Referees and assistant referees for FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA Referees Committee has selected 36 referees and 63 assistant referees, representing 46 different countries, for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Preparations for the road to Russia kicked off in September 2014 not only for the 32 participating teams, but also for the initial group of 53 FIFA referee trios from around the world. The choice of the final group of match officials selected to officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia was based on each referee’s skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams. Over the last three years, preparatory seminars have taken place for referees and assistant referees focusing on fair play, protecting players and the image of the game, as well as consistency and uniformity. The selected FIFA World Cup match officials will attend another dedicated seminar for two weeks in the second half of April at the technical centre of the Italian Football Association in Coverciano, Italy. The officials will be divided into two groups, which will also include video assistant referee (VAR) candidates. Following this seminar, the FIFA Referees Committee will announce the names of the referees selected to act as VARs during football’s most important competition, the FIFA World Cup. The selection process will take into account the candidate’s VAR experience in domestic leagues, FIFA competitions and FIFA refereeing seminars since the beginning of the VAR project in 2016. Between now and the World Cup in June, the selected referees, assistant referees and VARs will be monitored and supported by FIFA Refereeing on an individual basis to ensure they are fully prepared. Following the seminar in Coverciano, all of the match officials will take part in a final preparatory seminar at the FIFA World Cup match officials’ HQ in Moscow, which will start ten days before the tournament kicks off. This seminar will also cover VAR. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the selected match officials will operate in a variety of roles, e.g. referees, assistant referees, fourth officials, reserve assistant referees and video match officials. (Source: FIFA)

As opposed to previous competitions, FIFA has now released separate lists of referees and assistant referees, with no other specific roles (Support Official, VAR) assigned. The composition of the referee trios and support duos can be assumed based on these lists and previous appointments.


Referee Trios

Referee: Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA, 1985)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdulah Al Shalwai (KSA, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammed Al Abakry (KSA, 1980)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Reza Sokhandan (IRN, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN, 1978)

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB, 1979)

Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Abdulla (BHR, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Taleb Al Marri (QAT, 1988)

Support Duos

Referee: Abdulla Mohamed (UAE, 1978)
Assistant Referee: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE, 1984)

Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN, 1977)
Assistant Referee: Toru Sagara (JPN, 1976)


Referee Trios

Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN, 1974)

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

Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean Birumushahu (BDI, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN, 1977)

Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN, 1974)

Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA, 1982)

Support Referee

Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)


Referee Trios

Referee: Mark Geiger (USA, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Joe Fletcher (CAN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Anderson (USA, 1975)

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

Support Duos

Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV, 1975)
Assistant Referee: Juan Zumba (SLV, 1982)

Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)
Assistant Referee: Corey Rockwell (USA, 1974)

Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC, 1986)
Assistant Referee: Juan Mora (CRC, 1989)

Referee: John Pitti (PAN, 1978)
Assistant Referee: Gabriel Victoria (PAN, 1973)


Referee Trios

Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Schiemann (CHI, 1977)

Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR, 1975)

Referee: Andres Cunha (URU, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauricio Espinosa (URU, 1972)

Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG, 1979)

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

Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL, 1985)
Assistant Referee 2: Cristian De La Cruz (COL, 1978)


Referee Trio

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

Support Duo

Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH, 1979)
Assistant Referee: Bertrand Brial (NCL, 1979)


Referee Trios

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

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR, 1973)

Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averianov (RUS, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS, 1974)

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED, 1977)

Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP, 1979)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP, 1976)

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL, 1981)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL, 1978)

Referee: Milorad Mazic (SRB, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristic (SRB, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjevic (SRB, 1973)

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA, 1973)

Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN, 1985)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN, 1976)

Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA, 1972)

VAR at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Five essential facts about VAR
1. A video assistant referee team supports the match officials during all 64 matches.
2. The video assistant referee team is located in a centralised video operation room in Moscow.
3. The video assistant referee team has access to all relevant broadcast cameras and two dedicated offside cameras.
4. The video assistant referee does not take any decisions; he supports the referee in the decision making process and the final decision can only be taken by the referee.
5. Football fans will be informed about the review process by broadcasters, commentators and infotainment.

The VAR Team
The team consists of the video assistant referee (VAR) and his three assistant video assistant referees (AVAR1, AVAR2 and AVAR3). All video assistant referee team members are top FIFA match officials. Four replay operators select and provide the best camera angles. Two of them pre-select the most likely camera angles while the other two provide the final angles chosen by the VAR and the AVAR2 for each checked or reviewed incident.

The VAR watches the main camera on the upper monitor and checks or reviews incidents on the quad-split monitor. He is responsible for leading the VAR team and communicating with the referee on the field of play.

The AVAR1 concentrates on the main camera and keeps the VAR informed about live play if an incident is being checked or reviewed.

The AVAR2 is an assistant referee located at the offside station. He anticipates and checks any potential offside situations to speed up the VAR check and review process.

The AVAR3 focusses on the TV programme feed, assists the VAR in evaluating incidents and ensures good communication between the VAR and AVAR2 located at the offside station.

The Video Operation Room (VOR)
The video assistant referee team supports the referee from a centralised video operation room (VOR), located in the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Moscow. All relevant camera feeds from the 12 stadiums are provided to the VOR through a fibre optic network. The referee on the field at each stadium talks to the VAR team via a sophisticated fibre-linked radio system.

The Cameras
The video assistant referee team has access to 33 broadcast cameras, eight of which are super slow-motion and six of which are ultra slow-motion cameras. In addition, they have access to two offside cameras. These two cameras are only available to the video assistant referee team.

The Decision Process
The video assistant referee team supports the decision-making process of the referee in four game-changing situations:
1. Goals and offences leading up to a goal
2. Penalty decisions and offences leading up to a penalty 
3. Direct red card incidents only 
4. Mistaken identity 

VAR Explained
Throughout a match, the video assistant referee team constantly checks for clear and obvious errors related to these four match-changing situations. The VAR team communicates with the referee only for clear and obvious mistakes or serious missed incidents. For the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the referees have received clear instructions on when to accept information from the video assistant referee and when to review the video footage on the side of the field of play before taking the appropriate action/decision.

On-Field Review (for interpretation):
-foul committed by attacking player
-offside interference
Penalty Decisions
-foul leading up to penalty
-foul by attacking player
All direct red card incidents

VAR Advice Only (for factual incidents):
-offside position leading up to goal
-ball out of play leading up to goal
Penalty Decisions
-foul committed inside or outside the penalty area
-ball out of play leading up to penalty
-offside position leading up to penalty
All cases of mistaken identity

Hand Signals

Hand to the Ear
The referee can delay a restart at any time to communicate with the VAR. He will signal this by pointing to his ear. This is not considered an official VAR review.

Official Review Sign
The referee will make the official VAR review signal to indicate that play has been stopped to review a decision with the on-field review monitor or to change a decision based on information received from the VAR. An official VAR review only takes place if the referee makes the signal.

VAR Information System
To ensure that all football fans in the stadium and watching on TV are well informed during a review process, FIFA has developed a VAR information system for broadcasters, commentators and infotainment. For each match, a FIFA staff member informs the broadcasters, commentators and infotainment about the different steps of the review process, including information about the reason for the review and the outcome of the review, via a networked touch tablet. The person operating the tablet is located in the video operation room and has access to the audio from the referee communication system as well as the camera angles the VAR is looking at. The VAR information system will also be used to automatically create VAR-specific graphic templates for TV and the giant screen in the stadium.

Source: FIFA

UEFA Women's Champions League – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

28 March 2018

Linköping – Manchester City
Referee: Jana Adámková (CZE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Sanja Rodjak Karšić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriela Hanáková (CZE)
Fourth Official: Lucie Šulcová (CZE)
Referee Observer: Hilda McDermott (IRL)

Slavia Praha – Wolfsburg
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Kylie Mcmullen (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Michelle O'Neill (IRL)
Fourth Official: Ifeoma Kulmala (FIN)
Referee Observer: Natalia Avdonchenko (RUS)

Barcelona – Lyon
Referee: Sandra Bastos (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Lucia Abruzzese (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Ana Aguiar (POR)
Referee Observer: Dagmar Damkova (CZE)

Chelsea – Montpellier
Referee: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekaterina Kurochkina (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Ekaterina Marinova (BUL)
Fourth Official: Vera Opeykina (RUS)
Referee Observer: Caroline De Boeck (BEL)

AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers – Final Round (Matchday 6)

27 March 2018

Philippines – Tajikistan
Referee: Jarred Gillett (AUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Ryan Gallagher (AUS)
Fourth Official: Shaun Evans (AUS)

Yemen – Nepal
Referee: Aziz Asimov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrey Tsapenko (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Timur Gaynullin (UZB) 

Fourth Official: Kurbanov Charymurat (TKM)

Myanmar – Macau
Referee: Minoru Tojo (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Isao Nishihashi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Yusuke Araki (JPN)

Kyrgyzstan – India
Referee: Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Saeed Al-Rashdi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Zayed Salman (UAE)
Fourth Official: Yaqoub Al-Hammadi (UAE)

Korea DPR – Hong Kong
Referee: Omar Al-Ali (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Jasem Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Masoud Fard (UAE)
Fourth Official: Sadullo Gulmurodi (TJK)

Lebanon – Malaysia
Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ruslan Serazitdinov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Alisher Usmanov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Kasimov Sherzod (UZB)

Afghanistan – Cambodia
Referee: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ryo Hirama (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Hsu Min Yu (TPE)
Fourth Official: Ali Reda (LIB)

Jordan – Vietnam
Referee: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Palliya Namal (SRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)
Fourth Official: Kasun Weerakkody (SRI)

Oman – Palestine
Referee: Turki Al-Khudhayr (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fahad Al-Umri (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Zaid Al-Shamamri (KSA)
Fourth Official: Hussain Al-Hunfush (KSA)

Maldives – Bhutan
Referee: Hasan Akrami (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Saeid Ghasemi (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alireza Ildorom (IRN)
Fourth Official: Bijan Heidari (IRN)

Chinese Taipei – Singapore
Referee: Pranjal Banerjee (IND)
Assistant Referee 1: Samar Pal (IND)
Assistant Referee 2: Asit Kumar (IND)
Fourth Official: Anisur Rahman (BAN)

Bahrain – Turkmenistan
Referee: Yaqoob Baqi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ali Al Jardani (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hamed Al Ghafri (OMA)
Fourth Official: Mahmood Al Majarafi (OMA)

UEFA U-21 Euro 2019 Qualifiers (Matchday 12)

25-27 March 2018

Cyprus – Sweden
Referee: Fabio Veríssimo (POR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nuno Pereira (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rui Teixeira (POR)
Fourth Official: Helder Azevedo (POR)
Referee Observer: Jens Larsen (DEN)

San Marino – Belarus
Referee: Jason Barcelo (GIB)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Parody (GIB)
Assistant Referee 2: Johan Ward (GIB)
Fourth Official: Yaroslaff Borg (GIB)
Referee Observer: Niklas Líðarenda (FRO)

Belgium – Hungary
Referee: Erez Papir (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Amihay Mozes (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yehiel Haluba (ISR)
Fourth Official: Shalom Avraham (ISR)
Referee Observer: Leif Sundell (SWE)

Northern Ireland – Iceland
Referee: Fedayi San (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Stéphane Almeida (SUI)
Fourth Official: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)
Referee Observer: Johan Verbist (BEL)

Georgia – Denmark
Referee: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Romāns Platonovs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Valdis Koritko (LVA)
Fourth Official: Edgars Maļcevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Stephen Lodge (ENG)

Kazakhstan – Luxembourg
Referee: Dzianis Shcharbakou (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yury Khomchanka (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yauheni Ramanau (BLR)
Fourth Official: Siarhei Tsynkevich (BLR)
Referee Observer: Muharrem Aksoy (TUR)

Greece – Czech Republic
Referee: Vilhjálmur Thórarinsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gylfi Sigurðsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Frosti Gunnarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Thóroddur Hjaltalín (ISL)
Referee Observer: Iain Robertson Brines (SCO)

Turkey – Malta
Referee: Ömər Paşayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Namiq Hüseynov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mübariz Haşımov (AZE)
Fourth Official: Rəhim Həsənov (AZE)
Referee Observer: Yuri Baskakov (RUS)

Croatia – Moldova
Referee: Jari Järvinen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mika Lamppu (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Sami Nykänen (FIN)
Fourth Official: Oskari Hämäläinen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Rien Koopman (NED)

Switzerland – Portugal
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Fredrik Klyver (SWE)
Fourth Official: Kaspar Sjöberg (SWE)
Referee Observer: Gerard Perry (IRL)

Slovakia – Albania
Referee: Iwan Griffith (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Bird (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Johnathon Bryant (WAL)
Fourth Official: Huw Jones (WAL)
Referee Observer: Stávros Tritsónis (GRE)

Bulgaria – Slovenia
Referee: Stávros Mántalos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Trýfon Petrópoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Chrysoúla Kourompýlia (GRE)
Fourth Official: Athanásios Tzílos (GRE)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

Poland – Lithuania
Referee: Bojan Nikolić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Dragan Bogićević (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Nenad Kurčubić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Petar Piper (SRB)
Referee Observer: Ján Fašung (SVK)

Andorra – Netherlands
Referee: Alex Troleis (FRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Christiansen (FRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Hermansen (FRO)
Fourth Official: Rúni Gaardbo (FRO)
Referee Observer: Václav Krondl (CZE)

Austria – FYR Macedonia
Referee: Furkat Atazhanov (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Aydyn Tasybayev (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergey Kalachov (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Daniyar Sakhi (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Marco Borg (MLT)

Liechtenstein – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Zaza Menteshashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Giorgi Elikashvili (GEO)
Fourth Official: Giorgi Kikacheishvili (GEO)
Referee Observer: Pavel Saliy (KAZ)

Israel – Norway
Referee: Manfredas Lukjančukas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytis Snarskis (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladimir Gerasimov (LTU)
Fourth Official: Jurij Paškovskij (LTU)
Referee Observer: Bernardino González Vázquez (ESP)

Kosovo – Germany
Referee: Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Péter Kobór (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Zsolt Varga (HUN)
Fourth Official: Zsolt Szabó (HUN)
Referee Observer: Asim Xudiyev (AZE)

England – Ukraine
Referee: Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Dennis Rasmussen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Fourth Official: Anders Poulsen (DEN)
Referee Observer: Lucílio Batista (POR)

Spain – Estonia
Referee: Dumitru Muntean (MDA)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Ermișchin (MDA)
Assistant Referee 2: Vadim Vicol (MDA)
Fourth Official: Veaceslav Banari (MDA)
Referee Observer: Kevin Azzopardi (MLT)

Gibraltar – Russia
Referee: Vasílis Dimitríou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Mários Kalogírou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Pétros Pétrou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Loúkas Sotiríou (CYP)
Referee Observer: Luc Wilmes (LUX)

Ireland – Azerbaijan
Referee: Filip Glova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kováč (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Ján Pozor (SVK)
Fourth Official: Pavol Chmura (SVK)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

Montenegro – France
Referee: Halil Meler (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekrem Kan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: İbrahim Uyarcan (TUR)
Fourth Official: Koray Gençerler (TUR)
Referee Observer: Joeri Van De Velde (BEL)

Atkinson wanted no cards in his last international match

Manuel Lanzini claims referee Martin Atkinson told him there would be no cards in the recent friendly Argentina – Italy because it was his last international match. The official is hanging up his whistle after Argentina’s 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. 
It was not an ill-tempered game, but it did have some crunching tackles and shirt-pulls that the referee waved away. “The referee told me that it was his last international match and so he wanted to see it out with no yellow cards”, Lanzini told Argentine paper Ole. It was the swansong for 46-year-old Atkinson, who was last year voted by the IFFHS as the second-best referee in the world after Germany’s Felix Brych. 

UEFA Referee Liaison intimidated with metal pole by England coach

Former England Women head coach Mark Sampson was being investigated for intimidating a female UEFA official with a metal pole at the 2017 European Championship before he was fired. UEFA says its disciplinary panel banned Sampson for three games on 21 September 2017. That was the day after the English FA fired him for "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" in a separate case focusing on relations with female players in a previous job. 
Sampson was banned for "insulting, aggressive and insistent actions", including profane abuse, after England's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the semi-finals in August. UEFA says Sampson's language and attitude "grossly violated the basic rules of decent conduct and his behaviour was insulting". Sampson provided statements to UEFA on 1 September 2017 about the incidents after England's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the semifinals on 3 August 2017. The UEFA documents included multiple expletives. They say that in the 60th minute, Sampson was verbally abusive to the UEFA venue director, telling her: "You better sit down, you little shit!" Sampson was then accused of confronting the referee liaison officer Fijke Hoogendijk: "After the game, the referee liaison officer was standing outside the referee changing room when Sampson shouted aggressively at her: 'You're a fucking disgrace, it's a fucking shame.' He then picked up a metal pillar raising it above his head aggressively before throwing it down hard against the floor, shutting the door to the corridor, saying: 'I'm going to close the fucking door in your fucking face.' Fijke was concerned he was going to strike her. She felt intimidated and offended by his actions”. UEFA said the FA had accepted the charges against Sampson, who apologised for his behaviour. "The language he used and his attitude grossly violated the basic rules of decent conduct and his behavior was insulting", UEFA said. "It is without hesitation a cause of sorrow that persons deployed at matches who have no relation to the football performance of the teams are attacked in such an aggressive manner by team's officials", the panel said. "Even accepting the statements of the coach in full it can't be permitted that UEFA officials like the venue director and the referee liaison officer endure the aggressive manners of others present at the match, let alone the head coach of one of the teams". 
In October 2017, the FA concluded its own investigation into Sampson's conduct while he was coaching the team and found that he had directed racially discriminating remarks at two of his players. Sampson, who led the team to the 2015 Women's World Cup semi-finals, was replaced as England coach by former Manchester United player Phil Neville. 

Source: BBC/SkySports

Chapron's ban extended to 8 months after appeal

French referee Tony Chapron's ban for trying to kick out at Nantes player Diego Carlos in a Ligue 1 game against Paris St Germain has been increased from three to eight months, two of them suspended, reported Le Dauphine Libere.
During stoppage-time of the match on 14 January 2018, Chapron bumped into Brazilian Carlos and fell over with TV footage showing him swinging his leg towards the running defender’s shins. A few seconds after the incident, Chapron gave Carlos a yellow card, which resulted in the player being sent off as he had also been booked in the first half. Chapron later apologised to Carlos. The local Le Dauphine Libere newspaper said a French federation appeal committee had increased the suspension after the referee appealed against the initial ban. The federation could not immediately be reached to confirm the result of the appeal. 

Source: Eurosport

Undiano: “When I get a game, my eyes shine more brightly than 20 years ago”

It is almost impossible for a Spanish referee to beat Alberto Undiano Mallenco and his record of matches in the First Division, because, if nothing unusual happens, he will be around 350 in the season he has left before retirement. He made his debut in Primera Division at the age of 26 and remembers an incredible episode that happened to him once, when choosing the goal of the penalties before a Cup final between Real Madrid and Barcelona in Valencia: he tossed a coin in the air… when it fell, it broke! Neither heads, nor tail. He just could not believe it!
- You are the referee with the most matches in Primera, do you feel older?
- The truth is that there are already a few seasons since becoming a veteran and, yes, you see the new guys who arrive asking you for advice and consult you. I do not necessarily take it as a sign of being older. I was nervous too.
- Is a referee better at 44 than 26?
- As the years go by, one is gaining confidence in the field; that is evident. In addition, the players get to know you. I'm not saying that now it's easier for me than before, but I do remember the first years, when they saw me younger and they tried to protest, to influence... Now they respect me more and that makes it easier.
- They say that over the years you have calmed down, that when you arrived at Primera you had the reputation of being very strict. Now we can see more dialogue.
- I do not think it is softening. Many times, the way of acting on the field depends a lot on the players. If they know you more and respect you more, they protest less and you need to admonish less.
- How did you feel, at 26 years old, making your debut at Camp Nou?
- A long time ago. I remember that, at that time, they appointed us using a computer and anyone could go to any game. My second match was already a Barcelona – Racing and the fifth a Valencia – Real Madrid. And there you are, in the middle of all those players that you only saw on TV until then. It was strange, yes.
- In so many years it will have given you time to make friends with a player.
- Friendship is not the best word with the soccer players. It does not come to that. There is a relationship because we are all in the same boat. When the game ends we are normal people who greet each other, we recognize mistakes and nothing happens.
- Do you remember anyone in particular?
- From that time there are few. My first match was a Numancia – Oviedo and I remember Esteban, who was there. After that, we have seen each other many times. He had a great match.
- And how was it with Barça?
- Well, it was a shocking scenario. I thought to myself: "My mother, what do I do here if three days ago I was calling youth matches?" But once the match starts, you concentrate and it does not matter anymore. Barcelona won 3-1 against Racing.
- You do not have much time left as a referee. Are you ready to retire?
- Not yet. The years go by very quickly. It seems that it was yesterday that 10 September 2000, when I called my first match. Life happens very quickly. My former colleagues who have left refereeing in recent years advised me to enjoy it because time flies. It's going even faster and one day...
- Do you know what comes next?
- I do not know. I have a degree in Sociology and Political Science. I have dedicated an important part of my life to refereeing and training and, at times, I combined them. Then it became impossible when, in 2009, I started preparing for the World Cup in South Africa, so I had to leave my other activity. When I retire I do not know if I will resume my previous activity. I have to be honest and say that I see it difficult to live a life without football.
- There are several typical departures: commentators, ex-referees who sign for clubs... In what category do you see yourself?
- I do not know, I do not close any doors because sometimes you say "I will not drink this water", but then you drink it. But football is my passion. To comment on games you have to be worthy and know how to put yourself in front of a camera.
- I assume you do not feel like it very much.
- [Laughs] I do not know yet, really. But I do want to remain linked to refereeing. With training or whatever. I cannot imagine a life without football.
- Speaking about video refereeing, do you sometimes feel a little envious of your American football or rugby colleagues?
- It is true that you see how the stand is very respectful, the conversation is public ... That I can talk to my assistant if it is a penalty or not while watching the video is still an unknown. People would start to scream, to protest... That kind of process that exists in American football here is very complicated, but I do not close myself to anything. Football is the king sport, in 95% of the countries with equal rules always. Being that way in so many places, we are not going to touch it much either because maybe it's going to lose its essence.
- How is that?
- Look, there is another part that is the discussion. I have heard many times that, if there was not that referee controversy, what would we talk about in the cafeteria on Monday?
- Well, we do not know because we've never tried it. The same works.
- Okay, yes. And it would exist too. Although we have this possibility of video replay, there are situations in which we do not reach conclusions. In two images it seems penalty and in others not... The possible error would still exist.
- Would you like to be a referee spokesperson to defend them when they are blamed for their potential mistakes?
- I do not know if I want to be that figure, but at specific moments, in which great discussions are analyzed, yes. One of the main characteristics of the referee should be to go unnoticed.
- What do you not accept as a referee? What you cannot tolerate?
- I do not accept, for example, a situation of racism on the field. I stop the game and that's it. Or I even suspend it. If I hear the cry of the monkey, I stop it, there is no doubt.
- Is the issue of unconstitutional banners controllable?
- There are times you can see something, but during the game you cannot be looking at a banner from the top tier. There are referee observers and match delegates who watch over that.
- What is the most beautiful match that you refereed?
- As great memories, I will take the first game of the World Cup. It was Germany – Serbia (0-1). Now, if I could, I would choose two, a Boca – River and a Celtic – Rangers. According to my colleagues, those are very special. The majority of foreign referees, if you ask this question, would respond a classic Barça –Real Madrid. And I have had the luck to referee it several times!
- When a referee is approaching retirement usually they end-up saying what their favourite team is. How much do we have to wait until we find out which team is Alberto Undiano’s team?
- All the life, because I do not follow any team in particular. There was never a team that caught my attention. I really like all sports, not just football.
- A curiosity. Do you feel capable of refereeing a basketball game?
- Ufff! Basketball and handball seem very complicated because of all the contact that is there. They tell you that soccer is difficult because the field is huge and I think it's complicated. The physical effort is greater, but I think others are more difficult.
- Do you sleep well?
- Obviously, with so many matches, there were times when I slept poorly. Or nothing. After a game, it always costs me. When you have made some mistakes, it is even worse. Also, that became worse over the years. Many will think that you end up getting used to that, but it is the other way around, every time I am more affected to be wrong. I do not know if it is pride, but it stings me more, but then I see the play on TV and I think: "Why have I not seen it?" I watch many replays and I have a hard time.
- Have you identified those errors? If you had a time machine and could fix some of them, what would you fix?
- Yes, I have some. I prefer not to speak about that while I am active. But it happens to me that, when I return to that field, I am thinking that this time I need to get everything right to get rid of my previous memory. When mistakes are in important plays, it is very bad.
- What do you do when you do not referee?
- I have time for everything and enjoy my two young children, whom I try to dedicate many hours, homework, extracurricular activities... I try to give my family everything I cannot do when I am away, which are many days. In the mornings, when they are in school and my wife is working, it is when I try to prepare myself for the games, either physically or in other ways. The afternoons are for them.
- Does it frighten you that your children now that Javier is already major and stands out in his class, that he hears some outrageous words against his father in school?
- Yes, a little bit. The children are children and sometimes at school they say things, but I have not had the experience that any of them came crying home. The older one is not a football fan, he does not like it. The little one a likes it, but he knows how to defend himself well without problems. For the son of a referee it is the same as for a player's son: they will tell him that his father missed a penalty or whatever.
- Are they critical of you? Do they remind you of a mistake?
- The oldest is totally against football. He relates it to the fact that his father is away from home and does not like it. He asks me about my trips, about the hotels, but I think he has not seen five minutes of a game in his life. The little one does see the plays and sometimes tries to bite me a bit: "What a handball you have missed!" Normal, at 10 years old. When someone in the street says something bad about his father, he takes out his nails and defends himself.
- And Maria, your wife?
- Yes, she likes sports a lot. A referee needs the understanding of his family with respect to the amount of hours that I have to dedicate, the trips... I was not present at the birth of any of my two children because I had to referee.
- How was that?
- When my first child was born, I was refereeing at a Euro U-19 tournament in Ireland. The second… I was in Zaragoza and it was all so fast that even if I had come back running it would have arrived. You do not control when things get ahead or something like that. One fell was late and the other early.
- Is the level of refereeing higher than when you started?
- The referees are now better than 10 years ago. Today we are athletes. The guys who go up have some great opportunities and 20 years of difference are noticed. But I also take care of myself now and I have no problem. The motivation is to try not to leave myself behind those boys of 20 years younger.
- What keeps you going? I do not think you want to retire.
- Every day I am more excited. My wife tells me that when I get a game now, my eyes shine more brightly than 20 years ago and it is true. The Spanish league is amazing. When you are appointed to an important match, it shows that they trust you and it is beautiful. Being part of this season's story is very motivating. I still have butterflies in my stomach before I go out onto the field.

Concacaf Elite Referee Course 2018

Concacaf elite referees continue preparing to raise the level of the game across multiple competitions including the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, the Scotiabank Concacaf League and the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship that will be held next month in Nicaragua. Working closely with the Costa Rican Football Federation (FEDEFUTBOL), the Confederation recently held its annual Elite Referee Course in San Jose, Costa Rica. The training brought together 11 male referees and 8 female referees, in addition to 12 members of the Targeted Advanced Referee Program (TARP), who learned side-by-side with Concacaf’s best officials.
During the four-day seminar, elite referees took part in theoretical and practical sessions to improve their knowledge, exchange practices, and review subjects like challenges, handballs, and offside, which refine their understanding of game decisions ensuring a more unified interpretation of the Laws of the Game. All participating referees were required to pass the FIFA World Cup candidate fitness test. Concacaf Director of Refereeing, Brian Hall explained the importance of this test: “Concacaf strives to ensure that its match officials are not only elite referees but elite athletes who are able to maintain the highest standards required by the modern game. As a result, all elite officials must pass FIFA’s strictest fitness test.” FIFA Instructor Esse Baharmast who works with the FIFA World Cup Candidate Referees stated: “It is very important for the referees to attend the elite seminar to bring uniformity and consistency to the interpretation of the Laws of the Game and be updated with the latest changes in the laws and how they are to be applied. It is also as important to put those concepts into practice during sessions on the field of play and receive immediate feedback.” A final and key topic of the course was the mental and psychological approach to the game. These sessions were led by Luis Diego Hernandez, a psychologist that works with the referees and players.
Concacaf’s 2017 Female Referee of the Year, Lucila Venegas of Mexico, commented on the importance of combining men and women into the same course: “Refereeing is a family. The future is now and by working together we ensure the sport, that we all love, benefits from uniform interpretation and application of the Laws of the Game.” Michelle Pye of Canada, one of the course’s FIFA Instructors and a former Elite Referee herself, expressed the importance of the combined (male and female) course: “As a recently retired FIFA referee and a new FIFA instructor, I want to congratulate Concacaf on an immensely successful and valuable Elite and TARP referee course. As referees, we strive each time we step on the field, to be the guardians of the game by protecting the safety of the players while maintaining the integrity of the Laws of the Game. Courses like this, which combine both male and female referees, allow for uniform interpretation of the current Laws, and provide an opportunity to learn from each other both on and off the field of play. As instructors for such a high quality of officials, our job is to help them achieve excellence and to motivate them to continue to work hard so they will be prepared for their next opportunity”.
The course also provided the opportunity for Concacaf to recognize the winners of the 2017 Male and Female Referees of the Year. Mexican referees Lucila Venegas and Cesar Ramos received their awards in front of their peers. “Concacaf is very proud of Lucila and Cesar. Both serve as excellent examples of the quality officials we strive to develop. Not only are they true professionals on the field but they are excellent individuals off the field of play. Now that the course has concluded, I am very excited to say that Concacaf referees are amongst the best in the world. This excellence was evident over the four days of the intensive and demanding course. Having the future elite referees participating from the TARP team, helps to ensure a solid future for refereeing in the Confederation for many years. Concacaf is not merely focused on the referee of today but we are concentrated on developing the referee of the future – the next World Cup final referee”, concluded Hall. (Source: Concacaf)

Elite referees (11): Ricardo Montero (CRC), Yadel Martínez (CUB), Walter López (GUA), Oscar Moncada (HON), César Ramos (MEX), Roberto García (MEX), Fernando Guerrero (MEX), John Pitti (PAN), Joel Aguilar (SLV), Mark Geiger (USA), Jair Marrufo (USA).
Elite woman referees (8): Carol Anne Chenard (CAN), Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN), Marianela Araya (CRC), Melissa Borjas (HON), Lucila Venegas (MEX), Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX), Mirian Leon (SLV), Ekaterina Koroleva (USA).
TARP members (12): Juan Calderón (CRC), Bryan López (GUA), Gladwyn Johnson (GUY), Héctor Martínez (HON), Oshane Nation (JAM), Daneon Parchment (JAM), Fernando Hernández (MEX), Marco Ortiz (MEX), Ameth Sánchez (PAN), José Kellys (PAN), Iván Barton (SLV), Ismail Elfath (USA).
FIFA Technical Instructors: Esfandiar Baharmast (USA), Peter Prendergast (JAM), Michelle Pye (CAN).
FIFA Fitness Instructor: Alan Brown (CRC).

Sandro Ricci and Fernanda Colombo announced their marriage on TV

World Cup referee Sandro Ricci (44) and former assistant referee Fernanda Colombo (27) announced live on TV that they are engaged and will soon be getting married. Invited to participate in a Brazilian TV show, the two of them were holding hands all the time, even when the other participants played tricks.
Ricci revealed that they will be getting married in August, after the World Cup. Asked how they met, Sandro said it was because of the work in common, refereeing, but not on the field. "We did not have the opportunity to work together. We met once in these hotels that the referees usually stays. It was even here in São Paulo, but it was just a normal, formal presentation, and after a while we contacted each other again. I mean, I went after her", he recalls. "Even when I went to the Pernambuco Federation, Sandro, who was in the Pernambuco Federation, went to Catarinense. So, we took opposite paths in the year that was for us to work together", added Fernanda.
Sandro Ricci was born on 19 November 1974. In March 2013, after two other Brazilian pre-selected referees (Seneme and Vuaden) failed their fitness tests, Ricci was added to the candidate referees list for the 2014 World Cup. He followed a strict preparation program and made the final list for the World Cup hosted by his home country, only 3 years after becoming a FIFA referee. He will likely attend his second World Cup this summer in Russia.
Born on 24 April 1991, Fernanda Colombo began working as an assistant referee in 2010 and was recognised by FIFA four years later. But sexism within the sport plagued her and marred the achievement. In February 2017, she retired her flag and went on to write a book on football rules called "Exposed in a More Playful Way", and is looking for a publisher to release it. She explained: "I have new priorities in life. I still love football and refereeing, and will follow new projects in the sport. My goal now is to launch the book and work in sports journalism. Fernanda was heavily criticised for flagging Cruzeiro star Alisson offside when through on goal in a 2-1 defeat to Atletico Mineiro in 2014. Speaking to Globo, Cruzeiro chief Alexandre Mattos blasted: "The woman AR is pretty, but she is not ready. The guys scream and she misses. If she is pretty, go pose for Playboy, not work in football." The next year, Fernanda switched from the Catarinense Federation to the Pernambucana, but controversy followed her. "Unfortunately, mistakes will always be more remembered than the correct ones".

Source: OTempo

The official referee watch: Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Wanting a customised watch for the referees, FIFA asked Hublot to conceive the perfect watch to accompany them on the pitches during the matches. Hublot designed this connected watch, its first, for the footballing universe: the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. It is a unique edition that is limited to 2018 pieces. It has all the attributes of the iconic Big Bang. Its emblematic architecture cut out of the lightness of titanium, its bezel decorated with 6 H-shaped screws, its Kevlar insert. Even the display on its analogue mode dial could pass for the same aesthetic as that of the automatic models. In terms of size, its 49-mm case is what makes the first difference, then its motor, which, for the first time, is driven by technology connected to digital intelligence.
Beating to the rhythm of the football, the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia immediately shows its distinctive spirit as the personification of an application specially developed for the competition and a series of “fan” dials in the colours of each participating nation. Featuring several notifications, the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia announces matches 15 minutes before their kick-off, as well as yellow and red cards, player changes and goals. The Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia vibrates, displaying the word GOAL instantly every time a goal is scored. During the match, the dial shows the match statistics including the score, number of cards, names of goal-scorers, player substitutions and match time. The digital world provides the Big Bang with even greater flexibility and versatility. A watch which - having emblematically borne the first Hublot manufacture movement, the most unusual and audacious materials, the most assertive colours - has been reinvented for the digital era by offering 32 dials inspired by the flags of the participating countries, and two neutral dials. It is available in analogue or digital versions. Thanks to its patented interchangeable “One Click” strap, the watch can easily be matched to one of its two straps. Two are provided with the watch, a cuff strap in sponge sporting the 2018 FIFA World Cup emblem and that of Hublot, a black lined natural rubber strap. So as to perfect each fan’s kit, Hublot has also anticipated an additional strap for them in the colours of their country. In a turn of the dial, with the swipe of a finger, select your team or closely follow a competitor. The Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia has already been tested discreetly on the wrist of the referees many times during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the FIFA Club World Cup 2017. Benefiting from the Android living ecosystem, the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia has thousands of downloadable applications in addition to its competition functions. In terms of synchronisation, the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is compatible with all telephones using Android 4.4 and above or iOS 9 and above. For charging, the watch just needs to be placed on a contact charger.
As well as all the functions available on the 2018 numbered models of the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the referees’ watches will be connected to goal-line technology, an electronic video assistance system for refereeing which follows all the trajectories of the ball and determines for certain if the ball did or did not entirely cross the goal line. On the pitch, the watchmaker will be ever present in the game as always, by sequencing time, changes and extra time to the rhythm of its Big Bang-shaped referee boards. A board that has proved itself, as it is behind Hublot’s greatest visibility during matches. In the current digital world, it will be the very first competition in which the referees are supported by video assistance. From Saint Petersburg to Moscow via Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi and Volgograd, there are 12 stadiums for 32 teams playing 64 matches. Limited to 2018 pieces, available from 1 May, 2018 in Hublot sales outlets, this is the football watch, and the Official FIFA Watch.

Source: Hublot

International Friendly Matches

21-28 March 2018 

Argentina – Italy
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lee Betts (ENG)
Fourth Official: Craig Pawson (ENG)

Russia – Brazil
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dzmitry Zhuk (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleh Maslianka (BLR)
Fourth Official: Dzianis Shcharbakou (BLR)

Netherlands – England
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Ángel Nevado Rodríguez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)

Liechtenstein – Andorra
Referee: Rohit Saggi (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Geir Isaksen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Engan (NOR)
Fourth Official: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR)

China – Wales
Referee: Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS)
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamad Bin Zainal (MAS)
Fourth Official: Christopher Beath (AUS)

Denmark – Panama
Referee: Neil Doyle (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Emmet Dynan (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Allen Lynch (IRL)
Fourth Official: Peter Kjaersgaard (DEN)

Malta – Luxembourg
Referee: Enea Jorgji (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ermal Barushi (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Rejdi Avdo (ALB)
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani (MLT)

Slovakia – UAE
Referee: Letchman Krishnan (SIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdul Hasim (SIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Pattarapong Kijsathit (THA)

Austria – Slovenia
Referee: Stephan Klossner (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Remy Zgraggen (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Maro Zürcher (SUI)
Fourth Official: Jean-Yves Wicht (SUI)

Azerbaijan – Belarus
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Aliyar Ağayev (AZE)

Bulgaria – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: François Letexier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Mugnier (FRA)
Fourth Official: Stanislav Todorov (BUL)

Cyprus – Montenegro
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Amihay Mozes (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Matityahu Yakobov (ISR)
Fourth Official: Leóntios Tráttou (CYP)

Faroe Islands – Latvia
Referee: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Engan (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Geir Isaksen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Rohit Saggi (NOR)

Finland – FYR Macedonia
Referee: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Esat Sancaktar (TUR)
Fourth Official: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)

France – Colombia
Referee: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Vital Jobin (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Alain Heiniger (SUI)
Fourth Official: Fedayi San (SUI)

Germany – Spain
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Francis Connor (SCO)
Fourth Official: John Beaton (SCO)

Greece – Switzerland
Referee: Hugo Miguel (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: António Godinho (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nélson Moniz (POR)
Fourth Official: Ioánnis Papadópoulos (GRE)

Hungary – Kazakhstan
Referee: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Radoslaw Siejka (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Arkadiusz Wojcik (POL)
Fourth Official: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)

Japan – Mali
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Kevin Monteny (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jo De Weirdt (BEL)
Fourth Official: Laurence Visser (BEL)

Mexico – Iceland
Referee: Armando Villarreal (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jeff Hosking (USA)
Fourth Official: Karen Abt (USA)

Morocco – Serbia
Referee: Marco Guida (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Michael Fabbri (ITA)

Norway – Australia
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)

Peru – Croatia
Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Charles Morgante (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Wienckowski (USA)
Fourth Official: Ted Unkel (USA)

Poland – Nigeria
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Constantine Hatzidakis (ENG)
Fourth Official: Robert Madley (ENG)

Portugal – Egypt
Referee: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Piero Giacomelli (ITA)
VAR: Davide Massa (ITA)
AVAR: Andrea Crispo (ITA)

Saudi Arabia – Ukraine
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Xavier Estrada Fernández (ESP)

Scotland – Costa Rica
Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Häcker (GER)
Fourth Official: Harm Osmers (GER)

Turkey – Ireland
Referee: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)

Uruguay – Czech Republic

Referee: Ali Al-Athbah (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Muhammad Dharman (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Muhammad Al-Burshaidah (QAT)
Fourth Official: Salman Fallahi (QAT)

Armenia – Estonia
Referee: Giorgi Vadachkoria (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Davit Chigogidze (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Fourth Official: Arman Alaberkyan (ARM)

Canada – New Zealand
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Fourth Official: José Sánchez Martínez (ESP)

Israel – Romania
Referee: Dimítris Masiás (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Charálampos Georgíou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Mários Kalogírou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Orel Grinfeld (ISR)

Northern Ireland – South Korea
Referee: Robert Madden (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alastair Mather (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Fourth Official: Arnold Hunter (NIR)

Sweden – Chile
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Fourth Official: Stuart Attwell (ENG)

Gibraltar – Latvia
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Duncan Sultana (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Jurgen Spiteri (MLT)
Fourth Official: Herbert Warwick (GIB)

Liechtenstein – Faroe Islands
Referee: Rohit Saggi (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Geir Isaksen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mahbod Beigi (SWE)
Fourth Official: Martin Strömbergsson (SWE)

Albania – Norway
Referee: Fyodor Zammit (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Portelli (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Mitchell Scerri (MLT)

Bulgaria – Kazakhstan
Referee: Tamás Bognár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balázs Buzás (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ferenc Karakó (HUN)

Finland – Malta
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Serkan Olguncan (TUR)
Fourth Official: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)

Netherlands – Portugal
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Fourth Official: Amaury Delerue (FRA)
VAR: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
AVAR: Sébastien Moreira (FRA)

Azerbaijan – FYR Macedonia
Referee: Halis Özkahya (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kemal Yılmaz (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kerem Ersoy (TUR)
Fourth Official: Ali Palabıyık (TUR)

Belgium – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Vidali (SVN)

Denmark – Chile
Referee: John Beaton (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Stevenson (SCO)
Fourth Official: Jens Grabski Maae (DEN)

Egypt – Greece
Referee: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Sladan Josipovic (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Yves Wicht (SUI)
Fourth Official: Marco Zürcher (SUI)

England – Italy
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Fourth Official: Marco Fritz (GER)
VAReferee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
AVAR: Benjamin Brand (GER)

Georgia – Estonia
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Vitali Maliutsin (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleh Maslianka (BLR)
Fourth Official: Giorgi Vadachkoria (GEO)

Germany – Brazil
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)

Hungary – Scotland
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Riedel (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Fourth Official: Christopher Jäger (AUT)

Iran – Algeria
Referee: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Fourth Official: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)

Luxembourg – Austria
Referee: Mattias Gestranius (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mikko Alakare (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ville Koskiniemi (FIN)
Fourth Official: Ville Nevalainen (FIN)

Montenegro – Turkey
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Fourth Official: Nikola Dabanović (MNE)

Peru – Iceland
Referee: Ted Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Adam Wienckowski (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Charles Morgante (USA)
Fourth Official: Armando Villarreal (USA)

Poland – South Korea
Referee: Tore Hansen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jon Knutsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oystein Ytterland (NOR)
Fourth Official: Daniel Stefański (POL)

Russia – France
Referee: Gediminas Mažeika (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytautas Šimkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)

Senegal – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: Stephan Klossner (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Remy Zgraggen (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Vital Jobin (SUI)

Slovenia – Belarus
Referee: Fran Jović (CRO)
Assistant referee 1 Ivica Modrić (CRO)
Assistant referee 2: Igor Krmar (CRO)
Fourth official: Dejan Balažić (SVN)

Spain – Argentina
Refeere: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Fourth Official: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)

Switzerland – Panama
Referee: Oliver Drachta (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Rigler (AUT)
Fourth Official: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)

Tunisia – Costa Rica
Referee: Frank Schneider (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Julien Pacelli (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bertrand Jouannaud (FRA)
Fourth Official: Benoît Millot (FRA)

UEFA Women’s Champions League – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

21-22 March 2018

Manchester City – Linköping
Referee: Stephanie Frappart (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Manuela Nicolosi (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rocio Puente Pino (ESP)
Fourth Official: Victoria Beyer (FRA)
Referee Observer: Eleni Kiriou (GRE)

Montpellier – Chelsea
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Maryna Striletska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihaela Tepusa (ROU)
Fourth Official: Kateryna Usova (UKR)
Referee Observer: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)

Wolfsburg – Slavia Praha
Referee: Florence Guillemin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Solenne Bartnik (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Elodie Coppola (FRA) 

Fourth Official: Celine Bagrowski (FRA)
Referee Observer: Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)

Lyon – Barcelona
Referee: Pernilla Larsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Sian Massey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lisa Rashid (ENG)
Fourth Official: Tess Olofsson (SWE)
Referee Observer: Regina Konink-Belksma (NED)

FC Porto reveals an email exchange between referee Pinheiro and Benfica

Francisco Marques, communication and information director of FC Porto, revealed a new series of emails, accusing Nuno Cabral, who allegedly used, through a second email address, the alter ego 'Eva Mendes', to be the "intermediary" between referee João Pinheiro (photo) and Benfica.
"On 19 February, Eva Mendes - I only know an American actress by that name - sent an email to Paulo Gonçalves, without text, but with a document attached. It was the observation report of referee João Pinheiro in the game Moreirense – Belenenses, finished with the result 3-2 for Belenenses and the referee received an unsatisfactory mark of 2.3. This interest of… Eva Mendes for the Portuguese refereeing is very strange", says Francisco Marques, who later saw a new exchange of emails. "The consultation of other emails allowed us to put things together". On 23 March, referee João Pinheiro sent another email to Nuno Cabral, the 'dear boy' of João Pinheiro, who wanted to get a 3.4, that is closer to 'very good.' Then, Nuno Cabral sends this to Eva Mendes, who in turn replies to Paulo Gonçalves again. Final decision, it was "unanimously decided that the note should remain at 2.3", he wrote. "This is an alter ego of Nuno Cabral, who has a second email whose name is Eva Mendes". This would be a joke if it were not for Nuno Cabral being an intermediary between João Pinheiro and Benfica. And it is not the only case; there is more. How is it possible that a referee from the First League is using Nuno Cabral as an intermediary? "Is a thing like this admissible? Are they going to continue to pretend that these things do not exist?" The referee, João Pinheiro, was not supposed to respond? The FPF and the authorities cannot continue to keep their arms crossed", concluded Marques.

Source: Record

UEFA U-21 Euro 2019 Qualifiers (Matchday 11)

22-23 March 2018

Northern Ireland – Spain

Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (POL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Dawid Golis (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakub Winkler (POL)
Fourth Official: Zbigniew Dobrynin (POL)
Referee Observer: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)

Germany – Israel

Referee: Mario Zebec (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Borut Križarić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jerko Crnčić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Bruno Marić (CRO)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

Greece – San Marino
Referee: Fyodor Zammit (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Portelli (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Mitchell Scerri (MLT)
Fourth Official: Matthew De Gabriele (MLT)
Referee Observer: David Malcolm (NIR)

Kosovo – Azerbaijan

Referee: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Jordan Stokoe (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Sean Carr (SCO)
Fourth Official: Nicholas Walsh (SCO)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Ivanov (RUS)

Hungary – Cyprus
Referee: Robert Harvey (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Dermot Broughton (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Gavin (IRL)
Fourth Official: Graham Kelly (IRL)
Referee Observer: Karel Bohuněk (CZE)

Turkey – Sweden

Referee: Dennis Higler (NED) 

Assistant Referee 1: Charles Schaap (NED) 
Assistant Referee 2: Jan de Vries (NED)
Fourth Official: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Referee Observer: António Almeida (POR)

FYR Macedonia – Russia
Referee: Horațiu Feșnic (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Valentin Avram (ROU)
Fourth Official: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)
Referee Observer: Vadims Direktorenko (LVA)

Kazakhstan – France

Referee: Keith Kennedy (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Donaldson (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Georgios Argyropoulos (NIR)
Fourth Official: Ian McNabb (NIR)
Referee Observer: Petteri Kari (FIN)

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Wales
Referee: Espen Eskås (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Morten Jensen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)
Referee Observer: Ioánnis Tsacheilídis (GRE)

Czech Republic – Croatia
Referee: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Godelaine (BEL)
Fourth Official: Jan Boterberg (BEL)
Referee Observer: Brian Lawlor (WAL)

Georgia – Faroe Islands

Referee: Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Mesrop Ghazaryan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Erik Arevshatyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Suren Baliyan (ARM)
Referee Observer: Dragutin Poljak (CRO)

Lithuania – Finland
Referee: Zbyněk Proske (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Radek Kotík (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomáš Mokrusch (CZE)
Fourth Official: Ondřej Berka (CZE)
Referee Observer: Plarent Kotherja (ALB)

Albania – Slovakia

Referee: Stefan Apostolov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Veselin Dobriyanov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivo Kolev (BUL)
Fourth Official: Nikola Popov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Cyril Zimmermann (SUI)

Andorra – Scotland
Referee: Alain Durieux (LUX)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Da Costa (LUX)
Assistant Referee 2: Tom Hansen (LUX)
Fourth Official: Laurent Wilmes (LUX)
Referee Observer: Dejan Filipović (SRB)

Luxembourg – Montenegro

Referee: Mykola Balakin (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ihor Alokhin (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Semen Shlonchak (UKR)
Fourth Official: Vitali Romanov (UKR)
Referee Observer: Eyjólfur Ólafsson (ISL)

Portugal – Liechtenstein

Referee: Genc Nuza (KVX)
Assistant Referee 1: Fatlum Berisha (KVX)
Assistant Referee 2: Bujar Selimaj (KVX)
Fourth Official: Visar Kastrati (KVX)
Referee Observer: Aleksei Spirin (RUS)

Gibraltar – Serbia
Referee: Juri Frischer (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Dmitri Vinogradov (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Veiko Mõtsnik (EST)
Fourth Official: Kristo Külljastinen (EST)
Referee Observer: Ferenc Székely (HUN)