Argentine referee "retired" his yellow card

Carlos Maglio broke new ground in the field of refereeing during a recent exhibition game between two of Argentine soccer’s fiercest rivals.
Players from Estudiantes and Gimnasia had racked up eight yellow cards in the first 79 minutes before Maglio decided he had seen enough brutality. Maglio called both captains to an on-field meeting, where he told them that he would no longer issue yellow cards, and that it would be all red from there. Maglio even took the extraordinary step of giving his yellow card to the fourth official. Israel Damonte tested Maglio’s resolve just five minutes later with a rough tackle, and Maglio duly dismissed the Estudiantes midfielder. After the game, Maglio told the ironically named radio station La Red that he resorted to the “red card only” policy to protect the players from themselves, according to Metro. “Retiring the yellow was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I had already booked eight players, and I didn’t want them to keep hitting each other,” Maglio said. “The fourth official asked me to give [the yellow card] to him — that way it was clear to everyone that the yellow was no longer in play.” Maglio added that he would have sent Damonte off during normal circumstances; such was the severity of his offense. “Even if I’d had the yellow cards, he would still have gone off,” Maglio said. “It was a red card offense.”
It’s unlikely that Maglio or the battling players will face further punishment for their actions in the “Clasico de La Plata” because it was an exhibition game. The often rough-and-tumble Argentine Primera Division (first division) resumes in mid-February. Players, coaches and fans should know that Maglio means business.

Source: NESN

UEFA Referee Winter Courses 2014

Europe's leading men and women referees will be in Lisbon next week for the annual UEFA winter courses. The match officials will be preparing for the knockout phase of UEFA's club competitions, with international newcomers to the FIFA list to get a comprehensive briefing on their duties as a European referee. A group of top European referees are now also in full preparation for this summer's FIFA World Cup in Brazil. European football's governing body organises two main referee events a year: a summer gathering, in which match officials are briefed for the new season and given specific instructions for club and national team duties, and a winter get-together designed to guide the referees into the second half of the campaign.
The 22nd UEFA Advanced Course for Top Referees and the 23rd UEFA Introductory Course for International Referees will see men and women referees sharing technical and practical sessions. Female referees joined the UEFA winter session for the first time last year – demonstrating the importance that UEFA attaches to women refereeing as the women's game continues to flourish.
"There will be 28 different national associations represented from the new entries to the 2014 FIFA list for European international referees, in a total of 44 new names attending the introductory course," says UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina in his welcome message to the course. "It will be a first experience at international level for most of them, although 20 have attended the CORE [Centre of Refereeing Excellence] courses in Nyon, confirming its importance for refereeing development. This will be the starting point of their preparation for officiating at UEFA matches, and their first appointments as international referees will include youth mini-tournaments or the qualification rounds of the UEFA club competitions." The new internationals will go through an extensive medical check-up and will also take the FIFA fitness test. Additionally they will receive various instructions from the UEFA administration. The referees' knowledge of the English language – the common refereeing language – will be evaluated through interviews with members of the UEFA Referees Committee, which comprises experienced former international referees. At technical sessions, the participants will attend presentations given by Referee Committee members, and video sessions will analyse specially prepared footage from UEFA competition matches over the past and present season, including UEFA Women's EURO in Sweden last summer.
Sixty-five leading men referees and 16 women have been invited to the advanced course. A selection of these top officials will undergo an injury prevention screening and then the whole group will undertake a fitness check. "The Champions League and Europa League knockout stages are to be played soon and need to be prepared thoroughly, so they will also receive instructions from UEFA Referees Committee members via the analysis of previous situations in matches", says Collina. "As usual all the referees will undergo a very tight program, very fruitful for their preparation". (Source: UEFA)

Advanced Course

Elite: Martin Atkinson (ENG), Olegario Benquerenca (POR), Felix Brych (GER), Cuneyt Cakir (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Kralovec (CZE), Bjorn Kuipers (NED), Stephane Lannoy (FRA), Milorad Mazic (SRB), 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).
First Category: Yevhen Aranovskyi (UKR), Firat Aydinus (TUR), Deniz Aytekin (GER), Luca Banti (ITA), Ivan Bebek (CRO), Serhiy Boiko (UKR), Ruddy Buquet (FRA), Sebastien Delferiere (BEL), Aleksei Eskov (RUS), Antony Gautier (FRA), Mattias Gestranius (FIN), Manuel Grafe (GER), Serge Gumienny (BEL), Tom Harald Hagen (NOR), Kenn Hansen (DEN), Ovidiu Hategan (ROU), Stefan Johannesson (SWE), Matej Jug (SVN), Sergei Karasev (RUS), Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR), Harald Lechner (AUT), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA), Steven McLean (SCO), Bas Nijhuis (NED), Michael Oliver (ENG), Daniele Orsato (ITA), Halis Ozkahya (TUR), Anastassios Sidiropoulos (GRE), Artur Soares Dias (POR), Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD), Marijo Strahonja (CRO), Martin Strombergsson (SWE), Alexandru Tudor (ROU), Clement Turpin (FRA), Istvan Vad (HUN), Pol van Boekel (NED), Slavko Vincic (SVN), Alon Yefet (ISR), Miroslav Zelinka (CZE), Felix Zwayer (GER).
Women Elite: Jana Adamkova (CZE), Teodora Albon (ROU), Christine Baitinger (GER), Cristina Dorcioman (ROU), Gyongy Gaal (HUN), Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN), Riem Hussein (GER), Katalin Kulcsar (HUN), Pernilla Larsson (SWE), Thalia Mitsi (GRE), Kateryna Monzul (UKR), Jenny Palmqvist (SWE), Morag Pirie (SCO), Silvia Tea Spinelli (ITA), Esther Staubli (SUI), Bibiana Steinhaus (GER), Carina Vitulano (ITA).

Introductory Course

Men: Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM), Manuel Schuttengruber (AUT), Erik Lambrechts (BEL), Bart Vertenten (BEL), Edin Jakupovic (BIH), Tsvetan Krastev (BUL), Fran Jovic (CRO), Tihomir Pejin (CRO), Zbynek Proske (CZE), Jens Maae (DEN), Anders Poulsen (DEN), Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP), Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP), Ville Nevalainen (FIN), Benoit Bastien (FRA), Benoit Millot (FRA), Bastian Dankert (GER), Tobias Stieler GER), Paul McLaughlin (IRL), Roy Reinshreiber (ISR), Marco Guida (ITA), Davide Massa (ITA), Alexandru Tean (MDA), Bartosz Frankowski (POL), Tomasz Musial (POL), Sergei Ivanov (RUS), Paul Robertson (SCO), Bojan Pandzic (SWE).
Women: Julia-Stefanie Baier (AUT), Farida Lutfaliyeva (AZE), Lois Otte (BEL), Galiya Echeva (BUL), Ivana Martincic (CRO), Eliska Kralovec-Kramlova (CZE), Ifeoma Kulmala (FIN), Eleni Antoniou (GRE), Valentina Garoffolo (ITA), Justina Lavrenovaite (LTU), Viola Raudzina (LVA), Irena Velevackoska (MKD), Henrikke Nervik (NOR), Kseniya Goryacheva (RUS), Aleksandra Cesen (SVN), Liudmyla Telbukh (UKR).

Nijhuis suspended for prank

FIFA referee Bas Nijhuis was suspended by the Dutch Football Association for inappropriate behavior during a training camp in Belek, Turkey.
The 37-year old Nijhuis was given a disciplinary punishment after “school trip behavior” at the training camp. The news was confirmed by a spokesman of the Dutch Football Association. Nijhuis climbed in the middle of the night on the balcony of assistant referee Coen Droste, awake ​​his colleagues and then haunted, along with AR Edwin de Vree, in the corridors of the hotel. Before returning to the Netherlands, the Dutch Referee Committee boss Van Egmond yelled at the all referees gathered and announced that this behavior does not fit into any professional organization, so Nijhuis and De Vree would be removed from the program. Because of his suspension, Nijhuis missed the match Cambuur - Go Ahead Eagles, where his regular assistants Rob van der Ven and Charles Schaap were present, but Ed Janssen whistled. He also missed the midweek cup match and he will be out from the Premier League this weekend.
It was not the first time when Dutch referees were having fun. In August 2012, another FIFA referee from Netherlands, Danny Makkelie, sprayed water, along with AR Nicky Siebert, from a hose at a hotel after the Europa League match Vaslui – Inter. Only the assistant eventually punished.

Source: De Telegraaf

IFFHS World’s Best Woman Referee 2013: Steinhaus (GER)

Editorial staff and experts from 70 countries from all the football continents in the world took part in the second running of the IFFHS annual election of The World’s Best Woman Referee 2013. German referee Bibiana Steinhaus, second last year for the first edition behind the swedish Jenny Palmqvist, won the title for the first time with a great advance before… Jenny Palmqvist! There was no doubt that Steinhaus ist the World’s Best Referee in 2013. The policewoman (34 years old) was on duty at the European Championship in Sweden and headed three games, including the quarter final between Norway and Spain. Steinhaus is also the first German woman who whistles games in the Second Bundesliga in the Men’s League. She had a great personnality and a good feeling with the players, who respected her for her performances. Jenny Palmqvist (44) is a professional referee and head games in the Swedish Woman League. She has been since many years the reference in the World of the woman referees and was the FIRST winner of this title last year. Her second place is logical this year and rewarded her great career. The Swiss Esther Staubli was third with only two points less than Palmqvist. Since 13 years, Staubli (43) has been referee and head games in the third Mens League in Switzerland as well as in the UEFA Women’s Champions League or this summer at the European Championship in Sweden. Fourth Carina Vitulano (38) from Italy and fifth Kateryna Monzul (32) from Ukraine can pretend to have big games in the future and competitors in the next 5 years with Bibiana Steinhaus.

IFFHS World’s Best Women Referees 2013 

1. Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, photo) 112 p
2. Jenny Palmqvist (SWE) 57 p
3. Esther Staubli (SUI) 55 p
4. Carina Vitulano (ITA) 48 p
5. Kateryna Monzul (UKR) 37 p
6. Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN) 31 p
7. Cristina Dorcioman (ROU) 30 p
8. Teodora Albon (ROU) 3 p
9. Pernilla Larsson (SWE) 2 p
10. Amy Fearn (ENG) 2 p

Orange cards proposed by FIFA candidate Champagne

FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne has suggested introducing orange cards that would allow referees to send players to a sin-bin. The Frenchman, 55, launched his bid to succeed Sepp Blatter as the world governing body's president on Monday. He also wants to punish teams when players question officials and hopes football will consider using more technology for key decisions. FIFA's presidential election will be held in Zurich in June 2015.
His other proposals include:
- Quotas for foreign players
- Implementing rugby's rule where only the captain can talk to the referee with a free-kick advanced 10 yards for any dissent
- Abolishing the 'triple punishment' rule where a player who prevents a goal-scoring opportunity in the penalty areas concedes a spot-kick, is sent off and also suspended
- All FIFA presidential candidates taking part in live debates on television and in front of the six continental confederations
- Making public the salary of the FIFA president and leading officials.

Former referees have mixed views on the proposals. George Courtney, who officiated in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups in Mexico and Italy, said: "It would have to be under the right criteria but I think the time has come to seriously consider sin-bins. I expect the international board would be considering them. Red-card offences should still be punished with a red card but maybe for some other offences it would work".
Jerome Champagne is a man of ideas and, clearly, ambition. He spoke to journalists for more than 90 minutes on topics ranging from the reform of FIFA's powerful executive committee to how, as in rugby, only the captain of a team should be able to approach the referee during a game. Getting into power to implement these ideas will be the tough part. He needs to convince a majority of 209 football associations that form FIFA to vote for him. And who will he stand against? Incumbent president Sepp Blatter and UEFA's Michel Platini are yet to declare their intentions. Champagne, who has been backed by Pele, announced his intentions to become football's most powerful man at a news conference in London. Blatter has been re-elected three times since becoming president in 1998 but has not yet said whether he will stand again. A former FIFA deputy general secretary, Champagne worked closely with Blatter between 2002 and 2005 before leaving the organisation in 2010. Since then, he has been working as an international football consultant in troubled regions including Kosovo, Palestine and Israel and Cyprus. Champagne suggests players could be sin-binned for two or three minutes for "in-between fouls committed in the heat of the moment". He cited the example of a player who had already been booked then receiving a second yellow card for taking off his shirt to celebrate a goal. Champagne also suggests allowing only team captains to approach a referee to question a decision and wants referees to be able to move the ball 10 yards further forward if a player is guilty of dissent. "More often than ever, matches are being marred by unacceptable scenes of players surrounding and haranguing the referee," he wrote in a document first published in March 2013.
Brazil legend Pele, a three-time World Cup winner, said he supports Champagne's campaign. "I cannot stay away from a debate which is so important for the future of football," he said in a recorded message shown at Monday's news conference. "Thus, I support Jerome Champagne and his vision". UEFA president Michel Platini is also a possible candidate, although the former France midfielder has not yet declared his intentions.

Source: BBC Sport

Webb returned to police force

Howard Webb has returned to his former job with the police - but has no plans to quit refereeing. The decorated official, who took charge of the 2010 World Cup Final, has brought an end to the five-year sabbatical he was given to concentrate on refereeing.
Webb returned to the force, but there is no sense that this will act as an obstacle to his officiating, despite murmurings in some refereeing circles. He is obliged to work 10 hours a week with the South Yorkshire Police Force and he is being accommodated on a flexible basis to fit in with football commitments. Over the hectic Christmas period, for instance, Webb was granted full leave. And his role is ambassadorial rather than all-action. “Don't worry, he is not chasing robbers or knocking doors down”, one officer told Sportsmail. There is, nevertheless, plenty to admire in the work that Webb is doing. Sportsmail understands that he is heading up a project to provide free coaching sessions for boys and girls aged 10-19 that, according to the police, “could otherwise be on the streets”. He negotiates with headmasters, delivers motivational speeches at assemblies, appeals for funding and runs question and answer sessions. A colleague described Webb as a “fantastic, genuine man, without whom any of this would be possible”. There are nine different locations across South Yorkshire, with 400 children involved every Friday night and the hope is to expand that figure to 1,000 in 2014. In a statement to Sportsmail, Webb said: 'This is a fantastic opportunity that South Yorkshire Police have provided me with here since returning back to work. I work for ten hours per week, predominantly on crime prevention and community engagement. The Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA funding became available and it seemed logical to bring together my contacts within my refereeing work and my police work. Feedback from the schools is excellent, with reports of better behaviour from the kids already. All of the youngsters involved look forward all week to the sessions. They are motivated to improve their behaviour with the reward of football one night a week”.
The referees' governing body, PGMOL, view Webb's involvement as “incredibly positive”. In the hidden world of the match officials, there is much aspiration towards academia and over half of the Select Group Referees are studying for a Masters degree in Management. Others seek to raise money for positive causes; last year 15 officials, including Webb, Mike Jones, Martin Atkinson and Phil Dowd, ran in the Leeds 10k, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
In UEFA and FIFA circles, Webb in particular is highly respected. Their backing and support for the man one UEFA dignitary previously described to Sportsmail as the “English Collina” has never wavered. In Euro 2008, Webb drew the ire of Poland after awarding a penalty against them in Vienna. When Webb arrived for his next match, a policeman reassured him: “You will not be killed in Salzburg, Mr. Webb”. UEFA knew his decision was right and backed Webb completely, awarding him a Champions League final two years later and FIFA followed suit with the World Cup showpiece in South Africa. Recently, Webb was selected to officiate at a second World Cup in Brazil this summer.

Source: Sportsmail

Cakir: “I had a dream”

Referring to Martin Luther King Jr., Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir said “he had a dream” and has always worked for it. Speaking at a press conference, Cakir, who was, along with his two assistants Tarik Ongun and Bahattin Duran, assigned to officiate games in the summer’s FIFA World Cup, started with referring to the late African-American civil rights activist.
“I had a dream. You all know Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase”, Cakir said, adding he worked hard to fulfill his dreams. “We spent 156 days of the year away from our homes. We had 240 training sessions and officiated 56 games. We worked hard. Now, we will work harder to do our best”, he said ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Last week, the world football’s governing body, FIFA, announced its list of 25 referee trios to be assigned for the game’s biggest event. Cakir, Duran and Ongun were among nine referee trios from the European confederation, UEFA. Cakir will be the first Turkish referee in the World Cup after pioneer Dogan Babacan was assigned to officiate the 1974 World Cup. Babacan, who has made football history with being the first-ever referee to send a player off in a World Cup game in 1974, was also present at the conference.
“I started refereeing in the year 1994 and walked in the path Dogan Babacan has opened”, Bahattin Duran said. Tarık Ongun also voiced his pride. “Football is my childhood love and it is an honor to be assigned to football’s greatest organization”, he said. “There is no end to working. We will train hard in the next three or four months to be ready in time”.

Source: Hurriyet

Proenca: "Will do my best to be at Maracana on July 13"

Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca, selected for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, felt that the quality of the Portuguese refereeing increased with the introduction of the professional referees, as recently revealed in an interview with Radio Bandeirantes in Brazil.
Pedro Proenca, who was called by FIFA to join the referees who will be in Brazil this summer, revealed in the interview: "In Portugal, the referees became professionals after last season and there was already an increase in the quality of refereeing. This is the way. In today's world such an important part of football also has to be professional". Proenca would like to see the national team of Portugal in the final of the World Cup, but, if this is not possible, he makes a wish: "It is the dream of all referees who were selected for the final phase to be at Maracana on July 13. I cannot decide, but I will do my best". On refereeing in general and future prospects, he admitted that the use of technology is inevitable for the defense of true sport. Pedro Proenca underlined that Eusebio has been a reference to the Portuguese football and his death was deeply felt by everyone. Talking about the Golden Ball won by Cristiano Ronaldo, he said that Portugal suffered a major economic crisis and this achievement raises the self-esteem of the Portuguese people.

Source: RTP

Velasco: “My children will be proud of me this summer”

Radio Federation interviewed Carlos Velasco Carballo, Roberto Alonso Fernandez and Juan Carlos Yuste Jimenez, after the official announcement regarding the presence of the Spanish trio at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"It's a dream for us", began saying Velasco Carballo, who mentioned his colleague Alberto Undiano, former World Cup referee, who was also on the shortlist. The Spaniard started remembering his origins, with Antonio Rubinos Perez, also in college where they both studied. Rubinos was the one who recommended him to become a referee. "When I started, I dreamed of refereeing matches in Primera Regional, where I could go along with my local colleagues. Then I was thinking of the Third Division. Once you reach Segunda B, you start to travel, to meet other sites, and you dream of becoming a referee in Primera Division. This never stops. When I became international, I invited my family for dinner and they told me that I could not get more. But I explained that I could climb in the FIFA or UEFA category up to the Elite group. That was until today. Now I can say that I will go to the World Cup. The first thing I did was to call my mother to tell her that this really is the ultimate dream for a referee. This morning I saw the official communication from FIFA and was very happy. I was telling to the president of the territorial association that I still remember when I refereed at the Campo de La Mina in Cotorruelo... They were dirt fields, before the generation of the artificial turf. We have lived through a lot of football and now came this award. Today I remember all referees who do games on the fields where our children play, on the fields at lower levels". Regarding his assistants, Velasco said: "They have earned their presence in the World Cup. If I go to Brazil, it is in a large part thanks to them. With Roberto, we started together, 16 years ago, in Segunda B and Juan Carlos joined us three years ago. We are a team and friends on and off the field. We trained together, traveled together, watched videos together, we improved day-by-day".
Roberto Alonso Fernandez said that "this World Cup call for me is the ultimate dream. Everyone in his profession always aspires to the highest. To be selected for a World Cup is the most I can do in my profession".
"I must be a talisman for Spain, maybe that's why I have been chosen", joked Juan Carlos Yuste Jimenez, 38, on the FIFA List since 2004. The Spanish international assistant referee attended the 2008 and 2012 Euros and the 2010 World Cup with a common denominator, the Spanish team was the winner in all three competitions. "In 2008 I went with Mejuto, in 2010 with Undiano and in 2012 with Velasco. At the 2010 World Cup, I did Germany - Serbia, Korea - Ivory Coast and Netherlands - Slovakia. The opening match of Euro 2012, Poland - Greece, was impressive. Referees for the opening match and the final are always the most important", recounted Yuste, referring to Euro 2012, won by Spain and where he was on the line for Velasco Carballo. In reference to whether he would like to be in the final, Yuste Jimenez said that "every referee wants to whistle the final and anyone who says otherwise lies. If we make the quarter-finals, but Spain advance to the semi-finals, we will go home; if not, we will continue".
The Spanish referee at the last World Cup, Alberto Undiano Mallenco, congratulated the referee team that will go to Brazil: "I am happy for Carlos. He is experienced and knows what he needs to do. He did many games in Champions League and Euro and does not need much advice. It is true that each continent has a different philosophy of football, but Carlos has six months to watch football and prepare everything perfectly to make a great World Cup". Velasco thanked Undiano: "When he was in South Africa, I was his first follower. Now I will share my experience with him; he is a great person and a great referee. It is a pity that we cannot go to Brazil together".Velasco Carballo is glad that, a few years ago, he gave up his profession as an engineer to devote himself to the world of sports and football. Beyond that, "training is the key to the current team. Due to the various aspects of the event, a referee need to master the language, to be comfortable with the media, with everyone involved in organizing an event. You have to learn to make decisions and to have an appropriate level of training". In conclusion, Velasco said: "My first thought was for my children. I was very excited when I told them the news. My biggest dream, as of now, is that my children will be proud of me this summer and after ten years will remember that their father refereed at a World Cup. Their joy for me is priceless. Yesterday I said that just now we are going to know whether I will go or not to the World Cup; they said I sure would. I tried to convince them that, if I was not selected, nothing happened; we should be taking wins and losses. Today, they will be happy to go to school and tell their friends that their father is going to the World Cup". 

Source: RFEF

FIFA World Cup 2014

The FIFA Referees Committee, meeting in Zurich on 14 January 2014, under the chairmanship of Jim Boyce (Northern Ireland), has appointed 25 referee trios and eight support duos representing 43 different countries for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. FIFA has implemented a comprehensive program to ensure that the referees for its flagship competition are in peak condition come 12 June. Just as it did for the 32 participating teams, the road to the 2014 FIFA World Cup began for an initial group of 52 trios of referees from all over the world in September 2011 when FIFA took the important decision to create a refereeing project. One of the key objectives was match control and consequently to prepare this group of prospective referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The referees selected for the World Cup in Brazil have been chosen based especially on their personality and their quality in football understanding by being able to read the game and the teams’ tactical approaches towards each game. Between now and the World Cup, the selected group of match officials will participate in three seminars: February, March/April, and the last one ten days before the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The selected referees and assistant referees will be followed and monitored regularly during this period, and FIFA is ready to give them all the support they need so that they can prepare for this important World Cup in the best possible manner. (Source: FIFA)


AFC (4 trios + 1 support duo)
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ, 1970)

Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (JPN, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN, 1971)

Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BAH, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Abdulla (BAH, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BAH, 1974)

Referee: Benjamin Williams (AUS, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Hakan Anaz (AUS, 1969)

Reserve Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, 1978)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Hassan Kamranifar (IRN, 1972)

CAF (3 trios + 2 support duos)

Referee: Noumandiez Doue (CIV, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV, 1970)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI, 1972)

Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Felicien Kabanda (RWA, 1971)

Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG, 1970)

Assistant Referee 1 Redouane Achik (MAR, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG, 1981)

Reserve Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR, 1982)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Djibril Camara (SEN, 1983)

Reserve Referee: Daniel Bennett (RSA, 1976)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Marwa Range (KEN, 1977)

CONCACAF (3 trios + 2 support duos)
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: William Torres (SLV, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zumba (SLV, 1982)

Referee: Mark Geiger (USA, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Sean Hurd (USA, 1971)
Assistant Referee 2: Joe Fletcher (CAN, 1976)

Referee: Marco Rodriguez (MEX, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX, 1971)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcos Quintero (MEX, 1973)

Reserve Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN, 1970)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Eric Boria (USA, 1974)

Reserve Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA, 1980)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Leonel Leal (CRC, 1976)

CONMEBOL (5 trios + 1 support duo)
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergio Roman (CHI, 1969)

Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG, 1979)

Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcello Van Gasse (BRA, 1976)

Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL, 1973)

Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU, 1980)

Reserve Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER, 1975)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Rodney Aquino (PAR, 1984)

OFC (1 trio + 1 support duo)
Referee: Peter O’Leary (NZL, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hintz (NZL, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Ravinesh Kumar (FIJ, 1982)

Reserve Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH, 1979)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Mark Rule (NZL, 1981)

UEFA (9 trios + 1 support duo)
Referee: Felix Brych (GER, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER, 1978)

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR, 1973)

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Warnmark (SWE, 1974)

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED, 1977)

Referee: Milorad Mazic (SRB, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristic (SRB, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjevic (SRB, 1973)

Referee: Pedro Proenca (POR, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Trigo (POR, 1972)

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA, 1971)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato Faverani (ITA, 1969)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Stefani (ITA, 1969)

Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP, 1971)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP, 1975)

Referee: Howard Webb (ENG, 1971)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG, 1970)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Cann (ENG, 1969)

Reserve Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR, 1979)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Kim Haglund (NOR, 1977)

Kuipers: “A wrong decision could have cost my career”

Referee Bjorn Kuipers (NED) had a very special 2013. He had some very good matches and officiated the 2013 Confederations Cup final, a Champions League semi-final and the Europa League final. He talked about his most important matches from 2013 in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant.
Borussia Dortmund – Real Madrid, Champions League semi-final (April 2013). Dortmund won this first round match with 4-1. Kuipers talks about a penalty incident in the 41st minute: “Borussia was leading with 1-0. Attacker Marco Reus runs with the ball into the penalty area and falls. Penalty or not? I saw it well. Reus made himself fall. He touches the opponent’s leg. And watch how play continues. A throw-in. A counter-attack. Real scores the equaliser, just before half-time. Everyone’s crazy. Reus shouts that it was a 100% penalty kick. Jurgen Klopp, the trainer of Borussia, is raging. With 82.000 fans whistling, I went into the tunnel. The feeling you have at that moment. Was it a penalty kick then? Back in the dressing room, I found about 80 messages on my phone. How fantastic the call was. That’s something I could use”. The Volkskrant reporter asked Kuipers whether he got lucky by making the call. “No, I was 80% sure that I was right, because I saw the defender made no offence”.
Brazil and Spain played the Confederations Cup final (
June 2013). “It was not an easy match. Two yellow cards, one red, a penalty kick for Spain. Crucial moments, all well assessed. The release afterwards was huge. We ended up in a jacuzzi, with a glass”. Kuipers still has the ball used at the Confederation Cup final. “I whistled for the end of the match when the ball was nearby. I couldn’t deny myself such an opportunity”.
Poland – Montenegro, World Cup Qualifier (September 2013): “A very important match. In the 93rd minute, Poland scored the 2-1 goal. The whole stadium went crazy. Players were lying on top of each other. The winning goal! Ecstatic joy. My assistant was holding up his flag in that madness. He called: “Bjorn, offside! Offside!” I had no choice and followed him. 30 seconds later, I whistle for the end of the game”. The refereeing team made the right decision. “If someone on my team makes a crucial mistake, it will influence me. I’m responsible. If this decision was wrong, it could have cost my international career”. Kuipers is now waiting for FIFA’s final selection for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Source: Volkskrant / Dutch Referee

CAF African Nations Championship 2014

South Africa, 11 January - 1 February 2014

1. Ali Lemghaifry (MTN)
2. Juste Zio (BFA)
3. Mutaz Khairalla (SDN)
4. Mohamed Benouza (ALG, photo)
5. Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
6. Mahamadou Keita (MLI)
7. Aboubacar Bangoura (GUI)
8. Mohamed Kordi (TUN)
9. Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
10. Gehad Grisha (EGY)
11. Bernard Camille (SEY)
12. Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
13. Souley Mohamadou (CMR)
14. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
15. Victor Gomes (RSA)
16. Sylvester Kirwa (KEN)
17. Joseph Lamptey (GHA)
18. Wiish Yabarow (SOM)

Assistant Referees
1. Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG)
2. Theogene Ndagijimana (RWA)
3. Mohamed Hamid (SDN)
4. Mark Ssonko (UGA)
5. Olivier Kabene (COD)
6. Issa Yay (CHA)
7. Aboubabcar Doumbouya (GUI)
8. Foaad El Maghrabi (LBY)
9. Moussa Bayere (CIV)
10. Tahssen El Sadat (EGY)
11. Balkrishna Bootun (MRI)
12. Berhe Tesfagiorghis (ERI)
13. Yanoussa Moussa (CMR)
14. Oamogetse Godisamang (BOT)
15. Mothibidi Khumalo (RSA)
16. Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
17. Abel Baba (NGA)
18. Hassan Yacin (DJI)

CAF Referee of the Year 2013: Haimoudi (ALG)

Algerian Djamel Haimoudi has been elected Referee of the Year for a second successive time. The 43-year old, eased past Bakary Gassama (Gambia) and Neant Alioum (Cameroon) for the award of the finest "knight of the whistle" in Africa. Haimoudi, an international referee since 2002 received the honour at the 2013 Glo-CAF Awards held on Thursday, January 9 in Lagos, Nigeria. The Algerian, who speaks both English and French, soared above his colleagues to retain his position as the best referee on the continent, for a second time running. He received his prize from CAF Executive Committee member, Magd Shams El Din, who doubles as the president of the CAF Referees’ Committee. He handled some high profile games during the year including the final match of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations between Nigeria and Burkina Faso in Johannesburg last February. Haimoudi was also in the middle for the first leg of the 2013 Orange CAF Champions League final between Orlando Pirates (South Africa) and Al-Ahly (Egypt) last November in Johannesburg. He is also one of the prospective African referees shortlisted for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Source: CAF

UEFA referees urged to avoid the “triple punishment”

European referees have been instructed by UEFA to avoid the “triple punishment” and not show the red card to players who commit an offence punishable by a penalty kick while being the last defender, as yet reflect the Laws of the Game. The request was made by the UEFA president himself, Michel Platini, who considers that the faults committed within the penalty area should be punished with a penalty kick and deserve the same card if the offender committed the foul in any other area of the field. According to this new interpretation, a nudge in the penalty area would still be punished by a penalty kick and the red card plus the player’s suspension, while a push within the same area would be punished with a penalty kick and only a yellow card. It would also only a yellow offence and a penalty kick if the goalkeeper fouls the opposing striker, which today is punishable by a penalty, red card and suspension for the next game.
The UEFA Executive Committee meeting held in Bilbao on 12 December 2013 agreed to raise the issue with FIFA in order to make a proposal to the International Board to change the rule known as the “triple punishment”: penalty kick, expulsion and subsequent suspension. UEFA president, Michel Platini, stated ​​in an interview with AS, last November, that "the punishment is excessive and still more aggravated when the offender is the goalkeeper, as the last defender. The penalty is enough penance". Platini asked Blatter asked to remove the “triple punishment”, but the FIFA president referred the matter to the next meeting of the International Board (IFAB), scheduled for March 2014. The leader of the UEFA does not want to wait that long and has instructed the referees to change their approach in these situations, in order to start preparing for the change by IFAB, which is traditionally slow in making decisions. The new interpretation will be applied by the European referees in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, in order to support the rule change.

Source: AS

IFFHS World’s Best Referee 2013: Webb (ENG)

Selected editorial offices and experts from 70 countries and from all the football continents took part in the 2013 annual election for the World’s Best Referee, the 27th time it has been carried out by the IFFHS. The “Top 10” come from 9 different countries, only Italy is represented by two referees. After winning in 2010, his second place in 2011 and his third places in 2009 and 2012, the Englishman Howard Webb is for the second time in his career the World’s Best Referee of the Year 2013. Howard Webb, 42 years old, has been an international referee since 2005 and is one of the youngest referees to begin in the English Premier League. At 27 years, he began as assistant referee and since 2003, he officiates as full referee in the Premier League. He is highly respected in the world of football for his clear-sightedness and for his bright authority. He is incontestably the no. 1 referee in the world and has been for the last 5 years. Nicola Rizzoli (Italy) took the second place and made a great jump to the Top 3, after an 8th and 10th places in the last two years. At 42 years old, he has a regular progression in his career and he preceded the Hungarian Viktor Kassai (38 years old), who has been the principal competitor of Howard Webb in recent years. Kassai won in 2011, was 5th in 2010 and 4th in 2012. His third place in 2013 proves his recognition in the football world. He also leads a young generation of referees like the German Brych or the Turk Cakir, who were before last year’s winner, the Portuguese Pedro Proenca (place 7 in 2013).
IFFHS World’s Best Referees 2013
1. Howard Webb (ENG, photo) 102 p
2. Nicola Rizzoli (ITA) 82 p
3. Viktor Kassai (HUN) 53 p
4. Felix Brych (GER) 42 p
5. Cuneyt Cakir (TUR) 40 p
6. Bjorn Kuipers (NED) 38 p
7. Pedro Proenca (POR) 35 p
8. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB) 29 p
9. Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP) 22 p
10. Gianluca Rocchi (ITA) 17 p

Moreno will retire after the World Cup

The Panamanian referee Roberto Moreno has decided to retire in the summer, after more than 15 years as a FIFA referee, regardless of whether he will be selected or not for the 2014 World Cup. Moreno, 43, said that his decision has been taken and will be effective after the completion of the World Cup in Brazil.
"I will retire in August, regardless of whether I will go or not to the World Cup. When the Apertura 2014 tournament will start, I will only referee a single match to end my career. I will invite several colleagues to come along and, if possible, will have a party afterwards", said the Panamanian referee. Roberto Moreno is waiting patiently the decision of the FIFA Referees Committee on 14 January that will determine the 33 referees who will be attending the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. "There are 52 candidates now and they will announce in a few weeks the 33 going to the World Cup. The 19 referees that will not be taken into account should keep training and refereeing because they could be considered if an official gets injured or shows poor performances", Moreno said. "I fulfilled all the requirements: passed the three FIFA courses in Zurich, Miami and Brazil and refereed at a major tournament, in my case the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. I was nominated amongst the best CONCACAF referees, which is important for the final evaluation of the FIFA referees in regards to the selection for the final tournament”. Moreno began refereeing in the domestic competitions in 1989 and has been a FIFA referee since 1996, which means almost 25 years in this profession.

Source: RPC Deportes

Ivanov to replace Rosetti as Head of Russian referees

The Russian Football Union (RFU) has hired former FIFA referee Valentin Ivanov to replace Italian Roberto Rosetti as head of the domestic referees department, the RFU president said on Monday. "Valentin Ivanov doesn't need any introduction and I believe his high qualification, knowledge and experience will benefit the domestic football", Nikolai Tolstykh told a news conference.
The 52-year-old, whose father Valentin was a former Soviet striker who was joint top scorer at the 1962 World Cup in Chile and the 1960 European Championship, retired after the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Ivanov (photo), who officiated matches at Euro 2004 in Portugal and the 2003 Confederations Cup in France, made headlines in 2006 after showing 16 cards, including four reds during a World Cup match between Portugal and Netherlands. "I understand how difficult and demanding job I have to do", Ivanov said. "But I feel the strength to succeed in this position".
Rosetti, who was named best referee in Serie A four times and officiated the Euro 2008 final between Spain and Germany, was hired by the RFU in 2011 in a bid to improve refereeing standards in Russia but resigned this month for family reasons.

Source: Yahoo Sports

AFC Referee of the Year 2013: Williams (AUS)

Australian official Ben Williams has been named AFC Referee of the Year following another season of assured performances while officiating in the Confederation’s topflight tournaments. Williams, who is one of Australia’s most respected referees having taken charge of well over a century of A-League matches, saw off the challenge of last year’s AFC Referee of the Year Yuichi Nishimura from Japan and Bahrain’s Nawaf Shukralla to claim the individual accolade. During the year, the 36-year-old AFC Elite Referee officiated the decisive second leg of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff between Uzbekistan and Jordan as well as the first leg of the keenly-contested AFC Champions League semi-final between FC Seoul and Esteghlal, which was the fifth match in Asia’s premier club competition that Williams refereed. Williams, a physical education teacher by profession, also handled two qualifying matches for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, which will be held in his native Australia, and has been placed on FIFA’s Prospective Referee List for next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil. “This is a fantastic recognition to be amongst the elites of Asian referees by becoming the best referee of Asia,” Williams said after receiving the 2013 AFC Referee of the Year award from Dato’ Worawi Makudi, FIFA Executive Committee Member and Chairman of the AFC Referees Committee. “I am very, very humbled and honoured with this award and it will further spur me to continue working for the beautiful game of football. There are several top referees in Asia and it’s really nice that you are recognised as the best. I am sure this is a great achievement not only for me but for the whole of Australian soccer. I advise youngsters to keep being humble and continue learning if they see great future and excitement in this profession”. (Source: AFC)

AFC Referee of the Year 2013
1. Benjamin Williams (AUS)
2. Yuichi Nishimura (JPN)
3. Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)

AFC Assistant Referee of the Year 2013
1. Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN)
2. Hassan Kamranifar (IRN)
3. Toru Sagara (JPN)

AFC Women Referee of the Year 2013
1. Sachiko Yamagishi (JPN)
2. Pannipar Kamnueng (THA)
3. Rita Ghani (MAS)

AFC Women Assistant Referee of the Year 2013
1. Allyson Flynn (AUS)
2. Sarah Ho (AUS)
3. Naomi Teshirogi (JPN)