CONCACAF Champions League – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

28 February 2017
Pachuca – Saprissa
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Diaz (GUA)
Fourth Official: Mario Escobar (GUA)

1 March 2017
Arabe Unidos – FC Dallas
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: William Torres (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Fourth Official: Jaime Herrera (SLV)

Pumas – Tigres
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcos Quintero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Mario Lopez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Luis Santander (MEX)

Referee Assessor: Rafael Avila (PAN)

2 March 2017
Vancouver Whitecaps – New York Red Bulls
Referee: john Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Fourth Official: Hector Rodriguez (HON)

Copa Sudamericana – Round 1 (Matchday 1)

28 February 2017 
LDU Quito – Defensor Sporting
Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Montaño (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: José Antelo (BOL)
Fourth Official: José Jordan (BOL)
Referee Assessor: José Lara (ECU)

O’Higgins – Fuerza Amarilla
Referee: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Guilherme Dias (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Fourth Official: Dewson Freitas (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Óscar Ruiz (COL)

Boston River – Comerciantes Unidos
Referee: Andrés Rojas (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzmán (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Fourth Official: Juan Pontón (COL)
Referee Assessor: Dario Ubriaco (URU)

Deportivo Cali – Sportivo Luqueño

Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ariel Scime (ARG)
Fourth Official: Germán Delfino (ARG)
Referee Assessor: José Buitrago (COL)

1 March 2017
Deportivo Anzoátegui – Huracán
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Candelario Andarcia (VEN)

Nacional Potosí – Sport Huancayo
Referee: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Flavio Nall (ECU)
Fourth Official: Vinicio Espinel (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Manuel Bernal (PAR)

Palestino – Atlético
Referee: Gustavo Murillo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian De la Cruz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John Leon (COL)
Fourth Official: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)
Referee Assessor: Enrique Osses (CHI)

Racing Club – Rio Negro Águilas
Referee: Óscar Rojas (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolás Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Jonathan Fuentes (URU)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)

2 March 2017
Juan Aurich – Arsenal
Referee: Jesús Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Franchescoly Chacón (VEN)
Fourth Official: José Hoyo (VEN)
Referee Assessor: César Escano (PER)

Cerro Porteño – Caracas
Referee: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Reway (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Atilio Invernizzi (PAR)

Deportes Tolima – Bolívar
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Coty Carrera (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Víctor Raez (PER)
Fourth Official: Henry Gambetta (PER)
Referee Assessor: Wilson Berrio (COL)

Bascunan replaces Osses on the Prospected List for FIFA World Cup 2018

Following Enriques Osses’s retirement, CONMEBOL replaced him with Julio Bascunan (photo), who was, initially, one of the reserve referees. The following 10 referees from CONMEBOL will be attending the FIFA seminar at Coverciano (Italy), from 3 to 7 April 2017:
1. Nestor Pitana (ARG)
2. Gery Vargas (BOL)
3. Sandro Ricci (BRA)
4. Julio Bascunan (CHI)
5. Wilmar Roldan (COL)
6. Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
7. Enrique Caceres (PAR)
8. Diego Haro (PER)
9. Andres Cunha (URU)
10. Jose Argote (VEN)

Updated List of Prospective Referees for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019

After Kari Seitz (USA) became the Senior Manager of the women refereeing, FIFA updated the list of prospective referees for the Women’s World Cup 2019 by removing 23 referees and adding 8 new names. Rita Gani (MAS), Abirami Naidu (SIN), Park Ji Yeong (KOR), Liang Qin (CHN), Aye Thein (MYA), Lilia Abdeljaoued (TUN), Aya Ahoua (CIV), Aissata Amegee (TGO), Marximina Bernardo (ANG), Incaf El Harkaoui (MAR), Neama Mohamed (EGY), Margaret Domka (USA), Mirian Leon (SLV), Michelle Pye (CAN), Cardella Samuels (JAM), Yercinia Correa (VEN), Regildenia Moura (BRA), Viviana Munoz (COL), Tupou Patia (COK), Cristina Dorcioman (ROU), Gyongyi Gaal (HUN), Sara Persson (SWE) were replaced by Jonesia Kabakama (TAN), Salima Mukasanga (RWA), Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN), Ekaterina Koroleva (USA), Edina Alves (BRA), Jana Adamkova (CZE), Sandra Braz (POR), Monika Mularczyk (POL). All pre-selected referees, except Albon (injured), are currently attending a FIFA seminar in Portugal in preparation for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019. “We have two-and-a-half years to get ready for the Women’s World Cup,” said Kari Seitz, senior manager of the FIFA Referees' department. “Like the players, referees have to work to be at our best.” The seminar covered physical fitness tests, theoretical segments and practical sessions with local players, and the intensity and variety of the sessions provided strong examples of the increasing demands of refereeing elite-level football. “It’s crucial to have a deep knowledge of the game,” said Seitz, a former referee appeared in four editions of the Women’s World Cup from 1999 to 2011. “But complementing the mentality is the physicality. We conducted several physical tests and collected data so we can track improvements year over year. The FIFA fitness test measures speed, agility and endurance, and we also tested strength and flexibility. Everything is focused on improvement toward France.” FIFA Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca also attended the seminar and praised the referees for their work. He gave his full support and recognised the role they play in upholding the laws of the game, protecting its integrity and most importantly ensuring safety of the players. “We are definitely on the right track. We really worked hard in this seminar. The refereeing in Canada was very good, but we need to be prepared to meet and exceed the demands of the game in France,” said Seitz. “We are convinced that with this kind of preparation, we will reduce mistakes and see good performances during the FIFA Women’s World Cup and in all other women’s competitions.” Some of the participants at the FIFA Elite Women’s Referees seminar will immediately be able to implement what they have learned during the week, with some selected to officiate games during the Algarve Cup, which will be played from 1 to 8 March. “These seminars give the match officials the opportunity to improve and to learn from others’ experiences at tournaments and bring uniformity across all the continents”, concluded Seitz. (Source: FIFA, FWWC)

AFC (reduced from 10 to 5 referees)
1. Kate Jacewicz (AUS, 1985)
2. Oh Hyeon Jeong (KOR, 1988)
3. Casey Reibelt (AUS, 1988)
4. Ri Hyang Ok (PRK, 1977)
5. Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN, 1986)

CAF (reduced from 10 to 6 referees)
1. Jonesia Kabakama (TAN, 1989)
2. Gladys Lengwe (ZAM, 1978)
3. Salima Mukasanga (RWA, 1988)
4. Therese Neguel (CMR, 1981)
9. Ledya Tafesse (ETH, 1980)
6. Fatou Thioune (SEN, 1985)

CONCACAF (reduced from 9 to 7 referees)
1. Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX, 1975)
2. Marianela Araya (CRC, 1988)
3. Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN, 1982)
4. Melissa Borjas (HON, 1986)
5. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN, 1977)
6. Ekaterina Koroleva (USA, 1987)
7. Lucila Venegas (MEX, 1981)

CONMEBOL (reduced from 8 to 6 referees)
1. Edina Alves (BRA, 1980)
2. Maria Carvajal (CHI, 1983)
3. Laura Fortunato (ARG, 1985)
4. Olga Miranda (PAR, 1982)
5. Silvia Reyes (PER, 1981)
6. Claudia Umpierrez (URU, 1983)

OFC (reduced from 3 to 2 referees)
1. Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL, 1982)
2. Finau Vulivuli (FIJ, 1982)

UEFA (16 referees)
1. Jana Adamkova (CZE, 1978)

2. Teodora Albon (ROU, 1977)
3. Sandra Braz (POR, 1978) 

4. Stephanie Frappart (FRA, 1983)
5 Riem Hussein (GER, 1980)
6. Katalin Kulcsar (HUN, 1984)
7. Pernilla Larsson (SWE, 1976)
8. Efthalia Mitsi (GRE, 1980)
9. Kateryna Monzul (UKR, 1981)
10. Monika Mularczyk (POL, 1980)
11. Morag Pirie (SCO, 1975)
12. Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS, 1981)
13. Esther Staubli (SUI, 1979)
14. Bibiana Steinhaus (GER, 1979)
15. Carina Vitulano (ITA, 1975)
16. Olga Zadinova (CZE, 1985)

Clattenburg to continue in England until end of season

Mark Clattenburg is to remain a Premier League referee for the rest of the season, and will be in charge for West Bromwich Albion’s game against Bournemouth this weekend, before taking up his new position as head of referees in Saudi Arabia.
England’s leading match official announced last week that he was to leave his position on the panel of elite referees to succeed Howard Webb in the role in the Middle East but will serve out his notice period. The 41-year-old, who was recently voted the best referee in the world at Dubai’s Globe Soccer Awards, had announced his intention to help “improve refereeing and the education of officials” with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation. However, he remains under contract with Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) until the end of the current campaign and, having spoken with the referees’ manager, Mike Riley, over recent days, will be available until the summer. Depending on commitments relating to his new role, he is likely to oversee at least four matches between now and the end of the campaign, when he will formally take up his £500,000-a-year tax free role in Riyadh. He is understood to have turned down an even more lucrative offer to work in China.
Clattenburg’s career, while controversial at times, has seen him take charge of such showpiece events as the Champions League final, FA Cup final and the final of Euro 2016 in Paris last summer. Despite appearing at a press conference in Saudi Arabia last week to explain his new role – he is succeeding Webb, who resigned from his position earlier this month to take up a similar job with Major League Soccer – it had never been formally confirmed that the County Durham official would cease to be available for Premier League fixtures. His discussions with Riley, with whom he has endured a fractious relationship at times given his reservations over the internal politics at PGMOL, are understood to have been amicable and, with 13 rounds of games still to be played in the Premier League this term, Clattenburg will feature again over his three-month notice period. Officials are selected on a match-by-match basis, with his availability to be determined in a similar way. “Mark set standards for others to follow,” said a PGMOL statement last week once news of the move to Saudi had been confirmed. “He has been a great asset to the English game and hopefully an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing at the grassroots of the game. We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark”.

Source: The Guardian

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (Second Leg)

22-23 February 2017

AS St. Étienne – Manchester United
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Häcker (GER)
Additional AR 1: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Additional AR 2: Benjamin Brand (GER)
Fourth Official: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Liba (CZE)

Schalke – PAOK
Referee: Luca Banti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Marco Guida (ITA)
Fourth Official: Andrea Crispo (ITA)
Referee Observer: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR)

Fenerbahçe – Krasnodar
Referee: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Michal Obukowicz (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Additional AR 1: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Additional AR 2: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
Fourth Official: Radoslaw Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Juan Fernández Marín (ESP)

Osmanlıspor – Olympiacos 
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: István Albert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Berettyán (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN)
Additional AR 2: Jozsef Erdos (HUN)
Fourth Official: László Viszokai (HUN)
Referee Observer: Victor Mintoff (MLT)

Beşiktaş – Hapoel Beer Sheva

Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Rade Obrenović (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Dejan Balažič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Tomislav Pospeh (SVN)
Referee Observer: Michel Vautrot (FRA)

Zenit – Anderlecht
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Damianos Efthimiadis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Charalambos Kalogeropoulos (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Alexandros Aretopoulos (GRE)
Fourth Official: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)

Ajax – Legia Warszawa
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Craig Pwson (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Jonathan Moss (ENG)
Fourth Official: Constantine Hatzidakis (ENG)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

Apoel Nicosia – Athletic Club
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Valeriy Danchenko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maxim Gavrilin (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Aleksey Eskov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Andrej Vereteshkin (RUS)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

AS Roma – Villarreal CF
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Additional AR 1: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Additional AR 2: Patrick Ittrich (GER)
Fourth Official: Jan Seidel (GER)
Referee Observer: Ichko Lozev (BUL)

Sparta Praha – FC Rostov
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kemal Yilmaz (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Baris Şimşek (TUR)
Fourth Official: Serkan Ok (TUR)
Referee Observer: Peter Jones (ENG)

FC København – Ludogorets
Referee: Miroslav Zelinka (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ondřej Pelikán (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Paták (CZE)
Additional AR 1: Radek Příhoda (CZE)
Additional AR 2: Jan Jílek (CZE)
Fourth Official: Jiří Moláček (CZE)
Referee Observer: John Fleming (SCO)

Fiorentina – Borussia Mönchengladbach
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Tavares (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Santos (POR)
Additional AR 1: Tiago Martins (POR)
Additional AR 2: João Pinheiro (POR)
Fourth Official: Bruno Rodrigues (POR)
Referee Observer: Terje Hauge (NOR)

Shakhtar Donetsk – Celta de Vigo
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Roberto Ponis (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Dragoslav Perič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Olympique Lyonnais – AZ Alkmaar
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dmitry Zhuk (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oleg Masylyanko (BLR)
Additional AR 1: Denis Scherbakov (BLR)
Additional AR 2: Viktor Shimusik (BLR)
Fourth Official: Yuri Khomchenko (BLR)
Referee Observer: Costas Kapitanis (CYP)

KRC Genk – Astra Giurgiu
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Davie Goossens (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Bas van Dongen (NED)
Additional AR 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR 2: Dennis Higler (NED)
Fourth Official: Joost van Zuilen (NED)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

Tottenham Hotspur – KAA Gent
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Álvaro Mesquita (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Xistra (POR)
Additional AR 2: Fábio Veríssimo (POR)
Fourth Official: Nuno Pereira (POR)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

CONCACAF Champions League – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

21-23 February 2017

New York Red Bulls – Vancouver Whitecaps
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Jose Penaloza (MEX)

Saprissa – Pachuca

Referee: Oscar Moncada (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Jesus Tabora (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Oscar Velasquez (HON)
Fourth Official: Raul Castro (HON)

Tigres – Pumas

Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Charles Morgante (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Anderson (USA)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)

FC Dallas – Arabe Unidos
Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Osvaldo Luna (CRC)
Fourth Official: William Anderson (PUR)

UEFA Youth League – Round of 16

21-22 February 2017

AS Monaco 
 Real Madrid
Referee: Christian Dingert (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Tobias Christ (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Arne Aarnink (GER)
Fourth Official: Florent Batta (FRA)
Referee Observer: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)

FC Porto 
 Viitorul Constanta
Referee: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Jordan Stokoe (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Calum Spence (SCO)
Fourth Official: João Borlido Matos (POR)
Referee Observer: Antonio Almeida Costa (POR)

Atlético Madrid 
 Sevilla FC
Referee: Benoit Millot (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Julien Pacelli (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephan Luzi (FRA)
Fourth Official: Valentín Pizarro Gómez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bernardino González Vázquez (ESP)

FC Salzburg 
 Paris St. Germain
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Sladan Josipović (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Gishamer (AUT)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

 Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: José Naranjo Pérez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

PSV Eindhoven 
 SL Benfica 
Referee: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mircea Grigoriu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Jeroen Manschot (NED)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

CSKA Moskva 
Referee: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kerem Ersoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Fourth Official: Alexandra Ponomareva (RUS)
Referee Observer: Alexey Spirin (RUS)

FC Barcelona 
 Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Höfler (AUT)
Fourth Official: David Medié Jiménez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Manuel López Fernández (ESP)

Copa Libertadores – Round 3 (Second Leg)

22 February 2017
Deportivo Capiatá – Atlético Paranaense
Referee: Néstor Pitana (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Fourth Official: Darío Herrera (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Atilio Invernizzi (PAR)

Olimpia – Botafogo
Referee: Julio Bascuñán (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Barraza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Patricio Polic (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Joel Ruiz (PAR)

23 February 2017
Atlético Tucumán – Junior
Referee: Víctor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Yupanqui (PER)
Fourth Official: Luis Garay (PER)
Referee Assessor: Pablo Silva (ARG)

The Strongest – Unión Española
Referee: Enrique Cáceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Cañete (PAR)
Fourth Official: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Víctor Rivera (PER)

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

21 February 2017
Bayer Leverkusen – Atletico Madrid
Referee: William Collum (SCO, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Francis Connor (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: David McGeachie (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Robert Madden (SCO)
Additional AR 2: John Beaton (SCO)
Fourth Official: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Manchester City – AS Monaco
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Referee Observer: Markus Nobs (SUI)

22 February 2017
FC Porto – Juventus Turin
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
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: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Referee Observer: Zdravko Jokić (SRB)

Sevilla FC – Leicester City
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Referee Observer: Horst Brummeier (AUT)

Clattenburg leaves English Premier League for Saudi Arabia

England’s leading referee is swapping the Premier League for Saudi Arabia where he will replace Howard Webb as the head of refereeing. Unlike Webb, though, Clattenburg, who refereed the Euro 2016 final, is also expected to officiate at matches throughout the kingdom. The 41-year-old was announced at a slightly stilted press conference in Jeddah on Thursday when the County Durham-born Clattenburg reaffirmed his love for Newcastle United before pronouncing himself on an “educational” mission to improve and “professionalise” refereeing standards throughout Saudi Arabia. Premier League sources acknowledged he may have taken charge of his final game in England but refused to entirely rule out the possibility of his officiating in this country again – possibly even this season.
Identified as a high flyer right from his early days as an 18-year-old assistant referee in the Northern League, Clattenburg reportedly grew disillusioned by the level of public support officials are offered by Professional Game match officials Ltd. With Clattenburg’s relationship with Mike Riley, the referee’s overlord, apparently tense, he began listening to offers from the Middle East, China and the United States. It now seems Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Hull last Saturday may have been the final domestic act of a Newcastle-based FIFA official whose talent has enabled him to surmount setbacks that might have floored some peers.
In 2008-2009 Clattenburg served an eight-month suspension while PGMOL investigated his business dealings. He was swiftly and emphatically cleared of any wrongdoing. In 2012 Chelsea complained he had used inappropriate language towards Mikel Jon Obi. His career trajectory seemed serenely in the ascendant until a reprimand from Riley in 2014. This involved breaches of protocol when he drove to Tyneside to see an Ed Sheeran concert after refereeing a Crystal Palace v West Bromwich game and speaking to the then Palace manager Neil Warnock on the phone after the game.
Very much a man of his time, Clattenburg resisted the convention that referees should be models of discretion and happily displayed the tattoos of the European Cup and European Championship trophies he acquired after taking charge of both finals last summer. 
PGMOL was unstinting in its praise for Clattenburg during an amicable parting of the ways, with no bridges apparently burned. “Mark set standards for others to follow,” it said in a statement. “Mark has been a great asset to the English game and hopefully an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing at the grassroots of the game. We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark”.
Clattenburg, meanwhile, was introducing himself to a new public. “My name is Mark Clattenburg”, he told Saudi journalists, before outlining plans. “I’m from a city called Newcastle. Anybody who knows England well, knows we have the best team in the country. I was recently voted the best referee in the world [at Dubai’s Globe Soccer Awards in December], therefore I bring a wealth of knowledge and a passion for improving refereeing and education here in Saudi Arabia. “I’m very humbled by this exciting opportunity to support and educate referees, to use my expertise in refereeing some matches and bring referees from other countries around the world to improve the standard here”.

Source: The Guardian

FIFA Seminar for prospective World Cup 2018 referees in Italy

FIFA has recently chosen the Italian Technical Centre of Coverciano as the host for the upcoming seminar for referees in the running for the World Cup 2018. The seminar, scheduled from 3 to 7 April 2017, will include fitness tests, as well as theoretical and practical analysis in preparation for the World Cup that will take place in a little over a year in Russia.

At 27 years after the last international referee seminar hosted by Italy (Tirrenia in 1990), FIFA wanted to use again the organization and the facilities of Coverciano. Under the direction of the new chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, and the Head of the Referee Department, Massimo Busacca, the seminar will also provide training on Video Assistant Referees (VAR), taking into consideration FIFA’s intention to apply the technology at the Russian World Cup in 2018. The seminar will be attended by 53 referees from all confederations: AFC (7), CAF (7), CONCACAF (7), CONMEBOL (10), OFC (2), UEFA (20). Italy will be represented by Daniele Orsato and Gianluca Rocchi (photo).

FIFA Technical Instructors: Taleb Al Raeesi (QAT), Esfandiar Baharmast (USA), Jorge Larrionda (URU), Oscar Ruiz (COL), Lim Kee Chong (MRI), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP), Alfredo Trentalange (ITA).

FIFA Fitness Instructors: Carlo Castagna (ITA), Silvio Aguinaga (PAR), Grzegorz Krzosek (POL), Ganesan Maniam (SIN), Mademba Mbacke (SEN), Erick Joel Samayoa (GUA), Marco Vaccari (ITA).

Source: FIGC

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (First Leg)

16 February 2017

KAA Gent – Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Benoît Bastien (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Haquette (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Jérôme Miguelgorry (FRA)
Fourth Official: Julien Pacelli (FRA)
Referee Observer: Peter Mikkelsen (DEN)

Astra Giurgiu – KRC Genk

Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Magnus Lundberg (NOR)
Additional AR 1: Svein Erik Edvartsen (NOR)
Additional AR 2: Tore Hansen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Jan Erik Engan (NOR)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

FC Krasnodar – Fenerbahçe

Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Balko (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomaš Somoláni (SVK)
Additional AR 1: Peter Kralović (SVK)
Additional AR 2: Mario Vlk (SVK)
Fourth Official: Tomaš Mokoš (SVK)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

AZ Alkmaar – Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Robert Madden (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alastair Mather (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Stevenson (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Fourth Official: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Referee Observer: Elmir Pilav (BIH)

Celta de Vigo – Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Gediminas Mažeika (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vyautas Šimkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Additional AR 1: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)
Additional AR 2: Jurij Paskovskij (LTU)
Fourth Official: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

PFK Ludogorets – FC København
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Additional AR 1: Ante Vučemilović-Šimunović (CRO)
Additional AR 2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

Olympiacos – Osmanlıspor
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Amaury Delerue (FRA)
Fourth Official: Eric Danizan (FRA)
Referee Observer: Uno Tutk (EST)

Borussia Mönchengladbach – Fiorentina
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Ángel Nevado Rodríguez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Additional AR 2: José Sánchez Martínez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Ilkka Koho (FIN)

FC Rostov – Sparta Praha
Referee: Bas Nijhuis (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Rob van de Ven (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Charles Schaap (NED)
Additional AR 1: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Additional AR 2: Dennis Higler (NED)
Fourth Official: Bas van Dongen (NED)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)

Hapoel Beer Sheva – Beşiktaş
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Kevin Friend (ENG)
Fourth Official: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Vitković CRO)

CF Villarreal – AS Roma
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Mario Diks (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Kevin Blom (NED)
Additional AR 2: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Fourth Official: Jan de Vries (NED)
Referee Observer: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

Manchester United – AS Saint Étienne
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Roman Slyško (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivo Nádvorník (CZE)
Additional AR 1: Petr Ardeleánu (CZE)
Additional AR 2: Karel Hrubeš (CZE)
Fourth Official: Tomáš Mokrusch (CZE)
Referee Observer: Michel Piraux (BEL)

PAOK – Schalke
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Fourth Official: Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Referee Observer: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

Legia Warszawa – Ajax
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Fourth Official: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Referee Observer: Kaj Østergaard (DEN)

RSC Anderlecht – FC Zenit
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Jake Collin (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Robert Madley (ENG)
Fourth Official: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

Athletic Club – Apoel Nicosia
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Additional AR 1: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

Copa Libertadores – Round 3 (First Leg)

15 February 2017
Atletico Paranaense – Deportivo Capiata
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Fourth Official: Oscar Rojas (URU)
Referee Assessor: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

Botafogo – Olimpia
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Macías (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Vera (ECU)
Fourth Official: Luis Quiroz (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Nilson Moncao (BRA)

16 February 2017
Junior – Atletico Tucuman
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Luiz De Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Wilson Berrio (COL)

Union Espanola – The Strongest

Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Fourth Official: Andres Rojas (COL)
Referee Assessor: Claudio Puga (CHI)

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

14 February 2017
Paris SG – FC Barcelona
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Additional AR 1: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
Additional AR 2: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Fourth Official: Radoslaw Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)

SL Benfica – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Fourth Official: Mauro Tonolini (ITA) 
Referee Observer: Jean Lemmer (LUX)

15 February 2017
Real Madrid – SSC Napoli
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Matej Jug (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

Bayern München – Arsenal
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Nenad Djokić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
Referee Observer: Roberto Rosettti (ITA)

Brych too expensive for Egypt

The Egyptian Football Federation (EFA) have announced the three candidates to referee the Egyptian Super Cup between Al Ahly and Zamalek in Abu-Dhabi.
The head of the referees committee, Essam Abdel-Fattah, has revealed that German referee Felix Brych (photo) will not officiate the Egyptian Super Cup match due to his high financial demands which was refused by the EFA. “The German referee has asked for flight tickets which cost around 400,000 EGP (21,000 euro) and the EFA has declined his request”, Abdel-Fattah told Youth and Sports radio channel. “We are now choosing between three names, Pavel Královec from Czech Republic, Damir Skomina from Slovenia and Milorad Mažić from Serbia, after receiving the acceptance of their federations. We do not prefer Emirati referees to officiate the game. We understand the strong relations between Egypt and UAE, but it may put pressure on the referees. However, we may refer the game to the Emirati officials if we fail to reach an agreement with these three referees”, he explained the situation. After negotiations with the candidates, the Egyptian referees committee settled on Královec, according to a statement that the EFA released on their official Facebook page. The Cairo giants Al Ahly and Zamalek are set to challenge for the Egyptian Super Cup at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday, 10 February 2017.

Source: Kingfut

Webb hired as PRO Manager of VAR Operations

Retired FIFA referee Howard Webb will be joining the Professional Referee Organization as Manager of Video Assistant Referee Operations. Beginning in March, Webb will oversee the development and education, assessment and assignment of Video Assistant Referees (VARs) for the PRO. During approximately 30 pre-season matches, MLS will continue live, in-game VAR testing with the goal of implementing live, in-game VAR review during MLS regular season matches in the second half of the 2017 season.
Webb retired from an illustrious 25-year career after officiating more than 500 English Premier League and Football League games, overseeing UEFA Champions League games and serving as a referee for UEFA European Championship matches and during two FIFA World Cups. Webb remains the only referee to officiate both a UEFA Champions League final and FIFA World Cup Final in the same year (2010). Following his retirement, Webb served for a short time as the Technical Director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), which develops referee standards and match officials for all English competitions. From 2015 until recently, he was the Director of Referees for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, where he had a 3-year contract that earned him $300,000 annually. Webb has also been a member of the BT Sport broadcast team for UEFA Champions League, utilizing video replay systems to analyze tactical situations and referee decisions in real-time on the air. “I am delighted to join the Professional Referee Organization for this new challenge and contribute to the implementation of what I view as a crucial development for the sport”, Webb said. Howard Webb will be a great asset to PRO in spearheading the VAR project”, PRO General Manager Peter Walton said. “His high-level officiating experience and work as a broadcaster will bring tremendous value as he guides our referees through various VAR testing and assessment exercises ahead of forthcoming VAR implementation”.
A combined 15 of the 22 MLS clubs will gain exposure to live in-game video review during preseason competition, including matches in the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic, 2017 Desert Friendlies, FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, Portland Timbers Preseason Tournament, and Carolina Challenge Cup. In addition to the in-game tests during pre-season, offline testing, with no impact on the game, will take place at MLS stadiums during MLS regular season matches from March through August. MLS will look to incorporate video review into MLS matches following the 2017 MLS All-Star Game in August.

Source: PRO / Arbitrage57

Rizzoli gives up on World Cup 2018

The last image with Nicola Rizzoli at a World Cup will remain the final whistle of the 2014 final won by Germany against Argentina at the Maracana in Brazil. The Italian referee, who was among those pre-selected by FIFA for the next World Cup, has decided to give up on Russia 2018. The news was revealed by the AIA president Marcello Nicchi. Rizzoli wrote in his letter: "Everything has a beginning and certainly everything has an end. I think it is fair to leave the same opportunity to other referees. The time to take a step back is always important and complicated. But I believe that, once the decision is made, it is right to live the feelings completely and fully, as I always have. Therefore, after sharing my decision to give up the path that could lead to Russia in 2018, I think it's time for thanks. I will never be able to personally thank all the people, small or large, who contributed to personal achievements of an unforgettable international career. Successes, as I have always said, are part of an important group - the Italian referees. For this reason, the main thanks go to AIA. Today, I maintain the enthusiasm of a kid and the experience of a man and mature referee. As always, I will cheer and will support with all my skills the referee who will have the honour of representing the AIA at the World Cup in Russia".
Rizzoli will leave room for another Italian referee at next year’s World Cup, but he will continue to referee in Serie A. The favourite to represent Italy in Russia becomes Gianluca Rocchi. The AIA president Nicchi had previously been informed of Rizzoli’s intention and, after receiving the letter, he decided to make it public to emphasize his high quality as a person and referee. "Nicola Rizzoli is a model for many young referees, which I hope will follow the passion and professionalism that he has always shown on the field", said the Italian federation president, Carlo Tavecchio, about Rizzoli’s decision to give up his participation in the selection for the World Cup in Russia in 2018. "Rizzoli, he added, has confirmed, in an incredible career, the talent and quality of Italian referees Italian, representing our country in the final of a World Cup and helping to write some of the most important pages in the history of Italian football within the last few years". The AIA president, Marcello Nicchi, thanked Rizzoli. "This initiative reflects the high qualities, known by the whole Association, the FIGC and the international organizations, of Rizzoli, as a person and a referee, a true sportsman who always worked and will continue to do so for the growth of our Association and refereeing culture".

Source: AIA/Mediaset

Copa Libertadores – Round 2 (Second Leg)

7 February 2017
Cartagena Junior – Carabobo
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Union Espanola – Atletico Cerro

Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Dewson Freitas (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Enrique Osses (CHI)

El Nacional – Atletico Tucuman
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU) 

Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Fourth Official: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Referee Assessor: Otalvaro Polanco (COL)

8 February 2017
Millonarios – Atletico Paranaense
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Carlos Ulloa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Candelario Andarcia (VEN)

Colo Colo – Botafogo
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivan Nunez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Escano (PER)

9 February 2017
The Strongest – Wanderers
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Byron Romero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Fourth Official: Juan Albarracin (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Francisco Mondria (CHI)

Olimpia – Independiente del Valle
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Cristian De la Cruz (COL)
Fourth Official: Andres Rojas (COL)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Universitario – Deportivo Capiata
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Sanchez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Adrian Cabello (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Jaimes (PER)

UEFA women referees raising the bar

Europe's women referees are meeting the standards required by the rapid development of women's football – and in UEFA Women's Euro year, have been showing their quality at the latest UEFA winter course in Spain. Elite female match officials have been joined by newcomers to the FIFA international list for four days of training, practical work and feedback sessions with UEFA's Referees Committee. The quality of their contribution to the courses in Spain reflects the flourishing calibre of the women's game on this continent.
UEFA decided to invite female referees to join their male counterparts on its courses in 2013, and the move has proved judicious in terms of helping the former raise their overall standards and fitness. "They have certainly reacted positively to what is needed today," said UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina. "Women's football is played faster than before, and the quality of play is definitely higher than before, so the referees today are also better athletes than before. We are very happy about this. Also, their ability to read a match is getting higher and higher. So they are coping with the increased level of women's football."
The Referees Committee will soon be selecting the teams of officials who will take charge of the 31 matches at seven venues in the Netherlands from 16 July to 6 August, in the first Women's Euro to feature 16 sides. The referees will attend a Euro preparatory workshop in Zeist (Netherlands) in May. "I think this course has been a special one, because of this year's EURO," said UEFA Referees Committee member and former international referee Dagmar Damková. "It was one of the last opportunities for the referees to show if they are ready." The women officials' fitness training involved sprints and the yo-yo intermittent test, and UEFA was delighted at a 100% pass rate. "I'm proud of them," added Damková. The guidance of UEFA referee fitness expert Werner Helsen and his team has been crucial in this positive fitness factor. He explained the specific aspects that differentiate women's fitness from that of their male counterparts.
"One of the biggest differences concerns speed, explosiveness and acceleration – sprint work, let's say," Helsen reflected. "In many disciplines, in particular endurance sports, the differences between men and women have narrowed over the past few decades. However, there remains one big difference, which is speed, and speed equals strength. This means that women referees who would like to improve their sprints need to do strength training, and this has been a primary objective for many women referees." Swedish elite referee Sara Persson has lived through the major development of women's football and referees' fitness. "The tempo and physical performance in football have increased a lot," she said, "so it's very important for the referees to have top fitness too, so you can keep up. "You must be as well-trained as the players," she added. "With a good fitness level, you also become a better referee."

Source: UEFA

CAF Africa Cup of Nations Final 2017: Sikazwe (ZAM)

5 February 2017
Egypt – Cameroon
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)
Fourth Official: Daniel Bennett (RSA)

Match for Third Place
4 February 2017
Burkina Faso – Ghana
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Fourth Official: Youssef Essrayri (TUN)

UEFA Youth League – Play-offs

7-8 February 2017

Maccabi Haifa – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Stephan Klossner (SUI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Zürcher (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Efe Kurnazca (SUI)
Fourth Official: David Fuxman (ISR)
Referee Observer: Shmuel Shteif (ISR)

Midtjylland – Benfica
Referee: Svein Erik Edvartsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Magnus Lundberg (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Erik Engan (NOR)
Fourth Official: Sandi Putros (DEN)
Referee Observer: Jørn West Larsen (DEN)

Ajax – Juventus
Referee: Bojan Pandzic (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Magnusson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Jeroen Manschot (NED)
Referee Observer: Marinus Koopman (NED)

AS Roma – AS Monaco
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Matityahu Yakobov (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rotem Waizman (ISR)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Di Paolo (ITA)
Referee Observer: Stefano Podeschi (SMR)

Viitorul Constanța – FC København
Referee: Sergey Lapochkin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksei Lebedev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksandr Kudriavtsev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Claudiu Marcu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)

Altinordu SK – Atlético Madrid
Referee: Anatolii Zhabchenko (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Viktor Matyash (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Volodymyr Vysotskyi (UKR)
Fourth Official: Emre Abar (TUR)
Referee Observer: Muharrem Aksoy (TUR)

Rosenborg – Basel
Referee: Torvaldur Árnason (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gunnar Gudmundsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Frosti Gunnarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Mads Skarsem (NOR)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

FC Salzburg – Manchester City
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Sten Klaasen (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Hannes Reinvald (EST)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Gishamer (AUT)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Copa Libertadores – Round 2 (First Leg)

31 January 2017
Atlético Cerro – Unión Española
Referee: Luiz De Oliveira (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Reway (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Martín Vázquez (URU)

Carabobo – Junior
Referee: Raúl Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Cardozo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Fourth Official: Ivo Mendez (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Roman Hermoso (VEN)

Atlético Tucumán – El Nacional
Referee: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Fourth Official: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)

1 February 2017
Atlético Paranaense – Millonarios
Referee: Germán Delfino (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lucas Germanotta (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Espinoza (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Perassi (BRA)

Botafogo – Colo Colo
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Elbis Gómez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Alicio Peña (BRA)

2 February 2017
Montevideo Wanderers – The Strongest
Referee: Jorge Osorio (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Barraza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Ríos (CHI)
Fourth Official: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Alvaro Sacarelo (URU)

Independiente del Valle – Olimpia
Referee: Néstor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernán Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jorge Baliño (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Vera (ECU)

Deportivo Capiatá – Universitario
Referee: Omar Ponce (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Baren (ECU)
Fourth Official: Luis Quiroz (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

CONMEBOL U-17 Championship 2017

Chile, 23 February – 19 March 2017

Referee: Jorge Balino (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Lucas Germanotta (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)

Referee: Juan García (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Valdiviezo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Roger Orellana (BOL)

Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Danilo Manís (BRA)

Referee: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Edson Cisternas (CHI)

Referee: Luis Sanchez (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)

Referee: Juan Albarracín (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Baren (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwin Bravo (ECU)

Referee: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Caceres (PAR)

Referee: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Orue (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Atoche (PER)

Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Horacio Ferreiro (URU)

Referee: Adrian Cabello (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Elbis Gomez (VEN)

Reserve Referees

1. Rodolfo Toski (BRA)
2. Joel Alarcon (PER)

Referees primed for new challenges

Leading referees are in Malaga for the UEFA winter courses, the match officials being urged to maintain the professional attitude and desire to improve that has won them such respect. UEFA has gathered its referees together in Spain for the annual winter refresher courses, with the key message to never stand still and keep up the standards that have made European match officials respected in the world game.
A total of 128 male and female referees from across the continent are enjoying the onset of Mediterranean spring in Malaga at two specific gatherings – an advanced course for elite referees, and an introductory course for newcomers to the FIFA international list. Training sessions and fitness checks, including visual tests and body fat measuring, are on a packed agenda this week, together with instruction sessions, group discussions and feedback meetings, led by the former international referees that comprise UEFA's Referees Committee.
The new referees are being introduced to the various facets of being a UEFA match official – what is expected of them in terms of preparation and decision-making consistency, putting over the correct image as UEFA's representatives on the field, protecting football's image, and the need to be total professionals and dedicated athletes as they set out on their European careers. "We want to tell them what being an international referee means, to give them instructions, and highlight the key points that can be important for them," said UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina.
The advanced course referees are reviewing the past few months, and looking ahead to future assignments in major club and national team competitions in the spring.
The elite women referees face an important few months, with many of them looking ahead to taking part in UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 in the Netherlands in June and July.
"We are coming back from the winter break," said Collina. "We want to check the referees' fitness, and touch base on what happened in the first part of the season, while giving them input on the matches they are going to referee very soon." Course content is mainly based on events in the first part of 2016/17. "Sometimes there are incidents that are becoming a trend, so we want to analyse them quite carefully," Collina explained. "There are decisions that we want to highlight to the other referees – either positive decisions or mistakes. The aim is not to highlight the mistakes themselves, but to look for solutions, to ensure that the same mistakes are not made again in the future."
The regular praise given to European referees included particular plaudits for excellent displays at UEFA Euro 2016 last summer. "But this is the past," Collina underlined as the UEFA refereeing community strives to raise the performance bar even higher. "We can't continue to look at the successes we had in the past – we need to look forward. We are already in the middle of a new season, and nobody will remember what we did positively in the past; the expectation is for good decisions in the future".

Source: UEFA