Referee Bennett could return after “unofficial suspension”

Daniel Bennett’s unofficial suspension from refereeing international matches could be at an end now that disgraced Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi has effectively been kicked out of the game. It was the Ghana FA boss‚ who was also a Confederation of African Football vice president‚ who insisted Bennett no longer be allowed to handle any games on the continent after his controversial handling of Ghana’s key World Cup qualifier against Uganda last year. The South African referee did have a stinker‚ disallowing a legitimate-looking last-gasp Ghanaian goal which would have kept alive slim hopes of toppling Egypt from first place in the group and going to the finals in Russia instead. The game in Kampala ended goalless - and with it went the Black Stars’ last hope of a fourth successive World Cup finals appearance. 
Ghana protested to FIFA about the incident and Nyantakyi make sure that Bennett was suspended from any other matches on the continent. “Mr Bennett and [his] assistants denied Ghana a perfect goal in the 93rd minute with television replays showing that it was a perfect goal‚" the Ghana Football Association wrote it is protest to world football’s governing body. He has not blown his whistle outside of South Africa’s borders since‚ having been pulled‚ just days later‚ from the African Champions League semi-final tie between Al Ahly and Etoile Sahel. Victor Gomes replaced him. But with Nyantakyi caught in a video sting accepting bribes earlier this year and facing a lifetime ban‚ the way is now clear for Bennett to be re-appointed. SAFA officials are said to be lobbying on his behalf to get him back on the CAF panel. Nyantakyi‚ a member of FIFA's decision-making council‚ has been provisionally suspended for 90 days and resigned from all his posts in the game after being shown in a documentary taking kickbacks. Nyantakyi‚ who had been GFA president since 2005 and was elected to the FIFA council in 2016‚ was filmed in a hotel room appearing to take a US$65‚000 bribe from a supposed businessman seeking to sponsor the Ghanaian football league. The incident led to Ghana’s FA being dissolved. A new committee will be discussed by CAF president Ahmad and Ghana government officials at a meeting in Madagascar next week. 

Source: TimesLive

England to trial yellow and red cards for managers

English football intends to start punishing managers who behave badly on the sidelines as severely as players on the field, the Football Association (FA) said on Tuesday. In the coming season, referees will be able to show red and yellow cards to coaching staff in England’s top professional competitions, with the exception of the Premier League, as part of a pilot project based on the FA’s existing “technical area code of conduct”. In the top flight, managers will not be shown cards but receive verbal warnings. Like cards for players, the warnings will be totted up and could lead to match bans. 
What the FA calls “stage one warning” will be issued for inappropriate language or gestures “which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials”. These include kicking or throwing water bottles or clothing, sarcastic clapping or waving imaginary cards. Managers who receive four warnings will be banned for one match, eight warnings will result in a two-match ban, 12 warnings will bring a three-match ban and 16 will lead to a misconduct charge. Unlike cards for players, the warnings will not, in most cases, be wiped out after a fixed number of games. 
Shaun Harvey, the chief executive of the English Football League which runs the three divisions below the Premier League, said on Tuesday that rules for behaviour in the dugout or technical area are not new, but the idea is to make the disciplinary procedure clearer to fans. Referees have long been able to banish badly-behaved managers, but now a red card will make clear what is happening. “We thought it should add to the clarity and hopefully better behaviour in the technical areas,” said Harvey. He said that the referee can, if necessary, caution a team’s entire coaching staff. “This is not about creating a drama. It is about making sure behaviour doesn’t decline further.” 

Source: ESPN

UEFA Europa League – Second Qualifying Round (Second Leg)

31 July - 2 August 2018

Sparta Praha – Spartak Subotica
Referee: Sebastian Colțescu (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Valentin Avram (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mircea Orbuleț (ROU)
Fourth Official: Iulian Călin (ROU)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

AIK – Nordsjaelland
Referee: Jérôme Brisard (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: François Boudikian (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Hébrard (FRA)
Fourth Official: Willy Delajod (FRA)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

FC Pyunik – Tobol Kostanay
Referee: Petr Ardeleánu (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Jiří Moláček (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakub Hrabovský (CZE)
Fourth Official: Jiří Houdek (CZE)
Referee Observer: Joeri Van De Velde (BEL)

Fola Esch – KRC Genk
Referee: Filip Glova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: František Ferenc (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Ján Pozor (SVK)
Fourth Official: Martin Dohál (SVK)
Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)

Laçi – Molde
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Neeme Neemlaid (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitri Vinogradov (EST)
Fourth Official: Joonas Jaanovits (EST)
Referee Observer: Kaj Østergaard (DEN)

Alashkert – Sutjeska
Referee: Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Kolev (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Georgi Doynov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Nikolay Yordanov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Ferenc Székely (HUN)

AEK Larnaca – Dundalk FC
Referee: Fran Jović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivica Modrić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Hrvoje Radić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Igor Pajač (CRO)
Referee Observer: Bernardino González Vázquez (ESP)

AS Trenčín – Górnik Zabrze
Referee: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Øystein Ytterland (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Isaak Bashevkin (NOR)
Fourth Official: Rohit Saggi (NOR)
Referee Observer: Michális Argyroú (CYP)

Trakai – Partizan
Referee: Stephan Klossner (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Remy Zgraggen (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Efe Kurnazca (SUI)
Fourth Official: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Referee Observer: Ilkka Koho (FIN)

Dinamo Minsk – Dunajská Streda
Referee: Antti Munukka (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jukka Honkanen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Sami Nykänen (FIN)
Fourth Official: Dennis Antamo (FIN)
Referee Observer: Kjell Alseth (NOR)

Slavia Sofia – Hajduk Split
Referee: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Lo Cicero (ITA)
Fourth Official: Gianpaolo Calvarese (ITA)
Referee Observer: Peter Fröjdfeldt (SWE)

Valletta FC – HŠK Zrinjski
Referee: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomislav Pospeh (SVN)
Fourth Official: Dragoslav Perič (SVN)
Referee Observer: Gevorg Hovhannisyan (ARM)

Flora Tallinn – Apoel FC
Referee: Amaruy Delerue (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertrand Jouannaud (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Huseyin Ocak (FRA)
Fourth Official: Éric Wattellier (FRA)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

BK Häcken – RB Leipzig
Referee: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Esat Sancaktar (TUR)
Fourth Official: Yaşar Uğurlu (TUR)
Referee Observer: Patrițiu Abrudan (ROU)

Lillestrøm – LASK
Referee: Vilhjálmur Thórarinsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gylfi Sigurdsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Bryngeir Valdimarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Ívar Kristjánsson (ISL)
Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

FC Vaduz – Žalgiris Vilnius
Referee: Anastásios Papapétrou (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasílios Kamboúris (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Trýfon Petrópoulos (GRE)
Fourth Official: Ioánnis Papadópoulos (GRE)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Flyeralarm Admira – CSKA Sofia
Referee: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Davie Goossens (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Bas van Dongen (NED)
Fourth Official: Jeroen Manschot (NED)
Referee Observer: Zoran Petrović (SRB)

Progrès Niederkorn – Budapest Honvéd
Referee: Karim Abed (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Haquette (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mikaël Berchebru (FRA)
Fourth Official: Salem Ben El Hadj (FRA)
Referee Observer: Jens Larsen (DEN)

Apollon Limassol – FK Željezničar
Referee: Nikola Popov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Veselin Dobriyanov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Petar Dzhuganski (BUL)
Fourth Official: Volen Chinkov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

Mariupol – Djurgårdens
Referee: Robert Harvey (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wayne McDonnell (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dermot Broughton (IRL)
Fourth Official: Bernard Connolly (IRL)
Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

Lincoln Red Imps – The New Saints
Referee: Petri Viljanen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Peter Aravirta (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Riku Vihreävuori (FIN)
Fourth Official: Kaarlo Hämäläinen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Gaetano De Gabriele (MLT)

Atromitos – Dinamo Brest
Referee: Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Matityahu Yakobov (ISR)
Fourth Official: Shalom Ben Avraham (ISR)
Referee Observer: Charles Agius (MLT)

Radnički Niš – Maccabi Tel Aviv
Referee: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Laurent Stien (FRA)
Fourth Official: Thomas Léonard (FRA)
Referee Observer: Yuri Baskakov (RUS)

FC København – Stjarnan
Referee: Paul Tierney (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Wilkes (ENG)
Fourth Official: David Coote (ENG)
Referee Observer: Igor Șațkii (MDA)

Beşiktaş JK – B36 Tórshavn
Referee: Carlos Xistra (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nuno Pereira (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nuno Manso (POR)
Fourth Official: Vítor Ferreira (POR)
Referee Observer: Andreas Schluchter (SUI)

Vitesse – Viitorul
Referee: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jordan Stokoe (SCO)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Walsh (SCO)
Referee Observer: Aleksei Spirin (RUS)

Asteras Tripolis – Hibernian FC
Referee: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephan Luzi (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Jeanne (FRA)
Fourth Official: Jérémy Stinat (FRA)
Referee Observer: Goran Mihaljević (MNE)

Víkingur – Torpedo Kutaisi
Referee: Simon Lee Evans (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Lewiss Edwards (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Johnathon Bryant (WAL)
Fourth Official: Huw Jones (WAL)
Referee Observer: Kostadin Gerginov (BUL)

FK Sarajevo – Atalanta BC
Referee: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Edward Smart (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Cook (ENG)
Fourth Official: Kevin Friend (ENG)
Referee Observer: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

NK Maribor – Chikhura Sachkhere
Referee: Halil Umut Meler (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Cevdet Kömürcüoğlu (TUR)
Fourth Official: Arda Kardeşler (TUR)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Slovan Bratislava – Balzan FC
Referee: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jimmy Cremers (BEL)
Fourth Official: Bert Put (BEL)
Referee Observer: António Almeida (POR)

FCSB – Rudar Velenje
Referee: Sergei Ivanov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Roman Usachev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Yevgeni Turbin (RUS)
Referee Observer: Marinus Koopman (NED)

NK Domžale – FC Ufa
Referee: Arnold Hunter (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Gareth Eakin (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Robinson (NIR)
Fourth Official: Steven Gregg (NIR)
Referee Observer: Vasyl Melnychuk (UKR)

AZ Alkmaar – Kairat Almaty
Referee: Dimitar Mečkarovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Dejan Nedelkoski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Goce Petreski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Jouni Hyytiä (FIN)

Burnley – Aberdeen
Referee: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergio Ranghetti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Gianluca Manganiello (ITA)
Referee Observer: Manuel López Fernández (ESP)

Rangers – Osijek
Referee: Dennis Higler (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Joost van Zuilen (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Johan Balder (NED)
Fourth Official: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)

Girondins de Bordeaux – FK Ventspils (LVA)
Referee: Hugo Miguel (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: André Nogueira (POR)
Fourth Official: Hélder Malheiro (POR)
Referee Observer: Kevin Azzopardi (MLT)

Sarpsborg – St. Gallen
Referee: Frank Schneider (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Djemel Zitouni (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Henninot (FRA)
Fourth Official: Florent Batta (FRA)
Referee Observer: Marián Ružbarský (SVK)

Lech Poznań – Shakhtyor Soligorsk
Referee: Christian Dingert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Markus Häcker (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Tobias Christ (GER)
Fourth Official: Sven Jablonski (GER)
Referee Observer: Pavel Saliy (KAZ)

KF Drita – F91 Dudelange
Referee: Michael Tykgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Niels Høg (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ole Kronlykke (DEN)
Fourth Official: Michael Johansen (DEN)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

La Fiorita – Spartaks Jūrmala
Referee: Alan Sant (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Edward Spiteri (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Jurgen Spiteri (MLT)
Fourth Official: Mario Apap (MLT)
Referee Observer: Sokol Jareci (ALB)

Rio Ave – Jagiellonia Białystok
Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabrizio Posado (ITA)
Fourth Official: Rosario Abisso (ITA)
Referee Observer: Michael Riley (ENG)

Ujpest – Sevilla
Referee: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Konstantin Shalamberidze (RUS)
Fourth Official: Vladimir Moskalev (RUS)
Referee Observer: Guy Goethals (BEL)

Crusaders FC – Olimpija Ljubljana
Referee: Oliver Drachta (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Kühr (AUT)
Fourth Official: Dieter Muckenhammer (AUT)
Referee Observer: Jiří Ulrich (CZE)

Hafnarfjördur – Hapoel Haifa
Referee: Siarhiej Tsynkievič (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Vitaĺ Maliutin (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jaŭhien Ramanaŭ (BLR)
Fourth Official: Dzianis Ščarbakoŭ (BLR)
Referee Observer: Robert Małek (POL)

Valur Reykjavík – Santa Coloma
Referee: Irfan Peljto (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Senad Ibrišimbegović (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Sreten Udovičić (BIH)
Fourth Official: Admir Šehović (BIH)
Referee Observer: Stávros Tritsónis (GRE)

UEFA Champions League – Second Qualifying Round (Second Leg)

31 July – 1 August 2018

Hapoel Beer Sheva – GNK Dinamo
Referee: François Letexier (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Mugnier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mehdi Rahmouni (FRA)
Fourth Official: Olivier Thual (FRA)
Referee Observer: Darko Čeferin (SVN)

Sheriff Tiraspol – KF Shkëndija
Referee: Ville Nevalainen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ville Koskiniemi (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mika Lamppu (FIN)
Fourth Official: Atte Jussila (FIN)
Referee Observer: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR)

Spartak Trnava – Legia Warszawa
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Krasikow (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roy Hassan (ISR)
Fourth Official: Daniel Bar Natan (ISR)
Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)

HJK Helsinki – Bate Borisov
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Godelaine (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Florian Lemaire (BEL)
Fourth Official: Jan Boterberg (BEL)
Referee Observer: Terje Hauge (NOR)

Midtjylland – Astana
Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: César Manuel Noval (ESP)
Fourth Official: Mario Melero López (ESP)
Referee Observer: Gylfi Orrason (ISL)

Qarabağ – Kukësi
Referee: Peter Královič (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Miroslav Benko (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Erik Weiss (SVK)
Fourth Official: Patrik Hrčka (SVK)
Referee Observer: Paulius Malžinskas (LTU)

Malmö FF – CFR Cluj
Referee: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Ross (SCO)
Fourth Official: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Referee Observer: Lassin Isaksen (FRO)

FK Sūduva – Crvena Zvezda
Referee: Tiago Martins (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Luís Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Almeida (POR)
Fourth Official: Luís Godinho (POR)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

Vidi FC – PFC Ludogorets
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Rothmann (AUT)
Fourth Official: René Eisner (AUT)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

Basel – PAOK
Referee: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Tegoni (ITA)
Fourth Official: Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
Referee Observer: Vladimír Medved (SVK)

Sturm Graz – AFC Ajax
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcin Boniek (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakub Winkler (POL)
Fourth Official: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

Rosenborg – Celtic
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jonas Erni (SUI)
Fourth Official: Lukas Fähndrich (SUI)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana – Second Round (Second Leg)

31 July – 16 August 2018

Junior – Lanus
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Luis Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Herrera (ECU)

Sport Huancayo – Caracas
Referee: Nicolás Gallo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Díaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John León (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Herrera (COL)
Referee Assessor: Paulo Silva (ARG)

El Nacional – Defensa y Justicia
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Milciades Saldívar (PAR)
Fourth Official: José Méndez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Claudio Puga (CHI)

Jorge Wilstermann – Deportivo Cuenca
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos López (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Fourth Official: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
Referee Assessor: César Escano (PER)

Santa Fe – Rampla Juniors
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Víctor Raez (PER)
Fourth Official: Luis Garay (PER)
Referee Assessor: Saúl Laverni (ARG)

Banfield – Boston River
Referee: Víctor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Coty Carrera (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Orue (PER)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santiváñez (PER)
Referee Assessor: José Buitrago (COL)

Bolívar – Deportivo Cali
Referee: Ulises Mereles (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Cáceres (PAR)
Fourth Official: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Juan Cardellino (URU)

Penarol –Atletico Paranaense
Referee: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Julio Fernandez (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lucas Germanotta (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Echenique (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Imer Machado (COL)

Atletico Cerro – Bahia
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lubin Torrealba (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)

Vasco da Gama – LDU Quito
Referee: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Canete (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Robero Silvera (PAR)

Nacional – Sol de America
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Flavio Nall (ECU)
Fourth Official: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Deportes Temuco – San Lorenzo
Referee: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Byron Romero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Baren (ECU)
Fourth Official: Roberto Sanchez (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Escano (PER)

Millonarios – General Diaz
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Piero Maza (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Silvera (URU)

Botafogo – Nacional
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximiliano Del Yesso (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jorge Balino (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Herrera (ECU)

Colon – Sao Paulo
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Caceres (PAR)
Fourth Official: Ulises Mereles (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Juan Cardellino (URU)

Defensor Sporting – Fluminense
Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Cesar Deischler (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Manuel Bernal (PAR)

Makeshift VAR: referee checks goal using photographer's camera in Peru

A referee created his own version of VAR in the Copa Peru, recruiting a photographer to help to decide if a goal had been scored.
Jordan Campos's long-range shot for FC Retamoso against Auquiato de Pampamarca flew through a hole in the back of the net. Despite Albert Alarcón signalling the goal, he seemed uncertain with the call. He eventually improvised and inspected pictures taken by a photographer on the sidelines before deciding the goal should stand. Ultimately, the decision did not have much bearing on the outcome of the match; Retamoso won the tie 10-0.

Source: The Guardian

Spanish referees best paid in the world

LaLiga are to give their referees a major salary hike as part of a new agreement with the football officials which also mean LaLiga taking on the social security costs of professional referees and their assistants working in the Primera and Segunda Divisións. Under the new agreement they will now earn just under 300,000 euros per year and will become the best paid football league officials in the world, EFE reports. LaLiga has given its approval to the proposals of the Spanish professional referees committee which added the new measures. A top flight referee will now earn 296,423 euros, a jump from the previous 193,000 euros.
Among the salary changes for Spanish referees for the 2018/19 season are the following:
· Ten percent increase in salaries of referees and assistants in LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 1/2/3.
· Assumption of social security costs, which amounts to 1.95 million euros per year.
· Implementation of a fee of 1,600 euros to the main Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and 800 to the assistant.
· LaLiga will pay for the sponsorship of the officials' shirts, which they value at 3 million euros. This will be shared out.
Furthermore, LaLiga also agrees to create a plan for officials to assist them to move into a new job once they finish their professional refereeing career. In short, LaLiga, with these new salary measures, will pay an average of 53 percent more for professional referees, and 61 percent more to their assistants. In the Segunda the increases will be 67 percent and 82 percent respectively from the start of the upcoming season.

Source: AS

UEFA Women's U-19 Euro Final 2018: Martincic (CRO)

Croatia's Ivana Martinčić is the referee for the UEFA European Women's U-19 Championship final between Germany and Spain, and will have an important insight into what the players are experiencing in Biel/Bienne. Martinčić, who turned 33 on Saturday, was a player in the Croatian top division a decade ago before taking up officiating. Now, as well as refereeing FIFA Women's World Cup and UEFA Women's Euro qualifiers, as well as UEFA Women's Champions League games, Martinčić also takes charge of matches in the Croatian men's second division. spoke to Martinčić at the Women's U-19 Euro referees' base in Lenzburg, where she discussed her experience in Switzerland, and mused on what insight she receives as an ex-player. What does it mean to you to referee the final?
Martinčić: It means a lot. For me, it's that UEFA gives me such a big opportunity to be part of this competition, and it's the biggest thing in my life that I have the final here in Switzerland. It's very nice to be part of the final.
- How have you enjoyed the final tournament?
- It's not my first, I was at the Women's Under-17s in Iceland in 2015, now I’m here. In Switzerland it’s perfect, the weather is super, the company here, the girls are very nice. We have enjoyed it here.
- What's it like to be in an international team with assistants and fourth officials from other countries?
- It's new, but we adapt to each other. At the start, you don’t know each other, but you do your best to handle the game together and, in the end, it's perfect because we speak, we are like one team in the end. You have an opportunity to see cultures of other referees, find out something new from another referee, it's a good experience.
- What has it been like to be together full-time in the tournament camp for two weeks?
- The two weeks have passed very quickly! It’s been good to have this team, and UEFA have given us the final. We hope we will give the best of ourselves.
- How do you enjoy refereeing men's and women's football?
- I’m very proud that I can be in the men's second division in Croatia, maybe in the future in the top division, but also here in UEFA, and I hope I will get to be a top [women's] referee. I am in the Category One [behind only Elite], but you need luck to not have injuries.
- How did you switch from playing to refereeing?
- When I was 15, my father [a regional referee observer in Croatia] asked me if I wanted to be a referee, but I wanted to stay playing football. But when I was around 22, I decided to be a referee, and then I had a FIFA badge in 2013.
- Does having been a player give you extra insight as a referee?
- At the start it is easier, as you know how players adapt to the game, how they think. So maybe we develop faster than other referees, maybe they need more time to learn that. But, in the end, you have the same feeling and the same pressure, if you were a player or not. If a player asked me about refereeing, I'd say: "Try and you will see. It is a good job - give it a chance". (Source: UEFA)

30 July 2018
Germany – Spain
Referee: Ivana Martinčić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Jenni Mahlamäki (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Nikol Šafránková (CZE)
Fourth Official: Tess Olofsson (SWE)

Ricci admits his VAR error at the 2018 World Cup

In an interview with SporTV on Thursday, 26 July 2018, Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci admitted that he made mistakes during the World Cup game between England and Tunisia in the group stage of the competition. At the time, he was the video assistant referee (VAR) of the match.
The recently retired referee explained that a penalty kick should have been should have been awarded for a foul within the penalty area against Harry Kane and that even after reviewing the play, the penalty kick was not given in favour of England, which was a mistake in his opinion. Despite the misunderstanding, England won by 2-1. "I'm very comfortable because criticizing my own job is easier. There was a hold from the Tunisian defender on Kane. The first feeling I had it was a penalty, then I looked for a better angle, but sometimes it is better not to look again. I should have immediately called the referee (Wilmar Roldan). Instead of checking what I had seen, I looked for an image that would allow me to support the referee's decision. That was when I found an arm of Kane on the opponent and that was what gave me the chance to support the referee, but it was a mistake, it was a clear penalty. It was one of the three errors of the group phase recognized by FIFA", said the Brazilian. Ricci also said that the referees who acted as VAR in the World Cup were directed not to get caught up in small fouls and cases that can be interpreted, but rather in clear and obvious situations. "The VAR should not stick to small fouls because otherwise he will review everything. Every part of the area always has a little push; it has to be something very clear. At Kane's check, I went to get pictures to defend the referee's decision; that was a mistake that I should not have committed. The initial orientation was only for clear mistakes. No one accepted the VAR to intervene absurdly, but those situations of interpretation that were also clear, the VAR did not intervene. During the competition, FIFA began to change the process, giving the referee the opportunity to look at the play for the second time. And it happened’, he explained. The Brazilian stressed that the pressure on the VAR is much greater, because the video assistant referees have at their disposal all angles of the play. "The referee on the field has in his favour the criterion of interpretation and the time, the need to decide based on only one angle of view. The referee's error is understandable. In the video, there is no forgiveness. You have all angles and you cannot go wrong. The pressure on the VAR is much higher", he said.

Foul on Miranda (Brazil – Switzerland)
"That moment took Miranda out of the game. For me it was a penalty, especially in slow motion. The slow motion was to see the point of contact, but slow motion is also used to see the player's movement; on the fast camera you do not see a malicious movement".

Foul on Gabriel Jesus (Brazil – Belgium)
For Ricci, the VAR should have signaled foul in the Gabriel Jesus situation in the match against Belgium, when the striker was knocked over in the area. "There were two VAR interventions in the second phase and it should have been a third one in Gabriel's situation”.

VAR in Brazil?
"At FIFA, the bank is FIFA; at Conmebol, it is Conmebol. In Spain it is La Liga, because it is La Liga that makes the competition. CBF had a profit of 50 million last year, according to the Globo. I do not understand why not take that profit and not invest it in the VAR. I think CBF will eventually use it in Brazil. If the clubs cannot afford it, let the CBF do it. The CBF's mission is to promote football and thus promote football and justice".

World Cup Final
"Yes, I had hopes, we never know. We were among the candidates. Our Brazilian trio had made a good World Cup; in fact it is a process of choice and FIFA opted for the Argentine trio".

Source: RefNews

UEFA U-19 Euro Final 2018: Martinez Munuera (ESP)

Juan Martínez Munuera has taken charge of matches involving Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in Spain's La Liga, but on Sunday he has his biggest assignment yet, when he referees the UEFA European U-19 Championship final.
For the 36-year-old Spaniard from Benidorm the match between Italy and Portugal in Seinajoki will be his fifth at the tournament in Finland, two of which have been as referee. "For me, it has been a great experience," Martínez Munuera told "Under-19 matches can be some of the most challenging games in terms of mental focus, because while the players are well-disciplined and also have a high skill level, they are still young players, and for this reason you need even more concentration to expect the unexpected. "We started nearly three weeks ago, eight referees and 12 assistants from different countries, and you can learn a lot from everybody. You learn and improve your refereeing a great deal. I'm totally sure that when I get home, I'll be a better referee than when I arrived here." Martínez Munuera has been on the FIFA list of officials since 2015, and regards Sunday's match as the pinnacle of his refereeing journey so far. "For me, the final is the most important match in my career, so I´m very happy," he said. "I'm a lucky man, because there are great referees and assistant referees here, they have all had very good performances during the tournament, and any one of them could have also been involved in the final. I will try to do it as well as possible. I can only thank UEFA and the observers for this great opportunity to learn and improve. For referees these tournaments are very important, because you have the real opportunity to enhance your refereeing. UEFA's observers teach you lots of things that are important in a referee's life, and for us, it's one step more along our refereeing path." His journey as a referee is one that started when he was a child, and one that he owes in many ways to his father. "My father was a referee in the third division in Spain and when I was three, I started going to his matches with him, and I even helped him out with his reports, writing the players' names and so on. "I started refereeing myself when I was 11, in children's matches. It all went from there step-by-step until I arrived at La Liga when I was 31, 20 years after I first started. Next season will be my sixth in the top division." Of course, Martínez Munuera is only one part of the four-man team of officials that will take charge of the final. Alongside him will be assistant referees Joakim Amri Nilsson (Sweden) and Bryngeir Valdimarsson (Iceland), as well as fourth official Bartosz Frankowski (Poland), and he explained the way they work together is vitally important. "The teamwork is one of the most crucial things in refereeing," he said. "It's possible that years ago people have might have thought that the referee was the referee and the other officials weren't important in the match - but nowadays the teamwork is one of the most vital things. If you try to improve your teamwork, you get closer to success." Martínez Munuera has left no stone unturned in his preparations for the game, a process that has involved studying lots of videos. "In preparation for every match, we watch a lot of clips, which I have done with Italy and Portugal for the final. Part of our preparation is trying to know the teams and players as much as possible." On Wednesday he goes straight from Finland to Denmark to officiate in the UEFA Champions League - but before then it is the Under-19 showpiece in front of a packed house at the Seinäjoki Stadium. "A good game will be if I don't make any mistakes," he emphasises, "and everybody is happy". (Source: UEFA)

29 July 2018
Italy – Portugal
Referee: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Joakim Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Bryngeir Valdimarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

Female ARs in CONCACAF top men’s competitions

This fall in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League and 2019/20 CONCACAF Nations League Qualifying, a groundbreaking measure in both CONCACAF and world football will be on display, as the seven female assistant referees -- Chantal Boudreau (Canada), Princess Brown (Jamaica), Jassett Kerr (Jamaica), Yudilia Briones (Mexico), Karen Diaz (Mexico), Felisha Mariscal (USA), Kathryn Nesbitt (USA) – will be used in both competitions. “CONCACAF is taking the lead when it comes to the development and advancement of female referees,” said Seitz in an interview with
Seitz (photo), who worked as a referee for 28 years, including 14 as a FIFA international referee covering three Olympics and four Women’s World Cups, applauds the initiative undertaken by CONCACAF Director of Refereeing Brian Hall. “By doing what they are doing, its shows that CONCACAF has committed leadership. I’m proud to come from CONCACAF and that Brian Hall has the vision and support staff to lead this forward,” added Seitz. Under Hall’s guidance, all women pass the same criteria as male referees, including FIFA fitness tests which are given at a CONCACAF course. In addition, the women currently work in the top division of their respective countries and have all attended a CONCACAF referee course in the last five months. They will be also be working at the Women’s Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups later this year, plus are in the pool of candidates for next summer’s Women’s World Cup in France. “I hope CONCACAF is proud of opening doors for these women. It shows the vision of the confederation. They are promoting the best referees, regardless of gender. This is a positive message for everyone and FIFA is behind them,” said Seitz. At present, Seitz is hard at work preparing a group of female referees to get ready for next summer’s tournament in France. The programs put in place by Seitz have female referees go through a thorough evaluation process to help identify which referees will be officiating the matches. However, Seitz’s hope is that one day women will have an equal chance as men to referee in all football tournaments. “There will be more opportunities for female referees when there is equal opportunity. The ultimate goal is that there is just one referee program, not one for women and one for men. Gender should not matter but rather the skill set and capabilities of the referee. In the end, you just want to choose from the best. Sometimes you have to take risks to find the next great referees, and that’s why I appreciate CONCACAF taking the lead on that,” said Seitz.
It is a message that Hall reinforces daily in his interaction with CONCACAF’s pool of referees and CONCACAF leadership. “CONCACAF is focused on providing the best match officials to service the game,” said Hall to “Whether you are male or female is not important. What is important is your quality and meeting the requirements. We want excellent match officials regardless of gender and other factors. For this reason, we are extremely proud of the hard work of this group of assistant referees and look forward to expanding this pool in the near future. The vision of CONCACAF’s leadership is vital in encouraging our officials to reach for the top competitions,” concluded Hall.

Source: Concacaf

UEFA U-19 Euro 2018 – Semi-finals

26 July 2018

Ukraine – Portugal
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bryngeir Valdimarsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Aron Härsing (EST)
Fourth Official: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

Italy – France
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Joakim Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Bird (WAL)
Fourth Official: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

Play-off for U-20 World Cup

Norway – England
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Bojan Zobenica (CRO)
Fourth Official: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

UEFA Europa League – Second Qualifying Round (First Leg)

26 July 2018

Aberdeen – Burnley
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Lasse Koslowski (GER)
Fourth Official: Patrick Ittrich (GER)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

Viitorul – Vitesse
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefano Alassio (ITA)
Fourth Official: Michael Fabbri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Oğuz Sarvan (TUR)

Tobol Kostanay – FC Pyunik
Referee: Juri Frischer (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Silver Kõiv (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Veiko Mõtsnik (EST)
Fourth Official: Kristo Külljastinen (EST)
Referee Observer: Eyjólfur Ólafsson (ISL)

Ufa – Domžale
Referee: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytis Snarskis (LTU)
Fourth Official: Robertas Šmitas (LTU)
Referee Observer: Ladislav Gádoši (SVK)

Ventspils – Girondins de Bordeaux
Referee: Sergey Lapochkin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksey Lunev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitriy Zhvakin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Roman Galimov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Jari Maisonlahti (FIN)

Kairat Almaty – AZ Alkmaar
Referee: Aliyar Ağayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zeynal Zeynalov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Rza Mammadov (AZE)
Fourth Official: Orxan Mammadov (AZE)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Liba (CZE)

Spartaks Jūrmala – La Fiorita
Referee: Vitali Meshkov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Igor Demeshko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Nikolai Bogach (RUS)
Fourth Official: Aleksei Sukhoy (RUS)
Referee Observer: Albano Janku (ALB)

Rudar Velenje – FCSB
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kemal Yılmaz (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Serkan Ok (TUR)
Fourth Official: Koray Gençerler (TUR)
Referee Observer: Jan Carlsen (DEN)

Balzan FC – Slovan Bratislava
Referee: Jens Maae (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Heine Sørensen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Fourth Official: Morten Krogh (DEN)
Referee Observer: Andrejs Sipailo (LVA)

Hapoel Haifa – FH Hafnarfjördur
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Svetozar Živin (SRB)
Fourth Official: Novica Anđelovski (SRB)
Referee Observer: Vadims Direktorenko (LVA)

Chikhura Sachkhere – NK Maribor
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Rob van de Ven (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Charles Schaap (NED)
Fourth Official: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

Torpedo Kutaisi – Víkingur
Referee: Artyom Kuchin (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Yevgeniy Belskiy (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Anatoliy Khodin (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Aleksandr Aliyev (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Stefano Podeschi (SMR)

RB Leipzig – BK Häcken
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Kirovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD)
Fourth Official: Dimitar Mečkarovski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Gerard Perry (IRL)

F91 Dudelange – KF Drita
Referee: Leóntios Tráttou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Michális Sotiríou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Pétros Pétrou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Nikólas Neokléous (CYP)
Referee Observer: Marcel Vanelshocht (BEL)

Molde – Laçi
Referee: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Raffael Zeder (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Carmine Sangiovanni (SUI)
Fourth Official: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Referee Observer: Niklas Lídarenda (FRO)

Žalgiris Vilnius – FC Vaduz
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: István Albert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Péter Berettyán (HUN)
Fourth Official: Balázs Berke (HUN)
Referee Observer: John Ferry (NIR)

Maccabi Tel Aviv – Radnički Niš
Referee: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giacomo Paganessi (ITA)
Fourth Official: Piero Giacomelli (ITA)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

CSKA Sofia – Flyeralarm Admira
Referee: John Beaton (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Douglas Potter (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Sean Carr (SCO)
Fourth Official: Steven McLean (SCO)
Referee Observer: Petteri Kari (FIN)

Budapest Honvéd – Progrès Niederkorn
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Magnusson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mahbod Beigi (SWE)
Fourth Official: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)
Referee Observer: Sergey Zuev (RUS)

Djurgardens IF – FC Mariupol
Referee: Miroslav Zelinka (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ondřej Pelikán (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Paták (CZE)
Fourth Official: Emanuel Marek (CZE)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

HŠK Zrinjski – Valletta FC
Referee: Neil Doyle (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Emmett Dynan (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Allen Lynch (IRL)
Fourth Official: Graham Kelly (IRL)
Referee Observer: Michel Piraux (BEL)

Apoel FC – Flora Tallinn
Referee: Marco Fritz (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Dominik Schaal (GER)
Fourth Official: Martin Petersen (GER)
Referee Observer: Lucílio Batista (POR)

Jagiellonia Białystok – Rio Ave
Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Díaz Pérez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Jon Núñez Fernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: Adrián Cordero Vega (ESP)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Shakhtyor Soligorsk – Lech Poznań
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Magnus Lundberg (NOR)
Fourth Official: Espen Andreas Eskås (NOR)
Referee Observer: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)

Nordsjaelland – AIK
Referee: Sébastien Delferière (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Yves De Neve (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jo De Weirdt (BEL)
Fourth Official: Christof Dierick (BEL)
Referee Observer: Dragutin Poljak (CRO)

LASK – Lillestrøm
Referee: Aleksey Eskov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrey Bolotenkov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Mikhail Vilkov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Boško Jovanetić (SRB)

Dinamo Brest – Atromitos FC
Referee: José Sánchez Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: José Gallego García (ESP)
Fourth Official: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva (ESP)
Referee Observer: Leif Sundell (SWE)

Górnik Zabrze – AS Trenčín
Referee: Mattias Gestranius (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Peter Aravirta (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mikko Alakare (FIN)
Fourth Official: Joni Hyytiä (FIN)
Referee Observer: Nikolay Ivanov (RUS)

B36 Tórshavn – Beşiktaş JK
Referee: Yevhen Aranovsky (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Serhiy Bekker (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Semen Shlonchak (UKR)
Fourth Official: Vitaliy Romanov (UKR)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

KRC Genk – Fola Esch
Referee: Martin Strömbergsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Magnus Sjöblom (SWE)
Fourth Official: Patrik Eriksson (SWE)
Referee Observer: Kóstas Kapitanís (CYP)

Hajduk Split – Slavia Sofia
Referee: István Kovács (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Artene (ROU)
Fourth Official: Horațiu Feșnic (ROU)
Referee Observer: Johan Verbist (BEL)

The New Saints – Lincoln Red Imps
Referee: Thorvaldur Árnason (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gunnar Gudmundsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Birkir Sigurdarson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Thóroddur Hjaltalín (ISL)
Referee Observer: Michael Ross (NIR)

Santa Coloma – Valur Reykjavík
Referee: Sebastian Colțescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladimir Urzică (ROU)
Fourth Official: George Găman (ROU)
Referee Observer: Luc Wilmes (LUX)

Sutjeska – Alashkert
Referee: Alain Bieri (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Köbeli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Sertac Kurnazca (SUI)
Fourth Official: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Referee Observer: Asim Xudiyev (AZE)

Olimpija Ljubljana – Crusaders FC
Referee: Enea Jorgji (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Denis Rexha (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Rejdi Avdo (ALB)
Fourth Official: Kridens Meta (ALB)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

FC St. Gallen – Sarpsborg FF
Referee: Fábio Veríssimo (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Paulo Soares (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Luciano Gomes (POR)
Fourth Official: António Carvalho (POR)
Referee Observer: Elmir Pilav (BIH)

Atalanta BC – FK Sarajevo
Referee: Tamás Bognár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balázs Buzás (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Fourth Official: Péter Solymosi (HUN)
Referee Observer: Kaj Natri (FIN)

Partizan – Trakai
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Margaritov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Diyan Valkov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Stanislav Todorov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Jørn West Larsen (DEN)

FK Željezničar – Apollon Limassol
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Fourth Official: Christian Ciochirca (AUT)
Referee Observer: Volodymyr Petrov (UKR)

Dundalk FC – AEK Larnaca
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Fourth Official: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Referee Observer: Plarent Kotherja (ALB)

Spartak Subotica – Sparta Praha
Referee: Paweł Raczkowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Michał Obukowicz (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Radosław Siejka (POL)
Fourth Official: Tomasz Musiał (POL)
Referee Observer: Helmut Fleischer (GER)

NK Osijek – Rangers FC
Referee: Paweł Gil (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Konrad Sapela (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
Fourth Official: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)
Referee Observer: Ichko Lozev (BUL)

Hibernian FC – Asteras Tripolis
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Kristoffer Karlsson (SWE)
Referee Observer: Manuel Díaz Vega (ESP)

Stjarnan – FC København
Referee: Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Riedel (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Fourth Official: Walter Altmann (AUT)
Referee Observer: Muharrem Aksoy (TUR)

Dunajská Streda – Dinamo Minsk
Referee: Serhiy Boyko (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ihor Alokhin (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Volodymyr Volodin (UKR)
Fourth Official: Yaroslav Kozyk (UKR)
Referee Observer: Brian Lawlor (WAL)

Sevilla – Újpest
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Golubevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Michális Koukoulákis (GRE)

UEFA Champions League – Second Qualifying Round (First Leg)

24-25 July 2018

Bate Borisov – HJK Helsinki
Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giorgio Peretti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Fabio Maresca (ITA)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)

Astana – Midtjylland
Referee: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mircea Grigoriu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Marcel Bîrsan (ROU)
Referee Observer: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

CFR Cluj – Malmö FF
Referee: Nikola Dabanović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 1: Djordjije Ražnatović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 2: Marjan Paunović (MNE)
Fourth Official: Miloš Bošković (MNE)
Referee Observer: Iain Robertson Brines (SCO)

PAOK – Basel
Referee: Robert Madley (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Marc Perry (ENG)
Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss (ENG)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

GNK Dinamo – Hapoel Beer Sheva
Referee: Ali Palabiyik (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kerem Ersoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Serkan Olguncan (TUR)
Fourth Official: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
Referee Observer: László Vágner (HUN)

KF Shkëndija – Sheriff Tiraspol
Referee: Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Dennis Rasmussen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Skytte (DEN)
Fourth Official: Michael Tykgaard (DEN)
Referee Observer: Nuno Castro (POR)

Crvena Zvezda – FK Sūduva
Referee: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Markus Häcker (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Robert Hartmann (GER)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Legia Warszawa – Spartak Trnava
Referee: Ádám Farkas (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Péter Kóbor (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Balázs Szert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ferenc Karakó (HUN)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

PFC Ludogorets – Vidi FC
Referee: Bojan Pandzic (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Fredrik Klyver (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mikael Hallin (SWE)
Fourth Official: Kaspar Sjöberg (SWE)
Referee Observer: Edgar Steinborn (GER)

Kukësi – Qarabağ
Referee: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Tom Harald Grønevik (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Geir Oskar Isaksen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)
Referee Observer: Juan Fernández Marín (ESP)

AFC Ajax – Sturm Graz
Referee: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: José Naranjo Pérez (ESP)
Fourth Official: José Munuera Montero (ESP)
Referee Observer: Tomasz Mikulski (POL)

Celtic – Rosenborg
Referee: Bart Vertenten (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Fourth Official: Wesley Alen (BEL)
Referee Observer: Markus Nobs (SUI)

Kiwi referee Conger overcame character test before World Cup

Matt Conger overcame what he believes was a great character test to get to the football World Cup - a broken foot! The Kiwi referee has just returned from the World Cup in Russia, but he had a scare before the tournament when he picked up a stress fracture in his foot while at a training camp in Italy in April. Conger, 39, spent a couple of weeks in a moon boot, then more time rehabilitating, including time on a​ water treadmill, but recovered to reach his first World Cup. "It was one of those things where it was getting very close and I was thinking is this an eleventh-hour banana skin going to cause me to miss out," he said. He kept FIFA well informed and officials were happy with his progress. He had to pass fitness tests before going to Russia and he felt great during them. "When you get so close to what you're working to achieve it's almost like you're tested. To test the qualities of your character, who you are, what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it." 
Conger got there and refereed Nigeria's 2-0 victory over Iceland in the group stage and was fourth official for England's 4-3 penalty shootout win over Colombia in the round of 16. Conger and his assistant referees Tevita Makasini​ of Tonga and Kiwi Simon Lount​ received good feedback for their work. Conger was also on a shortlist of officials for the last four matches. He was disappointed not to have been appointed one of them, but it was an acknowledgement of how well they had performed. He said it was an "amazing" tournament and atmosphere and wants to go to the 2020 World Cup in Qatar. "It's about recognising the potential and realisation we can do another one. We can perform even better. We want multiple matches.” The World Cup was Conger's seventh FIFA tournament, but he said he couldn't compare it with anything else he'd gone to. "The amount of world interest, the pressure that's there to perform, it really is the pinnacle of sport. With the passion the different countries bring to the game, we're definitely under the microscope 24-7." It is high stakes, but Conger said with the work he and his trio had done before and during the tournament, they knew what they needed to do to put themselves in a position to succeed. Conger's team went to nearly all of the games in Moscow, including watching the final. He did not want to discuss video-replay technology, which was used at a World Cup for the first time to help referees make the right calls. 
Conger is having a short break before heading to Japan to control a game, although he will be back at work as a teacher at Palmerston North's Carncot School on Monday. He will be back into refereeing Australian A-League games later in the year and would like to go to the clubs World Cup in Abu Dhabi. 

Source: Stuff

UEFA U-19 Euro 2018 – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

22 July 2018
Portugal – Finland
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Joakim Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Bryngeir Valdimarsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

Italy – Norway
Referee: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Damir Lazić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Aron Härsing (EST)
Fourth Official: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

23 July 2018
Ukraine – Turkey
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Bird (WAL)
Fourth Official: Petri Viljanen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Jouni Hyytiä (FIN)

England – France
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Bojan Zobenica (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Fourth Official: Ville Nevalainen (FIN)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

Steinhaus and Brych - Referees of the Year 2018 in Germany

The DFB Referees Committee has decided that Bibiana Steinhaus and Felix Brych are the Referees of the Year 2017/2018. As part of the ceremonial closing of the referee training camp, the two referees received their awards in Grassau am Chiemsee. “Last season saw many and great successes for our referees, which made the selection of the Referee of the Year an exciting and difficult decision, with Bibiana Steinhaus and Felix Brych two winners absolutely deserved”, says Ronny Zimmermann, DFB Vice-President for referees and evaluation. For Bibiana Steinhaus it is the seventh overall award as Referee of the Year, who was also given this special honour last year. Felix Brych receives the title for the fourth time (last one in 2016). 
"Once again the award for highly acclaimed Bibiana Steinhaus, who has done well in her first Bundesliga season, and this performance alone, without forgetting her international assignments in various competitions, is worldwide "unique", praised Ronny Zimmermann the award winner. In her debut season 2017/2018, Steinhaus had eight appearances in the Bundesliga and was the first woman who ever refereed a game in the highest German league. On Matchday 3, at the encounter Hertha BSC against Werder Bremen, she wrote a piece of German football history. Helmut Geyer, acting chairman of the DFB refereeing committee, adds: "Bibiana Steinhaus has more than confirmed her nomination for the Bundesliga in the last season with great performances and has been proving her performance at the highest level for years. Therefore, this is a logical and more than deserved award for a national and international top referee". 
In the men’s category, the title holder, who stands before his 250th stint in the Bundesliga and thus on the fourth place in the eternal referee table of the Bundesliga, looks back with pride on his achievements. "Felix Brych has had an incredibly successful year, crowned by being named world referee of the year last December, and his achievements in the final stages of the 2017/18 Champions League have impressively shown what class he has. Unfortunately, the recent World Cup could not prove his extraordinary ability again", said DFB Vice-President Zimmermann. "Felix Brych has achieved a lot in the 2017/2018 season, when he has become world referee of the year, a great honour! In the Champions League he impressed with very good performances, so he was appointed four times in the knock-out phase alone, among others, Liverpool's semi-finals testifies to his confidence as a referee in European top competitions", said Lutz-Michael Fröhlich, chairman of the Elite Referees Committee, giving his words of praise and adding: "He was particularly convincing in the difficult second phase of the Bundesliga. He participated with great energy in all qualifying FIFA seminars for the 2018 World Cup and it is a pity that he could not crown his otherwise very successful season there. Nevertheless, he deserves great credit for his achievements in the 2017/2018 season." 

Source: DFB

Ricci announces his retirement from refereeing

Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci, recently returned from the 2018 World Cup in Russia and participated in the recording of the program Altas Horas, Rede Globo, that will air this Saturday, 21 July 2018. Ricci stated in the program that he will retire from refereeing after having participated in the World Cup. 
Ricci achieved a great feat with his two consecutive World Cups, totaling 6 games, which puts him only behind Carlos Simon, with 7 games in 3 editions (2002, 2006 and 2010). It is not yet certain what will be the future of Ricci in the sporting environment. He is a public employee and currently works for the Ministry of Mines and Energy. One of the suspicions is that he could join the team of TV Globo refereeing commentators, since Arnaldo Cezar Coelho, who refereed the 1982 World Cup final in Spain, also announced his retirement at the end of the World Cup and should only work until December, when his contract ends. All three referees mentioned (Ricci, Simon and Coelho) were biographed in the book "Great Referees of Brazilian Football", recently released.

Source: RefNews

Referee Diedhiou welcomed as hero in Senegal and then retired

Since Senegal was eliminated in the first round of the 2018 World Cup, the referee Malang Diedhiou raised the colours of the country of Teranga by officiating as referee in the Round of 16 (Belgium - Japan) and as fourth official in the match for third place.
This is why the referee and his assistants Djibril Camara and El Hadji Samba were treated to a real welcome of stars on their return from Russia, when they arrived at the Dakar airport. A large crowd was present and sang songs and danced, followed by a reception organized to honour them. (Source: Afrik-Foot)
On Thursday, 19 July 2018, on the premises of the officers' mass circle, Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou announced his international retirement. Taking advantage of the Sargal ceremony for the Senegalese world cup referees (Malang Diedhiou, Djibril Camara and El Hadji Samba), the native of Badiana, Malang Diedhiou officially announced his international retirement with immediate effect. It was a well-thought-out release that concludes an international career rich in emotions. Note that the statement was made in the presence of Sports Minister Matar Ba, representatives of the Senegalese Football Federation, as well as all components of the Senegalese sports world. Beforehand, the sports minister awarded the trio of referees present in Russia at the World Cup, diplomas of honour. It was a way to magnify their remarkable journey that not only highlighted the Senegalese refereeing, but especially the African one. Ending his speech, Malang Diedhiou thanked one of the pioneers of the Senegalese refereeing, Badara Sene, for his essential role and his invaluable investment in the promotion of referees. (Source: Dakaractu)

Lupp: “We were not told by FIFA that it should have been penalty kick”

Stefan Lupp, 40, has specialized 10 years ago as an assistant referee. He assisted Felix Brych in the Olympic Games 2012, the Confederations Cup 2013, the World Cups 2014 and 2018, the Euro 2016 and the Club World Cup 2017. In 2017, he was in the final of the Champions League, 2014 in the Europa League final and 2015 in the German Cup final. Lupp spoke with SportBuzzer for the first time after the World Cup in Russia about the harsh criticism of Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic, the reasons for leaving early the World Cup and the VAR lessons. 
- How big is the disappointment that you had to leave the World Cup after only one game? 
- After almost two weeks at home I feel better. But the disappointment is still there. 
- What explanation was given by FIFA for your premature end? 
- There was no reason provided. 
- How was the decision communicated to you? 
- In Brazil 2014, all referees who were not retained have been announced in a meeting where we got a medal and could say goodbye to all colleagues, because friendships have emerged. This time, the referees who had to go home received an email telling them to attend a meeting late at night, where it was then communicated to us personally. 
- There was a lot of criticism from Serbia for the missed penalty against Switzerland. How do you see the decision in hindsight? 
- We analyzed the situation and came to the conclusion that we have nothing to blame! If we made the decision the other way around, there would have been criticism from Switzerland. The decision is in our view still 50:50; there was no black and white. Therefore, there was no reason for the VAR to intervene. Brych told Zwayer that he saw a foul on the Swiss player; Zwayer saw the same thing and did not have to intervene. 
- There were speculations that Brych could have ignored Zwayer and was therefore sent home. 
- That was not the case; there was no communication from the VAR in that situation. If we had actually ignored a hint from the VAR, we would have had to live with the departure. 
- Was the appointment of a German referee to a Swiss game not appropriate? 
- It was already discussed, because the Swiss and we speak German. Immediately after the match Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic said that he does not comment on the referee's performance until the day after the full broadcast came. 
- Krstajic said about Brych: "I would send him to The Hague". There is the UN war crimes tribunal. 
- That was unacceptable and I have not experienced it that way; that is incredible. We have been criticized a lot, have experienced a lot, but that was probably the worst abuse we had to endure. 
- Serbian captain Aleksandar Kolarov subsequently criticized Felix Brych for speaking German with the Swiss players: "I kept asking them to speak English", he said. 
- That does not correspond to the facts. Felix spoke German, of course, in the heat of the game, but he was never asked by Serbians to speak English. Basically, I think that was not against the person Brych, but was said to get as much media attention as possible. In the end, we were so much in their focus that it became difficult to get another match. 
- What did the referee assessor say after the game? 
- We were not told in the evaluation that there should have been a penalty kick in this situation. As a result, we still believed that the decision will be supported. 
- Pierluigi Collina, head of FIFA Referees Committee, did not support you after the match. 
- That was also a difficult situation for him: If he would had said that it was a mistake, the VAR would be in the criticism. If he would had said that the decision was correct, there would have been further criticism from Serbia. 
- After the early departure of Germany you were already seen as possible referees for the World Cup final. Did you have any hopes for that? 
- We did not think that far. We went there with the goal to get a game in the knock-out round, since we did not have that in 2014. That was, I think, not presumptuous. But after the Switzerland - Serbia match we already felt that it would be difficult. 
- Do you think that this game will have a long-term impact on your international career? 
- Of course, it will be difficult to get future matches of Serbia, since FIFA and UEFA are certainly very sensitive. But otherwise I do not think that it has any further effects. 
- You said before the World Cup that you are curious how the video referee works because he was not practiced in some countries before. Are you pleasantly surprised? 
- It went much better than expected, so you can draw a positive conclusion. After all, such a World Cup is all about being satisfied: the players, the coaches, the officials, the fans. If the referee goes to the screen and then says “I have seen the same”, that leads to a very large acceptance. But of course, any corrected decision by the VAR is a mistake made by the referee. I think that without the video screen one or the other referee would not have been scheduled. Luckily, they did not have to discuss about wrong decisions later. 
- What can be brought from there to Bundesliga, where the VAR is in the criticism? 
- FIFA had two great instructors, Roberto Rosetti and Carlos Velasco Carballo, who had the benefit of having had one year of experience since the launch. We could take a lot out of it. In addition, we had very many courses and there were four instead of two VARs, with one of them only responsible for the offside. And the technology is amazing. In Bundesliga we had no offside lines, at the World Cup we even had images in 3D. And there you see, how wrong many offside lines have been pulled by the TV so far. The main criticism in the second half of the Bundesliga was indeed the offside. I hope that these things will also come to the Bundesliga and help the VAR to gain more acceptance. 

Source: SportBuzzer