Gassama attacked: “I'm not saying you have to kill him”

The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has requested that disciplinary proceedings be opened against Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi following derogatory remarks he made about referee Bakary Gassama. Belmadi appeared to encourage verbal and physical attacks on the Gambian official in a video posted by Algeria's football federation (FAF), saying: "I'm not saying that you have to kill him".
Gassama has received criticism in Algeria for his decisions during their 2-1 defeat by Cameroon in a 2022 World Cup qualifying tie on 29 March, a result which saw the North Africans miss out on a place at the tournament in Qatar. The GFF said it has been following with "grave concern" the verbal attacks launched against Gassama. A statement from the organisation said it had made a formal complaint to FAF, and asked FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to open investigations and disciplinary proceedings against Belmadi, 46. "We've asked the Algerian federation to make a public statement condemning the actions of Mr Belmadi and all the verbal attacks against Mr. Gassama by Algerians," the GFF statement said. It added that FAF should "take all necessary precautions to restrain their officials and nationals from making any further negative remarks and threats against Mr. Gassama. Otherwise, their federation will be held responsible and complicit for any harm which may happen to him." Gassama, 43, has officiated at the past two World Cups and refereed three matches at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year. Last month, FAF lodged a request with world governing body FIFA that the play-off match against Cameroon be replayed, citing "scandalous arbitration" which "distorted the result". Algeria striker Islam Slimani had two goals ruled out, one for offside and one for handball - the latter after a video assistant referee review, before Karl Toko Ekambi scored a 124th-minute winner for the Indomitable Lions in Blida. "Never again will we allow a few people to conspire against our country," Belmadi said in a video posted on Sunday. I have to say, I didn't like at all to see the following day when this referee (Bakary Gassama) left from Algiers airport, to see him comfortably seated in the lounge suite with a coffee and a pastry. I didn't like that. I didn't like the fact that we would accept these kinds of things. He stole the hope of a whole nation, and we treat him like this. I'm not saying you have to kill him; I'm not saying things like that. But he's a bully, more than a bully. We can't ever accept that again." Belmadi said that he told Gassama what he thought of him not only in the Algiers airport but also in Turkey when he ran into the Gambian again. "I saw him again and told him again the same thing and told him who he is." Speaking a few weeks ago, Gassama told a Gambian newspaper: "If they win you are the good referee and if they lose they label you as the bad referee." Meanwhile, Cameroon football federation (Fecafoot) president Samuel Eto'o has said his organisation may also contact FIFA about Belmadi's comments in the same interview.

Source: BBC

UEFA Futsal Champions League Final 2022: Jelic & Babic (CRO)

1 May 2022

Barcelona – Sporting CP
Referee 1: Nikola Jelic (CRO, photo)
Referee 2: Vedran Babic (CRO)
Third Referee: Ondrej Cerny (CZE)
Timekeeper: Chiara Perona (ITA)
Reserve AR: Gabor Kovacs (HUN)

Match for Third Place
ACCS Futsal – Benfica
Referee 1: Ondrej Cerny (CZE)
Referee 2: Nicola Manzione (ITA)
Third Referee: Vedran Babic (CRO)
Timekeeper: Gabor Kovacs (HUN)
Reserve AR: Chiara Perona (ITA)

EPL referees Atkinson and Moss to retire at end of season

Martin Atkinson and Jon Moss will retire from their roles as Premier League referees at the end of this season. The pair will take up backroom roles at the Professional Game Match Official Limited (PGMOL). Atkinson, 51, will coach the Select Group 1 (the pool of Premier League referees), while Moss, also 51, will manage the group. Atkinson refereed his first Premier League game in 2005, with Moss taking charge of his first match at that level in 2010.
Their retirement follows that of another experienced Premier League official, Mike Dean, who has been a top-flight official since 2000. When asked earlier this month about what he will do following his retirement, Dean said: “Contrary to reports and speculation, I have been offered no VAR role at all, that is just word of mouth I think. It could be there if I wanted to go for it, but I don't know yet. I need to keep my options open and see what is available.”
Jarred Gillett, Michael Salisbury, Tony Harrington and John Brooks, meanwhile, were promoted to the Select Group 1 last summer. There have been 22 different referees in the Premier League this season.

Source: The Athletic

UEFA Women’s Champions League 2021/22 – Semi-finals (Second Leg)

30 April 2022

VfL Wolfsburg – FC Barcelona
Referee: Cheryl Foster (WAL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Michelle O'Neill (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Anita Vad (HUN)
Fourth Official: Lorraine Watson (SCO)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Sian Massey-Ellis (ENG)
Referee Observer: Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)

Paris St. Germain – Olympique Lyonnais
Referee: Rebecca Welch (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Lisa Rashid (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Almira Spahić (SWE)
Fourth Official: Tess Olofsson (SWE)
VAR: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
AVAR: Dennis Higler (NED)
Referee Observer: Maria Villa Gutierrez (ESP)

Thomson begged to be taken off an Old Firm Celtic vs Rangers

Craig Thomson has told how he once begged to be taken off an Old Firm game after being handed three in a row. The former referee - who retired in 2019 - handled countless Celtic vs Rangers games over the years. He loved the occasion but admitted there weren't enough experienced whistlers during his days to manage the fixture.
Thomson told The Scottish Sun: “I handled one in May 2009, then the first game between the clubs the following season. I was supposed to do the next league game too and I spoke to Hugh Dallas about it. I just felt three in a row was too many, that you were always likely to be remembered for something in one of them. But there was a feeling in the SFA that there just wasn’t referees experienced enough to handle the game. I was eventually taken off the game and soon regretted it because Rangers were sent down the leagues and the game wasn’t on the league calendar for four seasons. The SFA style tends to be to blood Old Firm referees in the game at the start of the season or in the last one if nothing is going to be decided in it. “The significance of the games restricts who gets to referee them. It didn’t surprise me Bobby [Madden] was appointed to the Scottish Cup semi-final this weekend. Willie Collum came through the league game earlier this month with no issues and it wouldn’t surprise me if he got the game on May 1, especially if it could decide the title. But if the title isn’t going to be decided that day, the SFA might give it to someone else.”

UEFA Futsal Champions League 2021/2022 – Semi-finals

29 April 2022

ACCS Futsal – Sporting CP
Referee 1: Ondrej Cerny (CZE, photo)
Referee 2: Gabor Kovacs (HUN)
Third Referee: Vedran Babic (CRO)
Timekeeper: Chiara Perona (ITA)
Reserve AR: Nicola Manzione (ITA)

Benfica – Barcelona
Referee 1: Nicola Manzione (ITA)
Referee 2: Chiara Perona (ITA)
Third Referee: Nikola Jelic (CRO)
Timekeeper: Gabor Kovacs (HUN)
Reserve AR: Ondrej Cerny (CZE)

Collina talks effective playing time

The topic of effective time has been heated in recent years, with some calling for changes to the way that extra time is calculated, unhappy with stop-start matches that end with only around 50 minutes of effective time. Effective or actual time is the amount of time the ball was actually in play during the match, not counting stops in play like injuries, celebrations and lining up set pieces.
Speaking to Calciatori Brutti, Collina discussed effective time in football and the possible changes on the horizon. “I am part of a body called the International Football Association Board, IFAB, which is the one that oversees the rules. One of the things we are talking about is whether it is not worthwhile for all matches to have the same duration. If you look at the statistics today you see that there are teams that play 52 minutes, others that play 43 minutes and others that play 58 minutes. If you add up all these times in a league the difference becomes big. Another thing to think about is: I as a spectator pay a ticket, physically at the stadium, or at home on PPV, to see 90 minutes of football but I see 44, 45, 46 played. Half the price of my ticket goes into unplayed time. Most of the wasted time comes with throw-ins or goal kicks. These things are functional to the game, but eight to nine minutes for throw-ins, eight to nine minutes for goal-kicks… Precisely to overcome the unspectacular nature of certain things in a match a few years ago, the goalkeeper was prevented from picking up the ball passed voluntarily by a teammate. How spectacular is it to see a goalkeeper with a ball in his hand? The initial reaction is ‘football will never be the same again’. Today, however, it is obvious that it is much more fun. So, we are doing some thinking. Today, what is accepted as good actual playing time is around an hour, around 60 minutes. That’s the dividing line between games that last a bit shorter and others that last as long as 66-67-68 minutes. It also depends on the players. We, as referees, as FIFA, also for the next World Cup, we will give the indication to be careful to recover lost time, which are not dives but goals. If three goals are scored in one half, the average celebration is one and a half minutes each, that’s five minutes of celebration, which nobody remembers, but it’s five minutes less played. If we’re going to be a bit more precise we’ll have to prepare ourselves for a nine-minute injury time, today nine minutes is eye-popping, but give those who want to see a spectacle the chance to see a bit more.” It is likely that rules or changes will be introduced in the coming years to address effective time, although the nature of these alterations are still unclear. Many ideas have been proposed, such as pausing the clock when the ball leaves play or simply adding close to 10 minutes of extra time if needed.

AFC Champions League 2022 – Group Stage (East Region, Matchday 5)

27-28 April 2022

Melbourne City – Pathum United
Referee: Ammar Al Jneibi (UAE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ahmed Al Rashdi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jasem Al Ali (UAE)
Fourth Official: Mooud Bonyadifard (IRN)

Urawa Red Diamonds – Lion City Sailors
Referee: Omar Al Ali (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Suqatari (UAE)
Fourth Official: Nivon Robesh (SRI)

Daegu FC – Shandong
Referee: Salman Falahi (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Juma Al Burshaid (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Yousuf Al Shammari (QAT)
Fourth Official: Abdulla Al Marri (QAT)

Jeonnam Dragons – United City
Referee: Qasim Al Hatmi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nasser Ambusaidi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergei Griscenko (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Saoud Al Adba (QAT)

Ulsan Hyundai – Kawasaki Frontale
Referee: Mohammed Al Hoish (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Yasser Al Sultan (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham (AUS)
Fourth Official: Chen Hsin-Chuan (TPI)

Guangzhou – Johor Darul Tazim
Referee: Payam Heydari (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Alireza Ildorom (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdullah Al Jardani (OMA)
Fourth Official: Omar Al Yaqoubi (OMA)

Yokohama Marinos – Hoang Anh Gia Lai
Referee: Ammar Mahfoodh (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Faisal Sayed (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juma Al Mukhaini (UAE)
Fourth Official: Shukri Al Hunfush (KSA)

Sydney FC – Jeonbuk Motors
Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Adel Al Naqbi (UAE)

Chiangrai United – Kitchee
Referee: Khalid Al Turais (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Al Abakry (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdulrahim Al Shammari (KSA)
Fourth Official: Masoud Tufaylieh (SYR)

Spanish referee Prieto Iglesias leads convoy with humanitarian aid

The second division referee Eduardo Prieto Iglesias left the capital of Navarra last Sunday to participate in a convoy with humanitarian aid organized by the SOS Ukraine made up of five vehicles. The humanitarian convoy has made a dangerous journey because it has not limited itself to reaching the Polish border with Ukraine and meeting the demands of the refugees and displaced people there, but has also entered a conflict zone, reaching the town of Lviv, where they were all day on Wednesday carrying out the planned aid work and delivering materials. 
"We have managed to deliver two ambulances, three SUVs, a lot of first aid medical equipment and everything directly, without intermediaries, to the managers of the hospitals. Similarly, and for the first time in Europe, we have managed to get three war-wounded people out so that they have treatment in the Navarra hospital”, explained Prieto Iglesias, who has driven one of the vehicles taking turns with the rest of the members of the convoy, in statements provided by the Navarra Football Federation. Three other wounded people will be treated in Barcelona. Very moved, Prieto Iglesias affirmed on his return that he has been impacted by what he has lived there, and it will be difficult for him to assimilate it. "They have asked us for more help, and I assure you that they need it", recognized the referee, who was heading back home after having spent the whole day in the city of Lviv, which was the destination when they left Pamplona.

AFC Champions League 2022 – Group Stage (West Region, Matchday 6)

26-27 April 2022

Al Jazira – Al Shabab
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrei Sapenko (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Timur Gainullin (UZB)
Fourth Official: Aziz Asimov (UZB)

Mumbay City – Al Kuwa
Referee: Adham Makhadmeh (JOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ahmed Al Roalle (JOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammad Al Kalaf (JOR)
Fourth Official: Mohammad Arafah (JOR)

Foolad – Al Ahli
Referee: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Jae-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Park Sang-Jun (KOR)
Fourth Official: Rowan Arumughan (IND)

Ahal – Al Gharafa
Referee: Ali Reda (LBN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hayder Ali (IRQ)
Assistant Referee 2: Ameer Hussein (IRQ)
Fourth Official: Ali Al Qaysi (IRQ)

Al Duhail – Sepahan
Referee: Hanna Hattab (SYR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ali Ahmad (SYR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mazen Zazfoun (SYR)
Fourth Official: Baraa Aisha (PAL)

Pakhtakor – Al Taawoun
Referee: Ma Ning (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Shi Xiang (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN)
Fourth Official: Jansen Foo (SIN)

Al Hilal – Al Rayyan
Referee: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Isao Nishihashi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Takumi Takagi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)

Istiklol – Sharjah
Referee: Amirul Yaacob (MAS)
Assistant Referee 1: Yusri Mohamad (MAS)
Assistant Referee 2: Muazi Abidin (MAS)
Fourth Official: Thoriq Alkatiri (IDN)

Al Wehdat – Nasaf
Referee: Fu Ming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Park Kyun-Yong (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kwak Seung-Soon (KOR)
Fourth Official: Kim Dae-Yong (KOR)

Al Sadd – Al Faisaly
Referee: Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Sanjeewa Premalal (SRI)
Fourth Official: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR)

Referee wears microphone in England

Chelsea vs Reading in the Women's Super League earlier this month got off to an inauspicious start when no Royals player stepped up to take the kick-off. But that quizzical reaction was not from a fan, player or even a manager - it was the referee. How do we know? Because Emily Heaslip and her assistants were all wearing microphones, offering us an insight into their decision-making process during the heat of a game. When the match finally got under way, we were able to hear just how often Heaslip and her assistants Ceri Williams, Georgia Ball and Louise Saunders communicated during the 90 minutes as part of an experiment by broadcaster Sky Sports.
"Now," Heaslip would shout each time the ball was played behind the defence, alerting her assistants to a possible offside call. "Clear" would be the reply if the attacker was onside, allowing the game to continue. "Waiting, waiting, flagging" was the response if the forward had strayed beyond the last defender. We were also able to gain an understanding of how the officials react to different match situations. "I can't see, I can't see," shouts Saunders, as a crowd of players impede her view of the ball heading towards the touchline. "Blue, blue" responds Heaslip, indicating a Chelsea ball. The official even had time to provide a bit of match commentary. "She loves a challenge does Erin," says Heaslip, in response to a firm but fair tackle by Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert. The game's major flashpoint came late in the second half when Chelsea forward Beth England was fouled in the box for a penalty. We were able to hear how the referee told the players to remain outside the area before the ball was kicked, told spot-kick taker England to wait for the whistle and reminded Reading goalkeeper Grace Moloney to have one foot on the line. "She's watching," Heaslip says to Moloney, pointing to one of her assistants. England confidently dispatched the spot-kick, one of five goals Chelsea scored on the night in a dominant victory.
Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb, a former referee and women's select group director at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), hopes the experiment will give fans a greater understanding of the officials' jobs. "So much information is shared within the team which is crucial to making the right decision," she told Sky Sports' Inside the WSL. "All these pieces of information need to come together to build a full picture. We wanted to communicate this to a wider audience and really let people know what is going on on the field of play. I hope it will show how professionally the officials take their job, how much they work on the field of play throughout the 90 minutes, how focused they are and how much interaction takes place."
It is not the first time a referee has worn a microphone in English football. In 1989, David Elleray was mic'd up during a Division One match between Arsenal and Millwall for a TV documentary, which also included footage of the referee's preparations before and after the game. In 2019, Australian referee Jarred Gillett, who is now a Premier League official, wore a microphone for his final A-League match between Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Source: BBC

UEFA Europa League 2021/2022 – Semi-finals (First Leg)

28 April 2022

RB Leipzig – Rangers FC
Referee: Benoît Bastien (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurelien Berthomieu (FRA)
Fourth Official: Clement Turpin (FRA)
VAR: Benoît Millot (FRA)
AVAR: Willy Delajod (FRA)
Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

West Ham United – Eintracht Frankfurt
Referee: Serdar Gozübüyuk (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Joost van Zuilen (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Johan Balder (NED)
Fourth Official: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Dennis Higler (NED)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

UEFA Europa Conference League 2021/22 – Semi-finals (First Leg)

28 April 2022

Leicester City – AS Roma
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP)
VAR: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
AVAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Pascal Garibian (FRA)

Feyenoord – Olympique de Marseille
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
VAR: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
AVAR: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Concacaf Champions League Final 2022 (First Leg)

27 April 2022

Pumas Unam – Seattle Sounders
Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: David Moran (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Zachari Zeegelaar (SUR)
Fourth Official: Juan Calderon (CRC)
VAR: Ismael Cornejo (SLV)
AVAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)

Pitana assigned two matches in less than 24 hours

As part of an obvious punishment of the political leadership (Federico Beligoy executes, but the order comes from above), Nestor Pitana was assigned two professional games in practically 24 hours, without any type of rest and having to travel from Tucuman to Santa Fe by land.
Pitana was appointed for the last game of matchday 11 and for the first game of matchday 12. In Tucuman, he had to referee Atletico Tucuman against Argentinos Juniors (Referee: Nestor Pitana. Assistant referee 1: Ivan Nunez. Assistant referee 2: Eduardo Lucero. Fourth official: Rodrigo Rivero. VAR: Fernando Rapalini. AVAR: Diego Romero). After finishing those 90 minutes, he traveled by land (approximately 800 km) all night, without sleeping, to open matchday 12 in Santa Fe with Colon – Estudiantes (Referee: Nestor Pitana. Assistant 1: Maximiliano Del Yesso. Assistant 2: Ariel Scime. Fourth official: Guillermo Gonzalez. VAR: Ariel Penel. AVAR: Andres Merlos). Two matches for the same referee (Nestor Pitana) within 24 hours, with overnight ground travel from Tucuman to Santa Fe. When El Litoral consulted referees and former referees about the union protection in this case, which is unprecedented, the answer was simple: "Pitana was left alone in SADRA; they want to kill his career." As it is known, Pitana, who refereed the World Cup final in Russia, has been persecuted by the refereeing leadership in Argentina. He was removed by AFA from the international list, but CONMEBOL continues to use him. On March 6, Beligoy had appointed Nestor Pitana for a game in Belgrano, while the draw had allocated him for the La Plata classic. When he realized the "error", Beligoy put German Delfino in Estudiantes – Gimnasia. "This will explode in a short time with something serious", referees confided to El Litoral from Buenos Aires. The truth is that what Beligoy did with Pitana is incredible: two games (first Atletico Tucuman-Argentinos on Thursday and then Colon-Estudiantes on Friday), without rest and having to travel all night from Tucuman to Santa Fe. Total madness.

Source: El Litoral

Referee punched and kicked in CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals

Tunisian referee Sadok Selmi was punched and kicked after Moroccan club Renaissance Berkane reached the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals at the weekend with a 1-0 win over Egyptian visitors Al Masry. Youssef el Fahli converted a seventh-minute penalty for the only goal of the quarter-final second leg and Berkane won the fiery tie on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.
Masry technical staff constantly complained about the decisions of Selmi at the Municipal Stadium in Berkane. When the final whistle blew, the match official showed red cards to Egyptian players Farid Shawky and Mohamed Abdel Latif. Almost immediately, a Masry technical staff member punched the referee in the face and kicked him before security staff intervened. An ill-tempered match was marred by constant lengthy stoppages for injuries, angering Masry, who believed some were designed to waste time. The first leg, won 2-1 by Masry in Alexandria last weekend, was also a stormy affair with two of the home side, Amr Moussa and Elyes Jlassi, sent off.

Baldassi injured while biking

Former World Cup (2010) referee Hector Baldassi got recently injured while biking in Argentina.
“They always tell you that safety measures on the bike are important. Today I checked it; if it weren't for them, it would have been worse”, tweeted Baldassi.

UEFA Champions League 2021/2022 – Semi-finals (First Leg)

26 April 2022
Manchester City – Real Madrid
Referee: Istvan Kovacs (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ovidiu Artene (ROU)
Fourth Official: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
AVAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)

27 April 2022
Liverpool FC – Villarreal CF
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

Cakir received standing ovation in Turkey

After almost two months of forced absence, Cuneyt Cakir returned to refereeing in Turkey.
While entering the field to warm-up before the match between Antalyspor and Kayserispor, he received standing ovations from spectators to show their enthusiastic appreciation. Cakir responded humble and emotionally: he first bowed to them and then applauded the spectators, showing his respect.

AFC Champions League 2022 – Group Stage (East Region, Matchday 4)

24-25 April 2022

Johor Darul Tazim – Kawasaki Frontale
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BAH, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Salman (BAH)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Fourth Official: Payam Heydari (IRN)

Guangzhou FC – Ulsan Hyundai
Referee: Omar Al Yaqoubi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdullah Al Jardani (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alireza Ildorom (IRN)
Fourth Official: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN)

Urawa Red Diamonds – Daegu FC
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Hussein Yehia (LBN)

Jeonnam Dragons – Melbourne City
Referee: Mooud Bonyadifard (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ali Mirzabeigi (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Saeid Ghasemi (IRN)
Fourth Official: Qasim Al Hatmi (OMA)

Lion City Sailors – Shandong Taishan
Referee: Masoud Tufaylieh (SYR)
Assistant Referee 1: Fadi Mahmoud (SYR)
Assistant Referee 2: Apichit Nophuan (THA)
Fourth Official: Ahmed Al Ali (JOR)

United City – Pathum United
Referee: Zaid Mohammed (IRQ)
Assistant Referee 1: Nasser Ambusaidi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Xusravi Siddikzod (TJK)
Fourth Official: Sadullo Gulmurodi (TJK)

Yokohama Marinos – Sydney FC
Referee: Mongkolchai Pechsri (THA)
Assistant Referee 1: Pattarapong Kijsathit (THA)
Assistant Referee 2: Ronnie Koh (SIN)
Fourth Official: Ammar Mahfoodh (BHR)

Hoang Anh Gia Lai – Jeonbuk Motors
Referee: Shukri Al Hunfush (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Faisal Sayed (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdulhadi Manea (KUW)
Fourth Official: Ahmad Al Ali (KUW)

Chiangrai United – Vissel Kobe
Referee: Bijan Heidari (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamed Al Ghafri (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Samer Badr (LBN)
Fourth Official: Nivon Robesh (SRI)

AFC Champions League 2022 – Group Stage (West Region, Matchday 5)

22-23 April 2022

Al Rayyan – FK Istiqlol
Referee: Kim Hee-Gon (KOR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Kwak Seung-Soon (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Bang Gi-Yeol (KOR)
Fourth Official: Kim Dae-Yong (KOR)

FC Nasaf – Al Sadd
Referee: Ma Ning (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Shi Xiang (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN)
Fourth Official: Nasrullo Kabirov (TJK)

Sharjah FC – Al Hilal
Referee: Mohanad Sarray (IRQ)
Assistant Referee 1: Watheq Al Swaiedi (IRQ)
Assistant Referee 2: Ahmed Al Baghdadi (IRQ)
Fourth Official: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)

Al Faisaly – Al Wehdat
Referee: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Park Gyun-Yong (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yaqoub Al Mutairi (KUW)
Fourth Official: Thoriq Alkatiri (IDN)

Al Quwa – Al Jazira
Referee: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abu Al Amri (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rashid Al Ghaithi (OMA)
Fourth Official: Mahmood Al Majarafi (OMA)

Al Shabab – Mumbai City
Referee: Fu Ming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Yusri Mohamad (MAS)
Assistant Referee 2: Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)
Fourth Official: Jansen Foo (SIN)

Al Ahli – Ahal
Referee: Shaun Evans (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Arun Pillai (IND)
Fourth Official: Ali Reda (LBN)

Al Gharafa – Foolad
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jun Mihara (JPN)
Fourth Official: Nazmi Nasaruddin (MAS)

Sepahan – Pakhtakor
Referee: Jumpei Iida (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Rawut Nakrit (THA)
Assistant Referee 2: Tanate Chuchuen (THA)
Fourth Official: Baraa Aisha (PAL)

Al Taawoun – Al Duhail
Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Isao Nishihashi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Takumi Takagi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Yusuke Araki (JPN)

Escobar: “I predicted that I would go to the World Cup in 2022”

Mario Escobar hopes to become the third Guatemalan refereeing at a World Cup, following Romulo Mendez Molina and Carlos Batres. Walter Lopez was in Brazil 2014, but only as fourth official. “I hope to be at the World Cup, I want to be there. There is a possibility, I had the opportunity to participate in several competitions, I really enjoy football, I have the complete albums from the 1998 World Cup”, said Escobar.
- Do you see yourself at the World Cup in Qatar?
- I do not want to get ahead of myself, since we are eight candidate referees from Concacaf. I made some calculations before I became a FIFA referee and I predicted that I would go to the World Cup in 2022. The fact of being included in this selection process gave me satisfactions because there are referees with more experience, and I never imagined myself as a potential candidate. I have prepared myself for years to be at this level. My dad couldn't be at the 1998 World Cup in France, but I want to be at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
- When would your presence in Qatar be confirmed?
- I do not know the specific date and I could not estimate times because I have never been in a selection process before, and even more so when all participating teams have not yet been known. When the World Cup was played in June, the notification arrived in February. I do not even know if I will receive that confirmation email from confirmation, so could not yet give a date.
- How was your participation at the African Cup of Nations.
- Definitely, participating in a tournament like the African Nations Cup is very well seen by the football world and personally gives me enormous satisfaction. The previous four qualifying matchdays that I had refereed in Concacaf left a good taste in my mouth, so I am waiting for the FIFA Referees Committee and Concacaf to make their decision. I can be on the list, but I don't know if I will be as referee, fourth official or VAR, but I consider myself suitable for this tournament.
- How is your preparation going on?
- We have to intensify the preparation, we can always be better, so I have to adapt to the demands of the work plan. FIFA will determine when the seminars will be held, but everything starts in the federation here. It will always be a pride to be able to represent Guatemala. I would like people to know more about Guatemalan football. I am always the first person interested in improving our football.

CONMEBOL Libertadores 2022 – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

26-28 April 2022

Corinthians – Boca Juniors
Referee: Andres Matonte (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Trinidad (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Soppi (URU)
Fourth Official: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Ednilson Corona (BRA)
VAR Supervisor: Juan Cardellino (URU)

Independiente Petrolero – Deportivo Tachira
Referee: Nicolas Gamboa (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Serrano (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Marin (CHI)
Fourth Official: Piero Maza (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)
VAR Supervisor: Olga Miranda (PAR)

Velez Sarsfield – Nacional
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Cuevas (PAR)
Fourth Official: Carlos Benitez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Angel Sanchez (ARG)
VAR Supervisor: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)

Libertad – Athletico Paranaense
Referee: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Andres Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Pablo Llarena (URU)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Estudiantes de La Plata – Red Bull Bragantino
Referee: Kevin Ortega (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Orue (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Sanchez (PER)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcon (PER)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)
VAR Supervisor: Hernan Maidana (ARG)

Talleres – Sporting Cristal
Referee: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Canete (PAR)
Fourth Official: Juan Lopez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)
VAR Supervisor: Carlos Astroza (CHI)

Independiente Del Valle – Atletico Mineiro
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Fourth Official: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Jose Lara (ECU)
VAR Supervisor: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

America Mineiro – Deportes Tolima
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Barreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Referee Assessor: Paulo Conceicao (BRA)
VAR Supervisor: Luis Sanchez (VEN)

Fortaleza – Alianza Lima
Referee: Carlos Betancur (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Sebastian Vela (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John Gallego (COL)
Fourth Official: Bismarks Santiago (COL)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Perassi (BRA)
VAR Supervisor: Sabrina Lois (ARG)

Cerro Porteno – Penarol
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: John Hinestroza (COL)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Colo Colo – River Plate
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Patricio Polic (CHI)
VAR Supervisor: Fredy Arellanos (PER)

Emelec – Palmeiras
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Juan Corozo (ECU)
VAR Supervisor: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)

The Strongest – Caracas
Referee: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Augusto Aragon (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Lugones (BOL)
VAR Supervisor: Ana Perez (PER)

Universidad Catolica – Flamengo
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Fourth Official: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Patricio Polic (CHI)
VAR Supervisor: Juan Cardellino (URU)

Olimpia – Colon
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lubin Torrealba (VEN)
Fourth Official: Yender Herrera (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Dario Ubriaco (URU)

Always Ready – Deportivo Cali
Referee: Augusto Aragon (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Lugones (BOL)
VAR Supervisor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)

CONMEBOL Sudamericana 2022 – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

26-28 April 2022

Fluminense – Union Santa Fe
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Barreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Andres Cunha (URU)
Referee Assessor: Hilton Moutinho (BRA)
VAR Supervisor: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)

Deportivo La Guaira – Independiente
Referee: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Ortiz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: David Fuentes (COL)
Fourth Official: Christian Aleman (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Candelario Andarcia (VEN)
VAR Supervisor: Jose Carpio (ECU)

General Caballero – Ceara
Referee: John Hinestroza (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Fourth Official: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Referee Assessor: Dario Ubriaco (URU)

Everton – Ayacucho
Referee: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Facundo Rodriguez (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Fourth Official: Andres Merlos (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Barbra Bastias (CHI)
VAR Supervisor: Oscar Viera (PAR)

Independiente Medellin – Internacional
Referee: Nicolas Lamolina (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Savorani (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Mariana de Almeida (ARG)
Fourth Official: Yael Falcon (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Abraham Gonzalez (COL)
VAR Supervisor: Carlos Pastorino (URU)

Guairena – 9 de Octubre
Referee: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Pablo Llarena (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Andres Nievas (URU)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
VAR Supervisor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Cuiaba – River Plate
Referee: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Silvia Regina (BRA)
VAR Supervisor: Cesar Mongrut (PER)

Melgar – Racing
Referee: Dilio Rodriguez (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ariel Guizada (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Tapia (BOL)
Fourth Official: Raul Orosco (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Escano (PER)
VAR Supervisor: Wilson Avila (ECU)

Antofagasta – Atletico Goianiense
Referee: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Villagra (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Onieva (PAR)
Fourth Official: Juan Benitez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Cynthia Franco (PAR)

Universidad Catolica – Banfield
Referee: Augusto Menendez (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Enrique Pinto (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberth Alarcon (PER)
Fourth Official: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Referee Assessor: Juan Albarracin (ECU)
VAR Supervisor: Jorge Jaimes (PER)

Jorge Wilstermann – Sao Paulo
Referee: Carlos Ortega (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: John Leon (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Fourth Official: Luis Quiroz (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)
VAR Supervisor: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)

Defensa y Justicia – LDU Quito
Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Antelo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Fourth Official: Ivo Mendez (BOL)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)
VAR Supervisor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Union La Calera – Santos
Referee: Angel Arteaga (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Ponte (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Franchescoly Chacon (VEN)
Fourth Official: Orlando Bracamonte (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Barbra Bastias (CHI)
VAR Supervisor: Oscar Ruiz (COL)

Oriente Petrolero – Junior
Referee: Piero Maza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Manuel Marin (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Serrano (CHI)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Pedro Saucedo (BOL)
VAR Supervisor: Martin Vazquez (URU)

Barcelona – Metropolitanos
Referee: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Luis Vera (ECU)
VAR Supervisor: Emerson de Csrvalho (BRA)

Montevideo Wanderers – Lanus
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Alves (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Edina Alves (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
VAR Supervisor: Olga Miranda (PAR)

Frappart named as first woman to referee French Cup final

Stephanie Frappart will referee the final of the 105th edition of the Coupe de France between Nantes and Nice, on Saturday, 7 May, at the Stade de France.
Stephanie Frappart is a pioneer. After being the first woman to referee a Ligue 1 match (Amiens-Strasbourg, 28 April 2019), the European Super Cup (Chelsea-Liverpool, 14 August 2019) then in the Champions League (Juventus Turin-Dynamo Kyiv, 2 December 2020), she will become the first female referee of a Coupe de France final. “I am happy and proud of this appointment. I thank the FFF for the trust it places in me. I particularly appreciate this competition, a major event in French football, which mixes amateurs with professionals”, says Stephanie Frappart. “Her appointment rewards both her serious work and performance. It is well deserved”, says Pascal Garibian, technical director of refereeing. Stephanie Frappart will be supported by Mikael Berchebru and Benjamin Pages as assistants, and by Willy Delajod as fourth official. Jeremie Pignard and Hamid Guenaoui will be the video assistant referees.

Source: FFF

UEFA Women’s Champions League 2021/22 – Semi-finals (First Leg)

22 April 2022
FC Barcelona – VfL Wolfsburg
Referee: Sandra Braz Bastos (POR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Sukenikova (SVK)
Fourth Official: Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU)
VAR: Tiago Martins (POR)
AVAR: Luis Godinho (POR)
Referee Observer: Hilda McDermott (IRL)

24 April 2022
Olympique Lyonnais – Paris St. Germain
Referee: Ivana Martinčić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sanja Rodjak-Karšić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Staša Špur (SVN)
Fourth Official: Ivana Projkovska (MKD)
VAR: Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
AVAR: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Katarzyna Wierzbowska (POL)

CAF Confederation Cup 2021/2022 – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

24 April 2022

Al Ahly – Al Ittihad
Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mokrane Gourari (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Fourth Official: Noureddine El-Jaafari (MAR)
VAR: Lahlou Benbraham (ALG)

Orlando Pirates – Simba
Referee: Bernard Camille (SEY)
Assistant Referee 1: James Emile (SEY)
Assistant Referee 2: Lionel Andrianantenaina (MAD)
Fourth Official: Helder Martins (ANG)
VAR: Mahmoud Ashour (EGY)

TP Mazembe – Pyramids FC
Referee: Joshua Bondo (BOT)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Issa Yaya (CHA)
Fourth Official: Daniel Laryea (GHA)
VAR: Bakary Gassama (GAM)

RSB Berkane – Al Masry
Referee: Sadok Selmi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Khalil Hassani (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Attia Amsaaed (LBY)
Fourth Official: Pierre Atcho (GAB)
VAR: Victor Gomes (RSA)

CAF Champions League 2021/2022 – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

22-23 April 2022

Raja Casablanca – Al Ahly
Referee: Maguette N’Diaye (SEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Nouha Bangoura (SEN)
Fourth Official: Issa Sy (SEN)
VAR: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)

Esperance Tunis – ES Setif
Referee: Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Lahcen Azgaou (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mostafa Akarkad (MAR)
Fourth Official: Samir Guezzaz (MAR)
VAR: Adil Zourak (MAR)

Wydad AC – CR Belouizdad
Referee: Amin Omar (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Mahmoud El-Regal (EGY)
Assistant Referee 2: Ahmed Hossam El-Din (EGY)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Maarouf (EGY)
VAR: Mahmoud El-Banna (EGY)

Mamelodi Sundowns – Petro de Luanda
Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Ibrahim (SDN)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Komba (TAN)
Fourth Official: Imtehaz Heeralall (MRI)
VAR: Haythem Guirat (TUN)

AFC Champions League 2022 – Group Stage (East Region, Matchday 3)

21-22 April 2022

Melbourne Victory – Jeonnam Dragons
Referee: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Makoto Bozono (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Naomi Teshirogi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Ammar Al Jneibi (UAE)

Ulsan Hyundai – Guangzhou FC
Referee: Khamis Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Zahy Al Shammari (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Faisal Al Shammari (QAT)
Fourth Official: Omar Al Yaqoubi (OMA)

Shandong Taishan – Lion City Sailors
Referee: Abdulla Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Juma Al Burshaid (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Yousuf Al Shammari (QAT)
Fourth Official: Salman Falahi (QAT)

Pathum United – United City
Referee: Saoud Al Adba (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Khalid Khalaf (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Jasem Al Ali (UAE)
Fourth Official: Mooud Bonyadifard (IRN)

Daegu FC – Urawa Red Diamonds
Referee: Ahmed Al Ali (JOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ayman Obeidat (JOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ahmad Muhsen (JOR)
Fourth Official: Masoud Tufaylieh (SYR)

Kawasaki Frontale – Johor Darul Tazim
Referee: Mohammed Al Hoish (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Yasser Al Sultan (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham (AUS)
Fourth Official: Chen Hsin-Chuan (TPE)

Jeonbuk Motors – Hoang Anh Gia Lai
Referee: Adel Al Naqbi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Juma Al Mukhaini (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Ronnie Koh (SIN)
Fourth Official: Mongkolchai Pechsri (THA)

Sydney FC – Yokohama Marinos
Referee: Hasan Akrami (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hassan Zeheyri (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdul Hannan (SIN)
Fourth Official: Ahmad Al Ali (KUW)

Vissel Kobe – Chiangrai United
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Suqatari (UAE)
Fourth Official: Omar Al Ali (UAE)

Former FIFA Referee Instructor Sibrian accused of sexual harassment and sextortion

At least six female referees have accused Rodolfo Sibrian for sexual harassment and sextortion. Despite the allegations, Sibrian is still a FIFA-certified referee instructor at the El Salvador FA (FESFUT). “It’s a shame. These people are shameless. They don’t care about us, they don’t care about our well-being. Each time we tried to report it nothing happened. We’re without hope in a way. FESFUT, Concacaf, FIFA, no one is taking action. I know some of the girls that just wanted to play football. Others just wanted to referee because we love it, we love football. But in these conditions, I mean, I won’t give sex or be dating someone for a career. But that’s how these people think. They think they can do what they want with us because the system they built is protecting them. We’re living in a tough country, a violent one. Justice can be complicated to obtain, especially for women. They’re taking advantage of it and getting away with it.” She is one of the referees that over the years have accused Rodolfo Sibrian for actively using his position to get sex in exchange for being appointed referee for domestic and international matches. She is talking to Josimar on the condition of anonymity.
“The case of Vilma Montes was dreadful. She got no support from the federation. They protected Sibrian, who is now back at FESFUT. They are so proud of it. That makes me sick.” Vilma Montes is a former FIFA referee and one of the top female referees in El Salvador. In August 2017 she sued the former vice-president of the referees’ commission, Rodolfo Sibrian, for sexual harassment. Sibrian is one of the most experienced referees in El Salvador and Central America and has for years been accused by several women of sexual harassment and sextortion. Despite these allegations, he remains in position as one of the most influential referee instructors at FESFUT and still holds a FIFA certificate as a referee instructor. Six months before the lawsuit, Vilma Montes told three senior members of the federation of her experiences with Sibrian, but nothing happened. Vilma Montes also sent a letter to FESFUT’s executive committee without any action being taken. Then she decided to try her case in court. But 18 months after initiating the lawsuit, Montes abandoned the case because her health had seriously deteriorated and suffered a serious depression. Allegations on sexual harassment doesn’t start nor end with Rodolfo Sibrian. At a meeting, thirteen male officials within FESFUT voted and wrote comments on a paper what kind of sexual acts they wanted in return for coaching the women. This evidence was shown to FESFUT during their so-called investigation. Nothing happened. Josimar has seen the list graphically detailing the sexual acts the male officials demanded for coaching women. In total, eight Salvadorian FA officials have been accused of sexual harassment and sextortion in the last five years.
Known across El Salvador as one of the few local referees that whistled international tournaments, including a World Cup (U20 in 2005), Rodolfo Sibrian was also the referee for a friendly game between Diego Maradona and Magico Gonzalez, maybe the biggest name in Salvadorian football history. “Sibrian’s career is one of the best we ever had,” confirms his colleague Elmer Bonilla, also a former FIFA referee. “No one can deny it.” After his retirement as a referee in 2007, Rodolfo Sibrian became a Concacaf and FIFA instructor that worked all around Central America and even South America. In El Salvador, the famous referee with his old-fashioned mustache joined the federation, working as vice-president of the referees’ commission. “I met him here,” says a female referee to Josimar. She too speaks to us under the condition of anonymity. “I fear retaliations. Our country is dangerous, and these people are powerful […] He was basically the one in charge of appointments. He could choose you for the most important games and especially help you to become an international referee. As Vilma Montes pointed out: ‘That was our goal. We all want to whistle competitions abroad and dream of the World Cup.’ Who doesn’t? The problem is that we had to accept some conditions.” Between 2014 and 2015, Vilma Montes received constant sexual advances by Rodolfo Sibrian who was technically her boss. “We all knew about it,” adds another female referee. “I had the same problem with him. First, he wrote to me for personal things that have no connection with football. Then, he asked me to go out with him, for drinks. He told me how he could help my career if I accept personal relations with him. He blackmailed us. You have to give sex to become a FIFA referee. That simple. He makes you understand that it’s the best way for you to get promoted.” Contacted by Josimar, five women confirm the sextortion made by Sibrian all along the years. “Vilma wasn’t the only one who suffered this. The problem is that we were too scared at the time to speak up like she did. She was so brave,” says one of them. “Some accepted the deal, others did not. It was a mix between fear and shame.” Before seeking justice, Vilma Montes went to FESFUT in December 2016 with the experienced referee Elmer Bonilla as witness and support. “I was with her,” he confirms. “In February 2017, she went to see them again. Nothing happened, so Vilma complained officially for justice four months later. That’s how it went public, but the federation knew for months what was going on.” After the official complaint, people started talking in the country. “I lived the same thing,” said Carol Quevedo, a former FIFA referee. “It was a shameless situation. She (Montes) was very brave to denounce it. I thought a lot about what happened to me, it was complicated.” The former president of the referees’ commission in El Salvador, Rafael Rodriguez Medina, told local media at the time that he “asked that Sibrian be removed from the commission. The sextortion is true 100 per cent. I always denounced him, but the commission never listened to me. That’s why I left.” Vilma Montes’ lawyer, Bertha Maria DeLeon, showed the court clear evidence of Sibrian’s antics like Facebook messages he sent to her client. “He constantly wrote sexual messages to her. He was insisting and insisting with inappropriate and undesired messages. As vice-president of the referees’ commission, he was the one who made the decisions. He insisted that having sexual relation with him would help her getting a promotion. If not, she wouldn’t climb the ranks.” At the end of 2015, after Vilma Montes refused several proposals, Rodolfo Sibrian told the commission not to include her for the list of FIFA referees in 2016. “When she said no, this man proliferated humiliating sentences like she wasn’t able to obtain anything on her own merit,” noted her lawyer. “She had a rough time,” corroborates two Salvadorian referees. “She received no support. The federation totally ignored her and protected Sibrian.” No action was taken against Rodolfo Sibrian by the FESFUT, nor by the judicial system.
In February 2017, Rodolfo Sibrian left his position in El Salvador to work as technical director for referees in Mexico. But neither the Mexican federation nor Concacaf took any action after the complaint against him was made public four months after his signature. “Mr. Sibrian is not an employee of Concacaf,” a spokesperson from Concacaf wrote to Josimar. “He was up until 2017 a technical consultant (freelance) on some Concacaf and FIFA refereeing courses in our region. Since 2017, he has not been used by Concacaf in any capacity.” But according to Concacaf official website, Rodolfo Sibrian was one of the instructors in Panama in February 2018. Contacted for clarification, Concacaf didn’t answer, nor did Sibrian. “It’s always the same story,” says a Concacaf instructor to Josimar. “We know, but we don’t say a word. The whole system has been rotten for years.” An ascertainment that perfectly suits the situation in El Salvador since the 2000s and the late Jose Carlos Ortiz Cardoza, a former member of the prestigious FIFA referees committee. “He was interested in male referees,” said two persons that received sexual propositions in exchange of promotion in their career. “We had him, and now the girls suffered the same fate with Sibrian. It’s terrible.” President of the referees’ commission in El Salvador, Emerson Avalos, tried to defend Sibrian and his federation. “We opened a disciplinary file. Then, it went to justice to see if what was signaled really happened. It lasted almost a year and a half in court, and they found nothing he was accused of. Justice let him free because there was no evidence of what he was accused […] That’s how the federation contracted him to be the general instructor of Salvadorian refereeing.” This version is contested by every referee that Josimar has talked to and by the facts: FESFUT never sent the internal complaint to the court and Sibrian went free because Vilma Montes abandoned the procedure to take care of her health; not because Salvadorian courts said there was no evidence.
Independently of Sibrian, several officials from Concacaf’s referees’ commission were suspended following inquiries in the last couple of years. In January 2019, Guyana federation sacked their head of referees, Stanley Lancaster, for sexual harassment. In July 2021, FIFA banned Rosnick Grant, the vice-president of Haitian federation and also boss of the Haitian referee commission, for life for sexual abuse following an investigation by The Guardian. “This is only the beginning. If you’re digging, a lot of important people will be suspended or jailed. It’s an entire network around many countries,” says a senior Concacaf source to Josimar. In Haiti for instance, Rosnick Grant offered Haitian referees to other officials as “sexual gifts”. As three female Haitian referees pointed out: “Grant made us into prostitutes. He told us to have sex with his friends in Concacaf and FIFA.” A spokesperson for Concacaf wrote to Josimar: “At Concacaf, the safety and welfare of all participants in our competitions and activities is of paramount importance. It goes without saying that any allegations or reports of improper conduct and/or abuse at any Concacaf course, competition or activity would be taken very seriously and investigated.”

AFC women’s match officials poised to create history

Asian football history will be made in the AFC Champions League 2022 Group Stage today as Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan is poised to become the first female referee to manage a tie in the Continent’s premier men’s club competition. Alongside Yamashita, assistant referees Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi have also been appointed to officiate tonight’s Group G match between Melbourne City FC and Jeonnam Dragons, which is scheduled to be held at the Pathum Thani Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand at 9:00pm (local time).
The trio are part of this season’s AFC Champions League match officials’ team who also comprise Malaysian referee assessor Widiya Shamsuri and assistant referee Kim Kyoung-Min from the Korea Republic, who also made history when she was appointed to the Group J contest between Kitchee SC and Chiangrai United on April 16. The experienced women match officials are no strangers to the men’s competitions. In May 2019, Yamashita alongside Bozono and Teshirogi became the first all-female cast to officiate an AFC Cup match when they oversaw the tie between Myanmar’s Yangon United FC and Naga World of Cambodia. Similarly, Kim also officiated the AFC Cup match between Ceres Negros FC from the Philippines and Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong in 2019 and all four female officials were also appointed to the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 Qualifiers in October 2021. The quartet, who passed the demanding fitness test and matched all the requirements for men officials before their selection, were also part of the largest-ever cast of AFC women’s match officials at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, where the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was implemented from the quarter-finals for the first time. Their selection reinforces the AFC’s commitment to strengthen and develop the women’s game at all levels as well as in ensuring the AFC’s women match officials continue to receive the highest standards of quality education and expert guidance to scale the biggest stages in world football.

Source: AFC

AFC Champions League 2022 – Group Stage (East Region, Matchday 2)

18-19 April 2022

Vissel Kobe – Kitchee SC
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN)
Fourth Official: Bijan Heidari (IRN)

Daegu FC – Lion City Sailors
Referee: Omar Al Ali (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al Hammadi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Suqatari (UAE)
Fourth Official: Ahmed Al Ali (JOR)

Urawa Red Diamonds – Shandong Taishan
Referee: Nivon Robesh (SRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Iran Udayakantha (SRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Apichit Nophuan (THA)
Fourth Official: Abdulla Al Marri (QAT)

Jeonnam Dragons – Pathum United
Referee: Qasim Al Hatmi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nasser Ambusaidi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Khalid Khalaf (QAT)
Fourth Official: Saoud Al Adba (QAT)

Melbourne Victory – United City
Referee: Sadullo Gulmurodi (TJK)
Assistant Referee 1: Xusravi Siddikzod (TJK)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergei Griscenko (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Mooud Bonyadifard (IRN)

Guangzhou FC – Kawasaki Frontale
Referee: Payam Heydari (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Alireza Ildorom (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin (AUS)
Fourth Official: Khamis Al Marri (QAT)

Ulsan Hyundai – Johor Darul Tazim
Referee: Omar Al Yaqoubi (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdullah Al Jardani (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamed Salman (BAH)
Fourth Official: Mohammed Al Hoish (KSA)

Sydney FC – Hoang Anh Gia Lai
Referee: Ammar Mahfoodh (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Faisal Sayed (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juma Al Mukhaini (UAE)
Fourth Official: Adel Al Naqbi (UAE)

Yokohama Marinos – Jeonbuk Motors
Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al Maqaleh (QAT)
Fourth Official: Ahmad Al Ali (KUW)

AFC Champions League 2022 – Group Stage (West Region, Matchday 4)

18-19 April 2022

Mumbai City – Al Jazira
Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (JPN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Isao Nishihashi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Takumi Takagi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Yusuke Araki (JPN)

Al Shabab – Al Quwa
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrei Sapenko (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Timur Gainullin (UZB)
Fourth Official: Nasrullo Kabirov (TJK)

Ahal FK – Foolad FC
Referee: Nazmi Nasaruddin (MAS)
Assistant Referee 1: Zairul Tan (MAS)
Assistant Referee 2: Rashad Al Hakmani (OMA)
Fourth Official: Rowan Arumughan (IND)

Al Ahli – Al Gharafa
Referee: Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yoon Jae-Yeol (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Park Sang-Jun (KOR)
Fourth Official: Ryuji Sato (JPN)

Paxtakor – Al Duhail
Referee: Amirul Yaacob (MAS)
Assistant Referee 1: Yusri Mohamad (MAS)
Assistant Referee 2: Zainal Abidin (MAS)
Fourth Official: Thoriq Alkatiri (IDN)

Sepahan SC – Al Taawoun
Referee: Adham Makhadmeh (JOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ahmed Al Roalle (JOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammad Al Kalaf (JOR)
Fourth Official: Mohammad Arafah (JOR)

Al Rayyan – Sharjah FC
Referee: Aziz Asimov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Kwak Seung-Soon (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yaqoub Al Mutairi (KUW)
Fourth Official: Kim Hee-Gon (KOR)

Al Wehdat – Al Sadd
Referee: Kim Dae-Young (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Park Gyun-Yong (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Bang Gi-Yeol (KOR)
Fourth Official: Kim Jong-Hyeok (KOR)

FK Istiqlol – Al Hilal
Referee: Hanna Hattab (SYR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ali Ahmad (SYR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mazen Zazfoun (SYR)
Fourth Official: Baraa Aisha (PAL)

Al Faisaly – FK Nasaf
Referee: Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abu Al Amri (OMA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rashid Al Ghaithi (OMA)
Fourth Official: Mahmood Al Majarafi (OMA)

UEFA Women’s Euro 2022

The UEFA Referees Committee has appointed the 12 referees and their referee assistant teams who will take charge of the 31 matches at UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, which will take place in England from 6 to 31 July. In addition, as part of an exchange programme within the framework of the cooperation agreement between UEFA and the South American Football Confederation CONMEBOL, a South American referee will join the European group of referees for the UEFA Women’s Euro, as was the case for UEFA Euro 2020. Venezuelan referee Emikar Calderas and her assistants will be part of the team in England, while a European refereeing team (to be announced) will officiate together with the CONMEBOL referees selected for the Copa America Femenina 2022 in Colombia in July. Each refereeing team will consist of a referee, two assistant referees, a fourth official, and a team of two video assistant referees (VAR) at the stadium. Video assistant referees are being deployed for the first time at all matches in a UEFA Women’s Euro final tournament.
UEFA’s Chief Refereeing Officer, Roberto Rosetti, said: "We have had some tough decisions to make on which referees will go to the Women’s EURO, because we now have a growing group of high-calibre officials from which to choose. Having assessed the referees at our preparation courses, and after following their performances in UEFA competitions, we know that the selected officials have all it takes to deliver confident and uniform decision-making at the final tournament,” Rosetti added. “Some of the referees will be taking charge of matches in the closing stages of this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League, before the entire team begins to focus on the challenge that lies ahead of them in England this summer.” (Source: UEFA)

1. Ivana Martinčić (CRO)
2. Jana Adamkova (CZE)
3. Rebecca Welch (ENG)
4. Marta Huerta de Aza (ESP)
5. Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
6. Stephanie Frappart (FRA, photo)
7. Riem Hussein (GER)
8. Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU)
9. Esther Staubli (SUI)
10. Tess Olofsson (SWE)
11. Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
12. Cheryl Foster (WAL)
13. Emikar Calderas (VEN) – CONMEBOL Exchange

Assistant Referees
1. Sara Telek (AUT)
2. Sanja Rodjak-Karšić (CRO)
3. Polyxeni Irodotou (CYP)
4. Lucie Ratajova (CZE)
5. Sian Massey-Ellis (ENG)
6. Lisa Rashid (ENG)
7. Guadalupe Porras Ayuso (ESP)
8. Karolin Kaivoja (EST)
9. Elodie Coppola (FRA)
10. Manuela Nicolosi (FRA)
11. Katrin Rafalski (GER)
12. Chrysoula Kourompylia (GRE)
13. Anita Vad (HUN)
14. Michelle O'Neill (IRL)
15. Francesca Di Monte (ITA)
16. Franca Overtoom (NED)
17. Paulina Baranowska (POL)
18. Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
19. Staša Spur (SVN)
20. Maria Sukenikova (SVK)
21. Susann Küng (SUI)
22. Almira Spahić (SWE)
23. Maryna Striletska (UKR)
24. Mary Blanco (COL) – CONMEBOL Exchange
25. Migdalia Rodriguez (VEN) – CONMEBOL Exchange

Video Assistant Referees
1. Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
2. Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
3. Jose Sanchez Martinez (ESP)
4. Benoît Millot (FRA)
5. Maika Vanderstichel (FRA)
6. Christian Dingert (GER)
7. Harm Osmers (GER)
8. Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
9. Paolo Valeri (ITA)
10. Pol van Boekel (NED)
11. Dennis Higler (NED)
12. Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
13. Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
12. Luis Godinho (POR)
13. Tiago Martins (POR)

Support Referees
1. Ivana Projkovska (MKD)
2. Lorraine Watson (SCO)