UEFA referee winter courses

UEFA's winter refereeing courses in Rome ended with officials primed for the second half of the European club and national-team season, as well as UEFA Women's Euro 2013.
Europe's leading referees, including the group of women referees who will take charge of matches at this summer's UEFA Women's Euro 2013 in Sweden, have been sent into the second half of the season with words of encouragement ringing in their ears – and a message to keep up the high standards which make European match officials respected across the world. At the 21st UEFA Advanced Course for Top Referees and the 22nd UEFA Introductory Course for International Referees, held in Rome this week, the top men's match officials were joined by newcomers to the FIFA international list – and, for the first time, elite female referees attended a UEFA winter course, reflecting the huge strides forward taken by women's football in recent years. Over the three days in Italy, the referees undertook fitness tests and medical checks within an intensive training programme, held group discussions, attended presentations by UEFA Referees Committee members, and followed video sessions analysing specially prepared footage from UEFA matches over past and present seasons. The course has primed the officials for their assignments in UEFA club and national-team competitions over the coming months – especially those who will be in the middle at the eagerly awaited European women's final round in July.
The opportunity for the women referees to join their male counterparts has been a welcome innovation – a point taken up by Hungary's Katalin Kulcsar, who will be a member of the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 team this summer. "We have all appreciated this occasion," she told UEFA.com. "It's a new challenge for us to be here. It's special to be together with the men referees and share experiences with them. We appreciate the help that we are given by [UEFA referee fitness expert] Werner Helsen and his team. We need this help. When you start refereeing, it's not easy to find out for yourself how to train well – you need the coaches to help you do this." An exciting few months lie ahead for Kulcsár, and her experience in Rome will doubtless stand her in good stead. "I am in the group who were selected for Euro 2013, so my goal this year is to perform well at this event", she said. "I'm looking forward to it – and this was a good start to preparations for this year".
German men's referee Felix Brych, a seasoned performer at the highest European levels, echoed the unanimous view of his colleagues that UEFA's winter course was an ideal and stimulating way to look back at the first part of the campaign and to plan for future assignments. "We meet every half-year and it provides big motivation for the upcoming games. We also refresh the main topics of refereeing," he explained. "I love to come to meet my colleagues, and to prepare for the next matches. It's a great opportunity to share experiences with referees from the present and past". UEFA is also deploying additional assistant referees (AARs) in its major competitions, after the system was introduced into the Laws of the Game last summer. The system is proving its worth, with the additional assistants posted on the goal line to help referees make decisions on penalty-area incidents in particular. A fascinating feature of the Rome activities was a practical session where the referees were shown the specific training methods being used to train AARs and further improve their performances. "It was interesting to stand beside the goals in order to see the view of the additional assistant referees", said Brych. "It was good for me to change my perspective and angle of view, and I'm sure this will help in matches". "I'd never been in that position in a game or even in a training session – I had only heard some things about it and it was certainly interesting to see the game from a different angle," Kulcsar added.
UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina wished the delegates every success in their spring and summer appointments. "We are happy that you have worked hard". he said. "We are pleased about the women referees' performances. The presence of the women referees is a milestone for UEFA. "We are now facing the most important part of the season", Collina told the referees. "Your commitment has been outstanding. You are professionals, you are at the top of football. You have to be proud and you also have to be responsible – and UEFA is always ready to support you".

Source: UEFA

UEFA: Recognize, resist and report

European referees have been asked to make a full contribution to catching those responsible for match-fixing after hearing of UEFA's zero-tolerance stance on the issue in Rome. UEFA has warned of the dangers and risks involved in match-fixing, with Europe's top referees urged to contribute in rooting out the cheats who are endangering football's wellbeing.
Match officials at UEFA's winter referees' course in Rome watched a presentation which highlighted the European body's zero-tolerance stance towards match-fixing and corruption. They were told to report any approaches made to them or attempts to involve them in what was described as a "cancer" on the game. "Match-fixing is cheating to lose," UEFA intelligence coordinator Graham Peaker told the audience. "It's a problem which football has to face – people throwing a match on purpose. UEFA has to protect football," he added. "The integrity of our game is at risk. All football matches have to be played according to values of fairness and respect, with the result uncertain until the final whistle. Match-fixers do not understand this. All they are interested in is financial reward. They are dangerous people – they can make huge amounts of money by fixing matches." Peaker explained the ways in which UEFA is working hard to combat match-fixing and corruption. The UEFA betting fraud detection system is monitoring some 30,000 domestic matches – top and second divisions – as well as 1,800 UEFA games each year. Integrity officers are being deployed by UEFA throughout its member associations, who are working against match-fixing at a domestic level and liaising with UEFA on any integrity matter which arises with respect to their matches or their teams taking part in UEFA competitions. UEFA is building a comprehensive internal database containing match-related information and data from diverse sources. It enables the European governing body to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and state prosecutors in their inquiries into cases of the corruption of matches. In addition, UEFA is campaigning for the recognition of sports fraud as a crime. "Zero tolerance is the key," said Peaker. "UEFA will punish anyone involved in match-fixing. They will be given a red card for life. We want to protect football – match-fixing is a threat to the sport's popularity, and fans will not go to matches if they know that the match has already been thrown." Peaker asked the match officials to remember "Three Rs" – to recognize when an approach was being made, to resist any attempt to engage them by saying 'no', and to report the incident to their national association or UEFA.
David Elleray, UEFA Referees Committee member, also emphasized a similar theme in a presentation at the Rome course, reminding the new European referees – newcomers to the FIFA list – that they are ambassadors and diplomats not only for UEFA and FIFA, but also for football. "Your integrity should never be in doubt," he said. "Ambassadors and diplomats do not tolerate anything which is dishonest, corrupt, unethical or even doubtful."

Source: UEFA

Five referees sent home from CAN 2013

Mali's Koman Coulibaly (photo), who took charge of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations final, is one of the referees leaving this year's tournament after the completion of the group stage, CAF officials have confirmed. The 42-year-old has officiated at seven African Nations Cups, but is probably best known for disallowing what seemed a perfectly legitimate United States goal against Slovenia at the World Cup finals in South Africa three years ago. Although he has avoided major controversy at this tournament, his handling of host South Africa's group A match against Angola came in for widespread media criticism for a series of debatable calls.
Also leaving is Noumandiez Doue, from Cote d'Ivoire, who failed to send off the Ghana goalkeeper for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity in the match against Mali in group B. Doue is on the list of prospective referees for the FIFA World Cup 2014.
South African referee Daniel Bennett booked the wrong player, awarded two soft penalties and denied another obvious penalty kick when Togo met Tunisia in Nelspruit.
Madagascan official Hamada Nampiandraza is another referee heading home after he appeared to lose all sense of time during Togo's group D match against Algeria on Saturday after stopping the match in the 86th minute when a goal began to lean. The match was held up for 13 minutes while the post was repaired but when play resumed, instead of playing the last four minutes plus stoppage time, he played 16 more minutes - adding how long it took to fix the goal to the actual playing time. The situation could have led to deep embarrassment for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the match possibly needing to be replayed had a decisive goal been scored in the time added on by mistake. In the event, Togo, already 1-0 ahead, scored a second goal soon after play had restarted.
Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha awarded a highly controversial penalty to Zambia in the group C clash against Nigeria, who accused him of "making one of the worst decisions in the history of football" and subsequently dispatched a strongly-worded protest to the Confederation of African Football. “Grisha will referee no further matches at this Nations Cup. His decisions did not tally with best practices of the refereeing profession and we would not allow anyone to start re-writing the rules of the game here”, said a CAF official.

Source: SuperSport/Yahoo Sports

New UEFA referees shown the ropes

"Be committed, be responsible – and be ready," said UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina, as he addressed the new intake of international referees at the UEFA winter course in Rome.
As they set out on what will hopefully be memorable continental careers, Europe's new international referees have been given a wealth of invaluable advice from a man who, in refereeing terms, has "been there and done that". UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina – who took charge of some of the biggest occasions in football during his own outstanding career – was on hand at UEFA's winter referees' course in Rome to give newcomers to the FIFA international list a comprehensive introduction to the high-pressure, high-stakes modern European game. Collina was joined by the chairman of the UEFA Referees Committee, Angel María Villar Llona, in opening the 22nd UEFA Introductory Course for International Referees and urging the young referees to show responsibility and dedication to their profession. The match officials heard that meticulous preparation, courage and consistency in taking decisions, knowledge of football tactics and players, and a belief in one's own abilities are all crucial parts of a top referee's armoury. The course is the first to feature men and women referees. "It has special importance in the development of men and women referees," said Villar Llona. "The UEFA Referees Committee is investing much in you – please take the opportunity that you are being given. And be aware of your responsibilities in representing UEFA and your country." Pierluigi Collina developed the topic of responsibility. "Understand that you are representing your national association, UEFA and yourself," he reflected. "Remember that many people, including young referees, will be looking at you as a role model, which is not only an honour, but also a major responsibility".
“Be prepared" was a key element of Collina's advice to the refereeing "rookies". Given the speed of the modern-day game and the intense media focus, referees had to prepared to handle pressure in taking decisions, often in a split second. "Consistency is also key," he added. "The ultimate target for a referee is to be accepted – with decisions being accepted even if they are not agreed with, or even if a decision is wrong. It is a great goal achieved when players trust in you." Collina urged the referees to protect the players, for example, from aggressive tackling which could endanger a career, and to not accept mobbing by players. The two issues have been a top priority for UEFA in recent years as part of strenuous efforts to protect the image of the game. In addition to firm and brave decision-making, Collina stressed that the current-day top referee was an athlete, and therefore had to be 100% fit to maintain standards until the end of the match. To underline that point, the Italian showed a video of the last three minutes of the 1999 UEFA Champions League final – a match he refereed – when Manchester United FC scored two late goals to beat FC Bayern München. "Even if you are tired, you have to be ready for something like this to happen, so that you can take the correct decision if necessary," he said. Part of a referee's preparation includes studying the teams' tactics and players' traits ahead of a game. "Doing this, you are one step ahead," Collina emphasised. "You can predict, know and understand what might happen in a situation." Referees, he said, should never be afraid to look for the small details as part of their work – and it was essential that referees, their assistants, additional assistants and fourth officials looked to interact and produce consistency and quality as a team. Mental strength is a "must" if a referee wants to be successful. “Be self-confident and trust in yourselves," Collina explained. “Be open to change… know your strengths and your weaknesses, and be able to take positives even from negative situations. Learn from your mistakes, because in doing so, you will come back stronger. "You are on the first step of a long staircase," Collina concluded. "Be proud and be happy that you are part of a small group of top European referees. It's a great privilege for you. Be committed, be responsible – and be ready!"

Source: UEFA

Copa Libertadores – Qualifying Round (Second Leg)

29 January 2013
Anzoategui – Tigre
Referee: Martin Vazquez (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)
Referee Observer: Adrian Gomez (VEN)
Iquique – Leon
Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Hugo Martinez (PAR)
Fourth Official: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Observer: Pablo Pozo (CHI)

30 January 2013
Bolivar – Sao Paulo

Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Fourth Official: Ever Cuellar (BOL)
Referee Observer: Marcelo Ortube (BOL)

Gremio – LDU Quito
Referee: Saul Laverni (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Fourth Official: Pericles Cortes (BRA)
Referee Observer: Antonio Pereira (BRA)

31 January 2013
Olimpia – Defensor Sporting

Referee: Heber Lopes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Ulises Mereles (PAR)
Referee Observer: Juan Bernabe (PAR)

Universidad Vallejo – Deportes Tolima

Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Altemir Hausmann (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivanez (PER)
Referee Observer: Manuel Yupanqui (PER)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2013 – Group Stage (Matches 17-24)

27 January 2013
Cape Verde – Angola
Referee: Slim Jedidi (TUN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bechir Hassani (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Edibe (NGA)
Fourth Official: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)

South Africa – Morocco
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Benouza (ALG)

28 January 2013
Ghana – Niger
Referee: Badara Diatta (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
Fourth Official: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)

DR Congo – Mali
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Fourth Official: Sylvester Kirwa (KEN)

29 January 2013
Zambia – Burkina Faso
Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yanoussa Moussa (CMR)
Fourth Official: Koman Coulibaly (MLI)

Ethiopia – Nigeria
Referee: Bouchaib El Ahrach (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Felicien Kabanda (RWA)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Fourth Official: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)

30 January 2013
Cote d'Ivoire – Algeria
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Assistant Referee 2: Malik Salifu (GHA)
Fourth Official: Ghead Grisha (EGY)

Togo – Tunisia
Referee: Daniel Bennett (RSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marwa Range (KEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Fourth Official: Bernard Camille (SEY)

UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Final 2013: Aguilar (SLV)

27 January 2013

Costa Rica – Honduras
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV, photo) 

Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV) 
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Williamson (PAN) 
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (GUA) 
Reserve AR: Gerson Lopez (GUA) 
Referee Observer: Elix Peralta (PAN) 

Match for Third Place
Belize – El Salvador
Referee: Sandy Vasquez (DOM) 

Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC) 
Assistant Referee 2: Keytzel Corrales (NCA) 
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN) 
Reserve AR: Gerson Lopez (GUA) 
Referee Observer: Donald Campos (NCA)

Collina: “Referees must act against racism”

"Of course, I wanted the AARs and I will show you why", said Pierluigi Collina, who runs the computer and starts a video: "Chelsea-Barcelona in 2005, the second leg of the Round of 16. The TV camera focuses on Terry; he is the player to keep an eye on at the corner kick. I know it myself, so I follow his movements and those who are around him. This is the decisive moment...". The current UEFA Chief Refereeing Officer stops the movie, the screen shows two red and two blue arrows, drawing the cone of light in his eyes and that of a hypothetical AAR. The still image is unforgiving. "Terry is about to head the ball, with his arms wide. Just look there. At the same moment, Carvalho is behind the goalkeeper and is holding him. From my position, I did not see it...". This was a detailed analysis of an error, in perfect Collina style, looking at every detail, every step. The goal is always the same: to improve. In this way, the man from Viareggio has become the best referee in the world and now the number one among the referee "coaches". He is preparing the meeting of UEFA top officials, which will begin on Monday in Rome, a crucial moment in view of the final stages of the Champions League and Europa League. And for the first time there will be not only the men referees, but also the women's from the Elite category.
- So, even Collina made mistakes? 
- The mistake is part of the life of a referee, but it is an opportunity to grow. There is always something you could do, maybe one thing. In Terry's goal was not easy to take care of all the couples present in the area, but perhaps a different position could have helped me see the foul. Of course, it is just impossible to have total control. With the additional assistants is easier: you can divide the tasks. Then maybe the foul would go unpunished anyway. So that's one aspect that I would like to clarify. The AARs will create better conditions to control risk situations and to reduce errors. No one has ever thought that with the AARs the mistakes would disappear; it is part of human fallibility. Who wants to find mistakes, it will always have material available. Today, however, it is less than before. Football has changed a lot and I could argue that just two eyes to manage the game is anachronistic. You can always improve.
- In Italy the trial began from day to day. Some speak of "confusion of roles" and "subjectivity" of younger referees compared with those experts. 
- FIGC and AIA had courage. It takes patience, but the results are positive. The matter of the roles does not exist; they are well defined: the referee has the final responsibility. The AARs must help and support, but the last word goes to whoever has the whistle. Italy has the merit of having shown the way. Other federations are following suit. There are additional assistants in Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Belgium and Hungary. Russia will begin with the Cup. And then, in a little while, they will be implemented in Romania, Bosnia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. 
- The meeting in Rome will also provide information on upcoming matches of the Champions League and Europa League?
- It will be a stage with fitness tests and lectures. In 96 matches in the group stage of the Champions League we have employed more than 40 referees. It was an important rotation that allowed us to launch young and very promising referees from countries other than the usual ones. 
- What are the technical aspects that UEFA will focus on? 
- Before the Euro 2012, it was important to go to the camps of the national teams to explain them what would have been our priorities and what were the things to avoid for the players. We will continue to focus on players playing hard and protests. Who plays dangerous and violent needs to be sent off. It is not a simple decision to take, but it is necessary, if we are to protect the game and the health of players. And respect for the referee. 
- Other topics to be discussed? 
- The interpretation of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the handball. In the first case, a situation triggers the red card. The English word "obvious" makes a better idea of "clear". On the second point, there are certain parameters that would allow a handball to be punished, even without being certainly deliberate. Here are two examples. In Milan – Anderlecht, Nuytinck was sent-off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, but Pato had made a dribbling inward and El Shaarawy, who could pass the ball, was about 45 metres from the goal. That was too far to be considered an “obvious” goal-scoring opportunity. The yellow card would have been the correct choice. Second case: maybe the handball was not deliberate, but the arm held high by Shakhtar’s defender against Chiellini should have been punished with a penalty kick in the Champions League match Shakhtar – Juventus. 
- In Italy, there was the case Boateng and many have wondered what are the duties of the referee. Can you explain? 
- Racism, such as gambling, is a cancer to the game; otherwise football will die. As Platini recently noted, since 2009, UEFA has a very specific protocol that referees must respect. In the presence of blatant insults and racism, the first step is a short stop and warning spectators to cease such acts. If the situation does not improve, the referee switches to a real suspension (5-10 minutes) with the teams in the locker rooms and another announcement that these behaviours will no longer be allowed. If not successful, the final step will be abandoning the match in accordance with the UEFA delegate and the security officer. It is a difficult decision, but match officials must be ready to take it. It's their job. 
- Do you miss refereeing on the field? 
- Yes, I miss it very much. It has been over seven years since my last match, but it seems like yesterday. 
- What match would you referee again? The final of the 2002 World Cup? 
- No, I would referee my last match, Pavia – Bari, in the Italian Cup.

Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport

UNCAF Copa Centroamericana 2013 – Semi-finals

25 January 2013
Honduras – Belize

Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN)

Costa Rica – El Salvador

Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Fourth Official: Hector Rodriguez (HON)

UNCAF Copa Centroamericana 2013 – Match for Fifth Place

25 January 2013
Guatemala – Panama

Referee: Walter Quesada (CRC, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Fourth Official: Joel Aguilar (SLV)

Belgium ready for AAR launch

As the Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA-KBVB) prepares to deploy additional assistant referees (AARs) in its major domestic competitions for the second half of the season, UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina has visited the association to offer support and guidance, and explain the advantages of the system, which is proving its worth in UEFA's major competitions.
"It was really felt that we needed to support the referees, as the game of football had changed a lot in the last 20 years," Collina (photo) told a press conference in Brussels. "First of all, there was the much increased speed of the game. Football is played much more quickly and we realized that even with the referee being excellently prepared, he was not able to take a decision in some specific situations". After UEFA Euro 2012, on 5 July 2012, IFAB decided to include additional assistant referees in the Laws of the Game, and confederations and national associations are now free to use them in their competitions according to the Laws of the Game. The referee, two assistants and fourth official are joined by two additional assistant referees positioned alongside each goal line, with the particular brief to watch for incidents in the penalty area and help the match referee in taking decisions. UEFA is currently using AARs in its club competitions, after they were also deployed at Euro 2012. Collina explained: "The main goal of the AAR system is to support the central referee when an important decision in or around the penalty area has to be taken. What we achieved so far in more than 1,200 matches is a better control of the match, a reduction of incidents at corners and free-kicks, a better control of the goal line, and improved accuracy in the offside decisions taken by the assistant referee".
The URBSFA-KBVB has chosen to introduce the system from the semi-finals of the Belgian Cup later this month, and in the domestic championship play-offs which take place in the spring after the final matches of the season's regular league programme. Paul Allaerts, technical director for refereeing at the URBSFA-KBVB, said: "This project is part of the further professionalisation of refereeing in Belgium, and is intended to deliver better decisions, especially regarding crucial situations in and around the penalty area and in offside situations. Also, it will enable better judgement in match phases in which the ball did or did not cross the goal line." Reaction to the URBSFA-KBVB's move has been positive. Allaerts said: "On the one hand, everyone understands that the role of the referee team is getting tougher all the time, and on the other, experiences in the [UEFA] Europa League, [UEFA ] Champions League and [UEFA] EURO 2012 have shown that better decisions were made, which is still the absolute priority for the referee team. "The referees have reacted positively, because the extra pair of eyes of the AARs have convinced them that this can deliver better control of the match, and the referees are getting extra information to help them make a correct decision." Some Belgian referees already have experience of the system through UEFA assignments, and specific preparation and training work is already under way under the guidance of Belgian referee fitness expert Werner Helsen, who also looks after UEFA's top match officials. "The main responsibility is to improve the quality of the game," said Ronny Verhelst, president of the ProLeague, Belgium's professional football body. "As we all know, the referees and their decisions are most important in ensuring the quality of the game, and we are very happy to be able to offer this solution".

Source: UEFA

UEFA Futsal Euro 2014 – Preliminary Round

23–27 January 2013


1. Olzhas Abrayev (KAZ)
2. Gerald Bauernfeind (AUT)
3. Marc Birkett (ENG, photo)
4. Veljko Boskovic (MNE)
5. Antonis Constantinides (CYP)
6. Sergey Drebuzhan (UKR)
7. Kreshnik Hakrama (ALB)
8. Stephan Kammerer (GER)
9. Borislav Kolev (BUL)
10. Ainar Kuusk (EST)
11. Roberto Marin (ESP)
12. Timo Onatsu (FIN)
13. Petros Panayides (CYP)
14. Elchin Samadli (AZE)
15. Ivan Shabanov (RUS)
16. Aleksandras Sliva (LTU)
17. Sreten Vasic (SRB)
18. Grigori Zelentsov (RUS)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2013 – Group Stage (Matches 9-16)

23 January 2013
South Africa – Angola
Referee: Koman Coulibaly (MLI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Balla Diarra (MLI)
Assistant Referee 2: Yanoussa Moussa (CMR)
Fourth Official: Ali Lemghaifry (MTN)

Morocco – Cape Verde
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Malik Salifu (GHA)
Assistant Referee 2: David Laryea (GHA)
Fourth Official: Slim Jedidi (TUN)

24 January 2013
Ghana – Mali
Referee: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Assistant Referee 1: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Benouza (ALG)

Niger – DR Congo

Referee: Bouchaib El Ahrach (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed Ali (SDN)
Fourth Official: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)

25 January 2013
Zambia – Nigeria

Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Fourth Official: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)

Burkina Faso – Ethiopia

Referee: Bernard Camille (SEY)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Edibe (NGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Fourth Official: Bakary Gassama (GAM)

26 January 2013
Cote d'Ivoire – Tunisia

Referee: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Fourth Official: Daniel Bennett (RSA)

Algeria – Togo
Referee: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD)
Assistant Referee 1: Felicien Kabanda (RWA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)
Fourth Official: Sylvester Kirwa (KEN)

UNCAF Copa Centroamericana 2013 – Group Stage (Matches 7-9)

22 January 2013 
Panama – Honduras 
Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX, photo) 
Assistant Referee 1: Keytzel Corrales (NCA) 
Assistant Referee 2: Gerson Lopez (GUA) 
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (GUA) 

Costa Rica – Guatemala 
Referee: Hector Rodriguez (HON) 
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN) 
Assistant Referee 2: William Rocha (NCA) 
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN) 

Nicaragua – Belize 
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV) 
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC) 
Assistant Referee 2: Octavio Jara (CRC) 
Fourth Official: Sandy Vasquez (DOM)

Another injury for Lannoy

After a long absence from refereeing (since Euro 2012) due to a serious injury, Stephane Lannoy was appointed last weekend for Bordeaux – Paris St. Germain in Ligue 1. Unfortunately, he suffered another injury and was forced to give up in the 20th minute because of a pain felt in the calf and right thigh. Lannoy, replaced by the fourth official Benoit Bastien, chose not to take any risk. He was attended by the physiotherapist of Bordeaux and left the field of play. Ranked No. 1 in France and a prospective referee for the next World Cup, Stephane Lannoy, who had planned to train this week at Clairefontaine, will now undergo medical examinations to find out about the nature of his injury.

Source: RMC Sport

UNCAF Copa Centroamericana 2013 – Group Stage (Matches 4-6)

20 January 2013 
Belize – Guatemala 
Referee: Elmer Bonilla (SLV, photo) 
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV) 
Assistant Referee 2: William Rocha (NCA) 
Fourth Official: Sandy Vasquez (DOM)

El Salvador – Panama 

Referee: Walter Quesada (CRC) 
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC) 
Assistant Referee 2: Octavio Jara (CRC) 
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (GUA)

Costa Rica – Nicaragua 

Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN) 
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN) 
Assistant Referee 2: Oscar Velasquez (HON) 
Fourth Official: Joel Aguilar (SLV)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2013 – Group Stage (Matches 1-8)

19 January 2013
South Africa – Cape Verde

Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Felicien Kabanda (RWA)
Assistant Referee 2: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Fourth Official: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)

Angola – Morocco
Referee: Badara Diatta (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Fourth Official: Koman Coulibaly (MLI)

20 January 2013
Ghana – DR Congo

Referee: Daniel Bennett (RSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)
Fourth Official: Ghead Grisha (EGY)

Mali – Niger

Referee: Slim Jedidi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Bechir Hassani (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Fourth Official: Bouchaib El Ahrach (MAR)

21 January 2013
Zambia – Ethiopia

Referee: Eric Otogo Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
Fourth Official: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)

Nigeria – Burkina Faso

Referee: Mohamed Benouza (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Fourth Official: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD)

22 January 2013
Cote d'Ivoire – Togo

Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Theophile Vinga (GAB)
Fourth Official: Sylvester Kirwa (KEN)

Tunisia – Algeria
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Edibe (NGA)
Fourth Official: Badara Diatta (SEN)

UNCAF Copa Centroamericana 2013 – Group Stage (Matches 1-3)

18 January 2013
Honduras – El Salvador
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Fourth Official: Walter Quesada (CRC)

Guatemala – Nicaragua
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (PAN)

Costa Rica – Belize

Referee: Hector Rodriguez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Oscar Velasquez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Fourth Official: Roberto Garcia (MEX)

AFC Gulf Cup Final 2013: Al-Ghamdi (KSA)

18 January 2013

UAE – Iraq
Referee: Khalil Al-Ghamdi (KSA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdulaziz Al-Asmari (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdullah Al-Shalwai (KSA)

Fourth Official: Nawaf Shukrallah (BHR)

Match for Third Place
Bahrain – Kuwait

Referee: Banjar Al-Dosari (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Hassan Al-Thawadi (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)

Fourth Official: Abdullah Al-Hilali (OMA)

Copa Libertadores – Qualifying Round (First Leg)

22 January 2013
Leon – Iquique
Referee: Heber Lopes (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Altemir Hausmann (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcio Santiago (BRA)
Fourth Official: Francisco Chacon (MEX)
Referee Observer: Francisco Ramirez (MEX)

Tigre – Anzoategui
Referee: Carlos Amarilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Fourth Official: Diego Ceballos (ARG)
Referee Observer: Carlos Coradina (ARG)

23 January 2013
LDU Quito – Gremio
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Fourth Official: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Referee Observer: Bomer Fierro (ECU)

Sao Paulo – Bolivar
Referee: Roberto Silvera (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Costa (URU)
Fourth Official: Paulo Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Observer: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

24 January 2013
Deportes Tolima – Universidad Vallejo
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Sanchez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Imer Machado (COL)
Referee Observer: Oscar Ruiz (COL)

Defensor Sporting – Olimpia
Referee: Diego Abal (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Falce (URU)
Referee Observer: Ernesto Filippi (URU)

AFC Gulf Cup 2013 – Semi-finals

15 January 2013
Bahrain – Iraq
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Khalil Al-Ghamdi (KSA)

UAE – Kuwait

Referee: Abdullah Al-Hilali (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamed Al-Mayahi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Saif Al-Ghafri (OMA)
Fourth Official: Banjar Al-Dosari (QAT)

IFFHS World's Best Referee 2012: Proenca (POR)

Selected editorial offices and experts from all the football continents took part in the 2012 annual election for the World’s best Referee, the 26th time it has been carried out by the IFFHS. The "Top 15" come from Europe (12 referees), South America (2) and Asia (1). These 15 world’s best referees of the year 2012 comprise 13 different nationalities, with only Germany and England represented twice; and among these, only the two Germans rank in the "Top 10". Out of the world ranking for 2011, 13 referees are no longer included, partly from reasons of age. But six referees appear in the annual world ranking for the first time. With the exception of the 43-year-old Frenchman Stephane Lannoy all the other five are under 40 years of age. The youngest of these, the Colombian Wilmar Roldan, is only 32-years-old. The two World‘s best Referees from the immediately precedent years, the Englishman Howard Webb and the Hungarian Viktor Kassai are in 3rd and 4th place, ahead of the 43-year-old German Wolfgang Stark. The 36-year-old Turk Cuneyt Cakir has catapulted from 21st place (2011) to become the world‘s second-best referee in 2012. He is a FIFA referee since 2006 and had already taken charge of matches in the Super Lig as a 25-year-old. He studied business management and has stood out, above all in difficult top matches. The 42-year-old Portuguese Pedro Proenca was voted The World‘s best Referee 2012 with a lead of almost a hundred points He has officiated in the Portuguese elite league since 1998 and as an international referee since 2004. After officiating in national finals in the FA- and league cup in the preceding years, the financial advisor Pedro Proenca refereed the 2012 finals of the UEFA Champions League and European Championship in convincing style.

IFFHS World's Best Referee 2012

1. Pedro Proenca Oliveira (POR, photo) 174
2. Cuneyt Cakir (TUR) 73
3. Howard Webb (ENG) 72
4. Viktor Kassai (HUN) 50
5. Wolfgang Stark (GER) 40
6. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB) 35
7. Damir Skomina (SVN) 26
8. Wilmar Roldan (COL) 20
9. Felix Brych (GER) 15
10. Stephane Lannoy (FRA) 13
11. Nicola Rizzoli (ITA) 13
12. Milorad Mazic (SRB) 11
13. Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP) 8
14. Mark Clattenburg (ENG) 6
15. Carlos Vera (ECU) 5

FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifiers – CONCACAF

6 February 2013
Mexico – Jamaica
Referee: Mark Geiger (USA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Hurd (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Joe Fletcher (CAN)
Fourth Official: Edvin Jurisevic (USA)

Panama – Costa Rica
Referee: Francisco Chacon (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcos Quintero (MEX)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Arellano (MEX)

Honduras – USA
Referee: Walter Quesada (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Fourth Official: Jeffrey Solis (CRC)

Referee attacked by players in Chile

With football still reeling from the shocking death of a linesman in Holland last month, it seems the message of respect hasn't filtered down as far as Chile. Footage has emerged from a regional game in the South American country which ended with sickening scenes of violence. 
The match, a final between Baquedano and Pablo Lizama, was in extra time when chaos erupted after one player took particular exception to a decision. What followed will send shivers down the spines of officials everywhere. After seemingly cooling tensions - with the help of some of the players - a fan broke onto the pitch and kicked out at the linesman. The referee was then set upon by those from Pablo Lizama after calling a halt to proceedings. The melee, involving men and women, left the man in the middle barely conscious while his assistant suffered bleeding to the face and a few missing teeth. 
The incident was a reminder of the appalling story of Richard Nieuwenhuizen, a linesman who was beaten to death by three teens after a youth match in Holland. The trio have been charged with manslaughter, assault and public violence after the atrocious attack that shocked the country.

Source: Daily Mail

"Chiquimarco" must repeat the Mexican fitness test

Referee Marco Rodriguez, who received his 2013 FIFA badge on Tuesday, failed the national fitness test that requires 13 laps to be completed, according to the Mexican regulations, as opposed to only 10 laps required by FIFA. 
The Mexican Football Federation issued a statement clarifying the situation of Rodriguez, noting that Tuesday was only a practice for him, as he had a different preparation because of his participation in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup. "The preparation of Marco Rodriguez was not the same as the rest of the referees, who had a pre-season camp in December, because he represented CONCACAF and the Mexican Football Federation at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup held in Japan. Rodriguez will run his official fitness tests on Thursday. Earlier this week, he finished 10 laps and was reported ready to pass the test. Another FIFA referee, Francisco Chacon, presented a muscular discomfort, asking the committee to run the tests tomorrow", says the FMF media release. This test is performed on a tartan athletic track (400 meters), the first 200 meters are divided into 150 m sprint and 50 m fast walking, so that a lap is comprising two repetitions and the total should be 26, the equivalent of 13 laps (5200 m). FMF increased the requirements from 10 to 13 laps in order for its referees to avoid failing the fitness test at FIFA competitions.
On the other hand, referee Roberto Garcia and assistants Victor Calderon, Anthony Gorrocillo and Salvador Rodriguez failed the fat test (the measurement limit is 16), but they will be allowed to repeat the test.
All referees and assistants from the Mexican First Division recently attended the presentation of the documentary Oro, devoted to the Mexican Olympic football team that won the gold medal in London last year.

Source: Record

CONMEBOL U-20 Championship 2013

Argentina, 9 January – 3 February 2013

1. Julio Bascunan (CHI, 1978)
2. Jose Buitrago (COL, 1970)
3. Enrique Caceres (PAR, 1974)
4. Victor Carrillo (PER, 1975)
5. Daniel Fedorczuk (URU, 1976)
6. Marlon Escalante (VEN, 1974)
7. Patricio Loustau (ARG, 1975)
8. Raul Orosco (BOL, 1979)
9. Sandro Ricci (BRA, 1974, photo)
10. Carlos Vera (ECU, 1976)

Assistant Referees
1. Wilson Arellano (BOL, 1980)
2. Carlos Astroza (CHI, 1976)
3. Diego Bonfa (ARG, 1977)
4. Dario Gaona (PAR, 1977)
5. Carlos Lopez (VEN, 1982)
6. Raul Lopez (PER, 1977)
7. Wilmar Navarro (COL, 1979)
8. Byron Romero (ECU, 1980)
9. Nicolas Taran (URU, 1980)
10. Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA, 1976)

Referee Observers
1. Carlos Alarcon (PAR)
2. Salvio Fagundes (BRA)
3. Juan Loustau (ARG)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2013

South Africa, 19 January – 10 February 2013

1. Neant Alioum (CMR, 1982)
2. Daniel Bennett (RSA, 1976, photo)
3. Mohamed Benouza (ALG, 1972)
4. Bernard Camille (SEY, 1975)
5. Koman Coulibaly (MLI, 1970)
6. Badara Diatta (SEN, 1969)
7. Noumandiez Doue (CIV, 1970)
8. Bouchaib El Ahrach (MAR, 1972)
9. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
10. Ghead Grisha (EGY, 1976)
11. Djamel Haimoudi (ALG, 1970)
12. Slim Jedidi (TUN, 1970)
13. Sylvester Kirwa (KEN, 1972)
14. Ali Lemghaifry (MTN, 1975)
15. Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD, 1984)
16. Eric Otogo Castane (GAB, 1976)
17. Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI, 1970)
18. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, 1979)

Assistant Referees
1. Redouane Achik (MAR, 1972)
2. Waleed Ahmed Ali (SDN, 1974)
3. Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI, 1972)
4. Djibril Camara (SEN, 1983)
5. Balla Diarra (MLI, 1974)
6. Jerson Dos Santos (ANG, 1983)
7. Peter Edibe (NGA, 1970)
8. Bechir Hassani (TUN, 1969)
9. Anouar Hmila (TUN, 1974)
10. Felicien Kabanda (RWA, 1971)
11. Arsenio Marengula (MOZ, 1986)
12. Evarist Menkouande (CMR, 1974)
13. Yanoussa Moussa (CMR, 1973)
14. Angessom Ogbamariam (ERI, 1971)
15. Marwa Range (KEN, 1977)
16. Malik Salifu (GHA, 1973)
17. El Hadji Samba (SEN, 1979)
18. Zakhele Siwela (RSA, 1982)
19. Theophile Vinga (GAB, 1975)
20. Songuifolo Yeo (CIV, 1970)

UNCAF Copa Centroamericana 2013

Costa Rica, 18-27 January 2013

1. Joel Aguilar (SLV, 1975, photo)
2. Elmer Bonilla (SLV, 1978)
3. Roberto Garcia (MEX, 1974)
4. Walter Lopez (GUA, 1980)
5. Roberto Moreno (PAN, 1970)
6. Walter Quesada (CRC, 1970)
7. Hector Rodriguez (HON, 1982)
8. Sandy Vasquez (DOM, 1977)

Assistant Referees

1. Keytzel Corrales (NCA, 1980)
2. Octavio Jara (CRC, 1981)
3. Leonel Leal (CRC, 1976)
4. Gerson Lopez (GUA, 1983)
5. William Rocha (NCA, 1975)
6. Oscar Velasquez (HON, 1973)
7. Daniel Williamson (PAN, 1977)
8. Juan Zumba (SLV, 1982)

AFC Gulf Cup 2013

Bahrain, 5-18 January 2013

Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabor Eros (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Kispal (HUN)

Referee: Khalil Al-Ghamdi (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdulaziz Al-Asmari (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdullah Al-Shalwai (KSA)

Referee: Banjar Al-Dosari (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Hassan Al-Thawadi (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)

Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR) 
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Abdulla (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)

Referee: Mohamed Al-Zarooni (UAE) 
Assistant Referee 1: Saleh Al Marzouqi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Ahmed Al Shamisi (UAE)

Referee: Yousef Al-Marzouq (KUW) 
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Marad (KUW)
Assistant Referee 2: Fares Al-Shammari (KUW)

Referee: Abdullah Al-Hilali (OMA) 
Assistant Referee 1: Hamed Al-Mayahi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Saif Al-Ghafri (OMA)

Referee: Ali Sabah Adday (IRQ) 
Assistant Referee 1: Luay Al Azawi (IRQ)
Assistant Referee 2: Hussein Mutlaq (IRQ)

Referee: Mukhtar Al Yarimi (YEM) 
Assistant Referee 1: Hesham Al Garuoni (YEM)
Assistant Referee 2: Ahmed Al Sharif (YEM)

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB) 
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)

CONMEBOL Elite Referees Course 2013

The Argentinian city of Mendoza is hosting the CONMEBOL Elite Referees course from 4 to 8 January 2013. The technical instructors are former World Cup referees Oscar Ruiz (COL) and Jorge Larrionda (URU), along with the fitness instructors Cristian Rosen and Alejo Perez (ARG).

1. Diego Abal (ARG)
2. Patricio Loustau (ARG)
3. Nestor Pitana (ARG)
4. Oscar Maldonado (BOL)
5. Raul Orosco (BOL)
6. Heber Lopes (BRA)
7. Sandro Ricci (BRA)
8. Julio Bascunan (CHI)
9. Enrique Osses (CHI)
10. Jose Buitrago (COL)
11. Wilmar Roldan (COL)
12. Omar Ponce (ECU)
13. Carlos Vera (ECU)
14. Antonio Arias (PAR)
15. Enrique Caceres (PAR)
16. Georges Buckley (PER)
17. Victor Carrillo (PER)
18. Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
19. Martin Vazquez (URU)
20. Marlon Escalante (VEN)
21. Juan Soto (VEN)

Assistant Referees
1. Wilson Arellano (BOL)
2. Carlos Astroza (CHI)
3. Diego Bonfa (ARG)
4. Dario Gaona (PAR)
5. Carlos Lopez (VEN)
6. Raul Lopez (PER)
7. Wilmar Navarro (COL)
8. Byron Romero (ECU)
9. Nicolas Taran (URU)
10. Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)