Emotional farewell for referee Undiano at his last fitness test

Alberto Undiano Mallenco smiles after his last fitness tests as elite referee in Spain (or maybe not, we'll get to that). He received a 5-minute ovation for his long career in the First Division. At 45 years old and still active, he is a legend of the Spanish refereeing: nobody has refereed more matches than him in the First Division and, in fact, it is very difficult for someone to overcome him as the refereeing is organized right now. He has to leave, as dictated by the regulations, and a point of bitterness is inevitable. But he is also proud to leave his career on high: "I have a mixture of feelings, on the one hand I am happy to have reached the age limit to retire, 45 years old, with health, energy and even desire to continue, but it is clear that the regulation is like that, we must give room to the younger referees, which are very well prepared, which is why I mix sadness with the pride of having arrived here".
He started in the First Division at the age of 26 and has lived through everything, as he explained in Marca last year. Now he is in VAR territory as if it were a rookie: "The truth is that I feel privileged to have gotten to referee with VAR, even if it's only a year. See the sensations, know what to be in the field with a VAR behind you or sitting as a VAR... I do not know what my future will be in this, but of course I already know what this experience is, which is very interesting, If, 30 years ago, when I started, they would have told me that I would end up refereeing with VAR, I could not have believed it, it's a very positive and very rewarding experience”. Why could it not be his last season in the elite? The current Spanish Referees Committee (CTA), far from the prehistory defended by its former president, Victoriano Sanchez Arminio, is considering opening a hand regarding the retirement age of the referees, with the purpose of reinforcing the VAR with experience and adding the factor of less physical demand. It is, therefore, his last season on the field, but we will see if he can continue contributing in the VAR room. He does not pronounce himself, but he cannot avoid leaving that door open: "Well, it could be that. If they ask me to do so and I will be fine, well, why not? I know that there is a limit that, if it had not existed, I would not have left Primera Division so soon. I am very happy and aware that I leave it at a good time with health and giving way to my younger colleagues who come fast as motorcycles". An usual prize for the referees about to retire is Copa Del Rey final. Undiano is cautious. "Refereeing the cup final? Well, there are still three months left and we have to wait a long time. Of course it would be a fantastic and wonderful farewell if I had the option of doing it, and if another referee colleague does it, then nothing happens either: I would encourage him from home".
In the first seven months of VAR, Undiano Mallenco has realized how a phrase of his colleague Melero Lopez will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable of the season: "Well, I have not hesitated too much with the 'All ok, José Luis' The world of football does have these things, but nothing happens, it is clear that the VAR has been a real revolution for the world of football. The referees are very happy, it is something that has been very good for us and it's possible that within five years the VAR will have little to do with the way we are applying it now; there is a protocol that is what we are applying now and it is possible that it will change later. I am an old person, maybe I could be one of the most reticent, but I only say one thing: I wish I have had VAR for 20 years, to correct those four, five, six errors that all the referees have in their backpacks, and that have been hard for us, that made the career of many of us change and some had to stop being an elite referee because of that; if we had VAR they probably would not have happened". And so does Undiano. A legend among their own. Nobody has refereed more matches than him. He spent 19 years in Primera Division, the last of them with VAR. "I am a veteran, but relatively modern. In the beginning we all had our doubts whether we would change our refereeing a lot, but no, the way to referee on the field has not been so different", concludes Undiano Mallenco.

Source: RFEF, Marca

Handball rules reworded by IFAB

Football's lawmakers will meet next week to discuss the rules on handball and introduce new wording to reduce grey areas in the law, according to former referee David Elleray (photo). 
An the IFAB's 133rd Annual General Meeting, one of the items on the agenda is to consider amendments to Law 12, which covers fouls, misconduct and handball. Despite the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the debate over what constitutes handball rumbles on and the inconsistency between match officials in their decisions has led to angry criticism from several managers and players. At present, there are five different areas to consider for each handball decision and the lack of clarity in the wording has led key figures in football to call for the rules to change. Elleray, a former FIFA and Premier League referee who retired in 2003, revealed the the new wording will be passed at the IFAB meeting in Aberdeen on 2 March 2019. “The new text will clarify those situations where players can expect contact with the arms to be penalized and where they can expect not to be penalized”, Elleray told the Times. “It will significantly reduce the grey areas around handball... we will be identifying those areas where non-deliberate contact will be penalized and when it won’t be. There will still be a reference to deliberate handball – there’s never been any discussion about getting rid of that and any deliberate handball will be penalized in any situation”. However, any changes agreed at the meeting will be not implemented immediately. The IFAB will only consider changes in time for the 2019-2020 season.

Tanzanian FIFA referee banned for life for manipulating matches

Referee Oden Charles Mbaga has been banned for life and fined 200,000 Swiss francs (150,962 pounds) for accepting bribes to manipulate football matches. FIFA said in a statement that its ethics committee had found Mbaga guilty of accepting bribes in violation of the FIFA code of ethics following an investigation opened in July. In a subsequent email to Reuters, FIFA said that Mbaga “accepted bribes to manipulate several national and international matches between 2009 and 2012”. It did not give any further details over which matches were involved.
Mbaga (photo) told Reuters in Dar es Salaam that he was questioned by FIFA in 2010, but had not heard anything from them since and knew nothing about match-fixing. “This is a shocking news to me. I don’t know anything about me being banned to participate football activities for life. I really don’t know this”, he said. “I know FIFA was doing an investigation and the last time they came to interview me about the issue was in 2010. I told them openly that I don’t know anything about match-fixing and I have never heard anything from them since then. For now, I cannot say anything as I don’t have clear information”. FIFA described Mbaga as a “referee affiliated to the Tanzanian Football Federation”. The ban excludes him from “from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level,” the statement added. Match-fixing is often organized by betting syndicates who bribe players or officials to manipulate matches and make money by correctly gambling on the result. Last month, former international referee Ibrahim Chaibou from Niger was banned for life and fined 200,000 Swiss francs after being found guilty of taking bribes. FIFA did not give any further details on that case. 

Source: Reuters

Concacaf Champions League – Round of 16 (Second Leg)

26-28 February 2019

Houston Dynamo – CD Guastatoya
Referee: Hector Martinez (HON, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jairo Morales (PUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Raymundo Feliz (DOM)
Fourth Official: William Anderson (PUR)
Referee Assessor: Leonel Leal (CRC)

Toronto FC – CA Independiente
Referee: Juan Calderon (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Pineda (CRC)
Referee Assessor: George Ramsey (SKN)

Tigres UANL – Deportivo Saprissa
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Henry Pupiro (NCA)
Fourth Official: Trevester Richards (SKN)

Santos Laguna – CD Marathon
Referee: Drew Fischer (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Barwegen (CAN)
Fourth Official: Sherwin Johnson (GUY)

New York Red Bulls – CA Pantoja
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Alejandro Camarena (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Fourth Official: Jose Kellys (PAN)

Monterrey – Alianza
Referee: David Gantar (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chris Wattam (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Fourth Official: Jose Torres (PUR)

Atlanta United – CS Herediano
Referee: Oshane Nation (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Joseph Bertrand (JAM)
Fourth Official: Oliver Vergara (PAN)

Deportivo Toluca – Sporting Kansas City
Referee: Mario Escobar (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Humberto Panjoj (GUA)
Fourth Official: Bryan Lopez (GUA)

Clattenburg and Mazic will be professional referees in China

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) announced in Suzhou that they will form its own professional referee team including both domestic and overseas distinguished football referees. At the briefing, CFA confirmed that the professional referee team will be built by a combination of domestic elite referees and signed overseas professional referees. It was said that Ma Ning, Fu Ming, Zhang Lei and two foreign referees, Mark Clattenburg and Milorad Mazic, will become the first professional referees in China.
"Introducing the professional referee system will promote the comprehensive development of Chinese football referees, the levels and standards of referees will be improved to ensure all football leagues in China play a fair and impartial game", said Chen Yongliang, the director of CFA Super League. Chen also said that CFA Super League will set up special funds to encourage all teams to play with more net match time. The Super League will set the 60 minutes net match time goal for the teams. Any team which achieves the goal will be awarded with a "60 minutes net match time" trophy and 100,000 yuan ($15,000). The League will also set the "season net match time biggest improvement award" and the "highest season net match time award", they both required at least 55 minutes and will be grant one million and two million yuan ($150,000 and $300,000) respectively. Chen also said that the CFA Super League will publish the top 80 domestic players ranked by their comprehensive abilities in every round of the Super League Game. "It will help Chinese national football team pick players with more scientific basis", Chen said. (Source: China Daily)
Mark Clattenburg will return to full-time refereeing in the Chinese Super League from 1 March 2019. The English official has finished a two-year stay as director of refereeing in Saudi Arabia and has accepted an offer from the Chinese Football Association. He will be one of five professional referees in the CSL from next month, including Serbian Milorad Mazic. We understand the move could open doors for foreign officials to take charge of matches in domestic competitions beyond their own country. Clattenburg, 43-year-old, presided over both the Champions League and European Championships finals in 2016 and he was the Premier League’s top referee when he quit two years ago and moved to Saudi. He told Sportsmail: “I’m excited by the new challenge. The Chinese Super League has grown markedly in recent years and they want the standard of refereeing to grow with it. I’m looking forward to being part of that. You look at the quality of the players, so many in the peak of their career, and it is clear to see the ambition of the league and the clubs within it.” (Source: Daily Mail)

CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores – Third Round (Second Leg)

27 February – 1 March 2019

Caracas – Melgar
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Referee Assessor: Henry Gambetta (PER)

Palestino – Talleres
Referee: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Andres Matonte (URU)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Atletico Mineiro – Defensor
Referee: Andres Rojas (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Roldan (COL)
Fourth Official: John Ospina (COL)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Atletico Nacional  Club Libertad
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guilherme Dias (BRA)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Jose Carpio (ECU)

CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana – First Round (Second Leg, II)

26-28 February 2019

Santos – River Plate
Referee: Mauro Vigliano (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Julio Fernandez (ARG)
Fourth Official: German Delfino (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Claudio Puga (CHI)

Monagas – Royal Pari
Referee: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Dewson Freitas (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Imer Machado (COL)

Racing Club – Corinthians
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Murillo (COL)
Referee Assessor: Martin Vazquez (URU)

Guabira – Macara
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Franchescoly Chacon (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Ana Oliveira (BRA)

VAR decisions explained by UEFA

VAR protocol correctly applied for two penalty decisions during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match FC Schalke - Manchester City (2-3) with emphasis put on “accuracy over speed”. Both instances occurred during a period of approximately 10 minutes in which a technical issue experienced by the VAR technical supplier impacted the ability to deliver replay images to the pitchside referee review area. When such a malfunction of the system occurs, the IFAB protocol allows for the VAR to describe to the referee what can be seen on the TV replay(s) but not tell him the decision that should be taken. The referee then makes a final decision based on his own perception and the information received orally from the VAR. In regards to the first decision, the inability to access the incident replays at the pitchside review area led to a delay in reaching the correct decision to award a penalty kick for a handball offence, while the VAR orally described the situation to the referee to allow him to make a final decision, and for the referee to then provide an explanation to the two team captains to clarify the circumstances regarding the pitchside review area and the decision-making process. The second decision was also correctly made on the basis of the Laws of the Game (Law 11 – Offside) which stipulates: “if a player in an offside position is moving towards the ball with the intention of playing the ball and is fouled before playing or attempting to play the ball, or challenging an opponent for the ball, the foul is penalised as it has occurred before the offside offence”.
The images in the picture above - taken at the exact same moment from two different angles - clearly show that a foul is committed inside the box before the Schalke player could even attempt to play the ball and hence such offence must be punished with the awarding of a penalty kick. Commenting on these two decisions, UEFA’s Chief Refereeing Officer Roberto Rosetti said: “I am pleased that even without the possibility for the referee to review the incidents with his own eyes, the excellent cooperation of the team of officials led to correct decisions being made. It must also be underlined that – as described in the VAR protocol - accuracy is always in principle more important than speed when reaching a decision. Clearly, last night’s technical issues had a big impact on the time taken to reach decisions, but we are fully aware that reducing the time factor is key to the success of VAR and we are doing our utmost to make reviews as quick and efficient as possible. However, what we ultimately want is correct decisions in such match-changing situations and this is what we got yesterday”. UEFA will be addressing the matter of the technical failure with its VAR technical supplier to ensure that such issue does not happen again in the future. 

Source: UEFA

Concacaf Champions League – Round of 16 (First Leg)

19-21 February 2019

CA Independiente – Toronto FC
Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: David Moran (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Fourth Official: Ricangel de Leca (ARU)

Deportivo Saprissa – Tigres UANL
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA)
Fourth Official: Reon Radix (GRN)

CD Guastatoya – Houston Dynamo
Referee: Kimbell Ward (SKN)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Browne (SKN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mario Parry (SKN)
Fourth Official: Tristley Bassue (SKN)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Gonzalez (MEX)

CA Pantoja – New York Red Bulls
Referee: Ismael Cornejo (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Mangandi (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Bermudez (SLV)
Fourth Official: Jaime Herrera (SLV)

CD Marathon – Santos Laguna
Referee: Marcos Brea (CUB)
Assistant Referee 1: Yordanis Gomez (CUB)
Assistant Referee 2: Rene Ochoa (GUA)
Fourth Official: Yadel Martinez (CUB)

Alianza – Monterrey
Referee: Kevin Morrison (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Washington (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Kedlee Powell (CAY)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Pineda (CRC)

Sporting Kansas City – Deportivo Toluca
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: William Arrieta (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Fourth Official: Keylor Herrera (CRC)

CS Herediano – Atlanta United
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Fourth Official: Jorge Perez (MEX)
Referee Assessor: Abilio Perez (CUB)

CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores – Third Round (First Leg)

20-22 February 2019

Melgar – Caracas
Referee: Luiz de Oliveira (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Reway (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Claudio Puga (CHI)

Talleres – Palestino
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lubin Torrealba (VEN)
Fourth Official: Orlando Bracamonte (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Defensor SC – Atletico Mineiro
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Pablo Gonzalez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Espinoza (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Joel Ruiz (PAR)

Club Libertad – Atletico Nacional
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximiliano Del Yesso (ARG)
Fourth Official: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Silvera (URU)

CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana – First Round (Second Leg, I)

19-21 February 2019

Chapecoense – Union La Calera
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Ponte (VEN)
Fourth Official: Angel Arteaga (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Juan Cardellino (URU)

Defensa y Justicia – Botafogo
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Sanchez (PER)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivanez (PER)
Referee Assessor: Imer Machado (COL)

Liverpool – Bahia
Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Antelo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Fourth Official: Luis Yrusta (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Viola (ARG)

Once Caldas – Deportivo Santani
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Braulio Machado (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Juan Corozo (ECU)

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (Second Leg)

20-21 February 2019

Sevilla – Lazio
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Fourth Official: Lee Betts (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Referee Observer: Peter Sippel (GER)

GNK Dinamo – Viktoria Plzeň
Referee: Istvan Kovacs (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Artene (ROU)
Fourth Official: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Marius Avram (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Horațiu Feșnic (ROU)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

Red Bull Salzburg – Club Brugge
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Häcker (GER)
Fourth Official: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Marco Fritz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Harm Osmers (GER)
Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)

SSC Napoli – FC Zürich
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Damianos Efthymiadis (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Anastasios Papapetrou (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Ioannis Papadopoulos (GRE)
Referee Observer: Sergey Zuyev (RUS)

Eintracht Frankfurt – Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devís (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodoro Sobrino Magan (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Santiago Jaime Latre (ESP)
Referee Observer: Muharrem Aksoy (TUR)

Valencia – Celtic
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Fourth Official: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Additional AR 1: Christian Dingert (GER)
Additional AR 2: Benjamin Cortus (GER)
Referee Observer: Paulius Malžinskas (LTU)

Zenit – Fenerbahçe
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Fourth Official: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

Villarreal – Sporting
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Nádvorník (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomáš Mokrusch (CZE)
Fourth Official: Jan Paták (CZE)
Additional AR 1: Petr Ardeleanu (CZE)
Additional AR 2: Karel Hrubeš (CZE)
Referee Observer: Kýros Vasáras (GRE)

Arsenal FC – Bate Borisov
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Iñigo Prieto Lopez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Xavier Estrada Fernandez (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Jose Munuera Montero (ESP)
Referee Observer: Nuno Castro (POR)

Internazionale Milano – Rapid Wien
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Barbosa (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: Bruno Campos (POR)
Additional AR 1: Tiago Martins (POR)
Additional AR 2: João Pinheiro (POR)
Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

KRC Genk – Slavia Praha
Referee: Robert Madden (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Francis Connor (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Fourth Official: David Roome (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

Bayer Leverkusen – FC Krasnodar
Referee: Gediminas Mažeika (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytautas Šimkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Fourth Official: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Additional AR 1: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)
Additional AR 2: Robertas Valikonis (LTU)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

Chelsea FC – Malmö FF
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roi Hasan (ISR)
Fourth Official: Idan Yarkoni (ISR)
Additional AR 1: Erez Papir (ISR)
Additional AR 2: Ziv Adler (ISR)
Referee Observer: Iain Robertson Brines (SCO)

Real Betis – Stade Rennais
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: György Ring (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Fourth Official: Péter Berettyán (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Tamás Bognár (HUN)
Additional AR 2: Balázs Berke (HUN)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Dynamo Kyiv – Olympiakos FC
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomáš Somolani (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Fourth Official: Ján Pozor (SVK)
Additional AR 1: Peter Kráľovič (SVK)
Additional AR 2: Filip Glova (SVK)
Referee Observer: Lucílio Batista (POR)

Benfica – Galatasaray
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Șovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Sebastian Colțescu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Kaj Natri (FIN)

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

19 February 2019
Liverpool – Bayern München
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Fourth Official: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR: Marco Guida (ITA)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

Olympique Lyonnais – FC Barcelona
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarık Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Halis Özkahya (TUR)
VAR: Danny Makkelie (NED)
AVAR: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Referee Observer: Marcel Vanelshocht (BEL)

20 February 2019
FC Schalke – Manchester City
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jose Sanchez Martínez (ESP)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Referee Observer: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

Atletico de Madrid – Juventus
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Fourth Official: Tobias Welz (GER)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Referee Observer: Oğuz Sarvan (TUR)

UEFA Youth League – Play-offs

19-20 February 2019

GNK Dinamo – Lokomotiv Moskva
Referee: Fabio Costa Veríssimo (POR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Pedro Almeid (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Martins (POR)
Fourth Official: Ivan Vučković (CRO)
Referee Observer: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)

Hertha BSC – Paris Saint Germain
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Kühr (AUT)
Fourth Official: Christof Günsch (GER)
Referee Observer: Helmut Fleischer (GER)

PAOK FC – Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Jérôme Brisard (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Benjamin Pages (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: François Boudikian (FRA)
Referee Observer: Ioánnis Tsachilídis (GRE)

Chelsea FC – AS Monaco
Referee: Vilhjálmur Thorarinsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gylfi Sigurdsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Gylfi Tryggvason (ISL)
Fourth Official: John Busby (ENG)
Referee Observer: Edward Foley (IRL)

Dynamo Kyiv – Juventus

Referee: Jens Maae (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesper Dahl (DEN)
Fourth Official: Mykola Balakin (UKR)
Referee Observer: Volodymyr Petrov (UKR)

FC Midtjylland – AS Roma
Referee: Juri Frischer (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Veiko Mõtsnik (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Sander Saga (EST)
Fourth Official: Morten Krogh (DEN)
Referee Observer: Jørn West Larsen (DEN)

Montpellier – Benfica
Referee: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jimmy Cremers (BEL)
Fourth Official: Arnaud Baert (FRA)
Referee Observer: David Malcolm (NIR)

Sigma Olomouc – Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Enea Jorgji (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Denis Rexha (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Nertil Bregasi (ALB)
Fourth Official: Jan Machálek (CZE)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

AFC Champions League – Play-offs (Round 2)

19 February 2019

Shandong Luneng – Hanoi FC
Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrey Tsapenko (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Timur Gaynullin (UZB)
Fourth Official: Charymurat Kurbanov (TKM)

Kashima Antlers – Newcastle United
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Umar Al-Ali (UAE)

Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Chiangrai United
Referee: Nawaf Shukrallah (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammad Salman (BHR)
Fourth Official: Ismail Ismail (BHR)

Ulsan Hyundai – Perak
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Talib Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saud Al-Maqallah (QAT)
Fourth Official: Abdullah Al-Marri (QAT)

Al Gharafa – Zobahan FC
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Fourth Official: Clifford Daypuyat (PHI)

An Nassr – AGMK FC
Referee: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Tzu Liang (SIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Koh Min Kiat (SIN)
Fourth Official: Razlan Joffri Ali (MAS)

Al Rayyan – Saipa
Referee: Ma Ning (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Cao Yi (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Shi Xiang (CHN)
Fourth Official: Shen Yinhao (CHN)

Al Nasr – Pakhtakor
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Fourth Official: Rowan Arumughan (IND)

UEFA Women's Futsal Euro Final 2019: Perona (ITA)

17 February 2019

Spain – Portugal
Referee 1: Chiara Perona (ITA, photo)
Referee 2: Irina Velikanova (RUS)
Third Official: Gelareh Nazemi (IRN)
Timekeeper: Fatma Tursun (TUR)

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (First Leg)

12-14 February 2019

Fenerbahçe – Zenit
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Julien Pacelli (FRA)
Fourth Official: Cyril Mugnier (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Amaury Delerue (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Jerôme Miguelgorry (FRA)
Referee Observer: Manuel Diaz Vega (ESP)

Rapid Wien – Internazionale Milano
Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Pickel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Mark Borsch (GER)
Additional AR 1: Tobias Welz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Christian Dingert (GER)
Referee Observer: Marián Ružbarsky (SVK)

Slavia Praha – KRC Genk
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Raimonds Tatriks (LVA)
Additional AR 1: Aleksandrs Golubevs (LVA)
Additional AR 2: Edgars Maļcevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Nikolay Levnikov (RUS)

FC Krasnodar – Bayer Leverkusen
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Tegoni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giorgio Peretti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Ciro Carbone (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Michael Fabbri (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
Referee Observer: Uno Tutk (EST)

Stade Rennais – Real Betis
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Damianos Efthymiadis (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Anastasios Papapetrou (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Ioannis Papadopoulos (GRE)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

Olympiakos FC – Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Betts (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Fourth Official: Edward Smart (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Paul Tierney (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Jonathan Moss (ENG)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

Lazio – Sevilla
Referee: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Matej Jug (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
Referee Observer: Stavros Tritsonis (GRE)

Bate Borisov – Arsenal FC
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Dragan Bogićević (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Lazar Lukić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Zoran Široki (SRB)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Galatasaray – Benfica
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Fourth Official: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Santiago Jaime Latre (ESP)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

Viktoria Plzeň – GNK Dinamo
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Charles Schaap (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan de Vries (NED)
Fourth Official: Davie Goossens (NED)
Additional AR 1: Kevin Blom (NED)
Additional AR 2: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Club Brugge – Red Bull Salzburg
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Margaritov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Diyan Valkov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Georgi Todorov (BUL)
Additional AR 1: Nikola Popov (BUL)
Additional AR 2: Stanislav Todorov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

FC Zürich – SSC Napoli
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Fourth Official: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Igor Stojilković (SRB)
Referee Observer: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)

Malmö FF – Chelsea FC
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dzmitry Žuk (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alieh Maslianka (BLR)
Fourth Official: Jury Chomčanka (BLR)
Additional AR 1: Dzianis Ščarbakov (BLR)
Additional AR 2: Dzmitry Dzmitryeŭ (BLR)
Referee Observer: Darko Čeferin (SVN)

Shakhtar Donetsk – Eintracht Frankfurt
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Fourth Official: Constantine Hatzidakis (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Referee Observer: Ichko Lozev (BUL)

Celtic – Valencia
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Șovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Sebastian Colțescu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Sporting – Villarreal
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official: Frédéric Haquette (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Karim Abed (FRA)
Referee Observer: Gylfi Orrason (ISL)

Women's World Cup referees taking fresh lessons to France 2019

Four months – barely even that – until the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 gets under way. And while the 24 teams who have qualified are eagerly anticipating the tournament, the referees also have plenty to look forward to. "We know that the teams are preparing very intensively, and we referees are no different. We’re going to do everything in our power to put in the best performance we can in France," said German match official Bibiana Steinhaus. Together with 26 fellow referees and 48 assistant referees, Steinhaus has spent the past two weeks in Doha on a FIFA World Cup training camp, which put the participants through their paces as they went through a whole host of theoretical and practical activities from early in the morning until late every evening. "We know that the World Cup is not far off and we can sense the anticipation that comes with it," said Lucila Venegas, a referee from Mexico. "We have a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, but I’m really looking forward to it. It will soon be time to deliver and to realize our dreams. The time has come to take everything we've learned out onto the field."
Since the final whistle blew at the end of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada back in 2015, all attention among referees and officials has been on the next big event, in France. "The men’s and women’s referees are currently focusing on having one common philosophy and maintaining consistency," said Massimo Busacca, Head of the FIFA Refereeing Department. "The women’s referees are in good form. Our priority is now fine-tuning," added Kari Seitz, FIFA’s Senior Manager of Refereeing.
The camp in Doha was a milestone in this respect, with the referees and assistant referees displaying total commitment and a thirst for knowledge in the training sessions, which also included work alongside male video assistant referees (VARs). "VAR training is important to be able to gauge whether the use of VAR at the Women’s World Cup would be worthwhile, and to make a recommendation on its usage to the FIFA Council when they meet in Miami in March," explained Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of FIFA’s Refereeing Committee. "This is fully synchronised with the process that we have followed in the men’s game. We also had a number of seminars and the final decision on it came at a March meeting of the FIFA Council." In Doha, the referees not only had the chance to go into more detail on the use of VAR in training sessions, but also test the technology in actual match conditions. As well as the training sessions, they got to referee the Al Kass International Cup which brings together some of the top U-17 teams in the world and which is currently being held in Doha up until 15 February. "It is great to see how quickly the women’s referees got to grips with the new tool. Working with them went really well," said a highly enthusiastic Tiago Lopes Martins, a video assistant referee from Portugal.
One look at the faces of the referees and assistants confirms this impression. Throughout the camp, they were all ready to work together and work hard. "We talked about how we make our decisions and exchanged experiences," said Yoshimi Yamashita, a referee from Japan. "That’s why seminars like this are so important for me – they help me to constantly improve." The countdown that everyone has been working towards for over three years is nearing its conclusion. Just four months remain now until kick-off at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Source: FIFA

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

12 February 2019
Manchester United – Paris Saint Germain
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Fourth Official: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR: Marco Guida (ITA)
Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)

AS Roma – FC Porto
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Mario Diks (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Kevin Blom (NED)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Jochem Kamphuis (NED) 

Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)

13 February 2019
Tottenham Hotspur – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devís (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Xavier Estrada Fernandez (ESP)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

AFC Ajax – Real Madrid
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Fourth Official: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
VAR: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
AVAR: Pawel Gil (POL)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Rosetti: "VAR has to be an insurance, a parachute for the referee"

Players who make a television-screen gesture with their hands to appeal for a video replay in UEFA competitions will be shown a yellow card, European football's governing body has confirmed.
UEFA has delayed the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) but has now committed to using them from this month's knockout round of the Champions League, the Europa League final, this summer's Nations League finals, and Euro 2020. Having seen the system being used in leagues throughout Europe and at last summer's World Cup in Russia, UEFA wants its use of VAR to be more consistent and less intrusive, with the final say left with the referee on the pitch. In a media briefing ahead of the UEFA Congress, the confederation's referees’ chief Roberto Rosetti explained that maintaining the referee's authority was a key part of that, which is why he wants a crackdown on players appealing for VAR. "Any player who shows the shape of the TV screen needs to be cautioned," said Rosetti. "And if they surround the referee, there must be disciplinary intervention. We want action in these situations." To illustrate this point, Rosetti showed a video of England defender Harry Maguire clearly gesturing for a video replay after Jordan Henderson was headbutted by a Colombian during the heated last-16 game in Russia. The 51-year-old Italian also explained that UEFA wants to use VAR more sparingly. "We don't want to re-referee the match and destroy the spirit of football with three or four interruptions every match," he said. "There must be clear images for clear interventions." Furthermore, Rosetti wants referees to check all judgement calls on the pitch-side monitor, as opposed to simply taking the VAR's opinion on the matter. "VAR has to be an insurance, a parachute for the referee", he said.

Source: SkySports

Copa Libertadores – Second Round (Second Leg)

12-14 February 2019

Atletico Mineiro – Danubio
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Fourth Official: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Enrique Caceres (PAR)

Barcelona – Defensor Sporting
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John Leon (COL)
Fourth Official: Bismarks Santiago (COL)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Jaimes (PER)

Independiente Medellin – Palestino
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Fourth Official: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Hebert Aguilera (BOL)

Universidad de Chile – Melgar
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Andres Matonte (URU)
Referee Assessor: Nilson Moncao (BRA)

Libertad – The Strongest
Referee: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Luiz de Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Angel Sanchez (ARG)

Sao Paulo – Talleres
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Martin Vazquez (URU)

Caracas – Delfin
Referee: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Dewson Freitas (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Juan Lugones (BOL)

Atletico Nacional – Deportivo La Guaira
Referee: Piero Maza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Felipe Gonzalez (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Perassi (BRA)

Copa Sudamericana – First Round (First Leg, II)

12-14 February 2019

River Plate – Santos
Referee: German Delfino (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lucas Germanotta (ARG)
Fourth Official: Dario Herrera (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Patricio Polic (CHI)

Macara – Guabira
Referee: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Reway (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)

Fluminense – Antofagasta
Referee: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: Derlis Lopez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)

Royal Pari – Monagas
Referee: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Alejandro Molina (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)

Corinthians – Racing Club
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Victor Raez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Orue (PER)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcon (PER)
Referee Assessor: Jose Carpio (ECU)

CONMEBOL U-20 Championship 2019 (Matchday 5)

10 February 2019

Colombia – Uruguay
Referee: Diego Haro (PER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Victor Raez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Orue (PER)
Fourth Official: Ivo Mendez (BOL)
Reserve AR: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)

Venezuela – Ecuador
Referee: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Canete (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Reserve AR: Claudio Urrutia (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Hugo Munoz (CHI)

Brazil – Argentina
Referee: Piero Maza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcon (PER)
Reserve AR: Alejandro Molina (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Claudio Puga (CHI)

CONMEBOL U-20 Championship 2019 (Matchday 4)

7 February 2019

Argentina – Uruguay
Referee: Arnaldo Samaniego (PAR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Canete (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Urrutia (CHI)
Fourth Official: Diego Haro (PER)
Referee Assessor: Claudio Puga (CHI)

Ecuador – Brazil
Referee: Ivo Mendez (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Antelo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcon (PER)
Referee Assessor: Oscar Ruiz (COL)

Venezuela – Colombia
Referee: Mario Diaz De Vivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alejandro Molina (CHI)
Fourth Official: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)

Referees train with VAR ahead of approval for Women’s World Cup

Women’s World Cup referees are undergoing training with VARs in matches over the next two weeks, The Associated Press has learned, paving the way for the FIFA council to approve the use of video reviews at the tournament in France. FIFA has faced criticism for not committing to using video assistant referees at the June 7 - July 7 Women’s World Cup just as they were for the men’s tournament for the first time in Russia last year. Amid growing demands for clarity on the deployment of VAR, United States women’s team coach Jill Ellis said it would be “insulting” if female players didn’t have an equal right to have decisions reviewed by video at their biggest tournament. England counterpart Phil Neville has also criticized the standard of refereeing in the women’s game and the lack of technology which could reduce mistakes. 
FIFA only gave the first indication on Monday that it does plan to use the technology in France after the AP discovered previously undisclosed training with VARs was taking place in seminars and matches in Qatar. It ensures the 27 referees and 47 assistant referees will gain the necessary experience that allows FIFA executives at a meeting in Miami in March to approve the use of the technology for the World Cup. “The final decision if VAR will be used at the Women’s World Cup will be taken by the FIFA council,” FIFA told The Associated Press on Monday. The governing body had previously only said a decision about VAR would come “in due time.” FIFA is now ramping up testing with VAR as referees preside over matches with the assistance of technology at the Al Kass International Cup for men’s under-17 teams, including Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, from Monday through Feb. 15 at Qatar’s Aspire Academy. “It’s similar to the men’s preparation,” FIFA said in a statement to the AP after being asked about the gathering of Women’s World Cup referees in Doha. “To have the best preparation the referees will have VAR training and in addition to that they will officiate games of the Al Kass Cup.” It is a rare deployment of female referees at men’s games. Uruguayan official Claudia Umpierrez made the first VAR call of the tournament near Doha to disallow a goal for offside in a game involving Aspire and Moroccan side Raja Club Athletic on Monday evening. “They have a competition, real matches and that’s is the best way to practice,” FIFA said. “VAR is only a part of their preparation. All other refereeing aspects like reading the game, uniformity and consistency in their decisions, positioning etc., are also crucial for their performances.” While the Women’s World Cup referees and their assistants are women, most of the VARs are men, with some having gained experienced at the World Cup in Russia. No domestic women’s competition currently uses VAR. When FIFA in December announced the appointment of referees for the Women’s World Cup, there was no mention of VAR. FIFA appears to be operating on the same timescale to last year when VAR for the men’s World Cup was officially approved at a council meeting in March. The video review calls in Russia were made from FIFA’s International Broadcast Center near Moscow. VARs, four to a game, sat with monitor operators trained to find the best camera angles before feeding decisions back to referees on the pitch in stadiums. Referees can also check replays themselves on pitch-side monitors. Video review can help referees overturn clear errors in game-changing situations. This means incidents involving goals scored, the award of penalty kicks, red cards, and cases of referees showing cards to the wrong player. 

Source: AP

Highest paid referees in the world

The NBA referees are the highest paid professional match officials in the world. The season begins in October and finals are being played in June. NBA referees earn a good salary package, making more money than any other match officials.
Match Officials
Per Match
Playoffs & Finals
Annual Earnings
NBA Professional Referee
NBA Entry Level Referee
Women's NBA Referee
The average annual salaries of professional referees in the North-American top leagues:
NBA (basketball): $375,000
MLB (baseball): $235,000
NHL (hockey): $212,500
NFL (American football): $188,322

Source: TSM Sportz

Copa Libertadores – Second Round (First Leg)

5-7 February 2019

Danubio – Atletico Mineiro
Referee: German Delfino (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximiliano Yesso (ARG)
Fourth Official: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Amelio Andino (PAR)

Melgar – Universidad de Chile
Referee: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guilherme Camilo (BRA)
Fourth Official: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Herrera (ECU)

The Strongest – Libertad
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Franklin Congo (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Escano (PER)

Defensor Sporting – Barcelona
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Cesar Deischler (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Pablo Silva (ARG)

Delfin – Caracas
Referee: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Roldan (COL)
Fourth Official: John Ospina (COL)
Referee Assessor: Ana Oliveira (BRA)

Talleres – Sao Paulo
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John Leon (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Herrera (COL)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Palestino – Independiente Medellin
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Coty Carrera (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Lopez (PER)
Fourth Official: Luis Garay (PER)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)

Deportivo La Guaira – Atletico Nacional
Referee: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Pablo Gonzalez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Espinoza (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Candelario Andarcia (VEN)

Copa Sudamericana – First Round (First Leg, I)

5-7 February 2019

Union La Calera – Chapecoense
Referee: Gustavo Tejera (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Soppi (URU)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Referee Assessor: Rodolfo Otero (ARG)

Botafogo – Defensa y Justicia
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Horacio Ferreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Andres Matonte (URU)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Osorio (CHI)

Bahia – Liverpool
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Fourth Official: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Deportivo Santani – Once Caldas
Referee: Braulio Machado (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Dario Ubriaco (URU)

UEFA referees primed for spring duty

UEFA’s top European male and female referees have been in training in Lisbon – preparing for the second half of the campaign, as well as for the introduction of video assistant referees (VAR) in the UEFA Champions League. A challenging second half of the season awaits Europe’s top referees – with UEFA confident that the match officials will take an important period for refereeing in their stride. The 122 male and female referees – 46 of them newcomers to the international list - have spent the week in Lisbon at UEFA’s latest annual winter gathering, in preparation for assignments in UEFA’s club and national team competitions over the coming months.
For top European male match officials on the advanced course, the four days in Portugal saw training and fine-tuning work for the imminent introduction of video assistant referees (VAR) in the UEFA Champions League, starting in the Round of 16, which kicks off on 12 February. Last year, VAR was incorporated into the Laws of the Game by football’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), following trials in major competitions. The video assistant referee reviews decisions made by the referee in certain key match situations with the use of video footage and a headset for communication. UEFA’s Executive Committee decided to introduce VAR in UEFA competitions last September, and the committee took a subsequent decision in December for VAR to be deployed from the start of this season’s UEFA Champions League knockout phase. In addition, VAR is to be used at this season's UEFA Europa League final in Baku, the UEFA Nations League Finals in Portugal in June and the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final tournament in Italy in the same month. The referees took part in specific practical training sessions and simulation sessions involving recorded footage of actual matches, practicing reviews in particular. Study sessions on recent incidents in UEFA matches, using video clips, also included discussions on potential VAR situations. “VAR will provide an important help to match officials,” said UEFA’s chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti. “It’s a big step forward for Europe’s referees, and we are ready for the challenge.” In addition to VAR preparation, the referees were encouraged to be decisive and firm in fulfilling their crucial role on the field. Instructions given to them included the need to protect players from serious injury caused by reckless challenges, as well as to safeguard the image of the game by, for example, acting firmly against cases of dissent or mobbing. “We don’t need nice or popular referees,” Rosetti said. “We need strong personalities with a professional attitude, who show courage in taking decisions and act as role models for other referees around Europe”.
The international newcomers received a full briefing into what UEFA expects from them as they start out on their journey. “You should be proud, because this is a very important time for you,” Rosetti told them. “Be yourselves – look for improvement every day, don’t try to copy others, and enjoy this moment.” The new referees were also given wise words of motivation by two officials who have reached the European summit – Germany’s Felix Brych and Switzerland’s Esther Staubli – who advised them in particular about their important role as ambassadors for UEFA and European football. Fitness training was a key item on the agenda in Lisbon, with the newcomers in particular tested in sprint exercises and undertaking the yo-yo intermittent endurance test – the aim being to check their physical condition. “Challenge yourself to make progress – we are there to help you,” UEFA referee fitness expert Werner Helsen told them. During the course, referees were reminded of the need for consistency and uniformity in decision-making. The new officials in particular were informed of the standards that UEFA expects of them as they set on what they hope will be long and successful careers. 
The week ended with an inspirational moment – courtesy of special guest Beatrice Vio, the Italian wheelchair fencer who has won the world, European and Paralympic titles in recent years. The 21-year-old, who at the age of 11 had both legs amputated from the knee, and both arms from the forearms owing to meningitis, was given a standing ovation by the referees for her stirring story of courage and determination to overcome adversity and achieve sporting success. “If you referee, you are doing it because you love it,” she told the officials. “Believe in yourselves, and believe that what you are doing is right.” 

Source: UEFA