UEL match Feyenoord - Roma halted twice by referee Turpin

Football was hit by a fresh racism storm after the referee was forced twice to stop Feyenoord's highly-charged Europa League tie against Roma following apparent incidents of racism. Referee Clement Turpin briefly held up the match towards the end of the first half after an inflatable banana landed on the pitch near Roma's Ivory Coast forward Gervinho on Thursday.
The 32-year-old French official spoke to both managers and a UEFA official before resuming the match. But Turpin was forced to take both teams off the pitch amid concerns for the safety of the players in the 55th minute, following the controversial dismissal of Feyenoord's Mitchell Te Vrede for a challenge on Kostas Manolas, which angered many Dutch supporters, who threw missiles on the field.
The teams returned about 10 minutes later, the match continued in a tense atmosphere and almost immediately substitute Elvis Manu equalised for the Dutch side but Gervinho put Roma 2-1 in front three minutes later which was the final score, giving them a 3-2 win on aggregate. A few seconds earlier, the Feyenoord’s substitute goalkeeper Erwin Mulder had been sent off by the referee, from the bench, for unknown reasons.
“It was right to suspend play as we could have opened a shop with all the objects that were thrown from the stands”, Roma coach Rudi Garcia told Italy's Mediaset channel. “It doesn't help the club, and I'll never cheer that”, Feyenoord coach Fred Rutten said. “Those sorts of things only hurt Feyenoord. It's a shame it happened”.

Source: Daily Mail

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (Second Leg)

26 February 2015 

Dynamo Moscow – RSC Anderlecht
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andås (NOR)
Additional AR1: Ken Johnsen (NOR)
Additional AR2: Tore Hansen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)
Referee Observer: Vaclav Krondl (CZE)

Zenit – PSV Eindhoven
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarık Ongun (TUR)
Additional AR1: Halis Özkahya (TUR)
Additional AR2: Süleyman Abay (TUR)
Fourth Official: Cem Satman (TUR)
Referee Observer: Adrian Casha (MLT)

Beşiktaş – Liverpool
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Additional AR1: Matej Jug (SVN)
Additional AR2: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Fourth Official: Andraz Kovacic (SVN)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

Fiorentina – Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Orkun Aktaş (TUR)
Additional AR1: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Additional AR2: Barış Şimşek (TUR)
Fourth Official: Serkan Ok (TUR)
Referee Observer: Edgar Steinborn (GER)

Inter Milano – Celtic
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomas Somolani (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomas Mokos (SVK)
Additional AR1: Richard Trutz (SVK)
Additional AR2: Peter Kralovic (SVK)
Fourth Official: Ondrej Brendza (SVK)
Referee Observer: Marinus Koopman (NED)

Dynamo Kyiv – Guingamp
Referee: Martin Strömbergsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Joakim Flink (SWE)
Additional AR1: Michael Lerjeus (SWE)
Additional AR2: Bojan Pandzic (SWE)
Fourth Official: Per Brogevik (SWE)
Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)

Salzburg – Villarreal
Referee: Kenn Hansen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Henrik Larsen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lars Rix (DEN)
Additional AR1: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Additional AR2: Mads Kristoffersen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Richardt Nørgaard (DEN)
Referee Observer: Georgios Bikas (GRE)

Legia Warszawa – Ajax
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Additional AR1: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Additional AR2: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

Borussia Mönchengladbach – Sevilla
Referee: Marijo Strahonja (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sinisa Premužaj (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Igor Krmar (CRO)
Additional AR1: Ante Vučemilović-Šimunović (CRO)
Additional AR2: Fran Jović (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ivica Modrić (CRO)
Referee Observer: Alexey Spirin (RUS)

Sporting Lisbon – VfL Wolfsburg
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Additional AR1: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
Additional AR2: Amaury Delerue (FRA)
Fourth Official: Laurent Stien (FRA)
Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)

Everton – Young Boys
Referee: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Fredrk Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Additional AR1: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Additional AR2: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Fourth Official: Magnus Sjöblom (SWE)
Referee Observer: Christos Skapoullis (CYP)

Athletic Club – Torino
Referee: Liran Liany (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: David Bitton (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oren Bornshtein (ISR)
Additional AR1: Alon Yefet (ISR)
Additional AR2: Orel Grinfeeld (ISR)
Fourth Official: Danny Krasikow (ISR)
Referee Observer: Michel Piraux (BEL)

Club Brugge – Aalborg
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Damianos Efthymiadis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Additional AR1: Michael Koukoulakis (GRE)
Additional AR2: Stavros Tritsonis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Christos Akrivos (GRE)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

Olympiacos – Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Patrick Langkamp (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Mario Diks (NED)
Additional AR1: Kevin Blom (NED)
Additional AR2: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Fourth Official: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

SSC Napoli – Trabzonspor
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Additional AR1: Domagoj Vučkov (CRO)
Additional AR2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Dalibor Conjar (CRO)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Feyenoord – AS Roma
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Additional AR1: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Additional AR2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Referee Observer: Zdravko Jokić (SRB)

CONCACAF Champions League – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

24 February 2015
CD Olimpia – CS Herediano
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Sean Hurd (USA)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar (USA)

CF Pachuca – Montreal Impact
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN)

Assistant Referee 2: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Fourth Official: Jafeth Perea (PAN)

25 February 2015
Deportivo Saprissa – Club America
Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)

Assistant Referee 1: Eric Boria (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Joe Fletcher (CAN)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)

26 February 2015
LD Alajuelense – DC United
Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX)

Assistant Referee 1: Marcos Quintero (MEX) 
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Camargo (MEX) 
Fourth Official: Francisco Chacon (MEX)

FIFA: Video replays for big decisions

Jim Boyce, FIFA Referees Committee chairman and Britain's FIFA vice-president, says he has changed his mind over video technology in football, which he now backs for penalty area incidents. The issue of video replays is on the agenda for the annual meeting of the International FA Board (IFAB) in Belfast on Saturday, and given fresh impetus by another weekend of Premier League controversy. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho pointed to four incidents in his side's 1-1 draw with Burnley, including two penalty claims that were rejected by referee Martin Atkinson and two challenges on his players by the Clarets' Ashley Barnes that were not penalised. Former referees' chief Keith Hackett told TalkSport that Atkinson's performance was arguably the worst refereeing performance in Premier League history.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has suggested managers should be allowed two appeals for incidents to be reviewed via video replays, while trials have been taking place in Holland where the referee is updated via a headset from an official watching the match on TV. Boyce (photo), head of FIFA Referees Committee, does not support Blatter's idea but has come around to limited use of replays and will make his views known at the meeting of the law-making body IFAB. He told Press Association Sport: “I was always in favour of goal-line technology but not other forms of technology but I have started to change my mind. I believe that if there are major decisions on incidents in the 18-yard box and technology is available then I think the time has come that it should be used. The fourth official or another official could be in a room with a TV screen and be in contact with the referee if he is unsure or has missed something. So many high-profile mistakes appear to be being made so maybe we do have to look at this now - but only for the penalty box - I don't think you can do it for every incident in the middle of the pitch”.

Source: TalkSport

UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 (First Leg, II)

24 February 2015
Manchester City FC Barcelona
Referee: Felix Brych (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Additional AR 2: Marco Fritz (GER)
Fourth Official: Mike Pickel (GER)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Juventus Turin Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)

Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Jørn West Larsen (DEN)

25 February 2015
Bayer Leverkusen – Atletico Madrid
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Roman Slyško (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Wilczek (CZE)
Additional AR 1: Radek Prihoda (CZE)
Additional AR 2: Michal Patak (CZE)
Fourth Official: Tomas Mokrusch (CZE)

Referee Observer: Pierluigi Collina (ITA)

Arsenal London – AS Monaco
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Häcker (GER)
Additional AR 1: Tobias Welz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Christian Dingert (GER)
Fourth Official: Christoph Bornhorst (GER)
Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 2)

24 February 2015
Racing – Guarani
Referee: Andrés Cunha (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Fourth Official: Dario Herrera (ARG)
Referee Observer: Abel Gnecco (ARG)

Huarcan – Mineros Guyana
Referee: Adrián Vélez (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Díaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Rivas (COL)
Fourth Official: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Referee Observer: Luis Pasturenzi (ARG)

Sporting Cristal – Deportivo Táchira
Referee: Imer Machado (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Berrio (COL)
Fourth Official: Luis Seminario (PER)
Referee Observer: César Mongrut (PER)

Emelec – The Strongest
Referee: José Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Sánchez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Fourth Official: Vinicio Espinel (ECU)
Referee Observer: Rogger Zambrano (ECU)

25 February 2015
Estudiantes La Plata – Barcelona SC
Referee: Heber Lopes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Fourth Official: Diego Ceballos (ARG)
Referee Observer: Juan Crespi (ARG)

Atletico Mineiro – Atlas
Referee: Dario Ubriaco (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolás Tarán (URU)
Fourth Official: Pericles Cortés (BRA)
Referee Observer: Juliano Labato (BRA)

Sao Paulo – Danubio
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Mondria (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Ríos (CHI)
Fourth Official: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Referee Observer: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

Universitario de Sucre – Cruzeiro
Referee: Omar Ponce (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Herrera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Vera (ECU)
Fourth Official: José Jordan (BOL)
Referee Observer: Óscar Ortubé (BOL)

26 February 2015
Boca Juniors – Montevideo Wanderers
Referee: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Pablo Díaz (ARG)
Referee Observer: Abel Gnecco (ARG)

Internacional – Universidad de Chile
Referee: Víctor Carrillo (PER)

Assistant Referee 1: César Escano (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Yupanqui (PER)
Fourth Official: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
Referee Observer: José Mocellini (BRA)

Santa Fe – Colo Colo
Referee: Germán Delfino (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernán Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Fourth Official: José Buitrago (COL)
Referee Observer: Pablo Montoya (COL)

Zamora – Palestino
Referee: Julio Quintana (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Cáceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Cañete (PAR)
Fourth Official: Mayker Gómez (VEN)
Referee Observer: Bernardo Corujo (VEN)

Referee Pitana married model Romina Ortega on a catamaran

World Cup referee Nestor Pitana married his girlfriend, Romina Ortega, and the celebration party was held on the Connection Mbucuruyá catamaran sailing the waters of the Paraná River. Pitana, who was the Argentine representative in the World 2014, wore a black tuxedo and white shirt with black buttons. Meanwhile, she used a dress that enhanced her striking figure.
He had already shown his romantic side prior to the match Racing - Rosario Central, played last week in the first division. "Honey, I send you a big kiss and Sunday you'll be my wife. I love you and be happy!” Pitana told the cameras of Football Permitted, a program of the public TV. Pitana have started this relationship in last year, after separating from his wife, Maria Soledad Acosta.
Pitana, 39, has an interesting past before turning to refereeing: played football, tried basketball and even participated in the film La Furia, in 1997. As a referee, the highest point of his career was the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where he participated in four games, the quarter-final France - Germany being the highlight.

Source: La Nation

UEFA women referees raising the bar

The participation of women referees at the UEFA winter courses reflects the attention given by UEFA to women referees, as well as the development of women's football. The inclusion of women referees in the UEFA winter referee courses is showing its worth – the move is now proving to be a resounding success. The latest courses in Athens were attended by UEFA's elite women's referees, as well as newcomers to the international list. This was the third time that female match officials have joined their male counterparts at the UEFA sessions, in a move that has reflected not only the attention that UEFA wishes to give women referees' development, but also emphasises the flourishing of European women's football in recent years. Specific parts of the women's course agenda were led by two UEFA Referees Committee members – Dagmar Damková, a former leading women's international referee from the Czech Republic, and Bo Karlsson, the Swedish former referee who took charge of the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup final between Manchester United FC and FC Barcelona.
The newcomers and elite referees undertook fitness tests and attended education and instructional sessions aimed at helping them further develop not only their decision-making consistency, but to measure their fitness as the women's game becomes ever quicker in pace and skill. For the elite referees, crucial assignments are upcoming in the closing stages of the UEFA Women's Champions League, and some are candidates to travel to Canada in the summer to officiate at matches in the FIFA Women's World Cup. The women referees worked together with the male referees in a number of technical sessions, including those on topics such as offside and severity of offences, while other technical sessions, led by Damková and Karlsson, focused on the women's competitions. "The courses are really beneficial for our referees," says Damková, who took charge of the women's football final at the 2008 Olympic Games, the final of UEFA Women's EURO 2009 and the 2011 UEFA Women's Champions League final, as well as officiating at two FIFA Women's World Cups. "It's proving very important for the younger referees to come together with their elite women colleagues and to exchange advice and experiences with the male referees." The fitness tests in particular prove to be vital for UEFA and the women referees in being able to assess their physical condition. "The girls know they have to be at the top level in terms of fitness, and the tests are demanding," Damková explains. "Women's football is increasing in pace, and you must be prepared." Group work in the technical sessions also included studying video clips relating to issues such as handball, playing advantage and managing players on the pitch. Damková and Karlsson are wise mentors to the referees, and continually emphasise the need for dedication if they want to reach the highest levels. "Nowadays to be a top referee – male, female, it doesn't matter," says Damková, "You must really dedicate your life to refereeing – otherwise you can't succeed." The women referees were advised at the winter course about the responsibilities involved in representing both their country and UEFA while they are on international duty, and were also given strict advice about how they should act vis-a-vis social media. Like all of the UEFA Referees Committee members, Damková is delighted to have the opportunity to pass on her vast experience as a former elite match official. "I feel really happy to have this chance to continue in refereeing, and put something back to help today's referees," she reflects. "I can understand how it is for people to reach a certain level and have to stop. I'm more than satisfied with what I'm doing".

Source: UEFA

CAF U-17 Championship 2015

Niger, 15 February - 1 March 2015

1. Helder Martins (ANG, photo)
2. Denis Batte (UGA)
3. Kokou Fagla (TOG)
4. Daouda Kebe (SEN)
5. Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG)
6. Ferdinand Udoh (NGA)
7. Gomno Daouda (NIG)

8. Noureddine El Jaafari (MAR)
9. Joaquin Esono (EQG)
10. Lazard Kamba (CGO)
11. Mohamed Adelaid (COM)
12. Jean-Jacques Ndala (COD)
13. Antoine Effa (CMR)

Assistant Referees
1. Majed Rhouma (TUN)
2. Hamza Abdi (SOM)
3. Ababacar Sene (SEN)
4. Abdourahamane Diarra (NIG)
5. Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
6. Souru Phatsoane (LES)
7. Gilbert Cheruiyot (KEN)
8. Abdoulaye Sylla (GUI)
9. Temesgin Atango (ETH)
10. Marius Tan (CIV)
11. Amaldine Souleimane (COM)
12. Babadjide Dina (BEN)
13. Mohammed Ibrahim (SDN)
14. Ahmed Taha (EGY)
15. Tapfumanei Mutengwa (ZIM)

UEFA Youth League – Round of 16

27 January 2015
Atletico Madrid – Arsenal
Referee: Hugo Miguel (POR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Luís Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nelson Cordeiro (POR)
Fourth Official: José Lesma López (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bernardino González Vázquez (ESP)

17 February 2015
Real Madrid – Porto
Referee: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Raffael Zeder (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephane De Almeida (SUI)
Fourth Official: José Lesma L
ópez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

22 February 2015
Shakhtar Donetsk – Olympiakos
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Mykola Kryvonosov (UKR)
Referee Observer: Vasyl Melnychuk (UKR)

Anderlecht – Barcelona
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Heine Sørensen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Lawrence Visser (BEL)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

24 February 2015
Benfica – Liverpool
Referee: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephan Luzi (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Julien Pacelli (FRA)
Fourth Official: André Narciso (POR)
Referee Observer: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR)

Manchester City – Schalke
Referee: Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jon-Michael Knutsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oystein Ytterland (NOR)
Fourth Official: Chris Kavanagh (ENG)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Ajax – Roma
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Fourth Official: Dennis Higler (NED)
Referee Observer: Johannes Reijgwart (NED)

25 February 2015
Chelsea – Zenit
Referee: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Macmillan (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Fourth Official: Kevin Johnson (ENG)
Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (First Leg)

19 February 2015

AS Roma – Feyenoord
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Additional AR1: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Additional AR2: Sebastian Coltescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Referee Observer: László Vagner (HUN)

Young Boys – Everton
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alvaro Mesquita (POR)
Additional AR1: Carlos Xistra (POR)
Additional AR2: Marco Ferreira (POR)
Fourth Official: Rui Tavares (POR)
Referee Observer: Zbigniew Przesmycki (POL)

Torino FC – Athletic Bilbao
Referee: Michael Koukoulakis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Karsiotis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Chrysoula Kourompylia (GRE)
Additional AR1: Andreas Pappas (GRE)
Additional AR2: Athanassios Giachos (GRE)
Fourth Official: Christos Baltas (GRE)
Referee Observer: Marian Ruzbarsky (SVK)

VfL Wolfsburg – Sporting Lisbon
Referee: Alon Yefet (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nissan Davidy (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Amihay Mozes (ISR)
Additional AR1: Liran Liany (ISR)
Additional AR2: Eli Hacmon (ISR)
Fourth Official: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk – Olympiacos
Referee: Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Winsauer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Additional AR1: Dominik Ouschan (AUT)
Additional AR2: Rene Eisner (AUT)
Fourth Official: Richard Hübler (AUT)
Referee Observer: Jan Carlsen (DEN)

Trabzonspor – SSC Napoli
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikolay Golubev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Aleksei Eskov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Sergei Ivanov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

PSV Eindhoven – FC Zenit
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Additional AR1: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Additional AR2: Davide Massa (ITA)
Fourth Official: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Jean Lemmer (LUX)

Aalborg – Club Brugge
Referee: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dag-Roger Nebben (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Erik Engan (NOR)
Additional AR1: Dag Vidar Hafsås (NOR)
Additional AR2: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Magnus Lundberg (NOR)
Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)

RSC Anderlecht – Dynamo Moscow
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Additional AR1: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Additional AR2: Robert Hartmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Tobias Christ (GER)
Referee Observer: Donald McVicar (SCO)

Liverpool – Beşiktaş
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Additional AR1: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
Additional AR2: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Fourth Official: Radoslaw Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Roberto Rosetti (ITA)

Tottenham Hotspur – ACF Fiorentina
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional AR1: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Additional AR2: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Fourth Official: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Zoran Petrović (SRB)

Celtic FC – Inter Milano
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: István Albert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Berretyán (HUN)
Additional AR1: Tamás Bognar (HUN)
Additional AR2: Sandor Andó-Szabó (HUN)
Fourth Official: László Viszokai (HUN)
Referee Observer: Wilfried Heitmann (GER)

Guingamp – Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Additional AR1: Mitja Žganec (SVN)
Additional AR2: Bojan Mertik (SVN)
Fourth Official: Bojan Ul (SVN)
Referee Observer: Neale Barry (ENG)

Villarreal CF – FC Salzburg
Referee: Robert Madden (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alastair Mather (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Ross (SCO)
Additional AR1: John Beaton (SCO)
Additional AR2: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Fourth Official: Graham Chambers (SCO)
Referee Observer: Stefano Farina (ITA)

FC Ajax – Legia Warszawa
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Additional AR1: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Additional AR2: Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)
Referee Observer: Stefan Ormandjiev (BUL)

Sevilla FC – Borussia Mönchengladbach
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Kirovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD)
Additional AR1: Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD)
Additional AR2: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Goce Petreski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Dani Koren (ISR)

UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 (First Leg, I)

17 February 2015
Paris St-Germain – Chelsea
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir (TUR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Bariş Şimşek (TUR)
Fourth Official: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

Shakhtar Donetsk – Bayern München
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Díaz Perez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: Pau Cebrián Devis (ESP)
Referee Observer: Paul Allaerts (BEL)

18 February 2015
FC Schalke – Real Madrid
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Child (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Fourth Official: Darren England (ENG)
Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

FC Basel – FC Porto
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Kevin Friend (ENG)
Fourth Official: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 1)

17 February 2015
Universidad de Chile – Emelec
Referee: Silvio Trucco (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Navarro (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jorge Osorio (CHI)
Referee Observer: Patricio Basualto (CHI)

Wanderers – Zamora
Referee: Raúl Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Arol Valda (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Humberto Paz (BOL)
Fourth Official: Andrés Cunha (URU)
Referee Observer: Carlos Velazquez (URU)

The Strongest – Internacional
Referee: Adrián Vélez (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Rivas (COL)

Fourth Official: Luis Yrusta (BOL)
Referee Observer: Rene Ortubé (BOL)

Deportivo Táchira – Racing
Referee: Julio Bascuñán (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Barraza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Fourth Official: José Hoyo (VEN)
Referee Observer: Alirio Mendez (VEN)

Atlas – Santa Fe
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Víctor Raez (PER)
Fourth Official: Luis Santander (MEX)
Referee Observer: Gilberto Alcalá (MEX)

18 February 2015
Guaraní – Sporting Cristal
Referee: Pericles Cortez (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabio Pereira (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz De Vivar (PAR)
Referee Observer: Manuel Bernal (PAR)

Palestino – Boca Juniors
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian De la Cruz (COL)
Fourth Official: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Referee Observer: Pablo Pozo (CHI)

Colo Colo – Atlético Mineiro
Referee: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Fourth Official: Cluadio Puga (CHI)
Referee Observer: Guido Aros (CHI)

Corinthians – Sao Paulo
Referee: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cleriston Barreto (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guilherme Dias (BRA)
Fourth Official: Luiz De Oliviera (BRA)
Referee Observer: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

Tigres – Juan Aurich
Referee: Fernando Falce (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Jorge Perez (MEX)
Referee Observer: Jorge Gasso (MEX)

19 February 2015
Libertad – Atlético Nacional
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Fourth Official: Julio Quintana (PAR)
Referee Observer: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Danubio – San Lorenzo
Referee: Enrique Cáceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Darío Gaona (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Fourth Official: Dario Ubriaco (URU)
Referee Observer: Juan Cardellino (URU)

San José – River Plate
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolás Tarán (URU)
Fourth Official: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Referee Observer: Jorge Cuevas (BOL)

Collina wants changes to the Laws of the Game

UEFA refereeing chief Pierluigi Collina says changes must be made to key rules of football, including offside, in order to make life easier for referees and reduce the amount of post-match discussion over officials' decisions. In an interview on his 55th birtyhday, Collina outlined some of the ideas he has to improve the game, which also include players being sent to a sin bin for diving.
Offside is one of the most contentious rules of the game, and Collina believes more could be done to alleviate a referee's responsibility in such cases. "You cannot expect an assistant referee to evaluate a matter of centimetres," the former referee said. "It's not something that a human being can do. At the same time, it would be paradoxical to accept the mistake just because it's impossible to evaluate. I think that somebody has got to deal with this as soon as possible and find a different balance to the rule, even the ways in which it is viewed whether people are interfering with play."
Handball, especially inside the penalty area, is also subject to endless discussion due to the difficulty of determining whether it was a deliberate action. According to Collina, human instinct generally succeeds over instant replays in such instances. "This becomes complicated because an attempt has been made to classify it with a series of factors that go way beyond the literal meaning of the term [intentional]," Collina said. "The biggest difference between what a referee sees and what is shown on TV is that, when you slow the image down, you change the perception. Almost every single handball seems voluntary [when you show a slow-motion replay]. The reality, however, is different."
Collina also hopes to see the "triple punishment" of a penalty, red card and suspension addressed when the International Football Association Board (IFAB) meets this month. "The IFAB is going to rule on an objection raised by many at the end of February," the Italian said, referring to a topic that has recently been revived in Germany due to the Bundesliga's unusual rules on the matter. "I would say that almost everybody in football deems a penalty plus a red card and suspension an excessive punishment. We need to remind ourselves why this rule was made. The objective was to punish people who, voluntarily - maybe because it was impossible to play the ball - committed a foul to prevent their opponent from having the chance to score. We've now gone beyond that and we are punishing the honest player who is trying to get the ball, but arrives a split-second too late, like with goalkeepers. Our hope is that the IFAB authorizes an experimentation, maybe in the Champions League, of referees being permitted to show a red card only when a player does not go for the ball inside the penalty area." That, Collina says, could lead to more fouls being committed in the area with more players willing to take the risk, and as a knock-on effect, it could lead to more attackers trying to win penalties by diving. To discourage that, Collina favours the idea of a third card being introduced to send players off for a certain amount of time if they are perceived to be simulating. "It could be interesting," Collina said. "It would have to be tested in a big league, but I find it important that football tries to produce an image of correctness and fair play -- diving and protesting are not good examples for children who watch the matches. We need to stigmatize certain behaviour and not incentivize it".

Source: La Gazzetta Delo Sport

CONMEBOL U-17 Championship 2015

Paraguay, 4 -29 March 2015

Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivan Nunez (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ariel Scime (ARG)

Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Javier Bustillos (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Montano (BOL)

Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cleriston Barreto (BRA)

Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Orellana (CHI)

Referee: Luis Sanchez (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian De la Cruz (COL)

Referee: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Macías (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwin Bravo (ECU)

Referee: Mario Diaz De Vivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)

Referee: Miguel Santivanez (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Víctor Raez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Coty Carrera (PER)

Referee: Jonathan Fuentes (URU)

Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Changala (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Richard Trinidad (URU)

Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebis Gomez (VEN)

Referee Observers
1. Carlos Alarcon (PAR)
2. Abel Gnecco (ARG)
3. Jorge Larrionda (URU)
4. Oscar Ruiz (COL)
5. Wilson Seneme (BRA)

Algarve Cup 2015

28 February - 11 March 2015

Referee: Abirami Naidu (SIN, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Ho (AUS, 1978)
Assistant Referee 2: Widiya Shamsuri (MAS, 1977)

Referee: Liang Qin (CHN, 1979, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Yongmei Cui (CHN, 1979)
Assistant Referee 2: Jianping Liang (CHN, 1977)

Referee: Hyang Ok Ri (PRK, 1977)

Assistant Referee 1: Kyoung Min Kim (KOR, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Kum Nyo Hong (PRK, 1973)

Referee: Gladys Lengwe (ZAM, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Trhas Gebreyohanis (ETH, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Bernadettar Kwimbira (MWI, 1981)

Referee: Cardella Samuels (JAM, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Stacy-Ann Greyson (JAM, 1986)
Assistant Referee 2: Princess Brown (JAM, 1986)

Referee: Lucila Venegas (MEX, 1981)
Assistant Referee 1: Enedina Caudillo (MEX, 1984)
Assistant Referee 2: Lixy Enriquez (MEX, 1973)

Referee: Maria Carvajal (CHI, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Janette Arcanjo (BRA, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Loreto Toloza (CHI, 1984)

Referee: Claudia Umpierrez (URU, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Mariana Corbo (URU, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Luciana Mascarana (URU, 1984)

Referee: Jana Adamkova (CZE, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Sian Massey (ENG, 1985)
Assistant Referee 2: Lucie Ratajova (CZE, 1979)

Referee: Cristina Dorcioman (ROU, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU, 1979)
Assistant Referee 2: Sanja Rodak-Karsic (CRO, 1983)

Referee: Stephanie Frappart (FRA, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Yolanda Parga Rodriguez (ESP, 1978)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuela Nicolosi (FRA, 1980)

Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Belinda Brem (SUI, 1987)
Assistant Referee 2: Sussane Kung (SUI, 1988)

Referee: Carina Vitulano (ITA, 1975)

Assistant Referee 1: Ella De Vries (BEL, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Chrysoula Kourompylia (GRE, 1977)

Recopa Sudamericana 2015 (Second Leg)

11 February 2015

San Lorenzo – River Plate
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Referee Observer: Abel Gnecco (ARG)

Garcia-Aranda not paid in Russia

Russian Football Union’s (RFU) record of wage arrears to foreign specialists swelled on Wednesday as Spanish specialist in refereeing Jose Maria Garcia-Aranda said the union owed him as well but did not disclose the exact sum. According to Russian media reports earlier on the day, the RFU’s wage arrears to Garcia-Aranda, who acted as an adviser to the union’s president on refereeing matters for over three years, stood at 200,000 euro.
In a telephone conversation with TASS, Garcia-Aranda said there was a debt, which RFU had to repay him for his services of an adviser, but did not name the sum citing confidentiality. According to the specialist, his contract with the RFU expired on August 1 and since then he had been waiting for the money to be paid for his services. In spring of 2011 Garcia-Aranda took the post of an adviser to the RFU president, who was Sergey Fursenko at that time. He was invited to the post to help the RFU increase qualification of Russian refrees and help the country in preparations for the 2018 World Cup. His contract with the RFU expired last August. The Spanish adviser said current RFU President Nikolai Tolstykh promised him to repay the debt as soon as possible. Garcia-Aranda said he was aware of the difficult financial situation in the union, but he also knew that the RFU was one of the most respected and serious national federation in Europe and therefore he believed Tolstykh. However, he said that he cannot wait forever as he was a professional employee and had to support his family. Garcia-Aranda added that he would hold a meeting with Tolstykh in the nearest future and they would discuss the deadline for his wage arrears repayment.
The RFU experiences financial difficulties and as of December its budget deficit totaled 500 million rubles ($8.4 million). Following the session of the RFU’s Executive Committee last month, RFU President Tolstykh said that a special anti-crisis commission was intended to be set up to tackle the financial difficulties of the organization. Italian head coach of the Russian national football team Fabio Capello and Oreste Cinquini, the team’s general manager, have been unpaid by the RFU for their work for over seven months. According to recent media reports, RFU’s debt to Italian managers totaled some 600 million rubles ($9.2 million). According to results of the previous inspection of the RFU carried out in November by the Federal Agency for Labor and Employment (Rostrud) the debt stood at 181.5 million rubles, which ought to be repaid within a month, i.e. by December 19. As the December 19 deadline passed Rostrud announced that it decided to grant an appeal from the country’s governing football body and extended the date for RFU’s required wage arrears payment for another month, i.e. until January 19, 2015. Rostrud, however, imposed financial fines of 40,000 and 4,000 rubles on the RFU and its President Nikolai Tolstykh respectively for the failure to pay salaries on time. The Italian manager was not paid again as the deadline expired last week and Rostrud ordered another sudden inspection of the RFU. In case Capello is not paid, the RFU faces a financial penalty and Tolstykh may be suspended from his post for the period between six months and two years.

Source: TASS

Copa Libertadores – Play-off (Second Leg)

10 February 2015
The Strongest – Morelia
Referee: Omar Ponce (ECU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Luis Yrusta (BOL)
Referee Observer: Marcelo Ortube (BOL)

Huracán Alianza – Lima
Referee: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Javier Bustillos (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Montano (BOL)

Fourth Official: Pablo Diaz (ARG)
Referee Observer: Juan Crespi (ARG)

11 February 2015
Cerro Porteño – Deportivo Táchira
Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz De Vivar (PAR)
Referee Observer: Carlos Alarcon (PAR)

Once Caldas – Corinthians
Referee: Dario Ubriaco (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Fourth Official: Imer Machado (COL)
Referee Observer: Ramon Giron (COL)

12 February 2015
Nacional – Palestino
Referee: Heber Lopes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Jonathan Fuentes (URU)
Referee Observer: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

Estudiantes – Independiente del Valle
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Mondria (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Referee Observer: Luis Pasturenzi (ARG)

Referee Williams hits back at critics

Australian referee Benjamin Williams has retaliated to media commentary of his controversial officiating at the Asian Cup, calling it "ill-informed" and questioning the relevance of some former players in the broadcasting box. The Asian Football Confederation referee of the year in 2013 and the first Australian to officiate in the second round of a World Cup, in Brazil last year, Williams hit back at knockers who have accused him of being trigger-happy with yellow and red cards. Former Socceroos and now commentators John Aloisi, Mark Bosnich and Robbie Slater criticised Williams' handling of the Asian Cup quarter-final between Iran and Iraq at Canberra Stadium, where the whistle-blower issued nine yellow cards and a controversial red-card to Iran's Mehrdad Pooladi. Iran coach Carlos Queiroz, fined for criticising Williams in the earlier rounds of the Asian Cup, then asked how the referee could sleep at night after Iran's 7-6 loss on penalties. The criticism came after Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold labelled Williams' "an embarrassment" when he issued a controversial card to Sydney FC defender Nikola Petkovic in the closing stages of an FFA Cup in October last year. The A-League match review panel upheld the decision, but stood Williams down for a game.
Williams hit back in an interview on ABC Radio on Saturday, backing his own ability and taking aim at those making comment from afar. "I don't listen to any of the media after any contentious games, I don't flick on the TV, I don't read the papers, I don't get on the internet to see what people have said about me because most of it is negative and most of it's ill-informed," Williams said. "Some of the people who talk in the media have got no idea about refereeing, a lot of them are ex-players who haven't played for 15 to 20 years and have played in different leagues around the world but don't have an impact of international football as it currently stands. I'm probably the most qualified to sit back and analyse my own performance, so I do. "People are entitled to their opinion, football is a game of opinion, some people believe their opinion is greater than others. If you believed everything that was written about you you'd lose your mind. All you can do at the moment is give the decision you believe is best with the information you have at hand. Whatever happens after that, whether it's coaches getting angry or players getting angry or media beat-up, that's out of our control." Williams said referees, like players, made mistakes. But he felt a referee's mistake was "seen as taboo". "There's no such thing as a perfect referee because we're all human as well and we are going to make mistakes, the same as a player. There's no player who will go through any match and never make a mistake, never turn a ball over or hit one over the cross bar or miss a tackle. We're all human just like the players."
FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson is part of a push for soccer to have full-time professional officials. "He's been pushing for it as well and it is a matter of time, we hope it happens sooner rather than later," Williams said. "It's not a money hungry selfish grab, trying to earn a contract for football for us. It's about we want to prepare the best we can so that when we go out on the weekends we know we haven't left anything to chance".

Source: The Sidney Morning Herald

UEFA: Referee education paramount

Technical and instructional sessions, and tests, at UEFA referee courses are aimed at giving match officials the best possible education for their development. The referees have been given invaluable advice in technical and instructional sessions and tests, all designed to help the match officials continue to achieve the standards that have made European referees respected across the world.
"We need to ensure the UEFA referees are given the best possible education for their development," said UEFA referee officer Hugh Dallas who, together with fellow Referees Committee member Vladimir Sajn, has been conducting sessions at the 23rd UEFA Advanced Course for Top Referees and 24th UEFA Introductory Course for International Referees. A significant test that referees undertake at UEFA courses is a test of the Laws of the Game. "We think that this test is particularly important for the new referees at the introductory course because it's the first time that we have met them, and they're the custodians of the Laws of the Game on the field, so they have to know what they're doing," said Dallas. "We also encourage the national associations to test the referees on the laws, because some unusual things can certainly happen. "The most important law is not written down – the so-called 'Law 18' – and this is about common sense. A referee may have a great knowledge and understanding of the laws, but to apply them in a correct manner is a required skill." Assiduous work is undertaken to produce the video clips that are shown to the referees to analyse match incidents and decisions, and explain potential trends that officials need to be aware of. The referees themselves are also encouraged to give feedback in the sessions as part of the overall drive for progress. The selected incidents come from the top competitions, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA European Championship. "We have a network of spotters all around Europe watching the matches for us and their role is to highlight the interesting incidents," Dallas explained. "The observer reports are also studied to find other incidents. "We then select the most interesting ones which are used during the technical sessions. After our seminars, the material is distributed to the national associations for them to use in all levels of referee education with the main aim to achieve a consistent approach to the laws in domestic competitions as well." Consistent decision-making is a major aim for the UEFA Referees Committee, and video tests help to achieve this aim. "As an example, we expect a referee from Portugal to have the same opinion when judging serious foul play as a referee from Poland," said Dallas. "It's only fair to the competing clubs and national teams that the application of the laws is consistent, no matter which part of Europe the referee comes from. "We monitor the trends in our top competitions and we alert the referees to them. For example, we have now seen a trend appearing for arms to be used illegally to fend off an opponent. We need to make referees aware of this so that they can position themselves appropriately and identify that kind of offence." Other topics covered in the technical/education sessions in Athens have included offside, handball, playing the advantage and free-kick management.
Dallas, Sajn and colleagues take great care with the newcomers to the FIFA list who attend the winter introductory course as their UEFA refereeing baptism. They are given instructions about the work of the observers who assess them in UEFA competitions, and it is explained to them about the importance of following UEFA guidelines. "Management skills are very important for young referees," Dallas added. "We encourage them how to communicate with the players, how to manage mass confrontation, how to deal with players without automatically reaching for a card. If you feel you can have a quiet word with a player, all the better, because people want to see players on the field of play and not sitting in the grandstand." The young referees are also tested for their knowledge of English, UEFA's refereeing language, during informal discussions with Referees Committee members. "If a serious incident occurs during a match, it is of the utmost importance that a referee can clearly communicate with the match delegate, venue director, and possibly even later with UEFA's control and disciplinary body, so it's important they can communicate in good English." Dallas and his colleagues derive great satisfaction from their roles in educating referees, and putting their immense experience and knowledge at the service of today's match officials. "I can remember when I sat in the room as a young referee and we were taught by former referees who you admired; people who taught you not only to be a top referee, but also a top instructor," he recalled. "You learned from them and made use of what you learned in instructing others later on. "It does give you great satisfaction to see referees who you have accompanied at youth tournaments that go on to take charge of UEFA Champions League 
matches and later appear at major tournaments. You feel you've had some input into their success".

Source: UEFA

CAF Africa Cup of Nations Final 2015: Gassama (GAM)

8 February 2015 

Côte d'Ivoire – Ghana
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Fourth Official: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)

Match for Third Place
Equatorial Guinea – DR Congo
Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Edibi (NGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Fourth Official: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)

Benquerenca failed written tests in Portugal

Former World Cup referee Olegario Benquerenca failed the written tests organized by the Referees Committee of the Portuguese Football Federation, according to Lusa and confirmed by a federal source. Benquerenca refereed a quarter-final at the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa and last year ended his international career due to reaching the age limit. He will be replaced from the first division match between Guimaraes and Belenenses scheduled for Sunday, something regretted by the president of the Portuguese Football Referees Association (PAFF). "It's a situation that happens, we all have good days and bad moments. Naturally, in his last year and in his last test, this is not what Olegario would want to have. He must now repeat the test and, within 45 days, will go back to doing what he loves, refereeing", said Jose Gomes Fontelas. International referee between 2001-2014, Olegario Benquerenca, 45, refereed four games in this season's Champions League and two qualifying matches for the 2016 European Championship. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he refereed two games in the group stage, Japan-Cameroon and Nigeria-Korea, and the quarter-final Uruguay-Ghana.

Source: Record

Recopa Sudamericana 2015 (First Leg)

6 February 2015 

River Plate – San Lorenzo
Referee: German Delfino (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Cristian Navarro (ARG)
Fourth Official: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Referee Observer: Carlos Coradina (ARG)

Fastest red card in Dutch history rescinded as referee admits blunder

The red card shown to PSV Eindhoven defender Jetro Willems after just 29 seconds into the league match against NAC Breda has been rescinded after the referee admitted he had shown it in error. The international fullback will face no further sanction, the KNVB said in a statement. Willems was dismissed by referee Kevin Blom on Tuesday for a wild challenge on Gill Swerts although the NAC player avoided any contact by jumping out of the way.
It was the quickest red card shown in Dutch league history, beating the one minute and 19 seconds it took before Ivory Coast international Bonaventure Kalou was sent off for Feyenoord at Heerenveen in 2001. After reviewing television images of the incident, the referee decided he had made a mistake and reported it to the KNVB. Subsequently Willems is available for PSV's next game on Saturday at home to Utrecht. NAC failed to take advantage of the numerical superiority and were beaten 2-0 by Dutch league leaders PSV.

Source: Reuters

Referee Seechurn suspended and demoted by CAF

At its extraordinary meeting held at the CAF Headquarters in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, on 2 February 2015, the CAF Referees Committee reviewed the performance of the referee Seechurn Rajindrapasard (Mauritius) during Match No. 26, Tunisia vs. Equatorial Guinea, played on 31 January 2015 in Bata in the final tournament of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. The Referees Committee noted with regret the poor performance of the referee during the match, including an unacceptable failure to maintain calm and ensure proper control of the players during the match. Hence the Referees Committee decided:
- To end the mission of Seechurn Rajindrapasard as a referee for the Africa Cup of Nations 2015.
- To suspend him for a period of six (6) months for poor performance.
- To delist him from the CAF Elite Referees panel.

At its meeting at CAF Headquarters in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, on 3 February 2015, the Disciplinary Board considered all the incidents and reports of the various officials relating to the match no. 26 Tunisia vs. Equatorial Guinea, played on 31 January 2015. The incidents noted in the meeting, included a pitch invasion by fans, the aggressive attitude of some supporters in the stands, invading of the pitch after the final whistle by players and substitutes of the Tunisian team - insulting the referee of the match and trying to physically assault him - the regrettable behavior of the president of the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF), Mr. Wadie Jary, entering the field of play and strongly criticizing the referee and CAF; and vandalism by some Tunisian players which included breaking of a door in the locker room area and a fridge. The disciplinary board also studied two letters sent by the Tunisian Federation dated the 2nd February 2015; the first letter concerning the explanation of the FTF in connection with the above incidents, the second correspondence requesting an investigation. The second letter clearly suggested that CAF and its officials were questionable and biased against Tunisia in general and that CAF, its officials and committees were devoid of sporting ethics, causing in a premeditated manner the elimination of Tunisia from the Orange AFCON 2015. The following decisions were taken against the respective parties, Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea:
Tunisian Football Federation
Based on Articles 82, 83, 125 and 133 of the Disciplinary Code of CAF, the Disciplinary Jury of CAF:
- Asked the Equatorial Guinean party to estimate the cost of repairing the damage caused by the Tunisian party at the stadium in Bata and CAF will provide this amount to the Tunisian Federation to cover it.
- Condemned the conduct of Mr. Wadie Jary, president of the Tunisian Football Federation and member of the Organizing Committee of the AFCON.
- Imposed on the Tunisian Federation a fine of US$ 50,000 (Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) for the insolent, aggressive and unacceptable behavior of the players and officials of the Tunisian team during the aforementioned game.
- Instructed the Tunisian Federation to send to CAF before February 5th, at midnight, a letter of apology for the insinuations of bias and lack of ethics against CAF and its officials, or to present irrefutable evidence to substantiate the accusations of the FTF. Should the Federation not send this letter of apology or required evidence before the stated deadline, the disciplinary panel would suggest to the Executive Committee of CAF additional sanctions, including the possibility not to accept the participation of the national team of Tunisia in the next edition of Cup of Nations, AFCON, 2017.
Equatorial Guinean Football Federation
Considering the pitch invasion by some Equatoguinean fans and the lack of security measures observed, and based on Article 151 para 2 of the CAF Disciplinary Code, the Disciplinary Jury of CAF imposed a financial penalty of US$5,000 (Five Thousand US Dollars) on FEGUIFUT, and asked them to ensure that all security arrangements are taken to ensure the smooth running of the matches of the semifinals and finals of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations in 2015.

Source: CAF

UEFA: Taking referees to the top

At UEFA's winter course in Athens, UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina has advised new European international referees on the qualities needed for a successful career. Courage to take responsibility for decisions... assiduous preparation... confidence in one's ability and the capacity to learn from mistakes... and the strength to cope with difficult moments. Just some of the catalogue of qualities required by today's top men and women referees. Newcomers to the FIFA international list were given a comprehensive insight into what it takes to reach the summit as a match official by someone who has been there – UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina – at the 24th UEFA Introductory Course for International Referees in Athens.
Collina, who took charge of the 2002 FIFA World Cup final, 1999 UEFA Champions League final and 2004 UEFA Cup final as well as countless other big matches in a distinguished refereeing career, offered the benefit of his vast experience to the 53 new European men and women match officials in a passionate hour-long presentation. "The referee's job is a difficult one," he stressed. "You have less than half a second to take a decision, often under heavy pressure and the scrutiny of the public and media. Your decisions can affect not only sporting results but may have an economic impact. So a referee has to embrace responsibility. You have to know yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses. You must seek to improve until your very last refereeing assignment – and stay open to changes." Collina emphasised just how important it is for a leading referee to prepare properly, in terms of keeping fit – "today's top referee must be an athlete," he said – and with respect to being aware of the teams they are refereeing. "If you study the teams' tactics, and individual players' characteristics, you can stay one step ahead in being able to make decisions in match situations. It is not simply the will to win that makes the difference – it is the will to prepare. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail." Physical fitness is a key element of a top official's armour in the high-intensity, high-pressure football of today. "Players make mistakes at the end of matches because they are tired," Collina reflected, "and this can also happen to referees. You must be able to remain lucid even in the very closing stages of a match because you don't know what will happen," he added, recalling his own experience as referee of the memorable 1999 UEFA Champions League final, when Manchester United FC's two goals in the dying moments earned them a remarkable success over FC Bayern München in Barcelona. Collina urged the referees to protect the game as well as the players – and to protect themselves. "We do not want to see players' careers endangered because of a risky tackle by an opponent, nor can we accept the mobbing of a referee by players," he underlined. Another essential aspect of a referee's need to prepare was to ensure thorough knowledge of the Laws of the Game. "On the field, the referee is the person who guarantees that a match is being played in accordance with the rules," Collina explained, "and you must know the rules and their updated interpretation to be able to take correct decisions." How should referees react to making an error? "You need to think forward and forget [an error] during the match," was Collina's advice. "The moment is gone. After the match, learn from the mistake, find the reason behind it – try and turn a negative moment into a positive experience, it will make you stronger." The crucial ingredient of teamwork, mutual motivation and support between a referee and his assistants was a vital component in successful performances, with the UEFA newcomers asked to always bear in mind that a referee is not in a position to deal with a match alone. Talent, Collina said, may win games, but teamwork was central to winning championships. "You must be self-confident and trust in yourself," Collina said in concluding his presentation to the new European referees. "Congratulations on coming this far – you have dreams of being a top referee... and UEFA is here to try and help you achieve that dream".

Source: UEFA

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2015 – Semi-finals

4 February 2015
DR Congo – Côte d'Ivoire
Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Fourth Official: Bernard Camille (SEY)

Reserve AR: Marwa Range (KEN)

5 February 2015
Ghana – Equatorial Guinea
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Fourth Official: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
Reserve AR: Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG)
Referee Observer: Njipendi Kuotu (CMR)

Copa Libertadores – Play-off (First Leg)

3 February 2015
Alianza Lima – Huracán
Referee: José Buitrago (COL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Berrio (COL)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivañez (PER)
Referee Observer: Manuel Yupanqui (PER)

Morelia – The Strongest
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos López (VEN)
Fourth Official: Oscar Macías (MEX)
Referee Observer: Carlos González (MEX)

4 February 2015
Corinthians – Once Caldas
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivan Núñez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Referee Observer: Nilson Moncao (BRA)

Deportivo Táchira – Cerro Porteño
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Cesar Escano (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Fourth Official: Adrian Cabello (VEN)
Referee Observer: Bernardo Corujo (VEN)

5 February 2015
Palestino – Nacional
Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Cáceres (PAR)
Fourth Official: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Observer: Guido Aros (CHI)

Independiente del Valle – Argentina 6
Referee: Roberto García (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: José Camargo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Referee Observer: Bommer Fierro (ECU)

Rizzoli injured in Serie A

The referee of the last World Cup final, Nicola Rizzoli, suffered a calf injury in min. 35 of the Serie A match Genoa – Fiorentina. The game was stopped for several minutes, while Rizzoli consulted with the medical team. He was not able to continue and was replaced by the additional assistant referee Marco Di Bello for the remainder of the game. Rizzoli assumed the AAR1 role until the end of the match.
Source: ANSA