International Friendly Matches

30 May - 4 June 2014 

England – Peru
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gábor Erös (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: György Ring (HUN)
Fourth Official: Mihaly Fabián (HUN) 

Sweden – Belgium
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren England (ENG)
Fourth Official: Peter Magnusson (SWE)

Korea – Tunisia
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
Fourth Official: Kim Sang-Woo (KOR)

Germany – Cameroon
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Fourth Official: Tobias Stieler (GER)

Austria – Iceland
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klancnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
Fourth Official: Slavko Vincic (SVN)

Portugal – Greece
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Patrick Langkamp (NED)
Fourth Official: Hugo Miguel (POR)

Czech Republic – Austria
Referee: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Angelo Boonman (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Dave Goossens (NED)

Angola – Morocco
Referee: Duarte Gomes (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Garcia (POR)
Fourth Official: Hugo Miguel (POR)

Morocco – Mozambique
Referee: Hugo Miguel (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Paulo Santos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nuno Pereira (POR)
Fourth Official: Duarte Gomes (POR)

Mali – Guinea
Referee: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephan Luzi (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Lompre (FRA)
Fourth Official: Mikaël Lesage (FRA)

Australia – South Africa
Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Luke Brennan (AUS)
Fourth Official: Strebre Delovski (AUS)

Estonia – Gibraltar
Referee: Clayton Pisani (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Ingmar Spiteri (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: William Debattista (MLT)
Fourth Official: Sten Klaasen (EST)

Belgium – Luxembourg
Referee: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dag-Roger Nebben (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan-Erik Engan (NOR)
Fourth Official: Tore Hansen (NOR)

Finland – Lithuania
Referee: Vadims Direktorenko (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Griščenko (LVA)
Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)

Cameroon – Paraguay
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthias Winsauer (AUT)
Fourth Official: Oliver Drachta (AUT)

Latvia – Estonia
Referee: Sergėjus Slyva (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Saulius Dirda (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladimir Gerasimov (LTU)
Fourth Official: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)

Iran – Angola
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Roland Braunschmidt (AUT)
Fourth Official: Harald Lechner (AUT)

Qatar – Macedonia
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Fourth Official: Paolo Valeri (ITA)

Netherlands – Wales
Referee: Bulent Yildirim (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kemal Yilmaz (Turkey)
Assistant Referee 2: Ekrem Kan (Turkey)
Fourth Official: Pol van Boekel (NED)

Croatia – Mali
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Kispal (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Oszkar Lemon (HUN)

Italy – Luxembourg
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)

Fourth Official: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)

Japan – Cyprus
Referee: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Maciej Wierzbowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Konrad Sapela (POL)
Fourth Official: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)

Ireland – Turkey
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)

Switzerland – Jamaica
Referee: Neil Doyle (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Dermot Broughton (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wayne McDonnell (IRL)

France – Norway
Referee: Padraigh Sutton (IRL)

Ecuador – England
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA)
Fourth Official: Juan Guzman (USA)

USA – Turkey
Referee: Slim Jedidi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Yamen Melloulchi (TUN)
Fourth Official: Nasrallah Jaouadi (TUN)

USA – Azerbaijan
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Warner Castro (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
Fourth Official: Armando Castro (HON)

Honduras – Turkey
Referee: Roberto García (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: José Camargo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: César Ramos (MEX)

Mexico – Israel
Referee: Elmer Bonilla (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany García (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Bermúdez (SLV)
Fourth Official: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)

Argentina – Trinidad & Tobago
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)

Argentina – Slovenia
Referee: Martín Vazquez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Richard Trinidad (URU)

Brazil – Panama
Referee: Raúl Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Efrain Castro (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Bustillos (BOL)

Brazil – Serbia
Referee: Enrique Cáceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)

Colombia – Senegal
Referee: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ariel Scime (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Navarro (ARG)

Colombia – Jordan
Referee: Pablo Diaz (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG)

Uruguay – Slovenia
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)

Uruguay – N. Ireland
Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcio Santiago (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kleber Gil (BRA)

Croatia – Australia
Referee: Francisco Nascimiento (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cleriston Barreto (BRA)

Chile – Egypt
Referee: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Arellano (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwin Paredes (BOL)

CAF Champions League – Group Stage (Matchday 2)

24-25 May 2014

TP Mazembe – AS Vita Club
Referee: Néant Alioum (CMR, photo)

Al Ahly Benghazi – Espérance Tunis
Referee: Koman Coulibaly (MLI)

ES Sétif – CS Sfaxien
Referee: Badara Diatta (SEN)

Zamalek – Al Hilal
Referee: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)

CAF Confederation Cup – Group Stage (Matchday 2)

24-25 May 2014

Coton Sport – Real Bamako
Referee: Noumandiez Doué (CIV, photo)

ASEC Mimosas – AC Léopards
Referee: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD)

Étoile du Sahel – Al Ahly
Referee: Sylvester Kirwa (KEN)

Nkana – Séwé Sport
Referee: Bouchaïb El Ahrach (MOR)

Webb: "There is nothing written to say you can't do the final twice, but it would be most unusual for that to happen"

Howard Webb is bent double with pain and can barely stand up. Sweat pours from his chin, dripping down his arms and his legs. The 42-year-old referee gasps for air as the heat in this tiny room at Sheffield Hallam University's Faculty of Health and Wellbeing rises and the humidity spirals. We are 6,000 miles from the coast of Brazil but, in his mind, Webb is already at the World Cup as he pounds out mile after mile on the treadmill. "It is tough, it is very tough," he says. "The heat and humidity are going to be the biggest challenges in Brazil. We all know that". There have been no directives from FIFA, football's world governing body, to prepare for the conditions, but, for the past two weeks, Webb has reported to this temperature-controlled chamber and pushed himself to the limits of his physical fitness. The chamber has been set to 40C with 80% humidity as Webb begins the first of 20 sprints, each 150m in distance. It is brutal to watch, but he would not have it any other way. "I want to be as prepared as I can," he says. "Coming to the chamber here gives me that chance. If it gives me a small advantage, if it means I can perform to my potential there, then why not do it?" The statistics make for startling reading. In Manaus, where England will play their first group game against Italy, humidity can reach 90% and temperatures can peak at around 33C. To put that into context, Webb burns around 2,200 calories during a Premier League match. In Brazil, that figure will jump to more than 3,000. The scientists at Sheffield Hallam believe Webb will sweat around 10 pints of fluid during every World Cup match he takes charge of and lose an incredible 1kg for every hour he spends on the field. Alan Ruddock, a sports scientist, is one of a number of experts driving Webb on, monitoring his fitness and creating situations for him to react to. While I am there, they yell the following to the Rotherham official: "Ronaldo is racing away on a counter attack, he is across the half way line, he gets to the edge of the penalty area and goes down. Is it a penalty?" It is nothing more than a game, but it focuses Webb's mind and reminds him why he is there and what he is doing this for. "Getting into the right place to make the right decision is key," he says. "It is so important to be physically and mentally fit enough to make a clear call even though you are having to work hard in difficult conditions." The idea of using the chamber first occurred to Webb this time last year. As he stepped out into the mid-afternoon heat of Fortaleza to referee the Confederations Cup match between Brazil and Mexico, alongside assistants Mullarkey and Cann, he was surprised by the intensity of the heat. "It was really quite oppressive," he recalls. "The games I did in Fortaleza were challenging, but they gave me a feeling for what it is going to be like. But it also inspired me to come here and do the acclimatisation. It is going to be hot and humid. It will undoubtedly affect the players, too".
Webb goes to Brazil knowing that, however good his performance is, he is unlikely to take charge of the World Cup final, having done so in 2010. "There is nothing written to say you can't do the final twice, but it would be most unusual for that to happen," he says. "South Africa was an amazing experience. I have lost count of the number of times I have relived those days, those weeks, those matches, including the final. We are part of a very small group of people who have been fortunate enough to be involved in such an amazing occasion. I look back with satisfaction and pride." And what about this time? "We go to Brazil confident we can do as well at this tournament as we did at the last one," says Webb. "It is unlikely anyone will ever be appointed to a second final, but we will savour every moment." Spain won the last World Cup, beating Netherlands 1-0 in the final. But one of the big talking points was Webb's decision not to send off Holland's Nigel de Jong for a chest-high kick on Spain's Xabi Alonso. "I can sleep at night and I can think back to the reasons why I made the decision I did," says Webb. "Very rarely will I look back at a game and I think everything was perfect. Looking back at the game, there were one or two things that weren't right, but I made the decision." Webb could be in line to referee the opening match of the 2014 tournament, between Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo, on 12 June, but the Englishman will not discover which match he will officiate first until he arrives in Rio at the weekend. "We only get one game at a time," he says. "You need to deliver that and then that might open the door to a second game and beyond. There is no point looking further ahead." He says the pressure will be just as intense in Brazil - "the eyes of the world are on you" - but he is relishing the tournament. "These are really important games," he says. "Any World Cup is special, but for it to be in Brazil, a football-loving country where the nation will embrace the festivities, is really special".

Source: BBC Sport

UEFA fined over Croatian referee match-fixing accusation

UEFA has been ordered to pay six-figure damages to a Croatian referee who claimed he had been wrongfully accused of rigging the result of the 2009 Croatian Cup final, state news agency Hina reported on Tuesday. 
The court, in the northern Croatian town of Daruvar, ordered UEFA to pay 750,000 kuna ($134,900) to referee Bruno Maric, who had been in charge of the match between arch-rivals Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split. Maric sent off two Hajduk Split players and awarded a penalty to Dinamo, who eventually won 3-0. Maric denied accusations by an UEFA investigator that the game had been rigged and that he had been involved, and he pressed his own charges against the European football federation in 2012. Maric was questioned by Robin Boksic, who was later dismissed from UEFA's team of investigators. The charges against the Croatian referee have never been brought. UEFA representatives had tried to settle the matter out of court, but to no avail. Maric said he was satisfied by the first-instance verdict, following a trial that began in March last year. "Many people laughed when I said that what I care about is getting UEFA's apology, not money," he was quotd as saying by Hina. "What's most important to me is that UEFA was found guilty for what they have caused to me and my family." However, Maric's lawyer said he would challenge the sentence and demand full compensation - reportedly one million euros ($1.37 million) - for his client. Vladimir Gredelj said: "UEFA does not deserve to be forgiven a single penny. They treated my client in a humiliating and arrogant way. The court did not set the compensation correctly because it did not take into account that everything that had been said about Maric has reached millions of people".

Source: Reuters

Kuipers: from whining player to elite referee

Bjorn Kuipers was a football player every referee would hate. The 16-year-old captain of his team couldn’t stop whining at the man in black about wrong decisions. Not once, but every match. As a player he was the complete opposite of the referee who got appointed for the 2014 Champions League final due to his cool and calm style of refereeing. After Leo Horn (1957 and 1962), Charles Corver (1978) and Dick Jol (2001) the 41-year-old Kuipers is only the fourth Dutch who was appointed to referee the final of the biggest club competition in Europe.
A substitution changed his career. At a certain moment during that short football career he got, to his surprise, substituted, he once told newspaper de Volkskrant. His dad Jan Kuipers, a referee and supermarket owner as well, who rarely whatched his son’s matches, summoned the coach to get his son of the pitch. His behaviour on the pitch was no longer tolerated by his dad and he told him to face the difficulties of being a referee. That was the start of a so far very succesfull refereeing career. In January 2014 Björn Kuipers from Dutch town Oldenzaal was told he would be one of the referees at the World Cup in Brazil and on the 7 May he got a message from UEFA referee boss Pierluigi Collina that he’ll be the referee of the 2014 Champions League final between Atletico and Real Madrid on 24 May in Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. “Being on the pitch during the Champions League final is the highest achievement in football for players and also for referees”, he told after the appointment. Kuipers will be assisted by Sander van Roekel, Erwin Zeinstra, Pol van Boekel and Richard Liesveld.
After his father’s advice to try refereeing Bjorn became an amateur referee for the Dutch football association KNVB in 1990. It wasn not always a pleasant journey towards professional football. Moments of dry heaving. Matches with 14 cards. Disrespect. It took him eleven years – with a one year break because he went abroad for his master degree in Business Administation – to reach the professional football level. His first professional match was Telstar versus Eindhoven in the Jupiler League, Dutch second level. He made his debut in the Eredivisie at the age of 32. A group of young referees entered the A-list and Kuipers as one of those talents. “Referees that are good, can move up quickly”, he told NRC after his fourth match on the highest Dutch level. “I know almost all the players, but they also know me apparently. They even called my by my first name, that actually surprised me.” That was just nine years ago. Now Björn Kuipers is the talk of the town in The Netherlands. He even give a press conference before he moves to Brazil for the World Cup, because “otherwise he wouldn’t be able to respond to all interview requests he got”. But wat are the success factors of Kuipers career? As manager of three supermarkets with about 260 employees and owner of a barber shop he has got the leadership skills a referee needs. “But I’ll never be bossy”, Kuipers says. His work and refereeing motto is to let people do what they are good at. Kuipers gives his assistant referees Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra much freedom on the pitch to call for fouls and he supports their decisions. It is no coincidence that the KNVB announced that “team Kuipers” will go to Brazil and “team Kuipers” will referee the Champions League final. 
Bjorn Kuipers is very popular. The day he heared about his appointment for the World Cup he was in Dutch most popular tv show DWDD. Björn Kuipers officiated five years on the highest national level before he became a international referee in 2006. Only three years later he became an Uefa Elite Referee. 2013 was a great year for him with the Europa League final between Chelsea FC and Benfica in the Amsterdam Arena. Later that year he officiated the Confederations Cup final between Brazil and Spain. All these referee successes were not possible without the support of his wife, whom he married eleven years ago, and his two children. “I’m away from home a lot”, he told Helden Magazine. Kuipers even missed 6 of his daughter’s 8 birthdays because he was away from home for a football match. “But it never causes friction. I don’t know what should do without my wife.” Kuipers’ wife follows each and every match, but normally doesn’t go to the stadium. She went to the Super Cup in Monaco and the Europa League final in Amsterdam. “She and my coach Jaap Uilenberg are the first people I call after a match.” Kuipers’ two children, his 8-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son, are not old enough yet to be like their dad on the football pitch, constantly whinging at the referee. “My daughter doesn’t even care about football so much”, Kuipers once said. “But I think, although they do not show it publicly to others, that my children are very proud of their dad”.

Source: Dutch Referee

UCL final referee Kuipers getting goosebumps

"It's a moment you will never forget, so you have to enjoy it", final referee Björn Kuipers told as he revealed the preparations he and his team put into the match. Real Madrid CF and Club Atlético de Madrid have been hard at work assessing each other, and keeping just as close an eye on matters have been the UEFA Champions League final match officials led by referee Björn Kuipers. 
The Dutchman, following in the footsteps of compatriots Leo Horn, Charles Corver and Dick Jol in refereeing the European Cup final, will have the honour on Saturday night in Lisbon as the two Madrid rivals meet. And along with assistant referees Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra, additional assistant referees Pol van Boekel and Richard Liesveld, reserve assistant referee Angelo Boonman and Turkish fourth official Cüneyt Çakir, Kuipers will know the teams inside out. "We really prepare a lot," Kuipers told "I have seen their matches in the Champions League, and especially games between Atlético and Real – we saw the matches between them in the Copa, in the Spanish league, so we prepared very, very well. We have a video analyst who helps us a lot to get the right matches and the right pictures, the key players and the playing styles. So our preparation is from A to Z." Like the players, stepping out on the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica pitch is the pinnacle for any referee and his team of assistants "It's an honour to be here, to be appointed for this unique Champions League final," Kuipers said. "I'm very proud, very happy with this fantastic Champions League final. I am very proud of the team, and we are looking forward to it." The UEFA Champions League anthem playing is "what we call in the Netherlands a 'Kippenvel' moment, literally 'chicken skin'" Kuipers added. "It's a moment you will never forget, so you have to enjoy it". This is far from Kuipers's first big final. A year ago he oversaw Chelsea FC's Triumph over SL Benfica to win the UEFA Europa League at the Amsterdam ArenA, and in his first year as a FIFA official he handled the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final between Russia and the Czech Republic in Luxembourg. "Every step you take is a new one. And in 2006 it was the first year I became an international referee, so to start with a tournament, a final tournament, and to do the final was a big step, and it finishes here now at the Champions League final. So it's a great experience, you know." His refereeing journey goes back even further than that, and there are a large group of people to whom Kuipers is thankful. "To many, not to one person but to many people," he said. "I started refereeing when I was 16, I'm now 41, so already a long time. "So I'm not dedicating this final to one person, but to all the people who are there for me: my family, my friends, also the people who have worked with me in refereeing. So it's a great moment for everybody who stands with us". 

Source: UEFA

UEFA Women's Champions League Final 2014: Monzul (UKR)

Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul has described being given the opportunity to oversee the UEFA Women's Champions League final in Lisbon as "a fulfilment of a dream". Monzul is ready to "fulfil a dream" as she prepares to take charge of the UEFA Women's Champions League final between Tyresö FF and VfL Wolfsburg.
The Ukrainian match official was selected on 7 May to referee the final at the Estádio do Restelo in Lisbon, and she acknowledges this will be the high point of her refereeing life so far. "When you start a career as a referee, all your friends and relatives ask you why you have started doing this," Monzul told "The first answer is: 'To referee a final.' It's like a dream and a fulfilment of this dream." Monzul will be assisted by fellow Ukrainians Natalia Rachynska and Maryna Striletska, with the fourth official Kateryna Zora also a compatriot. Portuguese reserve official Olga Almeida completes the refereeing team, and Monzul is keen for the entire group to be recognised. "As we say, a warrior cannot fight alone on a battlefield. We are together, we are a team. Success only comes when you are together." Having overseen Tyresö's 2-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 32 back in October and handled Wolfsburg's 2-0 victory at Arsenal LFC in last season's semi-final, Monzul is already familiar with both sides; she believes this experience could be useful. "I've already met these teams and that is a big advantage for me because you can learn about the teams' tactics. You can also get ready mentally for these teams, you know more about their players. That is very important for a referee." During a busy European campaign, Monzul was in the middle for 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam's surprise 2-1 win at last term's runners-up Olympique Lyonnais in the round of 16, although for her it was simply another match. "I feel I have a big responsibility in every game. In every match you should give 100%. It doesn't matter what game it is, you must be ready for everyone." The 32-year-old carries that same attitude into domestic competition, where she referees fixtures in the Ukrainian men's second division. "The rules of the game are the same for men and women," she explained. "You should have the same approach concerning men's and women's football and treat them equally, so that there's no difference between [the two]." 

Source: UEFA

Assistant referee Kumar misses out on World Cup

According to Arbitro International, assistant referee Ravinesh Kumar (Fiji) was removed from the list of match officials for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In January, he was selected as assistant referee 2 in an OFC trio led by Peter O’Leary (New Zealand).
Kumar (photo) did not participate in the mandatory fitness testing last month in Zurich due to an injury suffered two weeks before that seminar. He was not able to recover and missed the deadline allowed by FIFA for passing the fitness tests. The assistant referee from Fiji participated in the whole selection process, including the 2012 London Olympics, but this year he was forced to decline all his appointments in the OFC Champions League. Kumar will not be replaced by another non-selected assistant referee. His position in the OFC trio will be taken by Mark Rule (New Zealand), initially selected as a reserve assistant referee.

OFC Referee Trio 
Referee: Peter O’Leary (NZL) 
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hintz (NZL) 
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Rule (NZL)  

OFC Reserve Referee 
Norbert Hauata (TAH)

Former FIFA referee Paparesta leads consortium buying FC Bari

Ex-referee Gianluca Paparesta led a consortium Tuesday in its successful bid of 4.8 million euros at auction for the bankrupt Serie B soccer team in Bari. Paparesta was the public face of corporation FC Bari 1908 Ltd. during the auction, where about 50 fans chanted "Gianluca is one of us" as bidding rose by increments of about 200,000 euros. An unsuccessful rival bid of 4.6 million euros was submitted by Antonio Cipollone of Bari soccer 2014 Srl. Sources said that the chairman of the Serie B Andrea Abodi telephoned Paparesta, a native of Bari, to offer his congratulations on the winning bid. Paparesta, who said he would reveal the investors' identity after the papers are signed, called the purchase "a great project for a great platform and a great crowd". Paparesta (photo) was among a number of referees and other soccer figures caught up in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal uncovered in 2006 by Italian police and involving a number of clubs in the country's top professional soccer leagues, Serie A and Serie B. Clubs that were implicated in the scandal included Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, and Reggina after police intercepted telephone conversations showing relationships between team managers and referees. Paparesta was handed a five-month ban from soccer as a result of the investigation in 2008 and after a lengthy and unsuccessful appeal process resigned in 2010.

Source: Gazzetta del Sud

UEFA U-17 Euro Final 2014: Ekberg (SWE)

A former policeman, Andreas Ekberg is now preparing to officiate the U17 final in Malta – here he talks to about shouting, his baby daughter and "reaching the top". With a stable job as a policeman, and a baby on the way, it cannot have been easy for Andreas Ekberg to take the decision in January to devote himself full-time to refereeing. Yet the move is already paying dividends for the 29-year-old from Lund, who gave up his beat in Malmo to work together with the Swedish Football Association, for whom he has been officiating top-flight encounters since 2009. "Whether in policing or in refereeing, you can't just shout at people and tell them what to do or not to do," said Ekberg, chosen to referee Wednesday's UEFA European Under-17 Championship final between England and the Netherlands. "You have to be able to connect with people on a human level; if you can't do that you won't be good at either job. I've not refereed either of these teams yet at this tournament, but England and the Netherlands are both clearly very strong and skilful sides," continued Ekberg, the man in the middle for two games so far, Scotland v Portugal and Portugal v Germany, both in Group B. "They have been scoring a lot and everyone in football loves goals, so let's hope there are lots more in the final.” Part of the select band of up-and-coming referees – all on the FIFA list and aged between 27 and 31 – brought in to officiate at these finals, how would Ekberg sum up his Maltese adventure? "It's been a fabulous two and a half weeks," he said when speaking to at the officials' base in Ramla Bay. "Organisationally, this has been absolutely perfect – we couldn't have asked for more support. The hardest part is being away from my daughter, as she was only six weeks old when I left. Fortunately my wife sends me new pictures every morning so I can see how she's growing! I don't know what the future holds," he added, before heading off for an early-evening training session, "but I'm going to try and go as far as possible. I'm only 29, so I have a lot of years left in this business. Hopefully I can do what's needed to reach the top". (Source: UEFA

21 May 2014

Netherlands – England
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Dag-Roger Nebben (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Istvan Albert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)

OFC Champions League Final 2014 (Second Leg)

18 May 2014

Auckland City – Amicale FC
Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe Revel (TAH)
Assistant Referee 2: Tevita Makasani (TGA)
Fourth Official: Averii Jacques (TAH)

CAF Confederation Cup – Group Stage (Matchday 1)

17-18 May 2014

Séwé Sport – Étoile du Sahel
Referee: Daniel Bennett (RSA, photo)

AS Real Bamako – ASEC Mimosas
Referee: Slim Jedidi (TUN)

AC Léopards – Coton Sport
Referee: Gehad Grisha (EGY)

Al Ahly – Nkana
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)

CAF Champions League – Group Stage (Matchday 1)

16-18 May 2014

AS Vita Club – Zamalek
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM, photo)

Al Hilal – TP Mazembe
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)

Espérance de Tunis – ES Sétif
Referee: Aboubacar Bangoura (GUI)

CS Sfaxien – Al Ahly Benghazi
Referee: Bernard Camille (SEY)

Youth Olympic Games 2014

China, 15-27 August 2014


Referee: Ming Fu (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ji Ma (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN)

Referee: Maguette N’Diaye (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Noupoue (CMR)

Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Diaz (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Geovany Garcia (SLV)

Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Javier Bustillos (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Murillo (VEN)

Referee: Kader Zitouni (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Paul Ahupu (TAH)
Assistant Referee 2: Terry Piri (COK)

Referee: Sascha Amhof (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Rene Zgraggen (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Alain Heiniger (SUI)

Brych taking Turin final in his stride

UEFA Europa League final referee Felix Brych talks to about his mantra of taking one step at a time, the value of experience and a surprise phone call. Felix Brych was the fourth official at last season's UEFA Europa League final and will be the man in the middle in Turin today – "the most important game" of his career and vindication for his step-by-step approach. That is exactly where Brych will be when Sevilla take on Benfica, and while it represents "the next step", he is confident that the two decades it took him to reach this stage mean he will be on terra firma. 
"Experience is vital for a game like this – you couldn't do it in the early stages of your career. I have something like 50 European matches to draw on, from all across Europe. You have to be physically fit and mentally strong, but experience is perhaps the biggest thing for games like this. When you start refereeing, you create new goals every step of the way," the referee from Munich told on the eve of the 2014 decider. "First you want to be one of the top referees in your region, then you want to be in the Bundesliga, then you want to be a FIFA referee. Once you're a FIFA referee, you begin to think about finals. Last year, I was fourth official for the final and of course the next step is to be in the middle." Brych cuts an assured figure as he surveys the scene from the mouth of the tunnel at the compact Juventus Stadium, its steep terracing meaning fans will be on top of the action this evening. He draws on that experience, and relates it to something he knows. "This is my first time here, but stadiums like these are typical for Germany, especially after the World Cup, so I'm used to this kind of setup," he says. "There won't be any surprises for me in that respect." The 38-year-old has been studying the teams and players to ensure there are no shocks there, though he has learned to expect the unexpected. He was notably caught off-guard when his mobile phone rang as he was checking into a hotel ahead of a Bundesliga assignment. The voice on the other end, belonging to UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina, told him he had been selected for Turin. It was the latest episode in a career which began with a disappointment. "I used to play and had an injury at the age of 18 but I always had interest in refereeing – I don't know why," Brych says. "Whenever I could, I always tried to do official matches at school – games between classes. It was always a special interest so when I got injured, I got the licence – an obvious first step." The first of many. 

Source: UEFA

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2014

Canada, 5-24 August 2014


1. Liang Qin (CHN, 1979)
2. Sachiko Yamagishi (JPN, 1973, photo)

1. Therese Sagno (GUI, 1976)

1. Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX, 1975)
2. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN, 1977)
3. Margaret Domka (USA, 1979)

1. Jesica Di Iorio (ARG, 1980)

1. Finau Vulivuli (FIJ, 1982)

1. Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN, 1978)
2. Kateryna Monzul (UKR, 1981)
3. Esther Staubli (SUI, 1979)
4. Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, 1979)
5. Carina Vitulano (ITA, 1975)

Assistant Referees

1. Yan Gang (CHN, 1979)
2. Allyson Flynn (AUS, 1982)
3. Sarah Ho (AUS, 1978)
4. Jianping Liang (CHN, 1977)

1. Tempa Fouti (BEN, 1983)
2. Trhas Gebreyohanis (ETH, 1982)

1. Marie-Josee Charbonneau (CAN, 1982)
2. Mayte Chavez (MEX, 1979)
3. Marlene Duffy (USA, 1979)
4. Suzanne Morisset (CAN, 1984)
5. Shirley Perello (HON, 1986)
6. Veronica Perez (USA, 1979)

1. Mariana Corbo (URU, 1977)
2. Maria Rocco (ARG, 1979)

1. Jacqueline Stephenson (NZL, 1972)
2. Sarah Walker (NZL, 1990)

1. Ella De Vries (BEL, 1977)
2. Anu Jokela (FIN, 1981)
3. Chrysoula Kourompylia (GRE, 1977)
4. Sian Massey (ENG, 1985)
5. Anna Nystrom (SWE, 1973)
6. Tonja Paavola (FIN, 1977)
7. Yolanda Parga (ESP, 1978)
8. Lucie Ratajova (CZE, 1979)
9. Katrin Rafalski (GER, 1982)
10. Marina Wozniak (GER, 1979)

Fourth Officials

Hyang Ri (KOR, 1977)

Therese Neguel (CAM, 1981)

Michelle Pye (CAN, 1978)

Claudia Umpierrez (URU, 1983)

Katalin Kulcsar (HUN, 1984)

Copa Libertadores – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

14 May 2014
Cruzeiro – San Lorenzo
Referee: Martín Vázquez (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Fourth Official: Fernando Falce (URU)
Referee Observer: Alicio Peña (BRA)

Arsenal – Nacional
Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcio Santiago (BRA)
Fourth Official: Francisco Nascimiento (BRA)
Referee Observer: Abel Gnecco (ARG)

15 May 2014
Bolívar – Lanús
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Diego Lara (ECU)
Referee Observer: Marcelo Ortubé (BOL)

Defensor – Atlético
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergio Roman (CHI)
Fourth Official: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Referee Observer: Carlos Velazquez (URU)

OFC Champions League Final 2014 (First Leg)

10 May 2014

Amicale FC – Auckland City
Referee: Kader Zitouni (TAH, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Terry Piri (COK)
Assistant Referee 2: Didier Hmuzo (NCL)
Fourth Official: Isidore Asiene-Ambasa (NCL)

Uliana turns heads in Copa do Brazil

It's rare for a referee to become an internet sensation for anything other than a game-changing gaffe or amusingly falling over, but that can't be said of Fernanda Colombo Uliana. The 25-year-old assistant referee has been officiating high level football in Brazil for some time but turned heads while making a step up to the Copa do Brasil as Sao Paulo beat CRB 3-0. And this Sunday she'll be on the line for her first match in the Brazilian top-flight when Atletico Mineiro take on Cruzeiro. Uliana is among a host of women to have have recently made their way into male-dominated areas of football and is putting in the hard yards to be recognised for more than her appearance.
While supporting the progression of women into top refereeing roles, Brazil football hasn't exactly covered itself in anti-sexism glory of late. Lower league side Juventus de Santa Catarina's coach Celso Teixeira got in strife recently for calling assistant referee Maira Americano Labes ‘gostoso’ - which means 'tasty' in Portugese - after being sent off during a Catarinense championship game. Labes said she took no offence as she was concentrating on the game. Teixeira says the comment was made by someone from the crowd. On Instagram, Labes said: "Beauty should pass unnoticed. I’d like for the day to come for women to be recognized for their work just like men".
Italian official and part-time model Elena Tambini, also 25, is also on the rise in her home nation with Serie B, Serie A and international football predicted in her future.

Source: Daily Mail

UEFA Champions League Final 2014: Kuipers (NED)

Bjorn Kuipers will take charge of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid CF and Club Atlético de Madrid at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Lisbon on Saturday 24 May. The 41-year-old Dutchman, who was awarded his FIFA badge in 2006, has overseen 68 matches in UEFA competition, including four in this season's UEFA Champions League and three in the UEFA Europa League. He also oversaw the 2011 UEFA Super Cup, and Chelsea FC's win against SL Benfica in last term's UEFA Europa League final at the Amsterdam ArenA. Kuipers becomes the fourth Dutch official to take the whistle for a European Cup final after Leo Horn (1957, 1962), Charles Corver (1978) and Dick Jol (2001).
In Lisbon, Bjorn Kuipers (photo) will be assisted by fellow countrymen Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra. The fourth official will be Turkey's Cüneyt Çakır, and the two additional assistant referees, Pol van Boekel and Richard Liesveld, are also from the Netherlands. A Dutch reserve assistant referee – Angelo Boonman – completes the lineup of the refereeing team. (Source: UEFA)

24 May 2014

Real Madrid
 Atletico Madrid
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR 2: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Fourth Official: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Reserve AR: Angelo Boonman (NED)

Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)

UEFA Europa League Final 2014: Brych (GER)

The UEFA Referees Committee today announced the referee for the 2014 UEFA Europa League final between Sevilla FC and SL Benfica at Turin's Juventus Stadium next Wednesday at 20.45CET. The match will be handled by 38-year-old German referee Felix Brych, a FIFA badge holder since 2007 with 50 matches in UEFA competition to his name. He was a fourth official for last season's UEFA Europa League showpiece in Amsterdam and has officiated at six UEFA Champions League games this term, including the quarter-final first leg between FC Barcelona and Club Atlético de Madrid. A financial lawyer in his home city of Munich, Brych began refereeing in Germany's amateur leagues in 1999, stepping up to the 2. Bundesliga two years later and reaching the top flight in 2004. He was given his first assignments in UEFA club competition in 2007/08, and his group stage debut as a UEFA Champions League referee the following season. He oversaw two matches at the 2012 Olympic Games in London having taken charge of the Cypriot Cup final that May.
Referee Felix Brych (photo) will be assisted by his fellow countrymen Mark Borsch and Stefan Lupp. The fourth official is Milorad Mažić from Serbia and the two additional assistant referees, Tobias Welz and Bastian Dankert, are both from Germany. A German reserve assistant referee – Thorsten Schiffner – completes the refereeing team lineup. (Source: UEFA)

14 May 2014

Sevilla – Benfica
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Tobias Welz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Fourth Official: Milorad Mazic (SRB)
Reserve AR: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)

Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)

Copa Libertadores – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

7 April 2014
Nacional – Arsenal
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Fourth Official: Ímer Machado (COL)
Referee Observer: Manuel Bernal (PAR)

San Lorenzo – Cruzeiro
Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Cáceres (PAR)
Fourth Official: Julio Quintana (PAR)
Referee Observer: Juan Crespi (ARG)

8 May 2014
Lanús – Bolívar
Referee: Víctor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Johnny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Cesar Escano (PER)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivañez (PER)
Referee Observer: Luis Pasturenzi (ARG)

Atlético – Defensor
Referee: Néstor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Germán Delfino (ARG)
Referee Observer: Otalvaro Polanco (COL)

UEFA U-17 Euro 2014

Malta, 9-21 May 2014

1. Aliyar Aghayev (AZE, 1987, photo)
2. Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA, 1984)
3. Nikola Dabanović (MNE, 1981)
4. Andreas Ekberg (SWE, 1985)
5. Alexander Harkam (AUT, 1981)
6. Jonathan Lardot (BEL, 1984)

Assistant Referees
1. István Albert (HUN, 1980)
2. David Biton (ISR, 1978)
3. David Chigogidze (GEO, 1989)
4. Mesrop Ghazaryan (ARM, 1982)
5. Audrius Jagintavicius (LTU, 1984)
6. Oleksandr Korniyko (UKR, 1981)
7. Dag-Roger Nebben (NOR, 1980)
8. Jure Praprotnik (SVN, 1985)

Fourth Officials
1. Clayton Pisani (MLT, 1978)
2. Alan Sant (MLT, 1980)

Referee Observers
1. Marc Batta (FRA)
2. Hugh Dallas (SCO)
3. Kyros Vassaras (GRE)
4. Leif Lindberg (SWE)
5. Adrian Casha (MLT)

OFC Champions League – Semi-finals (Second Leg)

3 May 2014

AS Pirae – Auckland City
Referee: Isidore Assiene-Ambassa (NCL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Didier Hmuzo (NCL)
Assistant Referee 2: Bertrand Brial (NCL)
Fourth Official: Averii Jacques (TAH)

Amicale FC – Ba FC
Referee: George Time (SOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Senca (SOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Noel Berry (SOL)
Fourth Official: Robinson Banca (VAN)

Shake-up in Russian refereeing

The Russian FA has suspended four top referees from officiating games in the Russian Premier League after the poor standard of their work raised concerns, the head of the FA’s refereeing department has told R-Sport. The most prominent of them, who will not be allowed to take part in any top-flight games for the remainder of the season, is Maxim Layushkin (photo), who has overseen Europa League games in each of the last five seasons and is one of just nine Russians who are qualified to work in international matches. “If someone can work, then he will work. These people’s work was not satisfactory,” Russian FA refereeing department head Valentin Ivanov said. Layushkin has overseen six Russian Premier League games this season, while two other suspended referees, Sergei Kuznetsov and Vladimir Kuzmenko, have been in charge of 11 and six top-flight games respectively. The other referee to be dropped, Sergei Kulikov, has only refereed lower-level matches.
The suspensions are the first major shake-up in Russian refereeing since Ivanov replaced renowned Italian referee Roberto Rosetti in charge of the country’s officials in December. Ivanov is a former referee who set a World Cup record in 2006 by doling out 16 yellow cards and four reds in a last-16 game between the Netherlands and Portugal. Since that infamous night in Nuremberg, where Ivanov's performance was criticized by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who later apologized after acknowledging Ivanov was simply enforcing FIFA's own toughened rules, no Russian official has been entrusted with a Euro or World Cup match. During his time in Russia, Rosetti failed to drastically boost the level of Russian officials, criticizing a shallow talent pool of referees that gave football bosses no choice but to promote officials who were not fit to oversee top-flight games. He also introduced a system of punishments for poor-performing referees in the Russian Premier League, who were forced to take charge of lower-division games.

Source: R-Sport