UEFA Champions League – Group Stage (Matchday 4)

31 October 2017
AS Roma – Chelsea
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Additional AR 1: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)

Manchester United – SL Benfica

Referee: Gediminas Mažeika (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytautas Šimkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Additional AR 1: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)
Additional AR 2: Manfredas Lukjancukas (LTU)
Fourth Official: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

FC Basel – CSKA Moskva
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Nenad Djokić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
Referee Observer: Ichko Lozev (BUL)

Celtic – Bayern München
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: Joost van Zuilen (NED)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Paris SG – Anderlecht
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Fourth Official: Miguel Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Referee Observer: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

Atlético de Madrid – FK Qarabağ

Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
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: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR)

Olympiacos – FC Barcelona
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Fourth Official: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Šajn (SVN)

Sporting – Juventus
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)

1 November 2017
Liverpool – Maribor
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Balko (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomaš Somolani (SVK)
Additional AR 1: Peter Kralović (SVK)
Additional AR 2: Filip Glova (SVK)
Fourth Official: Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Referee Observer: Kóstas Kapitanís (CYP)

Sevilla FC – Spartak Moskva 

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: Neale Barry (ENG)

SSC Napoli – Manchester City

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: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Referee Observer: Oğuz Sarvan (TUR)

Shakhtar Donetsk – Feyenoord

Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Charalambos Kalogeropoulos (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Alexandros Aretopoulos (GRE)
Fourth Official: Damianos Efthimiadis (GRE)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

Beşiktaş – AS Monaco
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Referee Observer: Kaj Ostergaard (DEN)

FC Porto – RB Leipzig
Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Șovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Additional AR 1: István Kovács (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Sebastian Colţescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Referee Observer: Manuel López Fernández (ESP)

Borussia Dortmund – Apoel
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: Markus Nobs (SUI)

Tottenham Hotspur – Real Madrid
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Barış Şimşek (TUR)
Fourth Official: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Referee Observer: Charles Agius (MLT)

CAF Referees Committee 2017-2020

Seven months after Ahmad Ahmad (MAD) replaced Issa Hayatou (CMR) as president, CAF established the composition of their new referees committee.

Souleiman Waberi (DJI, photo)

Any-Yan Lim Kee Chong (MRI)

1. Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)
2. Lawson Edrona (TOG)
3. Pierre-Alain Monguengui (GAB)
4. Magassa Sidi Bekaye (MLI)
5. Felix Tangawarima (ZIM)
6. Esam Abdel Fattah (EGY)
7. Hadqa Yahya (MAR)

CAF Champions League Final 2017

First Leg, 28 October 2017

Al Ahly – Wydad
Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Olivier Safari (COD)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)

Fourth Official: Alioum Alioum (CMR)

Second Leg, 4 November 2017

Wydad – Al Ahly
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)

Fourth Official: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)

FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers – Play-offs (CONCACAF/AFC)

First Leg, 10 November 2017

Honduras – Australia
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Fourth Official: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)

Referee Assessor: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

Second Leg, 15 November 2017

Australia – Honduras

Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Patricio Loustau (ARG)

Referee Assessor: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers – Play-offs (OFC/CONMEBOL)

First Leg, 11 November 2017

New Zealand – Peru
Referee: Mark Geiger (USA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Joe Fletcher (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Anderson (USA)
Fourth Official: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Referee Assessor: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

Second Leg, 15 November 2017

Peru – New Zealand
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official: Benoit Bastien (FRA)
Referee Assessor: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Final 2017: Caceres (PAR)

28 October 2017

England – Spain
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
Reserve AR: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)

Match for Third Place
Brazil – Mali
Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
Fourth Official: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
Reserve AR: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)

FWC 2018: VARs to be located in a centralized video operations room

For its tournaments, particularly the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, FIFA intends to use video assistant refereeing systems, subject to approval by The International Football Association Board (The IFAB) in March 2018. In the course of the trials with video assistant referees (VARs), it became clear how important a fully integrated referee communication system is to the project. FIFA calls for providers to offer an all-in-one solution for communication systems that enables the pitch referees to communicate among themselves and with the VARs in a remote location.

The referee communication system consists of three core components: the units used by the referees on the pitch, the headsets used by the referees and the system used by VARs. For the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the VARs will be located in a centralised video operations room in Moscow connected via fibre network (provided by FIFA) for all 64 matches. The selected provider is expected to provide all components of the system. For clarification, three (3) main officials require open-mic on-field communication devices; the fourth official (1) standing in the technical area in the stadium should have push-to-talk options and a minimum of seven (7) headsets for VARs and VAR operators in a remote location, of which two (2) need push-to-talk capability – all communicating on the same channel.

Providers should present their solution to FIFA as per the timeline below. Part of the tender process will be a validation phase of the offered solutions in order to assess the quality and reliability of the system presented. It is imperative that a working product (no prototypes or products in development) be demonstrated in a live scenario in the course of this demonstration. The exact location and event will be closely coordinated between the provider and FIFA. If successful in the first phase, the provider should be available and capable of delivering its system for live testing during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017. 

Technical specifications 
For the match officials in the stadium, a portable wireless receiver unit and headset with the following minimum requirements are required:

Radio units (pitch) must:
•be weather-resistant (minimum IP67-rated) and extremely durable
•be compact and easily clipped or inserted in various positions (arm, small of the back, waistband, etc.)
•include a robust headset connection that is impervious to dirt or liquid. Wireless solutions are not acceptable
•Include noise cancelling to allow for clear communication on the field and with the VARs in extremely loud conditions
•include a way of easily switching between frequencies/bands to enable use in various countries throughout the world (pre-match set-up)
•include robust encryption to prevent interference with and interception of communications between match officials
•volume control

Headsets (pitch) must:
•be weather-resistant (minimum IP67-rated) and extremely durable
•be light, and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and in all kinds of weather situations
•allow for the use of custom-moulded ear inserts owned by the referees
•include the ability to add push-to-talk (default should always be an open mic)

For the remotely operating VARs and VAR operators, communication devices must:
•include noise-cancelling headsets
•allow assignment of different roles (e.g. listening and speaking)
•include push-to-talk
•include visual confirmation, for example a light, when the VAR communicates with the referee
•be able to record audio feeds and make them available to the VAR technology provider post-match

Any alternative solutions that do not consist of the above elements may be presented but, given the short timelines, they are very unlikely to be implemented.

Phase 1
Until 06.10.2017 - Expression of interest and presentation of solutions
Until 31.10.2017 - Assessment in a live environment to be agreed on between the provider and FIFA. Validation of technology in use
Until 06.11.2017 - Creation of a shortlist and fine-tuning of requirements for phase 2
Phase 2
Until 13.11.2017 - Provision of detailed proposal for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™
06.-16.12.2017 - Final test of selected solution(s) in the live environment during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 and assessment of performance
Until 28.02.2018 - Selection of provider for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

Source: FIFA

Busacca: “One must learn to accept a loss”

A day after Germany blamed their exit from the under-17 World Cup on poor refereeing, FIFA on Monday stood by the match officials, saying a beaten team should learn to accept the loss. "I always think that in life we have to learn to accept the loss and respect (a decision). Mistakes are part of the game. Referees take a decision based on what they see and what they think. And they do it in an honest way. In Sunday's match, the referee gave his 100 percent and we are very happy with his performance," Massimo Busacca, who is the head of FIFA refereeing department, said on Monday. "What others want to say they can. But I also know that my family has taught me to accept a loss when that is the case," the former Swiss international referee added. Busacca's comments came following Germany coach Christian Wueck's allegation that referee Jair Marrufo's decisions went against him during their 1-2 loss to Brazil in the quarterfinal at Salt Lake Stadium.
"We played well in the first half while Brazil were good after the change of ends. But the difference was the refereeing. There is no problem in losing a game but the way we lost it was hard to digest," Wueck said, insisting that they were denied another penalty before Paulinho struck the match-winner for Brazil in the 77th minute. Germany took the lead in the first half, via a penalty, but Brazil came back strongly in the second half to seal the deal. Asked to comment on the Germany coach's viewpoint, Busacca replied: "It's not my habit to criticise. Everybody saw the game and can judge on his own. If you had a blatant situation yesterday, you can say. But if it's not the case, everyone can say what he wants and you have to respect his view."
The VAR challange
With FIFA president Gianni Infantino wanting to introduce video assistant referees (VAR) at next year's World Cup, referees are expected to brace for the new challenge. But Busacca - who officiated in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups - believes that technology can't be a substitute to skills. VAR involves two assistant referees watching the action on the screen and making the match referee aware of possible mistakes. "Technology cannot substitute your skills. Technology can only be a help for us. The day we think technology can substitute human decisions it will kill football, referees and everything", he pointed out. 

FIFA Club World Cup 2017

UAE, 6-16 December 2017

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB) 

Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)

Video Assistant Referee:

Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT, 1987)

Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN, 1979)

Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX, 1971)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX, 1977)

Video Assistant Referee:

Mark Geiger (USA, 1974)

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

Video Assistant Referees:

1. Andres Cunha (URU, 1976)
2. Wilton Sampaio (BRA, 1981)
3. Mauro Vigliano (ARG, 1975)

Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Lount (NZL, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Tevita Makasini (TGA, 1976)

Referee: Felix Brych (GER, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER, 1978)

Video Assistant Referees:
1. Artur Soares Dias (POR, 1979)
2. Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)
3. Felix Zwayer (GER, 1981)

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 – Semi-finals

25 October 2017

Brazil – England

Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: John Pitti (PAN)

Reserve AR: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)

Mali – Spain
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)

Reserve AR: Carlos Lopez (VEN)

DFB: Gräfe calls for the dismissal of Fandel and Krug

Manuel Gräfe reaffirmed his criticism of Herbert Fandel and Hellmut Krug after a 4-hour meeting at the DFB headquarters and demanded further consequences for the two leaders of the German refereeing. He wants to continue to provide information for more justice and transparency. "Unfortunately, the influence of Herbert Fandel and Hellmut Krug still provides the opposite. It is now up to the DFB to make changes", said Gräfe in a personal statement. In a newspaper interviews in August, he had accused Fandel and Krug of nepotism in the selection and appointment of referees. Six weeks ago, he had a personal discussion with the DFB General Secretary Friedrich Curtius and Lutz Michael Fröhlich, the DFB Chairman of the elite referees.
Gräfe participated at the DFB meeting held in Frankfurt, along with the referee spokesperson Felix Brych, Lutz Fröhlich, Herbert Fandel (DFB Referees Committee Chairman), Hellmut Krug (DFB Referee Manager) and Willi Hink (DFB Director). "I was mainly at the DFB to attend the talks of Felix Brych, who has described his similar personal experiences in recent years with Hellmut Krug and Herbert Fandel, as well as being the spokesman for the Bundesliga referees", said Gräfe and stated: "Their attempt to turn the mistakes that they made to personal sensitivities from me or others is wrong". For the time being, the organization will continue as is. "In the almost four-hour conversation, the different views and accusations were addressed in all openness. The impressions from this meeting will be analyzed in the next step", said the DFB Vice-President Ronny Zimmermann, who is responsible for the refereeing.

Copa Sudamericana – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

24-26 October 2017

Fluminense – Flamengo
Referee: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Libertad – Racing
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Dewson Freitas (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Dario Ubriaco (URU)

Nacional – Independiente
Referee: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Fourth Official: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Referee Assessor: Francisco Mondria (CHI)

Sport Recife – Junior
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Fourth Official: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Victor Rivera (PER)

Copa Libertadores – Semi-finals (First Leg)

24-25 October 2017

River Plate – Lanus
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Fourth Official: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
VAR: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
AVAR: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
VAR 2: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Martin Vasquez (URU)
Referees Committee: Wilson Seneme (BRA)

Barcelona – Gremio
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Diego Haro (PER)
VAR: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
AVAR: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
VAR 2: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Torres (PAR)
Referees Committee: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

AFC Champions League – Semi-finals

First Leg

Al Hilal – Persepolis
Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Kwang-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Young-Ha (KOR)
Additional AR 1: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
Additional AR 2: Kim Dong-Jin (KOR)
Fourth Official: Bang Giyeol (KOR)

Shanghai Sipg – Urawa Red Diamonds
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Additional AR 1: Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
Additional AR 2: Muhammad Taqi (SIN)
Fourth Official: Yousuf Al-Shamari (QAT)

Second Leg

Persepolis – Al Hilal
Referee: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamed Al Mayahi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abu Al Amri (OMA)
Additional AR 1: Mohanad Sarray (IRQ)
Additional AR 2: Liu Kwok-Man (HKG)
Fourth Official: Gabriel Law (HKG)

Urawa Red Diamonds – Shanghai Sipg

Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo (AUS)
Additional AR 1: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
Additional AR 2: Crishantha Perera (SRI)
Fourth Official: Palliya Namal (SRI)

Clarifications to the Laws of the Game 2017/2018

Following recent meetings of the Technical Subcommittee (TSC) and the Technical andFootball Advisory Panels (TAP + FAP), the Board of Directors of The IFAB approved the following clarifications to the Laws of the Game 2017/18 which apply with immediate effect.


• the number of substitutes each team is permitted to use up to a maximum of five, except in youth football where the maximum will be determined by the national association, confederation or FIFA.

The revision of the Modifications aimed to increase participation but unintentionally reduced participation in some countries which already allowed more than 5 substitutes in youth football; this clarification therefore enables more than 5 substitutes to be used in youth football.


Slogans, statements, images and advertising
The following guidance (which will become part of Law 4 in 2018/19) is to help competition organisers, national FAs, confederations and FIFA decide what can be visible on players’ equipment.

• Law 4 applies to all equipment (including clothing) worn by players, substitutes and substituted players; its principles also apply to all team officials in the technical area
• The following are (usually) permitted:
- the player’s number, name, team crest/logo, initiative slogans/emblems promoting the game of football, respect and integrity as well as any advertising permitted by competition rules or national FA, confederation or FIFA regulations
- the facts of a match: teams, date, competition/event, venue
• Permitted slogans, statements or images should be confined to the shirt front, sleeve and/or armband
• In some cases, the slogan, statement or image might only appear on the captain’s armband

Interpreting the Law
When interpreting whether a slogan, statement or image is permissible, note should be taken of Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct), which requires the referee to take action against a player who is guilty of:
• using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
• gesturing or acting in a provocative, derisory or inflammatory way

Any slogan, statement or image which falls into any of these categories is not permitted. Whilst ‘religious’ and ‘personal’ are relatively easily defined, ‘political’ is less clear but slogans, statements or images related to the following are not permitted:
• any person(s), living or dead (unless part of the official competition name)
• any local, regional, national or international political party/organisation/group, etc.
• any local, regional or national government or any of its departments, offices or functions
• any organisation which is discriminatory
• any organisation whose aims/actions are likely to offend a notable number of people
• any specific political act/event

When commemorating a significant national or international event, the sensibilities of the opposing team (including its supporters) and the general public should be carefully considered.

Competition rules may contain further restrictions/limitations, particularly in relation to the size, number and position of permitted slogans, statements, images and advertising. It is recommended that disputes relating to slogans, statements or images be resolved prior to a match/competition taking place.


When judging an offside position, the first point of contact of the ‘play or touch’ of the ball should be used.

This definition is required as the VAR use of slow motion shows a detectable difference between the first and last contact with the ball when it is ‘passed’.


Offence against a team-mate (or a team substitute/team official)
If a player commits an offence against a player, substitute or team official of his/her own team when the ball is in play:
• offence on the field of play – direct free kick (or penalty kick)
• offence off the field of play – indirect free kick (IDFK) on the boundary line closest to the offence if the referee stops play to issue a caution (YC) or dismissal (RC)

Two offences at the same time/in quick succession 

Where two separate cautionable (YC) offences are committed (even in close proximity), they should result in 2 x cautions (YCs), for example if a player:
• enters the field of play without the required permission and commits a reckless tackle/stops a promising attack with a foul/handball, etc.

Handling the ball
Throwing an object is a direct free-kick offence (not a handling offence) so a goalkeeper who throws an object and hits the ball/an opponent in their own penalty is sanctioned with a penalty kick and a caution (YC) or dismissal (RC).


• The ball is kicked when a player makes contact with the foot and/or the ankle

This clarifies the parts of the body used to ‘kick’ the ball (especially in terms of passing the ball to the goalkeeper etc.). The shin, knee or any other part of the body ‘play’ rather than ‘kick’ the ball.

Source: IFAB

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 – Quarter-finals

21 October 2017
Mali – Ghana
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Fourth Official: Robert Madden (SCO)

USA – England
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)

22 October 2017
Spain – Iran
Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Montano (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Antelo (BOL)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Montero (CRC)

Germany – Brazil
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)

Chinese Super League to bring in foreign referees

Chinese football authorities have announced foreign referees will be drafted in to work on the final weeks of the Chinese Super League season in a move to boost the standard of officiating in the big-spending league.
Sweden’s Jonas Eriksson (photo above) and Tony Chapron (photo below) from France will referee Tianjin Quanjian - Shandong Luneng and Shanghai Shenhua - Tianjin Teda, respectively, as the first part of a move to “improve the accuracy of officiating”, the Chinese Football Association said in a statement on Thursday. “In order to ensure a smooth finish to the season, from Round 27 onwards the Chinese Football Association will invite referees from Europe and the Americas to officiate on crucial games,” the statement said. “The improvement of the quality of officiating has been an important part of the CFA’s work and inviting established foreign referees will improve the accuracy of officiating while also providing education and communication opportunities for Chinese referees.”
While the move is seen as an attempt to improve the standard of officiating in the four remaining rounds of the domestic season, the country has had to address serious issues in the past. Match fixing scandals have plagued football since the game turned professional in China in 1994 with the sending to prison of former World Cup referee Lu Jun for accepting bribes in 2012, as one of many high profile examples. Two of the clubs featuring in this weekend’s matches - Tianjin Quanjian and Tianjin Teda - are currently under investigation by the Chinese Football Association following allegations of match fixing in their meeting last month, which relegation-threatened Teda won 4-1. However, the Chinese Football Association said that the move - and plans to implement the use of video assistant referee technology until the end of the season and for all of the 2018 campaign - is an attempt to further develop officiating in the league. “The Chinese Football Association has enhanced training for referees, putting emphasis on monitoring and regulation, to build professional refereeing teams while implementing new technologies and exploring a new path for the development of Chinese referees,” they said. “At the moment, the Chinese Football Association is working with FIFA and the International Football Association Board in order to implement the video assistant officiating system. It will be tested during the final phase of this season and completely implemented in the 2018 season”.

Source: Reuters

CONCACAF League Final 2017

First Leg, 19 October 2017

Olimpia – Santos de Guapiles
Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Corey Parker (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Anderson (USA) 

Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)

Second Leg, 26 October 2017

Santos de Guapiles – Olimpia
Referee: Luis Santander (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Pablo Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Andres Hernandez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Oscar Macias (MEX)

UEFA Europa League – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

19 October 2017

Crvena Zvezda – Arsenal
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: Marinus Koopman (NED)

FK Astana – Maccabi Tel Aviv
Referee: Serhiy Boiko (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Oleg Pluzhnyk (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Volodymyr Volodin (UKR)
Additional AR 1: Yevhen Aranovskiy (UKR)
Additional AR 2: Anatoliy Abdula (UKR)
Fourth Official: Oleksandr Korniyko (UKR)
Referee Observer: Plarent Kotherja (ALB)

Villarreal – Slavia Praha
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Magnus Lundberg (NOR)
Additional AR 1: Tore Hansen (NOR)
Additional AR 2: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Jan Erik Engan (NOR)
Referee Observer: Georgios Bikas (GRE)

Dynamo Kyiv – Young Boys

Referee: Mattias Gestranius (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Peter Aravirta (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mikko Alakare (FIN)
Additional AR 1: Antti Munukka (FIN)
Additional AR 2: Dennis Antamo (FIN)
Fourth Official: Jukka Honkanen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Goran Mihaljević (MNE)

Skënderbeu – Partizan
Referee: Daniel Stefański (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcin Boniek (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dawid Golis (POL)
Additional AR 1: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Additional AR 2: Zbigniew Dobrynin (POL)
Fourth Official: Krzysztof Myrmus (POL)
Referee Observer: Marián Ružbarský (SVK) 

Sporting Braga – Ludogorets
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Tegoni (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

Hoffenheim – Başakşehir
Referee: Aleksei Eskov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Dmitri Mosyakin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Igor Demeshko (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Mikhail Vilkov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Vladimir Moskalev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Referee Observer: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)

Austria Wien – Rijeka
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Sladjan Josipović (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)
Additional AR 1: Alain Bieri (SUI)
Additional AR 2: Lukas Fähndrich (SUI)
Fourth Official: Stephane De Almeida (SUI)
Referee Observer: Domenico Messina (ITA)

AC Milan – AEK Athens
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Additional AR 1: Bojan Pandžić (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Kristoffer Karlsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Magnus Sjöblom (SWE)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

Atalanta Bergamasca – Apollon Limassol
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Margaritov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Venev (BUL)
Additional AR 1: Nikola Popov (BUL)
Additional AR 2: Stanislav Todorov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Georgi Todorov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP)

Everton – Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Bas Nijhuis (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Rob Van de Ven (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Vries (NED)
Additional AR 1: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Additional AR 2: Edwin Van de Graaf (NED)
Fourth Official: Davie Goossens (NED)
Referee Observer: Gaetano De Gabriele (MLT)

Sheriff Tiraspol – Lokomotiv Moskva
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: István Albert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Berettyán (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Ferenc Karakó (HUN)
Additional AR 2: Jozsef Erdos (HUN)
Fourth Official: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)

Fastav Zlín – FC København
Referee: Oliver Drachta (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Kühr (AUT)
Additional AR 1: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Additional AR 2: Dieter Muckenhammer (AUT)
Fourth Official: Roland Riedel (AUT)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

Hapoel Beer Sheva – FCSB
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Charles Schaap (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Joost van Zuilen (NED)
Additional AR 1: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Additional AR 2: Jeroen Manscho (NED)
Fourth Official: Bas van Dongen (NED)
Referee Observer: Petteri Kari (FIN)

FC Lugano – Viktoria Plzeň
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Lazar Lukić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Zoran Siroki (SRB)
Fourth Official: Bojan Banović (SRB)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

Bate Borisov – FC Köln
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kemal Yilmaz (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Ali Palabıyık (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Arda Kardeşler (TUR)
Fourth Official: Esat Sancaktar (TUR)
Referee Observer: Nicolae Grigorescu (ROU)

Konyaspor Kulübü – FC Salzburg
Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Betts (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Robert Madley (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Chris Kavanagh (ENG)
Fourth Official: Edward Smart (ENG)
Referee Observer: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

Olympique Marseille – Vitória SC
Referee: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Fredrik Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Joakim Nilsson (SWE)
Additional AR 1: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)
Referee Observer: Michael Argyrou (CYP)

Östersunds FK – Athletic Club
Referee: István Kovács (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Artene (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Marius Avram (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Horațiu Fesnic (ROU)
Fourth Official: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Referee Observer: Sergey Zuev (RUS)

FC Zorya – Hertha BSC
Referee: Liran Liany (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: David Biton (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Additional AR 1: Erez Papir (ISR)
Additional AR 2: Menashe Masiah (ISR)
Fourth Official: Roy Hassan (ISR)
Referee Observer: Michael Koukoulakis (GRE)

Nice – Lazio
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Stevenson (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Fourth Official: Jordan Stokoe (SCO)
Referee Observer: Lutz Fröhlich (GER)

Zulte Waregem – Vitesse
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Additional AR 1: Mario Zebec (CRO)
Additional AR 2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Referee Observer: Niklas Lídarenda (FRO)

FC Zenit – Rosenborg
Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Pickel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Seidel (GER)
Additional AR 1: Benjamin Brand (GER)
Additional AR 2: Harm Osmers (GER)
Fourth Official: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Referee Observer: László Vagner (HUN)

Vardar – Real Sociedad
Referee: Aliyar Agayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zeynal Zeynalov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Rza Mammadov (AZE)
Additional AR 1: Rahim Hasanov (AZE)
Additional AR 2: Orkhan Mammadov (AZE)
Fourth Official: Mubariz Hashimov (AZE)
Referee Observer: Iain Robertson Brines (SCO)

MP Ross to miss important Commons vote because of UCL refereeing

A Tory MP is set to miss a debate and vote on welfare policy because he will be running the line at a Champions League football tie in Barcelona. Douglas Ross has been listed as assistant referee at the Camp Nou stadium for Wednesday night's match against Olympiakos. The game kicks off at 7:45pm UK time, 45 minutes after MPs at Westminster are expected to vote on a Labour motion calling for the controversial roll-out of universal credit to be postponed. The Government could face a potentially embarrassing revolt on the motion, with reports suggesting up to 25 Tory MPs could be willing to rebel over concerns about claimants facing delays to get money under the system. But the absence of Ross suggests that Tory whips have adopted a relaxed approach and could mean the Conservatives repeat the ploy they used to avoid a potential rebellion in previous Labour-led debates in the Commons by abstaining en masse.
Mr. Ross ousted the SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson to win the Moray seat in June's General Election and the Tories insisted his constituents supported his refereeing work. In the Commons register of interests, Mr Ross has declared earnings of more than £2,700 for his work as an assistant referee in Scotland and Europe. That includes £1,436.35 for a previous European tie, a Europa League play-off between NK Domzale and Marseille.
A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: "There will be many Scottish Conservative representatives in this debate. "Douglas has held more than 50 surgeries since becoming an MP and has met personally with (Work and Pensions Secretary) David Gauke to discuss local cases which have arisen from those. "Despite what the SNP thinks, the people of Moray are right behind Douglas and his refereeing, as they showed decisively when they elected him as their MP just a few months ago."

Source: The Telegraph

UEFA Youth League – Domestic Champions Path (Round 1, Second Leg)

17 October 2017
Red Bull Salzburg – Girondins Bordeaux
Referee: Sascha Amhof (SUI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean-Yves Wicht (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Devis Dettamanti (SUI)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Gishamer (AUT)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Shkëndija – Nitra
Referee: Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Mesrop Ghazaryan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Vanik Simonyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Konstantin Vlaho (MKD)
Referee Observer: Emil Božinovski (MKD)

Shakhtsyor Salihorsk – FK Liepāja
Referee: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Viacheslav Semenov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitri Safyan (RUS)
Fourth Official: Viktar Shymusik (BLR)
Referee Observer: Aleh Chykun (BLR)

Legia Warszawa – Breidablik
Referee: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikola Karakolev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Kushtrim Lika (MKD)
Fourth Official: Piotr Urban (POL)
Referee Observer: Marcin Borski (POL)

Ajax – Hammarby
Referee: Nicolas Laforge (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Karel De Rocker (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Monteny (BEL)
Fourth Official: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Referee Observer: René Temmink (NED)

18 October 2017
Dynamo Kyiv – Internazionale Milano
Referee: George Găman (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mircea Grigoriu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Marica (ROU)
Fourth Official: Mykola Kryvonosov (UKR)
Referee Observer: Volodymyr Petrov (UKR)

Esbjerg – Käpylän Pallo
Referee: Aleksandrs Golubevs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Raimonds Tatriks (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jevgēņijs Morozovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Jørgen Burchardt (DEN)
Referee Observer: Jens Larsen (DEN)

Lokomotiva Zagreb – FC Dinamo
Referee: Ádám Farkas (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gergő Vígh-Tarsonyi (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Balázs Szalai (HUN)
Fourth Official: Igor Pajač (CRO)
Referee Observer: Draženko Kovačić (CRO)

FC Krasnodar – Kairat Almaty
Referee: Jari Järvinen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Sami Nykänen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Veli-Matti Leppänen (FIN)
Fourth Official: Artem Chistyakov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Yuri Baskakov (RUS)

Sparta Praha – F91 Dudelange
Referee: Roomer Tarajev (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Sten Klaasen (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Egerd Pajustik (EST)
Fourth Official: Ondřej Berka (CZE)
Referee Observer: Václav Krondl (CZE)

Budapest Honvéd – FK Sutjeska

Referee: Michal Očenáš (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Michal Tomčík (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrej Hrmo (SVK)
Fourth Official: Ádám Németh (HUN)
Referee Observer: Vencel Tóth (HUN)

Maccabi Haifa – FK Brodarac
Referee: Enea Jorgji (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Orgest Grabova (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Nertil Bregasi (ALB)
Fourth Official: Yigal Frid (ISR)
Referee Observer: Shmuel Shteif (ISR)

Saburtalo – Bursaspor
Referee: Dumitru Muntean (MDA)
Assistant Referee 1: Sergiu Beșliu (MDA)
Assistant Referee 2: Veaceslav Sivaciov (MDA)
Fourth Official: Irakli Kvirikashvili (GEO)
Referee Observer: Kostadin Gerginov (BUL)

Željezničar – Ludogorets Razgrad
Referee: Anastássios Papapétrou (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ioánnis Sípkas (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Vassílios Kamboúris (GRE)
Fourth Official: Haris Kaljanac (BIH)
Referee Observer: Rusmir Mrković (BIH)

KS Vllaznia – Zimbru Chișinău
Referee: Dimítris Massiás (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Mários Kalogírou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Pávlos Georgíou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Eldorjan Hamiti (ALB)
Referee Observer: Albano Janku (ALB)

Molde – University Dublin
Referee: Anders Poulsen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Elvis Boric (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Skytte (DEN)
Fourth Official: Mads Skarsem (NOR)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

UEFA Youth League – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

17 October 2017
AS Monaco – Beşiktaş
Referee: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Florian Lemaire (BEL)
Fourth Official: Faouzi Benchabane (FRA)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

Spartak Moskva – Sevilla FC
Referee: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdullah Özkara (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kemal Elmas (TUR)
Fourth Official: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS)
Referee Observer: Aleksei Spirin (RUS)

Maribor – Liverpool
Referee: Markus Hameter (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Nemetz (AUT)
Fourth Official: Marko Lackovič (SVN)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Vitković (CRO)

Feyenoord – Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Timothy Marshall (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Paul Robinson (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Nethery (NIR)
Fourth Official: Richard Martens (NED)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

Manchester City – SSC Napoli
Referee: Bart Vertenten (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)

Assistant Referee 2: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Fourth Official: Tom Nield (ENG)
Referee Observer: Peter Jones (ENG)

RB Leipzig – FC Porto

Referee: Ognjen Valjić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Sreten Udovičić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Amer Macić (BIH)
Fourth Official: Lasse Koslowski (GER)
Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)

Apoel – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Avi Goldstain (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nati Dotan (ISR)
Fourth Official: Timotheos Christofi (CYP)
Referee Observer: Kostas Kapitanis (CYP)

Real Madrid – Tottenham Hotspur

Referee: João Pinheiro (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nuno Fi Pereira (POR)
Fourth Official: Valentín Pizarro Gómez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

18 October 2017
CSKA Moskva – FC Basel
Referee: Filip Glova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: František Ferenc (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Štrbo (SVK)
Fourth Official: Aleksey Sukhoy (RUS)
Referee Observer: Aleksandr Gvardis (RUS)

SL Benfica – Manchester United
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: César Manuel Noval (ESP)
Fourth Official: Rui Piteira Rodrigues (POR)
Referee Observer: Lucílio Batista (POR)

Bayern München – Celtic
Referee: Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Divan Valkov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Milen Arabadzhiev (BUL)
Fourth Official: Florian Badstübner (GER)
Referee Observer: Peter Sippel (GER)

Anderlecht – Paris St. Germain
Referee: Fedayi San (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Vital Jobin (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Carmine Sangiovanni (SUI)
Fourth Official: Lothar D'Hondt (BEL)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Qarabağ FK – Atlético Madrid
Referee: Vitali Meshkov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksei Lunev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Nikolai Bogach (RUS)
Fourth Official: Rauf Cabbarov (AZE)
Referee Observer: Asim Xudiyev (AZE)

Chelsea – AS Roma
Referee: Frank Schneider (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Djamel Zitouni (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Henninot (FRA)
Fourth Official: John Busby (ENG)
Referee Observer: John Ward (IRL)

FC Barcelona – Olympiakós
Referee: Robert Harvey (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Darragh Keegan (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Shane O'Brien (IRL)
Fourth Official: David Medié Jiménez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bernardino González Vázquez (ESP)

Juventus – Sporting
Referee: Fran Jović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivica Modrić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Hrvoje Radić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Daniele Minelli (ITA)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

EPL employed eye doctor to improve refereeing

The Premier League have employed eye doctor Sherylle Calder to help referees see incidents more clearly, the Sun have reported. Six top referees and four assistant referees will be trained with an advanced version of her ‘EyeGym’ training program.
The South African has worked with Rugby Union officials, and was described by England coach Eddie Jones as the "X factor". She said: “We work on many things, including making effective decisions under pressure - and that’s exactly what these guys are doing on a consistent basis. "It’s tough work. They have to be able to see correctly and make sure their decision is effective. With the linesmen, that offside call is so critical and you have to see it so quickly. That’s exactly what we’re training with those guys. When I met with them, I asked, ‘How do you train this ability?’ They said, ‘During a match’. But you have to practise any skill and prepare to perform under pressure. They all can improve their ability, which is exciting. We’ve been monitoring them and are in touch with them all the time. We know how many minutes they have trained, we see them do a warm-up on the day they officiate. They’ve been great.” Simon Breivik, head of sports science for refs’ body PGMOL, added: “Anything that can potentially improve their vision and focus has to be of benefit. With 22 players on the field, there is a lot of action taking place around the referee at any one time that he needs to be aware of. Some of the guys feel it really improves their attention and focus and want to bring the laptops with them on match day to prepare. Use of technology is prohibited for an hour before kick-off, so we need to think carefully how we might do that”.

UEFA Champions League – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

17 October 2017
Maribor – Liverpool
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: György Ring (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Tamás Bognár (HUN)
Additional AR 2: Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN)
Fourth Official: Balázs Buzás (HUN)
Referee Observer: Michel Piraux (BEL)

Spartak Moskva – Sevilla FC
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Fourth Official: Andrea Crispo (ITA)
Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

Feyenoord – Shakhtar Donetsk

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Additional AR 2: José Sánchez Martínez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)

Manchester City – SSC Napoli
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

RB Leipzig – FC Porto
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Referee Observer: Peter Fröjdfeldt (SWE)

AS Monaco – Beşiktaş
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Nenad Djokić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Ivanov (RUS)

Real Madrid – Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Additional AR 1: Paweł Raczkowski (POL)
Additional AR 2: Tomasz Musiał (POL)
Fourth Official: Radosław Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Apoel – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dmitri Zhuk (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oleg Maslyanko (BLR)
Additional AR 1: Denis Scherbakov (BLR)
Additional AR 2: Dmitry Dmitryieu (BLR)
Fourth Official: Yury Khomchenko (BLR)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

18 October 2017
Benfica – Manchester United
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Additional AR 1: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Additional AR 2: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Fourth Official: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

CSKA Moskva – FC Basel
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Additional AR 2: Dennis Higler (NED)
Fourth Official: Mario Diks (NED)
Referee Observer: Paulius Malžinskas (LTU)

Bayern München – Celtic
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averianov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Sergei Lapochkin (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Sergei Ivanov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

Anderlecht – Paris St. Germain
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: Martin Wilczek (CZE)
Referee Observer: Tomasz Mikulski (POL)

Qarabağ – Atlético Madrid
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Amaury Delerue (FRA)
Additional AR 2: François Letexier (FRA)
Fourth Official: Bertrand Jouannaud (FRA)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Chelsea – AS Roma
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: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Grega Kordež (SVN)

Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL) 

FC Barcelona – Olympiacos
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Francis Connor (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Ross (SCO)
Additional AR 1: John Beaton (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Fourth Official: Douglas Potter (SCO)
Referee Observer: Jørn West Larsen (DEN)

Juventus – Sporting
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Paul Tierney (ENG)
Fourth Official: Harry Lennard (ENG)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Future is now for female referees

If you watched the hugely entertaining encounter between Japan and New Caledonia at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, you may not have noticed the referee. And that’s exactly the way she likes it. Esther Staubli, a Swiss school teacher and a rising star in refereeing circles, was the “woman in the middle”, making a little bit of history alongside the New Caledonians, who won their first-ever point at a FIFA event in the 1-1 draw. Although a woman had refereed a FIFA U-17 World Cup match before, it had not happened for 16 years, since Korean Im Eun-Ju took control of a contest at Trinidad & Tobago 2001. But it was part of a journey both for the veteran of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and for FIFA’s Refereeing Department, which has been working to train men’s and women’s referees in the same structure for some time. This joint preparation project began in 2016 as part of the quest by the FIFA Referee Committee and the administrators and instructors within the department to constantly improve the quality of officiating at FIFA events. The appointment of Staubli and the inclusion of six other women’s referees at India, who worked as fourth officials, is a fresh and exciting highlight in that quest. The other referees who came from every confederation: Ri Hyang Ok (PRK), Gladys Lengwe (ZAM), Carol Anne Chenard (CAN), Claudia Umpierrez (URU), Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL), Kateryna Monzul (UKR).

What they said
Dominique Wacalie, New Caledonia coach: "[Staubli] did a great job and we have nothing to criticise. I think it is good for the football in general. She helped the teams to play well. All the players respected her, so there was no difference to a man. I hope this is not the last time we see this."

Yoshiro Moriyama, Japan coach: "Honestly I couldn't really remember [Staubli’s] performance. And this is of course a good sign."

Esther Staubli, FIFA referee: “It was a match like any other one. Later on maybe there will be more emotions, or I will realise it was something special, but before I really tried to prepare like it was a normal match and do my best … It was really nice that they liked me as a referee, and that they just looked at me like a normal referee. I think there is not a big difference in whether it was a male or female referee, it is just the performance that counts.”

Kateryna Monzul, FIFA referee: “It’s a really big step for all women around the world. For me, I feel lucky and really appreciate being able to go back to my country with this experience. It gives us new goals and targets.”

Gladys Lengwe, FIFA referee: “This was a great experience and a great honour to be with so many great referees. I learned a lot from all of the matches.”

Anna-Marie Keighley, FIFA referee: “It was a wonderful opportunity to continue developing in preparation for the Women’s World Cup [France 2019] and to be here with the men and to help support them and continue to learn.”

Carol Anne Chenard, FIFA referee: “It was a wonderful experience for us here in India. It’s the next step in our progression as referees. It’s a great new opportunity to work with new officials and to learn from each other. The men really embraced us, and we really feel like we’re part of the team.”

Kari Seitz, Senior Manager, FIFA Refereeing Department: “The success of these women is a testament not only to their hard work and commitment, but also to what is possible when women, who demonstrate top refereeing qualities, are given the opportunity to perform. I am incredibly proud of them. I sincerely hope that by appointing women referees to this important competition we will inspire and motivate other women referees. The door has been opened, and we are committed to continue to build for the future. In that future, we won’t be calling them women referees or men referees, but just referees.”

Source: FIFA

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 – Round of 16

16 October 2017
Colombia – Germany
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)

Paraguay – USA
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Robert Madden (SCO)

17 October 2017
Iran – Mexico
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Fourth Official: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)

France – Spain
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: John Pitti (PAN)

England – Japan
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jair Marrufo (USA)

Mali – Iraq

Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Fernandez (CRC) 

Fourth Official: Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH)

18 October 2017
Ghana – Niger
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Tavares (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD)

Brazil – Honduras
Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Olivier Safari (COD)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Ssonko (UGA)
Fourth Official: Clement Turpin (FRA)

CAF Confederation Cup Semi-finals

First Leg, 29-30 September 2017

Supersport United – Club Africain

Referee: Bernard Camille (SEY, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Hensley Petrousse (SEY)
Assistant Referee 2: Eldrick Adelaide (SEY)

TP Mazembe – Fath Union Sport
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)

Second Leg, 21-22 October 2017

Fath Union Sport – TP Mazembe

Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)

Club Africain – Supersport United

Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tahssen Abo (EGY)

CAF Champions League Semi-finals

First Leg, 29-30 September 2017

USM Alger – Wydad AC
Referee: Alioum Alioum (CMR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Noupue (CMR)

Etoile du Sahel – Al Ahly
Referee: Eric Otogo Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Seydou Tiama (BFA)
Assistant Referee 2: Issa Yaya (CHA)

Second Leg, 21-22 October 2017

Wydad AC – USM Alger

Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Djibril Camara (SEN)

Al Ahly – Etoile du Sahel
Referee: Victor Gomes (RSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Johannes Moshidi (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Lindikhaya Bolo (RSA)

CAF removed referee Bennett from Champions League after World Cup Qualifier blunder

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have dropped South African referee Daniel Bennett from officiating in the Champions League second-leg semi-final clash between Nady Al Ahly and Etoile du Sahel.
Bennett, who was originally appointed to officiate in the crunch clash at the Borg el Aram Stadium, has been sidelined following his abysmal performance in the 2018 World Cup qualifier between the Cranes of Uganda and the Black Stars in Kampala last Saturday. Referee Bennett and his assistants denied Ghana a perfect goal in the 93rd minute with television replays showing that it was a perfect goal. The referee also denied Ghana a penalty earlier in the second-half when Ghana midfielder Frank Acheampong was brought down in the box. The Ghana Football Association has reported the referee and his Seychellois assistants to FIFA for their horrendous officiating. The beleaguered official has however been replaced by fellow South African referee Vitor Gomes to take charge of the tie. The clash is set for October 22, at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria.

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 – Group Stage (Matches 33-36)

14 October 2017

France – Honduras
Referee: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tzu Liang Lee (SIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Min Kiat Koh (SIN)
Fourth Official: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)

Japan – New Caledonia
Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Fourth Official: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)

Mexico – Chile
Referee: Slavko Vincic (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klancnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovacic (SVN) 

Fourth Official: Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL)

England – Iraq
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA)
Fourth Official: Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH)

First female referee to officiate at FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017

In line with FIFA’s objective to further develop women’s football, a new milestone has been achieved in India as Esther Staubli is set to become the first female referee to officiate a match at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 following her appointment as the referee for the encounter between Japan and New Caledonia to be played on 14 October in Kolkata.
Staubli is one of seven women referees invited to the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 India where all the male and female match officials, nominated by FIFA’s Referees Committee, have completed a host of activities together in a series of seminars, including theoretical sessions in the classroom and practical sessions on the field of play. The benefits of joining forces are mutual when men and women team up to hone their interpretation, positioning and decision-making abilities. Another positive aspect is that the women referees have an opportunity to gain more experience. High-level competition matches are often limited during the year in their respective regions and so such opportunities are crucial as the referees prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019. In having the opportunity to now work together with their male colleagues at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, FIFA’s female referees are one step further in their preparation and in their careers at the top level. That FIFA has selected female referees for a men’s tournament is a logical consequence of an education programme that FIFA’s Refereeing Department started in 2016. The positive results and improvements seen in the joint preparations have shown that the time has come for elite female referees to officiate in men’s competitions together with their male colleagues. (Source: FIFA)

Esther Staubli fact file
Country: Switzerland
Birthdate: 03.10.1979
Height: 168cm
Residence: Bern, Switzerland
Occupation: Teacher agricultural school
Mother tongue: German
Other languages: English, French, Italian
International since: 2006
Highlights: FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, UEFA Women’s Champions League Final, 2015 Olympic Women’s Football Tournament Rio 2016, UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Final

The first ever female referee who officiated a FIFA U-17 World Cup (male) game was Im Eun-Ju (Korea) on 16 September 2001: USA - France, in Trinidad & Tobago.