AFC Champions League Final 2021: Mohammed (UAE)

23 November 2021

Al Hilal – Pohang Steelers
Referee: Abdulla Mohammed (UAE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Adel Al-Naqbi (UAE)
Reserve AR: Ahmed Al-Rashdi (UAE)
VAR: Ammar Al-Jneibi (UAE)
AVAR: Omar Al Ali (UAE)

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 candidate Referee and VAR seminar

As preparations continue for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023, the first physical refereeing seminar in 20 months has been delivered in Qatar, following almost two years of cancellations and disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In attendance for the seminar in Doha, which blended theoretical and practical assessments, were 20 candidates for referee and 5 for video match official roles. The group – the majority of whom were attending a FIFA refereeing seminar for the first time – were made up of attendees from the AFC, CAF, CONCACAF and UEFA. The five-day seminar acted as FIFA’s refereeing department’s first opportunity to assess the new candidates for the tournament due to take place in Australia and New Zealand between 20 July and 20 August 2023. Candidates were put through their paces both in the classroom and on the training fields each day and, thanks to the help of 40 players provided by the Qatar Football Association, allowing them to replicate match situations in preparation for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, said that such seminars are always critical as – although much work has been carried out remotely during the pandemic – nothing can replace being on the pitch when it comes to training and preparation. “It’s crucial. Preparation is the only way to succeed in a competition for players, and referees also,” he said. “We must ensure we are at an elite level for every game, and the only way to do that is to work with them very closely up to the competition. The challenge we all faced was the pandemic. It was not possible to work with the referees in person as we would have liked because the risk to create a cluster was too high. We had to suspend all our activities, and unfortunately several tournaments were cancelled. Those tournaments would have been very important to have our referee candidates for both World Cups working with us. We had to deal with it. We had to cope – we tried to do as much as possible remotely. But now we are more than happy to be back in person and able to work not only in the classroom but also on the field of play.”
The seminar was led by Kari Seitz, FIFA Head of Women’s Refereeing, and the only person to officiate at four FIFA Women’s World Cups. Each day began in the classroom, with attendees asked to participate in various exercises and assessments analysing video footage. Each session began by focusing on a different area of officiating, including tactical fouls, challenges and handballs, among others. Although in regular cycles, such kick-off seminars would usually take place more than three years ahead of the tournament, the pandemic has meant the same preparation must be compressed into an 18-month period. Seitz said it was undoubtedly a challenge, but one she and her team are more than capable of navigating. She said: “There’s a lot of time lost. We are fortunate that in some parts of the world they have been able to have games. But events like this couldn’t be more important as we move forward and finally bring them together. We can see them physically and assess what level they are at; these are all things you have to see in person.” Although VAR was used for the first time at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, the pandemic and slow take-up among some national women’s leagues has led to a shortage of female VARs and AVARs. Of the 20 candidates on the Doha seminar, nine arrived at the seminar with no video refereeing experience. To help address this, Seitz and her team set up a complete simulation of elite-level VAR match conditions at the training site, with 12 specialist cameras installed. However, although providing the candidates with best-in-class training facilities and technologies, Seitz reiterated that while such seminars play a critical role in the development process, real-life experience is most important. She said FIFA continues to encourage member associations to up their commitments to expanding their roster of female video match officials. “We will be using VAR in 2023. We really hope and are working hard to bring women VARs,” she explained. “That is a very transformative idea because there is only one league that has women’s football with VAR right now, and it’s only a few games. While our women are working more in men’s football, which is wonderful to see, very few are involved in the VAR projects. FIFA is working very hard and encouraging the member associations to increase this number.”
Following the successful delivery of the event, both Collina and Seitz ended the week by reiterating the message that while significant progress has been made in all areas of developing the women’s game among players, the investments – in time and money – across the refereeing sector has been equally as impressive. The seminars’ schedule, frequencies, methods, and facilities are identical to those for male tournaments, with the department sharing one clear vision. “FIFA is doing something great in terms of promoting women’s football in general,” Collina continued. “The attention given to promoting women’s football is enormous. Refereeing is part of football, so we are also doing everything to improve the quality of refereeing in women’s competitions. In the future, there is a general target that we should not need to specify women’s refereeing or men’s refereeing; only refereeing, with no gender difference. If someone is good enough for a competition, it should not even be part of the conversation as to what gender they are.”

Source: FIFA

IFAB extending five-substitute rule

Various key footballing matters and proposals for potential Law changes were the focus of discussions at the FIFA-chaired virtual meeting of The IFAB’s Football and Technical Advisory Panels (FAP-TAP), at which particular attention was devoted to the temporary amendment to Law 3 – The Players. In May 2021, due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global football, The IFAB Board of Directors approved a further extension to the temporary amendment (introduced in May 2020) giving all top domestic and international competitions scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2022 the option of allowing teams to use up to five substitutes. Following a number of requests from confederations, associations, leagues and other key stakeholders for this option to be introduced permanently in the Laws of the Game (2022/23 edition), FAP-TAP today recommended that competitions should be able to decide on increasing the number of substitutes according to the needs of their football environment, while the current number of substitution opportunities (three plus half-time) should stay the same.
Another matter discussed at the meeting was a clarification for the next edition of the Laws of the Game, namely, to confirm that a goalkeeper must be on the goal line before a penalty kick (or kick from the penalty mark) is taken but is not penalised for then having one foot behind the goal line at the moment when the kick is taken.
Members also received an update on the early results of the global trial with additional permanent concussion substitutes, including initial statistics. As concussion incidents have occurred very rarely since the beginning of the trial in January 2021, it was recommended that the trial be extended beyond the initial end date (August 2022) to be able to gather more relevant data.
Furthermore, FIFA provided FAP-TAP with an update on future video assistant referee (VAR) innovations that could allow competitions with limited budgets to access and use VAR technology (VAR Light), and on the latest developments with new electronic performance and tracking system (EPTS) devices.
On CONMEBOL’s request to consider an increase of the half-time interval from 15 to 25 minutes, several members shared their concerns, particularly regarding the potential negative impact on player welfare and safety resulting from a longer period of inactivity.

Source: IFAB

CAF Women's Champions League 2021

Egypt, 5-19 November 2021

1. Salima Mukansanga (RWA)
2. Lidya Abebe (ETH)
3. Maria Rivet (MRI)
4. Karboubi Bouchra (MAR)
5. Ndidi Madu (NGA)
6. Vincentia Amedome (TOG)
7. Akhona Makalima (RSA)
8. Dorsaf Ganouati (TUN)
9. Shahenda El-Maghrabi (EGY)
10. Aissata Amadou (MTN)
11. Letticia Vianna (ESW)
12. Suavis Iratunga (BDI)

Assistant Referees
1. Bernadettar Kwimbira (MWI)
2. Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (MAD)
3. Queency Victoire (MRI)
4. Fatiha Jermoumi (MAR)
5. Carine Atezambong Fomo (CMR)
6. Fanta Kone (MLI)
7. Adia Cisse (SEN)
8. Yara Atef (EGY)
9. Mary Njoroge (KEN)
10. Mimisen Iyorhe (NGA)
11. Afine Houda (TUN)
12. Diana Chikotescha (ZAM)
13. Mona Mahmoud (EGY)

Source: CAF

FIFA referee suspended for two years

Referee Miguel Santivanez has received two years of suspension from the FPF Disciplinary Committee for having received an alleged bribe to favor Alianza Atletico. In addition to him, Juan Merino Aurich and Jose Luis Fernandez were punished for the same amount of time, as reported by radio Ovacion. They have not been able to carry out any activity related to football during the investigation.
In January of this year, a complaint rumbled to the foundations of the National Referees Committee. Jean Acevedo, president of Sport Chavelines, accused FIFA referee Miguel Santivanez of having been bribed to favor Alianza Atletico in the semi-finals of League 2. The 'Churres' won (4-2), then they beat Juan Aurich in the final and were promoted to League 1. “’El Capi’, whose last name is Fernandez, is involved with the referees in the Peruvian Cup. Four people are involved in the match-fixing between Chavelines and Alianza Atletico. I have proof. I received audios, WhatsApp messages... it has been something already planned. The one who negotiates with the referee asks him to finish it after 90 minutes so as not to suffer, because he already wanted to collect his money from the bets", said the manager. At the time, Santivanez was suspended and the CONAR began to investigate the case. After almost a year of investigations, the referee will end up serving a 2-year suspension. 

Source: El Comercio

CONMEBOL Libertadores Final 2021: Pitana (ARG)

27 November 2021

Palmeiras – Flamengo
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Fourth Official: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Reserve AR: Maximiliano Del Yesso (ARG)
VAR: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
AVAR 1: German Delfino (ARG)
AVAR 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
AVAR 3: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Referee Assessor: Dario Ubriaco (URU)
Referee Supervisor: Carlos Astroza (CHI)

Concacaf Champions League Final 2021: Hernandez (MEX)

28 October 2021

CF Monterrey – Club America
Referee: Fernando Hernandez (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Barwegen (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Karen Diaz (MEX)
Fourth Official: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
Reserve AR: Michel Morales (MEX)
VAR: Adonai Escobedo (MEX)
AVAR: Arturo Cruz (MEX)

UEFA Futsal Champions League 2021/2022 – Main Round

26-31 October 2021

Group 1 – Lucenec (SVK)
1. Trayan Enchev (BUL)
2. Grigori Ošomkov (EST)
3. Norbert Szilagyi (HUN)
4. Nicola Manzione (ITA, photo)
5. Ladislav Angyal (SVK)

Group 2 – Podčetrtek (SVN)
1. Juan Boelen (BEL)
2. Besar Beqiri (KOS)
3. Ingus Puriņš (LVA)
4. Iuri Neverov (RUS)
5. Azra Ahmetovic (SVN)

Group 3 – Kaunas (LTU)
1. Vedran Babic (CRO)
2. Šarūnas Tamulynas (LTU)
3. Tomasz Frak (POL)
4. Aleš Mocnik Peric (SVN)
5. Yaroslav Vovchok (UKR)

Group 4 – Rimini (ITA)
1. Javier Moreno Reina (ESP)
2. Vasilios Christodoulis (GRE)
3. Giovanni Zannola (ITA)
4. Vlad Ciobanu (ROU)
5. Murat Colak (TUR)

Group 5 – Gzira (MLT)
1. Jan Kresta (CZE)
2. Andrea Naudi (MLT)
3. Grigori Zelentsov (RUS)
4. David Schaerli (SUI)
5. Carl Hughes (WAL)

Group 6 – Ivano-Frankivsk (UKR)
1. Josip Barton (MKD)
2. Cristiano Santos (POR)
3. Dejan Veselic (SVN)
4. Ozan Soykan (TUR)
5. Denys Kutsyi (UKR)

Group 7 – Omis (CRO)
1. Mario Budimir (CRO)
2. Julien Lang (FRA)
3. Antonios Adamopoulos (GRE)
4. Viktor Bugenko (MDA)
5. Ibrahim El Jilali (NED)

Group 8 – Jablanica (BIH)
1. Maksim Dzeikala (BLR)
2. Pljevljak Jasenko (BIH)
3. Peter Nurse (ENG)
4. Eduards Fatkulins (LVA)
5. Marjan Mladenovski (MKD)

Referee received bullets in the mail

Ecuadorian referee Diego Lara received death threats through a package containing a letter and two 45 caliber bullets. These evidences are being investigated by the National Police, who it trying to clarify who sent the package and the threat.
These bullets would have been sent, supposedly, by the fans of 9 October, after LigaPro announced the appointment of referees for matchday 11 of the second stage, when Lara was assigned the game between 9 October and Orense. The leadership of the Guayaquil team had requested the change of referee, as they consider that Lara has harmed them in one of the matches disputed in 2021. The Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) and LigaPro showed their support to referee Diego Lara and his family after the threat received at his home.

FIFA Seminars for Prospective World Cup Referees

FIFA is hosting this week a seminar in Doha, Qatar, to prepare referees for the 2023 Women’s World Cup that will take place in Australia and New Zealand. This seminar will be attended by candidates from AFC, CAF and CONCACAF who have not already refereed at a World Cup. In addition, there will be women's VAR candidates from CONCACAF and UEFA to workshop the use of VAR. The seminar will run from 25 to 29 October 2021.

Referee Candidates

1. Casey Reibelt (AUS, 1988)
2. Mahsa Ghorbani (IRN, 1989)
3. Pansa Chaisanit (THA, 1987)
4. Bui Thu Trang (VIE, 1986)

1. Salima Mukansanga (RWA, 1988)
2. Lidya Tafesse Abebe (ETH, 1980)
3. Maria Rivet (MRI, 1984)
4. Bouchra Karboubi (MAR, 1986)
5. Ndidi Madu (NGA, 1987)
6. Vincentia Amedome (TOG, 1986)
7. Fatou Thioune (SEN, 1985)
8. Dorsaf Ganouati (TUN, 1984)
9. Akhona Makalima (RSA, 1989)

1. Marianela Araya (CRC, 1989)
2. Odette Hamilton (JAM, 1979)
3. Tatiana Guzman (NCA, 1985)
4. Katia Garcia (MEX, 1992)
5. Francia Gonzalez (MEX, 1986)
6. Ekaterina Koroleva (USA, 1987)
7. Tori Penso (USA, 1985)

VAR Candidates

1. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN, 1977)

1. Lada Rojc (CRO, 1974)
2. Sandra Braz Bastos (POR, 1978)

The candidates for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will travel next week to Doha, Qatar. The seminar for prospective referees from AFC, CAF, CONCACAF and OFC will run from 1 to 5 November 2021.

1. Christopher Beath (AUS, 1984)
2. Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, 1976)
3. Ma Ning (CHN, 1979)
4. Alireza Faghani (IRN 1978)
5. Ryuji Sato (JPN, 1977)
6. Adham Makhadmeh (JOR, 1986)
7. Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT, 1987)
8. Mohammed Abdulla (UAE, 1978)

1. Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, 1985)
2. Jean Ndala (COD, 1987)
3. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)
4. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
5. Redouane Jiyed (MAR, 1979)
6. Victor Gomes (RSA, 1982)
7. Maguette N’Diaye (SEN, 1986)
8. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, 1979)

Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC, 1986)
AR: Juan Mora (CRC, 1989)
Referee: Mario Escobar (GUA, 1986)
AR: Caleb Wales (TRI, 1988)
Referee: Said Martinez (HON, 1991)
AR: Walter Lopez (HON, 1978)
Referee: Fernando Hernandez (MEX, 1983)
AR: Michael Barwegen (CAN, 1986)
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX, 1983)
AR: Alberto Morin (MEX, 1980)
Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV, 1991)
AR: David Moran (SLV, 1985)
Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA, 1982)
AR: Corey Parker (USA, 1986)
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)
AR: Frank Anderson (USA, 1975)

1. Matthew Conger (NZL, 1978)
2. David Yereboinen (PNG, 1991)

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Qualifiers – UEFA (Matchday 4)

26 October 2021

Montenegro – Denmark
Referee: Olivia Tschon (AUT, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Biljana Iskin (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Lena Hirtl (AUT)
Fourth Official: Maria Ennsgraber (AUT)
Referee Assessor: Ante Vučemilović (CRO)

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Russia
Referee: Cristina Trandafir (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mihaela Țepușă (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Roxana Ivanov (ROU)
Fourth Official: Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU)
Referee Assessor: Bariş Şimşek (TUR)

North Macedonia – Luxembourg
Referee: Nadezhda Gorinova (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekaterina Kurochkina (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Iulia Petrova (RUS)
Fourth Official: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS)
Referee Assessor: Ladislav Gadoši (SVK)

Ukraine – Spain
Referee: Galia Echeva (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Yordanka Korcheva (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Mirela Ivanova (BUL)
Fourth Official: Kristina Georgieva (BUL)
Referee Assessor: Andreas Schluchter (SUI)

Azerbaijan – Malta
Referee: Reka Molnar (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Katalin Török (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Noemi Hegedüs-Barath (HUN)
Fourth Official: Reka Bognár (HUN)
Referee Assessor: Marina Mamaieva (RUS)

Armenia – Kosovo
Referee: Viola Raudziņa (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Diāna Vanaga-Araja (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marita Vitola (LVA)
Fourth Official: Laura Treimane (LVA)
Referee Assessor: Marco Borg (MLT)

Germany – Israel
Referee: Elvira Nurmustafina (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Nargıs Magay (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Dınara Idirisova (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Tatiana Sorokopydova (KAZ)
Referee Assessor: Paloma Quintero Siles (ESP)

Slovakia – Georgia
Referee: Lizzy van der Helm (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Franca Overtoom (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Martina Boer (NED)
Fourth Official: Marisca Overtoom (NED)
Referee Assessor: Hannes Kaasik (EST)

Bulgaria – Portugal
Referee: Ionela Peșu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruța Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniela Constantinescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Roxana Recorean (ROU)
Referee Assessor: Ivana Vlaić (BIH)

Kazakhstan – France
Referee: Melis Özçigdem (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Deybet Gök (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Betül Yilmaz (TUR)
Fourth Official: Gamze Durmuş Pakkan (TUR)
Referee Assessor: Aleksandr Gvardis (RUS)

Finland – Ireland
Referee: Alexandra Collin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Solenne Bartnik (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jennifer Maubacq (FRA)
Fourth Official: Emeline Rochebiliere (FRA)
Referee Assessor: Sofía Karagiorgi (CYP)

Lithuania – Italy
Referee: Jelena Medjedović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivana Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksandra Stojanac (SRB)
Fourth Official: Milica Milovanović (SRB)
Referee Assessor: Katarzyna Wierzbowska (POL)

Serbia – Turkey
Referee: Katalin Sipos (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anita Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Judit Gavalla-Kulcsar (HUN)
Fourth Official: Kata Tünde Balint (HUN)
Referee Assessor: Jens Larsen (DEN)

Belarus – Netherlands
Referee: Araksya Saribekyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Liana Grigoryan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Kristine Grigoryan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Artem Gasparyan (ARM)
Referee Assessor: Nadezhda Ulianovskaia (RUS)

Faroe Islands – Hungary
Referee: Minka Vekkeli (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tonja Weckström (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alisa Levälampi (FIN)
Fourth Official: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
Referee Assessor: Marte Soro (NOR)

Norway – Belgium
Referee: Rebecca Welch (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Natalie Aspinall (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lisa Rashid (ENG)
Fourth Official: Emily Heaslip (ENG)
Referee Assessor: Ana Minić (SRB)

Switzerland – Croatia
Referee: Frida Klarlund (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Sidsel Dall (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Anna Schmidt (DEN)
Fourth Official: Henrikke Nervik (NOR)
Referee Assessor: Wendy Toms (ENG)

Latvia – England
Referee: Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sęk (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Katarzyna Wojs (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulina Baranowska (POL)
Fourth Official: Ewa Augustyn (POL)
Referee Assessor: Knarik Grigoryan (ARM)

Poland – Albania
Referee: Simona Ghisletta (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Emilie Aubry (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Laetitia Nuara (SUI)
Fourth Official: Laura Mauricio (SUI)
Referee Assessor: Sjoukje de Jong (NED)

Northern Ireland – Austria
Referee: Marta Huerta de Aza (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Guadalupe Porras Ayuso (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Judit Romano Garcia (ESP)
Fourth Official: Beatriz Cuesta Arribas (ESP)
Referee Assessor: Ruud Bossen (NED)

Greece – Slovenia
Referee: Ivana Projkovska (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Vjolca Izeiri (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Vesna Spirkoska-Tofiloska (MKD)
Fourth Official: Angela Rajčevska (MKD)
Referee Assessor: Anelia Sinabova (BUL)

Wales – Estonia
Referee: Marta Frias Acedo (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Silvia Fernandez Perez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Marta Villanueva Benavente (ESP)
Fourth Official: Beatriz Arregui Gamir (ESP)
Referee Assessor: Calum Murray (SCO)

Iceland – Cyprus
Referee: Anastasia Romaniuk (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Marina Striletska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Svitlana Hrushko (UKR)
Fourth Official: Kristina Kozoroh (UKR)
Referee Assessor: Ian Stokes (IRL)

Australian top referees on strike

Former FIFA referee Matthew Breeze has called on Football Australia to stop treating match officials as an “inconvenience” and give them the same respect that’s awarded to players and coaches. With less than a month to go until the start of the men’s A-League season, Australia’s top referees remain on strike.
The Professional Football Referees Association of the Australia made the decision to strike after the FA’s failure to renew the contract of the A-League referees’ leadership and coaching department led to match officials having “no direction, coaching/instruction, and no fitness coaching” for three months. Industrial action was also taken due to referees being uncontracted and the “unfair” removal of some PFRA members from the A-League men’s and women’s panels “without any due process or warning”. FA has since advertised head of referees and coaching positions, but Breeze – a two-time A-League referee of the year who was on the FIFA list from 2001 to 2012 – said such appointments had been too late. “None of the referee coaches, referee assessors, or administrative positions are even up and running or close to being established and that’s what concerns me as a former referee and a football fan,” said 49-year-old Breeze, now a barrister. “I’ve been around football and refereeing since I was 13 years of age and it’s been a constant problem where referees are to be an inconvenience and the last issue to be resolved and dealt with, as opposed to an integral part of the game that needs development and nurturing. The players get it, the coaches get it, but it just seems to me, from what I understand of it, they’ve forgotten about the referees.”
Breeze said the current absence of proper coaching and training for referees was damaging. “Such coaching and training is critical, and it’s exactly the same as players and coaches,” he said. “There’s a pre-season program that should be put in place all around physical preparation and mental preparation, and updating on the laws of the game, and getting their head around all the new VAR developments. I know the current referees are supremely professional and they’ll get it done, but the last thing they need to be worried about is who’s going to coach them this year, where are they going to train and what’s their employment status.” Due to the PFRA strike, current FFA Cup games and A-League trials are being officiated by non-PFRA members and NPL referees. “Sure, there’s always been talk about the development of younger referees or up and coming referees, but they also need experienced people around,” Breeze said. “If there’s a drama or an injury, or something gets out of hand at Cup game or a trial, they’re going to pointing the finger at a kid who might be refereeing out of his experience zone, and the referees are going to cop it.”

CONMEBOL Sudamericana Final 2021: Matonte (URU)

20 November 2021

Athletico Paranaense – Red Bull Bragantino
Referee: Andres Matonte (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Soppi (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Barreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Reserve AR: Andres Nievas (URU)
VAR: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
AVAR 1: Victor Carrillo (PER)
AVAR 2: Nicolas Taran (URU)
AVAR 3: Juan Soto (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)
Referee Supervisor: Enrique Caceres (PAR)

Adidas 22 referee uniforms available in December

Named Adidas Referee 22, the new Adidas has a traditional yet modern design for referee jersey. It comes with a centered Adidas logo and two pockets. What makes the new Adidas 2022 referee shirt interesting is a stripe design that goes from the collar to the back of the jersey, which looks a bit like a backpack belt. 
Features-wise, the Adidas Referee 22 jersey comes with Adidas' Aeroready replica kit technology and will be available in five colours: App Solar Red, Bright Yellow, Black, Purple Rush, and Mint Rush. The new Adidas 2022 referee uniforms will be available from 1 December 2021, retailing at 60 USD. The Adidas Referee 22 jersey will be used in the 2022 World Cup, the 22-23 Bundesliga, and other competitions in which referee uniforms are supplied by Adidas. It may be used until 2026.

FIFA Referees Committee: Andino replaced by Caceres

At the FIFA Council meeting no. 17, held virtually yesterday, FIFA replaced Paraguayan Amelio Andino with his countryman Enrique Caceres (photo), as a CONMEBOL representative in the Referees Committee.
Both Andino and Caceres are former World Cup match officials. Amelio Andino, 58, was an assistant referee at the FIFA World Cup 2006, FIFA Confederations Cup 2005, Olympic Games 2004, Copa America 2007. Enrique Caceres, 46, refereed at the FIFA World Cup 2018, Copa America 2015 and 2016, FIFA Club World Cup 2016, FIFA U-17 World Cups 2015 and final 2017, Copa Libertadores finals 2016 and 2017, Recopa Sudamericana 2018. Caceres has recently been responsible for the VAR development in CONMEBOL.


FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Qualifiers – UEFA (Matchday 3)

21-23 October 2021

Albania – Armenia
Referee: Maria Marotta (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Francesca Di Monte (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Tiziana Trasciatti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Martina Molinaro (ITA)
Referee Assessor: Nicolae Grigorescu (ROU)

Montenegro – Azerbaijan
Referee: Kristina Georgieva (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekaterina Marinova (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Pavleta Rashkova (BUL)
Fourth Official: Hristiana Guteva (BUL)
Referee Assessor: Ana Minić (SRB)

Russia – Malta
Referee: Miriama Matulova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: František Ferenc (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Lenka Pavlačkova (SVK)
Fourth Official: Martin Dohal (SVK)
Referee Assessor: Ivana Vlaić (BIH)

Georgia – Finland
Referee: Liudmila Telbukh (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Svitlana Hrushko (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Irina Chayka (UKR)
Fourth Official: Sofiya Prychyna (UKR)
Referee Assessor: Christine Frai (GER)

Latvia – North Macedonia
Referee: Frederikke Sokjaer (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Sidsel Dall (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Anna Schmidt (DEN)
Fourth Official: Frida Klarlund (DEN)
Referee Assessor: Claudine Brohet (BEL)

Turkey – Bulgaria
Referee: Jurgita Mačikunyte (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Irina Pozdejeva (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gerda Eidinzonaite (LTU)
Fourth Official: Lina Skladaityte (LTU)
Referee Assessor: Plarent Kotherja (ALB)

Ukraine – Faroe Islands
Referee: Tatiana Sorokopidova (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Nargıs Magay (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Dinara Idirisova (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Elvira Nurmustafina (KAZ)
Referee Assessor: Knarik Grigoryan (ARM)

Denmark – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: Veronika Kovarova (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zuzana Špindlerova (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Věra Soukupova (CZE)
Fourth Official: Tereza Holakovska (CZE)
Referee Assessor: Gunnar Jonsson (ISL)

Israel – Germany
Referee: Tanja Subotič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Helena Buh (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Slađana Jovičič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Tjaša Misja (SVN)
Referee Assessor: Leondios Trattou (CYP)

Portugal – Serbia
Referee: Ewa Augustyn (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Paulina Baranowska (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Katarzyna Wasiak (POL)
Fourth Official: Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sęk (POL)
Referee Assessor: Paloma Quintero Siles (ESP)

Poland – Norway
Referee: Jana Adamkova (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Lucie Ratajova (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Tereza Hessova (CZE)
Fourth Official: Helena Šalkova (CZE)
Referee Assessor: Nadezhda Ulianovskaia (RUS)

Ireland – Sweden
Referee: Deborah Anex (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Emilie Aubry (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Rahel Hasler (SUI)
Fourth Official: Laura Mauricio (SUI)
Referee Assessor: Wendy Toms (ENG)

Belgium – Kosovo
Referee: Jelena Kumer (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Gordana Katušić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Barbara Vidović-Volenik (CRO)
Fourth Official: Jelena Pejković (CRO)
Referee Assessor: John Ferry (NIR)

Kazakhstan – Greece
Referee: Marina Krupskaia (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekaterina Kurochkina (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Iulia Petrova (RUS)
Fourth Official: Liubov Tarbeieva (RUS)
Referee Assessor: Anja Kunick (GER)

Italy – Croatia
Referee: Petra Pavlikova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Maria Sukenikova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivana Alezarova (SVK)
Fourth Official: Maria Krčova (SVK)
Referee Assessor: Marina Mamaieva (RUS)

Austria – Luxembourg
Referee: Zoi Stavrou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Despina Dimosthenous (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Angeliki Athanasopoulou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Marianna Pisiara (CYP)
Referee Assessor: Sjoukje De Jong (NED)

Switzerland – Romania
Referee: Riem Hussein (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Christina Biehl (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Melissa Joos (GER)
Fourth Official: Angelika Söder (GER)
Referee Assessor: Vencel Toth (HUN)

Slovenia – Wales
Referee: Lovisa Johansson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Josefin Aronsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Emelie Elfstrand (SWE)
Fourth Official: Sara Wiinikka (SWE)
Referee Assessor: Dimitar Mečkarovski (MKD)

Scotland – Hungary
Referee: Maria Ferrieri Caputi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Vettorel (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Veronica Martinelli (ITA)
Fourth Official: Deborah Bianchi (ITA)
Referee Assessor: Aušra Kance (LTU)
Iceland – Czech Republic
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Heini Hyvönen (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jenni Paavolainen (FIN)
Fourth Official: Sini Hakala (FIN)
Referee Assessor: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)

Cyprus – Netherlands
Referee: Triinu Vaher (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Anni Rahula (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Helen Käosaar (EST)
Fourth Official: Luisa Klaar (EST)
Referee Assessor: Katarzyna Wierzbowska (POL)

France – Estonia
Referee: Abigail Byrne (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Lisa Rashid (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Emily Carney (ENG)
Fourth Official: Kirsty Dowle (ENG)
Referee Assessor: Cyril Zimmermann (SUI)

England – Northern Ireland
Referee: Ivana Martinčić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sanja Rodjak-Karšić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Maja Petravić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Jelena Pejković (CRO)
Referee Assessor: Georgios Bikas (GRE)

UEFA Women’s Futsal Euro 2022 Qualifiers – Main Round

20-24 October 2021

Group 1 – Minsk
1. Jiri Bergs (BEL, photo)
2. Mikhail Prokhorov (BLR)
3. Mislav Džeko (CRO)
4. Arttu Kyynaeraeinen (FIN)
5. Aslan Galayev (KAZ)

Group 2 – Karlovac
1. Ivo Tsenov (BUL)
2. Dino Kramar (CRO)
3. Peter Zimonyi (HUN)
4. Florentina Kallaba (KOS)
5. Yevhen Hordiienko (UKR)

Group 3 – Lviv
1. Knyaz Amiraslanov (AZE)
2. Farik Keco (BIH)
3. Aurelien Uzan (FRA)
4. Rastislav Behancin (SVK)
5. Andrii Kuzmin (UKR)

Group 4 – Halmstad
1. Arman Alaberkyan (ARM)
2. Mantas Pomeckis (LTU)
3. Nikola Rabrenović (SRB)
4. Abdelmasih Gergess (SWE)
5. Valentin Ciuplea (WAL)

UEFA Europa Conference League 2021/22 – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

21 October 2021

HJK Helsinki – Maccabi Tel Aviv
Referee: Pavel Orel (CZE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomas Mokrusch (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Radek Kotik (CZE)
Fourth Official: Jan Machalek (CZE)
Referee Observer: David Malcolm (NIR)

Alashkert FC – LASK
Referee: Jens Maae (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Victor Skytte (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesper Dahl (DEN)
Fourth Official: Morten Krogh (DEN)
Referee Observer: Goran Mihaljević (MNE)

Anorthosis Famagusta – Flora Tallinn
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Istvan Albert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ferenc Karako (HUN)
Referee Observer: Petteri Kari (FIN)

Bodo Glimt – AS Roma
Referee: Ali Palabiyik (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Serkan Olguncan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ali Ogel (TUR)
Fourth Official: Erkan Ozdamar (TUR)
Referee Observer: Karel Vidlak (CZE)

Feyenoord – Union Berlin
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Levan Varamishvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Fourth Official: Davit Kharitonashvili (GEO)
Referee Observer: Milan Karadžić (SRB)

Maccabi Haifa – Slavia Praha
Referee: Adam Farkas (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balasz Szert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Balasz Szalai (HUN)
Fourth Official: Peter Solymosi (HUN)
Referee Observer: Christos Nicolaides (CYP)

FC Copenhagen – PAOK FC
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jo De Weirdt (BEL)
Fourth Official: Nathan Verboomen (BEL)
Referee Observer: Sergejus Slyva (LTU)

Vitesse – Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Harm Osmers (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Kempter (GER)
Fourth Official: Robert Schröder (GER)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

NS Mura – Stade Rennais
Referee: Volen Chinkov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Georgi Todorov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Deniz Sokolov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Nikola Popov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Vadims Direktorenko (LVA)

Qarabag Agdam – Kairat Almaty
Referee: Yevhenii Aranovskyi (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Semen Shlonchak (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrii Skrypka (UKR)
Fourth Official: Vitalii Romanov (UKR)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

FK Partizan – KAA Gent
Referee: Robert Madden (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David Roome (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Fourth Official: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Referee Observer: Georgi Yordanov (BUL)

CSKA Sofia – Zorya Luhansk
Referee: Manuel Schuttengruber (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Fourth Official: Walter Altmann (AUT)
Referee Observer: Michalis Argyrou (CYP)

CFR Cluj – AZ Alkmaar
Referee: Halis Ozkahya (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ceyhun Sesiguzel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Cevdet Komurcuoglu (TUR)
Fourth Official: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

FK Jablonec – Randers FC
Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zeynal Zeynalov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Akif Amirali (AZE)
Fourth Official: Elchin Masiyev (AZE)
Referee Observer: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)

Slovan Bratislava – Lincoln Red Imps
Referee: Vilhjalmur Thorarinsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Gylfi Sigurdsson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Birkir Sigurdarson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Helgi Jonasson (ISL)
Referee Observer: Augustus Constantin (ROU)

FC Basel – Omonia FC 
Referee: Stepanie Frappart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mikael Berchebru (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Fourth Official: Johan Hamel (FRA)
Referee Observer: Orhan Erdemir (TUR)

UEFA Europa League 2021/2022 – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

19-21 October 2021

Celtic FC – Ferencvarosi TC
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (DEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Heine Sørensen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Sandi Putros (DEN)
VAR: Jerôme Brisard (FRA)
AVAR: Eric Wattellier (FRA)
Referee Observer: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)

Spartak Moskva – Leicester City
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Aristotelis Diamantopoulos (GRE)
VAR: Ioannis Papadopoulos (GRE)
AVAR: Angelos Evangelou (GRE)
Referee Observer: Asim Khudiyev (AZE)

Fenerbahçe SK – Royal Antwerp
Referee: Sergei Ivanov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Roman Usachev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Fourth Official: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)
VAR: Vladimir Moskalev (RUS)
AVAR: Alexei Lunev (RUS)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

Lazio – Olympique de Marseille
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Dietz (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Dominik Schaal (GER)
Fourth Official: Martin Petersen (GER)
VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
AVAR: Fedayi San (SUI)
Referee Observer: Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez (ESP)

FC Midtjylland – Crvena Zvezda
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: David Bitton (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Sagy Metzamber (ISR)
Fourth Official: Daniel Natan (ISR)
VAR: Orel Grinfeeld (ISR)
AVAR: David Fuxman (ISR)
Referee Observer: Kostadin Gerginov (BUL)

PFC Ludogorets – SC Braga
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Silver Koiv (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Sten Klaasen (EST)
Fourth Official: Juri Frischer (EST)
VAR: Dennis Higler (NED)
AVAR: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Referee Observer: Ferenc Szekely (HUN)

Real Betis – Bayer Leverkusen
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jakub Winkler (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Bartosz Heinig (POL)
Fourth Official: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Referee Observer: Neale Barry (ENG)

Rapid Wien – GNK Dinamo
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Maryna Striletska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Viktor Matyash (UKR)
Fourth Official: Denys Shurman (UKR)
VAR: Felix Zwayer (GER)
AVAR: Mykola Balakin (UKR)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Rangers FC – Brondby IF
Referee: Fran Jovic (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Hrvoje Radic (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Luka Pusic (CRO)
Fourth Official: Mario Zebec (CRO)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Referee Observer: Edgar Steinborn (GER)

Sparta Praha – Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Zunic (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Fourth Official: David Smajc (SVN)
VAR: Slavko Vincic (SVN)
AVAR: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

PSV Eindhoven – AS Monaco
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefano Alassio (ITA)
Fourth Official: Luca Pairetto (ITA)
VAR: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
AVAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Sergei Zuev (RUS)

Sturm Graz – Real Sociedad
Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Fourth Official: Florian Badstübner (GER)
VAR: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
AVAR: Günter Perl (GER)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

SSC Napoli – Legia Warszawa
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Willy Delajod (FRA)
Referee Observer: Vitor Melo Pereira (POR)

Eintracht Frankfurt – Olympiacos FC
Referee: Tiago Martins (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Pintos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Mota (POR)
Fourth Official: Helder Malheiro (POR)
VAR: Joao Pinheiro (POR)
AVAR: Luis Godinho (POR)
Referee Observer: Sabri Celik (TUR)

Lokomotiv Moskva – Galatasaray AS
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Fourth Official: Markus Hameter (AUT)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR: Paul Tierney (ENG)
Referee Observer: Dejan Filipović (SRB)

West Ham United – KRC Genk
Referee: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksandr Radius (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Fourth Official: Robertas Valikonis (LTU)
VAR: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetchea (ESP)
AVAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Referee Observer: Juan Fernandez Marin (ESP)

Concacaf League 2021 – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

20-21 October 2021

Santos – Forge
Referee: Reon Radix (GRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Wasnah Barnarde (ATG)
Assistant Referee 2: Kevon Clarke (BRB)
Fourth Official: Oshane Nation (JAM)

Saprissa – Comunicaciones
Referee: Selvin Brown (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Roney Salinas (HON)
Fourth Official: Melvin Matamoros (HON)

Marathon – Motagua
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Tipaz (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Humberto Panjoj (GUA)
Fourth Official: Bryan Lopez (GUA)

FIFA Arab Cup 2021

Qatar, 30 November - 18 December 2021

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abdolfazli (IRN)

Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)

1. Abdulla Al-Marri (QAT)
2. Shaun Evans (AUS)
3. Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)

Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Noupue (CMR)

Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)

1. Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
2. Ibrahim El-Said (EGY)

Referee: Fernando Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Barwegen (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Karen Diaz (MEX)

Referee: Said Martinez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Lopez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)

1. Adonai Escobedo (MEX)
2. Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
3. Jair Marrufo (USA)

Referee: Andres Matonte (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Soppi (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Barreiro (URU)

Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)

Referee: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)

1. Eber Aquino (PAR)
2. Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
3. Juan Soto (VEN)
4. Rafael Traci (BRA)

Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bernard Mutukera (SOL)

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)

Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Gittelmann (GER)

1. Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
2. Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
3. Christian Dingert (GER)
4. Fabio Maresca (ITA)

AFC Champions League 2021 – Semi-finals

West Region (19 October 2021)

Al Nassr – Al Hilal
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: George Lakrindis (AUS)
Fourth Official: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)
VAR: Shaun Evans (AUS)

East Region (20 October 2021)

Ulsan Hyundai – Pohang Steelers
Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Saoud Al Adba (QAT)
VAR: Khamis Al Marri (QAT)

UEFA Champions League 2021/2022 – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

19 October 2021
Club Brugge – Manchester City
Referee: Istvan Kovacs (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ovidiu Artene (ROU)
Fourth Official: Marian Barbu (ROU)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR: Fedayi San (SUI)
Referee Observer: Lutz-Michael Fröhlich (GER)

Beşiktaş JK  Sporting CP
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Rade Obrenović (SVN)
VAR: Matej Jug (SVN)
AVAR: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Referee Observer: Sokol Jareci (ALB)

Paris St. Germain – RB Leipzig
Referee: Marco Guida (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ciro Carbone (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giorgio Peretti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Fabio Maresca (ITA)
VAR: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
AVAR: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Referee Observer: David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP)

FC Porto – AC Milan
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Fourth Official: Daniel Schlager (GER)
VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
AVAR: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)

Atletico de Madrid – Liverpool FC
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Lasse Koslowski (GER)
Fourth Official: Sven Jablonski (GER)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR: Willy Delajod (FRA)
Referee Observer: Terje Hauge (NOR)

AFC Ajax – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Inigo Prieto Lopez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Angel Nevado Rodriguez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jose Munuera Montero (ESP)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoechea (ESP)
Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO)

Inter Milano – Sheriff Tiraspol
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan de Vries (NED)
Fourth Official: Joey Kooij (NED)
VAR: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
AVAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

Shakhtar Donetsk – Real Madrid
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Novak Simović (SRB)
VAR: Christian Dingert (GER)
AVAR: Harm Osmers (GER)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

20 October 2021
FC Barcelona – Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official: Jeremie Pignard (FRA)
VAR: Willy Delajod (FRA)
AVAR: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)

FC Salzburg – VfL Wolfsburg
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Boško Jovanetić (SRB)

SL Benfica – Bayern München
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Marcel Birsan (ROU)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

BSC Young Boys – Villarreal CF
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Igor Demeshko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maksim Gavirlin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
VAR: Vitali Meshkov (RUS)
AVAR: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
Referee Observer: Costas Kapitanis (CYP)

Manchester United – Atalanta BC
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Tomasz Musial (POL)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
Referee Observer: Jorn West Larsen (DEN)

LOSC Lille – Sevilla FC
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Peter Bennett (ENG)
Fourth Official: David Coote (ENG)
VAR: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
AVAR: Paul Tierney (ENG)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

FC Zenit – Juventus
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephane De Almeida (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)
Fourth Official: Alain Bieri (SUI)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR: Fedayi San (SUI)
Referee Observer: Emil Bozhinovski (MKD)

Chelsea FC – Malmö FF
Referee: François Letexier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Mugnier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mehdi Rahmouni (FRA)
Fourth Official: Thomas Leonard (FRA)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

UEFA Youth League 2021/2022 – Domestic Champions Path, Round 1 (Second Leg)

19-20 October 2021

KRC Genk – FC Köln
Referee: Robert Jenkins (WAL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Bird (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Connor Thomas (WAL)
Fourth Official: Kevin Debeuckelaere (BEL)
Referee Observer: Helmut Fleischer (GER)

Akademia e Futbollit – Septemvri Sofia
Referee: Igor Stojčevski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Goce Petreski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Slagan Markoski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Olsion Yzeiraj (ALB)
Referee Observer: Albano Janku (ALB)

FC Midtjylland – Rosenborg BK
Referee: Keith Kennedy (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jamie Carnduff (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: John Doherty (NIR)
Referee Observer: Jan Carlsen (DEN)

AZ Alkmaar – Qabala IK
Referee: Dario Bel (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Tomas (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Kruno Šarić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Erwin Blank (NED)
Referee Observer: Rien Koopman (NED)

FC Minsk – BFC Daugavpils
Referee: Henrik Nalbandyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Atom Sevgulyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Sargis Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Anton Lašuk (BLR)
Referee Observer: Alieh Čykun (BLR)

Qairat Almaty – Apoel FC
Referee: Ion Orlic (MDA)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasilie Ermișchin (MDA)
Assistant Referee 2: Natalia Ceban (MDA)
Fourth Official: Daniyar Sahi (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Pavel Saliy (KAZ)

Trabzonspor – FK Zvijezda
Referee: Georgi Davidov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Georgi Doynov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Petar Dzhuganski (BUL)
Fourth Official: Bülent Birincioğlu (TUR)
Referee Observer: Erol Ersoy (TUR)

Sparta Praha – MTK Budapest
Referee: Luka Bilbija (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Amer Macić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Damir Lazić (BIH)
Fourth Official: Tomáš Klíma (CZE)
Referee Observer: Michal Beneš (CZE)

Maccabi Haifa – Žalgiris Vilnius
Referee: Emmanouil Skoulas (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Konstantinos Nikolaidis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Meintanas (GRE)
Fourth Official: Idan Leiba (ISR)
Referee Observer: Shmuel Shteif (ISR)

MŠK Žilina – PAOK FC
Referee: Dzmitryj Dzmitryjeu (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dzianis Jemialjančykau (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Siarhiej Firynovič (BLR)
Fourth Official: Michal Očenaš (SVK)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Medved (SVK)

Hajduk Split – KF Shkendija
Referee: Christian Ciochirca (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Santino Schreiner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Obritzberger (AUT)
Fourth Official: Ante Jurić (CRO)
Referee Observer: Draženko Kovačić (CRO)

Crvena Zvezda – Saint Patrick's Athletic
Referee: Manfredas Lukjančukas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Edgaras Bučinskas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gevork Arakelian (LTU)
Fourth Official: Milan Stefanović (SRB)
Referee Observer: Zoran Petrović (SRB)

Angers SCO – AFK Csikszereda
Referee: Nikolas Neokleous (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Giorgos Savva (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefanos Anastasiou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Lepaysant (FRA)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Empoli FC – NK Domžale
Referee: Gergő Bogar (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Garai (HUN)
Fourth Official: Manuel Volpi (ITA)
Referee Observer: Stefano Podeschi (SMR)

Hammarby Fotboll – Rangers FC
Referee: Kristoffer Hagenes (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Anders Dale (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Christer Jorgensen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Enzo Vesprini (SWE)
Referee Observer: Martin Hansson (SWE)

Deportivo La Coruna – Pogon Szczecin
Referee: Bram Van Driessche (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Yves De Neve (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Mathias Hillaert (BEL)
Fourth Official: Alexandre Lopez Vila (ESP)
Referee Observer: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)

UEFA Youth League 2021/2022 – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

19-20 October 2021

Club Brugge – Manchester City
Referee: Antonio Nobre (POR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Luciano Maia (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nelson Pereira (POR)
Fourth Official: Jordy Vermeire (BEL)
Referee Observer: Guy Goethals (BEL)

Shakhtar Donetsk – Real Madrid
Referee: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Sara Telek (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Pichler (AUT)
Fourth Official: Klym Zabroda (UKR)
Referee Observer: Volodymyr Petrov (UKR)

Beşiktaş JK – Sporting CP
Referee: Peter Kjaersgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Dennis Rasmussen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakob Mastrup (DEN)
Fourth Official: Çağdaş Altay (TUR)
Referee Observer: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

AFC Ajax – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Kristoffer Karlsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Niclas Ivarsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcus Klitte (SWE)
Fourth Official: Clay Ruperti (NED)
Referee Observer: Rene Temmink (NED)

Inter Milano – Sheriff Tiraspol
Referee: Lukas Fähndrich (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonas Erni (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Guillaume Maire (SUI)
Fourth Official: Giovanni Ayroldi (ITA)
Referee Observer: Antonio Damato (ITA)

Paris St. Germain – RB Leipzig
Referee: Duje Strukan (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Goran Perica (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alen Jakšić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Romain Lissorgue (FRA)
Referee Observer: Stephane Lannoy (FRA)

FC Porto – AC Milan

Referee: Iwan Griffith (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Johnathon Bryant (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Davis (WAL)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Correia (POR)
Referee Observer: Lucilio Batista (POR)

Atletico de Madrid – Liverpool FC
Referee: Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Kolev (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Miroslav Maksimov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Pedro Munoz Piedra (ESP)
Referee Observer: Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP)

FC Zenit – Juventus
Referee: Amine Kourgheli (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Juryj Chomčanka (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Viktar Hiecikaŭ (BLR)
Fourth Official: Yan Bobrovskiy (RUS)
Referee Observer: Yuri Baskakov (RUS)

Chelsea FC – Malmö FF
Referee: Kari a Hovdanum (FRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Marner Olsen (FRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jogvan Breckmann (FRO)
Fourth Official: Carl Brook (ENG)
Referee Observer: Kenneth Clark (SCO)

FC Barcelona – Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Florian Lemaire (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Quentin Lesceux (BEL)
Fourth Official: David Lopez Jimenez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Salustia Chato Cipres (AND)

Manchester United – Atalanta BC
Referee: Filip Glova (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Poláček (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Patrik Kmec (SVK)
Fourth Official: Anthony Backhouse (ENG)
Referee Observer: Stephen Lodge (ENG)

FC Salzburg – VfL Wolfsburg
Referee: Ondřej Pechanec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hurych (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Dan Vodražka (CZE)
Fourth Official: Stefan Ebner (AUT)
Referee Observer: Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT)

LOSC Lille – Sevilla FC
Referee: Jorgen Burchardt (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Niels Hog (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Deniz Yurdakul (DEN)
Fourth Official: Bastien Dechepy (FRA)
Referee Observer: Alain Sars (FRA)

SL Benfica – Bayern München
Referee: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Engan (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ole Haukasen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Andre Narciso (POR)
Referee Observer: Joao Ferreira (POR)

BSC Young Boys – Villarreal CF
Referee: Joonas Jaanovits (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Neeme Neemlaid (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Thor Vaas (EST)
Fourth Official: Johannes von Mandach (SUI)
Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)

UEFA chief refereeing officer to meet with FIFA and IFAB over offside rule

The chief refereeing officer of UEFA has met with FIFA and the International Football Association Board to discuss the offside rule.
Offside has been a debatable subject and was raised again following Mbappe's controversial goal during France's Nations League final win against Spain. Mbappe was originally standing in an offside position, however, he was adjudged to be onside after Spain defender Eric Garcia got a slight touch on the ball after trying to intercept Theo Hernandez's pass, which allowed the Frenchman to go on and slot the ball home. The winner was met with confusion all around the world and the head of UEFA's referees, Roberto Rossetti, has admitted that clarification is needed on the rules as well. Rosetti said: “Anthony Taylor made a correct decision based on the existing law and its official interpretation. The player [Garcia] deliberately intervened to play the ball and the opponent [Mbappe] was not interfering with play. However, this case shows us that the current interpretation of the law appears to be in conflict with the spirit of the law itself, which is to prevent any player from taking advantage from their offside position. UEFA’s stance is that there are ways to improve the wording to bring it into line with the aim of the offside law and of the spirit of the game.” The Italian then confirmed that he had made contact with both FIFA and the IFAB to discuss the controversy and the ways to resolve the problem at the IFAB's upcoming technical advisory panel meeting.

Source: Joe

IOC supports the calls for a wider consultation on FIFA’s World Cup plans and shares concerns

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) takes note of FIFA’s plans to change the football competition schedule and to hold the World Cup every two years. A number of International Federations (IFs) of other sports, national football federations, clubs, players, players associations and coaches have expressed strong reservations and concerns regarding the plans to generate more revenue for FIFA, mainly for the following reasons:
- Impact on other sports – The increased frequency and timing for the World Cup would create a clash with other major international sports. This includes tennis, cycling, golf, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, Formula 1 and many others. This would undermine the diversity and development of sports other than football.
- Gender equality – The increase in men’s events in the calendar would create challenges for the further promotion of women’s football.
- Players’ welfare – The plans, in particular the doubling in the frequency of the World Cup, would create a further massive strain on the physical and mental health of the players.
The IOC shares these concerns and supports the calls of stakeholders of football, International Sports Federations and major event organisers for a wider consultation, including with athletes’ representatives, which has obviously not taken place.

Source: IOC

AFC Champions League 2021 – Quarter-finals

West Region (16 October 2021)

Al Wadha – Al Nassr
Referee: Ma Ning (CHN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Cao Yi (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Shi Xiang (CHN)
Fourth Official: Ali Al Qaysi (IRQ)
VAR: Fu Ming (CHN)

Persepolis FC – Al Hilal
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Fourth Official: Hanna Hattab (SYR)
VAR: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)

East Region (17 October 2021)

Pohang Steelers – Nagoya Grampus
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Saoud Al Adba (QAT)
VAR: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)

Jeonbuk Motors – Ulsan Hyundai
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Suqatari (UAE)
Fourth Official: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
VAR: Ammar Al Jneibi (UAE)

From Tahiti to World Cup

As Tahiti’s Tiki Toa starred on beach soccer’s biggest stage with a courageous run at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021 last month, the nation was also represented in the tournament’s match official ranks thanks to Aurélien Planchais-Godefroy. The 40-year-old referee, who hails from Faa’a, earned five appointments at his first World Cup, including being selected as first referee for the Group A match between Japan v USA. “My experience was crazy. I never thought that it was possible,” Planchais-Godefroy said. “In Tahiti beach soccer is very popular and it was an honour to represent my country at the World Cup. I felt great pride after each match as I received messages of congratulations and encouragement from the referees of Tahiti, my friends and my family.”
A football referee since 2014, Planchais-Godefroy took up beach soccer officiating in 2016 and officiated at both the OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup and Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup in 2019. While he headed to Moscow, Russia, on August 12 for the World Cup, Planchais-Godefroy’s preparations began months earlier in May and included taking part in virtual conferences organised by FIFA, which focussed on the technical aspect of match officiating. “That part was sometimes difficult because it was in the early hours of the morning for me in Tahiti (2am-5am) and in English, which is not my first language,” Planchais-Godefroy said. “During the first week in Moscow we worked hard with FIFA instructors. We had the best conditions to work in. There was good spirit between all of the referees. I learned lots from experienced referees like Sofien Benchabane (France) and Gionni Matticoli (Italy) and I met some really good guys. Now I hope to be able to share my experience with young referees in Tahiti.”
OFC Head of Refereeing Kevin Stoltenkamp acknowledged the hard work of Planchais-Godefroy, which ensured he was ready to officiate at the highest level despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. “With no OFC beach soccer events able to be held since 2019 due to the pandemic, it’s a credit to Aurélien that he had the commitment, dedication, professionalism and drive to continue on with his training and ensure he was mentally and physically prepared to perform,” Stoltenkamp said. “The chance to be part of a World Cup was a great reward for this outstanding match official.”

Source: OFC

Referee attacked with knife in Spain

At the end of the match between the Mallorcan teams of Collerense and Rotlet Molinar, in the Third Division, a fan jumped onto the pitch and went after the referee, threatening him with a knife and uttering all kinds of insults and threats, trying to stab him in the abdomen.
Before the intervention of several people who had seen the attempted attack, the man fled the field by running, according to the account that eyewitnesses told the police. The agents carried out raids in the area and arrested a man who matched the description as the alleged perpetrator. The court on duty has issued a restraining order from any football field for the aggressor.

Source: IB3

Venegas: "We were running toward the stadium and security would not let us in before the 2016 Olympic semi-final"

The refereeing career of Lucila Venegas almost ended before it really even started. As a college student in her native Mexico, Venegas was convinced by a friend to give refereeing a try. After slightly bending the truth about her level of experience and equipped with a copy of the Laws of the Game, Venegas blew the whistle to start her first ever match as a referee in a children’s league match. It did not go well. “The first game was a disaster,” recalled a laughing Venegas in an exclusive interview with “It was September of 1999 and it was a six-year-olds game. I called a good goal offside and on an offside I gave a goal… It was terrible! It was the worst game of my life. The coach of the local team came to me at the end of the match with his motorcycle to take me out of there because all of the parents of the kids were angry with me! That was the first step in my refereeing life,” added Venegas.
Fortunately for Venegas and the rest of the footballing world, her career progressed to the point that she officiated at the highest level, refereeing matches at FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympics. And now, at age 40, Venegas has retired from a position that was far less a job and more like a passion. “It is a mix of emotions. At this point of my life now that I have finished my refereeing career, I feel grateful for all the things that happened to me. I feel honored that people like [Concacaf Director of Refereeing] Brian [Hall] have considered me as one of the top referees in Concacaf. I feel really privileged to have had this experience in my life. It was a really beautiful journey,” said Venegas.
Venegas spoke with last month from Curacao where she was assisting on an elite women’s refereeing course in which 36 women referees participated. Her goal is to continue to work with referees as an assessor and instructor to help prepare the next generation of referees who will no doubt benefit from her mentorship, experience, and relevancy. “I want to share my experiences with the young referees. It’s much more difficult now in modern football than in my time. Now, it is faster. This is why VAR exists, because some things are impossible to see, and so I’m happy to be here now and ready to share experiences with younger ones,” said Venegas. After her great escape from the aforementioned children’s match, Venegas would go on to make her professional refereeing debut in 2005 after taking all of the necessary courses to earn her professional license. Experiences officiating throughout Mexico ultimately led to her becoming a FIFA referee in 2008, an honor bestowed on a select few. “In 2006 they were looking for good candidates for a FIFA badge. FIFA have their requirements and I was the only one who passed all of the requirements. I felt really happy, but getting the FIFA badge was the easy part. The hardest part was maintaining my badge and being recognized. It was not easy. “I received an award in Guadalajara, my city, for receiving this praise, but after that I did not have a tournament for two years because there were no women’s tournaments. It was different. Now we have a lot of tournaments and opportunities for new referees, but in the past all we had was the qualification for World Cup and Olympics,” said Venegas.
Soon enough Venegas was accruing international experience and then received the call that she’ll always remember: An assignment at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The first World Cup match Venegas would referee was a group stage contest between Switzerland and Japan, in which Venegas had to make a critical call on a penalty that resulted in a 1-0 win for Japan. “I hoped I called it correctly since it was my first World Cup. I was really nervous. I didn’t have time to watch the replay, so when I arrived at the hotel, part of the crew were waiting for me at the entrance of the hotel and said, ‘Massimo [Busacca, Director of FIFA Refereeing] wants to speak with you.’ I said, ‘Oh, my God! I’m going home. How could I lose this opportunity!’ Massimo said to me, ‘Lucila, how are you?’ I said, ‘I’m fine, you?’ He said, ‘I’m really happy.’ And so I said, ‘Good! I’m really happy as well!’ This feeling, I can still remember it,” said Venegas. Another career highlight was being the referee for the women’s semi-final at the 2016 Rio Olympics between Sweden and Brazil. Once again, keeping a cool head enabled Venegas to overcome the challenges of that day at Rio’s famed Maracana Stadium. “We were waiting for our ride to the stadium, but it never came, so we had to go like any fan. We were running toward the stadium and the security people wouldn’t allow us in. We were desperate! We finally got in… You are supposed to be there 90 minutes before, but we only got there 45 minutes before. We did a quick check of the field and then we came back and only had seven minutes to warm up. I told my team, ‘Do whatever you need!’ But it was an amazing experience in my life, because it went to penalty kicks and we finished with all the players shaking hands and hugging each other. There were no difficulties, nothing scandalous. It was like a dream,” said Venegas.
In addition to refereeing in World Cups and Olympics, Venegas also earned Concacaf Referee of the Year honours in 2017 and 2018, but for all the plaudits she received in her career, what she will remember most fondly are the relationships she forged. “I think about all the marvelous people that I met and all the people who had an interest in my career and who helped me. That is the greatest achievement of my career. Of course, I have had a lot of experiences, but I think now I feel satisfied and proud of my career. It would not have been possible without my Federation and Confederation. The highlights are the Olympic Games, World Cups, but in my heart it is all the marvelous people I met. They were there for me all the time,” concluded Venegas.

Source: Concacaf