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)
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).
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).