UEFA U-21 Euro 2021 – Semi-finals

3 June 2021

Spain – Portugal
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (SWE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mahbod Beigi (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Soderqvist (SWE)
Fourth Official: Rade Obrenovic (SVN)
Referee Observer: Darko Ceferin (SVN)

Netherlands – Germany
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephane De Almeida (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)
Fourth Official: Adam Farkas (HUN)
Referee Observer: Sandor Piller (HUN)

Former World Cup referee Lopez Nieto remembers attempted bribery in UEFA Champions League

In a new episode of “Los otros de Movistar” on the Vamos TV channel, former Spanish FIFA World Cup referee Antonio Lopez Nieto remembers details of an attempted bribery that occurred before the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Dynamo Kiev and Panathinaikos, played on 13 September 1995.
"The hosts told us 'Hey, we are going to the city to see some gift shops, so maybe you should give yourself a sauna'. I said 'no, look, I don't want to do sauna before a game, it's not good for the muscles. The sauna that they offered me was a different ‘sauna’, of course ”, says the former Spanish referee in his story. Lopez Nieto says that they had given him a fur coat and then the referees were taken to dinner: “We were going in two Mercedes cars through the forest and they took us to a kind of villa. ‘This is the Dynamo Kiev headquarters’, they said, smiling. There was not a single club pennant and, suddenly, some girls were moving in a very provocative manner." Once inside a room, a person linked to the club brought him a piece of paper: "’Antonio, Dynamo victory, $30,000’, he said in Spanish. It made me want to give him a pounding. I told him ‘we are leaving'”. After that match, which ended with a 1-0 victory for Dynamo, Antonio Lopez Nieto, along with his assistants Chirino Rivera and Giraldez Carrasco, and the fourth official Prados Garcia, denounced the case. UEFA decided to exclude the Ukrainian team from the competition for two years and two senior managers of the club were suspended from football for life.
Later that same year, Lopez Nieto refereed the first of his three UEFA Cup finals (1995, 1998, 2000). At the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Lopez Nieto established a record of 14 yellow cards and 2 red cards in the match between Germany and Cameroon. This record was later broken in the 2006 World Cup by Valentin Ivanov during the match between Portugal and Netherlands, with 16 yellow cards and 4 red cards.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers – AFC (Round 2, Matchday 7)

28-30 May 2021

Guam – China
Referee: Sivakorn Pu-Udom (THA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Rawut Nakarit (THA)
Assistant Referee 2: Min Kiat Koh (SIN) 
Fourth Official: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)

Japan – Myanmar
Referee: Hasan Akrami (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Alireza Ildorom (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Samer Badr (LBN)
Fourth Official: Payam Heidari (IRN)

Five-substitute option extended until end of 2022

During an ordinary meeting of The IFAB Board of Directors held by videoconference, the members agreed to extend the temporary amendment to Law 3 - The Players, which affords competition organisers the option of allowing teams to use up to five substitutes per match, for all top-level competitions scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2022.
The decision follows a global analysis of the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on football, as well as representations from several key stakeholders from across the football community. Introduced in May 2020, the temporary amendment is aimed at supporting player welfare, in particular where schedules have been disrupted, often leading to competitions being played in a condensed period (see The IFAB circular no. 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23). The IFAB will continue to review the impact of the pandemic on football and consult with its stakeholders on this important welfare matter.

Source: IFAB

CAF Supercup 2021: Ghorbal (ALG)

28 May 2021

Al Ahly – RS Berkane
Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Mokrane Gourari (ALG)
Fourth Official: Jean Ngambo (CGO)
VAR: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT)
AVAR 1: Khamis Al Marri (QAT)
AVAR 2: Saoud Ahmed (QAT)

“Refereeing is happiness” for UCL Final referee Mateu Lahoz

“Every moment I live as a referee is incredible”, UEFA Champions League final referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz succinctly sums up the joy he feels in his job at football’s highest level. Saturday's eagerly awaited encounter bringing together Manchester City and Chelsea in Porto is an experience which the 44-year-old father of two intends to savour to the full. “It’s magical,” says Mateu Lahoz, who was born in Algímia d’Alfara, a village in Valencia Province on Spain’s eastern coast. “Honestly, I never really imagined that, one day, I would referee a Champions League final.” An international referee since 2011, he already has experience of European club football’s biggest occasion, having acted as fourth official at the 2019 final between Liverpool and Tottenham in Madrid. In a few weeks’ time, Mateu Lahoz will also be among the 18 referees that make up the 25th team at UEFA Euro 2020.
Mateu Lahoz comes from a close-knit village family background – he has two brothers and three sisters. “Other members of the family don’t particularly like football, although my elder brother does – he was a big influence in encouraging me to be a referee,” he reflects. “But my mother, the captain of our ‘family team’, always follows me. She watches my matches very closely... if she sees that I’m smiling before a match, she’s happy, and she always looks at my face after the final whistle. If everything has gone well, then she’s relieved for me. I feel the support of my family, and it helps give me an important balance.” One important person in Mateu Lahoz’s life will definitely occupy his thoughts on Saturday, especially at the moment when the two teams line up ahead of the match… his father, who died when his son was a youngster. “I'll look up and think of him,” he says. “I feel that I've had the good luck to be healthy and fit that he didn’t have. I feel that he's protecting me all the time. This is a special feeling. He pushed me and encouraged me. ‘Come on, you can… if you want it, you can get it,’ he would say. I know he's always behind me.” Mateu Lahoz, who began refereeing in Spain’s La Liga in 2008, tries to bring his personality into play when he is the man in the middle. “Refereeing is happiness for me,” he explains. “And I think the key to being a referee is to always be yourself. When you referee a match, you're taking charge of many different personalities. You’re part of the game, and I think that part of your job is trying to help the players and coaches. If you can do this and be relaxed, then you'll relax them, you can communicate together, and making decisions can be much easier.”
At the final, Mateu Lahoz will be assisted by countrymen Pau Cebrian Devis and Roberto Diaz Perez del Palomar, while another Spaniard, Carlos del Cerro Grande, will be fourth official. The video assistant referee (VAR) role has been assigned to Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (Spain), and he will be accompanied by compatriots Juan Martinez Munuera and Inigo Prieto Lopez de Cerain. Pawel Gil (Poland) completes the VAR line-up. Mateu Lahoz rates the relationship with his team as something that is quite unique. “It would have been impossible for me to arrive at this stage without my team,” he insists. “We talk to each other, we encourage each other, we trust each other, we all know each other’s strengths. At the final, when we come out of the dressing room together and go onto the pitch to warm up – that will be the moment when we look into each other’s eyes and say to each other ‘we’re really here... come on, let’s enjoy the moment, and let’s then have the best possible match.’” “In fact, you could look at it this way – a football team has 11 players… and we'll have our own 11-man refereeing team – the referee, two assistants, a fourth official, four colleagues involved within the video assistant referee (VAR) system, technicians, a monitor. Eleven people in our team, involved in a special situation and determined to do their very best.” Mateu Lahoz also credits the tactical and technical preparation provided by UEFA to the top referees as a crucial factor in helping referees’ performances. “I do feel that if you prepare in this way, you’re able to anticipate situations, how teams play, how players react, and it does make the job easier, because you won’t be surprised as much. I find that giving referees the chance to study teams is an excellent element of preparation.” How does Mateu Lahoz relax away from the big-match limelight? “Nowadays, I try to see life through the eyes of my children,” he says, thinking of his two sons, aged eight and four. “As a referee, you do spend a lot of time away, so my free time is spent with my family, and I want to help my children live in the best possible way.”
On the field, Saturday’s big occasion at Porto's Estadio do Dragao will be followed by the thrill of being at the very heart of the action at UEFA Euro 2020. “It’s the first Euro for me and my team,” he reflects. “It’s another gift for us to be at this great tournament, learning from and sharing with colleagues. We’re excited to spend another summer involved in something that is important for us. I’m very happy.” A physical education teacher before refereeing took priority – “my older sister was a teacher; she influenced me to go that way” – Mateu Lahoz can see himself returning to the profession after retirement as a referee. “I like to teach, and like to learn,” he says. Another strand of teaching he can envisage is giving back to refereeing by continuing to help young match officials learn their trade. “It’s good to pass on the experience that you’ve gained to younger referees. I like helping my colleagues in this way.” Before all this, Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz still has a great deal of refereeing ahead of him, starting with his Porto assignment, and with the Euro experience following on behind in a couple of weeks. Challenges for him to relish and remember forever. “As I’ve said, refereeing is happiness,” he emphasises. “I try to smile and do my best. I’m very lucky doing something that I love. And when your job is a passion, it’s impossible to ask for more.”

Source: UEFA

UEFA U-21 Euro 2021 – Quarter-finals

31 May 2021

Netherlands – France
Referee: Maurizio Mariani (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Tegoni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniele Bindoni (ITA)
Fourth Official: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Spain – Croatia
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Levan Varamishvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Fourth Official: Irakli Kvirikashvili (GEO)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Denmark – Germany
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Inigo Prieto Lopez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Naranjo Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Medved (SVK)

Portugal – Italy
Referee: François Letexier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Mugnier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mehdi Rahmouni (FRA)
Fourth Official: Jerôme Brisard (FRA)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Sajn (SVN)

Brych refereed 300 Bundesliga games

With the match between Werder Bremen and Borussia Mönchengladbach on the last matchday of the 2020-2021 season, German FIFA referee Felix Brych reached the remarkable mark of 300 Bundesliga appearances. There are only two referees in the history of the Bundesliga who had more appearances: Wolfgang Stark (344) and Markus Merk (338). The referee from Munich made his debut on 28 August 2004 in the game between Hertha and Mainz, played in the Berlin Olympic Stadium.
Lutz-Michael Fröhlich, Sporting Director of DFB Elite Referees, says: "To have managed 300 games in the Bundesliga is an extraordinary achievement, but it also reflects the successful career of referee Felix Brych as a whole. Congratulations, Felix, in the name of our entire management, on this achievement!" Regarding his 300 Bundesliga appearances, DFB referee Brych said: "This is a high number that only a few can achieve. Only Wolfgang Stark and Markus Merk have managed that as referees so far. Not too many players achieve this mark either. I am proud that I lasted so long and made it".

Source: DFB

International Friendly Matches

May-June 2021

Switzerland – USA
Referee: Harm Osmers (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Dominik Schaal (GER)
Fourth Official: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)

Ukraine – Bahrain
Referee: Pavel Orel (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Petr Blažej (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Kamil Hájek (CZE)
Fourth Official: Vitaliy Romanov (UKR)

Turkey – Azerbaijan
Referee: Genc Nuza (KOS)
Assistant Referee 1: Fatlum Berisha (KOS)
Assistant Referee 2: Bujar Selimaj (KOS)
Fourth Official: Visar Kastrati (KOS)

Italy – San Marino
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Portelli (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Edward Spiteri (MLT)
Fourth Official: Antonio Giua (ITA)

Mexico – Iceland
Referee: Ted Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Corey Rockwell (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nick Uranga (USA)
Fourth Official: Rubiel Vasquez (USA)

Sweden – Finland
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Norgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Steffen Bramsen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jakob Sundberg (DEN)

Malta – Northern Ireland
Referee: Sebastian Gishamer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Riedel (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Fourth Official: Rene Eisner (AUT)

Turkey – Guinea
Referee: Aliyar Agayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zeynal Zeynalov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Akif Amirali (AZE)
Fourth Official: Elcin Masiyev (AZE)

Poland – Russia
Referee: Marco Guida (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Fourth Official: Michael Fabbri (ITA)
VAR: Piero Giacomelli (ITA)
AVAR: Giacomo Paganessi (ITA)

Croatia – Armenia
Referee: Luka Bilbija (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Amer Macić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Davor Beljo (BIH)
Fourth Official: Igor Pajač (CRO)

Kosovo – San Marino
Referee: Yasar Ugurlu (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ali Ogel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdullah Ozkara (TUR)
Fourth Official: Abdulkadir Bitigen (TUR)

Lithuania – Estonia
Referee: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Deniss Ševčenko (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jevgēņijs Morozovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Robertas Valikonis (LVA)

North Macedonia – Slovenia
Referee: Besfort Kasumi (KOS)
Assistant Referee 1: Edmond Zeqiri (KOS)
Assistant Referee 2: Fatmir Sekiraqa (KOS)
Fourth Official: Igor Stojcevski (MKD)

Slovakia – Bulgaria
Referee: Walter Altmann (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Gutschi (AUT)
Fourth Official: Felix Ouschan (AUT)

England – Austria
Referee: Lawrence Visser (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Fourth Official: Bram Van Driessche (BEL)

France – Wales
Referee: Luis Godinho (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Andre Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rui Teixeira (POR)
Fourth Official: Iancu Vasilica (POR)
VAR: Antonio Nobre (POR)
AVAR: Paulo Bras (POR) 

Norway – Luxembourg
Referee: Kristoffer Karlsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Robin Wilde (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Yng (SWE)
Fourth Official: Fredrik Klitte (SWE)

Romania – Georgia
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)

Germany – Denmark
Referee: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Fourth Official: Dieter Muckenhammer (AUT)

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro
Referee: Novak Simović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Nikola Djorović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Irfan Peljto (BIH)

Netherlands – Scotland
Referee: Vitor Ferreira (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Jesus (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tiago Costa (POR)
Fourth Official: Helder Malheiro (POR)

Turkey – Moldova
Referee: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Dominik Schaal (GER)
Fourth Official: Robert Schröder (GER)

Ukraine – Northern Ireland
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Vitali Romanov (UKR)

Andorra – Ireland
Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernandez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Guadalupe Porras Ayuso (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Teodoro Sobrino Magan (ESP)
Fourth Official: David Medie Jimenez (ESP)

Belgium – Greece
Referee: Fabio Verissimo (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Rodrigues (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Ribeiro (POR)

Switzerland – Liechtenstein
Referee: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
Fourth Official: Lukas Fähndrich (SUI)

Hungary – Cyprus
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Fourth Official: Michal Očenaš (SVK)

Italy – Czech Republic
Referee: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Sladan Josipovic (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthias Sbrissa (SUI)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Prontera (ITA)

Kosovo – Malta
Referee: Christopher Jäger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Sara Telek (AUT)
Fourth Official: Alan Kijas (AUT)

Nigeria – Cameroon
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Santino Schreiner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Weiss (AUT)
Fourth Official: Markus Hameter (AUT)

Latvia – Lithuania
Referee: Juri Frischer (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Veiko Motsnik (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Sander Saga (EST)
Fourth Official: Andris Treimanis (LVA)

Spain – Portugal 
Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Cook (ENG)
Fourth Official: David Coote (ENG) 

Russia – Bulgaria
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakou (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dzmitry Zhuk (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alieh Maslianka (BLR)
Fourth Official: Dzmitry Dzmitryeu (BLR)

Sweden – Armenia
Referee: Mattias Gestranius (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mikko Alakare (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mika Lamppu (FIN)
Fourth Official: Joni Hyytia (FIN)

Wales – Albania
Referee: Neil Doyle (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wayne McDonnell (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Darragh Keegan (IRL)
Fourth Official: Rob Harvey (IRL)

Denmark – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: Petri Viljanen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jukka Honkanen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Riku Vihreavuori (FIN)
Fourth Official: Mohammad Al-Emara (FIN)

Belgium – Croatia
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Dominik Schaal (GER)
Fourth Official: Harm Osmers (GER)

Austria – Slovakia
Referee: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Zürcher (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Köbeli (SUI)
Fourth Official: Luca Cibelli (SUI)

Netherlands – Georgia 
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jo De Weirdt (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Mathias Hillaert (BEL)
Fourth Official: Nathan Verboomen (BEL)
VAR: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
AVAR: Florian Lemaire (BEL)

England – Romania
Referee: Tiago Martins (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Andre Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Almeida (POR)
Fourth Official: Antonio Nobre (POR)

Norway – Greece
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ole Kronlykke (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakob Mastrup (DEN)
Fourth Official: Sandi Putros (DEN)

Kazakhstan – Malta
Referee: Christian Ciochirca (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Fourth Official: Alexander Harkam (AUT)

Ukraine – Cyprus
Referee: Vitalijs Spasjonnikovs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Raimonds Tatriks (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Martins Svipsts (LVA)
Fourth Official: Vitali Romanov (UKR)

Luxembourg – Scotland
Referee: Eldorjan Hamiti (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ilir Tartaraj (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Nertil Bregasi (ALB)
Fourth Official: Jasmin Sabotic (LUX)

Faroe Islands – Liechtenstein
Referee: Ivar Kristjansson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gylfi Sigurdsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Johann Gudmundsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Alex Troleis (FRO)

Germany – Latvia
Referee: Nikola Dabanović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Djukić (MNE)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladan Todorović (MNE)
Fourth Official: Mileta Šćepanović (MNE)

Czech Republic – Albania
Referee: Peter Kralović (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Milan Štrbo (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Polacek (SVK)
Fourth Official: Ondřej Berka (CZE)

France – Bulgaria
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Ioannis Papadopoulos (GRE)

Guinea – Togo
Referee: Yaşar Uğurlu (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ali Ogel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdullah Ozkara (TUR)

Gambia – Niger
Referee: Abdulkadir Bitigen (TUR)

Hungary – Ireland
Referee: Daniel Stefanski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Dawid Golis (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Kupsik (POL)
Fourth Official: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)

Poland – Iceland
Referee: Balazs Berke (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Balazs Buzas (HUN)
Fourth Official: Gergo Bogar (HUN)

Spain – Lithuania
Referee: Willy Delajod (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Auralien Berthomieu (FRA)
Fourth Official: Karim Abed (FRA)

Portugal – Israel
Referee: Jeremie Pignard (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Mugnier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurelien Drouet (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hugo Miguel (POR)

Referee Grafe swapped shirts with Haaland after his final Bundesliga match

Erling Haaland was in top form in Dortmund's last game of the season. The Norwegian striker was in the starling lineup for Dortmund's Bundesliga clash against Leverkusen on Saturday afternoon. It didn't take long for Haaland to get on the scoresheet. The 20-year-old broke the deadlock after just five minutes as he fired a fierce left-footed strike past Lukáš Hrádecký. Haaland would score again late on as he rounded the Finnish goalkeeper before putting the ball into the empty net. That means Haaland finishes the season with 41 goals in 41 games. What an incredible campaign it has been for the youngster. After a dominant performance, Haaland showed his class after the final whistle.
The referee of the game, Manuel Gräfe, has been refereeing in the Bundesliga for 17 years. The game between Dortmund and Leverkusen will probably be his last ever match as a referee in Germany's top tier. Haaland showed respect for Grafe by swapping shirts with him after the game.
Haaland then posed for pictures with Grafe and the other officials. What a great gesture from the youngster.
Grafe is one of the league's best referees but the current rules mean he can no longer officiate in the league. The referee turned 47 last September. The Bundesliga states that their officials cannot be over the age of 47. Dortmund sports director, Michael Zorc, criticised the rules before the game. "As of now, Manuel Gräfe will referee his last game as a referee at Signal Iduna Park tomorrow," he said, according to Kicker. "We will, of course, say goodbye to him, as it should be. But I am happy to join the large crowd of managers, coaches, players and fans. who would like to ask the DFB to reflect on their own actions. The fact that one of the most respected referees in Germany is only sent into forced retirement against the resistance of the masses because his age switches from 47 to 48 sometime at midnight to me is not being very professional. It's actually a joke. There are no young and old players, there are only good and bad. And it is the same with the referees."

Source: GiveMeSport

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers – CONMEBOL (Matchday 8)

8 June 2021

Colombia – Argentina
Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Gamboa (CHI)
VAR: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
AVAR: Angelo Hermosilla (CHI)

Ecuador – Peru
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Barreiro (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Soppi (URU)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
VAR: Andres Cunha (URU)
AVAR: Gery Vargas (BOL)

Chile – Bolivia
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Cuevas (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jose Mendez (PAR)
VAR: Derlis Lopez (PAR)
AVAR: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)

Paraguay – Brazil
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Fourth Official: Dario Herrera (ARG)
VAR: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
AVAR: Christian Lescano (ECU)

Venezuela – Uruguay
Referee: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Flavio Souza (BRA)
VAR: Rafael Traci (BRA)
AVAR: Braulio Machado (BRA)

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers – CONMEBOL (Matchday 7)

3-4 June 2021

Uruguay – Paraguay
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Roldan (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Ortega (COL)
VAR: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
AVAR: Andres Rojas (COL)

Argentina – Chile
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lubin Torrealba (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)
VAR: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
AVAR: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)

Bolivia – Venezuela
Referee: John Ospina (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: John Leon (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Betancur (COL)
VAR: Diego Haro (PER)
AVAR: Victor Carrillo (PER)

Peru – Colombia
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
VAR: Wagner Reway (BRA)
AVAR: Bruno Arleu (BRA)

Brazil – Ecuador
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)
VAR: Cristian Garay (CHI)
AVAR: Nicolas Taran (URU)

Stopwatch used by the 1974 World Cup Final referee causing “sensation” at auction

The Omega stopwatch used by a former referee to time the 1974 World Cup final between the Netherlands and West Germany is going under the hammer. The extraordinary piece of football history assisted English referee Jack Taylor when awarding two penalties in the first 30 minutes of the match, including the second-minute spot-kick by Johan Neeskens which is still the fastest goal ever scored in a World Cup final. The stopwatch contains engravings including the official 1974 World Cup logo and Jack Taylor’s initials and is now going on sale at Fellows Auctioneers. Fellows has placed an auction estimate of £3,000 – £5,000 on the item, which features in the Luxury Watch Sale, a live auction taking place in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, on Monday, 14 June 2021.
The 1974 World Cup final took place in Munich, with West Germany emerging as winners in a 2-1 victory. Some of the most iconic names in the history of the sport were on show, including Johan Cruyff, Gerd Müller and Franz Beckenbauer. After awarding a penalty to the Netherlands in the first minute, before a German player had even touched the ball, Jack Taylor recalled that Beckenbauer approached him and said “Taylor, you’re an Englishman.” Jack Taylor took charge of more than 1,000 competitive matches over a 33-year career, including the 1966 FA Cup final and the 1971 European Cup final. He is one of only three Englishmen to have refereed a World Cup final. It is not known why Taylor was able to keep the stopwatch, but it is likely that he was gifted it by FIFA. He gave the stopwatch to his daughter, Jayne Willis, over 40 years ago.
Measuring 54mm in diameter, and with a mechanical, hand-wound movement, the item will be sold alongside 200 other timepieces in the Luxury Watch Sale. Steven Yambo, a Senior Watch Specialist at Fellows Auctioneers, said: “I am over the moon to curate this auction. “In the ten years that I have worked with watches, this is one of the most outstanding and significant items that we have ever had go under the hammer. Jack Taylor is one of the most notable referees in British history, and to auction the stopwatch that he used in an iconic match of this magnitude is a privilege. I anticipate a huge amount of interest in the item from around the globe, as it will not only be sought-after amongst watch collectors, but football fans will be particularly keen. We are delighted that Jack’s daughter is selling this item with us and we obviously hope it will achieve the best possible price.”

Concacaf Nations League Finals 2021

USA, 3-6 June 2021

Referees
1. Reon Radix (GRN)
2. Bryan Lopez (GUA)
3. Oshane Nation (JAM)
4. John Pitti (PAN, photo)
5. Tristley Bassue (SKN)

Assistant Referees
1. Iroots Appleton (ATG)
2. JuanTipaz (GUA)
3. Jassett Kerr (JAM)
4. Zachari Zeegelaar (SUR)
5. Caleb Wales (TRI)

Video Assistant Referees
1. Drew Fischer (CAN)
2. Daneon Parchment (JAM)
3. Erick Miranda (MEX)
4. Chris Penso (USA)

CAF referees attacked and assaulted in Confederation Cup quarter-finals

Last Sunday, Dakar’s Jaraaf played their return match against the Cameroonian Coton Sport team. Beaten 1-0 in the first leg, Jaraaf won 2-1, but were eliminated because of the away goal rule. At the end of the match, members of the staff of the Dakar team attacked and assaulted Malian referee Boubou Traore and his assistants. The Jaraaf staff did not agree with the third goal being denied to Jaraaf for offside. This refused goal could have been synonymous with qualifying for the semi-final of the CAF Cup if it were granted. Unfortunately, there is no VAR in this competition. Had it not been for the intervention of the police and a few Jaraaf players, the referee could have spent a bad quarter of an hour. However, this aggression risks being very expensive for Jaraaf, because CAF will make decisions. (Source: News-in-24)
The CAF Panel of Refereeing Experts has expressed its indignation to the General Secretary following the physical assault of the referees at the end of the second leg of the quarter-finals of the Confederation Cup between ASC Jaraaf of Dakar and Coton Sport of Cameroon. CAF General Secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba wished a speedy recovery to those injured and strongly condemned such physical attacks on match officials. He called for an in-depth investigation by the competent bodies of CAF. “These acts of incivility cannot be tolerated. They have no place in our football, but unfortunately they tend to become widespread on the pitch. CAF reserves the right to revise and upwards the scale of sanctions for these acts,” he declared. Mr. Mosengo-Omba took the opportunity to confirm his intention to make proposals for an in-depth reform of CAF's judicial bodies to allow them to act more effectively. (Source: CAF)

Premio Guruceta 2021: Alberola Rojas

1. Alberola Rojas (2,00, photo)
2. Del Cerro Grande (1,81)
3. Gonzalez Fuertes (1,76)
4. Soto Grado (1,74)
5. Pizarro Gomez (1,67)
6. Munuera Montero (1,65)
7. Figueroa Vazquez (1,61)
8. Jaime Latre (1,53)
9. Cuadra Fernandez (1,48)
10. Díaz de Mera (1,47)
11. Medie Jimenez (1,44)
12. Estrada Fernandez (1,41)
13. Mateu Lahoz (1,33)
14. Melero Lopez (1,33)
15. De Burgos Bengoetxea (1,26)
16. Gil Manzano (1,26)
17. Sanchez Martinez (1,17)
18. Cordero Vega (1,17)
19. Hernandez Hernandez (1,12)
20. Martinez Munuera (1,00)

AFC introduces retirement age for referee assessors and instructors

The AFC Referees Committee underlined its determination to elevate the development of Asia’s match officials by approving the new criteria for the AFC Member Association (MA)’s International Referees Quota for 2023 to 2024 at its third meeting held virtually on Tuesday. Benchmarked against global best practices, the new criteria for both men and women match officials will comprise three main areas - the level of refereeing, refereeing development, and level of football. Additionally, the same principles will apply for match officials in men’s futsal competitions. The Committee also approved the new set of criteria for the recognition of Women’s Futsal and Beach Soccer match officials to better align their achievements against the backdrop of the Women’s Futsal and Beach Soccer competitions calendar.
The Committee also agreed to introduce a retirement age of 65 for all AFC Referee Assessors and Instructors (Technical and Fitness) panel members. The new retirement age, which will come into effect in 2023, will enable greater succession planning while ensuring more opportunities and exposure for the continent’s younger generation of referee assessors and instructors to develop their capabilities.

Source: AFC

Caribbean Club Championship Final 2021: Gonzalez (MEX)

25 May 2021

Inter MT  Cavaly AS
Referee: Francia Gonzalez (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Karen Diaz (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Kevon Clarke (BRB)
Fourth Official: Tori Penso (USA)

Exciting times for Europa League Final referee Turpin

French referee Clement Turpin’s assignment for Wednesday’s UEFA Europa League final between Villareal and Manchester United in Gdansk is the latest accolade on an outstanding career path that brought domestic and international recognition at a precociously young age for a referee. These are memorable times for the 39-year old father of three from the Burgundy region in central France. Following the big occasion in Poland, he will settle down to his preparations for UEFA Euro 2020. Turpin is one of the 18 match officials who, along with their assistants and the video assistant referees, will form the 25th team at the tournament which takes place in 11 cities across Europe from 11 June to 11 July. Turpin will be accompanied on Wednesday by assistant referees and compatriots Nicolas Danos and Cyril Gringore, and Slovenian fourth official Slavko Vinčić. The video assistant referee role has been assigned to another Frenchman, François Letexier (France), and he will be aided by countrymen Jerôme Brisard and Benjamin Pages. Paulus van Boekel (Netherlands) completes the VAR line-up. “I feel very proud,” Turpin says of his selection for the Europa League final. “Not only for myself, but also for my assistants, who have accompanied me for a number of years, and for all referees in France. But I don’t particularly see it as a reward – that makes it sound like you’re giving a present to a child that’s done something well, and I don’t think that UEFA give out presents when they select referees! For me, it’s the culmination of a season, one that has been very intense and very special given the current situation, and one that has involved a lot of hard work as a team.”
Turpin’s road as a referee began when he was a young player and instructor of children at his local football club. “No referees were appointed for the children’s matches,” he recalls, “so instructors and parents refereed the games. I was asked if I’d like to take a refereeing course – I thought ‘why not?’, and it started from there. I continued to play football until the age of 19 – one day of the weekend I was a player, the next a referee. The refereeing side was going well, so from then on, I decided to concentrate on being a referee.” His rise through the ranks was impressive, and he set a proud series of records. Turpin graduated to a higher level each year, and eventually became a French top-flight referee at the age of 26 in 2008 – the youngest-ever official in France at the time. In December 2009, he was the youngest Frenchman to earn his international badge, and two years later, he was the first French referee under the age of 30 to take charge of a French Cup final. He was a member of the UEFA Euro 2016 and FIFA World Cup 2018 referee groups, refereed at the 2016 Summer Olympics football tournament in Brazil, and acted as fourth official at the 2018 UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kyiv.
“I never said to myself that I would referee a European final one day,” Turpin says with typical modesty. “From the start, I preferred to set myself small targets and challenges along the way. I’ve never had a particular role model as a referee, but I’ve watched other referees and taken little bits of what they do and incorporated them into my own refereeing.” Turpin describes refereeing at the highest levels as “management of extreme situations – extreme because there is pressure, there are a lot of emotions around you. The referee is having to take the correct decisions… not necessarily the most popular decisions. You need to be courageous and be able to ease tension. Calmness breeds calmness in tense and difficult situations.” He welcomes the opportunity provided to today’s referees to study teams and players as part of their match preparation. “Referees have to love the game,” he reflects. “I don’t think that you can be a referee if you don’t love football – and above all, you have to understand the game. The more you understand the game, how players play, how teams set up, all the characteristics, the better you can read a game as a referee.” Turpin is already giving back to refereeing in his home region, as a member of the regional refereeing technical team in the Burgundy league. “I’m involved in promoting refereeing in schools and colleges,” he says. “It means I’m working in both the professional and amateur refereeing worlds. It gives me a balance, and I feel great satisfaction to be able to do this work.”
Teamwork will be essential for Turpin and his colleagues in Gdansk on Wednesday. “It’s impossible for a referee to be alone at this level; you need your team alongside you,” he says. “We’ll prepare for the game in the dressing room in our usual way, with music playing in the background. My assistant referee colleague of 11 years, Nicolas Danos, prepares the playlists. He brings new music for every match, and I only ask one thing from him – that the music he brings is calm music!” Once out on the field, Turpin says he will take a short moment to savour the privilege of his role. “The first thing I’ll think briefly when lining up with my colleagues and the teams is: ‘Wow! I’m really lucky to be here’. Then, it will be complete focus on the match and coming confidently through the important early stages in particular. It’s like a Formula One Grand Prix… you blow the first whistle, you get around the first ‘corner’, and then you’re ready to take the next ‘corner’.” Following the UEFA Europa League final, Clement Turpin can anticipate new challenges ahead, starting with the Euro. “I’m delighted; it will be an honour and pleasure to be involved on the ‘inside’ of this great tournament and live every day of it.” As for future ambitions, the Frenchman pledges to seek constant further improvement without undue fear of failure. He closes by recalling a quote attributed to the Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde: “Shoot for the moon – even if you miss, you’ll end up among the stars…”

Source: UEFA

CONMEBOL Libertadores 2021 – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

25-27 May 2021

Defensa y Justicia – Independiente Del Valle
Referee: Edina Alves (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Neuza Back (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cindy Nahuelcoy (CHI)
Fourth Official: Maria Carvajal (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Sabrina Lois (ARG)
VAR Observer: Ana Oliveira (BRA)

River Plate – Fluminense
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Soppi (URU)
Fourth Official: Andres Matonte (URU)
Referee Assessor: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
VAR Observer: Enrique Caceres (PAR)

Santa Fe – Junior
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Horacio Ferreiro (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Pablo Llarena (URU)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Albarracin (ECU)
VAR Observer: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Cerro Porteno – America de Cali
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Fourth Official: Dario Herrera (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Amelio Andino (PAR)
VAR Observer: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)

Atletico Mineiro – Deportivo La Guaira
Referee: Nicolas Lamolina (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Mariana de Almeida (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Daiana Milone (ARG)
Fourth Official: Andres Merlos (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Hilton Moutinho (BRA)
VAR Observer: Juan Cardellino (URU)

Sao Paulo – Sporting Cristal
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Vela (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Herrera (COL)
Referee Assessor: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
VAR Observer: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)

Racing Club – Rentistas
Referee: Nicolas Gamboa (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Fourth Official: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Viola (ARG)
VAR Observer: Wilson Avila (ECU)

Olimpia – Deportivo Tachira
Referee: Diego Haro (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Orue (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Fourth Official: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Referee Assessor: Amelio Andino (PAR)
VAR Observer: Dario Ubriaco (URU)

Internacional – Always Ready
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Julio Fernandez (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Navarro (ARG)
Fourth Official: Diego Riveiro (URU)
Referee Assessor: Paulo Conceicao (BRA)
VAR Observer: Martin Vazquez (URU)

Barcelona – Santos
Referee: Andres Rojas (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Betancur (COL)
Referee Assessor: Omar Ponce (ECU)
VAR Observer: Carlos Torres (PAR)

Boca Juniors – The Strongest
Referee: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)
VAR Observer: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Universidad Catolica – Atletico Nacional
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabricio Villarinho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Braulio Machado (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Patricio Polic (CHI)
VAR Observer: Cesar Mongrut (ECU)

Nacional – Argentinos Juniors
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Fourth Official: Carlos Benitez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Silvera (URU)
VAR Observer: Jorge Jaimes (PER)

Palmeiras – Universitario
Referee: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Silvia Regina (BRA)
VAR Observer: Manuel Bernal (PAR)

LDU Quito – Union La Calera
Referee: Carlos Betancur (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: Andres Rojas (COL)
Referee Assessor: Juan Corozo (ECU)
VAR Observer: Oscar Viera (PAR)

Flamengo – Velez Sarsfield
Referee: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Andres Nievas (URU)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)
VAR Observer: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

CONMEBOL Sudamericana 2021 – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

25-27 May 2021

Deportes Tolima – Red Bull Bragatino
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Yackson Diaz (VEN)
Fourth Official: Andres Pernia (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
VAR Observer: Fredy Arellanos (PER)

Palestino – Libertad
Referee: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Augusto Berisso (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Santiago Fernandez (URU)
Fourth Official: Raul Orosco (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Barbra Bastias (CHI)
VAR Observer: Ana Perez (PER)

Newell's – Atletico Goianiense
Referee: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John Leon (COL)
Fourth Official: John Ospina (COL)
Referee Assessor: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
VAR Observer: Henry Gambetta (PER)

Emelec – Talleres
Referee: Yender Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Ponte (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Jose Carpio (ECU)
VAR Observer: Joel Ruiz (PAR)

Independiente – Guabira
Referee: Derlis Lopez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Cuevas (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Britos (PAR)
Fourth Official: Juan Benitez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Angel Sanchez (ARG)
VAR Observer: Luis Sanchez (VEN)

Bahia – Montevideo City
Referee: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Onieva (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Julio Aranda (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Nilson Moncao (BRA)
VAR Observer: Miguel Buitrago (VEN)

Corinthians – River Plate
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Retamal (CHI)
Fourth Official: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
VAR Observer: Marlon Escalante (VEN)

Sport Huancayo – Penarol
Referee: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Maximiliano Del Yesso (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lucas Germanotta (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Espinoza (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Manuel Yupanqui (PER)
VAR Observer: Jairo Romero (VEN)

Huachipato – San Lorenzo
Referee: Flavio Souza (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Silva (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Francisco Mondria (CHI)
VAR Observer: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

Rosario Central – 12 de Octubre
Referee: Andres Matonte (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Soppi (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Fourth Official: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Referee Assessor: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
VAR Observer: Roberto Perassi (BRA)

Arsenal – Bolivar
Referee: John Ospina (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: John Leon (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Referee Assessor: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
VAR Observer: Oscar Ruiz (COL)

Jorge Wilstermann – Ceara
Referee: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Byron Romero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Andres Tola (ECU)
Fourth Official: Roberto Sanchez (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)
VAR Observer: Hector Baldassi (ARG)

Lanus – Aragua
Referee: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Enrique Pintos (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonard Soto (PER)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcon (PER)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Viola (ARG)
VAR Observer: Carlos Pastorino (URU)

La Equidad – Gremio
Referee: Marlon Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Avila (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Edison Vasquez (ECU)
Fourth Official: Augusto Aragon (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Albarracin (ECU)
VAR Observer: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Atletico Paranaense – Aucas
Referee: Andres Merlos (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Daiana Milone (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Mariana de Almeida (ARG)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Lamolina (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Regildenia Moura (BRA)
VAR Observer: Paulo Silva (ARG)

Melgar – Metropolitanos
Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Antelo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Fourth Official: Ivo Mendez (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Escano (PER)
VAR Observer: Luzmila Gonzalez (COL)

CAF Confederation Cup 2020/2021 – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

23 May 2021

Raja Casablanca – Orlando Pirates
Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Mokrane Gourari (ALG)
Fourth Official: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG)

JS Kabylie – CS Sfaxien
Referee: Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Lahcen Azgaou (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mustapha Akerkad (MAR)
Fourth Official: Samir Guezzaz (MAR)

Enyimba – Pyramids
Referee: Sadok Selmi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Khalil Hassani (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Aymen Ismail (TUN)
Fourth Official: Haythem Guirat (TUN)

Jaraaf – Coton Sport
Referee: Boubou Traore (MLI)
Assistant Referee 1: Modibo Samake (MLI)
Assistant Referee 2: Habib Sanou (BFA)
Fourth Official: Mahamadou Keita (MLI)

"The Game" with FIFA referee San

Ten years ago, the Swiss filmmaker Roman Hodel was on the defensive. As he was watching the World Cup with friends, at home and in bars, the rest of the group blasted a referee's call; Hodel argued in the referee’s favor. Hodel, like many people, knew some details about the players, even though he wasn’t a diehard soccer fan. The referees were another matter - working on the pitch but unknown to most spectators, they were hidden in plain sight. The imbalance in knowledge excited the young filmmaker. “A few years later, after my film degree, this idea popped up,” Hodel said. “And I thought maybe it’s possible to film.”
Hodel’s documentary “The Game,” released in 2020, represents a return to this long-standing idea. The film follows Fedayi San, a FIFA referee, doing his game-day job under several thousand eyes. He cannot voice a call from the pitch without provoking a reaction. A yellow card throws the stadium spectators, decked in black and gold, into a swarm-like frenzy. After a contested moment on the field, San shouts into his headset that he didn’t stop action because he had “no replay.” “I had to make a decision,” San says to the assistant referees, but his referee coach, facing a monitor and listening in, sucks his teeth in disagreement. Players protest San’s decisions. Watching from on high are San’s nephew and father, seated in the stands and tracking their relative’s every move. (San’s father kindly debriefs him in a car post-match.) Game day, it seems, is a day of judgment; San himself can only see so much.
A filmmaker like Hodel can relate to the referee’s need to reckon with the problem of vantage point. Like the referee, a director faces limits to what he can spot in real time; Hodel’s project required eight cameras and sixteen crew members just to follow San and those around the action during a single match. But the director enjoys the luxury of time and the opportunity to revisit footage as he works to realize his larger vision. Though events in “The Game” seem to occur in a single day, frames that feature figures besides San—the stadium attendees, San’s family in the stands, the referees stalking locker rooms in black vestments—were shot on different game days and in different arenas. The sound of San’s exhalations as he huffs down the pitch is, in some moments, the recorded audio of Hodel’s own breath. “Documentary shouldn’t always be crippled by reality,” Hodel explained. The concrete facts of the filmed matches, like scores and dates, held little interest. Conveying the experience of the soccer referee, so marginal and yet so central a figure on the field, remained the principal goal for Hodel: “So I decided to allow the film this trick.” Controlling the emotions of thousands via hand signal is surely an awesome power. Nevertheless, Hodel’s film indicates that referees are mostly transfixed by their own mistakes, caught on broadcasts that they stream on their phones during breaks and after games. “I should’ve told you,” a colleague says to San as he views an analysis of his calls. The two sit on a wooden bench and peer at the little screen. “Penalty?” San asks. A commentator’s tinny voice offers his assessment: “It’s not easy for Fedayi San.”

CAF Champions League 2020/2021 – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

22 May 2021

Mamelodi Sundowns  Al Ahly
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
Fourth Official: Helder Martins (ANG)

Wydad AC  MC Alger
Referee: Joshua Bondo (BOT)
Assistant Referee 1: Souru Phatsoane (LES)
Assistant Referee 2: Eric Ayimavo (BEN)
Fourth Official: Dahane Beida (MTN)

Esperance  Belouizdad
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdul Jawo (GAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Omar Darboe (GAM)
Fourth Official: Daniel Laryea (GHA)

Simba  Kaizer Chiefs
Referee: Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (BDI)
Assistant Referee 1: Emery Niyongabo (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Pascal Ndimunzigo (BDI)
Fourth Official: Georges Gatogato (BDI)

Concacaf Gold Cup 2021

USA, 2 July - 1 August 2021

Referees
1. Drew Fischer (CAN)
2. Juan Calderon (CRC)
3. Ricardo Montero (CRC)
4. Reon Radix (GRN)
5. Mario Escobar (GUA, photo)
6. Bryan Lopez (GUA)
7. Selvin Brown (HON)
8. Hector Martinez (HON)
9. Oshane Nation (JAM)
10. Daneon Parchment (JAM)
11. Adonai Escobedo (MEX)
12. Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
13. Fernando Hernandez (MEX)
14. Cesar Ramos (MEX)
15. Ivan Barton (SLV)
16. Ismael Cornejo (SLV)
17. Ismail Elfath (USA)
18. Jair Marrufo (USA)
19. Armando Villarreal (USA)

Assistant Referees
1. Iroots Appleton (ATG)
2. Michael Barwegen (CAN)
3. William Arrieta (CRC)
4. Juan Mora (CRC)
5. Gerson Lopez (GUA)
6. Walter Lopez (HON)
7. Christian Ramirez (HON)
8. Roney Salinas (HON)
9. Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
10. Ojay Duhaney (JAM)
11. Jassett Kerr (JAM)
12. Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
13. Michel Morales (MEX)
14. Alberto Morin (MEX)
15. Henri Pupiro (NCA)
16. Geovany Garcia (SLV)
17. David Moran (SLV)
18. Juan Zumba (SLV)
19. Zachari Zeegelaar (SUR)
20. Caleb Wales (TRI)
21. Frank Anderson (USA)
22. Kyle Atkins (USA)
23. Logan Brown (USA)
24. Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
25. Corey Parker (USA)

Video Assistant Referees
1. David Gantar (CAN)
2. Carlos Ayala (MEX)
3. Leon Barajas (MEX)
4. Arturo Cruz (MEX)
5. Erick Miranda (MEX)
6. Angel Monroy (MEX)
7. Joel Rangel (MEX)
8. Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
9. Allen Chapman (USA)
10. Tim Ford (USA)
11. Edvin Jurisevic (USA)
12. Chris Penso (USA)

Fourth Officials (TARP)
1. Pierre-Luc Lauziere (CAN)
2. Keylor Herrera (CRC)
3. Benjamin Pineda (CRC)
4. Diego Montano (MEX)
5. Jose Torres (PUR)
6. Tristley Bassue (SKN)
7. Nima Saghafi (USA)
8. Rubiel Vazquez (USA)

CAF Referee Exchange
Referee: Maguette N’Diaye (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
VAR: Bakary Gassama (GAM)

Referee Assessors
1. John Nielsen (CAN)
2. Jeffrey Solis (CRC)
3. Patricia Miranda (CRC)
4. Carlos Batres (GUA)
5. Dianne Ferreira-James (GUY)
6. Dave Meikle (JAM)
7. Victor Stewart (JAM)
8. Jose Camargo (MEX)
9. Roberto Moreno (PAN)
10. Javier Santos (PUR)

Technical Instructors
1. Mark Geiger (USA)
2. Peter Prendergast (JAM)
3. Leonel Leal (CRC)

VAR Instructor
1. Greg Barkey (USA)

CONMEBOL Libertadores Futsal Final 2021: Rodriguez (URU) & Espindola (CHI)

22 May 2021

Final
San Lorenzo  Carlos Barbosa
Referee 1: Daniel Rodriguez (URU, photo)
Referee 2: Cristian Espindola (CHI)
Third Referee: Carlos Martinez (PAR)
Timekeeper: Andres Martinez (URU)
Referee Assessor: Nestor Valiente (PAR)

Match for Third Place
Corinthians  Delta Te Quiero
Referee 1: Leandro Lorenzo (ARG)
Referee 2: Jose Ocampo (PAR)
Third Referee: Estefania Pinto (ARG)
Timekeeper: Jonathan Herbas (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Figueredo (URU)

Euro referees given handball briefing

UEFA’s Euro 2020 referees have been instructed about clarifications to football’s laws on handball which will be applied at the tournament. The laws, which have been reworked for the sake of better overall understanding, were a key topic on the agenda at the EURO referees’ pre-tournament workshop in Nyon. The gathering at the House of European Football brought together the 18 referees and 22 video assistant referees (VARs) selected as the 25th team for the Euro, which takes place in eleven cities across Europe between 11 June and 11 July.
Preventing inconsistency
The new Laws of the Game come into force on 1 July, but can be introduced in competitions that begin in the immediate period before then. Football’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), have clarified Article 12 of the Laws of the Game, which contains provisions on handling the ball. As the interpretation of handball incidents has not always been consistent due to incorrect applications of the law, IFAB has confirmed that not every touch of a player’s hand/arm with the ball is an offence. In terms of the criterion of the hand/arm making a player’s body “unnaturally bigger”, IFAB has also confirmed that referees should continue to use their judgment in determining the validity of the hand/arm’s position in relation to the player’s movement in that specific situation.
IFAB clarification of the handball law
“It is a handball offence,” IFAB said after its annual meeting in March, “if a player:
- deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, for example moving the hand/arm towards the ball;
- touches the ball with their hand/arm when it has made their body unnaturally bigger. A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalised;
or
- scores in the opponents’ goal:
- directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper; or
- immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm, even if accidental.”
Accidental handball that leads to a team-mate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offence. The chairman of UEFA’s Referees Committee, Roberto Rosetti, welcomed the clarification of the handball laws. “The laws are now simpler for everybody,” he said. “In particular, the change whereby not every touch of the ball is considered as an offence is important, because the players have the right to play and move with the ball in a natural way, and referees have to understand this kind of natural movement.”
Firm action – calmness – control
The Euro match officials – meeting together for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in spring 2020, with all necessary health precautions and protocols in place at UEFA’s headquarters – also discussed UEFA’s technical refereeing guidelines. Referees are being urged in particular to act firmly at the Euro to punish holding and pushing offences in the penalty area, and to take strong action against reckless challenges and serious foul play which could endanger a player’s safety. “It’s crucial in this respect that referees act not only to protect players, but also to protect the spirit and image of the game,” said Rosetti. “Everyone is on the same page as far as the uniform and consistent application of the laws are concerned in these areas.” Rosetti urged the referees to “stay calm and in control” in handling players, especially in situations of mobbing and dissent. “We have clear proof from this season’s UEFA club competition knockout stages that if referees are calm and focussed, they can send the right message to players – we’re seeing that when referees relax, the players react in a very positive way.” UEFA’s referee officers plan to visit all 24 teams ahead of the Euro to explain the various instructions and guidelines given to the match officials, and to emphasise what is expected in return of players, coaches and team officials. Presentations to the teams on law changes and refereeing guidelines in the run-up to UEFA Euro 2016 were a crucial factor in the overall positive conduct of players and coaches at the tournament in France.
VAR’s crucial role
The video assistant referee (VAR) system will also be deployed for the first time at a Euro final tournament. Rosetti is confident of the system’s strengths: “We believe in the project, which has worked very well so far,” he said. “We’re emphasising to the VARs that they should only intervene when a referee makes a clear and obvious mistake, or in cases of serious missed incidents. The referees must remain the centre of the decision-making process, but the role of the VARs is extremely crucial in helping them.”
Keeping up standards
Rosetti emphasised that the referee teams chosen for the Euro had “appointed themselves” with a series of impressive displays in UEFA club and national team competitions in the spring. “The quality of their performances made the difference,” he said. “The referees did very well during the season. We want the referees to maintain their traditionally high standards at the Euro. We’re expecting top-quality referees who are professional and totally focussed on their task on the field of play.”

Source: UEFA

Full female referee teams in men’s international club competitions

Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship
O&M FC – Inter Moengo
Referee: Tori Penso (USA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Karen Diaz (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)
Fourth Official: Francia Gonzalez (MEX)
Referee Assessor: Dianne Ferreira-James (GUY)


CONMEBOL Libertadores
Defensa y Justicia – Independiente Del Valle
Referee: Edina Alves (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Neuza Back (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cindy Nahuelcoy (ECU)
Fourth Official: Maria Carvajal (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Sabrina Lois (ARG)
VAR Observer: Ana Oliveira (BRA)

Serie A referees investigated over falsified expenses claims

The Italian Referees Association (AIA) confirmed in a statement that 3 referees and 4 assistant referees had been suspended as a precautionary measure during an FIGC investigation. News agency ANSA claims that the Serie A referees suspended due to this expenses scandal are Fabrizio Pasqua (photo), Federico La Penna and Ivan Robilotta.
A statement from the AIA confirmed that with the arrival of their new President, an audit had been ordered into expenses claims. They found “some discrepancies” in the compilation of expenses forms and passed on all the information to the FIGC investigative committee on April 21. “Awaiting the conclusion of the federal investigation, all referees involved have been suspended as a precautionary measure.” Alfredo Trentalange took over from Marcello Nicchi as President of the AIA in February and started radical reforms, allowing and even encouraging referees to speak with the media about their decisions.

CONMEBOL Libertadores Futsal 2021 – Semi-finals

21 May 2021

Carlos Barbosa – Delta Te Quiero
Referee 1: Carlos Martinez (PAR, photo)
Referee 2: Yuri Garcia (COL)
Third Referee: Andres Martinez (URU)
Timekeeper: Jonathan Herbas (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Figueredo (URU)

Corinthians – San Lorenzo
Referee 1: Henry Gutierrez (BOL)
Referee 2: Cristian Espindola (CHI)
Third Referee: Jose Ocampo (PAR)
Timekeeper: Valeria Palma (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Nestor Valiente (PAR)

Remembering world's refereeing great Sandor Puhl

Earlier today it was announced that former Hungarian referee Sandor Puhl has passed away aged 65. Karoly Palotai led the way in terms of Hungarian refereeing greats; he was the first Hungarian referee to really shine on the International stage. He was the one who showed that Hungary could produce great referees, as well as great footballers. Sandor Puhl followed Karoly Palotai and went on to become Hungary’s greatest ever referee. He was hugely talented and had a real wow factor about him out on the pitch. Personally, I would consider him to be in the top 5 in the world, in his time.
Sandor Puhl was born in Miskolc on 14 July 1955. He passed his referee exam aged 15 and gradually worked his way up through the youth and men’s leagues, before making his debut as an assistant referee in the first division on 20 April 1983 in the Nyiregyhaza - Csepel match. He went on to make his debut as a referee in the first division on 16 September 1984 in the match between Vasas - Csepel. He refereed 226 matches in the first division, also making 117 appearances as an assistant referee and 1 as fourth official. His final match as a first division referee was on 22 July 2000 in a match between Ferencvaros - Haladas. He awarded 666 yellow cards and 28 red cards during his career.
Internationally, Puhl became a FIFA referee in 1988 and worked his way up to become an elite referee. His international debut came in a friendly match in November 1988 between the then Czechoslovakia and Norway. Puhl attended the 1991 FIFA U-21 World Cup, refereeing a group stage match between England and Uruguay and the semi-final between Portugal and Australia. He went on to referee in the Champions League for 6 seasons (1992-1998), although he continued to referee UEFA matches until 2000. Puhl refereed at two Euros, in 1992 and 1996, and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where he became the first and only Hungarian to referee a World Cup final. His International retirement came in a friendly match between Italy and England on 15 November 2000, almost 12 years to the day of his debut. Most people will remember Sandor Puhl for the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final match Brazil - Italy. He followed that up 3 years later when he refereed the UEFA Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Juventus in 1997. He was voted by IFFHS as the world’s best referee four times in a row: 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997.
An honorary citizen of the cities of Eger and Emod, Sandor Puhl remained within refereeing after his retirement. Between 2000 and 2006, he was appointed by the MLSZ as the chairman of the Referees Committee and the Refereeing Board, which operates as an independent advocacy organisation. During this time, Puhl was also the vice-president of the MLSZ. Internationally, he was also on the FIFA Referees Committee and acted as UEFA Referee Observer. From 2010 he was a vice-president of the MLSZ JB (the Hungarian Football Federation Referee Department), a role he held until his death. Puhl also worked for Sports TV giving an insight into refereeing although he had not been seen on screen for a few months since his hospitalisation with coronavirus. The Hungarian Football Federation shares silent grief with his family that asks the mourners and members of the press to respect their request for privacy at this sad time: they do not wish to comment, and they will arrange a quiet funeral later. Hungarian football, especially the refereeing community, shares their grief.
Over the coming days many will talk of their own memories of Sandor Puhl. Funny moments from matches and dressing rooms, happy memories, moments of solidarity and lessons learned along their own career paths. The coin story from the World Cup has already appeared in the media and I remember Sandor Puhl talking about it in an interview. As the coin was made of silver and very heavy, he had given it to his fourth official to hold it during the game rather than keep it in his pocket. The fourth official then left it in the dressing room at half time, so when it came to the coin toss for extra time there was no coin. Quick thinking by Sandor Puhl saw him discreetly borrow a coin from a nearby TV cameraman – a coin he subsequently held onto amongst his memorabilia collected over the years.
One of the best quotes I have seen by Sandor Puhl is “The referee’s mission, his vocation, is to use the power vested in him to help those outside the playing field have the best fun possible.” A perfect summation. During an interview with NSO on the 20th anniversary of the World Cup Final, Puhl was asked what makes a good referee and he replied “The referee’s mission is to keep the viewer as entertained as possible. It is very important for the referee to be aware of this kind of mission consciousness. With each judgment, the referee gives something to one team and takes it away from the other. You cannot favour both teams at the same time, you have to be aware of that. For a referee, what is uplifting is when he feels he is been able to make a match better with his judgments. The difficulty of the profession, and at the same time the biggest challenge, is to lead prominent individuals along uniform aspects, while leaving the possibility for the individuals to assert themselves. There is a certain degree of desire in the referees, but only the referee who can control his own individuality can give up his ego when it is needed.”
I saw Sandor Puhl referee live 3 times. The first time was at Windsor Park on the 18 November 1992. My home nation team lost 1-0 to Denmark but as I left the ground that day, Sandor Puhl had a new fan. I saw him again at Wembley 3 years later, 15 November 1995 when he refereed a friendly between England and Switzerland. I worked at Wembley at the time and was on the security team detailed to the referee team. I had the chance to speak with him, a brief chat about refereeing and the difference between refereeing in a smaller nation like Hungary and a bigger nation like England. As I escorted him out of the ground post match, he gave me a signed copy of the match day programme. He was back at Wembley in June 1996, refereeing the Euro 1996 semi-final game between Germany and England. He remembered me from the year before and post match another signed match programme found itself my way. I had been due to work at Wembley for his next appearance there on 12 February 1997 in the England - Italy match; however a nasty accident a month earlier saw me still in hospital at the time. The day after the game one of my colleagues arrived at the hospital and gave me a match day programme signed by Mr. Puhl with a message of get well soon wishes. I never got to meet him again. Rest in peace, Sandor Puhl. Thank you for 50 years of service to refereeing. (Source: Hungarian Football)
UEFA Referees Committee chairman and former Italian international referee Roberto Rosetti paid a special tribute. “Sandor Puhl was my idol and my great friend,” he said. “He was a referee of immense talent, whose skills in handling players on the field and calm response to the pressures of refereeing major football occasions deservedly brought him recognition and renown at the highest levels of the European and world game. I have so much to thank Sandor for in my own career as a referee,” added Rosetti, who took charge of the UEFA Euro 2008 final between Germany and Spain in Vienna. “His constant advice and encouragement was invaluable in helping me to make progress, and it was always a great privilege to share his company. I am deeply saddened by his passing, and offer my sincere condolences to his family.” (Source: UEFA)