FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group Stage (Matches 9-12)

23 November 2022

Morocco – Croatia
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Fourth Official: Kevin Ortega (PER)
Reserve AR: Karen Diaz (MEX)
VAR: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
AVAR: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
OVAR: Nicolas Taran (URU)
SVAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
SAVAR: Martin Soppi (URU)

Germany – Japan
Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: David Moran (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Zachari Zeegelaar (SUR)
Fourth Official: Said Martinez (HON)
Reserve AR: Helpys Feliz (DOM)
VAR: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
AVAR: Armando Villarreal (USA)
OVAR: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
SVAR: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
SAVAR: Mahmoud El-Regal (EGY)

Spain – Costa Rica
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Ma Ning (CHN)
Reserve AR: Shi Xiang (CHN)
VAR: Abdulla Al-Marri (QAT)
AVAR: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)
OVAR: Bruno Pires (BRA)
SVAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
SAVAR: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)

Belgium – Canada
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
Fourth Official: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN)
Reserve AR: Neuza Back (BRA)
VAR: Juan Soto (VEN)
AVAR: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
OVAR: Mokrane Gourari (ALG)
SVAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
SAVAR: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)

Inside World Cup referee training

I have just watched a football match in which eight penalties were awarded. There were more than 50 free-kicks between the two teams, and 15 cards were handed out - including four reds. Yet as the full-time whistle blew there were no heated exchanges or angry managers - as the main objective of the game was to try to deceive the match officials. Not just any referees by the way - the best referees and assistants in the world. On yet another blisteringly hot morning in downtown Doha, the Qatar Sports Club Stadium is the venue for a rare insight into the training given to FIFA's elite referees. Taking part in today's session are the likes of England's Michael Oliver, Spain's Antonio Mateu Lahoz and Danny Makkelie from the Netherlands. The trio, and a handful of other referees, take turns officiating a match between two local teams - and it's a strenuous workout, too. The players' focus isn't on scoring goals to win - instead they have been encouraged to foul, dive or pull shirts. The spotlight is then on the officials to make the right decision and hand out the correct punishment. Even the best players in the world talk of the added nerves and pressure of competing at a World Cup, and referees are no different.
"This is the last part of our preparation and it's more about repeating what we've already done. Uniformity is important," said Makkelie. "But the temperature is very high, the humidity also, so it's about getting used to everything including the facilities," he added. "Of course there is a pressure. There isn't a bigger stage, but you have to treat it the same. It's 11 versus 11, a crowd and a stadium. I try to forget how many people are watching, I try to forget how important these games are because if you think about that too much you build up the pressure."
There are 129 match officials from 47 countries at the tournament - including six women. Salima Mukansanga is well aware of the role she'll play when she takes charge of her nominated game, especially against the backdrop of the ongoing debate in the Middle East about women's rights. "It'll be an honour, but in football there is no sex so people need to understand this," she told BBC Sport. "The decision is always the decision. And it has to be taken. So being a woman here doesn't matter. The important thing is the performance."
After introducing VAR at Russia 2018, this year there will be even more cameras and sensors, and FIFA is introducing its semi-automated offside technology. By placing a microchip inside the ball and tracking players, an offside alert will be triggered if an attacker receives the ball in an illegal position. There have been fears this could slow the game down further while the checks are made, but Chris Beath - a FIFA elite referee from Australia - says during testing the system has been speedy and accurate. "The technology we have available is exceptional," said Beath. "There can be delays, but it's that fine balance between accuracy and speed. "The main focus is to try and get the decision right on the pitch. But if as referees we can't, then we have the benefit of our offline team and the technology they have available to ensure the right decision on the pitch is made."
With a professional referee running six to eight miles during a game, sometimes their fitness can be underestimated. Yet even for those in peak condition, the session is cut short because of the high temperatures just after 11am. A look at a weather app says it's 33C. FIFA and its officials will be hoping that is the only time they are hot under the collar during the next six weeks.

Source: BBC

FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group Stage (Matches 5-8)

22 November 2022

Argentina – Saudi Arabia
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SVN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaz Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraz Kovačić (SVN)
Fourth Official: Maguette N'Diaye (SEN)
Reserve AR: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
OVAR: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
SVAR: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
SAVAR: Nicolas Danos (FRA)

Denmark – Tunisia
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Said Martinez (HON)
Reserve AR: Walter Lopez (HON)
VAR: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
AVAR: Armando Villarreal (USA)
OVAR: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
SVAR: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
SAVAR: Mahmoud El-Regal (EGY)

Mexico – Poland
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham (AUS)
Fourth Official: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
Reserve AR: Neuza Back (BRA)
VAR: Shaun Evans (AUS)
AVAR: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
OVAR: Martin Soppi (URU)
SVAR: Juan Soto (VEN)
SAVAR: Djibril Camara (SEN)

France – Australia
Referee: Victor Gomes (RSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Souru Phatsoane (LES)
Fourth Official: Salima Mukansanga (RWA)
Reserve AR: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
VAR: Drew Fischer (CAN)
AVAR: Adil Zourak (MAR)
OVAR: Kyle Atkins (USA)
SVAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
SAVAR: Corey Parker (USA)

New VMO role: Stand-by AVAR

The Stand-by AVAR is a new role within the match officials' team at FIFA World Cup 2022 matches. In case of a loss of connection between the stadium and the centralized VOR, a back-up VAR room located at each stadium will be activated. 
While the fourth official will operate as VAR, with the reserve assistant referee replacing him, the Stand-by VAR will assist him as AVAR and the VAR system will work with only two VMOs. All this happens within minutes and without match restart being delayed.

Source: FIFA

Cakir celebrated in Turkey

The Turkish FA had been given special permission by FIFA to pay tribute to their most famous referee, Cuneyt Cakir, who has announced his retirement after 21 years as a top referee.
Two-time World Cup semi-final referee Cuneyt Cakir, 45, was given a special presentation and was allowed to referee the first five minutes of the friendly game Turkey – Czechia, played in his home country. He then handed over to Collum, who refereed the rest of the match, in what was a first in world football.
Cakir said: "Every professional career has to end one day, but this is an incredible gesture from our association and from FIFA for allowing this to happen. My biggest ambition was to referee at a World Cup and I am happy that I did that." Cakir was in charge of the UEFA Champions League Final in 2015 and has attended two World Cups (2014, 2018) and three European Championships (2012, 2016, 2020).

Source: DigiSport

FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group Stage (Matches 2-4)

21 November 2022

England – Iran
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Figueiredo (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Fourth Official: Kevin Ortega (PER)
Reserve AR: Michael Orue (PER)
VAR: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
AVAR: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
OVAR: Martin Soppi (URU)
SVAR: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
SAVAR: Juan Belatti (ARG)

Senegal – Netherlands
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Fourth Official: Andres Matonte (URU)
Reserve AR: Nicolas Taran (URU)
VAR: Juan Soto (VEN)
AVAR: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
OVAR: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
SVAR: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
SAVAR: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)

USA – Wales
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Ma Ning (CHN)
Reserve AR: Cao Yi (CHN)
VAR: Abdullah Al-Marri (QAT)
AVAR: Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
OVAR: Mokrane Gourari (ALG)
SVAR: Adil Zourak (MAR)
SAVAR: Elvis Noupue (CMR)

FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group Stage (Match 1)

20 November 2022

Qatar – Ecuador
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ciro Carbone (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Istvan Kovacs (ROU)
Reserve AR: Ovidiu Artene (ROU)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
OVAR: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
SVAR: Benoit Millot (FRA)
SAVAR: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)

Collina: "I locked myself in my room for a day and a half to study the teams"

The old cliché is that you know the referee had a good game when you don't notice him. But there's a ton that goes into making sure World Cup referees don't get noticed, and the man responsible for bringing it all together is Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA's referees committee - himself a former FIFA ref who took charge of the 2002 World Cup final. In the latest episode of "Gab & Juls Meet", Collina walked us through the process. The first thing to remember is that you can't just figure out how many match officials you need - in the case of this World Cup, 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials - and then figure out who you think the top officials in the world might be. If you did, you might end up with a bunch of European referees from the top leagues. After all, most of the players at the World Cup play in Europe's top leagues and these refs have the most experience working with them. But just as the countries that participate in the World Cup are representative, so too are the match officials. Eleven of them come from Europe, seven from South America, six each from Asia and Africa, five from North America and one from Oceania. "We began the process almost as soon as the 2018 World Cup ended," Collina says. "We monitored hundreds of match officials from around the world in each confederation. Our committee has members from every confederation, and we tracked them throughout the process. We had seminars, remotely during the pandemic and then in-person, we tracked them and then we made our decisions."
The 139 match officials all stay together in the same hotel. They train together too, and as part of their preparation, FIFA even arranged a semi-professional tournament for them to officiate so they could get live practice - referees need to stay fit as well - and not have to take a break from working their domestic leagues to the World Cup. There are match analysts who cut video for them too because these days, referees are expected to prepare ahead of time, knowing the players they will take charge of, their characteristics and their tendencies. That way, Collina says, they are better prepared and can focus on their job. If you know Player X is likely to hold up the ball and Player Y is likely to try and run behind a defender, you can anticipate and position yourself accordingly. It's a far cry from past World Cups. "I remember when I was asked to referee the 2002 final between Brazil and Germany, I had to ask for VHS tapes of each of the games both teams had played until that point," Collina says. "I locked myself in my room for a day and a half, taking notes and watching every minute of every match. Because the goal of a referee is to be one step ahead, to know what is going to happen before it happens. At the time, it was pretty unusual to prepare like that," he adds, "but I'm proud of the fact that today this is normal prep for a referee."
Collina talks about how there's a team spirit among his referees, but there's also a natural rivalry. Like the teams, refs want to stick around the tournament as long as possible. Collina and his team are charged with evaluating them and appointing them. In the past, this was often a political process, fraught with suspicion. Collina remembers how he was sent home when Italy qualified for the 1998 World Cup quarter-final. And, in fact, none of the referees in the final eight that year came from countries that had qualified. "I have to say our main criteria is quality," he says. "Sure, there's a neutrality to be respected. But the first priority is always quality." The committee Collina now chairs was historically seen as one of the most powerful because it gave out plum assignments to match officials. Not coincidentally, the top spots were usually assigned based on political clout, rather than refereeing expertise. In 2010, for example, the chairman and vice chairman of the committee were FIFA vice president Angel Maria Villar and FIFA executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira (the former resigned after being arrested for embezzling funds in 2017, the latter received a lifetime ban for ethics breaches). Neither man had a refereeing background. "[This practice] changed when Gianni Infantino became president of FIFA in 2016," says Collina. "And it was a positive change. Those who have responsibility for referees must have a refereeing background and, of course, they must be independent from anyone else." Then there's VAR (or video assistant referee) that was introduced to the World Cup in Russia in 2018. Collina is pleased with how it went, though he says the bar is even higher in Qatar. There will be four video match officials for each game: a VAR, an assistant VAR, another assistant VAR who will focus exclusively on offside, and yet another VAR whose job will be to facilitate the flow of communication. "The video match officials were chosen for their skill and experience as VARs," he says, conceding that looking at a screen can be a different skill than officiating a match. "Crucially, compared to Russia, we all have more experience." This time there are added wrinkles, like the "semi-automatic" offside, which is basically a three-dimensional visualization of players' positions on the pitch. It's not like the early days of VAR, with lines drawn on screens. The system collects 29 data points from each player 50 times per second and the position of the ball is measured 500 times per second in order to determine as accurately as possible when a pass is made. Then there's goal-line technology. "When it was first introduced, the margin of error was around three centimeters," Collina says. "Now it's in the region of a few millimeters." All of this should make decision-making quicker and more accurate, but as Collina states, "Sometimes accuracy and speed don't go together. If you want to be sure, it takes time."
Collina has also worked to address a perennial pet peeve: time-wasting and injury time at the end of games. He makes a distinction between things like goal celebrations and intentional time-wasting and delays which are an organic part of the game, like the ball going out of play or dead-ball/set-piece situations. "In Russia, we tried to be more accurate in compensating for time lost during games and that's why you saw six, seven or even eight minutes added on," he says. "Think about it: if you have three goals in a half, you'll probably lose four or five minutes in total to celebrations and the restart." It will be the fourth officials' job to calculate the time to be added on for time lost during the game, while one of the VAR team members will keep track of time lost to video reviews. Collina says it's a better system than in the past, when it was up to the referee to decide or, as he puts it, "pretended to decide" because, in fact, it has long been the fourth official's job: the referee is simply too busy.
Unlike in the past, there won't be a psychologist as part of the FIFA team to support referees who may suffer anxiety because of the pressure or mental health issues after a mistake. Collina says it's not because referees don't suffer psychological stress, but because he views it as very personal and talking to a therapist you're meeting for the first time in Doha is probably less useful than speaking to a friend or therapist back home. "I think you're more likely to open yourself with someone you speak to regularly," he says. "But the support can be remote. They are professional and if they feel the need, we will help them any way we can."
For the first time ever, Collina's committee has selected three women referees (France's Stephanie Frappart, Japan's Yoshimi Yamashita and Rwanda's Salima Mukasanga) and three women assistant referees (Brazil's Neuza Back, Mexico's Karen Diaz Medina and the United States' Kathryn Nesbitt). "They've all had experience in men's football, not just domestically, but in FIFA competitions too," he says. "I have to say I understand it's quite big news, because it's the first time in FIFA history. But I'd love it if it wasn't news, if we simply treated them as six members of the FIFA refereeing team at the World Cup and nothing more." It's another sign of how World Cup officiating is changing. What seemed novel, like VAR, not that long ago, is now taken for granted. And it feels like these changes, even the major ones, have taken place quietly. Which is just how Collina likes it. Best when the referee isn't noticed - by anyone but Collina and his team.

Source: ESPN

Tello selected for World Cup only 3 years after receiving FIFA badge

Last matchday of the professional league. Diego Maradona Stadium. Argentinos - Velez. End of the first time. Suddenly, Federico Lanzillota throws himself to the ground and begins to call the referee. In a section of the stands that overlooks Boyaca Avenue, the fans turn on their cell phone flashlights and wave their arms. The alarm goes off. Facundo Tello stops the game, talks to the goalkeeper and immediately goes to the scene as close as he can. A person had collapsed and needed medical attention. To speed up the procedure, Tello checks out the facility and makes sure medical personnel and firefighters are on their way. He sees them coming. People applaud and acknowledge the quick intervention. When he sees that the situation is under control and the fan is aware, the ball rolls again. Unfortunately, in these times, he surprises. For good. First, the human factor. Then the game. The action does not go unnoticed in the local audience, where a dialogue between two fans begins. “Good referee, eh! - one exclaims. This is Tello, right? Yes, it's Tello. I think he's going to the World Cup” - answers the other. Yes, that is correct. Facundo Tello is going to the World Cup in Qatar 2022. And behind this statement there is a vocation, a career, physical and mental effort, many trips, time without family or friends.
Facundo Tello has a story that deserves to be told. In his adolescence, sport was his lifestyle, a custom in his city, the cradle of elite national representatives. Tello was happy for Pablo Paz, silver medalist in Atlanta '96. He enjoyed and celebrated Emanuel Ginobili, Pepe Sanchez and Alejandro Montecchia with the historic gold medal in Athens 2004. He learned that Coco Basile was also born in Bahia, like Oveja Hernandez, Angel Cappa, Rodrigo Palacio, Juan Espil, Guido Pella , two world champions such as Daniel Bertoni and Chocolate Baley and two winners of the last Copa America: Lautaro Martinez and German Pezzella. In Bahia, Tello began his journey linked to football as an amateur player for Libertad de Villa Rosas. There he played as a striker, he had long hair and was light since he also practiced athletics and excelled in speed. However, he was brave: he did not like anything when someone claimed something from the stands and keeping quiet was not an option for him. In this article, you will realize what kind of tools he used to transform his temperament. His sports facet was always accompanied by study. And pay attention to this: he is a master builder, public relations officer, graduated in protocol and ceremonial and studied civil engineering for three years. That's not all, he also worked at the Bahia Blanca Sports Department and the Public Works Department. One day, referee Bruno Bocca, also from Bahia, told him about his vocation and interest in a career in refereeing. Tello agreed without knowing that this decision would be a turning point in his life. He started in the Southern League, until 2011, at the age of 31, when he made his AFA debut refereeing Guillermo Brown - Douglas Haig, a match corresponding to the old Argentino A. Two years later, Godoy Cruz - Velez meant his debut in the First Division. Facundo usually travels. Much. But he is still from Bahia. He so chooses. He is the eldest of four siblings: Juan, Victoria and Lautaro. He has his wife, Carolina; two daughters, Amanda and Helena, and a dog named Leo (see below). In 2019 he received news, one of those that inflates his chest: FIFA made him an international referee. For the first time, a referee from Bahia achieved this distinction. Such a privilege implies more responsibility and professionalism, coupled with long-haul trips and an increased workload. All this means less time for the family. Tello continued to build his route. Day by day. Match by match. Step by Step.
In May 2022, Facundo had just celebrated 40 laps in the sun. At the airport, waiting to return to the country after directing a Copa Libertadores match, he received a call that caused another shock. “I was waiting in Sao Paulo. I don't use social networks and the first thing they did was post it there. So, my brother who does have networks called me and he told me. It was a moment of great emotion, pride, and joy. We couldn't keep talking, I was blocked by crying. After a while, before getting on the plane, I called my wife, my old man and Fefo (Rapallini), with whom we have a very nice friendship, and it is a blessing to be able to share this with him. I also called my grandfather, who lives in Mar del Plata. The days passed and I began to focus on preparation with the idea of ​​arriving in the best possible condition.”
-With such news, I imagine that you went back in time to see your journey, what did you remember?
- It's something I go back to often. Because the World Cup photo sometimes makes you lose sight of everything that happened. And not always the news of a referee is going to a World Cup. Days have gone by with a lot of exposure, a lot of anguish, making mistakes and not wanting to be a referee anymore. And also very beautiful days, because I live important experiences that exceeded everything I dreamed of at the beginning. Looking back a little makes one not be all the time in that maelstrom of looking forward. So, I review the process of a healthy, disciplined, professional path that fills me with pride, because in some way I feel that I represent my family and my friends.
- Not only did you become the first international referee from Bahia, but now you are also a World Cup referee. They will give you the key to Bahia…
- Bahia must have close to 300 active referees. In addition, it has a very rich history of national referees who have participated in professional matches. It is a city in which it is difficult to transcend to reach AFA. As for the human part, I prefer to make the effort to travel as much as I do, but continue living in Bahia. People are very used to having recognized athletes. There is a great sense of belonging: NBA basketball players, players from the Argentine National Team that you see walking down the street when they return from the city, singers... A lot of personalities. I only get signs of respect and affection.
From Guayaquil, the venue of the Copa Libertadores final, Facundo tells tycsports.com how he went through the previous weeks before beginning to experience the most relevant stage of his career.
- What preparation plan did you put together during November knowing that you are going to have less action?
- We have a pre-World Cup 10-day seminar and the final preparation where FIFA will be in charge. These months, I paid special attention to a detailed plan that was sent to each of us and I complemented it with my personal trainer, based on needs, in addition to physiotherapy, nutrition, psychology and cognitive training, which is really very useful. It has been a complete preparation, which requires our best version to reach the highest possible level to the most important experience of this profession.
- I read that you do yoga with your mom. I imagine that helps a lot...
- The profession requires you to live with protests and shouting, with the possibility of being wrong, having to recover quickly and making more decisions. There are tools that I was looking for outside of my possibilities. My old lady is a yoga teacher and, really, she helps me very well. Meditation and deep breathing have helped me a lot in handling situations. To that I add therapy, the key to getting you on your way when you have moments of weakness and need the support of a professional. Being a referee stretched the limit of my patience. More patience and less conflict are needed.
- Some countries will be represented by two referees, not one, as historically determined. Wilton Sampaio and Raphael Claus (Brazil), Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor (England), Stephanie Frappart and Clement Turpin (France) and Fernando Rapallini and Facundo Tello (Argentina) are the chosen ones. What does it represent for Argentine football?
- With Fefo (Rapallini) we were together from the beginning in this World Cup process, which was very generous, we supported each other a lot and we always wanted the best for each other. To have reached the end and the fact that they could not leave anyone out is a source of great pride. Without a doubt, having competed made us better referees. I think it is very important for my personal career and for Argentine refereeing. It is a merit that they continue to recognize us, as it has always been done. And that makes the expectation for our work higher. We have the obligation and commitment to live up to it.
- Who gave you the nickname "Tortu"?
- The nickname is from childhood, from my neighborhood. I played for the Libertad club in Villa Rosas. I have always been and still am calm in my movements and in my way of proceeding. When we changed to go out on the field, I was the last one. The rush is not something that characterizes me. For that, they nicknamed me like that! Not because of slowness in terms of movements within the field, because at that time I was doing athletics and was a sprinter.
- Did you see Messi for the first time in the Copa America final?
- The Argentine referees present at the Copa America final had the chance to attend the final. What I didn't know was that we were going to be able to meet the players, including Leo, with whom I have a particular crush. The fanaticism that anyone can have for a club, I feel that I have it for him. I am a fan of him. I live this stage of football history in a very special way because I know how important it will be in many years to have had the chance to see it. Also, that day was very special because of what he was experiencing. An unforgettable experience. Oh, I have a dog named Leo after him.” The long-haired forward of Villa Rosas. Turtle. Messi's fan. The senior master builder. The father, husband, son, grandson and older brother. The referee. The one who started in a regional league. The one who went through the Ascent. The one who practices yoga. The one who attends the psychologist. The one who will represent Argentina in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Source: TyC Sports

French referee Hamel passed away after suffering a stroke in training

French referee Johan Hamel tragically died on Wednesday after suffering a stroke in training on Tuesday. Hamel, 42, was a veteran of over 130 games in the French top-flight, and made his Champions League debut as a fourth official a fortnight ago in Celtic's defeat away to Real Madrid in the final round of group stage fixtures. His final game came on November 6, when he oversaw Lille's Ligue 1 clash with Rennes, before taking on VAR duties in PSG's meeting with Auxerre on Sunday, November 13. With more than 300 professional games to his name as a referee, Hamel's shock passing comes after he suffered a stroke whilst undergoing routine exercises in training.
Having become one of France's elite referees in 2016, he had more than a decade of experience in the game after turning professional back in 2011. The French referee made his international debut last year as the fourth official in Lithuania's heavy 4-1 loss to visiting Northern Ireland that saw three penalties and six yellow cards dished out. This season saw Hamel take on the same role in two Nations League ties; Slovakia's 1-0 win over Belarus and Moldova's 2-0 victory against Liechtenstein. Hamel had made nine domestic appearances as a referee this season, with eight coming in the top-flight of French football and one game from Ligue 2. During that time he officiated in the action-packed match between Clermont Foot and Stade Reims which finished 4-2 to the former, and again saw six yellow cards and three penalties in the tie, as well as a sending off. He has also gradually made the transition into officiating in continental clashes, and this season had taken on fourth official duties in two Europa League games and a Conference League qualifier, as well as one Champions League clash.
A statement from the Union of Elite Football Referees (SAFE) read: “Refereeing is in mourning. We learn of the death of our colleague and friend, Johan Hamel, Ligue 1 referee, at the age of 42. To his family, relatives and friends, the SAFE and the arbitrators send their deepest condolences. Johan, we will miss you.”
Legendary referee Pierluigi Collina has also paid tribute to Hamel. “The refereeing world and all match officials here at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar are united in grief over the unexpected passing of our colleague and friend Johan Harmel. We collectively send our heartfelt condolences to Johan’s family, relatives and friends.” (Source: Daily Mail)
Mr. Hamel, who started to officiate when he was 14 at Azur-Sports Valentinois, in Valence, South of France, was a French Ligue 1 referee since 2015/16 and took charge of 135 French top-flight games, including eight this season. He also officiated in almost 100 Ligue 2 games and was among the VAR officials last weekend. He also had experience at UEFA matches as a fourth official in each of UEFA’s men’s club competitions, Under-21 internationals and the UEFA Nations League. In a statement, the French Football Federation (FFF), wrote that they are "under shock". FFF president Noël Le Graët said: "It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Johan Hamel. He was a much-loved referee with an exemplary career, a passionate fan and a figure of our football. On behalf of the FFF and all of our amateur and professional football, I would like to express my most sincere condolences to Johan's family and friends." Pascal Garibian, the French technical director of refereeing, added: "He [Mr. Hamel] will be missed by the French refereeing community, which is in mourning."
UEFA Chief Refereeing Officer, Roberto Rosetti, said: "This is an unbelievable tragedy and a terrible shock. On behalf of the UEFA refereeing family we send our condolences to Johan’s family and friends as well as to the whole French refereeing community." (Source: UEFA)

TFF to celebrate Cakir’s successful refereeing career

Former FIFA referee Cüneyt Çakir’s career will be celebrated with the occasion of the international friendly match between Turkey and Czech Republic, to be played on 19 November, in Gaziantep. Cüneyt Çakir, will blow the whistle to start the match and then will stop it after 5 minutes, when TFF President Mehmet Büyükekşi will present a plaque to him on the side of the field.
Milliyet Newspaper columnist Cemal Ersen announced in his column on October 22, 2022 that the Turkish Football Federation would organize a celebration for Cüneyt Çakir: "I mentioned it in this column last week. There was an attempt to organize a celebration for our ex-FIFA referee Cüneyt Çakir. First, I spoke with Football Federation President Mehmet Büyükekşi. Then with Cüneyt. Büyükekşi said that they will give an award to the experienced referee either in the match played with Scotland or the Czech Republic three days later. “Have you consulted with UEFA?” I asked. He replied, "Yes, we are waiting for an answer; these are special moments and we will definitely do it". As I suggested, his assistants Bahattin Duran and Tarik Ongun, whom he worked shoulder-to-shoulder for years, will be there, I hope. Then I called Cüneyt Çakir. You can tell from his voice that he was very happy. "What do you mean, I'm proud, I'll go running," he said. Saying goodbye to a referee of this level and quality will be a meaningful message and recognition. Thank you for thinking and accepting."

Source: Milliyet

Nesbitt will live an ‘impossible dream’

Kathryn Nesbitt had spent a decade balancing parallel careers in analytical chemistry and soccer officiating when, in 2019, she put her scientific brain to work and synthesized a solution for the most pragmatic path forward. Two weeks before Nesbitt left for France to serve as an assistant referee at the Women’s World Cup, she stepped down from her assistant professor position at Towson University to focus on officiating full-time. What data points informed that decision? She reached the pinnacle of women’s soccer refereeing that summer and had broken into top-flight men’s soccer as well, with dozens of MLS games under her belt. Knowing the 2026 men’s World Cup would be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico, Nesbitt mapped out a plan that would culminate in her being on the sideline of the sport’s premier spectacle. “I had no idea if they would ever let women officiate at that World Cup, but I wanted to see if I could do that,” said Nesbitt, 34. “I realized at the time that in order to even attempt that, I would need to dedicate all of my time and effort into one job.”
Once Nesbitt shifted her focus to officiating, her ascent accelerated. In 2020, she claimed MLS assistant referee of the year honors and became the first woman to officiate an MLS Cup final. A few months later, Concacaf tasked her with men’s World Cup qualifying assignments. By the time FIFA announced its pool of referees for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Philadelphia-based official thought she might have a shot. On May 19, Nesbitt woke up, scrolled through Twitter and saw FIFA’s unveiling. The tournament, FIFA stated in its announcement, would feature the first female referees in the 92-year history of the men’s World Cup, with six women among the 129 officials. Zooming in on the 69 assistant referees, she saw the listing: “NESBITT Kathryn. USA”. “I just got jaw-dropped, stared at it, couldn’t even believe that this was happening,” Nesbitt recalled. “Then I probably jumped around the room for the next 20 minutes.”
Nesbitt prides herself, as a referee or a chemist, in processing the information at her disposal and arriving at the right conclusion. But in calculating her path to a men’s World Cup assignment, she shortchanged herself - by four years, in fact. “She certainly achieves the highest standard in everything that she does,” said Mark Geiger, a former MLS, Olympic and World Cup referee who now serves as the director of senior match officials at the U.S.-based Professional Referee Organization. “She doesn’t settle for anything. She sets goals for herself, and she does everything that she possibly can to achieve those goals, whether it’s in the science field or whether it’s on the soccer field.”
A soccer player in her youth, Nesbitt was a restless 14-year-old sitting through her little brother’s games in Rochester, N.Y., when she first volunteered to be an assistant referee (commonly known as a linesman). The role typically involves making throw-in, goal kick, corner kick, foul and offside calls, but as a teen volunteer with a familial conflict of interest, Nesbitt was simply asked to wave the flag when the ball went out of bounds and leave the rest to the paid referee. “Then one of the guys actually asked me, ‘Hey, would you like to make money doing this?’” Nesbitt said. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, that sounds great.’” A senior-level figure skater and a volleyball player who competed for St. John Fisher University in Rochester, Nesbitt divided her time among no shortage of athletic exploits. Around the time she was wrapping up her college career, she began serving as a fourth official for games involving Rochester’s minor league men’s team. Before long, Nesbitt landed a spot in a now-defunct U.S. Soccer program for fast-tracking top officiating prospects. In 2013, she became an assistant referee for the NWSL. Felisha Mariscal broke through as the first female official in MLS a year later, and Nesbitt made her MLS debut in 2015. But even as she rose up the ranks, soccer remained a side hustle. After studying chemistry as a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh and completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at Michigan, Nesbitt joined the faculty at Towson, a public university in Maryland, in 2017. For the better part of two years, she did some 50 hours of lab research per week. Most Friday nights, Nesbitt would crawl to the airport through Baltimore rush-hour traffic and hop on a plane — to Los Angeles, Minnesota or wherever else her MLS assignments took her. After officiating a match, she would fly back Sunday night and do it all again. As a 6-foot former college athlete, she has no problem acing refereeing fitness standards designed for men. And Geiger can’t recall seeing her rattled, even in games that threatened to spiral out of the referee crew’s control. “She not only can analyze what the correct decision should be, but she also knows from a feeling aspect what the best decision for the game would be,” Geiger said. “And they’re not always the same. Sometimes you need to really feel the game and know what the best decision is at that particular moment and what’s going to help the referee group maintain control of the game. She understands that.”
Although MLS recently completed its eighth season using female referees, Nesbitt last year became the first woman to officiate Concacaf men’s World Cup qualifying games. She remembered getting plenty of stares from players, especially in those first few matches. Nesbitt said match coordinators also tended to mistakenly assume she was just the fourth official, there to help with substitutions and timekeeping but not roam the pitch. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my career - and this has been in chemistry too, both being very male-heavy areas - is the best way to impress is to do your job well,” Nesbitt said. “But it would always be funny the first time I would do a sprint with one of the players down to the corner flag, and he’d look over, and I’d be keeping up with him. I think that had a big effect just gaining some respect.” Within months of her first men’s qualifier, Nesbitt had gained enough respect to book her ticket to Qatar. Eventually, Nesbitt figures she will hang up her cleats, stash away her flag and return to chemistry. For now, though, she understands her status as a soccer trailblazer - even if hearing that label prompts her to let out an embarrassed groan. As she prepares to make World Cup history, Nesbitt revels, appropriately enough, in the satisfaction that she made the right call back in 2019. “This was an impossible dream for me, and just being able to witness females at this event now makes this realistic for all women,” Nesbitt said. “Whether it be in refereeing, whether it be in a different sport, whether it be in something completely different - sometimes just having a visual like that can make something be real. If I get to play even a small role in that, that’s really cool.”

Refereeing legend Klein shares memories of historic World Cup match

The second edition of the new format "Football meets Cinema" in cooperation with the Zurich Film Festival highlighted the story of legendary referee Abraham Klein from Israel. In the live talk after the Swiss premiere of the short film "1982 Italia - Brasile", he shared several stories from his career with the audience.
The Italy-Brazil match at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain has gone down as one of the best matches in World Cup history. The referee was the legendary Israeli referee Abraham Klein who was officiating his third World Cup after 1970 and 1978. But for a long time, it was not clear whether Klein would referee at this World Cup at all. The Italian short film "1982 Italia - Brasile" explores the story behind this. The short film follows Abraham Klein as he prepares for the tournament and struggles to decide whether he will be a part of it or not. The reason is his son Amit, who at that time is a soldier in the Israeli army, fighting in the Lebanon War. He has not heard from his son for a while is worried about his safety. In a second plot line, we accompany an Italian family and their inner-family conflicts that emerge around the World Cup.
In the following live talk moderated by ZFF Artistic Director Christian Jungen, Abraham Klein shared how stressful the situation was for him at the time. Although being in Spain physically, his head was with his son in Lebanon. It was only when he received a message from him that he felt ready to referee and was then assigned to the historic match. An assignment with which he initially was not so happy. After all, everyone, including him, expected Brazil to dominate the game and advance to the next round. But already during the game he realised that he was part of something special. Something that would go down in football history.

Source: FIFA Museum

CAF Women’s Champions League Final 2022: Amedome (TOG)

13 November 2022

Far Rabat – Mamelodi Sundowns
Referee: Vincentia Amedome (TOG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Carine Atezambong (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Asma Ouahab (ALG)
Fourth Official: Shamirah Nabadda (UGA)
VAR: Haythem Guirat (TUN)
AVAR 1: Diana Chikotesha (ZAM)
AVAR 2: Daniel Laryea (GHA)

Not selected for World Cup, Tobar retired to take over Chilean refereeing

Roberto Tobar was recently voted as the best referee of the 2022 season at the Chilean Football Gala. He finished ahead of Julio Bascunan, Jose Cabero, Felipe Gonzalez and Piero Maza, and received the award from Carlos Chandia, former international referee and current mayor of Coihueco. After receiving the award, Tobar expressed his gratitude and pointed out that Chandia was "an example" for his career. He also expressed himself moved by the presence of Chandia, who overcame a very serious accident that had him on the brink of death. Although Tobar avoided talking about the rumors about his position after retirement, La Tercera reported that he will become the head of the ANFP Referees Committee. The idea that Javier Castrilli proposed when he came to assume the same role in 2021 will materialize at the hands of Pablo Milad, who promised improvements in the Chilean refereeing after being re-elected as president of the ANFP. It only remains for the governing body of Chilean football or the referee himself to make the news official. (Source: Al Aire Libre)
The recent months of Tobar as active referee were marked by not being considered for the World Cup in Qatar, which was a hard blow for him. “I had a not very good personal moment that led me to lower my refereeing level. The pandemic affected me a lot and I had family problems that prevented me from being 100%. Why didn't I go to the World Cup? I had it all to go, but then things changed. I was working closely with Pierluigi Colina and Massimo Busacca, who select the referees for the World Cup. They gave me the opportunity to take the fitness test again, but because of everything I experienced, many things deprived me of being 100% mentally and I was also injured when that opportunity came. The self-criticism is mine; it depended on me because the federation always helped me. (Pablo) Milad was very present in all the aspects that I required and he was always very close”, Tobar said a few months ago.
Tobar, without a doubt, is among the most outstanding Chilean referees of recent times. He was chosen the best referee in the country in 2013 and 2014 and had been a FIFA referee since 2011 with his first international appearance on 10 April 2014, in the Copa Sudamericana match between Atletico Mineiro and Zamora. Three years later, he was already part of the elite. In 2017, he refereed the first leg of the Sudamericana final between Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional, in a duel that would later be marked by the tragedy suffered by the Brazilian team. He did not stop adding achievements. In November 2018, he refereed the first leg of the so-called Final of the Century, between Boca Juniors and River Plate, for the Copa Libertadores, filling himself with praise. A month later, he had to referee the South American Cup, between Junior and Athletico Parananese, and completed the circuit with the Recopa of the season, between the Millionaires and the Brazilians. He also had the final of the Copa Libertadores in 2019, in Lima, when Flamengo beat River Plate. “The experience of refereeing the first single final of Libertadores has been a very pleasant and very sweet feeling. The motivation that is achieved by being able to be in this type of game is very high, a lot of concentration, very pleasant sensations that motivate us a lot to do good tasks”, he said on that occasion. That same year, he was in charge of the Copa America final. (Source: La Tercera)

“Team One” arrived in Qatar

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has personally welcomed the 129 referees, assistant referees and video match officials overseeing the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and kicked-off their official training camp by emphasising the fundamental role the group he affectionally labelled “Team One” has to play in delivering the best ever edition of football’s greatest competition.
“You are FIFA’s team,” President Infantino said. “You are our team and you are actually the most important team in the tournament because without you there is no football; there is no FIFA World Cup. We need Team One to enter the pitch first. We need Team One to kick off the first game on 20th November, and we need Team One to stop the last game and award the title to the World Champions.”
In his speech, the President noted that for the first time in FIFA World Cup history, female match officials are among the 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 match officials chosen to officiate at the tournament. The FIFA President pointed out the importance of unity, and encouraged participants to both savour the moment and to believe in themselves.
“There are, for the first time, six women as well, present. But whether men or women, it’s referees. For us, for me, we are all part of the same team,” President Infantino added. “You will feel a lot during this World Cup. The emotion of being part of this adventure. The emotion of having four or five billion people all over the world looking at what is happening here. And you are asked to be there, to be fit, to be ready, to take decisions, to take responsibility in a very short time. You are the best in the world. That’s why you’re here.” Following the speeches and seminar, the officials took part in a day of orientation that included units on health and fitness, VAR and assistive technologies, and decision making. 

Source: FIFA

Loustau Jr. announced his retirement

Referee Patricio Loustau, 47, announced his professional retirement before the Qatar 2022 World Cup. His last match was between River and Betis. Loustau, with eight Superclasicos and several finals to his credit, comes from delivering justice in the 2022 Copa Libertadores final between Flamengo and Atletico Paranaense in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The referee was born on 15 April 1975 in Lomas de Zamora, Buenos Aires. From that day he was linked to refereeing by his last name. His father, Juan Carlos, was an Argentine refereeing legend who was present at the 1990 World Cup and in 1999 he was chosen by the IFFHS as the second-best referee in the world.
Pato, as Loustau Jr. is nicknamed, made his debut as a referee in the First Division of Argentina on 21 August 2009, in a match where Godoy Cruz beat Gimnasia La Plata 2-0, for the first match of the Apertura. In 2011, he became a FIFA referee and from there he kept adding experience. He has refereed matches in the Copa America, World Cup Qualifiers, Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores final.

Source: TyC Sports

Italian referee prosecutor arrested for drug trafficking

In a truly extraordinary story, the chief prosecutor for the Italian Referees Association (AIA) has been arrested for international drug trafficking. There were 42 arrests in the Milan and Lombardy area connected to the trafficking ring, which was accused of smuggling six tonnes of marijuana and hashish into the country. Among those stopped by police there was Rosario D’Onofrio, who had until today been working as the chief prosecutor and legal advisor for the Italian Referees’ Association. AIA President Alfredo Trentalange announced that D’Onofrio had resigned this morning, without stating the reasons. FIGC President Gabriele Gravina said he found the news “disconcerting” and had asked for an explanation from the AIA. D’Onofrio was formerly an officer in the army and was already in the news on October 28 when he was deferred to the disciplinary commission of the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) for failing to open an investigation when a former assistant referee protested at the way referees were graded. (Source: Football Italia)
The story of the chief prosecutor of the Italian Referees Association arrested for international drug trafficking continues to get even stranger. Rosario D’Onofrio resigned this morning, and it was only later revealed it was because he was one of 42 people arrested for running a drug trafficking organisation in the Milan area, which saw six tonnes of marijuana and hashish recovered by police. The Italian Referees Association (AIA) then released a statement this evening giving even more surprising details. According to the AIA, D’Onofrio had already been arrested and put under house arrest in 2020 but declined to inform them of that fact. He had therefore violated their code of ethics and lied when applying for the promotion to chief prosecutor. Meanwhile, former referee Piero Giacomelli has told La Repubblica newspaper that D’Onofrio had effectively “ended my career” and had a “disproportionate power to hand out punishments” to officials he didn’t like. Giacomelli was suspended in February 2022 due to irregularities in the expenses account to the tune of €70. “D’Onofrio received an award in July as best national director for referees. Assistant referee Avalos provided a year ago telephone interceptions where D’Onofrio told him what he should and shouldn’t do to climb the performance tables. Referee La Penna was meant to become an international in place of a different referee, but then he too was accused of irregular expenses and was suspended, only to then be brought back by D’Onofrio.” (Source: Football Italia)

World Cup referee Tello warms up for Qatar with 10 red cards in Argentina

Referee Facundo Tello awarded an incredible ten red cards after a fight broke out during Boca Junior's Trophy of Champions 2-1 loss to Racing.
Tied at a goal apiece after 90 minutes, both sides were left with ten men with just a few minutes left to play as a fight broke out between Boca's Sebastian Villa and Racing's Johan Carbonero. The scuffle reportedly started after the Xeneizes demanded a penalty was given in the dying embers of the match for a handball inside the area. After the mele had cooled off, the referee delivered both Villa and Carbonero their marching orders, but he wasn't quite finished there.
The match continued to extra-time, with Carlos Alcaraz scoring a late winner with a glancing header, sending the Estadio La Pedrera into bedlam. Alcaraz's over-the-top celebrations sparked a nerve with the Boca players, who confronted him on the edge of the pitch, pushing him, grabbing his ear, and throwing the ball at him. After the mele had quietened down, Tello handed out five red cards to Boca, and two to Racing, ensuring Alcarez was not left unpunished. All of Luis Advincula, Carlos Zambrano, Diego Gonzales, Frank Fabra and Dario Benedetto were shown red for Boca, while Catriel Cabellos was sent marching for Racing. Boca's Alan Varela also picked up a second yellow card earlier in extra time, meaning Tello had sent off a grand total of seven Boca players. After finding himself in the thick of a brawl on Sunday night, Tello will travel to the 2022 World Cup, with six other South American referees.
The Argentine was born in Buenos Aires Province in 1982 and has refereed a total of 118 professional matches in the Primera Division. During that time, he has given out 612 yellow cards and 45 red cards, with this not being the first time he's given out more than one red card in a match this season. Back in September, during a match between Racing and Club Atletico Platense, the referee awarded three red cards and six yellow cards during a game that saw Racing win 1-0. But he is considered one of the best South American referees around and was included into FIFA's roster of international referees in 2019. Since then, he has gone on to officiate at the South American U-20 Championships and referee a game between Jordan and Morocco in the 2021 Arab Cup.

Source: Daily Mail

FIFA Futsal World Cup 2024 Qualifiers (UEFA) – Main Round (Matchday 4)

8-9 November 2022

Croatia – Israel
Referee 1: Vlad Ciobanu (ROU, photo)
Referee 2: Bogdan Hanceariuc (ROU)
Third Referee: Liviu Chita (ROU)
Timekeeper: Nikola Jelić (CRO)

Cyprus – Spain
Referee 1: Denys Kutsyi (UKR)
Referee 2: Yevhen Hordiienko (UKR)
Third Referee: Maria Myslovska (UKR)
Timekeeper: Michalis Christofidis (CYP)

Denmark – Finland
Referee 1: Marjan Mladenovski (MKD)
Referee 2: Josip Barton (MKD)
Third Referee: Done Ristovski (MKD)
Timekeeper: Martin Christensen (DEN)

Kazakhstan – Montenegro
Referee 1: Maximilian Alkofer (GER)
Referee 2: Christian Gundler (GER)
Third Referee: David Nissen (DEN)
Timekeeper: Einadin Idrissov (KAZ)

Georgia – Austria
Referee 1: Lukaš Peško (SVK)
Referee 2: Rastislav Behancin (SVK)
Third Referee: Martin Matula (SVK)
Timekeeper: Grigol Bliadze (GEO)

Kosovo – Ukraine
Referee 1: Admir Zahovič (SVN)
Referee 2: Aleš Mocnik Peric (SVN)
Third Referee: Dejan Veselic (SVN)
Timekeeper: Besart Ismajli (KOS)

Greece – Poland
Referee 1: Kirill Naishouler (FIN)
Referee 2: Arttu Kyynaeraeinen (FIN)
Third Referee: Paavo Komppa (FIN)
Timekeeper: Dimitrios Tzafolias (GRE)

Serbia – Norway
Referee 1: Aslan Galayev (KAZ)
Referee 2: Talgat Kosmukhambetov (KAZ)
Third Referee: Turekhan Tursumbayev (KAZ)
Timekeeper: Milos Dordevic (SRB)

Slovakia – Germany
Referee 1: Hikmat Qafarli (AZE)
Referee 2: Knyaz Amiraslanov (AZE)
Third Referee: Ali Jabrayilov (AZE)
Timekeeper: Angelos Daoutis (SVK)

Italy – Sweden
Referee 1: Daniel Matkovic (SUI)
Referee 2: Darko Boskovic (SUI)
Third Referee: Marco Rothenfluh (SUI)
Timekeeper: Giovanni Zannola (ITA)

Portugal – Lithuania
Referee 1: Tomasz Frak (POL)
Referee 2: Slawomir Steczko (POL)
Third Referee: Dominik Cipinski (POL)
Timekeeper: Miguel Castilho (POR)

World Cup semi-final referee Cunha retired due to losing his FIFA badge

According to Uruguayan journalist Hernan Braga, Andres Cunha was not nominated by AUF for the FIFA List 2023 and decided to retire at the end of the 2022 national season. He will continue as a FIFA video match official in 2023.
Prior to the historic first final of the Uruguay Cup between Defensor Sporting and La Luz, at the Centenario Stadium, there was an unusual gesture on the part of the two teams towards the referee of the match, Andres Cunha. The Defensor Sporting and La Luz footballers made a hallway and applauded the referee. Later, his fellow referees gave him a plaque in recognition of his career.
Andres Cunha made his First Division debut in 2011 and became a FIFA referee in 2013. He reached the pinnacle of his career at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with the semi-final France – Belgium, the same year when he refereed the historic Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid (Spain). He also attended two Copa America tournaments (2015, 2016) and the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Source: Futbol Uy

UEFA CORE 54 with top instructors

The 2022 edition of the Center of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) that UEFA organizes each year, a project that brings together referees from all over the continent and whose objective is to train the European referees of the future, came to an end last month.
Divided into two parts, the CORE 54 course started in Nyon, last May, with the introductory course. Some heavyweights of European refereeing, such as Nicola Rizzoli, Victor Kassai, Milorad Mazic, Bjorn Kuipers and Sandro Scharer, led the activities and the attendees carried out technical and sporting tests, entering a new international environment of differences to adapt their style of refereeing to any context. After the summer break, the second part took place again in Switzerland at the UEFA headquarters. The consolidation course once again had the presence of refereeing personalities such as Roberto Rosetti, who alternated in the presentations of match analysis, VAR and various regulations in the classroom and on the pitch.

Source: AIA