Simon: "Getting to the World Cup is the ultimate dream”

When the world surrendered to Spain in South Africa, in 2010, Carlos Eugenio Simon’s heart ached a little. After all, he was once quoted to referee the final, but it did not happen. In spite of that, he had other reasons to celebrate: a historical trajectory ended there. Brazilian referee Carlos Simon has participated at three World Cups (2002, 2006 and 2010). Stories abound of whom had warned David Beckham for putting down a corner flag during a restart in Japan, missed the bus to the physical preparation in Germany and had to be searched before a game that could be targeted by Osama Bin Laden in South Africa.
Simon’s 27-year career began by chance and he rejects the view that a referee is a frustrated player. In this interview with Portal de Copa, he speaks of the love for refereeing, admits mistakes and defends the professionalization of what he considers the weaker side of football. Currently working as a television commentator, Simon shows another view of the sport: who controls the game and is always at the center of criticism and controversy, but is also needed.
Referee by chance
I lived in and wanted to be a footballer. When I arrived in Porto Alegre, at 17-18, I was tested at Gremio, but it was very difficult to reach and get it right at that age. Then I tried other teams, but, as I worked and studied, I left the football side. In the first year of high school, in 1984, there was a championship organized by the student council and my team went out of the competition. They were looking for referees. Someone suggested my name and I accepted. It was a Saturday morning. I made the yellow and red cards from cardboard and refereed with the minimum knowledge that I had at that time. The physical education teacher Luiz Cunha Martins came up behind me and said, "Simon, you've seen whistling and you got the look. Would you like to take a referee course with the federation?" I did it and this allowed me to officiate in Porto Alegre and in the metropolitan area. In 1986, I took another course to referee throughout the state. And since then I never stopped.
Study, work and refereeing
I did tryouts for journalism, I entered college in 1988 and graduated in 1992. It was difficult to reconcile because I worked, studied and whistled, and it cost me several years of my youth. Sometimes, I went to officiate within the state on Friday and just returned on Monday. Those were my years in amateur football, from 1984 to 1990, when I gained a good experience. The amateur football is embattled, disputed and the referee has to be very flexible.
First major competitions
In 1991 I started to referee in the national championship. First in the second division and then started to grow in refereeing. I had the advantage because I liked to play football. I avoided conflicts with players, talked to them, did not stop play for small issues. The referee has to worry about important issues; do not have to enter the field with the magnifying glass. He has to let go these little things.
FIFA referee
In 1995 I was considered as a referee aspiring to the FIFA badge and was invited to referee in the Paulista championship. In 1997 I managed to reach the FIFA List. I refereed my first Brazilian championships in late 1998, where two of the three games, the first game of Cruzeiro and Corinthians in Mineirao and the third game in Morumbi gave me national prominence. Then I started to prepare myself better. I left my job and just kept on the program Ask Simon at TV Guaiba, Porto Alegre. People asked questions and I answered once a week to maintain a salary. After 2000 there was not enough time. I refereed at the Olympics in Australia, plus many more matches in Brazil and abroad, so I lived practically through refereeing.
World Cup 2002 – Korea & Japan
At that time, there were important referees in Brazil. Antonio Pereira, Oscar Godoy and I had a fraternal dispute. I was the youngest, but my performance at the Olympics brought me the invitation to referee at the World Cup, which is the ultimate dream for a referee. The World Cup is the event where you are representing the country. I was not anymore Simon of Rio Grande do Sul, but I became Carlos Simon of Brazil. When the national anthems are being played in those seconds that precede the game, you can see a movie of your life, you are in the center of the football world, and millions of people are watching. The responsibility of commanding the game is yours. And then the first game was a classic European: England – Sweden. I had a funny scene. Beckham was getting ready to take a corner kick, took the flag and placed it on the floor. You cannot do that! I went there and warned Beckham and asked him to put it back. The guys who came to speak tuned for Beckham and the girls complained. The important thing is to remember that the rule is the same, no matter what values ​​they receive or the powers that are there. You are there to referee by the rules. After that, I refereed Italy – Mexico. Until this World Cup, FIFA had a rule that if your country passed that phase, you go home. But I was happy to stay and follow until the end of the competition, although Brazil has reached the final. It was a huge pride.
New requirements
FIFA changed everything in 2004: the referees committee, the tests. It was a more difficult process. They began requiring knowledge of another language, which is difficult for an old parrot to learn how to speak. I got to stay a month in Toronto to study focused on the rules of the game. FIFA has prepared a test with 25 questions in English, I hit the 25 mark. The physical demands soared; the referee had to be an athlete. I had to train a lot.
World Cup 2006 – Germany
The age was beginning to go up, but with sacrifice I passed the tests. At this World Cup, I was accompanied by Aristeu Tavares and Edmilson Corona, because the referee has indicated the assistants, which was formerly a confederation responsibility. If any member of the trio fails the fitness test, the trio is out, which is a huge responsibility. But the two assistants went and went well. The punctuality and precision of Germans drew my attention. I had an interesting episode. We had lessons with psychologists from 8:00 to 8:45 and, afterwards, the bus left for fitness training. One day, we went a little late to class. Then, when we got to the hotel looking for the bus, he had already left. It left with only one guy. They asked the driver and he responded: "They said it was scheduled to leave at 9:00 and I left at 9:00". I refereed Italy – Ghana, Tunisia – Spain, and a quarter-final match at the prettiest stadium (Allianz Arena in Munich): Germany – Sweden. Germany was a powerful team, yet I awarded a penalty kick against the host country. You have to know your responsibility.
World Cup 2010 – South Africa
I was already 44; my body changed further. FIFA pre-selected two referees from Brazil, Salvio Fagundes and I. Then there was that whole competition, with physical and theoretical tests. I refereed at the FIFA Club World Cup 2009, did a Barcelona game and then a playoff. I was in the eye of the hurricane. The people only see the bumps that you take, do not see the pingas you take. But I was working with respect, knowing my responsibilities, discussing football, taking position. This all weighs in that context. Then I ended up going to the 2010 World Cup, my last one. I refereed two games along with Altemir Hausmann and Roberto Braatz: England – USA and Germany – Ghana. The first one was a game where there was fear in the air because Osama Bin Laden has threatened to throw a bomb in the stadium. It was the first time we were inspected. We crossed our path with the vice-president of the U.S. in the hallway. With our good work, we were quoted for the final, but we did not get it. It was a bit of frustration, but it was a very good World Cup.
There are indescribable moments that you live as a football referee. It has nothing to do with the story that a referee is a frustrated player. I tried to be a player, but it was not given. I became a referee and had a successful career, where I entered the field with passion and always enjoyed it a lot. And being a referee allows you to be on the field with the greats Messi, Ronaldo, Zidane, Romario.
End of career
I finished the race in late 2010. I was 45 years old, which age limit for FIFA referees. I refereed the Brazilian Cup final between Santos and Vitoria, the final of the Supercopa (Estudiantes – LDU) in Argentina and the decisive game between Fluminense and Guarani in Brazil. I did not have the chance of refereeing the Copa America and Copa Libertadores finals in the same year because there were Brazilian teams involved. So, finishing a career with 1,198 games with three important games it really is a huge pride.
I have always been a fervent supporter of the professionalization of refereeing. It is absurd that in football - that involves millions and millions of dollars - the weaker side is the referee. The approval of the regulation of the profession of referee in the House is the first step (the project back to the Senate yet). It is unacceptable that the referee is still an amateur figure, although it is billed as a professional. It is important to support and encourage the referee, because it is not easy. The fans do not care if the referee is a journalist, lawyer or unemployed. The fans want to know why he awarded that penalty, etc.
If I can go back, of course, I would change attitudes. The fallibility is part of being human. Already publicly acknowledged my mistakes, but every profession is subject to error. Perfect is just the boss upstairs. The referee is the weakest side of soccer; it is much easier for the manager, or the coach to put the blame on the referee, the press also. Criticism is much greater. Who defends the referee? Only his family.
Technology in football
I support the technologies that already exist so far: the beep flags, the electronic scoreboards and now the goal-line technology of the goal line. If a goal was scored, it must be given. Humanly, it is impossible to see. The referee or assistant does not have that perception. As to the question you look at the video and make a decision, I'm not positive. It happened to me: a deciding game in 2008 for a vacant spot in Copa Libertadores: Cruzeiro – Flamengo. Flamengo's Tardelli treads on the ball and fell in the 93rd minute in the penalty area. Cruzeiro defender, Fortunato, did not touch it. By television cameras, it was a penalty. I did not award the penalty. He stepped on the ball and fell; I was 10 m from the spot. The game was 3-2 for Cruzeiro. And the broadcaster had no such image. The next day, another station showed a reversed angle. And that picture showed penalty. Imagine if I stop the game to look at the monitor and see whether it is a penalty. The next day, another TV angle showed that it was not a penalty. We cannot do that. And yet, looking at other fouls, for me it is a penalty, but it is not for you. When it is a matter of interpretation, we do not have to have technology; it must be at the discretion of the referee.
TV commentator 
I have a graduate degree in Physical Education and 27 years of experience as a referee, which gives me the qualification to be a competent journalist. When I make comments on refereeing, I look to see the reaction of the referee. There is the game of n the field and the game on television. I have to review the game that the viewer is seeing. If television shows that penalty is a penalty, why the referee did not see it? Here comes my experience. He was poorly positioned, tired, out of shape ... always calmly analyzing the professional side, never personal. I love the experience.

Source: Portal da Copa

UEFA U-21 Euro 2013

Israel, 5–18 June 2013

1. Ivan Bebek (CRO, 30/05/1977, photo)
2. Sergii Boiko (UKR, 30/06/1977)
3. Antony Gautier (FRA, 19/11/1977)
4. Pawel Gil (POL, 28/06/1976)
5. Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, 14/07/1980)
6. Matej Jug (SVN, 25/09/1980)

CAF Referee of the Year 2012: Haimoudi (ALG)

Djamel Haimoudi (ALG) has shone above his peers due to his precise judgment and interpretation of the rules of the game. Born on 10 December 1970, in the Algerian city of Oran, he is amongst the highly rated "knights of the whistle" since attaining his international badge in 2004.
This year, Haimoudi officiated at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and capped it as the only African referee at the recent FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. He is also on a shortlist of 52 referees pre-selected by FIFA for the 2014 World Cup. Haimoudi was followed by Badara Diatta (SEN) and Slim Jedidi (TUN), who are also on the prospective list for the World Cup in Brazil.

Source: CAF

UEFA Referees Categories 2013



Martin Atkinson (ENG), Olegario Benquerenca (POR), Felix Brych (GER), Cuneyt Cakir (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Kralovec (CZE), Bjorn Kuipers (NED), Stephane Lannoy (FRA), Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR), Pedro Proenca (POR), Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Damir Skomina (SVN), Wolfgang Stark (GER), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA), Craig Thomson (SCO), Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP), Howard Webb (ENG).

Elite Development 

Firat Aydinus (TUR), Deniz Aytekin (GER), Ivan Bebek (CRO), David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP), Antony Gautier (FRA), Manuel Grafe (GER), Tom Harald Hagen (NOR), Ovidiu Hategan (ROU), Milorad Mazic (SRB), Bas Nijhuis (NED), Daniele Orsato (ITA), Peter Rasmussen (DEN), Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD), Marijo Strahonja (CRO), Istvan Vad (HUN). 

First Category 
Cristian Balaj (ROU), Luca Banti (ITA), Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS), Kevin Blom (NED), Sergii Boiko (UKR), Marcin Borski (POL), Tony Chapron (FRA), Carlos Clos Gomez (ESP), Mark Courtney (NIR), Antonio Damato (ITA), Michael Dean (ENG), Simon Evans (WAL), Fredy Fautrel (FRA), Pawel Gil (POL), Huseyin Gocek (TUR), Duarte Gomes (POR), Serge Gumienny (BEL), Martin Hansson (SWE), Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL), Stefan Johannesson (SWE), Matej Jug (SVN), Hannes Kaasik (EST), Anastassios Kakos (GRE), Sergei Karasev (RUS), Alan Kelly (IRL), Michael Koukoulakis (GRE), Libor Kovarik (CZE), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR), Liran Liany (ISR), Robert Madden (SCO), Danny Makkelie (NED), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Andre Marriner (ENG), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Gediminas Mazeika (LTU), Florian Meyer (GER), Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS), Michael Oliver (ENG), Robert Schorgenhofer (AUT), Manuel De Sousa (POR), Daniel Stalhammar (SWE), Stephan Studer (SUI), Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (ESP), Stanislav Todorov (BUL), Leontios Trattou (CYP), Alexandru Tudor (ROU), Clement Turpin (FRA), Pol van Boekel (NED), Alon Yefet (ISR), Bulent Yildirim (TUR), Felix Zwayer (GER). 

Second Category 
Emir Aleckovic (BIH), Sandor Ando-Szabo (HUN), Ievgenii Aranovski (UKR), Tony Asumaa (FIN), Marius Avram (ROU), Alain Bieri (SUI), Tamas Bognar (HUN), Marco Borg (MLT), Ruddy Buquet (FRA), Kevin Clancy (SCO), Andrea De Marco (ITA), Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP), Sebastien Delferiere (BEL), Oleksandr Derdo (UKR), Christian Dingert (GER), Neil Doyle (IRL), Oliver Drachta (AUT), Laurent Duhamel (FRA), Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU), Rene Eisner (AUT), Said Ennjimi (FRA), Aleksei Eskov (RUS), Javier Estrada Fernandez (ESP), Mihaly Fabian (HUN), Marco Fritz (GER), Mattias Gestranius (FIN), Vlado Glodjovic (SRB), Serdar Gozubuyuk (NED), Eli Hacmon (ISR), Kenn Hansen (DEN), Arnold Hunter (NIR), Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR), Jakob Kehlet (DEN), Aleksandar Kostadinov (BUL), Istvan Kovacs (ROU), Artyom Kuchin (KAZ), Maksim Layushkin (RUS), Harald Lechner (AUT), Michael Lerjeus (SWE), Richard Liesveld (NED), Robert Malek (POL), Menashe Masiah (ISR), Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA), Steven McLean (SCO), Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD), Vitaly Meshkov (RUS), Antti Munukka (FIN), Euan Norris (SCO), Halis Ozkahya (TUR), Marios Panayi (CYP), Lee Probert (ENG), Pavle Radovanovic (MNE), Nicolas Rainville (FRA), Artur Soares Dias (POR), Anar Salmanov (AZE), Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR), Anastassios Sidiripoulos (GRE), Hubert Siejewicz (POL), Ilias Spathas (GRE), Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL), Martin Strombergsson (SWE), Padraigh Sutton (IRL), Anthony Taylor (ENG), Kristo Tohver (EST), Stavros Tritsonis (GRE), Richard Trutz (SVK), Jan Valasek (SVK), Paolo Valeri (ITA), Ognjen Valjic (BIH), Slavko Vincic (SVN), Ante Vucemilovic-Simunovic (CRO), Tobias Welz (GER), Carlos Xistra (POR), Nikolay Yordanov (BUL), Miroslav Zelinka (CZE). 

Third Category 
Anatoliy Abdula (UKR), Aliyar Aghayev (AZE), Alexandr Aliyev (KAZ), Sascha Amhof (SUI), Ioannis Anastasiou (CYP), Dennis Antamo (FIN), Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA), Petr Ardeleanu (CZE), Thorvaldur Arnason (ISL), Andranik Arsenyan (ARM), Kevin Azzopardi (MLT), Suren Baliyan (ARM), Damir Batinic (CRO), John Beaton (SCO), Mauro Bergonzi (ITA), Sven Bindels (LUX), Alexandre Boucaut (BEL), Johnny Casanova (SMR), Lars Christoffersen (DEN), Sebastian Coltescu (ROU), Raymond Crangle (NIR), Nikola Dabanovic (MNE), Sergiu Derenov (MDA), Vasilis Dimitriou (CYP), Vadims Direktorenko (LVA), Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR), Jerome Efong Nzolo (BEL), Andreas Ekberg (SWE), Hugo Ferreira Miguel (POR), Aleksander Gauzer (KAZ), Athanassios Giachos (GRE), Orel Grinfeld (ISR), Gerhard Grobelnik (AUT), Danilo Grujic (SRB), Leonardo Guidi (SMR), Tornike Gvantseladze (GEO), Dag Vidar Hafsas (NOR), Markus Hameter (AUT), Nikolaj Hanni (SUI), Tore Hansen (NOR), Alexander Harkam (AUT), Rahim Hasanov (AZE), Thoroddur Hjaltalin (ISL), Adrien Jacottet (SUI), Dejan Jakimovski (MKD), Jari Jarvinen (FIN), Lorenc Jemini (ALB), Michael Johansen (DEN), Gunnar Jonsson (ISL), Enea Jorgji (ALB), Bosko Jovanetic (SRB), Georgi Kabakov (BUL), Mete Kalkavan (TUR), Jovan Kaludjerovic (MNE), Vladimir Kazmenko (RUS), Thorsten Kinhofer (GER), Stephan Klossner (SUI), Laurent Kopriwa (LUX),Yaroslav Kozyk (UKR), Peter Kralovic (SVK), Sergei Lapochkin (RUS), Jonathan Lardot (BEL), Bryn Markham-Jones (WAL), Radek Matejek (CZE), Yuriy Mozharovskyy (UKR), Cesar Muniz Fernandez (ESP), Dumitru Muntean (MDA), Adam Nemeth (HUN), Christos Nicolaides (CYP), Andreas Pappas (GRE), Bardhyl Pashaj (ALB), Radu Petrescu (ROU), Elmir Pilav (BIH), Clayton Pisani (MLT), Nikola Popov (BUL), Radek Prihoda (CZE), Igor Pristovnik (CRO), Pawel Raczkowski (POL), Petur Reinert (FAR), Chris Reisch (LUX), Robert Rogers (IRL), Eiko Saar (EST), Alan Sant (MLT), Joao Santos Capela (POR), Marco Santos Ferreira (POR), Igor Satchi (MDA), Dzianis Shcharbakou (BLR), Lasha Silagava (GEO), Baris Simsek (TUR), Sergejus Slyva (LTU), Wim Smet (BEL), Mervyn Smyth (NIR), Daniel Stefanski (POL), Andris Treimanis (LVA), Siarhei Tsynkevich (BLR), Michael Tykgaard (DEN), George Vadachkoria (GEO), Mikhail Vilkov (RUS), Ignasi Villamayor (AND), Anatoliy Vishnichenko (UKR), Vladimir Vnuk (SVK), Domagoj Vuckov (CRO), Milenko Vukadinovic (SRB), Mark Whitby (WAL), Luc Wouters (BEL), Mitja Zganec (SVN), Anatolii Zhabchenko (UKR).



Jana Adamkova (CZE), Teodora Albon (ROU), Christine Baitinger (GER), Cristina Dorcioman (ROU), Gyongyi Gaal (HUN), Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN), Alexandra Ihringova (ENG), Katalin Kulcsar (HUN), Efthalia Mitsi (GRE), Kateryna Monzul (UKR), Jenny Palmqvist (SWE), Christina Pedersen (NOR), Silvia Tea Spinelli (ITA), Esther Staubli (SUI), Bibiana Steinhaus (GER), Carina Vitulano (ITA).

Elite Development

Esther Azzopardi (MLT), Riem Hussein (GER), Pernilla Larsson (SWE), Morag Pirie (SCO), Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS).

First Category

Linn Andersson (SWE), Cristina Babadac (ROU), Sandra Braz Bastos (POR), Petra Chuda (SVK), Rhona Daly (IRL), Amy Fearn (ENG), Stephanie Frappart (FRA), Dilan Gokcek (TUR), Knarik Grigoryan (ARM), Tanja Hausott (AUT), Sofia Karagiorgi (CYP), Elia Martínez Martínez (ESP), Yuliya Medvedeva (KAZ), Monika Mularczyk (POL), Paloma Quintero Siles (ESP), Karolina Radzik-Johan (POL), Severine Zinck (FRA).

Second Category
Lilach Asulin (ISR), Sabine Bonnin (FRA), Marija Damjanovic (CRO), Sjoukje De Jong (NED), Simona Ghisletta (SUI), Florence Guillemin (FRA), Mihaela Gurdon Basimanovic (CRO), Zuzana Kovacova (SVK), Eleni Lampadariou (GRE), Lina Lehtovaara (FIN), Marina Mamaeva (RUS), Leen Martens (BEL), Betina Norman (DEN), Sara Persson (SWE), Aneliya Sinabova (BUL), Sharon Sluyts (BEL), Marte Soro (NOR), Hilal Tosun Ayer (TUR), Eszter Urban (HUN), Olga Zadinova (CZE).

Third Category
Barbara Bollenberger (AUT), Konstantina Boumpouri (GRE), Paula Brady (IRL), Vesna Budimir (CRO), Cristina Bujor (ROU), Svetlana Ceban (MDA), Virginie Derouaux (BEL), Tania Fernandes Morais (LUX), Marta Frías Acedo (ESP), Sarah Garratt (ENG), Irina Gavrilova (KAZ), Beatriz Gil Gozalo (ESP), Desiree Grundbacher (SUI), Sabayel Gurbanova (AZE), Kristina Husballe (DEN), Vjolca Izeiri (MKD), Ana Jovanovic (SRB), Evgenia Kaskantiri (GRE), Dilek Kocbay (TUR), Marija Kurtes (GER), Gordana Kuzmanovic (SRB), Monica Larsen (NOR), Biljana Lukic (SRB), Dimitrina Milkova (BUL), Elvira Nurmustafina (KAZ), Hannelore Onsea (BEL), Melis Ozcigdem (TUR), Vivian Peeters (NED), Ruzanna Petrosyan (ARM), Iryna Petrova (UKR), Graziella Pirriatore (ITA), Agnieszka Plaskocinska (POL), Ivana Projkovska (MKD), Silvia Rosa Domingos (POR), Nelli Stepanyan (ARM), Zuzana Strpkova (SVK), Tanja Subotic (SVN), Marianne Svendsen (DEN), Irina Tereshchenko (RUS), Irina Turovskaya (BLR), Ivana Vlaic (BIH), Justyna Zajac (POL), Donka Zheleva-Terzieva (BUL), Kateryna Zora (UKR).

UEFA Referees – Promotions and Demotions 2012/2013

Promoted from Elite Development to Elite: Pavel Kralovec (CZE).
Demoted from Elite to First Category: Florian Meyer (GER).
Promoted from First Category to Elite Development: Deniz Aytekin (GER), Ivan Bebek (CRO), Antony Gautier (FRA), Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, photo).
Demoted from Elite Development to First Category: Marcin Borski (POL), Tony Chapron (FRA).
Promoted from Second Category to First Category: Sergii Boiko (UKR), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Liran Liany (ISR), Danny Makkelie (NED), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Michael Oliver (ENG), Clement Turpin (FRA), Felix Zwayer (GER).
Demoted from First Category to Second Category: Tony Asumaa (FIN), Laurent Duhamel (FRA), Said Ennjimi (FRA), Maksim Layushkin (RUS), Robert Malek (POL), Menashe Masiah (ISR), Euan Norris (SCO), Lee Probert (ENG).
Promoted from Third Category to Second Category: Alain Bieri (SUI), Kevin Clancy (SCO), Oleksandr Derdo (UKR), Serdar Gözübüyük (NED), Arnold Hunter (NIR), Vitaly Meshkov (RUS), Anar Salmanov (AZE), Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR), Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL), Padraigh Sutton (IRL), Stavros Tritsonis (GRE), Ognjen Valjic (BIH).
Demoted from Second Category to Third Category: Mauro Bergonzi (ITA), Lars Christoffersen (DEN), Jerome Efong Nzolo (BEL), Lorenc Jemini (ALB), Bosko Jovanetic (SRB), Thorsten Kinhofer (GER), Cesar Muniz Fernandez (ESP), Radek Prihoda (CZE), Mark Whitby (WAL).
New FIFA Referees promoted directly to Second Category: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP), Christian Dingert (GER), Javier Estrada Fernandez (ESP), Nicolas Rainville (FRA), Anthony Taylor (ENG), Tobias Welz (GER).

Promoted from Elite Development to Elite: Jana Adamkova (CZE), Katalin Kulcsar (HUN), Carina Vitulano (ITA).
Promoted from First Category to Elite Development: Riem Hussein (GER), Pernilla Larsson (SWE), Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS).
Demoted from Elite to First Category: Tanja Hausott (AUT).
Promoted from Second Category to First Category: Linn Anderson (SWE), Stephanie Frappart (FRA), Knarik Grigoryan (ARM), Monika Mularczyk (POL).
Promoted from Third Category to Second Category: Eleni Lampadariou (GRE), Sara Persson (SWE), Sharon Sluyts (BEL), Eszter Urban (HUN), Olga Zadinova (CZE).

Kralovec promoted by UEFA to Elite

Referee Pavel Kralovec (CZE, 35, photo) has been promoted by UEFA to the Elite Category, while Florian Meyer (GER, 44) has been relegated to the First Category for his last year of refereeing. Ivan Bebek (CRO, 35), Antony Gautier (FRA, 35), Deniz Aytekin (GER, 34) and Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, 32) have been promoted to the Elite Development. Tony Chapron (FRA, 40) and Marcin Borski (POL, 39) have been demoted to the First Category.

Seneme failed the fitness test again

Brazilian referee Wilson Seneme (photo) was given a second chance after he failed the official fitness test held by FIFA in September, in Switzerland. CONMEBOL hosted the make-up fitness test on 13 December 2012 in Paraguay. Wilson Seneme (42) failed again, as did Leandro Vuaden (37), who was considered the second choice of Brazil. Sandro Ricci (38), who initially was the third candidate from Brazil, passed the fitness test and is now hoping to replace Seneme on the list of prospective referees for the 2014 World Cup. In order to have competition, FIFA invited a more experienced Brazilian referee, Heber Lopes (40), to run a fitness test next year in Argentina. Almost a similar situation in Uruguay, where Roberto Silvera (41) declined to re-take the fitness test, while the Uruguayan second choice, Dario Ubriaco (40) was not able to attend due to an injury. Martin Vazquez (43) is the only referee invited from Uruguay who passed the fitness test. Another South American referee who failed in September, Diego Abal (ARG, 41), repeated the fitness test last week and passed it this time, along with his countrymen Nestor Pitana (37) and Patricio Loustau (37). FIFA Referees Committee will make the final decision after Ricci, Lopes (BRA), Vazquez (URU), Abal, Pitana and Loustau (ARG) will run another fitness test in January 2013, at the CONMEBOL Elite Referees course in Argentina.


FIFA Club World Cup Final 2012: Cakir (TUR)

16 December 2012

Corinthians – Chelsea

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Reserve AR: Hassan Kamranifar (IRN)

Match for Third Place
Al Ahly – Monterrey

Referee: Peter O'Leary (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Rule (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ravinesh Kumar (FIJ)
Fourth Official: Nawaf Shukrallah (BHR)
Reserve AR: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)

Former referee Amerell found dead

Former German referee Manfred Amerell has been found dead, with the cause of death still unclear pending an autopsy. Amerell had made headlines for his alleged involvement in a sex scandal with another referee.
Amerell was found dead in his Munich apartment, Munich prosecutor's office spokesman Peter Preuss confirmed. The 65-year-old was accused of sexual offense in 2010 by a former Bundesliga referee. He resigned from his post at the German Football Association (DFB) shortly thereafter. Munich police commander Frank Hellwig stated at a press conference Wednesday that the cause of Amerell's death was not initially obvious, but said "there was no evidence of accident, suicide or foul play." Hellwig added that Amerell's last known contact was a week ago, and his body was found in an "advanced state of decomposition" due to high temperatures in his closed-off apartment, which could delay autopsy results. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Former Bundesliga and current lower league referee Michael Kempter accused Amerell of sexual offenses in early 2010. Kempter made his comeback to refereeing in the German fifth division this season. In later statements, Kempter backed away from his previous claims that he had made it very clear to Amerell he was not interested in sexual contact. He instead said that he had perhaps not sufficiently expressed his unwillingness. Amerell has always denied the allegations of sexual misconduct. "Since Febuary 2010 I haven't lived; I just exist," said Amerell in April of this year, when looking back at his struggles with Kempter. On that day, Amerell had a conversation with then-DFB President Theo Zwanziger and then-general secretary and current DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach about Kempter's allegations. Three days later he was released from his duties and stepped down from his post, with the DFB citing health reasons. He sued Kempter following the allegations at a Regional High Court in Stuttgart. The court suggested a settlement of 150,000 euros ($195,000) payable to Amerell, and both parties agreed. "My quality of life is virtually zero and that is not going to change at all until I die," said Amerell at the time. He was most recently in the news because of a legal dispute with the DFB. In April he'd said the association had violated his personal rights and he was suing for damages. His lawyer, Jürgen Langer, had said Amerell felt defamed by the DFB because of the sex offense scandal.
Amerell made his refereeing debut in 1984 in the German second division before moving to the top flight three years later. In total, Amerell officiated 66 games in the Bundesliga before concluding his career in 1994 by overseeing the German Cup Final between Werder Bremen and Rot-Weiss Essen. After his retirement from refereeing, Amerell moved to a functionary position within the DFB. Prior to serving as a referee, Amerell was managing director at 1860 Munich, Augsburg and Karlsruhe.

Source: Deutsche Welle

FIFA Club World Cup 2012 – Semi-finals

12 December 2012
Al Ahly – Corinthians
Referee: Marco Rodriguez (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcos Quintero (MEX)
Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Reserve AR: Hassan Kamranifar (IRN)

13 December 2012
Monterrey – Chelsea
Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Reserve AR: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)

FIFA Club World Cup 2012 – Match for Fifth Place

12 December 2012
Ulsan Hyundai – Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Referee: Nawaf Shukrallah (BHR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Peter O'Leary (NZL)
Reserve AR: Mark Rule (NZL)

Stark apologised for his "error of perception"

Referee Wolfgang Stark apologised for awarding a controversial penalty kick against Borussia Dortmund and sending off defender Marcel Schmelzer in their Bundesliga defeat at home to VfL Wolfsburg.
"I have looked at it again later and unfortunately it was an error of perception on my part", he told reporters outside his dressing room. "I am sorry, that should not happen. The penalty and the red card were a mistake on my part. That's annoying". Schmelzer was judged to have handled the ball to stop Bas Dost's goal-bound shot going into the net, but replays showed that ball hit Schmelzer's knee and, although it also brushed his fist, the contact was insignificant and clearly unintentional. A penalty was awarded, Schmelzer sent off and Diego converted the penalty. After Stark admitted his mistake, the German FA announced that Schmelzer would not be suspended, meaning he can play in Dortmund's final Bundesliga game of the year at Hoffenheim.
Borussia Dortmund became the latest victim of the so-called triple punishment - when a player who denies the opposition a clear goal-scoring opportunity concedes a penalty, is shown the red card and then has to serve an automatic suspension. A FIFA working group led by former Germany captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer, which has now been wound up, suggested replacing the red card with a yellow card except in the case of dangerous tackles. The proposal was studied by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in March and was put on hold.

Source: Yahoo Sports

FIFA Club World Cup 2012 – Quarter-finals

9 December 2012
Ulsan Hyundai – CF Monterrey
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
Reserve AR: Redouane Achik (MAR)

Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Al Ahly
Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Reserve AR: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)

Referees have “final word” on GLT

Referees can reject the use of goal-line technology or even overrule it in the Club World Cup, which started this week in Japan, a senior FIFA official said. Two different GLT systems, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, are to be used in the eight-game competition, where continental kings of club football, including Chelsea and Brazil's Corinthians, will battle for world supremacy.
"The referee has the final word when it's about the goal-line technology system," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke told a news conference in Tokyo. In July, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) - custodians of the game's laws - decided to use goal-line technology at the Club World Cup, next year's Confederation Cup and the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014. Valcke said referees at these competitions will test the system 90 minutes before each game to see if it is working to his satisfaction. "If he has any doubt and if this doubt cannot be corrected by the provider who is on the site, then he has the right to say, 'Sorry, guys. I don't think I can rely on the system'," he said. "Again, the referee is the most important person. He's the one who's making the final decision and he has to keep this right for the final decision," Valcke said. "It's a big day because it's the first time that the technology will be used officially in a game or games. Up to now, it was just experiment."
Individual associations still have the right to decide whether to they use the technology in their competitions. That means UEFA, for example, could opt not to implement the system. FIFA, football's world governing body, has given GLT licences to Britain-based but Sony-owned Hawk-Eye and Germany's GoalRef, from a shortlist of some 10 different companies. The Hawk-Eye system uses seven cameras, while GoalRef utilises magnetic fields to determine whether a ball has crossed the line. Both systems transmit their findings to devices that can be worn on officials' wrists. Both are in the running for installation in stadiums for the Confederations Cup in Brazil next June, but other companies can still apply for the chance to have their technology used, said Valcke. FIFA would have to decide the contractor "by the end of March at the latest".

Source: AFP

UEFA Europa League – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

6 December 2012
Tottenham – Panathinaikos
Referee: Pawel Gil (POL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Piotr Sadczuk (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
Fourth Official: Konrad Sapela (POL)
Additional AR 1: Robert Malek (POL)
Additional AR 2: Hubert Siejewicz (POL)
Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)

Young Boys – Anzhi
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gregor Rojko (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Marko Stancin (SVN)
Fourth Official: Andrej Kokolj (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Slavko Vincic (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Dejan Balazic (SVN)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

Udinese Calcio – Liverpool
Referee: Duarte Gomes (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Venancio Tome (POR)
Fourth Official: Pedro Batista (POR)
Additional AR 1: Joao Ferreira (POR)
Additional AR 2: Hugo Miguel (POR)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

Hapoel Tel Aviv – Academica
Referee: Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Oleg Tselovalnikov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Aleksei Lebedev (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Aleksei Eskov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Vladimir Kazmenko (RUS)
Referee Observer: Gerard Perry (IRL)

Viktoria Plzen – Atletico Madrid
Referee: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Sigurdur Thorleifsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Frosti Gunnarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Gunnar Gunnarsson (ISL)
Additional AR 1: Thorvaldur Arnason (ISL)
Additional AR 2: Gunnar Jonsson (ISL)
Referee Observer: Platon Bozatzidis (GRE)

AEL Limasol – Olympique Marseille
Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Alain Hoxha (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthias Winsauer (AUT)
Fourth Official: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Additional AR 1: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Additional AR 2: Rene Eisner (AUT)
Referee Observer: Dani Koren (ISR)

Fenerbahce – Borussia Monchengladbach
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rui Tavares (POR)
Fourth Official: Nuno Filipe (POR)
Additional AR 1: Artur Soares (POR)
Additional AR 2: Carlos Taborda (POR)
Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)

Maritimo – FC Brugge
Referee: Serhiy Boiko (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Oleksandr Korniyko (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Volodymyr Volodin (UKR)
Fourth Official: Mykola Levko (UKR)
Additional AR 1: Yevhen Aranovskyi (UKR)
Additional AR 2: Viktor Shvetsov (UKR)
Referee Observer: Horst Brummeier (AUT)

Bordeaux – Newcastle
Referee: Menashe Masiah (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Shabtai Nahmias (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nissan Davidy (ISR)
Fourth Official: Danny Krasikow (ISR)
Additional AR 1: Haim Jakov (ISR)
Additional AR 2: Daniel Natan (ISR)
Referee Observer: Asim Khudiyev (AZE)

VfB Stuttgart – Molde
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicky Siebert (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Patrick Langkamp (NED)
Fourth Official: Wilco Lobbert (NED)
Additional AR 1: Serdar Gozubuyuk (NED)
Additional AR 2: Dennis Higler (NED)
Referee Observer: Jens Larsen (DEN)

FC Kobenhavn – Steaua Bucuresti
Referee: Huseyin Gocek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Emre Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Orkun Aktas (TUR)
Fourth Official: Serkan Ok (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Bulent Yildirim (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)

Dnipro – AIK Solna
Referee: Stephan Studer (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Sandro Pozzi (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Johannes Vogel (SUI)
Fourth Official: Raffael Zeder (SUI)
Additional AR 1: Alain Bieri (SUI)
Additional AR 2: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)
Referee Observer: Johannes Reijgwaart (NED)

SSC Napoli – PSV Eindhoven
Referee: Michael Dean (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Jake Collin (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Fourth Official: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Referee Observer: Gudmunder Jonsson (ISL)

KRC Genk – FC Basel
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Beck (ENG)
Fourth Official: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Lee Probert (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Mike Jones (ENG)
Referee Observer: Zbigniew Przesmycki (POL)

Sporting – Videoton
Referee: Michael Koukoulakis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Dimitrios Saraidaris (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Karsiotis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Christos Baltas (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Stavros Tritsonis (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Athanassios Giachos (GRE)
Referee Observer: George Smith (SCO)

Internazionale – Neftci
Referee: Emir Aleckovic (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Dalibor Draskovic (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Hrvoje Turudic (BIH)
Fourth Official: Senad Ibrisimbegovic (BIH)
Additional AR 1: Elmir Pilav (BIH)
Additional AR 2: Ognjen Valjic (BIH)
Referee Observer: Ichko Lozev (BUL)

Partizan – Rubin Kazan
Referee: Martin Hansson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Magnus Sjoblom (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Henrik Andren (SWE)
Fourth Official: Primoz Arhar (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Dragoslav Peric (SVN)
Referee Observer: Edgar Steinborn (GER)

Olympique Lyon – Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
Referee: Halis Ozkahya (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Cem Satman (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Volkan Narinc (TUR)
Fourth Official: Serkan Gencerler (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Tolga Ozkalfa (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Koray Gençerler (TUR)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez (ESP)

Athletic Bilbao – Sparta Praha
Referee: Sebastien Delferiere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Vromans (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Yves De Neve (BEL)
Fourth Official: Kristof Meers (BEL)
Additional AR 1: Luc Wouters (BEL)
Additional AR 2: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)

NK Maribor – Lazio Roma
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Istvan Albert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Zsolt Szpisjak (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Tamas Bognar (HUN)
Additional AR 2: Mihaly Fabian (HUN)
Referee Observer: Rene Temmink (NED)

Rapid Wien – Metalist Kharkiv
Referee: Hannes Kaasik (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Jaanus Mutli (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Hannes Reinvald (EST)
Fourth Official: Dmitri Vinogradov (EST)
Additional AR 1: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Additional AR 2: Eiko Saar (EST)
Referee Observer: Marcel Vanelshocht (BEL)

Bayer Leverkusen – Rosenborg
Referee: Leontios Trattou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Soteriou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Charalambos Charalambous (CYP)
Fourth Official: Aristides Christou (CYP)
Additional AR 1: Marios Panayi (CYP)
Additional AR 2: Marios Tsaggaris (CYP)
Referee Observer: Brian Lawlor (WAL)

Levante – Hannover
Referee: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Nica (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurel Onita (ROU)
Fourth Official: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Cristian Balaj (ROU)
Referee Observer: Antonio Almeida Costa (POR)

Twente –Helsingborg
Referee: Ilias Spathas (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Damianos Efthimiadis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Christos Akrivos (GRE)
Fourth Official: Ilias Alexeas (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Anastassios Sidiripoulos (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Anastassios Kakos (GRE)
Referee Observer: Alan Snoddy (NIR)

Rocchi acquitted on appeal

Everyone acquitted except for Antonio Giraudo, who was sentenced to one year and eight months in jail. This was the verdict of the Court of Appeal read out today in Naples in the match-fixing trial. The former Juventus official was found guilty only of the charge of conspiracy, while he was acquitted of the charge of being the "instigator" made by the prosecution. Giraudo was also found guilty of sporting fraud in relation to the Juventus-Udinese match which finished 2-1. He was acquitted however in relation to the Udinese-Brescia and Roma-Juventus matches, for which he had been sentenced to three years in jail by the court of first instance.
All the other defendants – referees Tiziano Pieri and Paolo Dondarini, and the president of the referees' association during the match-fixing season 2004-2005, Tullio Lanese – were able to celebrate after being acquitted. The acquittals announced by the court of first instance were also upheld, including that of the only referee still in action, Gianluca Rocchi. At the court of first instance the 11 defendants had been sentenced, under the simplified criminal procedure, by the judge Eduardo De Gregorio as follows: a three-year jail sentence for Antonio Giraudo, two years and four months for Tiziano Pieri and two years for Tullio Lanese. Paolo Dondarini had been given a two-year jail sentence for sporting fraud. Lanese, Pieri and Dondarini have now been acquitted. "This is what I hoped. Now I shall relax for a month and in January I will decide whether to take any action after everything that has happened". This was the immediate reaction of Tullio Lanese, the former president of the AIA (the referees' association in Italy), after his two-year jail sentence was overturned by the Court of Appeal in Naples. The former referee Marco Gabriele was also happy about the verdict: "The new charges brought against me at the Court of Appeal came as a surprise, but now I can relax. I am happy for Pieri and the others who were acquitted. Finally the truth has come out as regards this matter after the persecution of honest citizens".
The date of the appeal hearing of Luciano Moggi and the other defendants found guilty by the court of first instance was also announced for 24 May 2013. Moggi and Giraudo are banned from football for life.

Source: AP

FIFA Club World Cup 2012 – Play-off

6 December 2012
Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Auckland City

Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Reserve AR: Hassan Kamranifar (IRN)

Dutch club linesman beaten to death

Richard Nieuwenhuizen was doing what he loved: watching his son play football and helping out his local club by running the touchline as a volunteer linesman. On Monday, the 41-year-old father's passion for football cost him his life. Prosecutors announced Tuesday they are charging three players, two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old, with manslaughter, assault and public violence for alleged involvement in a vicious attack on Nieuwenhuizen after a youth match between two local clubs, Buitenboys and Nieuw Sloten. The players, whose identities have not been released, will be arraigned Thursday at a closed-door hearing. Prosecutors have released no details of a possible motive and Buitenboys club chairman Marcel Oost said the reason for the attack was not certain. "We still don't have a clear picture yet," prosecution spokeswoman Brigit Haan told The Associated Press.
The deadly assault sent shock waves through the football-mad Netherlands, with the sports minister, football association and coach of the country's most storied club, Ajax, expressing disbelief and discontent. The Royal Netherlands Football Association on Tuesday said it was cancelling all amateur football matches for the coming weekend as a mark of respect for Nieuwenhuizen. Professional matches will go ahead, but players and officials will wear black armbands and observe a minute's silence before kick-off. The attack hit at one of the foundations of Dutch youth sport — the participation of parents. "It is unbelievable that something like this could happen on a football pitch," said Bert van Oostveen, the association's director of professional football. "These are the volunteers on which our sport is built, without them we cannot go on." On any given weekend, at thousands of sports grounds across the Netherlands, parents are the engine that powers youth sport. They volunteer for everything from brewing tea to marking out lines on fields and wielding whistles and flags as referees and linesmen. In the overwhelming majority of matches, players and parents enjoy the sport and then have a drink together in the clubhouse. But sometimes frustrations boil over into violence after the final whistle.
Prosecutors say a group of Nieuw Sloten players surrounded Nieuwenhuizen after the match Sunday, kicking and punching him. Nieuwenhuizen initially appeared to have recovered from the assault at the club whose fields are squeezed into an industrial neighbourhood of Almere, a fast-growing commuter city just outside Amsterdam. He went home and lay down, but returned later to watch another game. It was then that he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. A day later, with his family surrounding his hospital bed, he died. A few hours later, decorations marking Wednesday's St. Nicholas day — a national celebration similar to Christmas — were still hanging at the Buitenboys clubhouse as team members wept and consoled one another. Nieuw Sloten immediately banned the players involved and scrapped their team from the league as well as cancelling all matches for the coming weekend. As a wave of grief swept over the football community, another Amsterdam club, TOS-Actief, said on its website it was cancelling all matches for the weekend. "By doing this, TOS-Actief is taking a clear stance against excesses in football," the club said. "We say stop violence on and around the pitch." Van der Burg proposed cancelling all amateur matches nationwide for the coming weekend. A delegation from the Royal Netherlands Football Association visited Buitenboys on Tuesday to discuss "a fitting way to pay tribute" to Nieuwenhuizen and express support for the club.
Amsterdam alderman Eric van der Burg, whose portfolio in the city covers sports, said the team from Nieuw Sloten had been in trouble twice before, once for verbally abusing a referee and once when a player got into a fight with a spectator. The player involved in the fight was suspended by the club, Van der Burg told the AP in an email. He said the city already has an agreement from four-time European champion Ajax at the top all the way down to small local clubs to prevent aggression on and around fields. "It's important that parents but also the professional players give good examples how to behave," Van der Burg said. "Sports should be fun." Even FIFA President Sepp Blatter weighed in on the national debate about how such an attack could happen. "Football is a mirror of society and sadly, the same ills that afflict society — in this case violence — also manifest themselves in our game," Blatter said Tuesday in a statement. "Nevertheless, I remain convinced that football — through the example set by the tireless efforts of people like Mr. Nieuwenhuizen — is a force for good, and we must continue to use its positive example to educate people against these wrongs."
Nieuwenhuizen's death came almost exactly a year after a Dutch amateur footballer fatally kicked a 77-year-old supporter following a match. Amsterdam District Court last week sentenced the player, identified only as Silvester M. in line with Dutch privacy law, to three years imprisonment for kicking the supporter so hard in the chest that his spleen ruptured. He died of his injuries a month later.

Source: AP