Maillet no longer Head of African Refereeing

A source within the Confederation of African Football (CAF) told Africa Foot United that Eddy Maillet was dismissed from his Director of Refereeing position on 28 July 2022. If, for the moment, the reasons for this decision are still unknown, it comes all the same in a context of crisis of confidence and criticism following the recent highly criticized performances of men in black.
In recent years, African refereeing has been seriously challenged. It has almost always been a source of squabbling and intense tension. Many voices have also been raised to call on the institution of Patrice Motsepe to put an end to the mess that is discrediting African football. Apparently, their multiple denunciations did not fall on deaf ears. The Head of CAF Refereeing, Eddy Maillet, was suddenly removed from his post. Following his dismissal, former Algerian FIFA referee Djamel Haimoudi is one of the main candidates, competing with former Ivorian international referee Noumandiez Doue to become the new Head of Refereeing of the Confederation of African Football.

UEFA Women’s Euro Final 2022: Monzul (UKR)

The 41-year-old official from Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine will lead out the two finalists, England and Germany, for Sunday’s big occasion in front of a huge crowd at London’s iconic Wembley Stadium. Monzul endured a difficult period earlier this year when war broke out in Ukraine, and she decided to leave her country. Now, her date at Wembley on Sunday is the latest honour on an outstanding refereeing CV that includes the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup final, the 2014 UEFA Women’s Champions League final and the 2016 Olympic Games. The eagerly-awaited final will be her fourth on-field assignment at the Euro in England following duty at two group stage matches – Spain-Finland (Group B) and Austria-Norway (Group A), as well as the Sweden-Belgium quarter-final.
“This is a really emotional moment for me, and I’m enjoying it,” says Monzul, who started out as an international referee in 2004. “My heart is already beating fast. It’s the moment when a dream you have comes true. But I must say that it’s also a moment where I feel responsibility, because I’ll be refereeing an important football game.” The call to tell her loved ones back in Ukraine about her selection for the final was a moment of immense joy and pride. “When I heard their happy and positive response,” Monzul recalls, “I realised how important it was for them as well as for myself.”
Monzul has seen duty at four Euro tournaments and three FIFA Women’s World Cups. She is confident that her vast experience of refereeing major football occasions in both women’s and men’s football will serve her well in what is sure to be a vibrant and pulsating atmosphere as two outstanding teams chase European glory. “It will be the biggest crowd for a match that I’ve refereed,” she says. “But once the game starts, you close out what is around you, and you concentrate on refereeing the match.” Monzul emphasises the necessity of effective refereeing teamwork in the high-stakes, high-pace modern-day game. “When we perform well, we win as a team,” she insists. “We are as one –very proud of what we’ve achieved.” As a referee of long standing, Monzul has also observed the huge evolution of women’s football at close hand, and she has been able to adapt to the constant progress that the game has enjoyed. “Each year has brought a step forward,” she reflects. “[Women’s football] keeps getting better and better. As a referee, there’s obviously a big difference from when I started internationally in 2004 – physical preparation is different now, there are programmes that we follow to help us get fitter and faster, and of course the technical and tactical preparation we do on teams and players is absolutely essential.”
Women’s Euro 2022 has seen records smashed and new benchmarks set for the future. “I’m extremely proud to have been part of this event,” Monzul explains. “I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s also been a really positive experience to be together with the other referees – we’re like a big family. We’ve supported each other and shared information all the time.” The moment now approaches when Monzul will step out onto the turf at the iconic Wembley venue, ready to blow the first whistle and set in motion what every football fan hopes will be a final for the ages. “I’m not sure, to be honest, how I’ll feel when I walk out onto the pitch and there’s the crowd, the atmosphere – I’ll tell you how I felt afterwards,” she laughs. “But I do know that my heart will be beating quickly when we line up for the national anthems… and that will signal the moment that I’ll really know that the match is finally here…” After her eventful spring, Kateryna Monzul deserves to play her part in a match to remember. (Source: UEFA)

31 July 2022
England – Germany
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Maryna Striletska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulina Baranowska (POL)
Fourth Official: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
Reserve AR: Karolin Kaivoja (EST)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR 1: Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
AVAR 2: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Referee Observer: Roberto Rosetti (ITA)

CONMEBOL Women’s Copa America Final 2022: Fortunato (ARG)

30 July 2022

Colombia – Brazil 
Referee: Laura Fortunato (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mariana de Almeida (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Daiana Milone (ARG)
Fourth Official: Adriana Farfan (BOL)
Reserve AR: Liliana Bejarano (BOL)
VAR: Zulma Quinonez (PAR)
AVAR 1: Susana Corella (ECU)
AVAR 2: Monica Amboya (ECU)

Match for Third Place
Argentina – Paraguay
Referee: Maria Daza (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eliana Ortiz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Nataly Arteaga (COL)
Fourth Official: Sandra Bastos (POR)
Reserve AR: Andreia Ferreira (POR)

Referee Aytekin ends international career

Deniz Aytekin will no longer referee in the European or international matches. The German Referee of the Year 2022 surprisingly ended his international career at the age of 44. The DFB announced it on Thursday morning. Aytekin was on the FIFA List since 2011 and, among other things, oversaw 25 games in the Champions League, 28 in the Europa League and one in the Europa Conference League, plus 23 other international matches.
"Over the past few days, I have been talking intensively with my family and friends about the future of my international refereeing. As a result, it feels right that I am retiring as a FIFA referee after 12 years", Aytekin is quoted as saying. "I also discussed this decision with Roberto Rosetti, UEFA's chief refereeing officer, and I just had one wish. The main reason is that I want to spend more time with my family and friends," explains the native of Nurnberg. "In addition," Aytekin continued, "the international trips are too time-consuming and physically demanding and make self-determination difficult. But the sporting perspective of my German colleagues also played a role: we have young Bundesliga referees at the DFB who need to take the next step on the international stage. But we also have very good, experienced Bundesliga referees who deserve a chance to referee international games as well." At national level, Aytekin wants to continue. "Quite the opposite!" he replies when asked if he wants to take it easy there. "If I stay healthy, I will still have a few years at the highest level in Germany. This challenge and the joy and appreciation that I can enjoy in Germany is a great motivation for me and it totally fulfills me as a referee." An anniversary is coming up in the Bundesliga, where Aytekin currently has 199 appearances.

Source: Kicker

Conger refereeing in MLS

Matthew Conger attended the 2018 World Cup in Russia and was selected for his second World Cup in Qatar 2022 as OFC referee from New Zealand.
Earlier this year, he moved back temporary to his native USA and requested permission to referee in the Major League Soccer (MLS). “I was born in Dallas and grew up here in Athens where I played soccer from a young age. I began refereeing with USSF and GA Soccer when I was 15 years old. I attained a Grade 7 badge before deciding to study and work abroad when I was 18. I maintained my referee certification throughout the next few years, refereeing locally, as well as in Denmark where I lived for a year. Here, I met my wife Sharon and moved to New Zealand where I immediately began refereeing on the New Zealand Football National League. We subsequently moved back to the US for about three years, during which time I represented Region 3 at Youth Regionals and US Youth Nationals. In 2006, we made the decision to move our family back to New Zealand where I completed my Bachelor of Education (Teaching), taught full-time for eight years, raised our four children and refereed on the New Zealand National League, Australian A-League and in 2013 was promoted to the FIFA Referee panel. Since then I’ve had the privilege of refereeing around the globe in various competitions and professional leagues. I have been honored to referee at nine FIFA tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 and I am a candidate to referee at Doha 2022 this November/December. My current return to Athens is due in part to the New Zealand border restrictions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. I needed to be based where I could easily access international travel and have access to the highest-level matches possible as I prepare for the World Cup. More personally, it is a sense of deep connection to being a US citizen and my US Soccer referee heritage that makes my involvement in the game here in Georgia and across the country very significant in the build up to Doha. I am incredibly grateful for the support of the PSRA board and their recognition of my desire to work alongside the professional and wider referee community here in the US/Canada in a collegial and supportive manner”, wrote Conger in a letter addressed to the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA). His request was accepted and recently he started refereeing in the MLS. Last weekend, Conger was initially appointed as fourth official but ended up refereeing Real Salt Lake - FC Dallas, as a last-minute replacement for Lukasz Szpala. His first officially appointed match as MLS referee will be this coming Saturday, Charlotte FC - Columbus Crew.

Source: BigSoccer

Offside: ‘deliberate play’ guidelines clarified

Following a number of high-profile situations and based on the expectation that a player who is clearly in an offside position should not become ‘onside’ on all occasions when an opponent moves and touches the ball, The IFAB and FIFA, after discussions with football stakeholders, have clarified the guidelines for distinguishing between ‘deliberate play’ and ‘deflection’.

The relevant part of Law 11 states as follows (emphasis added):
2. Offside offence
A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:
· gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, match official or an opponent

A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it was a deliberate save by any opponent. No change to Law 11 is necessary but, to reflect football’s expectation, the guidelines for distinguishing between ‘deliberate play’ and ‘deflection’ are clarified as follows:

‘Deliberate play’ is when a player has control of the ball with the possibility of:
· passing the ball to a team-mate; or
· gaining possession of the ball; or
· clearing the ball (e.g. by kicking or heading it).

If the pass, attempt to gain possession or clearance by the player in control of the ball is inaccurate or unsuccessful, this does not negate the fact that the player ‘deliberately played’ the ball.

The following criteria should be used, as appropriate, as indicators that a player was in control of the ball and, as a result, ‘deliberately played’ the ball:
· The ball travelled from distance and the player had a clear view of it
· The ball was not moving quickly
· The direction of the ball was not unexpected
· The player had time to coordinate their body movement, i.e. it was not a case of instinctive stretching or jumping, or a movement that achieved limited contact/control
· A ball moving on the ground is easier to play than a ball in the air.

Video clips illustrating the clarification of the ‘deliberate play’ guidelines, which does not constitute a Law change, can be found on FIFA RED.

Source: IFAB

Monzul’s unique journey to Women’s Euro 2022

Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul has had a longer journey than most to UEFA Women's Euro 2022. The 41-year-old match official endured a difficult and perilous experience earlier this year when war broke out in Ukraine. Opting to leave the country and her native Kharkiv to escape the hostilities that impacted on Ukraine's second largest city, and initially accompanied by her two sisters and their three children, she embarked on a journey that eventually led to her establishing a base in Italy and enabling her to continue her career as a referee.
Monzul has a distinguished CV. Setting out as an international referee in 2004, she has seen duty at three FIFA Women's World Cups – she was a fourth official in 2011 and referee in 2015 and 2019 – and was chosen to officiate at the 2015 final between the United States and Japan in Canada. This summer's stint in England is her fourth at a Euro final tournament. She took part as a referee in the 2016 Olympic Games women's football tournament and she refereed the 2014 UEFA Women's Champions League final between Tyresö and Wolfsburg in Lisbon, also working as fourth official on home soil at the 2018 final between Wolfsburg and Lyon in Kyiv. In 2016, Monzul began refereeing matches in the Ukrainian men's Premier League – the first female official to do so – and has also been assigned to matches in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League. In November 2020, she officiated at the UEFA Nations League match between San Marino and Gibraltar as part of the first all-female refereeing team to take charge of a senior men's international game.
This impressive career path was interrupted in February after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Monzul and her family in Kharkiv felt the immediate effects. "Nobody expected that, in the 21st century, this kind of situation could happen," she reflects. "It's a difficult situation for every Ukrainian family, as you can imagine because families are disconnected. When the war started, nobody could believe it at first. My family went to my parents' home, and we were [living] underground – a special place in the house. We were there for five days." Monzul eventually took the decision to leave Ukraine, travelling by car with her two sisters and their three boys through Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic before arriving in Germany. "It was stressful and difficult," she admits. "When we left Ukraine, we didn't have any ideas what the next step was for us."
Happily, events then moved forward quickly. Synergies took place between UEFA, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Italian refereeing body AIA, and doors were opened to Italy. Accommodation was made available in Turin, and Monzul, leaving one sister and her two sons in Germany, travelled south to the Italian metropolis. She expressed the wish to resume refereeing. The AIA responded with an initial appointment in the Italian women's Serie A competition, and Monzul then went on to take charge of matches in the men's Serie A youth championship. The crucial backing of the AIA, allied to the unfailing support of UEFA and the FIGC, put her in a position to continue her profession. April brought additional positive news for Monzul, when her selection was confirmed for the group of 13 referees for Women's Euro in England. She is eternally grateful for football's hand of friendship at the toughest of times. "I thank all the football family, because everybody has really helped me," Monzul says. "Ukrainian and international refereeing colleagues also [got in touch], and this was really, really important to me."
Another Ukrainian official, assistant referee Maryna Striletska, is also part of the Euro team after leaving her country for Switzerland earlier this year, and she has been running the line at Swiss domestic third-tier matches. Luhansk-born Striletska has been one of Monzul's referee team-mates at her Euro matches, along with Polish assistant referee Paulina Baranowska and fourth official Ivana Projkovska from North Macedonia. "Not only can I now speak to [Maryna] in a professional way as a referee, I can also talk to her on my personal life, my normal life," Monzul says. "It has really helped me. I'm happy to be here with her." Since her arrival in England, Monzul has been relishing the opportunity to renew close ties with the UEFA refereeing family and savour the unique atmosphere of a record-breaking Euro tournament. "It's a really important competition for me as a referee," she emphasises. "It's not possible to forget about the war. But when you step onto the field, your mindset changes."
Monzul underlines that regular contact with loved ones at home is helping her maintain focus and morale. "We exchange messages with pleasure a few times a day, we can talk to each other through video calls, especially with my parents, who have remained in Kharkiv. They really support me – after each call, I get the strength to continue, and to be here and represent Ukraine. My aim, as always, is to do my job in a very professional way." Life for Kateryna Monzul has taken a different turn since February. Nevertheless, thanks to her innate professionalism, she has still been able to prove in taxing personal circumstances why she has reached the European and world refereeing summits and established such an outstanding reputation. She hopes to return to Ukraine as soon as possible, and shares one final salient thought. "The most important thing is to stop this war – world peace is the most important thing. It's my hope for everybody."

Source: UEFA

UEFA claims VAR at Women's Euro is better than Champions League final and men's Euro

UEFA has rubbished claims from the Sweden camp that video assistant referee support at the Women's Euro has not been on a par with the men's game. On the eve of their semi-final clash with England, Sweden stand-in captain Kosovare Asllani criticised the governing body for 'using 50 per cent fewer cameras' at the tournament than at Euro 2020 last summer, labelling the situation a 'catastrophe'. Meanwhile, head coach Peter Gerhardsson also bemoaned the VAR, with Sweden having seen five goals ruled out for offside during the tournament. “There shouldn't be a difference if it's women's football or men's football”, said Gerhardsson. “Of course, it's not good enough. My feeling is sometimes we put too much trust in it. Even if it's an offside that's very obvious then you wait for the VAR decision, you don't know until the ref whistles if it's a goal or not. We're going to have to hope that they've looked at improving themselves.” 
UEFA, though, insists the infrastructure in place for VAR stands up against that used in the highest level of the men's game. “The TV production for UEFA Women's Euro 2022 is on a par with the standard production for the men's UEFA Champions League”, a UEFA spokesperson said. “More importantly, VAR camera support at UEFA Women's Euro 2022 is higher than for the men's UEFA Champions League and men's UEFA Euro due to the availability of additional offside and EPTS (Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems) cameras”.

Source: Daily Mail

Late starter Welch savours her Euro referee role

Welch, 38, from Washington in the Tyne and Wear region of north-east England, is another member of the match officials’ community who turned from playing to refereeing – her main objective being to get better acquainted with the Laws of the Game. “I became a referee quite late,” the former national health service administrator reflects.” I was 27 when I decided I wanted to be a referee. One of my really good friends was a referee, and she used to referee us at weekends. I wasn’t the best behaved as a player! I thought that if I trained to be a referee, I’d know a little bit more about the rules. Then it just went from there. There was no big plan, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” Tonight, Welch enjoys another career highlight as the referee in the middle for the vital Group B encounter between Denmark and Spain at Brentford, having made her tournament debut at last week's France-Italy game in Rotherham.
Welch’s wise decision to change her football pathway has been a success. The 2017 and 2020 English Women’s FA Cup finals are included on her refereeing CV, and her qualities have also brought her appointments in the English men’s competitions. In January this year, Welch was the first woman to take charge of an English FA Cup third-round game when Birmingham City took on Plymouth Argyle, and in 2021, she was the first female referee to be appointed to officiate at an English Football League match. Following regular duty in the English Women’s Super League, Welch was promoted to the UEFA elite list of referees at the end of 2020. She describes her selection for the Women’s Euro team as ‘huge’. “Any Women’s Euro is massive,” she says. “Having it in my home country England is that little bit more special. This was something that I’ve been wanting to do ever since I found out it was in England. I got on the international list, and I think that’s always a step that you look for as a referee, to represent your country at a tournament.” When Welch watches football, does she view it through the eyes of a former player or a current referee? “I always watch any game from a referee’s point of view,” she emphasises. “I definitely see it more through a referee’s lens because that’s my job, that’s my passion, that’s my involvement in the game.” She expresses that passion through her refereeing. “I think I definitely like to let the game flow,” Welch says. “I don’t like to stop and start. I think it’s also important to have a personality at the right time. Players need to see us not as robots, but that we are people behind the uniform and the whistle. I think, now, players appreciate that more, and it really suits my style of refereeing. Gone are the days where we’re just disciplining everything and not trying to talk to players.” Welch is relishing working together at the Euro with referees who she considers as friends. “Yes, 100%,” she agrees. “The group is brilliant. We’re all from different parts of Europe, but we’re one team. We’re used to being together. We want everybody to do well.” There is one special dream among Rebecca Welch’s various targets for her refereeing future. “I would love to referee in the [English] Premier League,” she says. “I’m on track for my goals at the minute. In the next couple of years, with a lot of hard work, we’ll see what happens…”

Source: UEFA

Concacaf League 2022 – Preliminary Round (First Leg)

26-28 July 2021

Aguila – Alajuelense
Referee: Jefferson Escobar (HON, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Roney Salinas (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Tabora (HON)
Fourth Official: Melvin Matamoros (HON)

Waterhouse – Pacific

Referee: Josue Ugalde (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: William Chow (CRC)
Fourth Official: Keylor Herrera (CRC

Malacateco – Sporting
Referee: Damien Rosa (MTQ)
Assistant Referee 1: Dwight Cummings (CAY)
Assistant Referee 2: Jermaine Yee Sing (JAM)
Fourth Official: Daneon Parchment (JAM)

Verdes – Platense
Referee: Ken Pennyfeather (ATG)
Assistant Referee 1: Iroots Appleton (ATG)
Assistant Referee 2: Wasnah Barnarde (ATG)
Fourth Official: Steffon Dewar (JAM)

Atletico – Municipal
Referee: Fernando Moron (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ronald Bruna (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alejandro Camarena (PAN)
Fourth Official: Oliver Vergara (PAN)

Real Esteli – RCD Espana
Referee: Jose Fuentes (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Ventura (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Lemus (GUA)
Fourth Official: Julio Luna (GUA)

UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – Semi-finals

26 July 2022
England – Sweden
Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Susann Küng (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Sara Telek (AUT)
Fourth Official: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR 1: Dennis Higler (NED)
AVAR 2: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Dagmar Damkova (CZE)

27 July 2022
Germany – France
Referee: Cheryl Foster (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Michelle O'Neill (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Guadalupe Porras Ayuso (ESP)
Fourth Official: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR 1: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
AVAR 2: Tiago Martins (POR) 
Referee Observer: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)

UEFA Champions League 2022/2023 – Second Qualifying Round (Second Leg)

26-27 July 2022

AEK Larnaka – FC Midtjylland
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Istvan Albert (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ferenc Karako (HUN)
Referee Observer: Gerard Perry (IRL)

Viktoria Plzen – HJK Helsinki
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Kuštrim Lika (MKD)
Fourth Official: Jovan Kačevski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Alan Sant (MLT)

Sheriff Tiraspol – NK Maribor
Referee: Tamas Bognar (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balazs Buzas (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Kobor (HUN)
Fourth Official: Balazs Berke (HUN)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

F91 Diddeleng – Pyunik FA
Referee: Jose Munuera Montero (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Inigo Prieto Lopez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Martinez Moreno (ESP)
Fourth Official: Mario Melero Lopez (ESP)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

FK Skupi – GNK Dinamo
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Skytte (DEN)
Fourth Official: Sandi Putros (DEN)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Shamrock Rovers – PFK Ludogorets
Referee: Fabio Maresca (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniele Bindoni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giuseppe Perrotti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Livio Marinelli (ITA)
Referee Observer: Shmuel Shteif (ISR)

Bodo Glimt – Linfield FC
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: David Biton (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Sagi Metzamber (ISR)
Fourth Official: Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR)
Referee Observer: Jorn-West Larsen (DEN)

FC Zürich – Qarabag FK
Referee: Allard Lindhout (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Charles Schaap (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Roy de Nas (NED)
Fourth Official: Jeroen Manschot (NED)
Referee Observer: Martin Hansson (SWE)

Malmö FF – Zalgiris Vilnius
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Silver Koiv (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Sten Klaasen (EST)
Fourth Official: Martti Pukk (EST)
Referee Observer: Helmut Fleischer (GER)

Fenerbahce SK – Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Domenico Rocca (ITA)
Fourth Official: Gianluca Manganiello (ITA)
Referee Observer: Michael Johansen (DEN)

Slovan Bratislava – Ferencvarosi TC
Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Giorgio Peretti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Emanuele Prenna (ITA)
Fourth Official: Simone Sozza (ITA)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Olympiakos – Maccabi Haifa
Referee: Daniel Stefanski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Dawid Golis (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Michal Obukowicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Tomasz Wajda (POL)
Referee Observer: John Ward (IRL)

UEFA Europa Conference League 2022/2023 – Second Qualifying Round (Second Leg)

26-28 July 2022

The New Saints – Vikingur Reykjavik
Referee: Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Kolev (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Miroslav Ivanov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Stanimir Trenchev (BUL)
Referee Observer: Jan Carlsen (DEN)

Lincoln Red Imps – Tobyl FK
Referee: Gal Leibovitz (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yossi Babayoff (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Omer Barbiro (ISR)
Fourth Official: Shalom Ben Avraham (ISR)
Referee Observer: Marco Borg (MLT)

KF Ballkani – La Fiorita
Referee: Adam Ladebäck (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Yng (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Niclas Ivarsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Victor Wolf (SWE)
Referee Observer: Markus Nobs (SUI)

Inter d’Escaldes – CFR Cluj
Referee: Kristoffer Hagenes (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Anders Dale (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Christer Jorgensen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Sivert Amland (NOR)
Referee Observer: Kenneth Clark (SCO)

AIK – Vorskla Poltava
Referee: Miloš Milanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milan Šutulović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Čedomir Andrejić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Marko Ivković (SRB)
Referee Observer: Asim Khudiyev (AZE)

KI Klaksvik – FK Sutjeska
Referee: Christian Ciochirca (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Höfler (AUT)
Fourth Official: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Referee Observer: Eyjolfur Olafsson (ISL)

FK Homiel – Aris Thessalonikis
Referee: Nicolas Laforge (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ruben Wyns (BEL)
Fourth Official: Wesli De Cremer (BEL)
Referee Observer: Andreas Schluchter (SUI)

FK Astana – Rakow Czestochowa
Referee: Tomaš Klima (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Nadvornik (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lukaš Machač (CZE)
Fourth Official: Ladislav Szikszay (CZE)
Referee Observer: Giorgi Vadachkoria (GEO)

Qabala IK - MOL Fehervar
Referee: Christopher Jäger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Steinacher (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Santino Schreiner (AUT)
Fourth Official: Markus Hameter (AUT)
Referee Observer: Niklas a Lidarenda (FRO)

Paide Linnameeskond – Ararat Armenia
Referee: Damian Sylwestrzak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Marek Arys (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Karasewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Paweł Malec (POL)
Referee Observer: Kostadin Gerginov (BUL)

Kisvarda FC – Qairat FK
Referee: Chrysovalandis Theouli (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Michail Sotiriou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Pavlos Georgiou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Georgios Nikolaou (CYP)
Referee Observer: Edward Foley (IRL)

Milsami Orhei – KuPS Kuopio
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Duncan Sultana (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Edward Spiteri (MLT)
Fourth Official: Stephen Pace (MLT)
Referee Observer: Jens Larsen (DEN)

Maccabi Netanya – Istanbul Başakşehir
Referee: Dario Bel (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Tomas (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Kruno Šarić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Tihomir Pejin (CRO)
Referee Observer: Cyril Zimmermann (SUI)

IF Elfsborg – Molde FK
Referee: Peter Bankes (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Neil Davies (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: James Mainwaring (ENG)
Fourth Official: John Brooks (ENG)
Referee Observer: Vadims Direktorenko (LVA)

Levadia Tallinn – Hibernians FC
Referee: Henrik Nalbandyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Artur Gdlyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Vanik Simonyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Medved (SVK)

Dinamo Batumi – Lech Poznan
Referee: Igor Stojčevski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Goce Petreski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Slagan Markoski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Stojančo Trpčevski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Ferenc Szekely (HUN)

Radnički Niš – Gzira United
Referee: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrei Constantinescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Iulian Călin (ROU)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

Apoel – Botev Plovdiv
Referee: Morten Krogh (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Steffen Bramsen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakob Mastrup (DEN)
Fourth Official: Aydin Uslu (DEN)
Referee Observer: Darko Čeferin (SVN)

Neftçi PFK – Aris Limassol
Referee: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Fourth Official: Sven Jablonski (GER)
Referee Observer: Zoran Petrović (SRB)

CSKA Sofia – FK Makedonija
Referee: David Coote (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Nick Hopton (ENG)
Fourth Official: Robert Jones (ENG)
Referee Observer: Hannes Kaasik (EST)

Olimpija Ljubljana – Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe
Referee: Sebastian Gishamer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Riedel (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Weiss (AUT)
Fourth Official: Alan Kijas (AUT)
Referee Observer: Dejan Filipović (SRB)

Lillestrom SK – SJK Seinäjoki
Referee: Iwan Griffith (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonathon Bryant (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Connor Thomas (WAL)
Fourth Official: Aaron Jones (WAL)
Referee Observer: Andrejs Sipailo (LVA)

Slavia Praha – St. Joseph’s FC
Referee: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: l Siejka (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Mucha (POL)
Fourth Official: Sebastian Krasny (POL)
Referee Observer: Pavle Radovanović (MNE)

Newtown AFC – Spartak Trnava
Referee: Aristotelis Diamantopoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Konstantinos Psarris (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraas Meindanas (GRE)
Fourth Official: Vasilios Fotias (GRE)
Referee Observer: Domagoj Vučkov (CRO)

Viborg FF – FK Suduva
Referee: James Robinson (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Donaldson (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Jeffrey (NIR)
Fourth Official: Shane Andrews (NIR)
Referee Observer: Albano Janku (ALB)

Riga FC – MFK Ružomberok
Referee: Jasmin Sabotic (LUX)
Assistant Referee 1: Claude Ries (LUX)
Assistant Referee 2: Tom Hansen (LUX)
Fourth Official: Laurent Wilmes (LUX)
Referee Observer: Ruud Bossen (NED)

Djurgardens IF – HNK Rijeka
Referee: Snir Levi (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Matityahu Yakobov (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rostislav Talis (ISR)
Fourth Official: Idan Leiba (ISR)
Referee Observer: Lassin Isaksen (FRO)

Viking FK – Sparta Praha
Referee: Visar Kastrati (KOS)
Assistant Referee 1: Granit Hyseni (KOS)
Assistant Referee 2: Lumturije Muhadri (KOS)
Fourth Official: Alban Shala (KOS)
Referee Observer: Gunnar Jonsson (ISL)

FCSB – Saburtalo
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Florian Lemaire (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Romain Devillers (BEL)
Fourth Official: Jasper Vergoote (BEL)
Referee Observer: Thoroddur Hjaltalin (ISL)

Maccabi Tel Aviv – Zira PFK
Referee: Mario Zebec (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Hrvoje Radić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Luka Pušić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ante Čuljak (CRO)
Referee Observer: Iain Robertson Brines (SCO)

Universitatea Craiova – KF Vllaznia
Referee: Ondřej Berka (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Matěj Vlček (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakub Hrabovsky (CZE)
Fourth Official: Pavel Orel (CZE)
Referee Observer: Georgi Yordanov (BUL)

PAOK – Levski Sofia
Referee: Cesar Soto Grado (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Iker de Francisco Grijalba (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Alvarez Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Alejandro Muniz Ruiz (ESP)
Referee Observer: Jouni Hyytia (FIN)

Lechia Gdansk – Rapid Wien
Referee: Alessandro Dudic (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Köbeli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Efe Kurnazca (SUI)
Fourth Official: Alain Bieri (SUI)
Referee Observer: Augustus Constantin (ROU)

Hamrun Spartans – FK Velez
Referee: Juri Frischer (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Veiko Mõtsnik (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Sander Saga (EST)
Fourth Official: Kristo Külljastinen (EST)
Referee Observer: Sascha Amhof (SUI)

Dynamo Minsk – Hapoel Beer Sheva
Referee: Marian Barbu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mircea Orbuleț (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Imre Bucsi (ROU)
Fourth Official: Lucian Ruaandu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Lucilio Batista (POR)

Konyaspor – Bate Borisov
Referee: Novak Simović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikola Djorović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Miloš Simović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Stanko Ostraćanin (SRB)
Referee Observer: Robert Małek (POL)

BSC Young Boys – FK Liepaja
Referee: Abdulkadir Bitigen (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mustafa Savranlar (TUR)
Fourth Official: Tugay Numanoğlu (TUR)
Referee Observer: Calum Murray (SCO)

NS Mura – Saint Patrick’s Athletic
Referee: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Zürcher (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Benjamin Zürcher (SUI)
Fourth Official: Sven Wolfensberger (SUI)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

Brondby IF – Pogon Szczecin
Referee: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Vito Di Vincenzo (BEL)
Fourth Official: Lothar D’Hondt (BEL)
Referee Observer: Edgar Steinborn (GER)

Sligo Rovers – Motherwell FC
Referee: Bojan Pandzic (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Niklas Nyberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Josef (SWE)
Fourth Official: Per Melin (SWE)
Referee Observer: Sergejus Slyva (LTU)

FC Vaduz – FC Koper
Referee: Besfort Kasumi (KOS)
Assistant Referee 1: Edmond Zeqiri (KOS)
Assistant Referee 2: Fatmir Sekiraqa (KOS)
Fourth Official: Gramos Shala (KOS)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

KF Drita – Royal Antwerp
Referee: Sander van der Eijk (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Rens Bluemink (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Dyon Fikkert (NED)
Fourth Official: Martin Perez (NED)
Referee Observer: Draženko Kovačić (CRO)

KF Laci – Petrocub Hîncești
Referee: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Clemens Schüttengruber (AUT)
Fourth Official: Rene Eisner (AUT)
Referee Observer: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)

FK Čukarički – Union Lëtzebuerg
Referee: Bolat Sariev (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Sergei Vasiytni (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergei Kalachev (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Elvira Nurmustafina (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Michalis Koukoulakis (GRE)

FK Škendija – Valmiera FC
Referee: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Sean Carr (SCO)
Fourth Official: Craig Napier (SCO)
Referee Observer: Guy Goethals (BEL)

NK Osijek – Qyzyljar SK
Referee: Anastasios Papapetrou (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Tryfon Petropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Iordanis Aptosoglou (GRE)
Fourth Official: Andreas Gamaris (GRE)
Referee Observer: Salustia Chipres (AND)

Buducnost Podgorica – Breidablik
Referee: Thomas Owen (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Beckett (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Lewiss Edwards (WAL)
Fourth Official: Bryn Markham-Jones (WAL)
Referee Observer: Erol Ersoy (TUR)

FK Tuzla – AZ Alkmaar
Referee: Ashot Ghaltakhchyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Atom Sevgulyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Harutyun Hambardzumyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Artem Gasparyan (ARM)
Referee Observer: Boško Jovanetić (SRB)

Tre Fiori – B36 Torshavn
Referee: Daniel Schlager (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Kempter (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Arno Blos (GER)
Fourth Official: Tobias Reichel (GER)
Referee Observer: Uno Tutk (EST)

HŠK Zrinjski – KF Tirana
Referee: Yaşar Ugurlu (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ali Ögel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdullah Özkara (TUR)
Fourth Official: Kadir Sağlam (TUR)
Referee Observer: Michal Beneš (CZE)

Dunajska Streda – Víkingur
Referee: Juxhin Xhaja (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ridiger Çokaj (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Mario Shazivari (ALB)
Fourth Official: Erjon Bastari (ALB)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

Crusaders FC – FC Basel
Referee: David Šmajc (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: David Gabrovec (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomaž Černe (SVN)
Fourth Official: Alen Borošak (SVN)
Referee Observer: Tomasz Mikulski (POL)

Puskas Akademia – Vitoria SC

Referee: Jakob Sundberg (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Deniz Yurdakul (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lars Rix (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jonas Hansen (DEN)
Referee Observer: Goran Mihaljević (MNE)

CONMEBOL Women’s Copa America 2022 – Semi-finals

25 July 2022

Colombia – Argentina
Referee: Maria Carvajal (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Loreto Toloza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Cindy Nanuelcoy (CHI)
Fourth Official: Susana Corella (ECU)
Reserve AR: Monica Amboya (ECU)

Brazil – Paraguay
Referee: Anahi Fernandes (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luciana Mascarana (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Adela Sanchez (URU)
Fourth Official: Yercinia Correa (VEN)
Reserve AR: Thaity Dugarte (VEN)

Match for Fifth Place
Chile – Venezuela
Referee: Edina Alves (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Neuza Back (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Leila Moreira (BRA)
Fourth Official: Elizabeth Tintaya (PER)
Reserve AR: Gabriela Moreno (PER)

CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Final 2022: Mukansanga (RWA)

23 July 2022

Morocco – South Africa
Referee: Salima Mukansanga (RWA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mimisen Iyorhe (NGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fanta Kone (MLI)
Fourth Official: Maria Rivet (MRI)
VAR: Haythem Guirat (TUN)
AVAR 1: Ahmed El-Ghandour (EGY)
AVAR 2: Ahmed Hossam (EGY)

Match for Third Place
Nigeria – Zambia
Referee: Vincentia Amedome (TOG)
Assistant Referee 1: Fatiha Jermoumi (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yara Abdefattah (EGY)
Fourth Official: Dorsaf Ganouati (TUN)
VAR: Bouchra Karboubi (MAR)
AVAR 1: Samir Guezzaz (MAR)
AVAR 2: Zakaria Brinsi (MAR)

VAR technology is not precise enough to make accurate offside decisions

VAR was introduced in 2018 to help referees review decisions for goals, red cards, penalties and offsides. The technology uses film footage from pitch-side cameras, meaning that VAR operators can view the action from different angles and then offer their judgements on incidents to the head referee to make a final decision. However, the accuracy and application of VAR has also been questioned by some experts. Critics argue that VAR hampers the flow of the game, however some research suggests it has reduced the number of fouls, offsides and yellow cards.
“VAR is really useful in helping referees make accurate decisions, but this study has shown it has definite limitations,” said University of Bath researcher Pooya Soltani. In the study, Dr. Soltani used optical motion capture systems to assess the accuracy of VAR systems. He filmed a player receiving the ball from a teammate, viewed from different camera angles, whilst recording the 3D positions of the ball and players using optical motion capture cameras. Participants viewing the clips were asked to determine the exact moment of the kick and judge whether the ball receiver was in offside. The researcher found that, on average, the participants thought the ball was kicked 132 milliseconds later it actually was, as measured by the optical motion cameras. He also found that participants were more accurate in their judgements when the action was viewed at 0 and 90° angles, and when VAR guiding lines were present. “The frame-rate and resolution of the cameras used in VAR sometimes does not keep pace with the fast movements, meaning that sometimes the player or the ball is blurred,” Dr. Soltani said. “So, the viewer has to use their own judgement to extrapolate where the players were at the moment the ball was kicked, which affects whether it is offside or not. We found that the ball was kicked 132 milliseconds earlier than the participants perceived, which doesn’t sound like much, but in a fast-paced game it could be long enough for the players to be in a different location and therefore could potentially change the outcomes of offside. This goes to show that whilst VAR is useful to spot obvious errors, it shouldn’t be relied upon completely to make referee decisions.”
The study suggests that the accuracy of VAR could be improved by using higher frame-rate cameras that would record the movement of the ball in slower motion. Also, for marginal offside decisions, thicker guiding lines in the VAR could be used to represent the uncertainty zone. The accuracy could also be improved by viewing the gameplay from multiple angles. “Using higher resolution, faster frame-rate cameras, and volumetric motion capture approaches would improve the accuracy of VAR, but would be a lot more expensive,” Dr. Soltani said. “Whether right or wrong, I think the referee’s final decision adds flavor to the game.” Dr. Soltani presented the results today at the 40th Conference of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports (ISBS 2022).

Source: Sci-News

UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – Quarter-finals

20 July 2022
England – Spain
Referee: Stephanie Frappart (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Elodie Coppola (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuela Nicolosi (FRA)
Fourth Official: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR 1: Dennis Higler (NED)
AVAR 2: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Referee Observer: Dagmar Damkova (CZE)

21 July 2022
Germany – Austria
Referee: Rebecca Welch (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Sian Massey-Ellis (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lisa Rashid (ENG)
Fourth Official: Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR 1: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
AVAR 2: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)

22 July 2022
Sweden – Belgium
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Maryna Striletska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulina Baranowska (POL)
Fourth Official: Emikar Calderas (VEN)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR 1: Maurizio Mariani (ITA) 
AVAR 2: Harm Osmers (GER)
Referee Observer: Blaženka Logarušić (CRO)

23 July 2022
France – Netherlands
Referee: Ivana Martinčić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sanja Rodjak-Karšić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Staša Špur (SVN)
Fourth Official: Marta Huerta de Aza (ESP) 
VAR: Tiago Martins (POR)
AVAR 1: Luis Godinho (POR)
AVAR 2: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Katarzyna Wierzbowska (POL)

CONMEBOL Women’s Copa America 2022 – Group Stage (Matches 17-20)

20 July 2022
Ecuador – Paraguay
Referee: Yercinia Correa (VEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Thaity Dugarte (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Thyty Rodriguez (PER)
Fourth Official: Elizabeth Tintaya (PER)

Colombia – Chile
Referee: Anahi Fernandez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luciana Mascarana (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Adela Sanchez (URU)
Fourth Official: Edina Alves (BRA)

21 July 2022
Brazil – Peru
Referee: Susana Corella (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Monica Amboya (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Viviana Segura (ECU)
Fourth Official: Zulma Quinonez (PAR)

Venezuela – Argentina
Referee: Sandra Bastos (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreia Ferreira (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rita Cabanero (ESP) 
Fourth Official: Adriana Farfan (BOL)

Former World Cup final referee Codesal involved with new organization of referees outside FMF

Edgardo Codesal, Gilberto Alcala and Adalid Maganda are looking to develop the amateur sector that was neglected by the Referees Commission of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF). The International Organization of Referees (OIA) has been created by former referees relegated from the Mexican professional referee organization.
The new OIA recently held their first annual congress of amateur referees in Acapulco. Authorities from the State Sports Institute, former professional referee Paul Delgadillo and more than 200 amateur referees, who do not have a fixed salary and lack guarantees to carry out their work, were present. According to information from the organization, an amateur referee earns an average of 200 to 300 pesos per game. They can work up to 10 games from Monday to Friday and at least 3 or 4 on weekends. Its limitations, however, not only lie in the regulations, but also in the lack of uniforms, shoes and flags. “Amateur referees have been forgotten by the FMF”, emphasizes Adalid Maganda, in charge of the sporting area. “Our purpose is not to make money, but to help colleagues who have been mistreated by the violence that exists in this country. We are going to knock on doors with federal deputies, senators and state authorities to ask for support.” Presided by Juan Reyes Chavez, the OIA intends to add former referees Roberto Garcia and Francisco Chacon, who have already participated in some refereeing clinics. The head of training is Edgardo Codesal, who refereed the World Cup final in Italy’90 and is a former chairman of the Mexican professional referees. His ideas coincide with those of the rest of his team, although he insists on the need to address the root problems to improve the level of refereeing. On this subject, he points to Armando Archundia, the new head of the FMF Referees Committee, because he believes that "it is necessary to put an end to many legacies from the past." The OIA has toured various referee groups around the country. In Mexico City, they prepared some activities in Milpa Alta with the support of local authorities. “Why aren't we on the FMF Referees Committee?” Alcala wonders at the end of the interview. “I don't know, I never had problems with anyone, we should ask those responsible”.

Source: La Jornada

UEFA Champions League 2022/2023 – Second Qualifying Round (First Leg)

19-20 July 2022

Zalgiris Vilnius – Malmö FF
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (BUL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Margaritov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Diyan Valkov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Radoslav Gidzhenov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Christos Nikolaidis (CYP)

Qarabag FK – FC Zürich
Referee: Irfan Peljto (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Senad Ibrišimbegović (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Davor Beljo (BIH)
Fourth Official: Miloš Gigović (BIH)
Referee Observer: Michael Johansen (DEN)

Pyunik FA – F91 Diddeleng
Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Betts (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Robathan (ENG)
Fourth Official: Darren England (ENG)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

PFK Ludogorets – Shamrock Rovers
Referee: Joao Pinheiro (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Jesus (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Luciano Maia (POR)
Fourth Official: Miguel Nogueira (POR)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

FC Midtjylland – AEK Larnakas
Referee: Novak Simović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikola Djorović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Miloš Simović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Jovan Šegrt (SRB)
Referee Observer: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

Linfield FC – Bodo Glimt
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Golubevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Martin Hansson (SWE)

GNK Dinamo – FK Skupi
Referee: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mircea Grigoriu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Sorin Antonie (ROU)
Referee Observer: Zbigniew Przesmycki (POL)

HJK Helsinki – Viktoria Plzen
Referee: Nikola Dabanović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 1: Milutin Djukić (MNE)
Assistant Referee 2: Vladan Todorović (MNE)
Fourth Official: Miloš Bošković (MNE)
Referee Observer: Terje Hauge (NOR)

Maccabi Haifa – Olympiakos
Referee: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Fourth Official: Robert Schröder (GER)
Referee Observer: Emil Božinovski (MKD)

Ferencvarosi TC – Slovan Bratislava
Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Jon Nunez Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes (ESP)
Referee Observer: Thomas Einwaller (AUT)

Dynamo Kyiv – Fenerbahce SK

Referee: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mahbod Beigi (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Söderkvist (SWE)
Fourth Official: Adam Ladebäck (SWE)
Referee Observer: Domenico Messina (ITA)

NK Maribor – Sheriff Tiraspol
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Fourth Official: Markus Hameter (AUT)
Referee Observer: Joao Ferreira (POR)

UEFA Europa Conference League 2022/2023 – Second Qualifying Round (First Leg)

19-21 July 2022

Hibernians FC – Levadia Tallinn
Referee: Volen Chinkov (BUL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Deniz Sokolov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Venev (BUL)
Fourth Official: Vasimir El-Hatib (BUL)
Referee Observer: Alon Yefet (ISR)

KF Tirana – HSK Zrinjski
Referee: Loukas Sotiriou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Marios Kalogírou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Charalambos Georgíou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Vasílis Dimitríou (CYP)
Referee Observer: Kevin Parry (WAL)

La Fiorita – KF Ballkani
Referee: Nikola Popov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Georgi Todorov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Miroslav Ivanov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Georgi Dimitrov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Michalis Argyroú (CYP)

Botev Plovdiv – Apoel
Referee: Balazs Berke (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Toth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Garai (HUN)
Fourth Official: Mihaly Kapraly (HUN)
Referee Observer: Kenneth Clark (SCO)

Víkingur – Dunajska Streda
Referee: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksandar Kasapovič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Roberto Ponis (SVN)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

FK Sutjeska – KI Klaksvik
Referee: Arda Kardeşler (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ali Ögel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kerem Ersoy (TUR)
Fourth Official: Bahattin Şimşek (TUR)
Referee Observer: Antonio Damato (ITA)

Qyzyljar SK – NK Osijek
Referee: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Jevgeņijs Morozovs (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Romans Platonovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Edgars Malcevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Ladislav Gadoši (SVK)

Tobyl FK – Lincoln Red Imps
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Jurgen Spiteri (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Mitchell Scerri (MLT)
Fourth Official: Andrea Sciriha (MLT)
Referee Observer: Plarent Kotherja (ALB)

Qairat FK – Kisvarda FC
Referee: Peter Kjaersgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jesper Dahl (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Dennis Rasmussen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Mikkel Redder (DEN)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

FK Liepaja – BSC Young Boys
Referee: David Munro (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David Roome (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Fourth Official: Colin Steven (SCO)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

Ararat Armenia – Paide Linnameeskond
Referee: Sandi Putros (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ole Kronlykke (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Rene Risum (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jorgen Burchardt (DEN)
Referee Observer: Augustus Constantin (ROU)

Valmiera FC – FK Skendija
Referee: Michal Očenaš (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaš Vorel (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Jekkel (SVK)
Fourth Official: Filip Glova (SVK)
Referee Observer: Tony Asumaa (FIN)

FK Makedonija – CSKA Sofia
Referee: Bram Van Driessche (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Yves De Neve (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Monteny (BEL)
Fourth Official: Kevin Van Damme (BEL)
Referee Observer: Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez (BEL)

Lech Poznan – Dinamo Batumi
Referee: Ian McNabb (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Paul Robinson (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Nethery (NIR)
Fourth Official: Steven Gregg (NIR)
Referee Observer: Boško Jovanetić (SRB)

SK Saburtalo – FCSB
Referee: Kai Erik Steen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Tom Gronevik (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oystein Ytterland (NOR)
Fourth Official: Mohammad Aslam (NOR)
Referee Observer: Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU)

Zira PFK – Maccabi Tel Aviv
Referee: Robert Hennessy (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Emmett Dynan (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dermot Broughton (IRL)
Fourth Official: Oliver Moran (IRL)
Referee Observer: Pavel Salii (KAZ)

SJK Seinäjoki – Lillestrom SK
Referee: Marcel Bîrsan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Marica (ROU)
Fourth Official: Iulian Dima (ROU)
Referee Observer: Ian Stokes (IRL)

Molde FK – IF Elfsborg
Referee: Willy Delajod (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Erwan Finjean (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Jeanne (FRA)
Fourth Official: Thomas Leonard (FRA)
Referee Observer: Milorad Mažić (SRB)

FC Koper – FC Vaduz
Referee: Gergő Bogar (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gergő Vígh-Tarsonyi (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Balazs Szalai (HUN)
Fourth Official: Csaba Pinter (HUN)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

KuPS Kuopio – Milsami Orhei
Referee: Aristotelis Diamantopoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Konstantinos Psarris (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Meintanas (GRE)
Fourth Official: Georgios Tzovaras (GRE)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

FK Suduva – Viborg FF
Referee: Georgi Davidov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Georgi Doynov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Petar Mitrev (BUL)
Fourth Official: Ivo Andreev (BUL)
Referee Observer: Igor Șațchii (MDA)

Pogon Szczecin – Brondby IF
Referee: Nenad Minaković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Petar Radić (SRB)
Fourth Official: Danilo Nikolić (SRB)
Referee Observer: Rien Koopman (NED)

MFK Ruzomberok – Riga FC
Referee: Genc Nuza (KOS)
Assistant Referee 1: Fatlum Berisha (KOS)
Assistant Referee 2: Bujar Selimaj (KOS)
Fourth Official: Dardan Çaka (KOS)
Referee Observer: Ognjen Valjić (BIH)

Gzira United – Radnički Niš
Referee: Ferenc Karako (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kobor (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Norbert Bornemissza (HUN)
Fourth Official: Peter Zierkelbach (HUN)
Referee Observer: Dimitar Mečkarovski (MKD)

MOL Fehervar – Qabala IK
Referee: Kaspar Sjöberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Robin Wilde (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Svensson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Granit Maqedonci (SWE)
Referee Observer: Kostas Kapitanis (CYP)

Rapid Wien – Lechia Gdansk
Referee: Elçin Masiyev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Elşad Abdullayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Parvin Talıbov (AZE)
Fourth Official: Kamal Umudlu (AZE)
Referee Observer: Viktor Shvetsov (UKR)

St Joseph’s FC – Slavia Praha
Referee: Ivar Kristjansson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 1: Birkir Sigurdarson (ISL)
Assistant Referee 2: Gylfi Sigurdsson (ISL)
Fourth Official: Thorvaldur Arnason (ISL)
Referee Observer: Stephen Lodge (ENG)

B36 Torshavn – Tre Fiori FC
Referee: Antonio Nobre (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Pedro Martins (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Mota (POR)
Fourth Official: Helder Malheiro (POR)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

FC Basel – Crusaders FC
Referee: Amine Kourgheli (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Juryj Chomčanka (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Viktar Hiecikau (BLR)
Fourth Official: Aliaksiej Kulbakou (BLR)
Referee Observer: Elmir Pilav (BIH)

Royal Antwerp – KF Drita
Referee: Philip Farrugia (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Camilleri (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: James Muscat (MLT)
Fourth Official: Daniel Portelli (MLT)
Referee Observer: Michael Ross (NIR)

Petrocub Hîncești – KF Laçi
Referee: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Arkadiusz Wojcik (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Niemirowski (POL)
Fourth Official: Piotr Lasyk (POL)
Referee Observer: Gevorg Hovhannisyan (ARM)

Levski Sofia – PAOK
Referee: Jeremie Pignard (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Aurelien Drouet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Laurent Coniglio (FRA)
Fourth Official: Bastien Dechepy (FRA)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Vorskla Poltava – AIK
Referee: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Zürcher (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Benjamin Zürcher (SUI)
Fourth Official: Sven Wolfensberger (SUI)
Referee Observer: Jorn-West Larsen (DEN)

Sparta Praha – Viking FK
Referee: Manfredas Lukjančukas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mangirdas Mirauskas (LTU)
Fourth Official: Orestas Abramavičius (LTU)
Referee Observer: Stavros Tritsonis (GRE)

CFR Cluj – Inter d’Escaldes
Referee: Alex Troleis (FRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hermansen (FRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorleif Djurhuus (FRO)
Fourth Official: Eiler Rasmussen (FRO)
Referee Observer: Leondios Trattou (CYP)

Aris Limassol – Neftci PFK
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Luka Pajić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Dario Bel (CRO)
Referee Observer: Clayton Pisani (MLT)

Hapoel Beer Sheva – Dynamo Minsk
Referee: Espen Eskas (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Engan (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Isaak Bashevkin (NOR)
Fourth Official: Kristoffer Hagenes (NOR)
Referee Observer: Ante Vučemilović-Šimunović (CRO)

Istanbul Başakşehir – Maccabi Netanya
Referee: Irakli Kvirikashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Giorgi Elikashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Davit Akhvlediani (GEO)
Fourth Official: Aleko Aptsiauri (GEO)
Referee Observer: Christopher Lautier (MLT)

Aris Thessalonikis – FK Homiel
Referee: Walter Altmann (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Santino Schreiner (AUT)
Fourth Official: Andreas Heiss (AUT)
Referee Observer: Calum Murray (SCO)

Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe – Olimpija Ljubljana
Referee: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Calum Spence (SCO)
Fourth Official: Grant Irvine (SCO)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)

Racing Lëtzebuerg – FK Čukarički
Referee: Viktar Šymusik (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Siarhiej Kasaviec (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Siarhiej Firynovič (BLR)
Fourth Official: Anton Lašuk (BLR)
Referee Observer: Ichko Lozev (BUL)

FK Velež – Hamrun Spartans
Referee: Andrew Davey (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Georgios Argyropoulos (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Bell (NIR)
Fourth Official: Christopher Morrison (NIR)
Referee Observer: Alieh Čykun (BLR)

Spartak Trnava – Newtown AFC
Referee: Luka Bilbija (BIH)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksandar Smiljanić (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2: Damir Lazić (BIH)
Fourth Official: Antoni Bandić (BIH)
Referee Observer: Orhan Erdemir (TUR)

HNK Rijeka – Djurgardens IF
Referee: Christian Ciochirca (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Maximilian Weiss (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Obritzberger (AUT)
Fourth Official: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Referee Observer: Sokol Jareci (ALB)

Saint Patrick’s Athletic – NS Mura
Referee: Ishmael Barbara (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Vella (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Duncan Spencer (MLT)
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech (MLT)
Referee Observer: Mika Peltola (FIN)

Motherwell FC – Sligo Rovers
Referee: Kari Hovdanum (FRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Christiansen (FRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Dan Hojgaard (FRO)
Fourth Official: Johan Ellefsen (FRO)
Referee Observer: Nicolae Grigorescu (ROU)

KF Vllaznia – Universitatea Craiova

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Christopher Campbell (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eoin Harte (IRL)
Fourth Official: Kevin O’Sullivan (IRL)
Referee Observer: Karel Vidlak (CZE)

Bate Barysau – Konyaspor
Referee: Gustavo Correia (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Pedro Ribeiro (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Bras (POR)
Fourth Official: Joao Gonçalves (POR)
Referee Observer: Kostadin Gerginov (BUL)

Rakow Częstochowa – Astana FK
Referee: Goga Kikacheishvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Davit Gabisonia (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Davit Chigogidze (GEO)
Fourth Official: Irakli Kherkhadze (GEO)
Referee Observer: Marian Ružbarsky (SVK)

Breidablik – Buducnost Podgorica
Referee: Denys Shurman (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Dominik Schaal (GER)
Fourth Official: Daniel Schlager (GER)
Referee Observer: Mark Whitby (WAL)

Vikingur Reykjavik – The New Saints
Referee: Peter Kralovič (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Milan Štrbo (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Dušan Štofik (SVK)
Fourth Official: Peter Ziemba (SVK)
Referee Observer: Manuel Diaz Vega (ESP)

Vitoria SC – Puskas Akademia
Referee: Henrik Nalbandyan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 1: Mesrop Ghazaryan (ARM)
Assistant Referee 2: Sargis Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Fourth Official: Shahen Aghayan (ARM)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

CONCACAF Women’s Championship Final 2022: Garcia (MEX)

18 July 2022

USA – Canada
Referee: Katia Garcia (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
Fourth Official: Odette Hamilton (JAM)
Reserve AR: Karen Diaz (MEX)
VAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
AVAR: Melissa Borjas (HON)

Match for Third Place
Costa Rica – Jamaica
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Sandra Ramirez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Myriam Marcotte (CAN)
Reserve AR: Karen Diaz (MEX)
VAR: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)
AVAR: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)

CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2022 – Semi-finals

18 July 2022

Zambia – South Africa
Referee: Lidya Tafesse (ETH, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bernadettar Kwimbira (MWI)
Assistant Referee 2: Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (MAD)
Fourth Official: Vincentia Amedome (TOG)
VAR: Lahlou Benbraham (ALG)

Morocco – Nigeria
Referee: Maria Rivet (MRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Queency Victoire (MRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Carine Atezambong (CMR)
Fourth Official: Shamirah Nabadda (UGA)
VAR: Haythem Guirat (TUN)


Senegal – Tunisia
Referee: Letticia Viana (ESW)
Assistant Referee 1: Diana Chikotesha (ZAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Nafissatou Yekini (BEN)
Fourth Official: Patience Madu (NGA)
VAR: Ahmad Heeralall (MRI)
AVAR 1: Samir Guezzaz (MAR)
AVAR 2: Zakaria Brinssi (MAR)

Botswana – Cameroon
Referee: Suavis Iratunga (BDI)
Assistant Referee 1: Soukaina Hamdi (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mona Atallah (EGY)
Fourth Official: Antsino Twanyanyukwa (NAM)
VAR: Ahmed El-Ghandour (EGY)
AVAR 1: Ahmed Hossan (EGY)
AVAR 2: Akhona Makalima (RSA)

CONMEBOL Women’s Copa America 2022 – Group Stage (Matches 13-16)

17 July 2022
Chile – Bolivia
Referee: Elizabeth Tintaya (PER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriela Moreno (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Vera Yupanqui (PER)
Fourth Official: Yercinia Correa (VEN)

Ecuador – Colombia
Referee: Laura Fortunato (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Daiana Milone (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Leila Moreira (BRA)
Fourth Official: Anahi Fernandez (URU)

18 July 2022
Venezuela – Brazil
Referee: Zulma Quinonez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Laura Miranda (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nadia Weiler (PAR)
Fourth Official: Maria Daza (COL)

Peru – Uruguay
Referee: Adriana Farfan (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Liliana Bejarano (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ines Choque (BOL)
Fourth Official: Maria Caravajal (CHI)

Former Scottish referee Valentine at centre of World Cup controversies

Bob Valentine blew his final whistle a long time ago but he’s still being asked to review one incident, even 40 years later. Not even VAR, soon to be introduced to Scottish football, would permit such an extended period of reflection. But this has been Valentine's fate since he was in the right place at the wrong time – or was it the wrong place at the right time? – in Seville on 8 July 1982.
Valentine, now 83, was playing in a crunch bowls match on Thursday evening for Fairfield against Montrose in the Angus championships. He was bracing himself for several references to one of the most notorious incidents that has ever taken place on a football pitch, particularly since the fixture fell on the eve of the actual anniversary of Harald Schumacher felling Patrick Battiston with an appalling body check during the World Cup semi-final between France and West Germany. Battiston, who had only been on the pitch for ten minutes, was carried off barely conscious. Schumacher’s recklessness was compounded by his seeming dispassion. He stood with his hand on his hips waiting to take a goal kick - which was indeed how the game restarted. Somehow Schumacher stayed on the pitch to take it. Somehow France were denied a penalty. Now, of course, it would be very different. They would have replayed the incident multiple times and from several angles. On that sweltering night in Seville, there were no such helpful aids. The officials were not mic’d up to one another. A decision had to be made there and then, for better or worse. It was for worse. Dundonian Valentine was running the line in that half of the pitch. If not for Michel Platini’s genius, we would not be having this discussion. The French midfielder split the West German defence with a pass from his own half and set in motion an episode that holds its charge to this day, though Battiston has long since forgiven Schumacher. “When the ball is played on, it was high speed – one was coming out of the box, one was heading into the box,” recalls Valentine. “They just battered into each other. The strangest thing of all is the fact that (Michel) Hidalgo, the French manager, made no complaint at all at the end of the game. He came and spoke to us for five minutes and then went on his way. Didn’t mention it. We had spoken about it, the referee, other linesman and me. But we hadn’t seen it (again). Hidalgo had obviously seen it. It was worse than it looked at the time. It didn’t seem like he (Schumacher) had gone out to injure the guy.” Charles Corver, the Dutch referee, claimed not to have seen the collision because he was following the ball. He said he went to Valentine, who told him it was “not intentional”. In retrospect, the referee added, he should have sent Schumacher off. He also stressed to his dying day two years ago that he was given the highest mark of the entire World Cup by FIFA assessor Nikolay Latyshev, who rated his performance as 9.5. “It was the referee’s call,” says Valentine now. “I was running down towards the corner because, if no one had touched the ball, it could well have ended up in the goal. Obviously, there was a lot of concern because he (Battiston) was down on the ground for quite some time. But it was not one of those where you would say – ‘oh that was brutal’. He did not stamp on him. It was not that kind of foul. The best word you could describe it was a collision.”
Valentine could be forgiven for wondering what was happening to the beautiful game. The extravagantly talented Brazil had been eliminated three days earlier at the hands of Italy, in a match since described as the day football died. But there were a few candidates for that tag at Espana '82 – including the semi-final featuring Schumacher’s horror tackle. Perhaps even more distastefully, since it was seemingly premeditated, was the shame game between West Germany and Austria. Gijon was the venue on this occasion. Valentine was the man in the middle as the two sides contrived to stage a 1-0 win for the West Germans, which meant edging out Algeria on goal difference. Horst Hrubesch scored the only goal of the game after ten minutes, whereupon it descended into a version of veterans’ walking football that has become popular today. All well and good but this was the World Cup finals, the greatest sports event on earth. Understandably, the Algerians were seething. “There were about 8000 Algerians in the crowd,” recalls Valentine. “They were pushing money through the fences. They obviously felt something untoward was going on. As far as the game was concerned, I would say it took me maybe 15 minutes to say to myself, ‘these boys are not killing themselves here’. One or two were overplaying it – they would get to the halfway line, nothing was on, so they just pushed it all the way back again and it would start again – building up at walking pace.” Valentine maintains that he was not aware of the scenario prior to kick off which meant both sides would progress at the expense of Algeria if the Germans won 1-0 or 2-0. “At half time I realised something was not right here,” he says. “The linesmen were of the same opinion – they were saying if the ball went out, no one was going for it! There was nothing you could do. It was not a boxing match. You can’t stop the fight and tell them they need to get fighting here, the way a boxing referee can do if the fighters are just holding each other, hugging each other, and not throwing any punches. There is no such thing in football. You can’t say, ‘you must score a goal!’” Valentine had met stiffer refereeing challenges at places such as Forfar. He produced just two yellow cards – both for time wasting. But the contest, if that’s what it can be called, had significant ramifications for football. FIFA changed the format which is why all last group games now kick off simultaneously. It was a farce but it was a historic farce.
Valentine was given another contentious game – the 0-0 second round clash between USSR and then communist Poland at the height of the Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement – before his semi-final appointment. He then returned to Scotland, where he barely had time to catch his breath before getting it in the neck from Alex Ferguson during a friendly between Aberdeen and Ipswich. His next continental trip was to take charge of a Cup-Winners' Cup clash between Red Star Belgrade and Barcelona in front of nearly 100,000 fans. Diego Maradona scored twice in a 4-2 win for the Catalans. The stories Valentine can tell. He calls it a "privilege" to be on the same pitch as France when they beat Belgium 5-0 in a Euro '84 group game in Nantes. "The best team I had refereed to that point - and they still are," he says. Aberdeen in their pomp were, in his experience, the finest in Scotland. He enjoyed a good relationship with Ferguson despite the inevitable brickbats. “I remember an Aberdeen v Dundee United game at Pittodrie. Alex was screaming at me, calling me a homer! ‘Wait a minute,’ I say. ‘I am a homer? We are in Aberdeen! You’re the homer!’... ‘Ach, you know what I mean,’ he said. But he always came in afterwards and said hello.” And Jim McLean paid him the ultimate compliment of inviting him to park his car in his driveway when he was playing bowls across the road at Broughty bowling club. “I found him to be a very shy man,” says Valentine. It might not happen now, but he took charge of many Dundee derbies. What certainly wouldn’t be allowed now – and talking of homers - is Valentine’s appointment as fourth official for the second leg of the 1987 UEFA Cup final between… Dundee United and IFK Gothenburg. “I don’t know the circumstances of it at the time,” he says. “Someone might have called off at short notice. The chances of me being called on were minimal. But they took a gamble with it. If the referee had suffered a hamstring strain they’d have a look at who was there…who was the most experienced. It did not come to that.” His duties were no more onerous than holding up the substitute boards.
It wasn't only quips and backchat from fans and players that Valentine had to endure. Even work colleagues were prone to take the rise out of him – perhaps understandably as they watched him swan off to places like Barcelona for midweek European matches. “I worked at DC Thomson and after 40 years you got a Longines watch,” he explains. “The chairman of the company came up to my department where I worked and gathered everyone around and started a speech: ‘Now, as you all know Bob is a busy person with his commitments in football and all that, but he has given 40 years to the company.' Someone shot back: ‘Aye, but he’s only worked 25 of them!’” The firm were extremely supportive when it came to their high-profile refereeing employee, since they felt Valentine's success reflected well on them. He repaid them by agreeing to be the DC Thomson resident expert when it came to deciding where the ball would have been in Spot the Ball competitions. Valentine’s actual role as a compositor - someone who arranges type for printing - was sometimes lost in translation in ‘Tonight’s referee’ profiles in matchday programmes abroad. “I’d go all across Europe and they’d ask me, and how is the music coming along? ‘Music?’ One time I got hold of a programme – it said Mr. Valentine is a composer!” He did have songs sung about him, of course. But then referees need to have thick skin. And there’s abundant perks – such as becoming friendly with Pele. Valentine first met the Brazilian legend during the 1982 World Cup because they were staying in the same hotel for a ten-day period. Somewhat implausibly, they were reunited in the boardroom at Dens Park. “I had refereed a game in Scandinavia,” Valentine recounts. “Sweden had played Brazil in the World Cup final in ‘58 – and there is a famous picture of Pele sitting holding up the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of his teammates. The Swedish FA commissioned 200 plates with this photograph and each of them was individually numbered. So, when I was in Sweden for a game, they gave me one of these plates and a certificate of authenticity..." Fast forward several years and Valentine walks into Dens Park one night. And who is standing there? Pele. “No one believes me when I tell them this,” he says. “It was the U-16 World Championship in 1989 that was held in Scotland. He was an ambassador. "He said: ‘Bob! How are you doing?’ I told him that I wished I knew he was coming here. I said: ‘There’s something you could help me with. This plate I got from the Swedish FA, you must have got one too?' He said, ‘no, I never got one’. "I told him that my house was about seven minutes’ walk away. ‘Do you want me to go home and fetch it and let you see it?’ ‘Yes,’ he said. “So I go out of Dens Park and up the road and get the plate and the certificate. He said: ‘I have never seen it before. I will be on to them to get one for myself!’ He signed it for me: ‘To Bob Valentine, from Pele.’” Valentine returns the plate to the sideboard. And that’s enough name-dropping, he announces, blowing the whistle at the end of a fascinating conversation. There’s no extra time, no penalties. He’s off to the barbers for a trim ahead of the big bowls match. “There’s life after refereeing,” he says.

Source: The Scotsman