Automated offside alert considered for World Cup 2022

FIFA refereeing chief Pierluigi Collina praises VAR for “eliminating clear errors that influence a result” and describes new approaches to offside but warns that it can never completely replace the official’s subjective evaluation. The technology continues to spark controversy, with those in Italy claiming VAR is not used enough and in England’s Premier League arguing it is used too much. In Serie A, the recent row was over defining active and passive offside positions, with goals disallowed for Atalanta and Milan in their games against Roma and Napoli.
“The point of VAR was not to eliminate controversy; it was to eliminate clear errors that influence a result and consequently the regular progress of a game. I think that objective has been achieved,” Collina told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. “It is ultimately up to the referee to decide whether an offside position is active or passive. All VAR can do is to alert him to the possible offside. Interpretation is part of the rules, so although situations can be similar, no two plays will ever be identical. We simply must accept there will be different views of a situation. Technology helps, but it can never replace the human element. It’s the same with handball, we suggested it is a penalty when the arm is raised above the shoulder, but we realised that’s not necessarily the case. A referee has to view the situation again and his interpretation is decisive.”
Collina reiterated the recent report that FIFA are experimenting an automatic offside alert to speed up the process of VAR judging an offside position, which could be in place for the 2022 World Cup. A player is offside with any part of the body he can legally score a goal with, including the shoulder, which prompted similar so-called ‘armpit offside’ calls. “There will be 10-12 cameras checking 29 points on the body of a player, 50 times per second, and software analysing the data in real time to calculate the perfect moment the ball is played and the position of the various players,” continued Collina. “It also includes the grids to make the offside position clear. That is sent to the VAR, who can then inform the referee within seconds in case of active offside. It’s certainly going to be much quicker than it is today.” When some suggest it would be better to do away with VAR entirely, Collina – widely considered the greatest referee of all time – is utterly bemused by the idea. “If I could go back in time and officiate again, I’d love to do it with VAR. Many referees missed important opportunities to correct errors that would’ve only taken a few seconds to sort out. Why give up on such an important safety net? It makes no sense. What we should do is try hard to avoid the need for technology. Referees study, train, know the teams and players they are dealing with. All this helps them to make fewer mistakes, but as nobody is infallible, we can call on VAR if needed. But that happens afterwards, not before.”

FIFA Club World Cup 2021

UAE, 3-12 February 2022

Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX, 1983, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morin (MEX, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX, 1977)
VAR: Drew Fischer (CAN, 1980)

Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Bellati (ARG, 1979)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG, 1977)
VAR: Mauro Vigliano (ARG, 1975)

Support Referee: David Yereboinen (PNG, 1991)

Letexier: UEFA Elite only 5 years after Ligue 1 debut

French referee François Letexier (1989) was recently promoted by UEFA to the Elite category, their highest ranking. Letexier reached the First Division in France in 2016. His first match as a referee was on 23 January 2016 between Montpellier and Caen. In 2017, he was already promoted to the FIFA referee list. He refereed his first senior international match on 23 March 2018 between Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. UEFA rewarded Letexier, who refereed his first French Cup final in May 2021 and his first Champions League match at the end of 2020. The Elite status, effective as of 1 January 2022, will allow him to be selected for the main international competitions, such as World Cups, European Championships or Olympic Games.
François Letexier is recognized in France as the prototype of the modern referee: young, sharp, presenting well, with just the right amount of authority, without being overbearing, smiling without familiarity. "With him, things are going well, he is very open, educated, he establishes a healthy relationship", confided the sporting director of Stade Brestois, Gregory Lorenzi.

UEFA referees targeted by cyber-crime

Officials are offered up to £25,000 to swing matches, according to a leaked memo seen by The Sun. Criminals are using the phishing techniques fine-tuned during the pandemic to tempt refs to throw European clashes.
The memo, which was sent to the FA and other governing bodies, warns: “The corrupters made use of cyber-crime tactics not previously seen in reported corrupter messages, possibly pointing to a bleed-over in tactics from more sophisticated groups or even the potential for collaboration with such groups.” It talks of “incidents in which a suspected match-fixer attempted to recruit referees to manipulate matches via social media”. It reads: “This evolution may have been accelerated by the Covid lockdown, during which cyber criminals both diversified and intensified their criminal activities, according to Europol.” The memo adds: “We assess corrupters will likely continue to attempt contact with players, referees and other officials via social media and the use of more sophisticated messages, including personalised content and manipulation techniques.” The messages are understood to have originated from Asian crime gangs and were sent in English - but it’s not thought British refs were targeted.

Source: The Sun

FIFA referee Daronco sent off his fourth official

In Brazil, FIFA referee Anderson Daronco sent off his fourth official because he refused to wear his face mask correctly.
Coaches of both teams complained to Daronco, who decided to send him off and publicly showed the red card to his fourth official.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Prospective Referees Seminar (UEFA)

Abu Dhabi (UAE), 17-21 January 2022

1. Georgi Kabakov (BUL, 1986)
2. Michael Oliver (ENG, 1985)
3. Anthony Taylor (ENG, 1978, photo)
4. Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP, 1976)
5. Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP, 1984)
6. Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP, 1977)
7. Benoit Bastien (FRA, 1983)
8. Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)
9. Daniel Siebert (GER, 1984)
10. Orel Grinfeld (ISR, 1981)
11. Daniele Orsato (ITA, 1975)
12. Danny Makkelie (NED, 1983)
13. Szymon Marciniak (POL, 1981)
14. Artur Soares Dias (POR, 1979)
15. Ovidiu Hațegan (ROU, 1980)
16. Istvan Kovacs (ROU, 1984)
17. Sergei Karasev (RUS, 1981)
18. Srdjan Jovanović (SRB, 1986)
19. Slavko Vinčič (SVN, 1979)
20. Cuneyt Cakir (TUR, 1976)

Video Assistant Referees
1. Stuart Attwell (ENG, 1982)
2. Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP, 1986)
3. Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP, 1982)
4. Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP, 1982)
5. Willy Delajod (FRA, 1992)
6. Benoit Millot (FRA, 1982)
7. Bastian Dankert (GER, 1980)
8. Marco Fritz (GER, 1977)
9. Marco Di Bello (ITA, 1981)
10. Marco Guida (ITA, 1981)
11. Massimiliano Irrati (ITA, 1979)
12. Paolo Valeri (ITA, 1978)
13. Jochem Kamphuis (NED, 1986)
14. Pol van Boekel (NED, 1975)
15. Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL, 1978)
16. Joao Pinheiro (POR, 1988)

TV channel for referees could soon be launched in Italy

After the emergence of video assistance in recent years, referees may soon have a thematic channel in Italy. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Italian Association of Football Referees (AIA) are working on a joint project, which could see the light of day in the coming weeks. “We would like to have a space, a communication channel that we would like to open to be able to give technical interpretations. I think it is for the good of football. Along with the Federation, we are thinking about it and we are working on it”, commented Alfredo Trentalange, president of the AIA. The idea would be to open a channel, probably online, even if nothing has been confirmed, where a referee can come and explain the various decisions taken during a match. The will of the authorities is to limit the controversies, while displaying transparency to dispel doubts.
Former international referee and current head of the Serie A referees Gianluca Rocchi (48) is cited to become the reference consultant of this channel, which would belong to the Italian federation. The frequency of the interventions remains to be defined and, if this is only a hypothesis for the moment, the audio recordings of the referees could also be broadcast on this channel. “We will quickly be able to make public the exchanges between the referee and the VAR room; there should be no secrets”, said Gianluca Rocchi last November, as an implication of this new project.

Source: News24

IFFHS World’s Best Referees per Confederation 2021

Among the 2021 continental awards issued by IFFHS are the best referees within each confederation.

Christopher Beath (AUS, photo)
Kate Jacewicz (AUS)

Victor Gomes (RSA)
Bernadette Kwimbira (MWI)

Said Martinez (HON)
Lucila Venegas (MEX)

Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Edina Alves (BRA)

Matthew Conger (NZL)
Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL)

Felix Brych (GER)
Stephanie Frappart (FRA)

FIFA AR Van Roekel achieved his goals and stops

The 47-year-old assistant referee Sander Van Roekel was, for many years, part of the team around referee Björn Kuipers, who retired after the Euro final and Dutch Supercup, before the start of this season.

Van Roekel was active in two World Cups and three European Championships. He considers this summer’s European Championship final between England and Italy to be his highlight. Van Roekel informed the KNVB that he stops because he no longer sees any new goals. “It’s been a nice journey”, he concluded. He was assistant referee in 556 Dutch pro games and 169 international matches.

Source: NewsFox24

Elleray to step down as FA referees’ chief due to investigation into racism allegations

David Elleray is set to step down from his role as chairman of the Football Association’s referees’ committee at the end of the season, following the news that the FA is set to launch an investigation into racism allegations against him. Elleray made his debut as a Football League referee in 1986 and officiated in the Premier League between 1992 and his retirement in 2003. He was, at one stage, one of the most recognisable referees in English football, taking charge of the 1994 FA Cup final, where Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-0, among various other showpiece events. As chair of the FA referees’ committee, the 67-year-old remains a highly influential figure behind the scenes. He is also technical director at the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body which determines the laws of the game.
Last week, The I newspaper reported that the FA had opted to open an independent investigation into Elleray’s conduct following new allegations against him from former staff members. Elleray was found in breach of the FA Council Code of Conduct in 2014 in a separate investigation launched after he made racist comments to a black FA employee, Rob McCarthy, at a referees’ conference at St George’s Park. Elleray was heard to say to McCarthy: “You look rather tanned” and “Have you been down a coal mine?” While, at the time, the FA said that they had not received an official complaint over the incident, Elleray was formally censured, apologised and was required to take an equality and diversity training course. The FA has commissioned a law firm to oversee the latest investigation, which will begin in the new year. Earlier this month, I reported that an anonymous whistleblower had come forward to complain about Elleray’s behaviour and the way the 2014 investigation was handled. Since then, Martin Cassidy, chief executive of Ref Support UK, has contacted the FA with further – as yet unproven – allegations against Elleray. While the latest investigation will not re-examine what happened in 2014, it will take into account any new evidence that emerges with regards to that incident.
Elleray has been involved in several high-profile controversies, with former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg accusing him of “bullying” in 2018. The FA did not investigate as it did not constitute a formal complaint. Speaking to TalkSPORT, Clattenburg said: “David doesn’t know it, but he was the one who spurred me on. “His negativity and his bullying – and I use the word bullying because it was a form of bullying – he was the one who pushed me to where I got, because his words always stuck in my mind.” Likewise, in 2020, Elleray was criticised after telling a group of up-and-coming referees: “There are too many beards, tattoos and beer bellies in this room.” After that particular incident, Cassidy told the Telegraph: “With the mental pressures on referees, the last thing they need is to be told that they’re fat. “We are worried as a charity that pressure that the FA put on some referees might encourage eating disorders because some of them get really obsessed by their fitness.”
Along with his other roles, Elleray spent 13 years as president of the Referees’ Association before stepping aside in 2017. He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to football. (Source: Eurosport)
Football's Black referees have questioned the promotion of another official to the Premier League while they remain under a glass ceiling. With refereeing standards in the spotlight after a series of Premier League controversies, the lack of non-white officials continues to leave many so incensed they believe they are languishing in a ‘Black man’s graveyard’. Hartlepool whistler Tony Harrington took charge of his first Premier League game last Wednesday, Brighton ’s home clash with Wolves. In September, Aussie Jarred Gillett ­became the first non-British referee to run a Premier League game when he officiated Watford against Newcastle. Ongoing talks for years have failed to see Black and Asian officials fast-tracked in the same way as their white counterparts. Out of less than 200 referees across the country’s top seven divisions, just a ­handful are Black or Asian and only Sam Allison has made it to the referees’ list for Leagues One and Two. Their frustrations are not with Harrington or Gillett but with a system they believe is not geared towards support for Black referees to be similarly fast-tracked, despite claims from English football’s stakeholders they want the game to be more diverse. One Black referee, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “This is so disheartening and begs the question for many of us: ‘What’s the point of taking the abuse and unjustified poor marks from clubs and observers every week when you’re not going to get anywhere?’” Another said: “Could the secret be shared as to how these referees achieved their goals so quickly, so that everyone has an equal opportunity?” A third added: “I’ve had this for the last 14 years as a level four referee. My white colleagues overtook me at incredible speed.”
The spotlight is now being turned on the FA’s observers. Across the men’s and women’s professional game and the semi-professional tiers, there are just 14. Many non-white referees believe the lack of diversity among the FA’s observers is a factor in their glass ceiling. Several have also cited inappropriate language used by assessors. One told Mirror Sport: “I remember two observers assessing me. Instead of being constructive they joked about how I looked like the TV character Luther. If I complained, people would say I was being petty but it sums up the culture we are up against. Why is there no pipeline for the next referee of colour now? Why is it that two of our white ­colleagues follow two varying pathways in their careers? They are supported, well trained and sponsored yet no such privilege is afforded to a referee of colour?” Another added: “No matter what I do in the middle or on the line, I just know that it is pointless. Why do I do it? Easy. One day the situation will change.” (Source: Mirror)

First edition of LOTG sold at auction

One of the two known copies of the first edition of the football regulations, on which modern sport was developed and printed by the Sheffield club (oldest club in the world), where the first written football rules were drawn-up, was sold at an auction for 56,700 pounds ($ 77,200) in London, Sotheby's reported.
The 16-page booklet in good condition was found in a Victorian-era album that contained memorabilia from the institution. In addition to offering a first codified version of this sport, it also includes the evolution of the rules, with handwritten annotations and a printed apostille highlighting the prohibition of "hitting" or "pushing" the ball with the hand, which was previously permitted. The club played a crucial role in the development of the modern game: the indirect free kick, the corner kick and the crossbar are innovations of the game of Sheffield, a club described as "the first expression of modern football culture". The book includes the pencil signature of William Baker, one of Sheffield's best players and a member of its committee, who approved the final draft of the regulations on 21 October 1858. This was printed the following year and distributed to all club members, according to the auction house. The other known specimen was part of the club's archives, which were sold in July 2011 for £ 881,000.
Changes that marked the history of football
In 1866, as FIFA and the IFAB had not yet been founded, the representatives of the English Federation were forced to vary the rules set years before. To differentiate itself from rugby, forward passing, hitherto unauthorized, was allowed. A quarter of a century later, it was time for new fundamental changes. Then a referee was introduced to apply the rules of the game on the field and practically at the same time the penalty was invented. At the beginning it was taken from an imaginary line eleven meters from the goal. The exact point to shoot the penalty was not implemented until 1902. Changes in the regulations often affected goalkeepers. 100 years ago the goalkeeper were prohibited from touching the ball with their hands outside the area. Three years before it was imposed that the color of his clothing should be different from that of his teammates and should be green. Until 1925, the referee called offside when three opposing players were closer to the goal line at the time of the pass than one attacker. The number was reduced to two. It would take another 65 years to decide that players at the same height were no longer offside. In turn, the game became more physical. In 1958, the substitutions were therefore authorized. Only in case of injuries could the goalkeeper and another player be changed. Until the end of the 1960s, substitutions were not authorized for tactical reasons. Currently up to five modifications are allowed, but due to an exceptional situation such as the coronavirus pandemic, since in reality the limit is three, or four in case there is extra time. After the introduction of the yellow and red cards, it took until the 90s to see the last big change. Again it affected the goalkeeper, who since 1992 cannot handle a ball received from a team-mate with his hands. Skepticism was big at the time, but IFAB's decision turned out to be a success. The game became faster and a new type of goalkeeper was born, participating more in the game.

Source: Infobae

CAF Supercup 2021: Ndala (COD)

22 December 2021

Al Ahly – Raja Casablanca
Referee: Jean Ndala Ngambo (COD, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Olivier Safari (COD)
Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Noupue (CMR)
Fourth Official: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
VAR: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)

FIFA Arab Cup Final 2021: Siebert (GER)

18 December 2021

Tunisia – Algeria
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Matt Conger (NZL)
Reserve AR: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
VAR: Christian Dingert (GER)
AVAR 1: Kevin Blom (NED)
AVAR 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
AVAR 3: Shaun Evans (AUS)
Referee Assessor: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)

Match for Third Place
Qatar – Egypt
Referee: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovski (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Fourth Official: Said Martinez (HON)
Reserve AR: Walter Lopez (HON)
VAR: Juan Soto (VEN)
AVAR 1: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
AVAR 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
AVAR 3: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
Referee Assessor: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAS)

UEFA Referee Categories - second half of the season 2021/2022


Elite (32)
Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR), Michael Oliver (ENG), Anthony Taylor (ENG), Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP), Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Jose Sanchez Martinez (ESP), Benoit Bastien (FRA), Francois Letexier (FRA), Clement Turpin (FRA), Deniz Aytekin (GER), Daniel Siebert (GER), Tobias Stieler (GER), Felix Zwayer (GER), Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE), Orel Grinfeeld (ISR), Davide Massa (ITA), Daniele Orsato (ITA), Serdar Gözübüyük (NED), Danny Makkelie (NED), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Artur Soares Dias (POR), Ovidiu Hategan (ROU), Istvan Kovacs (ROU), Sergei Karasev (RUS), William Collum (SCO), Srdjan Jovanovic (SRB), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Slavko Vincic (SVN), Sandro Schärer (SUI), Cüneyt Cakir (TUR), Halil Meler (TUR).

First Category (57)
Enea Jorgji (ALB), Harald Lechner (AUT), Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT), Julian Weinberger (AUT), Aliyar Aghayev (AZE), Erik Lambrechts (BEL), Lawrence Visser (BEL), Irfan Peljto (BIH), Georgi Kabakov (BUL), Ivan Bebek (CRO), Fran Jovic (CRO), Duje Strukan (CRO), Jakob Kehlet (DEN), Christopher Kavanagh (ENG), Craig Pawson (ENG), Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea (ESP), Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP), Kristo Tohver (EST), Mattias Gestranius (FIN), Jerome Brisard (FRA), Ruddy Buquet (FRA), Stephanie Frappart (FRA), Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO), Harm Osmers (GER), Sascha Stegemann (GER), Tamas Bognar (HUN), Istvan Vad (HUN), Roi Reinshreiber (ISR), Marco Di Bello (ITA), Marco Guida (ITA), Maurizio Mariani (ITA), Donatas Rumsas (LTU), Andris Treimanis (LVA), Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD), Nikola Dabanovic (MNE), Espen Eskas (NOR), Bartosz Frankowski (POL), Pawel Raczkowski (POL), Daniel Stefanski (POL), Tiago Martins (POR), Joao Pinheiro (POR), Fabio Verissimo (POR), Horatiu Fesnic (ROU), Radu Petrescu (ROU), Sergei Ivanov (RUS), John Beaton (SCO), Robert Madden (SCO), Nicholas Walsh (SCO), Filip Glova (SVK), Matej Jug (SVN), Rade Obrenovic (SVN), Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE), Andreas Ekberg (SWE), Glenn Nyberg (SWE), Ali Palabiyik (TUR), Ievgenii Aranovskyi (UKR), Sergii Boiko (UKR).

Second Category (197)
Eldorjan Hamiti (ALB), Juxhin Xhaja (ALB), Luis Teixeira (AND), Ashot Ghaltakhchyan (ARM), Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM), Henrik Nalbandyan (ARM), Walter Altmann (AUT), Christian Ciochirca (AUT), Sebastian Gishamer (AUT), Christopher Jäger (AUT), Rauf Jabarov (AZE), Elchin Masiyev (AZE), Alexandre Boucaut (BEL), Nicolas Laforge (BEL), Jonathan Lardot (BEL), Bram Van Driessche (BEL), Nathan Verboomen (BEL), Luka Bilbija (BIH), Milos Gigovic (BIH), Dzmitry Dzmitryieu (BLR), Amine Kourgheli (BLR), Viktar Shymusik (BLR), Volen Chinkov (BUL), Georgi Davidov (BUL), Dragomir Draganov (BUL), Nikola Popov (BUL), Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL), Dario Bel (CRO), Igor Pajac (CRO), Mario Zebec (CRO), Vasilis Dimitriou (CYP), Nikolas Neokleous (CYP), Loukas Sotiriou (CYP), Chrysovalantis Theouli (CYP), Ondrej Berka (CZE), Tomaš Klima (CZE), Jan Machalek (CZE), Pavel Orel (CZE), Ondrej Pechanec (CZE), Jan Petrik (CZE), Jörgen Burchardt (DEN), Peter Kjaersgaard (DEN), Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen (DEN), Morten Krogh (DEN), Sandi Putros (DEN), Jakob Sundberg (DEN), Stuart Attwell (ENG), Peter Bankes (ENG), David Coote (ENG), Darren England (ENG), Andrew Madley (ENG), Paul Tierney (ENG), Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP), Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP), Jose Munuera Montero (ESP), Cesar Soto Grado (ESP), Juri Frischer (EST), Joonas Jaanovits (EST), Mohammed Al-Emara (FIN), Kaarlo Hämäläinen (FIN), Joni Hyytiä (FIN), Antti Munukka (FIN), Petri Viljanen (FIN), Karim Abed (FRA), Willy Delajod (FRA), Benoît Millot (FRA), Jeremie Pignard (FRA), Kari a Hovdanum (FRO), Alex Troleis (FRO), Goga Kikacheishvili (GEO), Irakli Kvirikashvili (GEO), Bastian Dankert (GER), Christian Dingert (GER), Sven Jablonski (GER), Daniel Schlager (GER), Jason Barcelo (GIB), Aristotelis Diamantopoulos (GRE), Vasileios Fotias (GRE), Stefanos Koumparakis (GRE), Evangelos Manouchos (GRE), Ioannis Papadopoulos (GRE), Anastasios Papapetrou (GRE), Balazs Berke (HUN), Gergo Bogar (HUN), Adam Farkas (HUN), Ferenc Karako (HUN), Neil Doyle (IRL), Robert Harvey (IRL), Robert Hennessy (IRL), Paul McLaughlin (IRL), Thorvaldur Arnason (ISL), Helgi Jonasson (ISL), Ivar Kristjansson (ISL), Vilhjalmur Thorarinsson (ISL), Yigal Frid (ISR), David Fuxman (ISR), Gal Leibovitz (ISR), Snir Levi (ISR), Daniele Chiffi (ITA), Michael Fabbri (ITA), Massimiliano Irrati (ITA), Fabio Maresca (ITA), Luca Pairetto (ITA), Sayat Karabayev (KAZ), Artyom Kuchin (KAZ), Daniyar Sakhi (KAZ), Bulat Sariev (KAZ), Visar Kastrati (KOS), Besfort Kasumi (KOS), Genc Nuza (KOS), Manfredas Lukjancukas (LTU), Robertas Valikonis (LTU), Alain Durieux (LUX), Laurent Kopriwa (LUX), Jasmin Sabotic (LUX), Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA), Vitalijs Spasjonnikovs (LVA), Veaceslav Banari (MDA), Dumitru Muntean (MDA), Ion Orlic (MDA), Dejan Jakimovski (MKD), Igor Stojčevski (MKD), Ishmael Barbara (MLT), Matthew De Gabriele (MLT), Philip Farrugia (MLT), Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT), Miloš Bošković (MNE), Miloš Savovic (MNE), Dennis Higler (NED), Jochem Kamphuis (NED), Joey Kooij (NED), Allard Lindhout (NED), Sander van der Eijk (NED), Andrew Davey (NIR), Tim Marschall (NIR), Ian McNabb (NIR), Jamie Robinson (NIR), Kristoffer Hagenes (NOR), Tore Hansen (NOR), Sigurd Kringstad (NOR), Svein Moen (NOR), Rohit Saggi (NOR), Kai Steen (NOR), Krzysztof Jakubik (POL), Tomasz Musial (POL), Damian Sylwestrzak (POL), Gustavo Correia (POR), Vitor Ferreira (POR), Luis Godinho (POR), Antonio Nobre (POR), Miguel Nogueira (POR), Marian Barbu (ROU), Marcel Bîrsan (ROU), Andrei Chivulete (ROU), Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS), Pavel Kukuian (RUS), Evgeni Kukuliak (RUS), Kirill Levnikov (RUS), Aleksei Matiunin (RUS), Vitali Meshkov (RUS), Vladimir Moskalev (RUS), Kevin Clancy (SCO), David Munro (SCO), Donald Robertson (SCO), Luca Zani (SMR), Lazar Lukic (SRB), Milos Milanovic (SRB), Nenad Minakovic (SRB), Novak Simovic (SRB), Luca Cibelli (SUI), Alessandro Dudic (SUI), Lukas Fähndrich (SUI), Fedayi San (SUI), Urs Schnyder (SUI), Lionel Tschudi (SUI), Martin Dohal (SVK), Peter Kralovic (SVK), Michal Ocenas (SVK), Nejc Kajtazovic (SVN), David Šmajc (SVN), Kristoffer Karlsson (SWE), Adam Ladeback (SWE), Bojan Pandzic (SWE), Kaspar Sjöberg (SWE), Abdulkadir Bitigen (TUR), Arda Kardesler (TUR), Zorbay Küçük (TUR), Yasar Ugurlu (TUR), Mykola Balakin (UKR), Oleksiy Derevinskyi (UKR), Viktor Kopiievskyi (UKR), Kateryna Monzul (UKR), Vitaly Romanov (UKR), Denys Shurman (UKR), Iwan Griffith (WAL), Robert Jenkins (WAL), Thomas Owen (WAL).


Elite (20)
Ivana Martincic (CRO), Jana Adamkova (CZE), Olga Zadinova (CZE), Rebecca Welch (ENG), Marta Huerta De Aza (ESP), Lina Lehtovaara (FIN), Stephanie Frappart (FRA), Riem Hussein (GER), Katalin Kulcsar (HUN), Ivana Projkovska (MKD), Monika Mularczyk (POL), Sandra Braz Bastos (POR), Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU), Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS), Lorraine Watson (SCO), Esther Staubli (SUI), Tess Olofsson (SWE), Sara Persson (SWE), Kateryna Monzul (UKR), Cheryl Foster (WAL).

First Category (43)
Volha Blotskaya (BLR), Galiya Echeva (BUL), Hristiana Guteva (BUL), Sabina Bolic (CRO), Jelena Pejkovic (CRO), Veronika Kovarova (CZE), Lucie Sulcova (CZE), Frida Klarlund Nielsen (DEN), Abigail Byrne (ENG), Ainara Acevedo Dudley (ESP), Maria Martinez Madrona (ESP), Reelika Turi (EST), Victoria Beyer (FRA), Angelika Soeder (GER), Karoline Wacker (GER), Eleni Antoniou (GRE), Katalin Sipos (HUN), Eszter Urban (HUN), Maria Ferrieri Caputi (ITA), Maria Marotta (ITA), Elvira Nurmustafina (KAZ), Rasa Grigone (LTU), Justina Lavrenovaite-Perez (LTU), Viola Raudzina (LVA), Vivian Peeters (NED), Shona Shukrula (NED), Lizzy van der Helm (NED), Henrikke Nervik (NOR), Ewa Augustyn (POL), Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sek (POL), Catarina Campos (POR), Silvia Domingos (POR), Alina Pesu (ROU), Vera Opeikina (RUS), Jelena Cvetkovic (SRB), Jelena Medjedovic (SRB), Marina Živković (SRB), Simona Ghisletta (SUI), Desiree Grundbacher (SUI), Zuzana Valentova (SVK), Aleksandra Cesen (SVN), Tanja Subotic (SVN), Melis Ozcigdem (TUR).

Second Category (65)
Mirela Cemeri (ALB), Emanuela Rusta (ALB), Araksya Saribekyan (ARM), Sofik Torosyan (ARM), Marina Aufschnaiter (AUS), Maria Ennsgraber (AUT), Olivia Tschon (AUT), Viki De Cremer (BEL), Caroline Lanssens (BEL), Merima Celik (BIH), Tanja Racic (BIH), Maryia Buiko (BLR), Kristina Georgieva (BUL), Jelena Kumer (CRO), Ioanna Allaylotou (CYP), Zoe Stavrou (CYP), Frederikke Sokjaer (DEN), Lisa Benn (ENG), Kirsty Dowle (ENG), Stacey Pearson (ENG), Zulema Gonzalez Gonzalez (ESP), Olatz Rivera Olmedo (ESP), Triinu Vaher (EST), Ifeoma Kulmala (FIN), Minka Vekkeli (FIN), Alexandra Collin (FRA), Maika Vanderstichel (FRA), Fabienne Michel (GER), Franziska Wildfeuer (GER), Anastasia Mylopoulou (GRE), Andromachi Tsiofliki (GRE), Reka Molnar (HUN), Claire Purcell (IRL), Briet Bragadottir (ISL), Meitar Shemesh (ISR), Deborah Bianchi (ITA), Silvia Gasperotti (ITA), Martina Molinaro (ITA), Tatiana Sorokopudova (KAZ), Jurgita Macikunyte (LTU), Jeļena Jermolajeva (LVA), Oxana Cruc (MDA), Irena Velevackoska (MKD), Marisca Overtoom (NED), Louise Thompson (NIR), Emilie Torkelsen (NOR), Sarah Zangeneh (NOR), Michalina Diakow (POL), Teresa Oliveira (POR), Ana Terteleac (ROU), Cristina Trandafir (ROU), Nadezhda Gorinova (RUS), Marina Krupskaya (RUS), Alexandra Ponomareva (RUS), Deborah Anex (SUI), Michele Schmolzer (SUI), Miriama Bockova (SVK), Maria Krcova (SVK), Lovisa Johansson (SWE), Gamze Durmuş (TUR), Neslihan Muratdagi (TUR), Cansu Tiryaki (TUR), Anastasiya Romanyuk (UKR), Liudmyla Telbukh (UKR), Kateryna Usova (UKR).


Elite (29)
Stefan Vrijens (BEL), Borislav Kolev (BUL), Vedran Babic (CRO), Nikola Jelic (CRO), Ondrej Cerny (CZE), David Nissen (DEN), Marc Birkett (ENG), Juan Cordero Gallardo (ESP), Alejandro Martinez Flores (ESP), David Urdanoz Apezteguia (ESP), Grigori Osomkov (EST), Kirill Naishouler (FIN), Victor Berg Audic (FRA), Cedric Pelissier (FRA), Gabor Kovacs (HUN), Nicola Manzione (ITA), Chiara Perona (ITA), Eduardo Coelho (POR), Miguel Castilho (POR), Cristiano Santos (POR), Vladimir Kadykov (RUS), Irina Velikanova (RUS), Petar Radojcic (SRB), Daniel Matkovic (SUI), David Schaerli (SUI), Lukas Pesko (SVK), Ales Mocnik Peric (SVN), Admir Zahovic (SVN), Kamil Cetin (TUR).

First Category (36)
Juan Boelen (BEL), Volha Pauliuts (BLR), Trayan Enchev (BUL), Yiangos Yiangou (CYP), Jan Kresta (CZE), Peter Nurse (ENG), Pablo Delgado Sastre (ESP), Javier Moreno Reina (ESP), Julien Lang (FRA), Vasileios Christodoulis (GRE), Norbert Szilagyi (HUN), Moshe Bohbot (ISR), Giulio Colombin (ITA), Dario Pezzuto (ITA), Aslan Galayev (KAZ), Ingus Purins (LVA), Viktor Bugenko (MDA), Josip Barton (MKD), Marjan Mladenovski (MKD), Stephen Vella (MLT), Ibrahim El Jilali (NED), Lars Van Leeuwen (NED), Telmen Undrakh (NOR), Tomasz Frak (POL), Damian Grabowski (POL), Ruben Santos (POR), Filipe Duarte (POR), Vlad Ciobanu (ROU), Iuri Neverov (RUS), Grigori Zelentsov (RUS), Daniele D’Adamo (SMR), Rastislav Behancin (SVK), Dejan Veselic (SVN), Ugur Cakmak (TUR), Ozan Soykan (TUR), Denys Kutsyi (UKR).

Second Category (90) 
Arlind Subashi (ALB), Arman Alaberkyan (ARM), Daniel Stauber (AUT), Manuel Wolf (AUT), Knyaz Amiraslanov (AZE), Ali Jabrayilov (AZE), Hikmat Qafarli (AZE), Yasin Alageyik (BEL), Jiri Bergs (BEL), Alem Bajrovic (BIH), Farik Keco (BIH), Igor Puzovic (BIH), Maksim Dzeikala (BLR), Anatol Ustsuizhanin (BLR), Kaloyan Kirilov (BUL), Ivo Tsenov (BUL), Josip Dujmic (CRO), Mislav Dzeko (CRO), Michalis Christofides (CYP), Georgios Kozakos (CYP), Nicolas Nicolaou (CYP), Radim Cep (CZE), Filip Nesnera (CZE), Martin Koster (DEN), Jagnar Jakobson (EST), Paavo Kompaa (FIN), Arttu Kyynaeraeinen (FIN), Maria Tuomi (FIN), Aurelien Uzan (FRA), Zviad Bliadze (GEO), Maximilian Alkofer (GER), Christian Gundler (GER), Jacob Pawlowski (GER), Zyl Sheriff (GIB), Antonios Adamopoulos (GRE), Panagiotis Ntalas (GRE), Annamaria Tolnay (HUN), Peter Zimonyi (HUN), David Berry (IRL), Raafat Al Hamola (ISR), Idan Berenshtein (ISR), Mariia Glekova (ISR), Giovanni Zannola (ITA), Talgat Kosmukhambetov (KAZ), Turekhan Tursumbayev (KAZ), Besar Beqiri (KOS), Besart Ismajli (KOS), Florentina Kallaba (KOS), Dominykas Norkus (LTU), Mantas Pomeckis (LTU), Sarunas Tamulynas (LTU), Michael Lima (LUX), Eduards Fatkulins (LVA), Done Ristovski (MKD), Clinton Cassar (MLT), Drazen Vuckevic (MNE), Joern Te Kloeze (NED), Jacob Van Dijke (NED), Omar Rafiq (NOR), Dominik Cipinski (POL), Monica Czudzinovicz (POL), Katarzyna Netkowska (POL), Slawomir Steczko (POL), Liviu Chita (ROU), Daniel Deca (ROU), Bogdan Hanceariuc (ROU), Tatiana Boltneva (RUS), Vitali Groshev (RUS), Gordon McCabe (SCO), Oliver Nikolic (SRB), Nebojsa Panic (SRB), Nikola Rabrenovic (SRB), Darko Boskovic (SUI), Marco Rothenfluh (SUI), Peter Budac (SVK), Martin Matula (SVK), Doroteja Music (SVN), Jernej Petek (SVN), Ademir Avdic (SWE), Haris Curovac (SWE), David Glavonjic (SWE), George Jansizian (SWE), Murat Colak (TUR), Fatma Tursun (TUR), Yevhen Hordiienko (UKR), Sviatoslav Kliuchnyk (UKR), Mariia Myslovska (UKR), Yaroslav Vovchok (UKR), Vasilica Ciuplea (WAL), Carl Hughes (WAL).

UEFA: Sanchez Martinez, Letexier, Siebert, Massa, Gözübüyük, Jovanovic, Schärer, Meler promoted to Elite

The UEFA Referees Committee eliminated the Third Category and approved the new referee categories for the second half of the season 2021/2022. The changes take effect on 1 January 2022.


Retired from Elite: Felix Brych (GER), Damir Skomina (SVN).

Promoted from First Category to Elite: Jose Sanchez Martinez (ESP), Francois Letexier (FRA), Daniel Siebert (GER, photo), Davide Massa (ITA), Serdar Gözübüyük (NED), Srdjan Jovanovic (SRB), Sandro Schärer (SUI), Halil Meler (TUR).

Retired from First Category: Bas Nijhuis (NED), Halis Özkahya (TUR).

Promoted from Second Category to First Category: Enea Jorgji (ALB), Julian Weinberger (AUT), Erik Lambrechts (BEL), Duje Strukan (CRO), Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea (ESP), Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO), Harm Osmers (GER), Sascha Stegemann (GER), Marco Di Bello (ITA), Espen Eskas (NOR), Joao Pinheiro (POR), Horatiu Fesnic (ROU), Nicholas Walsh (SCO), Filip Glova (SVK), Rade Obrenovic (SVN), Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE).

Retired from Second and Third Categories: Timotheos Christofi (CYP), Petr Ardeleanu (CZE), Pavel Rejzek (CZE), Miroslav Zelinka (CZE), Jens Maae (DEN), Frank Schneider (FRA), Marco Fritz (GER), Emmanouil Skoulas (GRE), Athanasios Tzilos (GRE), Daniele Doveri (ITA), Paolo Valeri (ITA), Furkat Atazhanov (KAZ), Arman Ismuratov (KAZ), Milovan Milacic (MNE), Mileta Scepanović (MNE), Keith Kennedy (NIR), Luca Barbeno (SMR), Milos Djordjic (SRB), Erik Gemzicky (SVK), Alain Bieri (SUI), Adrien Jaccottet (SUI), Yaroslav Kozyk (UKR).

New FIFA referees entered into Second Category: Chrysovalantis Theouli (CYP), Tomaš Klíma (CZE), Jan Machalek (CZE), Jan Petrik (CZE), Jakob Sundberg (DEN), Darren England (ENG), Sven Jablonski (GER), Daniel Schlager (GER), Stefanos Koumparakis (GRE), Evangelos Manouchos (GRE), Daniele Chiffi (ITA), Luca Pairetto (ITA), Sayat Karabaev (KAZ), Bulat Sariev (KAZ), Miloš Bošković (MNE), Miloš Savovic (MNE), Joey Kooij (NED), Sander van der Eijk (NED), Tim Marschall (NIR), Damian Sylwestrzak (POL), Miguel Nogueira (POR), Evgeni Kukuliak (RUS), Luca Zani (SMR), Nenad Minakovic (SRB), Martin Dohal (SVK), David Šmajc (SVN), Cesar Soto Grado (ESP), Luca Cibelli (SUI), Alessandro Dudic (SUI), Zorbay Küçük (TUR), Oleksiy Derevinskyi (UKR).


Retired from Elite: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER), Pernilla Larsson (SWE).

Promoted to Elite: Ivana Projkovska (MKD), Monika Mularczyk (POL), Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU).

Retired from First Category: Marta Frias Acedo (ESP), Petra Pavlikova (SVK).

Promoted from Second Category to First Category: Galiya Echeva (BUL), Sabina Bolic (CRO), Jelena Pejkovic (CRO), Lucie Sulcova (CZE), Maria Martinez Madrona (ESP), Reelika Turi (EST), Victoria Beyer (FRA), Angelika Soeder (GER), Karoline Wacker (GER), Rasa Grigone (LTU), Justina Lavrenovaite-Perez (LTU), Viola Raudzina (LVA), Vivian Peeters (NED), Lizzy van der Helm (NED), Catarina Campos (POR), Jelena Cvetkovic (SRB), Simona Ghisletta (SUI), Zuzana Valentova (SVK), Aleksandra Cesen (SVN), Tanja Subotic (SVN),

Promoted from Third Category to First Category: Veronika Kovarova (CZE), Abigail Byrne (ENG), Victoria Beyer (FRA), Katalin Sipos (HUN), Maria Ferrieri Caputi (ITA), Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sek (POL), Alina Pesu (ROU), Jelena Medjedović (SRB), Marina Živković (SRB), Ainara Acevedo Dudley (ESP).

Retired from Second Category: Yuliya Gurbanova (AZE), Lois Otte (BEL), Alena Kanaplianikava (BLR), Alexandra Deligianni (GRE), Paula Brady (IRL), Valentina Finzi (ITA), Natalia Clipca (MDA).

New FIFA referees entered into Second Category: Mirela Cemeri (ALB), Maria Ennsgraber (AUT), Maryia Buiko (BLR), Caroline Lanssens (BEL), Lisa Benn (ENG), Olatz Rivera Olmedo (ESP), Fabienne Michel (GER), Anastasia Mylopoulou (GRE), Deborah Bianchi (ITA), Silvia Gasperotti (ITA), Martina Molinaro (ITA), Claire Purcell (IRL), Maria Krcova (SVK).

Retired from Elite: Ivan Shabanov (RUS).

Promoted to Elite: Vedran Babic (CRO), David Nissen (DEN), David Urdanoz Apezteguia (ESP), Grigori Osomkov (EST), Nicola Manzione (ITA), Chiara Perona (ITA), Cristiano Santos (POR), Irina Velikanova (RUS), Ales Mocnik (SVN), David Schaerli (SUI).

Promoted from Second Category to First Category: Volha Pauliuts (BLR), Yiangos Yiangou (CYP), Pablo Delgado Sastre (ESP), Javier Moreno Reina (ESP), Norbert Szilagyi (HUN), Giulio Colombin (ITA), Dario Pezzuto (ITA), Aslan Galayev (KAZ), Stephen Vella (MLT), Lars Van Leeuwen (NED), Telmen Undrakh (NOR), Damian Grabowski (POL), Ruben Santos (POR), Filipe Duarte (POR), Daniele D’Adamo (SMR), Rastislav Behancin (SVK), Dejan Veselic (SVN), Ugur Cakmak (TUR), Denys Kutsyi (UKR).

Retired from Second and Third Categories: Franziska Bruckner (GER), Ingo Heemsoth (GER), Adrian Tschopp (SUI).

New FIFA referees entered into Second Category: Maria Tuomi (FIN), Maximilian Alkofer (GER), Zyl Sheriff (GIB), Mariia Glekova (ISR), Giovanni Zannola (ITA), Dominykas Norkus (LTU), Monica Czudzinovicz (POL), Vitali Groshev (RUS), Darko Boskovic (SUI), Doroteja Music (SVN), Mariia Myslovska (UKR).

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2021

Cameroon, 9 January - 6 February 2022

1. Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, photo)
2. Helder Martins (ANG)
3. Joshua Bondo (BOT)
4. Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (BDI)
5. Blaise Ngwa (CMR)
6. Jean Ndala Ngambo (COD)
7. Amin Omar (EGY)
8. Mahmoud El-Bana (EGY)
9. Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
10. Bakary Gassama (GAM)
11. Daniel Laryea (GHA)
12. Peter Waweru (KEN)
13. Boubou Traore (MLI)
14. Dahane Beida (MTN)
15. Ahmad Heeralall (MRI)
16. Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
17. Salima Mukansanga (RWA)
18. Maguette N’Diaye (SEN)
19. Issa Sy (SEN)
20. Bernard Camille (SEY)
21. Victor Gomes (RSA)
22. Sadok Selmi (TUN)
23. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
24. Mario Escobar (GUA) – Concacaf Exchange

Assistant Referees
1. Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
2. Mokrane Gourari (ALG)
3. Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
4. Seydou Tiama (BFA)
5. Elvis Noupue (CMR)
6. Carine Atezambong (CMR)
7. Soulaimane Amaldine (COM)
8. Liban Abdourazak (DJI)
9. Olivier Safari (COD)
10. Mahmoud El-Regal (EGY)
11. Ahmed Hossam (EGY)
12. Sidiki Sidibe (GUI)
13. Gilbert Cheruiyot (KEN)
14. Souru Phatsoane (LES)
15. Attia Amsaaed (LBY)
16. Lionel Hasinjarasoa (MAD)
17. Mostafa Akarkad (MAR)
18. Lahcen Azgaou (MAR)
19. Zakaria Brindisi (MAR)
20. Fatiha Jermoumi (MAR)
21. Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
22. Mahamadou Yahaya (NIG)
23. Samuel Pwadutakam (NGA)
24. Djibril Camara (SEN)
25. El Hadji Samba (SEN)
26. James Emile (SEY)
27. Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
28. Mohammed Ibrahim (SDN)
29. Issa Yaya (CHA)
30. Frank Komba (TAN)
31. Khalil Hassani (TUN)
32. Dick Okello (UGA)

Video Assistant Referees
1. Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)
2. Lahlou Benbraham (ALG)
3. Mahmoud Ashour (EGY)
4. Samir Guezzaz (MAR)
5. Bouchra Karboubi (MAR)
6. Adil Zourak (MAR)
7. Haythem Guirat (TUN)
8. Fernando Guerrero (MEX) – Concacaf Exchange

Medina Cantalejo: the referee of Zidane's headbutt and Figo's pig

Luis Medina Cantalejo, 57-year-old former Andalusian referee, became the Head of the Spanish Technical Committee of Referees (CTA), replacing Carlos Velasco Carballo. Born in Tomanes (Seville) he was until now the Head of the Andalusian referees. Having a grandfather and father who were both referees, he discovered his vocation late and he took it up more to please his father than out of his own desire. He wanted to be a footballer and he trained as such. The referee trial was positive and he ended up “falling in love”, as he likes to say, with refereeing in regional football.
Some of the episodes from the recent history of world football appear in the history of the former referee Medina Cantalejo. He was the first Spanish referee present in a World Cup final, specifically in 2006. His task was to act as fourth official and he did so very seriously by informing referee Horacio Elizondo that Zinedine Zidane had attacked Materazzi with a headbutt. "I saw the play live and I was surprised", says Medina Cantalejo. In his 11 seasons in the First Division (171 matches), he refereed the famous suckling pig match at Camp Nou, in which Luis Figo returned to what had been his home. The tension marked the clash, but the truth is that the Andalusian referee dealt in a good way with an unbreathable environment. Medina Cantalejo already knows how the CTA is working, since he did it for two years directing the technical aspect of the Second B Division referees. In 2005 he was recognized as the best First Division referee. He ended his career on the pitch by refereeing the Copa del Rey and UEFA Cup finals.
As a referee he liked to impose his character on the field of play, as a first step to achieve the respect of all. He also did not seek to make friends among the players, but he did try to find some complicity. "You cannot be friends with them while you referee. Years later I have laughed a lot with them, but the referee cannot tell jokes to the players while refereeing", Medina Cantalejo points out in an interview with “Amigos del arbitraje”. Physical preparation was another of his strong points. "I like to help refereeing, which is a long-term project. It is not a matter of a year or two, but also I do not want to stay in a position forever. The day will come when someone younger and better prepared than me will come", he concluded.

Source: Marca

FIFA Arab Cup 2021 – Semi-finals

15 December 2021

Tunisia – Egypt
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Andres Matonte (URU)
Reserve AR: Martin Soppi (URU)
VAR: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
AVAR 1: Shaun Evans (AUS)
AVAR 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
AVAR 2: Christian Dingert (GER)
Referee Assessor: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)

Qatar – Algeria
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Said Martinez (HON)
Reserve AR: Walter Lopez (HON)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR 1: Kevin Blom (NED)
AVAR 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
AVAR 2: Adonai Escobedo (MEX)
Referee Assessor: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (MAS)

Concacaf League Final 2021 (Second Leg)

14 December 2021

Comunicaciones – Motagua
Referee: Luis Santander (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Ibrahim Martinez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Drew Fischer (CAN)

UEFA Women’s Champions League 2021/22 – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

15-16 December 2021

TSG Hoffenheim – Arsenal WFC
Referee: Maria Marotta (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Francesca Di Monte (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giulia Tempestilli (ITA)
Fourth Official: Valentina Finzi (ITA)
Referee Observer: Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)

Olympique Lyonnais – BK Häcken
Referee: Marta Huerta De Aza (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Guadalupe Porras Ayuso (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Eliana Fernandez Gonzalez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Marta Frias Acedo (ESP)
Referee Observer: Bente Skogvang (NOR)

Bayern München – SL Benfica
Referee: Lorraine Watson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Vikki Allan (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Vikki Robertson (SCO)
Fourth Official: Abbie Hendry (SCO)
Referee Observer: Gyöngyi Gaal (HUN)

FC Barcelona – HB Koge
Referee: Petra Pavlikova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Maria Sukenikova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Miroslava Pastorekova (SVK)
Fourth Official: Zuzana Valentova (SVK)
Referee Observer: Snježana Fočić (CRO)

Paris St. Germain – Breidablik
Referee: Ewa Augustyn (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Paulina Baranowska (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Katarzyna Wasiak (POL)
Fourth Official: Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sek (POL)
Referee Observer: Elke Günther (GER)

Real Madrid – WFC Kharkiv
Referee: Ivana Projkovska (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Vjolca Izeiri (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Elena Soklevska-Ilievski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Irena Velevačkoska (MKD)
Referee Observer: Hilda McDermott (IRL)

VfL Wolfsbug – Chelsea FCW
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Maryna Striletska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Svitlana Grushko (UKR)
Fourth Official: Anastasiya Romanyuk (UKR)
Referee Observer: Claudine Brohet (BEL)

Juventus – Servette Chênois
Referee: Jelena Cvetković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivana Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksandra Kostić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Marina Živković (SRB)
Referee Observer: Maria Villa Gutiérrez (ESP)

Aytekin: “Respect is Everything”

In his book, Deniz Aytekin offers exclusive information on professional football from the perspective of an international referee. How can you make the right decisions under extreme pressure? What kind of players do you particularly value and why? How can you benefit from your referee experience in everyday life and at work? What does justice mean? And how can we make our co-existence more respectful? Aytekin's ideas are full of values ​​that go far beyond football. "Respect is Everything" by author Deniz Aytekin with Andreas Hock was published by Riva on 16 November 2021. The book consists of 224 pages and can be ordered for the price of 20.00 €.
Deniz Aytekin was born in Nurnberg in 1978. He studied business administration while working and is currently a full-time entrepreneur. He has been a referee for the DFB since 2004, a Bundesliga referee since 2008 and a FIFA referee since 2011. In the 2018/19 season he was named Referee of the Year by the DFB. Aytekin lives with his family in Oberasbach. 

Source: Riva

FIFA Arab Cup 2021 – Quarter-finals

10 December 2021
Tunisia – Oman
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Matt Conger (NZL)
Reserve AR: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
VAR: Christian Dingert (GER)
AVAR 1: Kevin Blom (NED)
AVAR 2: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
AVAR 3: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)

Qatar – UAE
Referee: Andres Matonte (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Soppi (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Barreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Reserve AR: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
VAR: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
AVAR 1: Juan Soto (VEN)
AVAR 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
AVAR 3: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)

11 December 2021
Egypt – Jordan
Referee: Said Martinez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Lopez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Fourth Official: Fernando Hernandez (MEX)
Reserve AR: Karen Diaz (MEX)
VAR: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
AVAR 1: Jair Marrufo (USA)
AVAR 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
AVAR 3: Shaun Evans (AUS)

Morocco – Algeria
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Reserve AR: Jun Mihara (JPN)
VAR: Rafael Traci (BRA)
AVAR 1: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
AVAR 2: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
AVAR 3: Adonai Escobedo (MEX)

FIFA President supports “number one team” of Arab Cup

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has visited the headquarters of the FIFA Arab Cup Match Officials in Doha, offering words of encouragement to FIFA’s “number one team” at the tournament and thanking their group for their commitment, professionalism and responsibility both on and off the pitch.
The 12 referees, 24 assistant referees and 16 video match officials of the tournament represent all six FIFA confederations and are closely accompanied by a diverse team of technical specialists, including FIFA referee and video match official instructors, fitness coaches, physiotherapists and sports scientists, all of whom were addressed by Mr. Infantino ahead of the third round of group stage matches in Qatar. “You are the first team for FIFA”, Mr. Infantino encouraged. “You are our first team because without you, there is no FIFA Arab Cup, there is no FIFA World Cup, there is no football. With the introduction of VAR and all of the work that you are doing - which is extremely professional and thorough – the whole refereeing category has moved to a different level and you are part of the elite in the world of refereeing. That is why it is so important that you realise the responsibility that you have”, he continued. “That responsibility is to referee games in the best possible way with your conscience and your preparation, but it is also towards football; towards the billions of boys and girls who love the game, who believe in the game and the honesty and transparency of the game. It is a game where there are rules and where there is somebody who makes sure that these rules are respected. As the elite of the refereeing movement, it is crucial to transmit this message.”
The Match Officials are working together for the best possible arbitration between the 16 teams competing for glory in Doha. The FIFA President was eager to emphasise the importance of that teamwork throughout the tournament. “Football is much more than just a sport; football is truly a life skill for children because by playing, you learn”, he added. “I think you are also part of a team, and you know better than me how important it is to be able to count on your teammates. I can only thank you all for the great work that you are doing by being role models and examples together with the team here under the leadership of [Chairman of FIFA Referees Committee] Pierluigi Collina.”

Source: FIFA

UEFA Europa Conference League 2021/22 – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

9 December 2021

CFR Cluj – FK Jablonec
Referee: Harm Osmers (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Dominik Schaal (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Kempter (GER)
Fourth Official: Robert Schröder (GER)
Referee Observer: Andrejs Sipailo (LVA)

LASK – HJK Helsinki
Referee: Igor Pajac (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Bojan Zobenica (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Fourth Official: Tihomir Pejin (CRO)
Referee Observer: Asim Khudiyev (AZE)

Alashkert FC – Maccabi Tel Aviv
Referee: Gergő Bogár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Péter Kóbor (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Balázs Szert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ferenc Karakó (HUN)
Referee Observer: Viktor Shvetsov (UKR)

Partizan – Anorthosis Famagusta
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Levan Varamishvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Fourth Official: Davit Kharitonashvili (GEO)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

KAA Gent – Flora Tallinn
Referee: Kaspar Sjöberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Allheim (SWE)
Fourth Official: Bojan Pandzic (SWE)
Referee Observer: Kenneth Clark (SCO)

CSKA Sofia – AS Roma
Referee: Nicolas Walsh (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Calum Spence (SCO)
Fourth Official: Colin Steven (SCO)
Referee Observer: Martin Hansson (SWE)

Zorya Luhansk – Bodo Glimt
Referee: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcin Boniek (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakub Winkler (POL)
Fourth Official: Zbigniew Dobrynin (POL)
Referee Observer: Costas Kapitanis (CYP)

AZ Alkmaar – Randers FC
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Portelli (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Duncan Sultana (MLT)
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara (MLT)
Referee Observer: Georgi Yordanov (BUL)

Union Berlin – Slavia Praha
Referee: Rade Obrenovic (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Grega Kordez (SVN)
Fourth Official: Alen Borosak (SVN)
Referee Observer: Björn Kuipers (NED)

Feyenoord – Maccabi Haifa
Referee: Mykola Balakin (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Viktor Matyash (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oleksandr Zhukov (UKR)
Fourth Official: Vitali Romanov (UKR)
Referee Observer: Christos Nicolaides (CYP)

FC Copenhagen – Slovan Bratislava
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Istvan Albert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Peter Solymosi (HUN)
Referee Observer: Marco Borg (MLT)

PAOK FC – Lincoln Red Imps
Referee: Rohit Saggi (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Geir Isaksen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Morten Jensen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Tom Hagen (NOR)
Referee Observer: Cyril Zimmermann (SUI)

Tottenham Hotspur – Stade Rennais
Referee: Horatiu Fesnic (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Valentin Avram (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Fourth Official: Marian Barbu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)

Vitesse – Mura
Referee: Filip Glova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Bednar (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Polacek (SVK)
Fourth Official: Michal Ocenas (SVK)
Referee Observer: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)

Omonia FC – Kairat Almaty
Referee: Genc Nuza (KOS)
Assistant Referee 1: Fatlum Berisha (KOS)
Assistant Referee 2: Bujar Selimaj (KOS)
Fourth Official: Visar Kastrati (KOS)
Referee Observer: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

FC Basel – Qarabağ FK
Referee: Fran Jovic (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Hrvoje Radic (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Luka Pusic (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ivana Martincic (CRO)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

UEFA Europa League 2021/2022 – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

9 December 2021

Olympique Lyonnais – Rangers FC
Referee: Radu Petrescu (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Marica (ROU)
Fourth Official: Marcel Birsan (ROU)
VAR: Fedayi San (SUI)
AVAR: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Referee Observer: Jouni Hyytia (FIN)

Sparta Praha – Brondby IF
Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Betts (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Fourth Official: Robert Jones (ENG)
VAR: Peter Bankes (ENG)
AVAR: Neil Davies (ENG)
Referee Observer: Zbigniew Przesmycki (POL)

Sturm Graz – AS Monaco
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Fredrik Klyver (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Robin Wilde (SWE)
Fourth Official: Fredrik Klitte (SWE)
VAR: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea (ESP)
AVAR: Javier Estrada Fernandez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Shmuel Shteif (ISR)

Real Sociedad – PSV Eindhoven
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Achmülller (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (GER)
Fourth Official: Sven Jablonski (GER)
VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
AVAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Referee Observer: Stavros Tritsonis (GRE)

Legia Warszawa – Spartak Moskva
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Zunic (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Fourth Official: Dragoslav Peric (SVN)
VAR: Jose Sanchez Martinez (ESP)
AVAR: Raul Cabanero Martinez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Uno Tutk (EST)

SSC Napoli – Leicester City
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jose Munuera Montero (ESP)
VAR: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
AVAR: Willy Delajod (FRA)
Referee Observer: Goran Mihaljević (MNE)

Royal Antwerp – Olympiacos FC
Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniele Bindoni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Tegoni (ITA)
Fourth Official: Rosario Abisso (ITA)
VAR: Michael Fabbri (ITA)
AVAR: Fabio Maresca (ITA)
Referee Observer: Lucilio Batista (POR)

Fenerbahçe SK – Eintracht Frankfurt
Referee: Srdjan Jovanovic (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uros Stojkovic (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlovic (SRB)
Fourth Official: Momcilo Markovic (SRB)
VAR: Mario Zebec (CRO)
AVAR: Duje Strukan (CRO)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

Lazio – Galatasaray
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Cesar Soto Grado (ESP)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Referee Observer: Marian Ružbarsky (SVK)

Olympique de Marseille – Lokomotiv Moskva
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Francis Connor (SCO)
Fourth Official: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
VAR: Allard Lindhout (NED)
AVAR: Rob Dieperink (NED)
Referee Observer: Thomas Einwaller (AUT)

PFC Ludogorets – FC Midtjylland
Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcel Unger (GER)
Fourth Official: Florian Badstübner GER)
VAR: Günter Perl (GER)
AVAR: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Referee Observer: Sokol Jareci (ALB)

SC Braga – Crvena Zvezda
Referee: Marco Guida (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ciro Carbone (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giorgio Peretti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Luca Pairetto (ITA)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR: Amaury Delerue (FRA)
Referee Observer: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)

Celtic FC – Real Betis
Referee: Daniel Stefanski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Michal Obukowicz (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Krzysztof Myrmus (POL)
Fourth Official: Damian Sylwestrzak (POL)
VAR: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
AVAR: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Referee Observer: Neale Barry (ENG)

Ferencvarosi TC – Bayer Leverkusen
Referee: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Egor Bolkhovitin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrei Vereteshkin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
VAR: Vitali Meshkov (RUS)
AVAR: Sergei Ivanov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)

KRC Genk – Rapid Wien
Referee: Tiago Martins (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Mota (POR)
Fourth Official: Helder Malheiro (POR)
VAR: Luis Godinho (POR)
AVAR: Fabio Verissimo (POR)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

West Ham United – GNK Dinamo
Referee: Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefano Alassio (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giovanni Baccini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Daniele Chiffi (ITA)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR: Jerôme Brisard (FRA)
Referee Observer: Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)

Concacaf League Final 2021 (First Leg)

8 December 2021

Motagua – Comunicaciones
Referee: Oshane Nation (JAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ojay Duhaney (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)
Fourth Official: Daneon Parchment (JAM)

IFFHS World’s Best Referee 2021: Brych (GER)

German Referee Felix Brych, winner of the IFFHS Award as the World's Best Referee of the Decade (2011-2020), is crowned for the second time as IFFHS World's Best Referee of the year 2021, after 2017. A consecration and a confirmation of the quality of Felix Brych, who will end his international career this week. He won with 15 points more than Netherland’s Björn Kuipers, who also ended his great career this summer. Italian Daniele Orsato, the award winner of 2020, took the third place. (Source: IFFHS)

IFFHS World’s Best Referees 2021
1. Felix Brych (GER, photo) - 110p
2. Bjorn Kuipers (NED) - 95p
3. Daniele Orsato (ITA) - 40p
4. Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP) - 30p
5. Anthony Taylor (ENG) - 20p

IFFHS World’s Best Woman Referee 2021: Frappart (FRA)

Since 2019, Stephanie Frappart dominates the ranking of the Women's World Best Referees. In 2021, she won again the IFFHS Award by a large margin before Russia's top referee Anastasia Pustovoitova. Frappart became in 2021 the first woman to officiate at an UEFA Men's Euro final stage. She was already the first for the UEFA Super Cup final Liverpool - Chelsea and for the Men's Champions League match Juventus - Kyiv. Her example gave the opportunity for other women referees in the world to officiate in the greatest men competitions in all continents. (Source: IFFHS)

IFFHS World’s Best Women Referees 2021
1. Stephanie Frappart (FRA, photo) - 155p
2. Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS) - 60p
3. Esther Staubli (SUI) - 25p
4. Kateryna Monzul (UKR) - 20p
5. Edina Alves (BRA) - 15p

UEFA Women’s Champions League 2021/22 – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

8-9 December 2021

Chelsea FCW – Juventus
Referee: Sara Persson (SWE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Almira Spahić (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jilan Taher (SWE)
Fourth Official: Lovisa Johansson (SWE)
Referee Observer: Katarzyna Wierzbowska (POL)

Servette Chênois – VfL Wolfsbug
Referee: Henrikke Nervik (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Monica Lokkeberg (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Elisabeth Thoresen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Ingvild Aarland (NOR)
Referee Observer: Blaženka Logarušić (CRO)

WFC Kharkiv – Paris St. Germain
Referee: Frida Nielsen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Fie Bruun (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Nanna Andersen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jorgen Burchardt (DEN)
Referee Observer: Ana Minić (SRB)

Breidablik – Real Madrid
Referee: Desiree Grundbacher (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Emilie Aubry (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Nadine Reichmuth (SUI)
Fourth Official: Michele Schmölzer (SUI)
Referee Observer: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)

HB Koge  TSG Hoffenheim
Referee: Eleni Antoniou (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Chrysoula Kourompylia (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Sofia Athanasopoulou (GRE)
Fourth Official: Eirini Pingiou (GRE)
Referee Observer: Caroline de Boeck (BEL)

BK Häcken – Bayern München
Referee: Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihaela Tepusa (ROU)
Fourth Official: Cristina Trandafir (ROU)
Referee Observer: Miroslava Migalova (SVK)

Arsenal WFC – FC Barcelona
Referee: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekaterina Kurochkina (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Iulia Petrova (RUS)
Fourth Official: Nadezhda Gorinova (RUS)
Referee Observer: Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN)

SL Benfica – Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Rebecca Welch (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Natalie Aspinall (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lisa Rashid (ENG)
Fourth Official: Emily Heaslip (ENG)
Referee Observer: Eleni Kiriou (GRE)

Hoyzer Affair explained

Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham has been fined €40,000 by the German Football Association (DFB), which judged his post-Klassiker remarks about referee Felix Zwayer to be "unsporting behavior." "If you give a referee who's match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?" the English teenager had told Norwegian broadcaster Viaplay after his team's 3-2 defeat to Bayern Munich. German football magazine Kicker rated Zwayer's performance 5.5 on a 6-point scale, almost the lowest mark possible, after the 40-year-old had awarded Bayern Munich a controversial penalty but failed to even consult with VAR on a Borussia Dortmund penalty claim. But Bellingham's post-match comments referred to more than just the previous 90 minutes. What exactly was Jude Bellingham referring to?
Back in 2005, German football was rocked by a match-fixing scandal when it emerged that referee Robert Hoyzer had manipulated a series of matches in 2004 in the second division, third tier and German Cup on behalf of a Berlin-based Croatian betting mafia. According to Spiegel magazine, Hoyzer, then 24, made around €67,000 (roughly $75,000 at the current exchange rate) in premiums from fixing matches upon which his Croatian controllers had betted. He was sentenced to two years and five months in prison and banned for life from refereeing. Most infamously, Hoyzer had helped ensure that SC Paderborn knocked Bundesliga side Hamburg out of the German Cup on 21 August 2004, by awarding the amateur side a controversial penalty and sending off a HSV player for remonstrating, helping Paderborn to come from 0-2 down to win 4-2. HSV were subsequently awarded €500,000 in compensation.
What does Zwayer have to do with it?
On another occasion, Hoyzer had unsuccessfully attempted to influence another Paderborn game, a league match against Chemnitz, but his assistant referee had flagged up a dodgy penalty decision as incorrect. Partly as a result, Hoyzer began enlisting the help of refereeing colleagues, including Felix Zwayer, then a 23-year-old assistant referee. Ahead of a match between Wuppertal and Werder Bremen's reserves, Hoyzer gave Zwayer €300, which the latter accepted. Wuppertal won 1-0, as planned by Hoyzer's Croatian controllers, but not as a result of any decision made or assisted by Zwayer.
How was the scandal uncovered?
In January 2005, Zwayer and three other referees, including former Bundesliga referee Manuel Gräfe, informed the DFB of their suspicions. Hoyzer did not come clean and was sentenced. In 2006, the DFB also sentenced Zwayer for his involvement — although his ban was limited to six months in recognition of his contribution to the uncovering the affair. The actual details of the verdict, however, remained secret, with the DFB allegedly concerned about the reputation of German football shortly before it hosted the 2006 World Cup.

How much did the DFB really know?
In 2014, Die Zeit revealed documents detailing the DFB's verdict on Zwayer, which confirmed that the governing body had reached the following conclusions:
- Zwayer had behaved in a "grossly unsporting" manner
- That "it can be assumed that Zwayer didn't reject Hoyzer's initial approach in the manner which would be expected of an honest referee and took the money."
- Zwayer "failed to report his knowledge of Hoyzer's match manipulations to the DFB for a prolonged period of time."
- Zwayer had accepted €300 from Hoyzer ahead of the game between Wuppertal and Werder Bremen "in order to avoid critical situations for Wuppertal in his role as assistant referee."
Although there is no evidence that Zwayer ever actually made any intentionally incorrect decisions in Wuppertal's favor, the verdict revealed that the DFB had explicitly disciplined Zwayer for taking a bribe and for failing to report match-fixing. But he hadn't been banned for life.

How has this been seen in Germany?
Jude Bellingham is not the first person to criticize Zwayer with regards to his involvement in the Hoyzer Affair. Zwayer's former colleague Manuel Gräfe has frequently criticized his continued appointment in Bundesliga, telling Zeit Magazin this summer: "If you accept money once and then cover up Hoyzer's manipulation for six months, you shouldn't be refereeing professional football." Following Saturday's game between Dortmund and Bayern, Gräfe told broadcaster ZDF that he could "absolutely understand Dortmund's anger. The decisions went against BVB and were unfortunately decisive." He added that Zwayer "did not get the balance right."

What's happened to Bellingham?
After submitting a written statement, Bellingham has been fined €40,000 but has avoided a ban, meaning he is eligible to face Bochum in the Bundesliga at the weekend. The DFB's official referee observer Marco Haase has also pressed libel charges against Bellingham, telling a local newspaper: "These comments affect all referees right down to the grassroots." Speaking to Kicker, lawyer Dr. Ingo Bott postulated: "Only the victim, in other words the person again whom a libelous insult is directed, may sue for libel. Since Mr. Zwayer has not filed charges himself, there ought not to be any serious investigation."

Source: DW