English top referee Taylor registered as NHS volunteer

Taylor, a former prison officer, has registered his support after talking about the strain on the National Health Service (NHS) with his sister Kate, a doctor. "These are unique circumstances," he says. "With my sister being so involved on the front line, it's the very least that I could do, understanding what she's having to deal with and how she's also feeling when she comes away from work. The more of us that can offer a small amount of time to help alleviate any of that pressure only has to be a good thing. When the call went out, I registered and it's just a waiting game now for checks to be processed. It's mainly focusing around transporting medication and equipment from hospitals or delivering shopping to vulnerable people. There will be plenty of people that need help. The more people we can get involved, the better. I'm in touch with my sister every day. I get to hear first-hand, sometimes, of some real challenging situations [from] all the people working in the NHS, they do such an amazing job. Everybody should be really grateful and it's so important that people take the advice, stay at home and reduce social contact. Anybody who works in the NHS is a special person, not only their skillset but the type of human beings they are, constantly wanting to help people. It's obviously a really challenging time at the moment. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, things will improve, and we will come through the other side." Taylor's work at a charity, supporting young people to avoid a life of crime, has also been affected by the government's restrictions to stay at home. "My wife still works in the prison service, so she is still working on a daily basis," he adds. "I'm still involved with a youth offending charity [Prison! Me! No Way!]. That's obviously been hit hard because the majority of the work we do is based in schools, trying to educate young people about the choices they make in life and the consequences of getting involved in crime. "That's been a challenge for the charity. We had a very good trustee's meeting the other night and there's a nine-month plan in place to combat difficulties faced by charities." 
'A reality check' 
Taylor says football can help society recover from the spread of coronavirus, and praises the community work by players, clubs and fans. "Events over recent weeks really highlight the need for people to have some social responsibility," he says. "In terms of helping each other and also looking out for your nearest and dearest. I think it certainly is a reality check. Football is a hugely popular sport across the world. Football needs to be used as a vehicle to try and help people as much as we can. It's really important that everybody pulls together and hopefully seeing as many people recover as possible. It's really positive to see what people can do to help those less fortunate. It's always nice to see how individuals, or organizations as a whole, really step up when needed to." 

'Surreal' match behind closed doors 
Taylor was referee for Paris Saint-Germain's win against Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 earlier this month. He has no preference over whether games should resume behind closed doors but believes it does not affect the intensity of a game. "I had the surreal experience of officiating the game a couple of weeks ago with no spectators [March 11]," he says. "Decisions like that are for authorities to make. The players will also tell you that playing matches behind closed doors is a very, very different experience. But it doesn't really have an effect on the actual intensity of the game between the players. Obviously, the players are still wanting to win, there are still important points, or qualification, at risk. I have no personal preference. Of course, you like the atmosphere in a stadium, but decisions of whether games are played behind closed doors are well out of players and officials hands."
How referees are keeping in touch 
Taylor keeps in regular contact with other top officials, including a weekly conference call, as they complete training schedules in their gardens. "We've got comprehensive training plans from our sports science team," he adds. "We concentrate on high intensity speed work and focus on the injury prevention and strength work. My dog is delighted that he's getting extra time out, first thing in the morning, for a longer run! We can spend a bit of extra time based in the garden at home, working on those strength exercises just to injury-proof the body for when we do start. We have a weekly Skype call with the whole group. We're focusing on the technical aspects and discussing performances. We're just really trying to stay on top of it and stay alert, ready to hit the ground running again. We're a very close-knit group, all 17 referees. WhatsApp and messages are keeping morale high." English football hopes the game will return by April 30 but, given the rapid rise in coronavirus deaths in the UK, it is considered highly likely the date will be further delayed. "Everybody's health is far more important than the games and, indeed, confirming a start date," he says. "We need to focus on keeping people safe, following the advice on staying at home and the social distancing. The longer that advice is ignored, it will obviously delay things starting up again. It's also important, once we get that clarity, that everybody involved has the opportunity to get back to match fitness and make sure that we're not increasing the risk of people getting injured in such a short space of time." 

Euro 2020 postponement 
Taylor is one of two referees in England under consideration for the European Championship, which has been postponed until June 2021. "In England, we have two of us that are in the elite group for UEFA - myself and Michael Oliver," he says. "Of course, our two teams were working towards trying to be selected for that tournament. Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, the announcement for selection has obviously been delayed by a number of months. At this moment in time football has to take a back seat. In the coming months, once they decide when we start playing again, when the play-off matches will be, once all of that is sorted then we should hear about which referees have been selected for the tournament." 

Missing VAR?! 
In a lighter moment, Taylor was asked whether he missed Video Assistant Referees [VARs] after their much-debated introduction in the Premier League this season. "VAR is going to be an important part of the game moving forward isn't it," he smiles. "Let's not forget that it's there to try and help us get as many different decisions correct as possible, which is always a good thing from our point of view. I think we just need to keep things in perspective a little bit at the moment and worry about VAR when the games start up again!" 

Source: SkySports

Hațegan: “I had a cough and was scared, but the result is negative”

Ovidiu Hațegan had emotions after he and his team refereed the UEFA Champions League match Valencia – Atalanta, 3-4, on 10 March 2020. At the match in Spain, one of the last matches played before the end of competitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Hațegan was assisted by Octavian Șovre and Sebastian Gheorghe, while Sebastian Colțescu was the fourth official. Upon returning to Romania, all four were forced to go into isolation at home for 14 days. 
“We are all healthy, thank God! Among all of us, I was the only one who had any symptoms, in the sense that I had a dry cough. Not something serious, in other conditions I might not even notice. I admit, I was a little scared considering the fact that my wife is pregnant. I did the test and the result was negative. I had emotions, I was just waiting for the result. Thanks to all those who were interested in our health; we received many calls during this period. It's a difficult time for everyone, but it will pass. But we must be careful and protect ourselves and our loved ones! We will have time to do everything later, but now we have to take care of our health and nothing more! It's all that matters! Let us be responsible and respect the measures taken by the authorities”, said Hațegan. 

Source: FRF

Del Cerro Grande: "I lost weight due to the confinement at home"

If it is already very difficult to endure confinement at home for a normal person, for an elite athlete it is much more. Del Cerro Grande strictly follows the training plan that has been sent to him from the CTA, where "training is key to achieving optimal physical and mental performance", as he acknowledges in an interview with Radio Marca. 
The international referee cannot follow the usual training routine, but this confinement has been good for him to "develop inventiveness", since "not all of us have a great gym at home, I simply have some equipment and I don't train the same, but I try to do strength, elasticity and some aerobic", says the man from Madrid. Surely he has taken the exercise very seriously because "I have not put on weight, quite the contrary", he jokes. What the referee also knows first-hand is the National Police, which was his profession until a leave of absence was requested to dedicate himself exclusively to professional refereeing. Therefore, he dedicated a few words to all those who breach the confinement rules. "It makes me sad. I am puzzled day after day at the number of arrests and complaints to people for these breaches. I hope that people become aware once and for all", he reflects. On how is living during Covid-19, the referee from Madrid considers that it is "a disgrace" and "a slap in the face" and that he is now "like everyone else, confined in my house with my wife and my children, spending every day in the best possible way. We do not give enough value to the little things, such as preparing dinner, pick up the children... and now we are sharing these moments. It is the positive part - if you can use that word with this very delicate situation - of this disgrace", he relates. With regard to the decision to be made on how the football season will end, Del Cerro Grande believes that "the Federation and the League are the ones who have to determine this. We all would like football to return and the competitions, provided the right hygienic conditions are in place. Closed-door matches are rare. Football is passion, feeling, and people in the stands. You must be surrounded by people. But now this is all secondary". 

UEFA Club Finals postponed

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis in Europe, UEFA has formally taken the decision to postpone the following matches, originally scheduled for May 2020: 
- UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 
- UEFA Europa League Final 
- UEFA Champions League Final
No decision has yet been made on rearranged dates. The working group, established last week as a result of the conference call among the stakeholders of European football, which was chaired by UEFA President, Aleksander Čeferin, will analyse the options available. The group has already begun its examination of the calendar. Announcements will be made in due course. 

Source: UEFA

World’s Best Futsal Referee 2019: Cordero Gallardo (ESP)

1. Juan Cordero Gallardo (ESP) - 805 p
2. Nikola Jelic (CRO) - 777 p
3. Chiara Perona (ITA) - 534 p
4. Irina Velikanova (RUS) - 439 p
5. Dario Santamaria (ARG) - 363 p
6. Gelareh Nazemi (IRN) - 273 p
7. Hiroyuki Kobayashi (JPN) - 241 p
8. Mohamed Hassan (EGY) - 91 p
9. Antony Riley (NZL) - 64 p
10. Lance VanHaitsma (USA) - 58 p

Source: Futsal Planet

Gil Manzano: "I have gone from running to the gym 6-7 days a week to being locked up at home 24 hours a day"

If there is anyone who is finding it especially difficult to cope with home confinement, it is Gil Manzano. In an interview with Radio Cope, the LaLiga referee who has been linked to sports all his life (first to athletics and then to refereeing) said "I'm going to climb the wall because this situation it has taken us all by surprise and has broken us". 
He started with nine years in the world of athletics and still runs 6-7 days a week at a rate of 10-12 kilometers in each training. "I have gone from doing all that sport and going to the gym to see myself in the situation we are in that I don't do anything aerobic. To do that type of exercise at home, I had to buy a spinning bike and an elliptical", explained the referee. “Also, I train outdoor with a group of athletes who compete and try to adapt my sessions to them," he said. To all this we must add that "the referees – especially those who are international - are extremely active people because we spend a lot of time away from home and suddenly we are locked up at home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To counter this sedentary lifestyle to which we are being forced, we have received a training plan from the CTA and particularly I also have my personal trainer who has also sent me high-intensity exercises." Theoretical preparation is also very important for the CTA led by Velasco Carballo, which periodically sends exams and videos so that the braids continue to form. "He is in contact with us weekly and now more frequently because of the break in the competition. They send us video-tests with plays to review and that we make the decision that we would make on the field. Once finished, they send us the results and so we do not lose the dynamic", he concluded. Gil Manzano confirmed that no member of the refereeing staff has been actively affected by the Covid-19, neither with symptoms nor with a positive result: "We are all well. Every two days we make video calls where we meet and follow-up. The break was necessary because health is above all. Any decision made will be the best for sport and athletes". 

Kuipers: "Don't know yet if I can, may or will continue in 2021"

"I have a FIFA badge until 31 December 2020. I don't know if I can, may or will want to continue for another six months", said Kuipers. "But postponing the European Championship was the only right decision", added the referee, who does not know whether he will be present at the Euro in 2021. "The most important thing now is to win this game against corona. After the summer I can give a definite answer about this", says the Netherlands' best referee. "I can say that I want to continue, but I need help from UEFA and the KNVB. After the World Cup in 2018, I thought it would have been nice to retire in terms of European and World Cups, but UEFA asked me - partly due to the introduction of the VAR - to be available for Euro 2020". 
In September or October, Kuipers will decide whether he can afford another year to focus more than 100% on the European Championship. The Oldenzaler is now leaning towards 'yes'. "I am mentally and physically super fit. But the most important thing now is to win this game against corona and to make sure everyone stays healthy". 

Source: De Telegraaf

Spain will eliminate the age limit of professional referees

The change only has one last procedure left so that it can take effect from the beginning of the next season, 2020-2021, as was the intention of the Referees Committee and the RFEF. The RFEF Delegate Commission recently approved this historic change in the employment relationship of the Spanish referees. Now there is only the last step that passes through the approval of the CSD Board of Directors for its implementation. Something that could occur in the coming weeks, except for the setbacks due to the coronavirus, at the same meeting where the electoral process will be approved in the Ciudad del Fútbol de las Rozas. 
As a consequence of this change, all professional football referees and assistants will leave the current situation, where they were in an administrative relationship regime, to move to the Social Security regime to which the majority of employees who work for a company are subject. It is a status for which the referees of Spanish football have been fighting for many years and which will finally see the light of day next season. This historic step has been possible following many months of conversations between the Spanish Federation and the Ministry of Labor. The new agreement will only apply to professional referees and it will not be applicable to the rest of the referees in other categories (Second Division, Third Division, etc.). This new scenario will have an immediate impact according to the professional referees’ remuneration agreement signed by the League and the RFEF in August 2018 and in force for five years, with respect to the Social Security that was totally frozen. Once the legislation will enter into force, the referee group will receive the 1,900,000 euros agreed in this agreement and destined to cover precisely these payments for the 2019-2020 and the previous season. In addition, the Commission adopted another change that affects Spanish referees and it has to do with the age of the referees. The RFEF also wants to remove the age limit set at 45 and thus join the FIFA standard that already eliminated it in October 2015. In this way, the decision would be in the hands of the Referees Committee (CTA) at the end of each season, as it happens in the English Premier League. In Portugal, for example, the limit is 48 years, but after 45 you must meet certain requirements to be able to keep on blowing the whistle. In Germany, the limit is 47 years and in Italy, although it is 45, exceptions are established for those who are in certain conditions. 

Source: Time24News

Referees and sanitarians

In an interesting report published on its website, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) explains the story of three referees who combine their activity as match officials with their work in the world of healthcare. They are Iragartze Fernández, nurse, Elena Pelaéz, midwife, and Judit Romano, anesthesiologist. All three send a message of support to fight to end the coronavirus. 
The RFEF website explains that Iragartze Fernández is a nurse at the Rekalde Health Center in Bilbao and an assistant referee in the First and Third Division. She explains that “we are working intensively and at many times under stress situations screening for possible cases of coronavirus. For the good of all, stay home and help us not to spread the disease any further”, she asks firmly. 
Elena Peláez, meanwhile, is a midwife at the Río Carrión Hospital in Palencia and referee in the First Division. Elena says that “with everyone's effort and positive attitude we will overcome it.” 
Lastly, Judit Romano is an anesthesiologist and resuscitator at the Central University Hospital of Asturias in Oviedo. She is also the only woman assistant referee in the Second Division, after the promotion of Guadalupe Porras to the First Division. Mother of two children, she overcame lymphoma when she was 14 years old. “We are a team and together we will win for sure”, she says. 

Source: SportsFinding

Referee Guida in self-isolation after Juventus - Inter

Italian referee Marco Guida has decided to self-isolate having refereed last weekend’s Derby D’Italia between Juventus and Inter according to a report from the online edition of Naples based newspaper Il Mattino. 
Guida’s decision to self-isolate comes after Juventus centre back Daniele Rugani tested positive for Coronavirus in the days after the match at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, which Juventus won 2-0 thanks to goals from Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala. Upon Rugani’s positive diagnosis, Juventus announced they would be going into quarantine and Inter followed in their footsteps almost immediately after by placing everyone who travelled for the match into quarantine. The report goes on to state that Fabio Maresca and Ciro Carbone, who were the fourth official and one of the assistant referees for the match respectively, have also decided to self-isolate. None of Guida, Maresca or Carbone have been tested for the virus as protocol does not require for them to be. 

Source: SempreInter

FIFA referees quarantined in Argentina

FIFA referee Nicolas Lamolina assured that, despite not having "symptoms", he decided together with the rest of the referees who were in the match between Flamengo and Barcelona to make a "preventive safeguard" after it became known that the vice-president and the technical director of the Brazilian team tested positive for coronavirus.
"We decided to make a preventive move and now we are in quarantine," revealed Lamolina, who was the fourth official in the aforementioned meeting and where the referee himself said that he had "a handshake" with Jorge Jesús, the coach of Flamengo. In addition to Nicolas Lamolina, the main referee Facundo Tello and assistants Pablo González and Julio Fernández, who have already undergone the corresponding exams, are in the same situation. "You have to try to be calm and not generate psychosis", Lamolina said to TyC Sports, while commenting "If we did not decide to stop on our own, we could put many people at risk."
Lamolina was appointed for the game played last Monday by Lanús and Argentinos Juniors, which was finally led by Hernán Mastrángelo and gave his opinion on the decision not to be present. "It was a conscious and very correct decision because I had to referee Lanús - Argentinos on Monday and if I did it was going to be a risk, that's why I got off," he said, after which he revealed that he feels "very contained" by the football environment. In this sense he said: "(Federico) Beligoy, (Claudio) Tapia and (Héctor) Baldassi are very close to us to know how we are at the health level. We feel very contained by everyone at this time." Lamolina also pointed out about the coronavirus outbreak: "It is a social issue and as a first step we have to make society aware that it is not something so minor and that is how we are going to get ahead."

Source: Jornada

Kitabdjian: 19 years on FIFA List

With the disappearance of Michel Kitabdjian at the age of 89, French football has lost one of the most illustrious referees in its history. Of all French referees, he had the greatest longevity at the international level. For 19 seasons, from 1961 to 1980, Michel Kitabdjian represented French refereeing at the international level and he was an appreciated and respected ambassador. His service record includes two matches at the football tournament of the 1968 Summer Olympics and the final of the European Champions Cup, on 28 May 1975, at the Parc des Princes, between Bayern Munich and Leeds United (2-0). In total, he refereed 233 international matches, including two European Cup semi-finals. Appointed federal referee in 1959, the Niçois also refereed the 1965 French Cup final between Sedan Torcy and Stade Rennais. In total, he refereed approximately 1,500 games and was ranked the best French referee from 1965 to 1976 by the Central Referees Commission, the ancestor of the Technical Refereeing Directorate and the Federal Referees Commission. 
Once retired from the field, Michel Kitabdjian was very involved in the training of young referees in the Côte-d´Azur District (of which he was honorary president), but also at the federal level. “He was a member of the Central Youth Commission at the FFF, recalls Claude Colombo, a former international referee. At the level of the Mediterranean League, along with Gilles Veissière and Bruno Coué in particular, we know what we owe Michel. For years, training young referees has been his mission, his passion, his raison d'être. He had a very marked charisma, an extraordinary CV, but above all an exceptional humility. He was unanimous everywhere he went. He was concerned with giving back to football and refereeing what football and refereeing had brought him. It was his leitmotif. He will remain as an extraordinary example for all those who knew him”. 

Source: FFF

Concacaf suspends more tournaments

At Concacaf we are continuing to monitor closely the public health situation and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19. The health and wellbeing of all individuals participating in Concacaf competitions is our first priority and that is why we last week made the decision to suspend a number of our upcoming competitions and matches.
Following further consultation with key stakeholders, we have made the decision to suspend two additional Concacaf national team tournaments: 
- 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championships, originally scheduled for April 18 to May 3 in Toluca, Mexico. 
- 2020 Concacaf Futsal Championships, originally scheduled for May 1 to May 10 in Guatemala. 
Both competitions require significant international travel for a number of our Member Associations and their teams and we have made this decision with their welfare in mind. 

Source: Concacaf

UEFA postpones Euro 2020

UEFA today announced the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA Euro 2020, due to be played in June and July this year. The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches. The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed.
All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice. The UEFA Euro 2020 play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation. A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today. The decisions, taken by UEFA's Executive Committee, followed videoconference meetings held today with the presidents and general secretaries of the 55 national associations, as well as representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe, convened by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, to find a coherent plan to break the logjam of fixtures building up due to the spread of the virus across the continent. Announcing the decisions, Aleksander Čeferin said: "We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent. It is at times like these that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism. The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and, in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football. There was a real spirit of cooperation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result. It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice. Moving EURO 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women's football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected. Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole. Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadia, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition. I would like to thank the European Club Association, the European Leagues and FIFPro Europe for their great work today and for their cooperation. I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart the 55 national associations, their presidents and general secretaries, and my colleagues from the Executive Committee for their support and wise decisions. The fine detail will be worked out in the coming weeks but the basic principles have been agreed and that is a major step forward. We have all shown that we are responsible leaders. We have demonstrated solidarity and unity. Purpose over profit. We've achieved this today. I would also like to thank Alejandro Domínguez and CONMEBOL, who have agreed to move CONMEBOL's 2020 Copa America in order to follow the recommendations issued by the international public health organisations to enact extreme measures and as a result of Euro 2020 being postponed. This means that clubs and leagues in Europe will have as little disruption as possible in the availability of their players. These joint efforts and especially this coordinated and responsible decision, are deeply appreciated by the whole European football community. I would like to thank FIFA and its President, Gianni Infantino, who has indicated it will do whatever is required to make this new calendar work. In the face of this crisis, football has shown its best side with openness, solidarity and tolerance." 

National team competitions: 
- The play-off qualifying matches of the UEFA Euro 2020 scheduled to be played in March 2020 will be postponed until the international windows of June 2020, subject to a review of the situation. 
- The final tournament of the UEFA Euro 2020, which was set to take place from 12 June to 12 July 2020, will be postponed to 11 June to 11 July 2021. This will help to ensure that the UEFA Euro 2020 can be a great celebration of football for all the supporters across the continent. 
- European qualifiers matchdays 3 and 4 currently scheduled to take place in June 2021 will be re-scheduled. 
- The UEFA Nations League Finals, the final tournament of the UEFA U21 Euro and the UEFA Women’s Euro all scheduled between June and July 2021 will be re-scheduled accordingly. 
- Clubs will release players to national teams for all rescheduled tournaments. 

Club competitions: 
- A commitment to complete all domestic and European club competitions by the end of the current sporting season, i.e. 30 June 2020 at the latest, should the situation improve and resuming playing be appropriate and prudent enough. 
- Possible limitations or drops of current exclusive calendar slots, potentially resulting in the scheduling of domestic league matches in mid-week and scheduling of UEFA club competitions matches on weekends. 
- Possible adaptations of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds in case of late completion of the 2019/20 sporting season, i.e. after 30 June 2020. 

Working groups: 
- A working group composed of representatives from UEFA, leagues and clubs will be immediately established to examine relevant calendar matters and devise solutions allowing for the resumption and/or conclusion of the current season in a coherent manner. 
- A second working group composed of representatives from UEFA, leagues, clubs and players will be set-up at a later stage to assess the economic, financial and regulatory impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and propose measures to help mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.

Source: UEFA

Copa America postponed to 2021

This year's Copa America has been postponed until 2021 due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) decided today.
The 12-team tournament, which had originally been scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 12 in Colombia and Argentina, follows the Euro 2020 championship in being pushed back by a year with global sport being brought to a virtual standstill by the coronavirus outbreak. "This is an extraordinary measure for an unexpected situation and responds to the fundamental need to avoid the exponential evolution of the virus," said CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez. The rescheduled tournament would be played between June 11 and July 11, 2021. "It wasn't easy to take this decision but we must safeguard at all times the health of our players and all those who form part of the big South American football family. Have no doubts that the oldest international tournament in the world will be back stronger than ever in 2021." The Copa America is one of the biggest draws on the football calendar, with players such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez, and James Rodriguez all expected to take part. 


CONMEBOL Libertadores: 8 red cards in 3 minutes

Gremio's Copa Libertadores group stage match against Internacional descended into chaos with eight red cards in stoppage time following a mass brawl
While the game finished 0-0, it was the ferocious bust-up at the finish that stole the headlines as Pepe, Luciano da Rocha Neves, Caio Henrique Oliveira Silva and Paulo Miranda were sent off for the hosts. For Internacional, Edenilson, Moises Roberto Barbosa, Victor Cuesta and Bruno Conceciao Praxedes were given their marching orders before the final whistle for their involvement. Kicking, punching and firm holding were the offences which escalated a 0-0 into a match that became a war for the closing stages. 
It was the first time these sides met in a Porto Alegre derby in the Copa Libertadores and tensions were running high. The match had largely passed without incident until the 88th minute when tensions spilled over and referee Fernando Rapallini temporarily lost control. The brawl began was a scrap broke out on the sideline and suddenly substitutes ran off the bench to get involved. 
While the eight red cards caught the eye, it is far from a record for the Copa Libertadores. Boca Juniors' meeting with Sporting Cristal in 1971 saw 19 dismissals in a match that will unlikely ever be beaten. 
The brawl began between Gremio's Luciano and Internacional's Edenilson. They were quickly joined by team-mates in scuffling as punches rained down and supporters were further riled up in a feverish atmosphere. The actual result quickly became inconsequential but the 0-0 means that both sides are now level on points at the top of Group E with four group stage games remaining. 

Source: DailyMail

UEFA calls meeting of European Football Stakeholders

In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed. This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020. Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course. As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.
UEFA yesterday invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to a videoconference meeting on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak.

Source: UEFA

Concacaf suspends all its competitions

Given the constantly evolving public health situation, and global concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the Concacaf Council convened yesterday via a conference call. During the meeting the decision was made to suspend all upcoming Concacaf competitions scheduled to take place over the next 30 days. The Concacaf Council took these decisions with the welfare of everyone involved in mind, and in light of developing travel restrictions and public health guidance. Concacaf is committed to working with key stakeholders to consider options on how and when to reconvene these competitions and any new decision will be communicated in due course.
The following competitions have been suspended with immediate effect: 
- 2020 Concacaf Champions League 
- 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifiers
- 2020 Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield
- 2021 Gold Cup Qualifiers (due to be played in the March 2020 FIFA Window) 

Source: Concacaf

UEFA Europa League 2019/2020 – Round of 16 (First Leg)

12 March 2020

Eintracht Frankfurt –FC Basel
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Hallberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Dennis Higler (NED)
Referee Observer: Jørn West Larsen (DEN)

LASK – Manchester United
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Tavares (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: Hugo Miguel (POR)
VAR: Tiago Martins (POR)
AVAR: Luis Godinho (POR)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Sevilla – AS Roma
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Seidel (GER)
Fourth Official: Marco Fritz (GER)
VAR: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
AVAR: Christian Dingert (GER)
Referee Observer: Costas Kapitanis (CYP)

Istanbul – Copenhagen
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Francis Connor (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: David McGeachie (SCO)
Fourth Official: Nicholas Walsh (SCO)
VAR: Chris Kavanagh (ENG)
AVAR: Robert Madden (SCO)
Referee Observer: Lutz Fröhlich (GER)

Inter Milano – Getafe
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Dejan Balažič (SVN)
VAR: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
AVAR: Fedayi San (SUI)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

Wolfsburg – Shakhtar Donetk
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Fourth Official: Nejc Kajtazovic (SVN)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Xavier Estrada Fernandez (ESP)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

Glasgow Rangers – Bayer Leverkusen
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Tomasz Musial (POL)
VAR: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
AVAR: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP)

Olympiacos – Wolverhampton
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official: Frank Schneider (FRA)
VAR: François Letexier (FRA)
AVAR: Jerôme Brisard (FRA)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

Algarve Cup Final 2020: Calderas (VEN)

10 March 2020

Germany – Italy
Referee: Emikar Calderas (VEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Migdalia Rodriguez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Daiana Milone (ARG)
Fourth Official: Catarina Ferreira (POR)
Referee Assessor: Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)

Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying 2020

Mexico, 20 March - 1 April 2020

1. Ivan Barton (SLV, photo)
2. Juan Calderon (CRC)
3. Mario Escobar (GUA)
4. Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
5. Jair Marrufo (USA)
6. Said Martinez (HON)
7. Daneon Parchment (JAM)
8. John Pitti (PAN)
9. Cesar Ramos (MEX)

Assistant Referees
1. Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
2. Frank Anderson (USA)
3. Micheal Barwegen (CAN)
4. Ronald Bruna (PAN)
5. Christian Espinosa (MEX)
6. Walter Lopez (HON)
7. Juan Mora (CRC)
8. David Moran (SLV)
9. Alberto Morin (MEX)
10. Humberto Panjoj (GUA)
11. Henri Pupiro (NCA)
12. Caleb Wales (TRI)
13. Zachari Zeegelaar (SUR)

CONMEBOL Libertadores 2020 – Group Stage (Matchday 2)

10-12 March 2020

Santos – Delfín
Referee: Kevin Ortega (PER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Orue (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Sanchez (PER)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivanez (PER)
Referee Assessor: Henry Gambetta (PER)

Bolivar – Tigre
Referee: Angel Arteaga (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alvaro Ponte (VEN)
Fourth Official: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Luis Sanchez (VEN)

Universidad Catolica – America de Cali
Referee: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Santiago Fernandez (URU)
Fourth Official: Andres Cunha (URU)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Pastorino (URU)

Boca Juniors – Independiente Medellín
Referee: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Byron Romero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Fourth Official: Luis Quiroz (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Omar Ponce (ECU)

Palmeiras – Guarani
Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Osorio (CHI)

Libertad – Caracas
Referee: Angelo Hermosilla (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Piero Maza (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Francisco Mondria (CHI)

Penarol – Jorge Wilstermann
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Franchescoly Chacon (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Fourth Official: Orlando Bracamonte (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Jairo Romero (VEN)

Colo Colo – Atletico Paranaense
Referee: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Referee Assessor: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)

River Plate – Binacional
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lubin Torrealba (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Marlon Escalante (VEN)

Sao Paulo – Liga de Quito
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Agustín Berisso (URU)
Fourth Official: Andres Matonte (URU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Cardellino (URU)

Flamengo – Barcelona
Referee: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Julio Fernandez (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Pablo Gonzalez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Lamolina (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Angel Sanchez (ARG)

Olimpia – Defensa y Justicia
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Coty Carrera (PER)
Fourth Official: Edwin Ordonez (PER)
Referee Assessor: Ana Perez (PER)

Independiente Del Valle – Junior
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Víctor Raez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Lopez (PER)
Fourth Official: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Escano (PER)

Nacional – Estudiantes de Merida
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo van Gasse (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Nilson Moncao (BRA)

Gremio – Internacional
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Fourth Official: Dario Herrera (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Hernan Maidana (ARG)

Racing – Alianza Lima
Referee: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Fourth Official: Juan Benitez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Enrique Caceres (PAR)

Concacaf Champions League 2020 – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

10-12 March 2020

Montreal Impact – CD Olimpia
Referee: Adonai Escobedo (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: William Arrieta (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Martinez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Luis Santander (MEX)

New York City FC – Tigres UANL
Referee: Juan Calderon (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Fourth Official: Keylor Herrera (CRC)

Club America – Atlanta United
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Ronald Bruna (PAN)
Fourth Official: Jose Kellys (PAN)

Los Angeles FC – Cruz Azul
Referee: Said Martinez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Lopez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Henri Pupiro (NCA)
Fourth Official: Raul Castra (HON)

CONMEBOL U-20 Women’s Championship 2020

Argentina, 4-22 March 2020

Referee: Laura Fortunato (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mariana Almeida (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gisela Trucco (ARG)

Referee: Adriana Farfan (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Liliana Bejarano (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcela Urapuca (BOL)

Referee: Edina Alves (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Neuza Back (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Leila Moreira (BRA)

Referee: Maria Carvajal (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Leslie Vasquez (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Cindy Nahuelcoy (CHI)

Referee: Viviana Munoz (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Mary Blanco (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Mayra Sanchez (COL)

Referee: Susana Corella (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Monica Amboya (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sandra Zambrano (ECU)

Referee: Zulma Quinonez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Nilda Gamarra (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rossana Salinas (PAR)

Referee: Elizabeth Tintaya (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Vera Yupanqui (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriela Moreno (PER)

Referee: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Adela Sanchez (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Daiana Fernandez (URU)

Referee: Maria Herran (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoli Garcia (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Yoleida Lara (VEN)

UEFA Champions League 2019/2020 – Round of 16 (Second Leg, I)

10 March 2020
Valencia CF – Atalanta Calcio
Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Șovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Colţescu (ROU)
VAR: Pawel Gil (POL)
AVAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)

RB Leipzig – Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
VAR: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
AVAR: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

11 March 2020
Paris St. Germain – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Fourth Official: Craig Pawson (ENG)
VAR: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
AVAR: Paul Tierney (ENG)
Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)

Liverpool – Atletico Madrid
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Mario Diks (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Allard Lindhout (NED)
VAR: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
AVAR: Kevin Blom (NED)
Referee Observer: Lucilio Batista (POR)

Elleray: “Offside law is going backwards with VAR”

Former Premier League referee David Elleray believes the offside law is 'going backwards' following the implementation of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) around the world. Football lawmakers IFAB (International Football Association Board) are reviewing the law over the next 12 months after VAR's introduction in 35 countries, including England. Officials are expected to make formal changes at their annual general meeting next year.
"Offside has evolved," Elleray, IFAB technical director, told Sky Sports News. "The journey of offside has to be, steadily, give more and more benefit to the attacker. If you speak to any assistant referee, they are instructed, with offside, if in doubt, you keep the flag down. So, the attacker gets the benefit of the doubt. The greater use of technology, through VAR, means that technology has taken that doubt away so, in fact, we have started going backwards a little bit. The purpose of offside was to stop attackers getting an unfair advantage. A lot of football is saying 'well, three centimetres just in front is not a major advantage', while others are saying you're either offside or you're not. So, what we're saying is have we got the law right now, particularly given the greater accuracy of judgement to say should we be looking at it slightly differently to make sure that we continue to encourage attacking football and the opportunity to score a goal."
Elleray says "many lessons have been learned" by the Premier League during their implementation of VAR this season. "I think most people would say that it hasn't been a howling success [in English football]," Elleray told Sky Sports News, following an annual general meeting of the International Football Association Board [IFAB] in Belfast. "But many lessons have been learned and those lessons will be put into place next year. I think we've been aware, over the last four years or so, of VAR that any competition that has started using it, it hasn't always gone well at the beginning. They've adjusted, they've modified." The former referee says he would be "astonished" if the Premier League maintained its policy of using pitchside monitors sparingly next season and believes VAR can be "too forensic" in the decision-making process. I think English football's use of pitchside monitors has been different from most other competitions in the world," he said. "It rarely works when one group is doing something very differently from the rest of the world so I would anticipate some changes in the future. It's impossible for any major changes to take place during this season because, clearly, the integrity of the competition means that the way matches are being controlled so far couldn't change. But I would anticipate a change next season. The benefit of the pitchside monitors is very much that the referee remains at the centre of the decision-making process. The referee's authority is maintained and, also, the referee on the field feels the atmosphere, understands what goes on. Whereas somebody away in a van can be in a slightly more, almost, antiseptic, hermetically sealed environment where, perhaps, they can be too forensic."
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has welcomed IFAB's review of the offside law. "We want to encourage attacking football, attacking goals," Clarke told Sky Sports News. "We don't want an outcome from the use of VAR that we're losing more goals than we're scoring, which is where we are at the minute. We've agreed to look at the rules of the game to say, 'does the offside rule need to change?'. The fundamental issue is the rules, not the technology. The offside law has worked very well until technology has effectively removed the benefit of the doubt", explained Elleray. "The benefit of the doubt meant that the attackers were more favoured than defenders. Defenders, I'm sure, will disagree with me, but attackers will now say they have lost that benefit. Therefore, we need to say, 'is the law doing what it should do?', which is to prevent attackers getting an unfair benefit by their position relative to the defenders." Lawmakers will review whether to allow any communication between the referee and VAR to be heard by supporters during a game. Sky Sports News revealed in December that IFAB may allow competitions to broadcast a direct audio link involving match officials to fans. The present laws of the game prevent in-game communication to be relayed during a match, but competitions can release audio after the final whistle. "We're going to review how much we should publicise, and open up, any discussion between the referee and the VAR," explained Elleray. "There are positives and negatives to all these things. We have to understand that referees and VARs are under huge pressure, particularly at key moments when they're reviewing. It could generate more upset than not. Competitions can, post-match, release video and audio of the conversations so people understand the process. So, the debate now is 'does the game benefit from that being done live or not?'

Source: SkySports

Portuguese referees attacked in Greece

AEK appears to be in a lot of trouble based on what was written in the game observer’s report after the game with Aris for the Greek Cup semi-finals. According to the referees, all Portuguese, some people of the home team attacked them and they specifically mention one “white-haired old man” who declared that he is AEK’s president and grabbed the first assistant referee by the genitals. On the other hand, the incident involving Aris’ trainer is downplayed, saying that both the referees and the VAR people did not see anything worth mentioning. The match was refereed by Artur Soares Dias, with Tiago Martins as VAR. The match report states: “At the end of the first half and as we walked into the locker room, several people from the home team approached us, shouting, pushing and pulling us because they wanted to know the reason we awarded the penalty kick. ‘No penalty’, ‘Why penalty?’, ‘You f...kers’, ‘I am the president of AEK’, they were telling us. In the meantime, one of them, an older white-haired man, was shouting ‘No penalty, I’m the boss, no penalty’. He went to the first assistant, put his hands on his genitals and said ‘F…k you, there is no penalty’. We remained for about 30 minutes in the locker room as we waited for the police to assure us that there was no security problem to start the second half. After that we came out, the second half started and when the game was over we had no problem returning to the locker room. After the second goal of the home team the game was interrupted for six minutes because something happened in the area near the corner with a guest player warming up there. None of the referees or VAR saw what happened there.”

Source: Protothema

UEFA Women's Euro 2021 – Qualifying Round (Matchday 8)

10-11 March 2020

Kosovo – Slovenia
Referee: Lois Otte (BEL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ella De Vries (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Joline Delcroix (BEL)
Fourth Official: Hannelore Onsea (BEL)
Referee Observer: Miroslava Migalová (SVK)

Israel – Georgia
Referee: Michalina Diakow (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Katarzyna Wójs (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Karolina Zygmond (POL)
Fourth Official: Monika Mularczyk (POL)
Referee Observer: María Villa Gutiérrez (ESP)

Malta – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: Neslihan Muratdaği (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Betül Yilmaz (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Sedef Aktan (TUR)
Fourth Official: Cansu Tiryaki (TUR)
Referee Observer: Anja Kunick (GER)

Azerbaijan – Poland
Referee: Cristina Trandafir (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruța Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniela Constantinescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Marta Atzori (ITA)

Cyprus – Albania
Referee: Jeļena Jermolajeva (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Līga Didriķe (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Diāna Vanaga (LVA)
Fourth Official: Laura Treimane (LVA)
Referee Observer: Regina Belksma-Konink (NED)

Montenegro – Ireland
Referee: Maria Ferrieri Caputi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Lucia Abruzzese (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Veronica Vettorel (ITA)
Fourth Official: Deborah Bianchi (ITA)
Referee Observer: Natalia Avdonchenko (RUS)

AFC Champions League 2020 – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

3- 4 March 2020

Johor Darul Tazim – Suwon Bluewings
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Timur Faizullin (KGZ)

Sydney FC – Jeonbuk Hyundai
Referee: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abu Al-Amri (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rashid Al Ghaithi (OMA)
Fourth Official: Yaqoob Abdul Baki (OMA)

UEFA Women's Euro 2021 – Qualifying Round (Matchday 7)

5-7 March 2020

Ireland – Greece
Referee: María Martínez Madrona (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Silvia Fernández Pérez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Rita Cabañero Mompó (ESP)
Fourth Official: Arantza Gallastegui Pérez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bente Skogvang (NOR)

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Israel
Referee: Kateryna Usova (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Oleksandra Ardasheva (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Maryna Striletska (UKR)
Fourth Official: Lyudmyla Telbukh (UKR)
Referee Observer: Wendy Toms (ENG)

Malta – Georgia
Referee: Araksya Saribekyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Liana Grigoryan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Kristine Grigoryan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Sofik Torosyan (ARM)
Referee Observer: Gitte Holm (DEN)

Kosovo – Russia
Referee: Henrikke Nervik (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Monica Løkkeberg (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Line Nymoen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Ingvild Aarland (NOR)
Referee Observer: Katarzyna Wierzbowska (POL)

Serbia – North Macedonia
Referee: Shona Shukrula (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Franca Overtoom (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolet Bakker (NED)
Fourth Official: Sterre Bijlsma (NED)
Referee Observer: Irina Mîrț (ROU)

Poland – Moldova
Referee: Lizzy van der Helm (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Diana Snoeren (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Bianca Scheffers (NED)
Fourth Official: Marisca Overtoom (NED)
Referee Observer: Claudine Brohet (BEL)

Gavillucci: Former Serie A referee at county level in England

A cold night at Chester FC 's 1885 Arena isn't the most obvious place you would find a former Serie A referee. But the man in the middle for the Blues' clash with Tranmere Rovers in the quarter final of the Cheshire Senior Cup was last year taking charge of some of the biggest games in European football.
Claudio Gavillucci made headlines in 2018 when he suspended a Serie A clash between Sampdoria and Napoli after home fans were heard to be making discriminatory chants towards the visiting Napoli fans. Gavillucci took the drastic action to suspend play in the 31st minute of the clash, where would be Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was in charge of Napoli, due to chanting from the Sampdoria fans toward the visitors that prompted Sampdoria President Massimo Ferrero to take the field to ask his fans to stop. The game continued and Napoli won 2-0 but Gavillucci came in for criticism for the decision and was eventually dismissed from Serie A, the reason given for him being bottom of the performance table but his lawyers, challenging the decision, stating their belief that is was the dim view taken by league officials on his stance in the Sampdoria - Napoli game. Since then he has been in the refereeing wilderness, taking charge of his final game at the end of 2018, a clash between Udinese and Bologna. He has been refereeing games at county level in England in recent weeks and Chester's clash with Tranmere in front of a crowd of 464 formed part of his comeback trail. Chester won the game 1-0 thanks to a Danny Elliott penalty, Gavillucci pointing the spot after Stuart Crilly was felled on 21 minutes.

Algarve Cup 2020

4-11 March 2020

Referee: Ivana Martincic (CRO, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Francesca Di Monte (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexandra Petrea (ROU)

Referee: Olga Zadinova (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Elodie Coppola (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Almira Spahic (SWE)

Referee: Francia Gonzalez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mijensa Rensch (SUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Karen Diaz (MEX)

Referee: Emikar Calderas (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Migdalia Rodriguez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Daiana Milone (ARG)

Fourth Officials
1. Silvia Domingos (POR)
2. Catarina Campos (POR)

Referee Assessor
Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)

UEFA Youth League 2019/2020 – Round of 16

3-11 March 2020

AFC Ajax – Atletico de Madrid
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (SWE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Söderkvist (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Robin Wilde (SWE)
Fourth Official: Jeroen Manschot (NED)
Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

SL Benfica – Liverpool FC
Referee: Michael Fabbri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Davide Imperiale (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Valerio Vecchi (ITA)
Fourth Official: Hugo Silva (POR)
Referee Observer: João Ferreira (POR)

Atalanta Calcio – Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Fran Jović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Hrvoje Radić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Luka Pušić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Simone Sozza (ITA)
Referee Observer: Antonio Damato (ITA)

Internazionale Milano – Stade Rennais
Referee: Donatas Rumsas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksandr Radius (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Referee Observer: Domenico Messina (ITA)

Bayern München – GNK Dinamo

Referee: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Douglas Potter (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel McFarlane (SCO)
Fourth Official: Florian Badstübner (GER)
Referee Observer: Peter Sippel (GER)

Crvena Zvezda – FC Midtjylland
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Portelli (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Christopher Francalanza (MLT)
Fourth Official: Lazar Lukić (SRB)
Referee Observer: Dejan Filipović (SRB)

FC Salzburg – Derby County
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Davit Gabisonia (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Davit Akhvlediani (GEO)
Fourth Official: Stefan Ebner (AUT)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Juventus FC – Real Madrid
Referee: Fabio Verissimo (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Pedro Almeida (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nuno Martins (POR)
Fourth Official: Marco Serra (ITA)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

CONMEBOL Libertadores 2020 – Group Stage (Matchday 1)

3-5 March 2020

Defensa y Justicia – Santos
Referee: Gustavo Tejera (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolás Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Barreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Andrés Matonte (URU)
Referee Assessor: Martin Vazquez (URU)

Atletico Paranaense – Penarol
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Darío Gaona (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Cañete (PAR)
Fourth Official: Derlis López (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Angel Sanchez (ARG)

Internacional – Universidad Catolica

Referee: Angel Arteaga (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos López (VEN)
Fourth Official: José Argote (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Torres (PAR)

Independiente Medellin – Libertad
Referee: Kevin Ortega (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Sanchez (PER)
Fourth Official: Diego Haro (PER)
Referee Assessor: Henry Gambetta (PER)

America de Cali – Gremio
Referee: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Byron Romero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Baren (ECU)
Fourth Official: Roberto Sanchez (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Viola (ARG)

Caracas – Boca Juniors
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Agustín Berisso (URU)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Silvera (URU)

Tigre – Palmeiras
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Roldán (COL)
Fourth Official: Nicolás Gallo (COL)
Referee Assessor: Jairo Romero (VEN)

Barcelona – Independiente Del Valle
Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Alejandro Molina (CHI)
Fourth Official: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Omar Ponce (ECU)

Jorge Wilstermann – Colo Colo
Referee: Andres Merlos (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Fourth Official: Nicolás Lamolina (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)

Junior – Flamengo
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Luis Sanchez (VEN)

Guarani – Bolívar
Referee: Augusto Aragon (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Aguiar (ECU)
Fourth Official: Marlon Vera (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Jorge Jaimes (PER)

Liga de Quito – River Plate

Referee: Andres Rojas (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzmán (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John Leon (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Betancur (COL)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Delfín – Olimpia

Referee: Leodan González (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Martín Soppi (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Horacio Ferreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Referee Assessor: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)

Estudiantes de Merida – Racing Club
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Silva (BRA)
Fourth Official: Flavio Rodríguez (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)

Binacional – Sao Paulo
Referee: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: José Cuevas (PAR)
Fourth Official: Juan López (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Enrique Caceres (PAR)

Alianza Lima – Nacional
Referee: Bruno Arleu (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Rafael Traci (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Amelio Andino (PAR)