FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 Candidate Referee Seminar

FIFA Referee Ekaterina Koroleva (USA) will attend the Seminar from February 12 to 16 as one of 35 female candidate referees for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. Seminar attendees will take part in practical on-field sessions, theoretical sessions which include topical discussions and video tests, as well as medical evaluations and fitness testing.
Koroleva is one of six CONCACAF referees selected for the pre-Women’s World Cup seminar alongside representatives from Costa Rica, Canada, Honduras and Mexico. A few weeks later, Koroleva will head to Portugal to lead a U.S. group of referees at the prestigious Algarve Cup from February 28 to March 7. Assistant referees Felisha Mariscal and Deleana Quan will serve on her crew at the tournament. 

Source: USSF

Changes on FIFA Lists 2018

FIFA Referees Committee recently approved the composition of the FIFA Lists for next year, with changes becoming effective on 1 January 2018. National federations have been informed and some of them published their new lists.

Referees – Men
Out: Tony Chapron, Antony Gautier
In: Jerome Brisard (photo), Karim Abed

Assistant Referees – Men
Out: Frederic Cano, Laurent Stien
In: Benjamin Pages, Mehdi Rahmouni

Referees – Women
Out: Severine Zinck
In: Victoria Beyer

Referees – Beach Soccer
Out: Davut Fidan
In: Moussa Bounaanaa

Referees – Men
Out: Nicola Rizzoli, Paolo Tagliavento
In: Marco Di Bello, Daniele Doveri

Assistant Referees  Women
In: Veronica Martinelli

Referees  Futsal
Out: Daniele Di Resta
In: Dario Pezzuto

Referees  Beach Soccer
Out: Giuseppe Sicurella
In: Luca Romani

Referees – Men
Out: Carlos Clos Gomez
In: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea

Referees – Women
Out: Beatriz Gil Gozalo
In: Ainara Acevedo Dudley

Assistant Referees – Women
In: Andrada Aloman

Referees – Beach Soccer
Out: Jorge Moya Garcia
In: Francisco De Oses Bumedien

Referees – Men

Out: Mark Clattenburg, Andre Marriner
In: Stuart Attwell, Paul Tierney

Referees – Men
Out: Craig Thomson
In: Nick Walsh

Referees – Women
Out: Morag Pirie

Referees – Futsal
In: Gordon McCabe

Referees – Men
Out: Svein Erik Edvartsen, Martin Lundby
In: Kristoffer Hagenes, Rohit Saggi

Assistant Referees – Men
Out: Frank Andas
In: Isaak Bashevkin

Referees – Women
Out: Cathrine Eide
In: Emilie Rodahl Dokset

Assistant Referees – Women
Out: Ann-Marie Sjovika 

In: Line Cathrine Nymoen

Referees – Men
In: Eldorjan Hamiti, Juxhin Xhaja

Referees – Men
In: Christofer Jäger, Julian Weinberger

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referees – Men
In: Dragan Petrović, Admir Šehović

Referees – Men
In: Volen Chinkov


Referees – Men
In: Igor Pajač

Referees – Men
In: Timótheos Christofí

Faroe Islands
Referees – Men
In: Kári Jóannessarson Høvdanum

Referees – Men
In: Petri Viljanen


Referees – Men
In: Irakli Kvirikashvili


Referees – Men
In: Ioánnis Papadópoulos

Referees – Men
In: Ívar Orri Kristjánsson

Referees – Men
In: Yigal Frid

Referees – Men
In: Besfort Kasumi

Referees – Men
In: Christophe Pires Martins

Referees – Men
In: Milovan Milačić

Referees  Women
Out: Teodora Albon, Cristina Dorcioman
In: Cristina Paraluta, Alina Pesu

Referees – Men
In: Danilo Grujić

Referees – Men
In: Nejc Kajtazovič

Referees – Men
In: Kristoffer Karlsson

Referees – Men
In: Urs Schnyder, Lionel Tschudi

Referees – Men
In: Yaroslav Kozyk, Mykola Kryvonosov, Vitaliy Romanov, Denys Shurman

Assistant Referees – Men
In: Michael Barwegen, Chris Wattam

Referees – Women
Out: Michelle Pye

Assistant Referees – Women
In: Erina Cho, Melissa Snedden

Referees – Futsal
In: Chris Grabas

South Africa
Referees – Men
Out: Kulasande Qongqo

Assistant Referees – Men
Out: Peter Chauke, Stevens Khumalo
In: Athenkosi Ndongeni, Mervyn van Wyk

Assistant Referees – Women
In: Nobuhle Tsokela

Referees – Men
Out: Denis Batte
In: William Oloya

Assistant Referees – Men
In: Masembe Issa

Referees – Women
Out: Anna Akoyi
In: Nabadda Shamira

FIFA World Cup 2018: 85 referees, ARs and VARs

According to an article posted on the official USSF website, FIFA will select 85 referees, assistant referees and video assistant referees for the 64 matches of the World Cup 2018 in Russia.
36 referees attended a FIFA preparatory seminar in Abu Dhabi (UAE), from 25-29 November 2017. They participated in a series of activities that included practical, theoretical and physical elements, including training sessions with local players.

Source: USSF

Kuipers: Confidence the key to success in refereeing

Twelve kilometres might not sound like a long distance, but it is far enough to lose yourself in your thoughts when you are cycling to your first match as a referee, as Bjorn Kuipers once did. The miles slipped past all too quickly that day as he steered around one corner after another. “I was incredibly nervous,” the Dutchman recalled. The year was 1989, and Kuipers was just 16 years old. A few months earlier, his father encouraged him to attend a refereeing course after watching him on the pitch as a player. “I made life so difficult for the official,” Kuipers explained. “To be honest, I was such a disaster that my Dad thought I might like to give the role a go myself.” Fast forward 28 years, and the impertinent footballer has become an experienced and level-headed FIFA referee who relies on both his own judgement and that of his team-mates. “If you don’t believe in yourself and build confidence in your abilities, you’ll never succeed”, he said.
Kuipers was chosen to oversee the Champions League Final in 2014 and the Confederations Cup Final in 2013. The sight and sound of 82,000 home fans celebrating A Seleção’s victory in Rio de Janeiro was a very special moment. “That win gave the country a boost a year before the World Cup,” the Dutchman said. “I could feel the power of it on the pitch, everywhere. It gave me goosebumps.” Kuipers’ emotions were stirred again a year later when the list of the 25 FIFA World Cup referees was announced and he knew he would be returning to Brazil. “I can still remember the exact moment that I found out about my nomination,” he recalled. “It was a morning in January 2014, and the time on the clock was exactly 8.22am” The supermarket owner had already been sitting in front of his laptop in his office in Oldenzaal excitedly checking his emails for an hour at this point before the happy news reached his inbox. It was a dream come true – and recognition for a job well done. Anyone wanting to become a good referee needs to master the Laws of the Game. They must be willing to learn, able to make decisions and capable of communicating them. For Kuipers, however, mental strength and the ability to learn from mistakes are also vital. “If you’ve given a penalty incorrectly, you have to be able to work through that,” he explained. “If it’s still in the back of your mind during the next match, you’ll make more mistakes – because the fear of making the wrong decision will hold you back.” He also believes it is important to show character on the pitch without getting involved, “otherwise you have already lost”. While Bjorn Kuipers no longer feels the same flurry of nerves before a match that he did as a 16-year-old, he still likes spending time out on his bike. It was clear at the FIFA refereeing course in Abu Dhabi that he has also lost none of his teenage ambition and thirst for knowledge. “I always look forward to taking part in the preparatory seminars,” he said. “We referees are one big family, and that means we get the opportunity to learn and develop a shared identity.” As every session is different, Kuipers prefers not to compare or rank the many courses he has already completed. “I prefer to keep looking ahead,” he said enthusiastically, before heading off for another intensive training day with his colleagues.

Source: FIFA

Collina: “Referees can count on me”

During his career, Pierluigi Collina officiated so diligently and competently that he was voted the world's best referee for six consecutive years between 1998 and 2003. The Italian redefined the role and became the first star referee. Collina set great store by working hard and meticulously preparing himself for games. He left nothing to chance, preferring instead to be equipped for every eventuality he might face during a match. He still exudes that same professionalism, albeit now from the sidelines rather than on the pitch. At the FIFA Referee Seminar in Abu Dhabi, the football fans that congregate around the pitches at the training complex may be focused on Collina, but his attention is fixed on observing 36 of the world's best referees, who have travelled to the United Arab Emirates in order to train for forthcoming events.
Collina has been Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee since the beginning of this year and is appreciative of his new role: "It's a great privilege to be able to work in this position." While he patrols the touchline in Abu Dhabi, observing how the referees perform in diverse match situations, his commitment and dedication is palpable. Just as Collina was determined to do his absolute best while he was a referee, he is now driven to bring out the best in the next generation of officials. "Our aim is to prepare the referees for the FIFA Club World Cup and the FIFA World Cup," he said. "Together with Massimo Busacca and the other instructors we strive to get them in top shape so that they can perform to the best of their abilities there." Collina communicates with his charges in a calm and considerate manner, offering them words of advice. Their body language is analysed and their positioning on the pitch is discussed. "FIFA competitions attract a lot of attention and that creates a lot of pressure," Collina explained. It is therefore all the more important to accompany the referees in the best way possible. The first referees' seminars with a view to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia were held two years ago. The number of participants has continuously declined since then, and the final list of officials to participate at Russia 2018 is scheduled to be announced early next year. While being at a World Cup is the objective of every FIFA referee, officiating the Final is the ultimate dream. Collina achieved that at Korea/Japan 2002 when he took charge of the title-decider between Germany and Brazil. "But you can't compare refereeing today with what it used to be like," he said. At that tournament, Collina and his team studied videos of the teams and their characteristics in their hotel room in Yokohama, whereas nowadays referees are offered support during their match preparation. "We've had licenced coaches as part of our team since the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, working with us and giving the referees information on the teams, their tactics and their players. The feedback from the referees has been extremely positive." Given such developments in refereeing, the only question that remains is whether or not Collina would like to reprise his former role out on the pitch. "I still dream about refereeing matches," he said. "But I have to accept that that time and that chapter of my life are over. Having said that, I love being involved in the game in this way now. I'm always there if help is needed. The referees can count on me." And having stressed that final point, Collina returned his full attention to matters at hand out on the pitch.

Source: FIFA

A milestone en route to Russia

"We are always looking to improve and we will work hard to be as prepared as we possibly can for the World Cup", said Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, in an address to 36 of the world's best referees and potential World Cup officials in Abu Dhabi. 
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is the venue for a five-day seminar, set to end on 30 November, which represents an important milestone on the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia for the participants. Massimo Busacca, Head of FIFA's Refereeing Department, emphasised the significance of the conference: "Just as it is for football teams, it's important for referees to meet up regularly to prepare for a major tournament in order to develop a collective philosophy." Key topics on the course include consistency and uniformity; the ability to read the game from technical and tactical points of view, as well as understanding different mentalities of players and teams.
Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana, one of the most experienced officials participating, explained further: "There are always three teams on the pitch: team A, team B and the refereeing team. The sessions will be intensive in the coming weeks, and everyone will give their all and exploit their potential in order to increase their chances of actually being at the World Cup next year".
The referees, including representatives from every confederation, are divided into small groups and have theory classes in seminar rooms in which they discuss videos with diverse match situations, as well as practical sessions on football pitches. In these latter exercises, players and referees gather together to simulate in-game events. The officials receive immediate feedback regarding their reading of the game, positioning, viewing angle and decisions. The work of and with Video Assistant Referees is also addressed. Nevertheless, Collina underlined that, "The referee is always in charge of what happens on the pitch." The FIFA Referees Committee will decide on the final list of officials to participate at Russia 2018 after this seminar and following the conclusion of the FIFA Club World Cup, which will be held from 6-16 December 2017 in the United Arab Emirates. The list is scheduled to be announced in January 2018.

Source: FIFA

Clattenburg: English referees to return to World Cup in 2022

With English referees absent from the World Cup for the first time since 1938, Mark Clattenburg predicts that void will be filled in 2022. Clattenburg quit the Premier League last season to work on referee education for Saudi Arabia’s Football Association. After officiating the finals of the European Championship, Champions League and Football Association Cup in 2016, had he remained in England he almost certainly would have been on the list for next year’s World Cup in Russia, when he will be 43. Following Clattenburg’s retirement from the EPL, FIFA decided not to take Martin Atkinson, who turns 47 before the tournament starts in June. Anthony Taylor (39) and Michael Oliver (32) are viewed as the top English candidates of the next generation.
“It’s sad because we had Howard Webb, then myself. And it’s sad that we had no progression,” Clattenburg said Saturday during his first weekend as a commentator for NBC Sports. “Martin’s too old. You have an age restriction, and they were never going to take him because he had too many extensions. Michael Oliver will be the next. We’ll have Anthony Taylor. They’re the next level of referees, but they’re not at the top level in UEFA. I was on the elite referee panel in UEFA maybe three, four years before I was given the chance of big matches. So they need the experience. I’m sure they’ll be given the experience over the next one or two years.” FIFA decided in December 2014 to abolish a rule that dropped referees from the sport’s international list at the end of the year of their 45th birthday. That was replaced by a mandate for careful evaluation once they reach that age.
Clattenburg lives in Riyadh now and his family remains in England, where he also broadcasts for BT Sports. He celebrated his big 2016 by getting tattoos on his arms of the logos of the Euro and Champions League finals. He is looking forward to an expansion of Video Assistant Referees, which may be used in next year’s World Cup. Major League Soccer and Germany’s Bundesliga are among the leagues experimenting with VAR. “I see many problems in all the leagues — United States, Germany, Holland, Australia — because many people are trying to use it too much,” he said. “We don’t want to stop the flow of the game, but we want to stop the scandal, the bad decision where everybody in football goes: That’s a dive. That’s a penalty.” He cited the decision by Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan to call a handball of Northern Ireland’s Corry Evans, which led to a Switzerland goal in a World Cup playoff this month. Hategan was not among the 36 referees announced Nov. 18 for a pre-World Cup seminar, a list that included 10 from Europe and two from the United States: Mark Geiger and Jair Murrufo. “We want video where, for example the Northern Ireland - Switzerland game, where it was clearly not a handball,” Clattenburg said. “This is the one we want to change. And I think all referees in the world want to have it. Why? Because they don’t want to be criticized for making a bad error.” Clattenburg maintains officials’ errors have not increased. They just get noticed more. “The game has got quicker,” he said. “People say referees are getting worse. It’s not. All that happens is we have more cameras, and it highlights the mistakes.” He attended NBC’s first Premier League Fan Fest at the South Street Seaport, where the network broadcast its studio show Saturday. He plans to return to NBC every few months. “I want to give people an insight into what referees think, how they act,” he said. “Now I’m free to do media work. When you’re in the Premier League, you’re not allowed to speak, and now it’s nice that I can pass on my experiences, pass on my knowledge.”

Source: National Post

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 Qualifiers – UEFA (Matchday 3)

23-24 November 2017

Austria – Israel
Referee: Amy Rayner (ENG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Sian Massey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Natalie Aspinall (ENG)
Fourth Official: Sara Telek (AUT)

Slovenia – Faroe Islands
Referee: Irina Lyussina (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Viki De Cremer (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Etienne (BEL)
Fourth Official: Petra Bombek (SVN)

Hungary – Ukraine
Referee: Paula Brady (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Michelle O'Neill (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Olivia Sneyd (IRL)
Fourth Official: Anita Vad (HUN)

Serbia – Spain
Referee: Marte Sørø (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Elisabeth Thoresen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Monica Lokkeberg (NOR)
Fourth Official: Aleksandra Kojović (SRB)

Albania – Poland

Referee: Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihaela Tepusa (ROU)
Fourth Official: Emanuela Rusta (ALB)

Portugal – Moldova
Referee: Tanja Subotič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Helena Buh (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Staša Špur (SVN)
Fourth Official: Sophia Rosa (POR)

Switzerland – Belarus
Referee: Cheryl Foster (WAL)
Fourth Official: Rahel Hasler (SUI)

Slovakia – Netherlands
Referee: Volha Tsiareshka (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Alena Karas (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Anna Ilyankova (BLR)
Fourth Official: Katarina Smolikova (SVK)

Wales – Kazakhstan
Referee: Simona Ghisletta (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Emilie Aubry (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Laetitia Nuara (SUI)
Fourth Official: Ceri Williams (WAL)

England – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: Ewa Augustyn (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Kinga Seniuk-Mikulska (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Anna Dabrowska (POL)
Fourth Official: Kirsty Dowle (ENG)

UEFA Europa League – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

23 November 2017

Astana – Villarreal
Referee: Gediminas Mažeika (LTU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytautas Šimkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Additional AR 1: Manfredas Lukjancukas (LTU)
Additional AR 2: Robertas Valikonis (LTU)
Fourth Official: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Vitković (CRO)

Lokomotiv Moskva – FC København
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Fourth Official: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Andrejs Sipailo (LVA)

Viktoria Plzeň – FCSB
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Additional AR 1: Mario Zebec (CRO)
Additional AR 2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ivica Modrić (CRO)
Referee Observer: Kaj Østergaard (DEN)

FC Lugano – Hapoel Beer Sheva
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Additional AR 1: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Additional AR 2: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Fourth Official: Andreas Staudinger (GER)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Ivanov (RUS)

FC Köln – Arsenal
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Igor Fedotov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Aleksei Lunev (RUS)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

Bate Borisov – Crvena Zvezda
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: Espen Eskås (NOR)
Fourth Official: Jan Erik Engan (NOR)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

FC Salzburg – Vitória SC
Referee: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jordan Stokoe (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Nicholas Walsh (SCO)
Fourth Official: Alastair Mather (SCO)
Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)

Konyaspor Kulübü – Olympique de Marseille
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: Igor Demeshko (RUS)
Referee Observer: Domenico Messina (ITA)

Athletic Club – Hertha BSC
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Marco Guida (ITA)
Fourth Official: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

Östersunds – Zorya
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Rob van de Ven (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Charles Schaap (NED)
Additional AR 1: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Additional AR 2: Allard Lindhout (NED)
Fourth Official: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Referee Observer: Stefano Podeschi (SMR)

Lazio – Vitesse
Referee: Ali Palabıyık (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Çem Satman (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Serkan Olguncan (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Halil Umut Meler (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Barış Şimşek (TUR)
Fourth Official: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Referee Observer: Peter Fröjdfeldt (SWE)

OGC Nice – Zulte Waregem
Referee: Luca Banti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrea Crispo (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Fourth Official: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Referee Observer: Erol Ersoy (TUR)

Rosenborg – Real Sociedad
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: Boško Jovanetić (SRB)

Zenit – Vardar
Referee: Bart Vertenten (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Additional AR 1: Lawrence Visser (BEL)
Additional AR 2: Bram Van Driessche (BEL)
Fourth Official: Yves De Neve (BEL)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Liba (CZE)

Maccabi Tel Aviv – Slavia Praha
Referee: István Kovács (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ovidiu Artene (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Marius Avram (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Horatiu Fesnic (ROU)
Fourth Official: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

Partizan – Young Boys
Referee: Tamás Bognár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balázs Buzás (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Ádám Farkas (HUN)
Additional AR 2: Péter Solymosi (HUN
Fourth Official: Péter Kóbor (HUN)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

Skënderbeu – Dynamo Kyiv
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: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

Sporting Braga – Hoffenheim
Referee: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lee Betts (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Robert Madley (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Kevin Friend (ENG)
Fourth Official: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Referee Observer: Charles Agius (MLT)

Ludogorets – Başakşehir
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: Karel Hrubeš (CZE)
Fourth Official: Jiří Moláček (CZE)
Referee Observer: Kaj Natri (FIN)

AEK Athens – HNK Rijeka
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: Nuno Castro (POR)

AC Milan – Austria Wien
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs (LVA)
Additional AR 1: Aleksandrs Golubev (LVA)
Additional AR 2: Edgars Malcevs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Raimonds Tatriks (LVA)
Referee Observer: Neale Barry (ENG)

Everton – Atalanta
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Rix (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Heine Sørensen (DEN)
Additional AR 1: Michael Tykgaard (DEN)
Additional AR 2: Jens Maae (DEN)
Fourth Official: Henrik Larsen (DEN)
Referee Observer: Paulius Malžinskas (LTU)

Olympique Lyonnais – Apollon Limassol
Referee: Paweł Raczkowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Michal Obukowicz (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Additional AR 1: Tomasz Musiał (POL)
Additional AR 2: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
Fourth Official: Radosław Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Rien Koopman (NED)

Sheriff Tiraspol – Fastav Zlín
Referee: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Tom Grønevik (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Geir Isaksen (NOR)
Additional AR 1: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)
Additional AR 2: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Øystein Ytterland (NOR)
Referee Observer: Stávros Tritsónis (GRE)

FIFA Referee Edvartsen was fired and then sued NFF seeking reinstatement

Rohit Saggi and Kristoffer Hagenes are the new FIFA referees from Norway, replacing Martin Lundby and Svein Erik Edvartsen. Lundby wants to prioritize his business career, since he is regarded as one of the biggest management talents in Norway and is currently an executive at one of Norway's largest companies. Edvartsen had a conflict with the NFF Head of Refereeing, Terje Hauge, then he was accused of writing e-mails to other referees about this issue under a fictive name. Consequently, he was fired and has not handled an Eliteserien game since 6 November 2016. Edvartsen has sued the federation, demanding to be reinstated both in his civil occupation as an executive at the NFF office and as a referee. He has also sued the director of public relations at NFF (his colleague) for making defamatory statements.
Firstly, Edvartsen had a conflict with Hauge, which was resolved, but shortly after that several referees went out in the media, one assistant even crying on TV, claiming Edvartsen had been harassing them both in person and on WhatsApp. Most of the referees went out and said they would not referee anymore if Edvartsen was reinstated. He was then suspended again, with an agreement that he would be back in 2018. He was also paid to make up for expenses lost for not refereeing. Then, about 40 e-mails emerged, all sent under a fake name to NFF and Norwegian media, that praised Edvartsen, while criticising and making accusations about Terje Hauge and other referees. Edvartsen was then dismissed from his civil job at NFF and immediately sued them to get his job back. It does not help that Edvartsen has a lawyer who is regarded as Norway's best and also is his best friend. The tone has been extremely confrontational. Edvartsen has the support of several disgruntled referees, including Moen’s former AR Andas, who actively support him. However, nobody has come out and claimed to have sent the e-mails in question, while a lot points towards Edvartsen at least having sent some of them (IP address has been pinged to the area around his house). The case will come before the Oslo City Court at the beginning of 2018, and it will be a high-profile case with massive media coverage. 

Source: Law 5 - The Referee

UEFA Futsal Cup – Elite Round

22-26 November 2017

Group A, Pescara (ITA)
1. Marc Birkett (ENG, photo)
2. Eduardo Fernandes (POR)
3. Oleg Ivanov (UKR)
4. Admir Zahovič (SVN)

Group B, Lisbon (POR)
1. Tomasz Frak (POL)
2. Gábor Kovács (HUN)
3. Timo Onatsu (FIN)
4. Cédric Pelissier (FRA)

Group C, Gyor (HUN)
1. Gerald Bauernfeind (AUT)
2. Juan Gallardo (ESP)
3. Borislav Kolev (BUL)
4. Bogdan Sorescu (ROU)

Group D, Torrejon de Ardoz (ESP)
1. Ondřej Černý (CZE)
2. Angelo Galante (ITA)
3. Pascal Lemal (BEL)
4. Saša Tomić (CRO)

Copa Libertadores Final 2017

First Leg, 22 November 2017

Gremio – Lanus
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Fourth Official: Diego Haro (PER)
VAR 1: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)

VAR 2: Christian Lescano (ECU)
AVAR: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Torres (PAR) 

Referees Committee: Wilson Seneme (BRA)

Second Leg, 29 November 2017

Lanus – Gremio
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: Eber Aquino (PAR)
VAR 1: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)

VAR 2: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
AVAR: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Referee Assessor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)
Referees Committee: Wilson Seneme (BRA)

Copa Sudamericana – Semi-finals

First Leg, 21-23 November 2017

Libertad – Independiente
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Coty Carrera (PER)
Fourth Official: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Referee Assessor: Miguel Buitrago (VEN)

Flamengo – Junior
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Francisco Mondria (CHI)

Second Leg, 28-30 November 2017

Independiente – Libertad
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Omar Ponce (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Lugones (BOL)

Junior – Flamengo
Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI)

Assistant Referee 1: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Kose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Jorge Osorio (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Victor Rivera (PER)

UEFA Youth League – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

21 November 2017
Borussia Dortmund – Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Sladjan Josipović (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)
Fourth Official: Sven Waschitzki (GER)
Referee Observer: Robert Małek (POL)

Spartak Moskva – NK Maribor
Referee: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Romāns Platonovs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Valdis Koritko (LVA)
Fourth Official: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS)
Referee Observer: Aleksei Spirin (RUS)

Sevilla – Liverpool
Referee: François Letexier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Mugnier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mehdi Rahmouni (FRA)
Fourth Official: Jorge Figueroa Vázquez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Manuel López Fernández (ESP)

SSC Napoli – Shakhtar Donetsk

Referee: Nikola Dabanović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 1: Vladan Todorović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 2: Nikola Vujović (MNE)
Fourth Official: Luigi Nasca (ITA)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

Manchester City – Feyenoord
Referee: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David Doig (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Kirkland (SCO)
Fourth Official: Thomas Nield (ENG)
Referee Observer: David Malcolm (NIR)

Beşiktaş – FC Porto
Referee: Aliyar Ağayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mübariz Haşımov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Akif Amirəli (AZE)
Fourth Official: Oğuzhan Uğurlu (TUR)
Referee Observer: Muharrem Aksoy (TUR)

AS Monaco – RB Leipzig
Referee: Trustin Farrugia-Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Duncan Sultana (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Christopher Francalanza (MLT)
Fourth Official: Faouzi Benchabane (FRA)
Referee Observer: Marcel Vanelshocht (BEL)

Apoel – Real Madrid

Referee: Stávros Mántalos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Chasán Koúla (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Vasíleios Kampoúris (GRE)
Fourth Official: Timótheos Christofí (CYP)
Referee Observer: Michális Argyroú (CYP)

22 November 2017
CSKA Moskva – Benfica
Referee: Ville Nevalainen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ville Koskiniemi (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Arttu Kuukasjärvi (FIN)
Fourth Official: Aleksandra Ponomarova (RUS)
Referee Observer: Sergey Zuev (RUS)

FC Basel – Manchester United
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Goran Beljin (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Miloš Karadžić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Lukas Fähndrich (SUI)
Referee Observer: Andreas Schluchter (SUI)

Paris St. Germain – Celtic

Referee: Pavel Orel (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Petr Blažej (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jiří Kříž (CZE)
Fourth Official: Bastien Dechepy (FRA)
Referee Observer: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)

Anderlecht – Bayern München
Referee: Alain Durieux (LUX)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Da Costa (LUX)
Assistant Referee 2: Claude Ries (LUX)
Fourth Official: Lothar D'Hondt (BEL)
Referee Observer: Michel Piraux (BEL)

Qarabağ – Chelsea
Referee: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Tuğral (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Deniz Özaral (TUR)
Fourth Official: Orxan Mammadov (AZE)
Referee Observer: Asim Xudiyev (AZE)

Atlético de Madrid – AS Roma

Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Valentín Pizarro Gómez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bernardino González Vázquez (ESP)

Sporting – Olympiakós
Referee: Neil Doyle (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Clarke (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eoin Harte (IRL)
Fourth Official: Rui Rodrigues (POR)
Referee Observer: Lucílio Batista (POR)

Juventus – FC Barcelona
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Godelaine (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Florian Lemaire (BEL)
Fourth Official: Marco Serra (ITA)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

UEFA Youth League – Domestic Champions Path (Round of 16, Second Leg)

21 November 2017
Red Bull Salzburg – Sparta Praha
Referee: Mikhail Vilkov (RUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexei Lebedev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexei Vorontsov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Gishamer (AUT)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Ajax – Legia Warszawa
Referee: Mykola Balakin (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Viktor Matyash (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Volodymyr Vysotskyy (UKR)
Fourth Official: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Referee Observer: Rien Koopman (NED)

Nitra – Šachcior Salihorsk
Referee: Edin Jakupović (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Goran Dujak (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Damir Lazić (BIH)
Fourth Official: Marek Mastiš (SVK)
Referee Observer: Ján Fašung (SVK)

22 November 2017
Saburtalo – Brodarac
Referee: Ömər Paşayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Vaqif Musayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Cəmil Quliyev (AZE)
Fourth Official: Lasha Silagava (GEO)
Referee Observer: Sabri Çelik (TUR)

Budapest Honvéd – FC Krasnodar
Referee: Luís Teixeira (AND)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Fernandes (AND)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreu Vilanova (AND)
Fourth Official: Csaba Pintér (HUN)
Referee Observer: Ferenc Székely (HUN)

Esbjerg – Inter Milano
Referee: Ian McNabb (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Nethery (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Gavin Hegarty (NIR)
Fourth Official: Jørgen Daugbjerg (DEN)
Referee Observer: Jens Larsen (DEN)

FK Željezničar – Lokomotiva Zagreb
Referee: Juri Frischer (EET)
Assistant Referee 1: Silver Kõiv (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Aron Härsing (EST)
Fourth Official: Haris Kaljanac (BIH)
Referee Observer: Elmir Pilav (BIH)

Molde FK – Zimbru Chișinău
Referee: Vilhjálmur Thórarinsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Frosti Gunnarsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Bryngeir Valdimarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Mads Skarsem (NOR)
Referee Observer: Kjell Alseth (NOR)

UEFA Champions League – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

21 November 2017
AS Monaco – RB Leipzig
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Additional AR 2: José Sánchez Martínez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Spartak Moskva – NK Maribor
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Francis Connor (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Robert Madden (SCO)
Additional AR 2: John Beaton (SCO)
Fourth Official: Douglas Potter (SCO)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbanyan (ARM)

Sevilla FC – Liverpool
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: Patrick Ittrich (GER)
Fourth Official: Jan Seidel (GER)
Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)

Manchester City – Feyenoord
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: Roman Slyško (SVK)
Referee Observer: Juan Fernández Marín (ESP)

SSC Napoli – Shakhtar Donetsk
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 Vinčić (SVN)
Fourth Official: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Referee Observer: Georgios Bikas (GRE)

Beşiktaş – FC Porto
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: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Borussia Dortmund – Tottenham Hotspur

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: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

Apoel – Real Madrid
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: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

22 November 2017
FC Basel – Manchester United
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Davide Massa (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Referee Observer: Edgar Steinborn (GER)

CSKA Moskva – SL Benfica

Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Häcker (GER)
Additional AR 1: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Additional AR 2: Benjamin Brand (GER)
Fourth Official: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

Anderlecht – Bayern München
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: Zbigniew Przesmycki (POL)

Paris St. Germain – Celtic
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychonis 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: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

Atlético de Madrid – AS Roma
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Rokel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR 2: Dennis Higler (NED)
Fourth Official: Mario Diks (NED)
Referee Observer: Oğuz Sarvan (TUR)

Qarabağ – Chelsea
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Álvaro Mesquita (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional AR 1: Fábio Veríssimo (POR)
Additional AR 2: Luís Godinho (POR)
Fourth Official: Nuno Pereira (POR)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

Juventus – FC Barcelona
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: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

Sporting – Olympiacos
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: Holger Henschel (GER)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

FIFA World Cup 2018 Referees

FIFA has selected 36 match officials (referees and support referees) for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They will attend a preparatory seminar on 25-29 November 2017. The final list with specific roles will be announced once IFAB officially approves the use of video assistant referees (VARs) at the World Cup.

1. Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA, 1985)
2. Alireza Faghani (IRN, 1978, photo) 
3. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, 1977)
4. Abdulla Mohamed (EAU, 1978)
5. Ryuji Sato (JPN, 1977)
6. Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, 1976)

1. Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, 1980)
2. Malang Diedhiou (SEN, 1973)
3. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
4. Ghead Grisha (EGY, 1976)
5. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, 1979)
6. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)

1. Joel Aguilar (SLV, 1975)
2. Mark Geiger (USA, 1974)
3. Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)
4. Ricardo Montero (CRC, 1986)
5. John Pitti (PAN, 1978)
6. Cesar Ramos (MEX, 1983)

1. Julio Bascunan (CHI, 1978)
2. Enrique Caceres (PAR, 1974)
3. Andres Cunha (URU, 1976)
4. Nestor Pitana (ARG, 1975)
5. Sandro Ricci (BRA, 1974)
6. Wilmar Roldan (COL, 1980)

1. Matthew Conger (NZL, 1978)
2. Norbert Hauata (TAH, 1979)

1. Felix Brych (GER, 1975)
2. Cuneyt Cakir (TUR, 1976)
3. Sergei Karasev (RUS, 1979)
4. Bjorn Kuipers (NED, 1973)
5. Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP, 1977)
6. Szymon Marciniak (POL, 1981)
7. Milorad Mazic (SRB, 1973)
8. Gianluca Rocchi (ITA, 1973)
9. Damir Skomina (SVN, 1976)
10. Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)

CAF Confederation Cup Final 2017

First Leg, 19 November 2017

TP Mazembe – Super Sport United
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Aboubacar Doumbouya (GUI)
Fourth Official: Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG)

Second Leg, 25 November 2017

Super Sport United – TP Mazembe
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Fourth Official: Maguette Ndiaye (SEN)

FIFA World Cup 2018: Final referees list to be announced early next year

Qatar, hosts of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, has been named to stage four key referee workshops early next year, it has emerged. Hany Ballan Safar, the Deputy Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, said the four courses will be attended by dozens of officials from around the world in late January and for most part of February. Ballan, who is also the Chairman of the Qatar Football Federation’s (QFA) Referees Committee, was talking to media along with Naji Al Juwaini, Executive Director of the Referees Department. Ballan (photo) said: “FIFA’s choice of Qatar for such a number of sessions clearly reflects FIFA’s confidence in Qatar and the strong relationship between them, especially with respect to the development of referees worldwide.”
The first workshop will be held from January 30 to February 2 with attendance of more than 100 officials.
The second workshop will be held with 37 referees featuring in it from February 5 to 9. The second session will see FIFA announcing the final list of referees and video officials who will take charge of 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia.
The third round of courses - February 12 to 16 - will see the attendance of female referees (80 in total) who will managed matches at the 2019 Women’s World Cup to be held in France.
Ballan said the fourth workshop will be held from February 19 to 22 that will bring together more than 100 instructors.
“World governing body FIFA will bear all financial costs in all respects of the said courses,” Ballan informed. “The role of the QFA is to provide logistical support,” he said. Al Juwaini said that it is the first time in the history of FIFA that a single host country has been accorded four workshops within such a short span of time. “This is a moment of pride for QFA as we continue to develop referees in the country and around the region as well as the Asian continent,” Al Juwaini said. “However, I would like to add that it won’t be the first time that Qatar will be hosting FIFA referees refresher courses or workshops. QFA’s relationship with FIFA on how to develop the field of refereeing started long back. Qatar hosted training courses for the referees of the 2014 FIFA World Cup that was held in Brazil,” he said. “We are honoured that FIFA has entrusted QFA with such important meetings. QFA will ensure that everything runs smoothly,” Al Juwaini said. “From our side, QFA have completed all preparations as we look forward to hosting four key meetings set to be attended by dozens of participants,” he said. He pointed out that the Qatari referees will benefit from the training sessions as attending such meetings give insight to the fast-developing world of refereeing,” he said. Al Juwaini thanked QFA President HE Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani for his ‘great support to the referees committee which was one of the reasons why Qatar is set to host these courses. I would also like to thank the Qatar Sports Club, which will host the training of participants in the courses, as well as the ASPETAR and the Aspire Academy,” Al Juwaini said.

Source: The Peninsula

Spain: "Should we look for referees in another galaxy?"

The Chairman of the Technical Committee of Spanish referees, Victoriano Sanchez Arminio (photo), spoke to "El Partidazo" of the COPE Network and analyzed the future implementation of the VAR, the referee controversies and defended the innocence of former president Villar.

Angel María Villar
"I find him perfectly, he is very well and very strong, and the judges will be the ones who have to decide, what I do not understand is that people judge in advance, without knowing what is there. The treatment that he has received has not been fair, there are other people who have done much more, if he has done something, and yet the treatment they have received has been better, I believe that he has not done anything, nothing at all, to put him in jail."

Respect for referees
"The only thing we ask for is respect, and yet, on some occasions, we do not receive the respect we need, especially when it surpasses the sport."

Relationship with Real Madrid
"The same relationship as with any other club, exactly the same, we have no relationship with the clubs, our relationship is summarized to do the best we can on the field of play. Do we have things to improve? Of course, as in any facet of life, and that is why we are working, and that is why tomorrow we will talk about the things that have been done right or wrong since we met in Santander until now, it is very nice to say that we need to improve, but tell us what. Do I have to go looking for referees from another galaxy? We cannot do more than what we are doing. We have some great referees in Spain, and it is not that I say it because I am the President. Everyone who knows and likes football has seen the evolution that has occurred in the refereeing of our country."

Mateu Lahoz
"It seems that yes, he will go to the World Cup, since they are giving him important matches; but not only him, but all the international referees we have are going out a lot and that is good for the Spanish refereeing. Mateu did not have an easy match; there were some things that I liked and some that I did not, but I will tell him, not publicly. When we meet I'll talk to him and tell him what I liked and what I did not."

The arrival of the VAR
"It will arrive in Spain as it has arrived in other countries and we will start working with VAR. It seems that the idea is to start in the next season, we have to do some tests from here to the start of the new season; I guess it will not take long. We have enough time to correct the mistakes we're seeing in other countries, that's going to be good, and then we'll see what happens in the World Cup, it will be a good showcase to copy what works. The VAR is not going to fix the problems; it will solve the question of whether a goal has been scored or not, if the ball has been out of play or if an offence has been inside the penalty area or outside, but there are decisions of the referee himself and he will have to decide.”

Alleged persecution of Madrid
"The problem here is not that the dog bites the man, but that the man bites the dog. I have nothing against Real Madrid or any club, nothing. I do not have a box with the points that some say that are missing".

Source: Marca

UEFA Women’s Champions League – Round of 16 (Second Leg)

15-16 November 2017

Wolfsburg – Fiorentina
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Maryna Striletska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oleksandra Ardasheva (UKR)
Fourth Official: Anastasia Romanyuk (UKR)

Linkoping – Sparta
Referee: Angelika Soeder (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Sina Diekmann (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Fourth Official: Karoline Wacker (GER)

Rosengard – Chelsea
Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Belinda Brem (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Susann Küng (SUI)
Fourth Official: Sandra Strub (SUI)

Barcelona – Gintra
Referee: Eszter Urban (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anita Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Csilla Révész (HUN)
Fourth Official: Katalin Sipos (HUN)

Lyon – BIIK Kazygurt
Referee: Silvia Domingos (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ana Teixeira (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexandra Dias (POR)
Fourth Official: Sophia Oliveira Rosa (POR)

Montpellier – Brescia
Referee: Katalin Kulcsár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Katalin Török (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Noémi Baráth (HUN)
Fourth Official: Gyöngyi Gaál (HUN)

Slavia – Stjarnan
Referee: Ivana Martinčić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sanja Rodjak Karšić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Barbara Vidović (CRO)
Fourth Official: Sabina Bolić (CRO)

Manchester City – Lillestrom SK
Referee: Olga Zadinová (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Lucie Ratajová (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Nikol Šafránková (CZE)
Fourth Official: Veronika Kovarova (CZE)

Futsal referees prepare for Euro 2018

Europe’s futsal referees have taken their latest step on the road to UEFA Futsal Euro 2018 with a preparation workshop in the host country Slovenia. Some thirty referees came to Ljubljana for three days of fitness assessments, practical and theoretical training. UEFA will now select 18 of them – 16 referees and two reserves – as the team of match officials for the tournament at the Arena Stožice in the Slovenian capital from 30 January to 10 February next year.
“We have brought the referees together to give them instructions on uniform consistency in decision-making, and to test their fitness,” said UEFA futsal refereeing instructor Pedro Galán Nieto. “They have taken the FIFA test, and must pass it to be eligible for the Euro.” The training sessions in Slovenia concentrated on the various strengths need by futsal referees to take charge of matches at the highest level. “We looked at speed and agility,” Galán Nieto explained, “because the way that futsal is played requires these two attributes from a referee. You need speed to keep up with play, and agility because you have to change direction a lot of times. The fitness aspect is crucial. Futsal teams at elite level train regularly – so the referees have to be able to match this fitness. We are encouraging UEFA’s national associations to create fitness programmes for their futsal referees.” Referees’ preparation for the Euro will also include studying team tactics and player characteristics – an element that UEFA considers crucial in helping referees get ready for their assignments. “It’s essential – if you can anticipate and understand, this will help you run the game and take decisions,” said Galán Nieto. A key instruction given to the referees who will go to the Euro is to safeguard futsal’s image. “We are asking the referees to protect the players,” said Galán Nieto, “because in doing so, we are protecting the game.” Futsal uses the two-referee system, and teamwork between the match officials is seen as vitally important. “To achieve consistency, futsal referees need to be able to communicate, to be able to align themselves when taking decisions,” Galán Nieto reflected.
UEFA has recently taken a series of strategy decisions to enhance futsal’s profile – these include the Futsal Euro moving to 16 teams and taking place every four years from 2022, a new Women’s Futsal Euro from 2019, the renaming of the main European club competition as the UEFA Futsal Champions League from 2018/19, and the introduction of a European Under-19 championship in 2019. “These are exciting times for everyone in futsal,” said Galán Nieto. “The UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin is a futsal man, he supports our sport, and the new strategy will hopefully help us to recruit more referees to futsal – especially women. The new competitions in particular will provide an incentive for people to become futsal referees”.

Source: UEFA

CAF reacts to referee Otogo-Castane penalty decision against Nigeria

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has criticised referee Eric Otogo-Castane of Gabon for awarding a late controversial penalty to Algeria in the 1-1 draw against Nigeria in the last game 2018 World. The visitors were forced to a draw when Yacine Brahaimi converted a late penalty which cancelled out John Ogu’s 62nd minute goal for Nigeria.
CAF has criticised the incident that led to the penalty in their match report of the game, posted on,‎ ‎describing the referee’s decision as harsh. CAF noted that “Algeria Convert Soft Penalty To Hold Nigeria.” CAF insisted that Shehu Abdullahi who was adjudged to have fouled Brahaimi in the box didn’t foul the forward. “Yacine Brahimi won and converted a harshly-awarded late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw for Algeria against already-qualified Nigeria Friday in a World Cup Africa zone Group B dead-rubber.“The Gabonese referee ruled that Abdullahi Shehu fouled Brahimi as he moved into the box in Constantine, but big-screen replays suggested otherwise”, reads the piece on‎

UEFA: 2021 aim for female referees

The road to possible participation at UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 has begun for a group of young European female referees, who have been in Nyon for a course designed to give them crucial help as they move along their career path. Twenty-one first and second-category match officials from 19 European national associations were present at the course. The referees, from all four corners of the continent, took part in instruction sessions focussing on issues such as positioning, reading the game, handball, match management and penalty-area incidents, and were given briefings on the qualities needed if they are to succeed at the highest levels.
“Following this year’s Women’s EURO in the Netherlands, we have now begun focussing on the four-year cycle until the next Women’s EURO,” said UEFA refereeing officer Dagmar Damková. “We think that the referees that we brought to Nyon have potential, and we want to show them the way forward, because we believe that they can achieve something. So the idea is to prepare them for a time when they may become elite referees.” The young referees also tested their fitness levels – a crucial attribute as women’s football increases rapidly in technical, tactical and fitness terms. “One day, if they join the elite group,” Damková explained, “the referees will go on UEFA’s summer and winter courses, and will have to pass fitness tests – so we have been guiding and advising them in what to expect in this regard.” The referees have taking charge of domestic and UEFA matches, including games in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, and some have also already taken part in the UEFA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) programme that trains up-and-coming match officials for future assignments. The Nyon course reflected UEFA’s commitment to nurturing female referees in all categories as part of a comprehensive overall development strategy. “It’s a positive factor that we are constantly enhancing development work with women officials,” said Damková, “to include not only the elite levels, but also promising referees in other categories. We’re want the young referees to grab this chance. We have four years before the EURO in 2021 to monitor them and train them to be part of the next top-level generation”.

Source: UEFA

Referee Maric saved the life of a player

Dramatic scenes were seen in a Round of 16 game of the Croatian Football Cup in Vinkovci. Referee Bruno Maric had to help 20-year-old home-born Zvonimir Filipovic, who almost passed away after a challenge.
For a while, the player was still on the ground until Marić approached him and pulled his tongue out of his mouth, so that he would not suffocate. The player has even bitten him, but soon he came to consciousness, got up and left the field.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers – CAF (Round 3, Matchday 6)

10-14 November 2017

South Africa – Senegal
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Berhe Tesfagiorghis (ERI)
Fourth Official: Wisdom Chewe (ZAM)

Cote d’Ivoire – Morocco
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)
Fourth Official: Bakary Camara (GAM)

Ghana – Egypt
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Fourth Official: Daouda Gueye (SEN)

Algeria – Nigeria
Referee: Eric Otogo Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Aboubacar Doumbouya (GUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Seydou Tiama (BFA)
Fourth Official: Juste Ephrem Zio (BFA)

Burkina Faso – Cape Verde Islands
Referee: Youssef Essrayri (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohsen Ben Salem (TUN)
Fourth Official: Sadok Selmi (TUN)

Zambia – Cameroon
Referee: Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yahya Nouali (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Youssef Mabrouk (MAR)
Fourth Official: Nouredine El Jaafari (MAR)

Tunisia – Libya

Referee: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD)
Assistant Referee 1: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG) 

Fourth Official: Hubert Andriamiharisoa (MAD)

Congo DR – Guinea
Referee: Alioum Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Noupue (CMR)
Fourth Official: Blaise Ngwa (CMR)

Gabon – Mali
Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mahmoud Ahmed (EGY)
Fourth Official: Bernard Camille (SEY)

Congo – Uganda
Referee: El Fadil Mohamed (SDN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Ibrahim (SDN)
Assistant Referee 2: Hassan Egueh (DJI)
Fourth official: Mahmood Ismail (SDN)
Referee Assessor: Bernard Mfubusa (BDI)

Senegal – South Africa
Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Olivier Safari (COD)
Assistant Referee 2: Issa Yaya (CHA)
Fourth Official: Joshua Bondo (BOT)

International Friendly Matches

9-14 November 2017

Scotland – Netherlands
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Fourth Official: Tony Chapron (FRA)

Luxembourg – Hungary
Referee: Sébastien Delférière (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Yves De Neve (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Monteny (BEL)
Fourth Official: Erik Lambrechts (BEL)

Romania – Turkey
Referee: Tiago Lopes (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Ferreira (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Luís Campos (POR)
Fourth Official: Horatiu Fesnic (ROU)

Iran – Panama
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Kühr (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Fourth Official: Alexander Harkam (AUT)

Armenia – Belarus
Referee: Lasha Silagava (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Zaza Menteshashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Davit Chigogidze (GEO)
Fourth Official: Gevorg Yeghoyan (ARM)

England – Germany
Referee: Paweł Raczkowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Michał Obukowicz (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Radosław Siejka (POL)
Fourth Official: Daniel Stefański (POL)
VAR: Paweł Gil (POL)
AVAR: Marcin Borkowski (POL)

France – Wales
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Álvaro Mesquita (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nélson Cordeiro (POR)
Fourth Official: Fábio Veríssimo (POR)

Poland – Uruguay
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: István Albert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Péter Berettyán (HUN)
Fourth Official: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)

Japan – Brazil
Referee: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Haquette (FRA)
Fourth Official: Benoît Millot (FRA)
VAR: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
AVAR: Amaury Delerue (FRA)

Belgium – Mexico

Referee: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Davide Massa (ITA)

Ukraine – Slovakia
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Yury Mozharovsky (UKR)

Korea – Colombia
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Rule (NZL)
Fourth Official: Dong Jin Kim (KOR)

Georgia – Cyprus
Referee: Suren Baliyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Vanik Simonyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Erik Arevshatyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Irakli Kvirikashvili (GEO)

Russia – Argentina
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Prapotnik (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Fourth Official: Aleksei Eskov (RUS)

Spain – Costa Rica
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polichronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)

Madagascar – Comoros
Referee: Laurent Kopriwa (LUX)
Assistant Referee 1: David Santos (LUX)
Assistant Referee 2: Claude Ries (LUX)
Fourth Official: Sven Bindels (LUX)

Poland – Mexico
Referee: Oliver Drachta (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Rigler (AUT)
Fourth Official: Daniel Stefanski (POL)

Armenia – Cyprus
Referee: Giorgi Vadachkoria (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Levan Todria (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Levan Varamishvili (GEO)

Germany – France
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarık Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)

Russia – Spain
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Sergey Lapochkin (RUS)

Austria – Uruguay
Referee: Tamás Bognár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balázs Buzás (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Fourth Official: Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN)

England – Brazil
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Barbosa (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: Carlos Xistra (POR)
VAR: Tiago Lopes (POR)
AVAR: João Capela (POR)

Wales – Panama
Referee: Bart Vertenten (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)

Hungary – Costa Rica
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Fourth Official: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)

Argentina – Nigeria
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)

Turkey – Albania
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Margaritov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Venev (BUL)
Fourth Official: Halil Meler (TUR)

China – Colombia
Referee: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN) 

Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)

Portugal – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Sebastian Coltescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ovidiu Artene (ROU)
Fourth Official: Carlos Xistra (POR)

Finland – Estonia 
Referee: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jon Knutsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Geir Isaksen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)

Malta – Estonia
Referee: Genc Nuza (KOS)
Assistant Referee 1: Fatlum Berisha (KOS)
Assistant Referee 2: Bujar Selimaj (KOS)
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)

Fiji – Estonia
Referee: Nick Waldron (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Glen Lochrie (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Sione Teu (TGA)
Fourth Official: Salesh Kumar (FIJ)

Vanuatu – Estonia
Referee: Médéric Lacour (NCL)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertrand Brial (NCL)
Assistant Referee 2: Avinesh Narayan (FIJ)
Fourth Official: George Time (SOL)

New Caledonia – Estonia

Referee: Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH)
Assistant Referee 1: Jeremy Garae (VAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Hilmon Sese (VAN)
Fourth Official: Médéric Lacour (NCL)