UEFA Nations League 2022/2023 – Group Stage (Matchday 1)

1-4 June 2022

League A

Spain – Portugal
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Fourth Official: Andrew Madley (ENG)
VAR: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
AVAR: Sian Massey-Ellis (ENG)
Referee Observer: Emil Bozhinovski (MKD)

Czech Republic – Switzerland
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Siedel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Fourth Official: Harm Osmers (GER)
VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
AVAR: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Poland – Wales
Referee: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksandar Kasapovič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Fourth Official: David Šmajc (SVN)
VAR: Nejc Kajtazović (SVN)
AVAR: Alen Borošak (SVN)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

France – Denmark
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Fourth Official: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
VAR: Christian Dingert (GER)
AVAR: Riem Hussein (GER)
Referee Observer: Marinus Koopman (NED)

Belgium – Netherlands
Referee: Jose Sanchez Martinez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Cabanero Martinez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Inigo Prieto Lopez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Cesar Soto Grado (ESP)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva (ESP)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Croatia – Austria
Referee: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Cook (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Neil Davies (ENG)
Fourth Official: Craig Pawson (ENG)
VAR: David Coote (ENG)
AVAR: Daniel Robathan (ENG)
Referee Observer: Peter Sippel (GER)

Hungary – England
Referee: Artur Soares Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Tavares (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Soares (POR)
Fourth Official: Fabio Verissimo (POR)
VAR: Tiago Martins (POR)
AVAR: Joao Pinheiro (POR)
Referee Observer: Stephane Lannoy (FRA)

Italy – Germany
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Momčilo Marković (SRB)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)

League B

Israel – Iceland
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Golubevs (LVA)
VAR: Jeroen Manschot (NED)
AVAR: Erwin Blank (NED)
Referee Observer: Michalis Koukoulakis (GRE)

Slovenia – Sweden
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hakim El Hadj (FRA)
VAR: Willy Delajod (FRA)
AVAR: Mehdi Rahmouni (FRA)
Referee Observer: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

Serbia – Norway
Referee: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Adam Kupsik (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Bartosz Heinig (POL)
Fourth Official: Pawel Malec (POL)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Thomas Einwaller (AUT)

Finland – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: Nicholas Walsh (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Calum Spence (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Ross Macleod (SCO)
Fourth Official: Colin Steven (SCO)
VAR: Jarred Gillett (ENG)
AVAR: Nick Hopton (ENG)
Referee Observer: Milorad Mažić (SRB)

Montenegro – Romania
Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehmet Culum (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Niklas Nyberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Fredrik Klitte (SWE)
VAR: Luis Godinho (POR)
AVAR: Miguel Moreira (POR)
Referee Observer: Michalis Argyrou (CYP)

Armenia – Ireland
Referee: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mircea Grigoriu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Iulian Dima (ROU)
VAR: Nejc Kajtazović (SVN)
AVAR: Dragoslav Peric (SVN)
Referee Observer: Andrejs Sipailo (LVA)

League C

Georgia – Gibraltar
Referee: Morten Krogh (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Dennis Rasmussen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Steffen Bramsen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Mikkel Redder (DEN)
VAR: Peter Bankes (ENG)
AVAR: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Referee Observer: Rudy Bossen (NED)

Cyprus – Kosovo
Referee: Jerôme Brisard (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Benjamin Pages (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexis Auger (FRA)
Fourth Official: Thomas Leonard (FRA)
VAR: Pierre Gaillouste (FRA)
AVAR: Romain Lissorgue (FRA)
Referee Observer: Domenico Messina (ITA)

Bulgaria – North Macedonia
Referee: Jeremie Pignard (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Aurelien Drouet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Laurent Coniglio (FRA)
Fourth Official: Mikael Lesage (FRA)
VAR: Eric Wattellier (FRA)
AVAR: Bastien Dechepy (FRA)
Referee Observer: Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez (ESP)

Northern Ireland – Greece
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jo De Weirdt (BEL)
Fourth Official: Nathan Verboomen (BEL)
VAR: Bram Van Driessche (BEL)
AVAR: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)

Kazakhstan – Azerbaijan
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Istvan Albert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ferenc Karako (HUN)
VAR: Duje Strukan (CRO)
AVAR: Bojan Zobenica (CRO)
Referee Observer: Erol Ersoy (TUR)

Belarus – Slovakia
Referee: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mikael Berchebru (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurelien Berthomieu (FRA)
Fourth Official: Johan Hamel (FRA)
VAR: Benoît Millot (FRA)
AVAR: Maika Vanderstichel (FRA)
Referee Observer: Antonio Damato (ITA)

Lithuania – Luxembourg
Referee: David Fuxman (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Matityahu Yakobov (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Omer Barbiro (ISR)
Fourth Official: Erez Papir (ISR)
VAR: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR)
AVAR: Daniel Natan (ISR)
Referee Observer: Georgi Yordanov (BUL)

Turkey – Faroe Islands
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Portelli (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Edward Spiteri (MLT)
Fourth Official: Matthew De Gabriele (MLT)
VAR: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
AVAR: Rosario Abisso (ITA)
Referee Observer: John Ward (IRL)

League D

Estonia – San Marino
Referee: Ioannis Papadopoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Konstantinos Nikolaidis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Vasileios Nikolakakis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Athanasios Tzilos (GRE)
VAR: Angelos Evangelou (GRE)
AVAR: Efstathios Gkortsilas (GRE)
Referee Observer: Carlos Clos Gomez (ESP)

Latvia – Andorra
Referee: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Radoslaw Siejka (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Mucha (POL)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Krasny (POL)
VAR: Piotr Lasyk (POL)
AVAR: Krzysztof Myrmus (POL)
Referee Observer: Marco Borg (MLT)

Liechtenstein – Moldova
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Levan Varamishvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Fourth Official: Davit Kharitonashvili (GEO)
VAR: Sören Storks (GER)
AVAR: Christian Gittelmann (GER) 
Referee Observer: Gerard Perry (IRL)

Finalissima (UEFA-CONMEBOL) 2022

1 June 2022 (London)

Italy – Argentina
Referee: Piero Maza (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR 1: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
AVAR 2: Tiago Martins (POR)
Referee Observer: Enrique Caceres (PAR)

UEFA U-17 Euro Final 2022: Ciochirca (AUT)

1 June 2022

France – Netherlands
Referee: Christian Ciochirca (AUT, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Maximilian Weiss (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Luka Pušić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Dario Bel (CRO)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

UEFA U-21 Euro 2023 Qualifiers (Matchday 10)

1-3 June 2022

Belarus – Cyprus
Referee: Jakob Sundberg (DEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jakob Mastrup (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Rene Risum (DEN)
Fourth Official: Mads-Kristoffer Kristoffersen (DEN)
Referee Observer: Hannes Kaasik (EST)

Faroe Islands – Ukraine
Referee: Kristoffer Hagenes (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Anders Dale (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Christer Jorgensen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Sivert Amland (NOR)
Referee Observer: Mika Peltola (FIN)

Latvia – Israel
Referee: Bolat Sariev (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Sergei Vasiytin (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Denıs Labashov (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Daniiar Sahi (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Karel Vidlak (CZE)

North Macedonia – Armenia
Referee: Nicolas Laforge (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Florian Lemaire (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Romain Devillers (BEL)
Fourth Official: Jasper Vergoote (BEL)
Referee Observer: Draženko Kovačić (CRO)

Luxembourg – Sweden
Referee: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Zürcher (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Benjamin Zürcher (SUI)
Fourth Official: Stefan Horisberger (SUI)
Referee Observer: Kostadin Gerginov (BUL)

San Marino – Poland
Referee: Luka Bilbija (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksandar Smiljanić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Damir Lazić (BIH)
Fourth Official: Dragan Petrović (BIH)
Referee Observer: Clayton Pisani (MLT)

France – Serbia
Referee: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Ross Macleod (SCO)
Fourth Official: Grant Irvine (SCO)
Referee Observer: Bariş Şimşek (TUR)

Northern Ireland – Spain
Referee: Vitalijs Spasjonnikovs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Raimonds Tatriks (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Arturs Šakurovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Jan Carlsen (DEN)

Austria – Finland
Referee: Adam Ladebäck (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Yng (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Allheim (SWE)
Fourth Official: Kaspar Sjöberg (SWE)
Referee Observer: Dimitar Mečkarovski (MKD)

Estonia – Azerbaijan
Referee: Robert Jenkins (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Bird (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Davis (WAL)
Fourth Official: Alexander McInch (WAL)
Referee Observer: Christopher Lautier (MLT)

Norway – Croatia
Referee: David Munro (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David Roome (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Craig Ferguson (SCO)
Fourth Official: Greg Aitken (SCO)
Referee Observer: Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU)

Czech Republic – England
Referee: Miloš Milanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Slobodan Pavlović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Pavle Piper (SRB)
Fourth Official: Dejan Trifković (SRB)
Referee Observer: Kostas Kapitanis (CYP)

Germany – Hungary
Referee: Yaşar Ugurlu (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Deniz Özaral (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Özgür Ertem (TUR)
Fourth Official: Mert Güzenge (TUR)
Referee Observer: John Ferry (NIR)

Malta – Slovakia
Referee: Snir Levi (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yossi Babayoff (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tuval Koltunoff (ISR)
Fourth Official: Nael Odeh (ISR)
Referee Observer: Stephen Tanner (ENG)

Moldova – Netherlands
Referee: Juxhin Xhaja (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ilir Tartaraj (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dojando Myftari (ALB)
Fourth Official: Kreshnik Bajramaj (ALB)
Referee Observer: Joao Ferreira (POR)

Iceland – Liechtenstein
Referee: Ishmael Barbara (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Vella (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Duncan Sultana (MLT)
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri (MLT)
Referee Observer: Nicolae Grigorescu (ROU)

Ireland – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Referee: Luca Cibelli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Vital Jobin (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthias Sbrissa (SUI)
Fourth Official: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Referee Observer: Kevin Parry (WAL)

Home comforts boost Paris final referee Turpin

The challenge of refereeing a UEFA Champions League final holds no fears for Frenchman Clement Turpin. And, with Saturday’s big game between Liverpool and Real Madrid taking place at the Stade de France in Paris, he’ll be very close to home and, as he says, ‘living the moment’.
“I’ve refereed two French Cup finals at the Stade de France,” the 39-year-old Burgundy-based official reflects. “Anyone in France who loves our game considers it as the “French football church”, because France won the World Cup there in 1998 – the national team’s first-ever major trophy. It’s a special place, to be sure.” Turpin goes to Paris with a fierce determination to do well on home soil and buoyed with confidence after a memorable spell that began with his appointment for the Champions League showpiece, soon followed by selection for the team of referees who will officiate at the World Cup in Qatar later this year. “I feel privileged,” the father of three says. “I’ve achieved two of the biggest dreams that a referee can have. I think it’s important to believe that you have a star above your head, as we say – at the moment, it feels like there’s an entire constellation of stars above me!”
Turpin will be assisted by countrymen Nicolas Danos and Cyril Gringore, while another Frenchman, Benoît Bastien, will be fourth official. The VAR role has been assigned to Jerôme Brisard (France), and he will be assisted by Willy Delajod (France) and two Italians, Massimiliano Irrati and Filippo Meli. He feels that Saturday’s assignment is a reward for the team, in particular his assistants Danos and Gringore. The trio are no strangers to big European club occasions, having latterly seen service at last season’s UEFA Europa League final between Villarreal and Manchester United in Gdansk. Teamwork has taken them on a long, successful road. “We’ve been together for many years; we’re a family – and like any family, we’ve experienced highs and lows,” Turpin says. “We’re very strong together. It’s a fantastic challenge to be chosen for this match, and we’ll prepare in our normal concentrated way. It would be a mistake to change any of the normal routine.”
Turpin’s refereeing career kicked off when he was a young player and instructor of children at his local football club. “No referees were appointed for the children’s matches,” he says, “so instructors and parents refereed the games. I was asked if I’d like to take a refereeing course – I thought ‘why not?’, and it started from there. I continued to play football until the age of 19 – one day of the weekend I was a player, the next a referee. The refereeing side was going well, so from then on, I decided to concentrate on being a referee.” Records would begin arriving along that career path as Turpin moved from level to level. He eventually became a French top-flight referee at the age of 26 in 2008 – the youngest-ever official in France at the time. In December 2009, he was the youngest Frenchman to earn his international badge, and two years later, he was the first French referee under the age of 30 to take charge of a French Cup final. Turpin has also been a member of the referee teams at the UEFA Euro 2016 and 2020 final tournaments, as well as at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He refereed at the 2016 Summer Olympics football tournament in Brazil, and acted as fourth official at the 2018 UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kyiv before earning last year’s UEFA Europa League final assignment. This season, he has handled seven UEFA Champions League matches as of the play-off round, including Real Madrid's quarter-final first leg against Chelsea. He emphasises that these experiences, especially the final in Gdansk last year, will stand him in good stead at the Stade de France. “This is the result of a long process,” Turpin reflects. “I’ve always taken my career step by step, gathering experience along the way, and setting myself small targets and challenges. Because of these past experiences, we will certainly feel more comfortable for the Champions League final – we know how such big events are organised, and it will be easier for us to be focused.”
Turpin describes refereeing at the highest levels as “management of extreme situations – extreme because there is pressure, there are a lot of emotions around you. The referee is having to take the correct decisions… not necessarily the most popular decisions. You need to be courageous and be able to ease tension. Calmness breeds calmness in tense and difficult situations. The life of a referee revolves around being ready to take decisions, being confident and being natural. You have to understand the game – the more you do, the better you can read a game as a referee.” To referee is to glean considerable experience of life – a viewpoint to which Turpin fully subscribes. “When you are a referee, I think it’s fair to say that you grow up quicker in many ways,” he explains. “Take a young person in their teenage years – at that moment, they most likely don’t take that many decisions. But when you’re a referee at that age, and you’re taking charge of a match, you’re obliged to take decisions. It’s definitely a fantastic learning experience to be a referee.”
Turpin will have his own fan club making the short trip to Paris and cheering him on in the stands on Saturday – his wife and three children, parents, brother – and the instructor who was at his side when he first took up refereeing at 16. “We have kept in contact, and there’s still an exchange of feedback and advice between us. This long friendship has helped me to keep my feet on the ground, because it reminds me of where I’ve come from.” Clement Turpin is already giving back to refereeing, making use of the vast experience he has collected by managing instructors for the younger referees in the Burgundy league. And, to those thinking of taking up refereeing, the modest and dedicated top referee has one simple but effective word of advice: “Dare – dare to try… dare to make mistakes… dare to be courageous… because in the end, you will come out the winner.” He also remembers a quote attributed to the Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde: “Shoot for the moon – even if you miss, you’ll end up among the stars”.

Source: UEFA

UEFA U-17 Euro 2022 – Semi-finals

29 May 2022

France – Portugal
Referee: Dario Bel (CRO, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Luka Pušić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Vasilevski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Igor Stojčevski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

Netherlands – Serbia
Referee: Henrik Nalbandyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Khachatur Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Isaak Bashevkin (NOR)
Fourth Official: Snir Levi (ISR)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

Clattenburg reveals he threw his boot towards Mourinho

Jose Mourinho's wild conspiracy theories whilst in charge of Manchester United forced ex-Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg to launch a boot in his direction. The self-proclaimed 'Special One' is well-known for his perpetual manner on the touchline, constantly in the ear of the fourth official and never ceasing to tell the referee exactly what he thinks of their decisions.
For most officials, the half-time interval must come as a welcome break away from the limelight and never-ending jibes - however, Clattenburg reveals that certainly isn't the case when Mourinho's in the dugout. Speaking to Ladbrokes, the former top-flight referee recalled how he once "lost it" with the ex-Man Utd boss. "I remember refereeing one Manchester Derby where, at half-time, City's Brian Kidd was coming into my dressing room to ask us how long was left before play resumed," said Clattenburg. "That was all he was asking, and I welcomed it, gave him an answer, and off he went, back into his dressing room. Manchester United had Mourinho had people watching what was going on around my dressing room, and Jose would complain that Brian Kidd was coming in and out of my dressing room. Jose was always welcome to do the same; my door was always open. I never stopped anybody from coming in. It was all a conspiracy, a game. I remember the one time I lost it with him. It was one of my last matches, I was at Stoke who were playing United. I'd had a good game, especially because Stoke was always such a difficult place to go and referee. Not because of the fans, they were incredible. It was just always so windy and cold up there. I remember coming off at the end of the game, I think Wayne Rooney had just become United's record goal scorer in the last minute. The game finished 1-1, it was a really good match, and I knew I'd got everything right. I was happy with my performance when I got back into the dressing room, especially because Stoke v Man United is not an easy game to manage. But Jose comes into the dressing room and makes another complaint against me. I just lost it and threw my boot towards the wall in his direction - missing him of course. I just thought 'do you know what? I'm sick of these mind games. I'm sick of the rubbish that goes on'. Some of the things he'd say... you'd leave the stadium, you'd have a three-hour drive home and these comments are just flying around in your head. You start questioning decisions you made in the game, he puts that doubt in your mind. Then you get home and watch the game back and realise you've made the right calls, you'd done nothing wrong. Jose always blames me for getting the sack from Chelsea after losing to Leicester. You just think 'how can you blame me?' Your team got absolutely walloped, and it wasn't just as a result of that one game; it was over a period of time."

Source: Daily Star

CAF Champions League Final 2022: Gomes (RSA)

30 May 2022

Al Ahly – Wydad AC
Referee: Victor Gomes (RSA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Souru Phatsoane (LES)
Fourth Official: Helder Martins (ANG)
VAR: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
AVAR 1: Mohammed Ibrahim (SDN)
AVAR 2: Haythem Guirat (TUN)

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022

Costa Rica, 10-28 August 2022

AFC
Referee: Lara Lee (AUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Thi Truong (VIE)
Assistant Referee 2: Heba Saadieh (PLE)

Referee: Kim Yu Jeong (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ramina Tsoi (KGZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Park Mi Suk (KOR)

VAR: Kate Jacewicz (AUS)
AVAR: Sarah Ho (AUS)

CAF
Referee: Vincentia Amedome (TOG)
Assistant Referee 1: Karine Atezambong (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Fanta Kone (MLI)

Referee: Akhona Makalima (RSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Diana Chikotesha (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Mimisen Iyorhe (NGA)

VAR: Bouchra Karboubi (MAR)
AVAR: Fatiha Jermoumi (MAR)

CONCACAF
Referee: Marianela Araya (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Mijensa Rensch (SUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Shirley Perello (HON)

Referee: Francia Gonzalez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Sandra Ramirez (MEX)

Referee: Tori Penso (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Brooke Mayo (USA)

VAR: Melissa Borjas (HON)
VAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)

CONMEBOL
Referee: Emikar Calderas (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Migdalia Rodriguez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mary Blanco (COL)

VAR: Salome Di Iorio (ARG)
VAR: Daiane Muniz (BRA)
VAR: Maria Carvajal (CHI)

Support Referee: Elizabeth Tintaya (PER)

OFC
Referee: Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL)
Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Jones (NZL)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Salamasina (SAM)

UEFA
Referee: Marta Huerta de Aza (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Guadalupe Porras Ayuso (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Katalin Torok (HUN)

Referee: Cheryl Foster (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Sara Telek (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Katarzyna Wojs (POL)

Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Karolyn Kaivoja (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Susanne Kung (SUI)

Referee: Tess Olofsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Almira Spahic (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Polyxeni Irodotou (CYP)

VAR: Maika Vanderstiechel (FRA)
VAR: Esther Staubli (SUI)
AVAR: Ella De Vries (BEL)
AVAR: Sian Massey (ENG)
AVAR: Eliana Fernandez (ESP)

Technical Instructors/Assessors
1. Michelle Pye (CAN)
2. Lada Rojc (CRO)
3. Widiya Shamsuri (MAS)
4. Ingrid Jonsson (SWE)
5. Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)
6. Mark Geiger (USA)
7. Jorge Larrionda (URU)

Fitness Instructors
1. Kelesha Antoine (ATG)
2. Jean-Baptist Bultynck (BEL)
3. Alan Brown (CRC)
4. Ana Leite (URU)

FIFA Festival Espoirs 2022

Toulon, 29 May - 12 June 2022

AFC
Referee: Casey Reibelt (AUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Kyoung Min (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Heba Saadieh (PLE)

Referee: Oh Hyeon Jeong (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Seul Gi (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ramina Tsoi (KGZ)

Referee: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Makoto Bozono (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Naomi Teshirogi (JPN)

CAF
Referee: Lidya Abebe (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (MAD)
Assistant Referee 2: Bernadettar Kwimbira (MWI)

Referee: Vincentia Amedome (TOG)
Assistant Referee 1: Karine Atezambong (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Fanta Kone (MLI)

Referee: Akhona Makalima (RSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Diana Chikotesha (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Mimisen Iyorhe (NGA)

CONCACAF
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)

Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Felisha Mariscal (USA)

Referee: Tori Penso (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Brooke Mayo (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Sandra Ramirez (MEX)

CONMEBOL
Referee: Laura Fortunato (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Mariana de Almeida (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Daiana Milone (ARG)

Referee: Edina Alves (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Neuza Back (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Leila Moreira (BRA)

Referee: Maria Carvajal (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Loreto Toloza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Leslie Vasquez (CHI)

Heady times for Tirana final referee Kovacs

It’s been an unforgettable month for Istvan Kovacs – chosen to referee Wednesday’s inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League final, the Romanian official will also be part of the FIFA World Cup referee team later this year. When he was eleven years old, Istvan Kovacs watched matches at Euro’96 in England on television, spontaneously giving correct decisions for on-field incidents at each game. Now, 26 years later, the Romanian is enjoying a halcyon period as a top European referee, which reaches another level with his assignment at Wednesday’s encounter between Roma and Feyenoord in Tirana.
These are exciting times for the 37-year-old PE teacher from the town of Carei, in north-west Romania. Two big calls have come his way recently – his appointment for the big game in the Albanian capital was followed by the news last week that he had been selected as one of the European referees for the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar later this year. The two accolades follow on from last year’s duties at UEFA Euro 2020, when he took charge of one match and acted as fourth official at two others. “I’m really happy at the moment,” Kovacs reflects on a memorable month of May. “I’m honoured by the trust that UEFA has put in me – I feel privileged to be the referee for the first-ever Europa Conference League final. It’s every referee’s dream to go to a Euro or World Cup. It’s a special feeling, yes, like a dream come true. It gives me great inspiration and motivation.” But back to Euro’96. The eager young TV viewer enjoyed himself pitting his wits against the match referees and, more often than not, correctly predicting their decisions. “My father, who watched matches with me, asked me, ‘How do you know these things?’ I told him, ‘I just see them!’. My Dad then announced, ‘When you’re 15, you’ll be able to attend refereeing courses – and you must go!’” Kovacs duly attended the courses, but admits that becoming a referee was not exactly top of his list of priorities. “I played football, and I wanted to be a top player like any other football-mad youngster. I was a goalscoring central midfielder, and I eventually made it into the Romanian third division. But I realised gradually that I wouldn’t be a superstar! So, I began concentrating on my refereeing.”
Kovacs’ biggest influence in his early career was the renowned Hungarian referee Sandor Puhl. “He was one of the best referees in the world and took charge of a World Cup final [in 1994] and UEFA Champions League final [in 1997]. It’s thanks to him that I became a referee.” By the age of 19, Kovacs was refereeing, rather than playing, in the Romanian third division. By 22, he had been promoted to the domestic top flight and, despite his tender years, was considered good enough to handle the 2007 Romanian Super Cup derby between two Bucharest clubs, Dinamo and Rapid. “It didn’t worry me that much older players would be on the pitch that day,” he remembers. “I just wanted to perform to the best of my ability and show my capabilities as a referee.” By 2010, Kovacs had earned his international badge, and the road that lay ahead saw him eventually join the distinguished group of elite referees at the highest European level. This season, the enthusiastic tennis player and reader of books on history and psychology has already officiated at ten UEFA club competition matches, including the epic UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Kovacs will be assisted in Tirana by compatriots Vasile Marinescu and Ovidiu Artene. The fourth official, Sandro Schärer, is from Switzerland. The video assistant referee (VAR) role has been assigned to Marco Fritz (Germany), and he will be aided by countrymen Christian Dingert and Bastian Dankert. “I’ve worked together with my two assistants for several years now, so we know each other inside out – I can tell what they’re feeling without us having to say anything,” he says. “I’m proud of our team, we have full trust in each other.” Kovacs insists that he and his team will treat Wednesday’s big game at Tirana's Arena Kombëtare as a normal match. “I think it’s important that we don’t put any additional pressure on ourselves because it's a final,” he explains. “We’ll prepare like we always do, and we have total confidence in each other’s ability.”
What does a top referee need to stay at the top? “Courage, ambition, consistency,” Kovacs explains. “I feel it’s also important to keep your feet on the ground. Work hard and prepare to the fullest.” Mental strength is crucial: “You have to be strong, because it’s not always easy being a referee – I’m someone who is really motivated by the atmosphere of a big match and being out there in the middle.” Life as a top referee can’t get much better than it is for Istvan Kovacs at present. With important duties in sight, both now and in the not-too-distant future, he remains humble and determined to make further progress. “I’d like to thank everyone who has helped to bring me so far, and especially the Romanian Football Federation and its referees committee headed by [former international referee] Kyros Vassaras, who have given me excellent and comprehensive long-term support.” he explains. “I’m also grateful to UEFA for the expert help and guidance that I’ve received. I want to develop my skills, and maintain and even improve my standards – I feel that I still have a lot to learn.”

Source: UEFA

UEFA U-17 Euro 2022 – Quarter-finals

25-26 May 2022

Germany – France
Referee: Dario Bel (CRO, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Luka Pušić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Khachatur Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Henrik Nalbandyan (ARM)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

Netherlands – Italy
Referee: Willy Delajod (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Erwan Finjean (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Vasilevski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Igor Stojčevski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Darko Čeferin (SVN)

Denmark – Serbia
Referee: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexandru Cerei (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Miroslav Ivanov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Snir Levi (ISR)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Spain – Portugal
Referee: Christian Ciochirca (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Maximilian Weiss (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Isaak Bashevkin (NOR)
Fourth Official: Juxhin Xhaja (ALB)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

CONMEBOL Beach Soccer Copa America 2022

Paraguay, 21-29 May 2022

Referees
1. Mariano Romo (ARG, photo)
2. Carlos Maidana (ARG)
3. Paulo Defelippi (ARG)
4. Ismael Parragues (ARG)
5. Jaimitio Suarez (BOL)
6. Jose Mendoza (BOL)
7. Rolando Arteaga (BOL)
8. Noe Parra (BOL)
9. Lucas Estevao (BRA)
10. Luciano Andrade (BRA)
11. Paula Madeira (BRA)
12. Mayron Dos Reis (BRA)
13. Jonathan Silva (CHI)
14. Ricardo Zuniga (CHI)
15. Jorge Gomez (COL)
16. Ferley Fuentes (COL)
17. Adanies Pino (COL)
18. Erney Ramos (COL)
19. Javier Marcillo (ECU)
20. Brando Amay (ECU)
21. Jean Villamar (ECU)
22. Jose Ugalde (ECU)
23. Silvio Coronel (PAR)
24. Cesar Cabrera (PAR)
25. Gustavo Dominguez (PAR)
26. Jorge Martinez (PAR)
27. Micke Palomino (PER)
28. Ramon Blanco (PER)
29. Jose Tipian ( PER)
30. Alex Valdivieso (PER)
31. Christian Altez (URU)
32. Aecio Fernandez (URU)
33. Ernesto Hartwing (URU)
34. Paulo Cadenasso (URU)
35. Jesus Reyes (VEN)
36. Luis Coy (VEN)

FIFA partners with Revello Tournament to prepare candidate referees for Women’s World Cup

FIFA and The Maurice Revello Tournament (International Festival Espoirs) are collaborating for a unique refereeing milestone, during the 48th edition from 29 May to 12 June 2022. For the first time at a national men’s team competition, all twelve match official trios will be exclusively women. The trios are candidates for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 and will oversee all 26 matches. The initiative is part of FIFA’s Road to Australia/New Zealand project, to prepare referees for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup. Most recently, another historic first saw six female officials appointed for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Kari Seitz, Head of Women's Refereeing at FIFA said: "This very special competition will give the referees a chance to officiate at another high-level event where they can showcase their skills in the hope of being selected for next year's FIFA Women's World Cup. It is important to use every minute of this important competition to prepare referees mentally, physically and technically. This is especially important given the devastating effects of COVID and the loss of nearly two years of training and preparation together. This important new relationship with the Maurice Revello Tournament could not have come at a better time." For three weeks, the 36 participating referees from 21 different countries will attend specific daily training sessions, video match analysis sessions, as well as officiate at the matches.
Alain Revello, President of the Maurice Revello Tournament added: “Nearly fifty years after having the idea of bringing together the best young talents of the football world to the South of France, this tournament is preparing for a new milestone in its history. While many players who played at tournaments past like Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Jean-Pierre Papin, Hristo Stoichkov, Dani Alves and David Beckham among many others, have become standard bearers of this game (examples), we very much look forward to seeing the women who will be centre stage and set to shine in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand, during this 48th edition. Personally, I would like to thank Kari Seitz for putting her trust in us. This tournament, watched worldwide by fans and observers from the world's biggest clubs, finally offers the opportunity to put men and women on an equal footing.”

Source: FIFA

CONMEBOL Libertadores 2022 – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

24-26 May 2022

Nacional – Red Bull Bragantino
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Fourth Official: Bismarks Santiago (COL)
Referee Assessor: Juan Cardellino (URU)
Video Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Velez Sarsfield – Estudiantes
Referee: Nicolas Gamboa (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Rocha (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Serrano (CHI)
Fourth Official: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Sergio Viola (ARG)
Video Assessor: Ana Oliveira (BRA)

Flamengo – Sporting Cristal
Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jackson Diaz (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jose Uzcategui (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Hilton Moutinho (BRA)
Video Assessor: Giulliano Bossano (BRA)

Universidad Catolica – Talleres
Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Antelo (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwar Saavedra (BOL)
Fourth Official: Alex Cajas (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Barbra Bastias (CHI)
Video Assessor: Luis Sanchez (VEN)

Emelec – Independiente Petrolero
Referee: Carlos Ortega (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Sebastian Vela (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: John Gallego (COL)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Referee Assessor: Juan Corozo (ECU)
Video Assessor: Oscar Viera (PAR)

Palmeiras – Deportivo Tachira
Referee: Kevin Ortega (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jesus Sanchez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Orue (PER)
Fourth Official: Michael Espinoza (PER)
Referee Assessor: Silvia Regina (BRA)
Video Assessor: Wilson Avila (ECU)

Colo Colo – Fortaleza
Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Barreiro (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Pablo Llarena (URU)
Fourth Official: Andres Cunha (URU)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Silvera (URU)

River Plate – Alianza Lima
Referee: John Ospina (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Roldan (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Ricardo Casas (ARG)
Video Assessor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)

Independiente Del Valle – America Mineiro
Referee: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Soppi (URU)
Fourth Official: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Referee Assessor: Jose Lara (ECU)
Video Assessor: Luzmila Gonzalez (COL)

Penarol – Colon
Referee: Anderson Daronco (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Bruno Arleu (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Martin Vazquez (URU)
Video Assessor: Carlos Astroza (CHI)

Atletico Mineiro – Deportes Tolima
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Facundo Rodriguez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Pablo Echavarria (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Paolo Conceicao (BRA)
Video Assessor: Jorge Jaimes (PER)

Cerro Porteno – Olimpia
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Alves (BRA)
Fourth Official: Flavio Souza (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)
Video Assessor: Dario Ubriaco (URU)

Libertad – The Strongest
Referee: Facundo Tello (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Fourth Official: Fernando Espinoza (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Manuel Bernal (PAR)
Video Assessor: Rodolfo Otero (ARG)

Athletico Paranaense – Caracas
Referee: Nicolas Lamolina (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Navarro (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Pablo Gonzalez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Yael Falcon (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Cleydi Riveiro (BRA)
Video Assessor: Hernan Maidana (ARG)

Boca Juniors – Deportivo Cali
Referee: Piero Maza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Claudio Rios (CHI)
Fourth Official: Felipe Gonzalez (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Angel Sanchez (ARG)
Video Assessor: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)

Corinthians – Always Ready
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Franchescoly Chacon (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Antoni Garcia (VEN)
Fourth Official: Orlando Bracamonte (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Regildenia Moura (BRA) 
Video Assessor: Juan Cardellino (URU)

CONMEBOL Sudamericana 2022 – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

24-26 May 2022

Union La Calera – Universidad Catolica
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Pablo Llarena (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Barreiro (URU)
Fourth Official: Esteban Ostojich (URU)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Silvera (URU)

Santos – Banfield
Referee: Augusto Menendez (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Lopez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Raez (PER)
Fourth Official: Jesus Cartagena (PER)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Perassi (BRA)
Video Assessor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)

Defensa y Justicia – Antofagasta
Referee: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Onieva (PAR)
Fourth Official: Juan Lopez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Sabrina Lois (ARG)
Video Assessor: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)

LDU Quito – Atletico Goianiense
Referee: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Soppi (URU)
Fourth Official: Leodan Gonzalez (URU)
Referee Assessor: Juan Albarracin (ECU)
Video Assessor: Cynthia Franco (PAR)

Internacional – 9 de Octubre
Referee: Yael Falcon (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Navarro (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Pablo Gonzalez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Lamolina (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Nilson Moncao (BRA)
Video Assessor: Ana Perez (PER)

Independiente Medellin – Guairena
Referee: Dario Herrera (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximiliano Del Yesso (ARG)
Fourth Official: Andres Merlos (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)
Video Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Sao Paulo – Ayacucho
Referee: Carlos Benitez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Canete (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Villagra (PAR)
Fourth Official: Zulma Quinonez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Ednilson Corona (BRA)
Video Assessor: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

Lanus – Metropolitanos
Referee: Braulio Machado (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guilherme Dias (BRA)
Fourth Official: Juan Lopez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Video Assessor: Oscar Ruiz (COL)

Jorge Wilstermann – Everton
Referee: Luis Quiroz (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Baren (ECU)
Fourth Official: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)
Video Assessor: Olga Miranda (PAR)

Montevideo Wanderers – Barcelona
Referee: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Danilo Manis (BRA)
Fourth Official: Luiz Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Video Assessor: Marlon Escalante (VEN)

Deportivo La Guaira – General Caballero
Referee: Roberto Perez (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Enrique Pinto (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonar Soto (PER)
Fourth Official: Joel Alarcon (PER)
Referee Assessor: Jairo Romero (VEN)
Video Assessor: Jose Carpio (ECU)

Independiente – Ceara
Referee: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Horacio Ferreiro (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Agustin Berisso (URU)
Fourth Official: Diego Riveiro (URU)
Referee Assessor: Angel Sanchez (ARG)
Video Assessor: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)

Racing – River Plate
Referee: Cristian Garay (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Rocha (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Serrano (CHI)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Video Assessor: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)

Melgar – Cuiaba
Referee: John Hinestroza (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: John Leon (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Richard Ortiz (COL)
Fourth Official: Andres Rojas (COL)
Referee Assessor: Manuel Yupanqui (PER)
Video Assessor: Miguel Nievas (URU)

Oriente Petrolero – Fluminense
Referee: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Baren (ECU)
Fourth Official: Luis Quiroz (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Pedro Saucedo (PER)
Video Assessor: Olga Miranda (PAR)

Junior – Union Santa Fe
Referee: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Cuevas (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Abraham Gonzalez (COL)
Video Assessor: Giulliano Bozzano (BRA)

Referee Lehtovaara’s joy at Turin final date

A chance remark by Lina Lehtovaara’s younger brother when they were both teenagers set her off on a refereeing road that reaches new heights on Saturday, when she takes charge of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais in Turin. The 40-year-old Finnish official, who will be refereeing her first final in the premier competition in European women’s club football, describes her initial step into the profession as “a total coincidence”.
“It was 1998, and I was 17,” Lehtovaara recalls. “We were sitting at the family dinner table when my brother, who was 15, suddenly announced that he was going to a refereeing course. I was playing football, but I promptly decided that I would try refereeing as well. That started things off. I obviously had no idea at the time that it would lead to the career that I’ve had!” Lehtovaara, born in Kokkola on Finland’s west coast, but now based in Pargas, is overjoyed at her appointment for Saturday’s big match in Italy. A teacher by profession, she admits that the period between the appointment call and the official announcement proved to be more challenging than she could have imagined. “I just wanted to shout out the news, but I had to keep my excitement inside and act as though nothing had happened, especially in front of my pupils,” she laughs. “It was a relief to be able to tell them – and now everyone says they are really happy and proud that they know me!”
Lehtovaara has been an international referee since 2009 and has previous experience of a Women’s Champions League final – acting as fourth official for the game between Potsdam and Lyon in Getafe in 2010. She assisted another fine Finnish referee, Kirsi Heikkinen, on that occasion in Spain. “Kirsi has given me great inspiration to achieve something as a referee,” she reflects. By 2015, Lehtovaara’s qualities earned her the honour of handling the European Women’s U-19 Championship final between Spain and Sweden in Israel. The coming assignment in Turin at the weekend is proving to be part of a wonderful year in Lehtovaara’s refereeing life. In July, she travels to England as a member of the team of officials at the eagerly awaited UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – her second stint at the event after duty as a fourth official at the 2017 tournament in the Netherlands. “I’ve been working hard for the past years to reach this Euro,” she says. “And I’m looking forward to the challenge. England is a great footballing country, and I can’t wait to be there and be part of it all.”
Life at the refereeing summit has involved a steep learning curve for Lehtovaara and her colleagues, who have striven to keep pace with the exciting evolution of women’s football in recent years. “I’m honestly a little surprised at how much and how fast it’s developed,” she admits. “We’ve had to really step up our ‘game’, especially in terms of speed and fitness, because everything in matches is happening so much faster now.” Lehtovaara will be assisted at Saturday’s final by Greece’s Chrysoula Kourompylia and Estonia’s Karolin Kaivoja. The fourth official is Jana Adamkova (Czech Republic), and Lucie Ratajova (Czech Republic) is reserve official. The VAR role has been assigned to Portugal’s Tiago Bruno Lopes Martins, and he will be accompanied by his compatriot João Silva Pinheiro and Italy’s Paolo Valeri. “I’ll be responsible for the final decisions,” she says, “but I’ll obviously need my team’s support, and I’ll be giving them every bit of help that I can as well. With a fourth official and VAR also part of the team, it will be important to know what we must all expect from each other.”
When Lehtovaara gathers her thoughts on the pitch immediately before focusing fully on the final – “I’m naturally a very calm person, although I’m sure that there will be some nerves inside” – she knows that a group of special fans will be willing her on at the Juventus Stadium. “I’ll have eight family members in the stand – my husband, my parents, two brothers and a sister, one of my brother’s children and my aunt. I want to underline that without their support, I would never have reached this stage and be refereeing this final. I’ve been lucky and privileged to have enjoyed many experiences as a referee – life experience does help you to do the job – and I’ve met some fantastic people,” Lehtovaara emphasises. “And it’s extremely hard to describe the feeling of knowing that I’m going to be refereeing the Women’s Champions League final in front of a big crowd in a great stadium. This is the prize for all the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into refereeing – I’m really very proud.”

Source: UEFA

Caribbean Club Championship Final 2022: Radix (GRN)

22 May 2022

Cibao FC – Violette AC
Referee: Reon Radix (GRN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ainsley Rochard (TRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Kleon Lindey (GUY)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Whitty (CAY)

Premio Farina 2022 awarded to Chiffi

“Farina was a teacher and a mentor who made me grow. If I arrived in Serie A it is thanks to him". Pride and emotion accompanied Daniele Chiffi during the Bearzot Awards ceremony in the CONI Hall of Honour. A well-deserved recognition (in memory of Stefano Farina) to one of the best prepared Italian referees. AIA President Alfredo Trentalange explained why the choice fell on Chiffi: "He was awarded this prize for his technical skills, evaluated in all matches. But the Prize dedicated to Farina is not only a technical but also an ethical recognition. Chiffi has a low-profile style that leaves no room for the ego, but points to the heart of a choice that is always simple, honest and transparent".
President Trentalange also touched on other topics during the event. “Whether Rocchi will be confirmed as designator? There is a great possibility, given the great work he is doing, the openness to young people and the excellent ability to withstand criticism. But it will be a decision that will be up to the National Committee. Will we separate the referee-VAR pathway? We think there must be a specialization of the VAR function. Of course, someone who would like to work as VAR must have been referee, have refereed matches on the field and then have to specialize. Like the assistant referees, who are starting as referees and then specialize in the role of assistants". Finally, Trentalange replied to those who asked if the referees are ready to comment on the episodes after the matches: “We will eventually get to do it. but not immediately and not right after the match, when the spirits are still hot. It would risk inflaming them and questions would not be posed gracefully. But we must not think of having to justify the mistakes; we believe, instead, that it is important to comment on the episodes for teaching purposes". Returning to Chiffi, the referee explained the penalty initially not given to Inter against Udinese for Pablo Mari's foul on Dzeko and then awarded after OFR. "I was in an excellent position, but sometimes it is not enough. From the dynamics I thought that the defender had played the ball first and then the attacker on the momentum, as a normal consequence. I communicated to the VAR what my impression had been and the VAR, seeing that this was not what had happened, invited me to review the situation on the monitor".

Source: AIA

FIFA World Cup 2022 Referees

Qatar, 21 November - 18 December 2022

AFC
Referee: Christopher Beath (AUS, 1984, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin (AUS, 1986)
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham (AUS, 1988)

Referee: Ma Ning (CHN, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Shi Xiang (CHN, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Cao Yi (CHN, 1982)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN, 1978)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammadreza Abolfazli (IRN, 1977)

Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT, 1987)
Assistant Referee 1: Taleb Al Marri (QAT, 1988)
Assistant Referee 2: Saoud Al-Maqaleh (QAT, 1988)

Referee: Mohammed Abdulla (UAE, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE, 1984)
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE, 1978)

Referee: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN, 1986)

Video Assistant Referees
1. Shaun Evans (AUS, 1987)
2. Abdulla Al Marri (QAT, 1992)
3. Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN, 1986)

CAF
Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, 1985)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Mokrane Gourari (ALG, 1982)

Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Elvis Noupue (CMR, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Mahmoud El-Regal (EGY, 1984)

Referee: Victor Gomes (RSA, 1982)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Souru Phatsoane (LES, 1988)

Referee: Maguette N’Diaye (SEN, 1986)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN, 1979)

Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ, 1982)

Referee: Salima Mukansanga (RWA, 1988)

Video Assistant Referees
1. Redouane Jiyed (MAR, 1979)
2. Adil Zourak (MAR, 1978)

CONCACAF
Referee: Mario Escobar (GUA, 1986)
Assistant Referee 1: Caleb Wales (TRI, 1988)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Mora (CRC, 1989)

Referee: Said Martinez (HON, 1991)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Lopez (HON, 1978)
Assistant Referee 2: Helpys Feliz (DOM, 1989)

Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morin (MEX, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX, 1977)

Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV, 1991)
Assistant Referee 1: David Moran (SLV, 1985)
Assistant Referee 2: Zachari Zeegelaar (SUR, 1989)

Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA, 1982)
Assistant Referee 1: Kyle Atkins (USA, 1986)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Parker (USA, 1986)

Assistant Referee: Karen Diaz (MEX, 1984)
Assistant Referee: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA, 1988)

Video Assistant Referees
1. Drew Fischer (CAN, 1980)
2. Fernando Guerrero (MEX, 1981)
3. Armando Villarreal (USA, 1986)

CONMEBOL
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Bellati (ARG, 1979)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG, 1977)

Referee: Facundo Tello (ARG, 1982)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG, 1979)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG, 1979)

Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Manis (BRA, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA, 1985)

Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA, 1981)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Figueiredo (BRA, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA, 1983)

Referee: Kevin Ortega (PER, 1992)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Orue (PER, 1985)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Sanchez (PER, 1987)

Referee: Andres Matonte (URU, 1988)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Soppi (URU, 1987)

Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN, (1986)

Assistant Referee: Neuza Back (BRA, 1984)

Video Assistant Referees
1. Mauro Vigliano (ARG, 1975)
2. Julio Bascunan (CHI, 1978)
3. Nicolas Gallo (COL, 1986)
4. Leodan Gonzalez (URU, 1983)
5. Juan Soto (VEN, 1977)

OFC
Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Tevita Makasini (TGA, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Rule (NZL, 1981)

UEFA
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG, 1985)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG, 1985)

Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG, 1978)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG, 1985)

Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA, 1972)

Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER, 1984)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER, 1984)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Foltyn (GER, 1985)

Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Ciro Carbone (ITA, 1978)

Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED, 1983)
Assistant Referee 1: Hessel Steegstra (NED, 1978)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan de Vries (NED, 1982)

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL, 1981)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL, 1978)

Referee: Istvan Kovacs (ROU, 1984)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Ovidiu Artene (ROU, 1977)

Referee: Slavko Vincic (SVN, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaz Klancnik (SVN, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraz Kovacic (SVN, 1985)

Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP, 1979)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP, 1976)

Referee: Stephanie Frappart (FRA, 1983)

Video Assistant Referees
1. Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP, 1986)
2. Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP, 1982)
3. Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP, 1982)
4. Jerome Brisard (FRA, 1986)
5. Benoît Millot (FRA, 1982)
6. Bastian Dankert (GER, 1980)
7. Marco Fritz (GER, 1977)
8. Massimiliano Irrati (ITA, 1979)
9. Paolo Valeri (ITA, 1978)
10. Paulus Van Boekel (NED, 1975)
11. Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL, 1978)

FIFA World Cup 2022 Referee Seminars
CONMEBOL and CONCACAF – Asuncion (Paraguay): 31 May – 2 June 2022
AFC, CAF and OFC – Doha (Qatar): 12-14 June 2022
UEFA – Madrid (Spain): 20-22 June 2022

Women match officials appointed for the first time in the FIFA World Cup history

Today, the FIFA Referees Committee announced the lists with the names of the selected match officials for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials (VMOs) have been chosen in close cooperation with the six confederations, based on their quality and the performances delivered at FIFA tournaments as well as at other international and domestic competitions in recent years. “As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” said the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina. “The 2018 World Cup was very successful, partly because of the high standard of refereeing, and we will do our best to be even better in a few months in Qatar.”
The “Road to Qatar 2022” project started already in 2019, with more than 50 trios considered possible candidates and going through intensive preparation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this preparation was anything, but easy, as in-presence activities were suspended for a long period. “The pandemic affected our activities, in particular in 2020 and at the beginning of 2021. Luckily, the World Cup was still quite far, and we had enough time to provide the candidates with good preparation. We are announcing these selections well in advance as we want to work even harder with all those who have been appointed for the FIFA World Cup, monitoring them in the next months. The message is clear: don’t rest on your laurels, keep working hard and prepare yourselves very seriously for the World Cup,” said Collina. Massimo Busacca, FIFA’s Director of Refereeing, ensures the match officials will receive all the necessary support by FIFA, as their preparation is paramount. “Thanks to an innovative tracking and support programme, all the match officials can be supervised by FIFA referees’ instructors even more closely and intensively than in previous years. This is a very important factor, from which we expect considerable improvements and progress in view of the FIFA World Cup 2022,” explained Busacca. “In addition to that, there will be tailor-made individual programmes, in particular concerning health and fitness. Each match official will be carefully monitored in the next months with a final assessment on technical, physical and medical aspects to be made shortly before the World Cup, in order to have them in the best conditions when the ball starts rolling in Qatar.”
The selected match officials will participate in early summer in several seminars (Asunción, Madrid and Doha), reviewing and analysing video clips of real match situations, and taking part in practical training sessions with players, which will be filmed to enable participants to receive instant feedback from the instructors. “The key focuses of the preparation remain protecting players and the image of the game, consistency, uniformity, reading the game from a technical and tactical perspective and understanding a variety of player and team mentalities,” added Busacca. “We can’t eliminate all mistakes, but we will do everything we can to reduce them.” The VAR system was implemented for the first time ever at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and four years later, a team of 24 video match officials (VMOs) will operate in Qatar, ready to provide their team-mates on the pitch with technological support, if needed. Due to the very limited number of FIFA member associations having implemented the VAR system at the time, VMOs for Russia 2018 were mainly selected from Europe and South America. Today, the VAR system is used in all major competitions worldwide and VMOs from Asia, Africa, as well as Central and North America will also participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Referees Committee has also appointed three women's referees and three women's assistant referees. “We are very happy that with Stéphanie Frappart from France, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan, as well as assistant referees Neuza Back from Brazil, Karen Díaz Medina from Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt from the USA, we have been able to call up female match officials for the first time in the history of a FIFA World Cup. This concludes a long process that began several years ago with the deployment of female referees at FIFA men’s junior and senior tournaments. In this way, we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender. I would hope that in the future, the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational. They deserve to be at the FIFA World Cup™ because they constantly perform at a really high level, and that’s the important factor for us,” concluded the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina. (Source: FIFA)

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers – Intercontinental Play-off (CONCACAF/OFC)

14 June 2022

Costa Rica – New Zealand
Referee: Abdulla Mohammed (UAE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE) 
Assistant Referee 2: Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
Fourth Official: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT)
Reserve AR: Saoud Almaqaleh (QAT)
VAR: Abdulla Al Marri (QAT)
AVAR 1: Khamis Al Marri (QAT)
AVAR 2: Taleb Al Marri (QAT)

CAF Confederation Cup Final 2022: Sikazwe (ZAM)

20 May 2022

Orlando Pirates – RS Berkane
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
Fourth Official: Joshua Bondo (BOT)
VAR: Mahmoud Ashour (EGY)
AVAR 1: Mahmoud El-Banna (EGY)
AVAR 2: Mahmoud El-Regal (EGY)

Unique Europa League hat-trick for Seville final referee Vinčić

Vinčić, a qualified telecommunications engineer from Maribor, achieves a special UEFA Europa League refereeing hat-trick in Andalusia’s regional capital this week. The 42-year-old was fourth official at last year’s final between Villarreal and Manchester United in Gdańsk, and an additional assistant referee for the 2017 final between Ajax and Manchester United in Stockholm. The father-of-two emphasises the honour he feels in handling an encounter of this magnitude. “I’m full of emotion, pride and happiness,” he says of his special assignment. “And I’m also aware of the great sense of responsibility. Now,” he says, “it’s important to keep myself on solid ground, focus and prepare mentally and physically together with my team, so that we’re totally ready for the challenge of this final.”
Encouraged by his uncle, who was an assistant referee, Vinčić took up refereeing at the age of 20. “I did play some football, but actually basketball was my first love at the time, I played more of that,” he recalls. “At 18, I left high school and cut down sporting activities to do my studies. But after two years, I began feeling that something was missing. My uncle encouraged me to try refereeing to fill the gap and be active – and gradually I realised that this was the right decision! And then, slowly, I began to believe in my star above.” By 2007, Vinčić had moved confidently through the various levels to become a Slovenian top-flight referee, and the FIFA international badge followed in 2010. He was a member of the referee team at UEFA EURO 2020, and officiated at three matches, including the quarter-final between Belgium and Italy in Munich. As one of Europe’s group of top-quality match officials, Vinčić adopts a pragmatic approach to his chosen pathway. “I take things step by step, match by match, because it’s also the case that too many great expectations can sometimes lead to great disappointments.” He firmly supports the view that referees must always be themselves in what they do. “Of course, you do look at other referees and how they handle things,” Vinčić says. “But we’re really all different people, from various environments and cultures. I definitely think that you have to be natural, rather than a ‘copycat’. You must be self-analytical as a referee – and self-confident and humble at the same time, you need to be a good manager of people, and have mental strength. I’m also fortunate to be able to switch off everything around me when a match starts.”
As with all of his colleagues in the higher echelons of European refereeing, Vinčić emphasises the absolute importance of teamwork, and considers Wednesday’s appointment as a reward for his team’s diligence and dedication, as well as a tribute to his colleagues’ many qualities and strengths. “Refereeing is our passion, and we’ve worked hard and made sacrifices,” he reflects on his successful partnership with his assistants. “There’s a common feeling of pride, and we have all have a great trust in each other.” If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail – this much-used statement stands Vinčić in good stead. He hails the opportunity given to top referees to study teams, players and tactics before every assignment. With nine UEFA Champions League games from the play-offs under his belt this season, the chance to do ‘homework’ and know in advance what to expect is an essential part of his match ‘checklist’. “I think’s it’s a great move,” he emphasises. “You’re ready in many ways to referee the match before it starts. Of course, circumstances change in a match, but if you’re sufficiently prepared, not only tactically, but also mentally and physically, you have a much greater chance of a successful game.”
Away from football, Vinčić, who owns a company in the metal industry, organises his free time patiently. “My company takes up a lot of time, as do my refereeing duties, so I make sure as well that I manage to spend important quality time with my wife and children.” When will the moment arrive when Vinčić fully and emphatically realises that he is about to take charge of one of Europe’s biggest club football occasions on Wednesday? “Difficult question – we will see!” he replies. “I think that one thing is certain… there will be emotions mixed in among the focus and concentration.” Step by step…match by match – a careful vision of the future beyond this week’s big date in Seville. “This match is all that I’m thinking about at present,” Vinčić says. “I’ve tried to train my mind not to think too far ahead.” However, there can be no doubt that new and equally stimulating challenges will soon be presenting themselves to Slavko Vinčić along his distinguished refereeing road.

Source: UEFA