bribery and non-state staff bribery, and was confiscated personal assets worth 250,000 yuan. Zhang took $378,071 in bribes from eight clubs and two local football administrative centers. Zhang was also convicted of non-state staff bribery by accepting $111,197 to ask referee Lu Jun to help Shanghai Shenhua beat Shanghai International in a crucial 2003 season top division league game and win the title of the league, after which Zhang and Lu split the money.
Yang Yimin, former Chinese Football Association (CFA) vice president, was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months for taking $199,202 for bribery by using his position as the CFA deputy director between 1997 and the end of 2009, to get the money from more than 20 companies and individuals. Yang also had personal property worth 200,000 yuan confiscated.

Dozens of other former players, coaches and officials also face trial or have already been tried for match-fixing and corruption.
The CFA have made some changes in their supervision system and disciplinary rules and regulations after the large-scale action. A number of CFA staff have been changed, and the decision-making mechanism, the financial control of the professional leagues have become more transparent and democratic.

Source: Xinhua

Leleu's climbing to the FIFA Referees Committee

For a small town like Rockhampton (Australia) it always seems that we are the over achievers when it comes to sport. Jacqueline Leleu knows all about the lime light as her football career has taken her to some of the highest profile events in world sport. Now she is set to climb to the next level of the game.
Having handed back her official FIFA Assistant Referee badge, Jacqueline Leleu (here, pictured with Sarah Ho at the 2008 Olympic Games) was set for the "quiet life" of work, study and looking after a growing family. Then, out of the blue, Leleu found out that her years of dedication to refereeing had been recognized in a very special way. "I have been chosen for the FIFA Referees Committee," she said excitedly. Leleu said the high powered committee was divided into two sub-committees and she had been offered a place on the development committee. "It is the first time they have had women on the committee and they have chosen four from around the world," she said. "I will miss my refereeing because that is hands-on and physical. However, this position is in administration and involves the development of referees." Leleu said the committee reviewed rules and rulings while evaluating a performance at an elite level as observers. "I will still be working at a high level and with some of the girls I have refereed with before," she said. The appointment of women on a FIFA committee is something of a break-through. "It is still a male dominated sport," she said. "It is good to be promoting women in sport." Leleu said her nomination, which she believes is the first for an Australian, was a bit unusual as the normal path is through the Asian or Australian Football Federations. Leleu was recommended by Sonia Denoncourt, who holds a post with FIFA organizing the appointments of female referees in Europe. "They needed four women for the committee and she nominated me," she said. "The committee requires people who have been at the top." Leleu said women's football was progressing around the world with more females playing the sport in America then males. In Australia the quality of the W-league continues to grow and this is assisting in the development of the women's game. A massive bonus for Leleu is she will still have an opportunity to attend top level football events. "It will be great as I will still get the chance to go to the World Cup and the Olympics”, she said. With the FIFA headquarters at Zurich, Leleu may have to travel regularly to Switzerland, as meetings of her committee are held there twice a year.

Source: The Morning Bulletin

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (First Leg)

14 February 2012
Rubin Kazan – Olympiacos
Referee: Milorad Mazic (SRB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristic (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Igor Radojcic (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Bosko Jovanetic (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Vlado Glodjovic (SRB)
Fourth Official: Milenko Vukadinovic (SRB)

Braga – Besiktas
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Berry Simons (NED)
Additional AR 1: Reinold Wiedemeijer (NED)
Additional AR 2: Ed Janssen (NED)
Fourth Official: Tom van Sichem (NED)

16 February 2012
Lokomotiv Moskow – Athletic Bilbao

Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Zoltan Szekely (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Cristian Balaj (ROU)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Coltescu (ROU)

RB Salzburg – Metalist Harkov

Referee: Marijo Strahonja (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sinisa Premuzaj (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Igor Krmar (CRO)
Additional AR 1: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)
Additional AR 2: Damir Batinic (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ante Vucemilovic-Simunovic (CRO)

Ajax Amsterdam – Manchester United

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Christian Brighi (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Gabriele Gava (ITA)
Fourth Official: Andrea Gervasoni (ITA)

Viktoria Plzen – Schalke
Referee: Stephane Lannoy (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Eric Dansault (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frederic Cano (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Fourth Official: Antony Gautier (FRA)

Lazio Roma – Atletico Madrid

Referee: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Wilczek (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Antonin Kordula (CZE)
Additional AR 1: Miroslav Zelinka (CZE)
Additional AR 2: Radek Prihoda (CZE)
Fourth Official: Libor Kovarik (CZE)

AZ Alkmaar – Anderlecht

Referee: Florian Meyer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Borsch (GER)
Additional AR 1: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Additional AR 2: Tobias Welz (GER)
Fourth Official: Peter Sippel (GER)

Legia – Sporting

Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Marko Stancin (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Matej Zunic (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Dragoslav Peric (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Davor Drecnik (SVN)
Fourth Official: Darko Ceferin (SVN)

Udinese – PAOK
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Cabanero Martinez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Fermin Martinez Ibanez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Clos Gomez (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Javier Estrada Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jose Paradas Romero (ESP)

FC Porto – Manchester City
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Emre Eyisoy (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Huseyin Gocek (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Bulent Yildirim (TUR)
Fourth Official: Suleyman Abay (TUR)

Steaua Bucuresti – FC Twente

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Darren Cann (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Jake Collin (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Lee Mason (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Michael Jones (ENG)
Fourth Official: Michael Oliver (ENG)

SC Hannover – FC Brugge

Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Tiago Trigo (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional AR 1: Duarte Gomes (POR)
Additional AR 2: Vasco Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: Artur Soares Dias (POR)

Wisla Krakow – Standard Liege

Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Carlos Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Calvo Guadamuro (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Cesar Muniz Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Javier Turienzo Alvarez (ESP)

Trabzonspor – PSV Eindhoven

Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Pickel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Christian Dingert (GER)
Additional AR 2: Markus Wingenbach (GER)
Fourth Official: Guido Winkmann (GER)

Stoke City – Valencia CF

Referee: Peter Rasmussen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Henrik Sonderby (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Niels Hog (DEN)
Additional AR 1: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Additional AR 2: Lars Christoffersen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Michael Tykgaard (DEN)

UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 (First Leg)

14 February 2012
Olympique Lyon – Apoel Nicosia

Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato Faverani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Luca Maggiani (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Andrea De Marco (ITA)
Fourth Official: Paolo Valeri (ITA)

Bayer Leverkusen – FC Barcelona

Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alasdair Ross (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Derek Rose (SCO)
Additional AR 1: William Collum (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Euan Norris (SCO)
Fourth Official: Steven McLean (SCO)

15 February 2012
Zenit St. Petersburg – Benfica Lisbon

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Fredrik Nilsson (SWE)
Additional AR 1: Markus Strombergsson (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Daniel Stalhammar (SWE)

AC Milan – Arsenal London

Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabor Eros (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Gyorgy Ring (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Additional AR 2: Mihaly Fabian (HUN)
Fourth Official: Tamas Bognar (HUN)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 4)

14 February 2012
Defensor Sporting – Deportivo Quito

Referee: Heber Lopes (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Altemir Hausmann (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodrigo Joia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)

Zamora – Boca Juniors

Referee: Jose Buitrago (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Díaz (COL)
Fourth Official: Candelario Andaracia (VEN)

Atletico Nacional – Universidad de Chile

Referee: Víctor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Cesar Escano (PER)
Fourth Official: Adrian Velez (COL)

15 February 2012

The Strongest – Santos
Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Alavardo (ECU)
Fourth Official: Johnny Cuellar (BOL)

Deportivo Tachira – Corinthians
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: Marlon Escalante (VEN)

CA Lanus – Flamengo
Referee: Roberto Silvera (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Fourth Official: German Delfino (ARG)

16 February 2012
Nacional Montevideo – Libertad

Referee: Saul Laverni (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Fourth Official: Liber Prudente (URU)

Godoy Cruz – Penarol
Referee: Raul Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Arol Valda (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Arellano (BOL)
Fourth Official: Federico Beligoy (ARG)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2012 – Final

12 February 2012
Zambia – Cote d'Ivoire

Referee: Badara Diatta (SEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bechir Hassani (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Evarist Menkouande (CAM)
Fourth Official: Eddy Maillet (SEY)

Badara Diatta was born on 2 August 1969 and became a FIFA referee in 1999. This is his fourth consecutive Africa Cup of Nations, after he previously refereed at CAN 2006, 2008 and 2010. Diatta was pre-selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and attended the 2008 Olympic Games, but did not make the final list for South Africa. Both assistant referees, Bechir Hassani and Evarist Menkouande went to the 2010 FIFA World Cup along with referee Eddy Maillet, who will be fourth official in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations final.

Match for Third Place
Ghana – Mali

Referee: Gehad Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Moffat Champiti (MWI)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Edibe (NGA)
Fourth Official: Bakary Gassama (GAM)

UEFA Futsal Euro 2012 – Final

11 February 2012

Russia – Spain
Referee 1: Danijel Janosevic (CRO)
Referee2: Francesco Massini (ITA)

Croatia's leading referee Danijel Janosevic is officiating at this first major senior tournament. The 41-year-old is not short of experience, having refereed the finals of the 2011 UEFA Futsal Cup and 2008 UEFA Euro U21 Futsal Tournament, and he was also Futsalplanet.com's 2010 Best Futsal Referee in the World. Euro 2012 means the first time Janosevic has refereed international matches in his home nation and, before the tournament, in a video inteview with UEFA.com, explained: "It means a lot to me, because I will referee, I will present my knowledge of futsal, of refereeing, in front of a domestic audience, in front of my friends; but still, for the benefit of European futsal". (Source: UEFA)

Match for Third Place
Croatia – Italy
Referee 1: Fernando Gutierrez Lumbreras (ESP)
Referee 2: Ivan Shabanov (RUS)

Busacca at the CONMEBOL Elite Referees Course

Massimo Busacca, the Head of the FIFA Refereeing Department, took recently part in the CONMEBOL Elite Referees Course held in Paraguay, which was attended by over 34 officials spanning every member association from the South American Zone.
The course covered a variety of issues that are vital in the training and development of top-level referees, with respected FIFA instructors and members of the Referees’ Committee – in addition to professionals from the fields of kinesiology and nutrition – charged with getting the all-important information across. All of which had one main objective in mind: the long road towards the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Drawing on his 22 years of refereeing experience, Busacca too played an active part in the course programme. As well as stressing the qualities, values and habits that referees must exhibit both on and off the field of play, the Swiss highlighted the importance of preparing physically, technically and tactically for matches. What is more, Busacca also made a point of the need to approach games with bravery and a positive attitude, being confident in yourself and your decisions and using emotional intelligence when taking said decisions – without being swayed by the crowd. All of which requires the ability to be able to understand the game, analyze it and make advance preparations in terms of the potential tactics in use. Getting communication right with players and coaches (an area where speaking several languages well is an undoubted bonus) was another factor that Busacca wished to draw attention to, as well as the need to understand where those individuals are coming from, to keep your cool and earn their respect via the firm and correct use of authority. Last but by no means least, the Swiss underlined what he feels is the most important aspect of any referee’s demeanour: humility. Though officials should stay true to themselves, they must always be consistent, open to learning from their instructors and be constructively self-critical. Indeed, recognising mistakes is not enough: referees must also learn from them. Over the course of the get-together, participants were also given instruction on specific ways to reduce the number of refereeing errors, including the use of stress management and optimum physical and mental preparation. With this in mind, a variety of working tools were put at the refs’ disposal, such as accurate tactical methodologies and training programmes to help improve performance. Another recommendation was taking the time to watch and examine matches on television.
The referees in attendance were aware that their performances over the coming months will prove decisive in terms of the selection process for those officials vying to take part at Brazil 2014. This point was explained in detail on the course, with the highly demanding selection process set to take into account factors including optimum levels of health and fitness, fluent English, a high standard of performance in technical and physical terms and the correct application and interpretation of the Laws of the Game. "Both the tests themselves and the assessment process are demanding, because the standard of the modern game requires them to be,” said Busacca. “Our job is to supply the right toolkit in technical, physical and structural terms to ensure referees, as well as their football associations, have professional habits in the way they approach their diet, physical conditioning, training, personal development and in-depth knowledge of the Rules of the Game”. By way of a conclusion, Busacca urged the referees present to live and breathe the game and to throw themselves into the demands of being professionally prepared, thus doing full justice to the honour that is officiating a top-level football match.

Source: FIFA

UEFA Futsal Euro 2012 – Semi-finals

9 February 2012

Croatia – Russia
Referee 1: Borut Sivic (SVN, photo)
Referee 2: Bogdan Sorescu (ROU)

Spain – Italy

Referee 1: Gabor Kovacs (HUN)
Referee 2: Eduardo Fernandes Coelho (POR)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2012 – Semi-finals

8 February 2012
Cote d'Ivoire – Mali
Referee: Daniel Bennett (RSA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jason Damoo (SEY)
Assistant Referee 2: Angessom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Fourth Official: Slim Jedidi (TUN)

Zambia – Ghana
Referee: Mohamed Benouza (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Fourth Official: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

7 February 2012
Chivas Guadalajara – Deportivo Quito
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Paul Delgadillo (MEX)

Defensor Sporting – Velez Sarsfield

Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Maturana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Hector Martinez (URU)

Fluminense – Arsenal

Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Yegros (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Hugo Martinez (PAR)
Fourth Official: Pericles Cortes (BRA)

8 February 2012
Nacional – Cruz Azul

Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Fourth Official: Enrique Caceres (PAR)

Union Espanola – Atletico Junior

Referee: Julio Quintana (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Claudio Puga (CHI)

Vasco da Gama – Nacional Montevideo

Referee: Jose Buitrago (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: Marcelo Henrique (BRA)

9 February 2012
Internacional – Juan Aurich

Referee: Liber Prudente (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Changala (URU)
Fourth Official: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)

Libertad – Alianza Lima

Referee: Martin Vazquez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Costa (URU)
Fourth Official: Carlos Amarilla (PAR)

Universidad Catolica – Bolivar

Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gustavo Esquivel (ARG)
Fourth Official: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)

Emelec – Olimpia

Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Fourth Official: Alfredo Intriago (ECU)

UEFA Futsal Euro 2012 – Quarter-finals

6 February 2012
Romania – Spain

Referee 1: Gabor Kovacs (HUN, photo)
Referee 2: Eduardo Fernandes Coelho (POR)

Croatia – Ukraine
Referee 1: Francesco Massini (ITA)
Referee 2: Petros Panayides (CYP)

7 February 2012
Russia – Serbia
Referee 1: Danijel Janosevic (CRO)
Referee 2: Karel Henych (CZE)

Italy – Portugal
Referee 1: Borut Sivic (SVN)
Referee 2: Fernando Gutierrez Lumbreras (ESP)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2012 – Quarter-finals

4 February 2012
Zambia – Sudan
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jason Damoo (SEY)
Assistant Referee 2: Angessom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Benouza (ALG)

Cote d'Ivoire – E. Guinea
Referee: Eddy Maillet (SEY)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Felicien Kabanda (RWA)
Fourth Official: Badara Diatta (SEN)

5 February 2012
Gabon – Mali

Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Fourth Official: Daniel Bennett (RSA)

Ghana – Tunisia

Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Fourth Official: Gehad Grisha (EGY)

UEFA: Key reminders to referees

UEFA's referee course week in Antalya concluded with a series of important messages being reiterated to the European game's leading match officials ahead of tough spring tests. UEFA has repeated a series of key messages to its top referees as they prepare for a testing spring with the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. At the end of the referee course week in Antalya, Turkey, the referees were asked to protect players, nurture football's image, conduct themselves in the appropriate manner as UEFA ambassadors, and report to UEFA any attempted corruption or match-fixing that they may witness – or if they are a target for such practices. Additionally, the delegates were reminded by UEFA referee officer Hugh Dallas of guidelines that UEFA issued at the start of the season. Strict action should be taken in the event of players crowding or mobbing match officials, as well as against reckless challenges and serious foul play.
"It is important to protect the players – they want to feel safe on the field of play," said Dallas. "You are there as the pitch policemen to make sure that things are being done in accordance with the Laws of the Game. Try also to act in a preventative manner – don't wait until something happens, try to stop it before it happens." There was also a call to act against players who exaggerate physical contact to try to get an opponent into trouble. "Be aware of it – give players warnings," said Dallas. "Let them be aware that you know what's going on." Similar vigilance should be shown against acts of simulation. "If players are guilty of simulation," the former referee emphasized, "they should be punished anywhere on the field." The course focused in particular on the importance to referees of diligent preparation and planning for matches, especially in a tactical sense. Correct positioning – being in the right place at the right time – will also help the men in the middle to make effective decisions.
Match officials are expected to represent UEFA in the appropriate manner when they travel to and from assignments, as well as before and after games. "Show professionalism at all times," said Dallas. "You are representing UEFA and your national association, and you are also representing yourself and your family – make sure that you are professional on and off the field. You never know who may be sitting behind you on a plane. You are easily identified – be very careful travelling through airports if you're wearing your association's uniform."
Betting and match-fixing are being fought against by, among others, UEFA and its associations. "We would ask you that if you are suspicious at any time, you must make sure that you inform UEFA," continued the Scotsman. "Referees can be targeted, so don't be vulnerable."
Dallas also spoke to UEFA.com about the aims of the winter course which has now been completed. "We're running two different courses, one for elite referees, and one for new international referees who are being introduced to the UEFA family," he said. "We are trying to remind our referees of a consistent approach, which the clubs and the coaches and players expect, and it's also good to show the new referees of the standards that are required. Top football needs top referees – and the future generation of top referees has been here. "I think courses like this mean that we can learn from each other and learn from experience," he added. "The young referees can learn from the experienced referees, while the experienced referees can also offer guidance – and provide a path that the young referees should follow."

Read more about the 20th UEFA Advanced Course for Top Referees

Read more about the 21st UEFA Introductory Course for International Referees

Source: UEFA

Former FIFA AR Stephane Duhamel committed suicide

French ex-FIFA AR Stephane Duhamel, brother of the FIFA Referee Laurent Duhamel, committed suicide, by hanging, last Saturday night, at age 42, announced the French Football Federation (FFF). It is not known the reasons that led him to commit such an act. His funeral will be celebrated in Normandy, in Grand-Quevilly, where he lived, and a religious ceremony will be held on Wednesday, 8 February 2012. In shock, the French Football Federation (FFF) and the National Referees Committee (DNA) have expressed their deepest condolences to Duhamel’s family and friends.
Although he would have had 3 more years on the international list, Stephane Duhamel suddenly quit refereeing at the end of 2011. As a FIFA assistant referee since 2007, he had officiated in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, as well as World Cup qualifiers, in most occasions along with his brother, Laurent Duhamel.

This recent suicide is far from an isolated act in the international football. In November 2011, German FIFA Referee Babak Rafati had tried to commit suicide a few minutes before the start of the Bundesliga match between Cologne and Mainz. The announcement had caused a commotion in the German football, already shaken by the suicide of goalkeeper Robert Enke in 2009.

Source: AFP/Eurosport

IFAB to discuss “Triple Punishment”

The 126th AGM of the International FootballAssociation Board (IFAB) will take place on Saturday, 3 March 2012, under the chairmanship of The Football Association in Surrey, England.
The main proposals and amendments on the agenda:

Law 3 – The Number of Players
Proposed text:
If a named substitute enters the field of play instead of a named player at the start of the match and the referee is not informed of this change:
• the referee allows the named substitute to continue the match
• no disciplinary sanction is taken against the named substitute
• the number of permitted substitutes allowed by the offending team is not reduced
• the referee reports the incident to the appropriate authorities.

Law 3 – The Number of Players

Number of substitutions
Proposed text:
Up to a maximum of three substitutes may be used in any match played in an official competition organised under the auspices of FIFA, the confederations or the member associations. An additional fourth substitution may be used during extra time.

Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment
Proposed text:
Stockings – if tape or similar material is applied externally it must be the same colour as that part of the stocking it is applied to.

Law 8 – The Start and Restart of Play

Infringements and sanctions
Proposed text:
The ball is dropped again:

If the ball enters the goal:
• if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded
• if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the teams’ own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team

Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

Disciplinary sanctions
Proposed text:
There are circumstances when a caution for unsporting behaviour is required when a player deliberately handles the ball, e.g. when a player:
• deliberately handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession

Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

Sending-off offences
Proposed text:
A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:
• (…)
• denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick outside the penalty area.
• denying the opposing team a goal or a goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area).
• denying an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by holding or an offence committed from behind inside his own penalty area when he has no opportunity to play the ball.
• (…)

If the previous amendment is approved, the following proposal will be submitted by FIFA:

Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

Cautions for unsporting behaviour
Proposed text:
There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, e.g. if a player:
• Commits in a reckless manner one of the seven offences that incur a direct free kick
• Commits a foul for the tactical purpose of interfering with or breaking up a promising attack
• Denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a holding or an offence committed inside his own penalty area when he has the opportunity to play the ball.
• (…)

Also on the agenda for discussion is an update on the Goal-Line Technology (GLT) testing. The independent test institute EMPA will provide a report on the first test phase held between November and December 2011 with eight GLT companies, as well as outlining the procedures for Phase 2 scheduled between March and June 2012.
An update on the Additional Assistant Referee (AAR) experiment, a discussion regarding the hijab following a football seminar in Amman in October 2011, and more information regarding the use of vanishing spray by referees at the 2011 Copa America - to mark out the 9.15m where defending teams have to stand for a free kick – are also on the agenda, among other topics.