UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers (Matchday 1)

23 March 2023
Italy – England
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Novak Simović (SRB)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR: Piotr Lsyk (POL)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Kazakhstan – Slovenia
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mahbod Beigi (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Andreas Söderqvist (SWE)
Fourth Official: Kristoffer Karlsson (SWE)
VAR: Fedayi San (SUI)
AVAR: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

North Macedonia – Malta
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Silver Koiv (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Sten Klaasen (EST)
Fourth Official: Juri Frischer (EST)
VAR: Pawel Pskit (POL)
AVAR: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
Referee Observer: Kenneth Clark (SCO)

Denmark – Finland
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Fourth Official: Daniel Schlager (GER)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Referee Observer: Kjell Alseth (NOR)

San Marino – Northern Ireland
Referee: Gergo Bogar (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kobor (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Fourth Official: Adam Farkas (HUN)
VAR: Tamas Bognar (HUN)
AVAR: Katalin Kulcsar (HUN)
Referee Observer: Salustia Cipres (AND)

Portugal – Liechtenstein
Referee: Espen Eskas (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Engan (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Isaak Bashevkin (NOR)
Fourth Official: Kristoffer Hagenes (NOR)
VAR: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
AVAR: Xavier Estrada Fernandez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Draženko Kovačić (CRO)

Slovakia – Luxembourg
Referee: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Fourth Official: Alen Borošak (SVN)
VAR: Matej Jug (SVN)
AVAR: Nejc Kajtazovic (SVN)
Referee Observer: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Ireland
Referee: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Aleksandr Radius (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Dovydas Sužiedelis (LTU)
Fourth Official: Robertas Valikonis (LTU)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

24 March 2023
Bulgaria – Montenegro
Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zeynal Zeynalov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Akif Amirali (AZE)
Fourth Official: Kamal Umudlu (AZE)
Video Assistant Referee:
Assistant Video Assistant Referee:
Referee Observer: Joao Ferreira (POR)

France – Netherlands
Referee: Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniele Bindoni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Tegoni (ITA)
Fourth Official: Livio Marinelli (ITA)
Video Assistant Referee:
Assistant Video Assistant Referee:
Referee Observer: Manuel Diaz Vega (ESP)

Gibraltar – Greece
Referee: Rohit Saggi (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Morten Jensen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Anders Dale (NOR)
Fourth Official: Mohammad Aslam (NOR)
Video Assistant Referee:
Assistant Video Assistant Referee:
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

Czechia – Poland
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Vassilis Fotias (GRE)
Video Assistant Referee:
Assistant Video Assistant Referee:
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

Moldova – Faroe Islands
Referee: Nicholas Walsh (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Calum Spence (SCO)
Fourth Official: Alan Muir (SCO)
Video Assistant Referee:
Assistant Video Assistant Referee:
Referee Observer: Hannes Kaasik (EST)

Sweden – Belgium
Referee: Orel Grinfeeld (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Roy Hassan (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Idan Yarkoni (ISR)
Fourth Official: Gal Leibovitz (ISR)
Video Assistant Referee:
Assistant Video Assistant Referee:
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

Austria – Azerbaijan

Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcin Boniek (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakub Winkler (POL)
Fourth Official: Damian Kos (POL)
Video Assistant Referee:
Assistant Video Assistant Referee:
Referee Observer: Alain Sars (FRA)

Serbia – Lithuania
Referee: Lawrence Visser (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Fourth Official: Erik Lambrechts (BEL)
Video Assistant Referee: 
Assistant Video Assistant Referee:
Referee Observer: Viktor Kassai (HUN)

Concacaf Nations League 2022/2023 – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

23-25 March 2023

League A

Suriname – Mexico
Referee: Said Martinez (HON, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Lopez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Fourth Official: Nelson Salgado (HON)

Martinique – Costa Rica
Referee: Drew Fischer (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Micheal Barwegen (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Fourth Official: Carly Shaw-MacLaren (CAN)

Curacao – Canada
Referee: Juan Calderon (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: William Arrieta (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Mora (CRC)
Fourth Official: Jose Garcia (SLV)

Grenada – USA
Referee: Daneon Parchment (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Ojay Duhaney (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Jassett Kerr-Wilson (JAM)
Fourth Official: Okeito Nicholson (JAM)

League B

Barbados – Cuba
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Assistant Referee 2: Enmanuel Aguirre (NCA)
Fourth Official: Sergio Reyna (GUA)

Guadeloupe – Antigua and Barbuda
Referee: Pierre-Luc Lauziere (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lyes Arfa (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt (CAN)
Fourth Official: Damien Rosa (MTQ)

Bermuda – Guyana
Referee: Fernando Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Pablo Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonardo Castillo (MEX)
Fourth Official: Evens Julmis (BAH)

Montserrat – Haiti
Referee: Bryan Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Shirley Perello (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Tipaz (GUA)
Fourth Official: Raul Castro (HON)

Bahamas – Trinidad and Tobago
Referee: Oshane Nation (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Zachari Zeegelaar (SUR)
Fourth Official: Daniel Quintero (MEX)

Nicaragua – St. Vincent and The Grenadines
Referee: Adonai Escobedo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Espinosa (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Michel Morales (MEX)
Fourth Official: Jose Fuentes (GUA)

Belize – Guatemala
Referee: Selvin Brown (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: David Moran (SLV)
Fourth Official: Jefferson Escobar (HON)

French Guyana – Dominican Republic
Referee: Ricangel De Leca (ARU)
Assistant Referee 1: Angelo Doyle (BRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Peters (ATG)
Fourth Official: Ken Pennyfeather (ATG)

League C

Turks and Caicos Islands – US Virgin Islands
Referee: Christopher Mason (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Dwight Cummins (CAY)
Assistant Referee 2: Kedlee Powell (CAY)
Fourth Official: Benjamín Whitty (CAY)

Sint Maarten – Bonaire
Referee: Nima Saghafi (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicholas Uranga (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Da Silva (USA)
Fourth Official: Joseph Dickerson (USA)

Saint Martin – St. Kitts and Nevis
Referee: Steffon Dewar (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Wasnah Barnarde (ATG)
Assistant Referee 2: Iroots Appleton (ATG)
Fourth Official: Shekiel Jokil (SUR)

Anguilla – Saint Lucia
Referee: Moeth Gaymes (SVG)
Assistant Referee 1: Kenran Daniel (SVG)
Assistant Referee 2: Denroy Barker (SVG)
Fourth Official: Shavin Greene (GUY)

British Virgin Islands – Puerto Rico
Referee: Reon Radix (GRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Clenton Daniel (GRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Clinton Hayward (BER)
Fourth Official: Tristley Bassue (SKN)

Costa Rica: FIFA referee argues with his AR about a penalty kick

The controversy that occurred in San Carlos between the referee David Gomez and his assistant Victor Ramirez, led the Referees Committee to suspend both from refereeing in Costa Rica and to request Concacaf not to assign them any matches at the confederation level.
During the recent game between San Carlos and Alajuelense, referee Gomez had a discussion with his AR Ramirez, who signaled a penalty kick, but the referee refused the recommendation and left his assistant talking alone. The action came after Alexis Gamboa brought down Bryan Felix in the penalty area. The assistant raised the flag signaling for the penalty, but the referee ignored it. “The Costa Rican Football Federation expresses its concern and rejection after the unacceptable events carried out by the refereeing team this Sunday at the Carlos Ugalde Alvarez stadium in San Carlos. The referee department reported that the headsets presented some technical problems before this game and referees made the decision, on their own, not to use them. However, the referees are trained to carry out their work without the need for this equipment, and there are enough ways to communicate with each other in an effective and respectful way.” In view of what happened, the Referees Committee made the immediate decision not to appoint referee David Gomez and assistant referee Victor Ramirez for any further matches. Since both Gomez and Ramirez are on the FIFA List, the FCRF General Secretariat communicated with Concacaf and requested that this provision also applies to international matches. (Source: La Nation)
FIFA referee David Gomez is also involved in another controversy. Another FIFA referee, Keylor Herrera, filed a complaint with the Costa Rican Football Federation. He denounced four of his colleagues for defamation because they accused him of leaking private conversations between the referees. Herrera’s lawyer Antonio Cabal spoke with ESPN and informed that it is an administrative action before the Referees Committee and the Ethics Committee of the Costa Rican Football Federation (FCRF) for defamation, those accused being Herrera’s colleagues Pedro Navarro, David Gomez, Benjamin Pineda and Hugo Cruz. The actions that happened recently have led Keylor Herrera to conclude that he is being taken as a scapegoat and is being accused of having broken the trust by leaking the conversations to a journalist, which he not only ensures that it is false, but that at this point it is already beginning to affect his role as a referee in the first division of Costa Rica. In addition, on a trip to Guatemala for a Concacaf meeting, apparently one of the people who accompanied him would have heard Keylor Herrera say the name of the journalist who published the information. "The suspicion of where the gossip begins comes from a comment Keylor made on a trip to Guatemala where someone heard him alluding to a journalist's name; however, he has no connection to the journalist and that is an error of the people who are pointing it out", said his lawyer. (Source: ESPN)

UEFA Women’s Champions League 2022/23 – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

21 March 2023
Bayern München – Arsenal WFC
Referee: Ivana Projkovska (MKD, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Vjolca Izeiri (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulina Baranowska (POL)
Fourth Official: Monika Mularczyk (POL)
VAR: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
AVAR: Jelena Cvetković (SRB)
Referee Observer: Sofia Karagiorgi (CYP)

AS Roma – FC Barcelona
Referee: Iuliana Demetrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihaela Tepusa (ROU)
Fourth Official: Sandra Bastos (POR)
VAR: Ovidiu Haţegan (ROU)
AVAR: Horatiu Fesnic (ROU)
Referee Observer: Ausra Kance (LTU)

22 March 2023
Olympique Lyonnais – Chelsea FCW
Referee: Tess Olofsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polyxeni Irodotou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Francesca Di Monte (ITA)
Fourth Official: Maria Ferrieri Caputi (ITA)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Ella De Vries (BEL)
Referee Observer: Anja Kunick (GER)

Paris St. Germain – VfL Wolfsburg
Referee: Rebecca Welch (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Natalie Aspinall (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Franca Overtoom (NED)
Fourth Official: Marta Huerta de Aza (ESP)
VAR: Darren England (ENG)
AVAR: Sian Massey-Ellis (ENG)
Referee Observer: Maria Villa Gutierrez (ESP)

AFA must pay millions to a referee removed due to union affiliation

The Argentine Football Association lost a million-pessos trial with a SADRA referee and must pay him one million pesos for "unfair practice" and being vetoed by the president of the Argentine Referees Association (AAA), Federico Beligoy. In addition, he must be reinstated as soon as possible and will be able to referee again.
Maximiliano Salado Paz was marginalized by AFA for being part of another union. After many twists and turns, judge Viviana Dobarrio ruled that the AFA must pay him 1,000,000 pesos plus interest. On the other hand, they will pay almost 2 million more pesos in fees for the lawyers involved in the trial. "I started my career as referee. Since they didn't like my height, I dedicated myself to being an assistant referee. In 2019, I was refereeing in the First National with matches in Buenos Aires and good possibilities of upgrading until this problem came and they began to send me to Federal A. In 2021, I only refereed two matches and never received any other appointments," the referee said in statements to Clarin. And he added: "At first, as the change was so abrupt, it hit me very hard. I was so close to refereeing in the First Division and then arrived to nothing. I was part of a reduced group doing the pre-season matches and I had the dream of reaching the international level. It all took a long time due to legal issues". Labor Court No. 21 indicated that "the matches assigned to him to referee gradually decreased until they stopped granting him such tasks, a circumstance that according to the elements provided is linked to his affiliation to a specific union and that, according to the testimonial rendered, also affected other people affiliated with the said association, specifically SADRA".

Source: Minuto Uno

UEFA Women’s Futsal Euro Final 2023: Dzeko (CRO) & Veselic (SVN)

19 March 2023

Ukraine – Spain
Referee 1: Mislav Džeko (CRO)
Referee 2: Dejan Veselic (SVN, photo)
Third Referee: Monika Czudzinowicz (POL)
Timekeeper: Dominykas Norkus (LTU)
Referee Observer: Romuald Bourgois (FRA)

Referee in Egypt disallows goal after watching replay on mobile phone

A referee ruled out a late goal after using a crowd member's mobile phone to review an incident during a second division match in Egypt on Friday. The bizarre moment went viral after many were left bewildered by referee Mohamed Farouk's decision to use a fan's phone as a replacement for the video assistant referee [VAR].
The match, which was between Suez SC and Al-Nasr, sparked into controversy in the 90th minute when Al-Nasr thought they'd scored a late equaliser. The players of Suez were sent into disbelief by the original, on-field decision and suggested that one of the Al-Nasr players had been standing in an offside position. With VAR not operated in second-tier games, referee Farouk had to use the phone of a crowd member to come to a conclusive decision on the matter. There were murmurs through the crowd as they eagerly awaited the official's ruling. After careful consideration, Farouk overturned his original call on the goal and disallowed it. Fifteen minutes of stoppage time were added and Suez won the game 3-1.
The referee left the pitch under police protection, amid protests from Al-Nasr players and officials, who threatened to take legal action against the referee for violating the regulations. Reports from BaladTV suggest that the match could be replayed, should the country's Referee Committee decide that inappropriate measures were taken. The same outlet claim that the country's League Association is still awaiting a report from the committee before making any final judgements on the matter. It remains to be seen what conclusion that they will come to but, after labelling it a 'catastrophic mistake', it can be expected for the match to be replayed.

Source: Daily Mail

CONMEBOL Beach Soccer Copa America Final 2023: Gomez (COL) & Amay (ECU)

19 March 2023

Argentina – Brazil
Referee 1: Jorge Gomez (COL)
Referee 2: Brando Amay (ECU)
Third Referee: Ricardo Zuniga (CHI)
Timekeeper: Ferley Fuentes (COL)
Reserve AR: Cristian Galaz (CHI)
Referee Assessor: Cesar Figueredo (URU)

El Clasico referee report by Negreira

After the first evidence of the refereeing reports given to Barcelona in El Caso Negreira emerged last week, Libertad Digital have released another report on referee Carlos Delgado Ferreiro.
The report in question was ahead of El Clasico in 2012, which finished 2-2, with a goal each from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The report consists of three pages and was put together by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira himself. The report details how Delgado will have “prepared the control of the match well” and applies advantage where possible. It also explains that it’s best to go to the ground “in order to make sure that he recognises the fouls”, however that he is likely to punish dives. “The worst physically in the class”, is also a description of Delgado, who retired two years later. “He struggles to pick up the rhythm of the game and will spend the first ten minutes in the middle of the pitch.” Barcelona maintains their innocence over El Caso Negreira, insisting that all is about the board. The charges were recently accepted into the court process this week, and the club, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell are all facing charges of “continuous corruption” as things stand.

CAF Champions League 2022/2023 – Group Stage (Matchday 4)

17-18 March 2023

Coton Sport – Al Ahly
Referee: Peter Waweru (KEN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gilbert Cheruiyot (KEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Samuel Kuria (KEN)
Fourth Official: Dickens Mimisa (KEN)

Vita Club – Wydad AC

Referee: Boubou Traore (MLI)
Assistant Referee 1: Sidiki Sidibe (GUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Modibo Samake (MLI)
Fourth Official: Ousmane Diakate (MLI)

JS Kabylie – Petro de Luanda
Referee: Dahane Beida (MTN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohamed Youssouf (MTN)
Assistant Referee 2: Bouna Ndiaye
Fourth Official: Babacar Sarr (MTN)

Al Hilal – Mamelodi Sundowns
Referee: Sadok Selmi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Khalil Hassani (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamed Bakir (TUN)
Fourth Official: Mehrez Melki (TUN)

Vipers – Raja CA
Referee: Mohamed Athoumani (COM)
Assistant Referee 1: Soulaimane Amaldine (COM)
Assistant Referee 2: Dimbiniaina Andriatianarivelo (MAD)
Fourth Official: Soulaimane Ansudane (COM)

Simba – Horoya
Referee: Mohamed Adel (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Ahmed Hossam (EGY)
Assistant Referee 2: Hany Abd El-Fattah (EGY)
Fourth Official: Mohamed Maarouf (EGY)

Al Merrikh – ES Tunis
Referee: Ahmad Heeralall (MRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Baje Babajee (MRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jeff Pithia (MRI)
Fourth Official: Ganesh Chutooree (MRI)

Belouizdad – Zamalek
Referee: Ibrahim Mutaz (LBY)
Assistant Referee 1: Attia Amsaaed (LBY)
Assistant Referee 2: Wahed Al Jaahawe (LBY)
Fourth Official: Abdulwahid Huraywidah (LBY)

Negreira’s referee reports paid by FC Barcelona revealed

FC Barcelona paid €7.3 million for at least 17 years to Enríquez Negreira (from 2001 to 2018) for ‘shoddy’ reports; this is what the information revealed by Libertad Digital has shown. The company has had access to various reports in which the superficial analysis is the most striking aspect, as well as the spelling and grammatical mistakes. The reports have appeared in a sweep of the house of an ex-member of the Barça sporting commission, Josep Contreras, who died in December of 2022. Contreras directed a commission of the payments from Barça to Negreira’s son for the referee reports through the company Tresep. In the documents published, the lack of a thorough analysis (just 2-3 pages) is clear, with a poor quality of writing and a confusing level of usability. For these reports, Negreira pocketed €400,000 a year.
One of the reports revealed is that of Ignacio Iglesias Vilanueva, a current VAR in Spain. It concerns the match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca on the 11 November 2012. In the document, the referee and his assistants are analysed, with specific data regarding the games refereed with FC Barcelona and their opponent, followed by the following section ‘personal profile’: “Physically very well prepared, he follow the game closely and arrives at the areas easily, which allows him to almost always make the correct decision in quick plays. He is more doubtful in terms of shirt pulling at corners, which is something that happens to everyone.” Nacho (Iglesias Villanueva) is a very technical and disciplined referee, which leads him to always caution in terms of the rule book (handballs, elbows, tackles from behind, not allowing quick free kicks, etc.) He is one of the few referees who has changed his mind regarding a throw-in, as he gave it too early. Given his level of calmness and honesty, he will caution or send off all the players who deserve it. He is brave and normally takes decisions very convincingly, which is why he always cautions with fairness. He doesn’t have a huge personality or level of charisma, but his security and his prudence allow him to have efficient games. He has a high level of confidence in himself which is positive, but in turn, he does not defend the decisions of his assistants as if they were his own. He will listen regarding fouls but not yellow cards. When the assistants are not being listened to, they tend to restrict their contribution to the referee, which is why it may seem easy for them to not participate if they are not very convinced regarding their own decision. Over what we have seen this season, with regards to the offsides, the assistant number 2 is correct more often than the referee on the bench. He will not hesitate to stop play if a goalkeeper is injured or a player that is offside. He transmits calmness but as and when is needed he can take control, he shows a strong personality and is very decisive in making the players keep quiet. He does not like diving, although he will not risk cautioning a player is he is convinced that the intention was not to trick the referee. He is reasonable can be spoken to him in a polite way. He does not allow protests when they are unjustified or a lack of respect (with bad gestures). He takes decisions with a lot of security, with a high level of confidence in himself. It must be considered that next week the referees in both the first and second division have a technical meeting in Madrid and will analyse their performances, which normally means they show themselves to be strict with the demands of the Committee. As always happens, they will work to avoid issues.”

Source: AS

AFC U-20 Asian Cup Final 2023: Nasaruddin (MAS)

18 March 2023

Uzbekistan – Iraq
Referee: Muhammad Bin Nasaruddin (MAS)
Assistant Referee 1: Ahmad Al-Rashdi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamad Bin Khalil (MAS)
Fourth Official: Yahya Al-Mulla (UAE)
Reserve AR: Faisal Al-Shammari (QAT)
Referee Assessor: Ali Al-Traifi (KSA)

Bolivian referees suspended after 132-minute match

Bolivia’s football federation suspended six match officials after they added 42 minutes in a professional national league match. Palmaflor beat Blooming 3-2 on Monday in a match that was later revised by the country’s refereeing commission. The 132-minute clash took place under heavy rains in the city of Chapare, in the South American country’s heartland. Referee Julio Gutierrez added the time due to a prolonged video review of Palmaflor’s second goal and a brawl that followed two red cards for the visitors. The commission made the decision to suspend the officials late on Tuesday. Blooming said on Twitter that the match officials put its players under heavy risk of injury due to “excessive added time.” Palmaflor’s top sports executive is Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales, who said on social media his team had won the match despite “suspicious officials.” Morales governed Bolivia between 2006-2019. The club rose to the country’s top-flight division this year.

Source: AP

UEFA Europa League 2022/2023 – Round of 16 (Second Leg)

16 March 2023

Fenerbahce – Sevilla FC
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: David Coote (ENG)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

SC Freiburg – Juventus FC
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Johan Balder (NED)
Fourth Official: Joey Kooij (NED)
VAR: Dennis Higler (NED)
AVAR: Rob Dieperink (NED)
Referee Observer: Manuel Díaz Vega (ESP)

Real Betis – Manchester United
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Novak Simović (SRB)
VAR: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
AVAR: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Marinus Koopman (NED)

Feyenoord – Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Angel Nevado Rodriguez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Iker De Francisco Grijalba (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jose Munuera Montero (ESP)
VAR: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
AVAR: Cesar Soto Grado (ESP)
Referee Observer: Helmut Fleischer (GER)

Union St. Gilloise – Union Berlin
Referee: Jose Sanchez Martinez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Cabanero Martinez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Inigo Prieto Lopez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes (ESP)
VAR: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Jose Gonzalez Gonzalez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Murat Ilgaz (TUR)

Ferencvarosi TC – Bayer Leverkusen
Referee: Artur Dias (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Paulo Soares (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Pedro Ribeiro (POR)
Fourth Official: Antonio Nobre (POR)
VAR: Tiago Martins (POR)
AVAR: Luis Godinho (POR)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

Arsenal FC – Sporting CP
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
AVAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva (ESP)
Referee Observer: Andreas Schluchter (SUI)

Real Sociedad – AS Roma
Referee: Istvan Kovacs (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Artene (ROU)
Fourth Official: Horațiu Feșnic (ROU)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR: Sören Storks (GER)
Referee Observer: Thomas Einwaller (AUT)

UEFA Europa Conference League 2022/23 – Round of 16 (Second Leg)

15-16 March 2023

Istanbul Başakşehir – KAA Gent
Referee: Benoît Bastien (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurelien Berthomieu (FRA)
Fourth Official: Jeremie Pignard (FRA)
VAR: Willy Delajod (FRA)
AVAR: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
Referee Observer: Boško Jovanetić (SRB)

Sivasspor – ACF Fiorentina
Referee: Nikola Dabanović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 1: Vladan Todorović (MNE)
Assistant Referee 2: Srdjan Jovanovic (MNE)
Fourth Official: Miloš Bošković (MNE)
VAR: Harm Osmers (GER)
AVAR: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

Djurgardens IF – Lech Poznan
Referee: Duje Strukan (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Bojan Zobenica (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alen Jakšić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Igor Pajac (CRO)
VAR: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
AVAR: Fran Jović (CRO)
Referee Observer: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)

Slovan Bratislava – FC Basel
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Victor Skytte (DEN)
Fourth Official: Morten Krogh (DEN)
VAR: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
AVAR: Darren England (ENG)
Referee Observer: Itchko Lozev (BUL)

West Ham – AEK Larnaca
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Margaritov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Diyan Valkov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Radoslav Gidzhenov (BUL)
VAR: Fedayi San (SUI)
AVAR: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Referee Observer: David Malcom (NIR)

Alkmaar – Lazio
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
Fourth Official: Asmir Sagrković (SVN)
VAR: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
AVAR: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
Referee Observer: Gylfi Orasson (ISL)

OGC Nice – FC Sheriff
Referee: Lawrence Visser (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Fourth Official: Lothar D’Hondt (BEL)
VAR: Nathan Verboomen (BEL)
AVAR: Bram Van Driesche (BEL)
Referee Observer: Drago Kos (SVN)

Villarreal CF – RSC Anderlecht
Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Tegoni (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Giovanni Baccini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Rosario Abisso (ITA)
VAR: Maurizio Mariani (ITA)
AVAR: Michael Fabbri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Michalis Argyrou (CYP)

Former Spanish referee chief Sanchez Arminio accused of embezzlement

The former head of Spanish referees, Victoriano Sanchez Arminio, will have to testify as a defendant for alleged embezzlement, as part of an investigation into the former leadership of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
Spain's main criminal court ordered the judge in charge of the investigation to hear Sanchez Arminio, who was president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) between 1993 and 2019, as well as the former secretary general, Raul Masso, as defendants. The court's order, made public on Tuesday, also calls for the former president of the RFEF, Angel Maria Villar, to testify again as a defendant in the case. This investigation is prior to and runs parallel to what is known as the "Negreira case", in which payments from La Liga team Barcelona to companies belonging to the former CTA vice-president, Jose Maria Enrique Negreira, are being investigated. The Audiencia Nacional gave this order to judge Alejandro Abascal, after partially upholding an appeal by La Liga against the magistrate's decision not to summon Sanchez Arminio and Masso, after they had already testified as witnesses. According to the prosecutor's office, which supported La Liga's appeal, expert reports show an accounting mismatch of almost 8.0 million euros ($8.57 million). This discrepancy leads to the suspicion that these funds paid by La Liga for refereeing fees "have not been used for their intended purpose." The case is part of the investigation launched in the summer of 2017, known as "Operation Soule", in which former RFEF president Villar was charged. Villar, chief of the RFEF for 29 years, is suspected of having created a network through which he allegedly used Spanish national team matches to benefit his son Gorka's company. He also allegedly used the RFEF to grant benefits to presidents of regional federations "in whose sphere he was not assured of support", according to an order by Judge Pedraz, who was then the investigating judge in the case.

Source: The Score

UEFA Champions League 2022/2023 – Round of 16 (Second Leg, II)

14 March 2023
FC Porto – Inter Milano
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)
Referee Observer: David Fernandez Borbalan (ESP)

Manchester City – RB Leipzig
Referee: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
VAR: Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez (ESP)
AVAR: Nejc Kajtazović (SVN)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

15 March 2023
SSC Napoli – Eintracht Frankfurt
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Lee Betts (ENG)
Fourth Official: Robert Jones (ENG)
VAR: Pol van Boekel (NED)
AVAR: Jeroen Manschot (NED)
Referee Observer: Lucilio Batista (POR)

Real Madrid – Liverpool FC
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Fourth Official: Sven Jablonski (GER)
VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
AVAR: Christian Dingert (GER)
Referee Observer: Costas Kapitanis (CYP)

Ex-referee Iturralde Gonzalez reveals he was pressured by Real Madrid

On Sunday night, former referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez made scandalous revelations on the Spanish radio show Cadena SER. The Basque said that Florentino Perez tried to lock him in a room and put pressure on him to ask him to referee Real Madrid in the same manner as Barcelona. It was during the 2010-11 season after a match against Deportivo La Coruna.
The former referee's confession stems from his criticism of Real Madrid TV for the campaign launched against another former referee, Clos Gomez. "It is the modus operandi of this television station," he explained. "Since they are journalists, who called me to a separate room? Investigate it.” Iturralde continued: "He is from Real Madrid. I asked him if he was joking and told him that our conversation is over. He wanted to bring me in a room alone, but I said no. I told him not to do that. Half an hour later, the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) knew about it. I brought it to their attention, because it seemed serious to me; but there was nothing else to it. It hasn't happened to me on any other time; no president has brought me in a separate room,” Iturralde concluded. “I care about the facts. The one who brought me in a separate room was Florentino Perez. I don't have to hide it. There is a report filed at the CTA, because I brought it to their attention, so they can see what pressure is."

CONMEBOL Beach Soccer Copa America 2023

Argentina, 11-19 March 2023

1. Mariano Romo (ARG, photo)
2. Carlos Maidana (ARG)
3. Pablo DeFelippi (ARG)
4. Jaimito Suarez (BOL)
5. Noe Parra (BOL)
6. Lucas Estevao (BRA)
7. Luciano Andrade (BRA)
8. Mayron Dos Reis (BRA)
9. Cristian Galaz (CHI)
10. Ricardo Zuniga (CHI)
11. Jorge Gomez (COL)
12. Ferley Fuentes (COL)
13. Jean Villamar (ECU)
14. Brando Amay (ECU)
15. Micke Palomino (PER)
16. Alex Valdivieso (PER)
17. Christian Altez (URU)
18. Aecio Fernandez (URU)
19. Luis Coy (VEN)
20. Gerand Rivas (VEN)

Referee Assessors
1. Ivo De Moraes (BRA)
2. Hector Rojas (PER) 
3. Cesar Figueredo (URU)

IFFHS World’s Best Referee 1987-2022: Collina (ITA)

The IFFHS has devised an equitable method for determining the ranking of the world’s best referee in the last 35 years (1987-2022) by taking into consideration the Top 20 of each yearly ranking of the category concerned and allocating points to each place” the first placed received 20 points, the second placed 19 points, the third placed 18 points… 1 point for the 20th place. Italy’s legendary referee Pierluigi Collina, winner of the annual IFFHS Award of the World’s Best Referee for six years in a row (1998 to 2003), leads the all-time ranking with 191 points, 7 more than German Markus Merk (3 annual Awards) and the second German, Felix Brych, on the third place with 161 points (2 annual Awards and the Decade 2011-2020 Award).
The Top 31 is composed of 27 referees from UEFA and 4 from CONMEBOL. Italy is leading with 4 referees, followed by Germany and England, with 3 referees each. Pierluigi Collina is the best ranked of UEFA, Colombian Oscar Ruiz in the Top 10 is the best of CONMEBOL, Arturo Brizio Carter the best of CONCACAF and Ravshan Irmatov the best of AFC.
If Collina holds the record for the most annual Awards (6), Hungarian Sandor Puhl, ranked 11 in the all-time ranking, has won 4 consecutive Awards (1994 to 1997), one more than German Markus Merk, who won also the IFFHS Decade Award (2001-2010). Felix Brych won the second IFFHS Decade Award (2011-2020) and two annual Awards (2017 and 2021). (Source: IFFHS)

IFFHS World’s Best Referees (1987-2022)
1. Pierluigi Collina (ITA, photo) - 191p
2. Markus Merk (GER) - 184p
3. Felix Brych (GER) - 161p
4. Kim Milton Nielsen (DEN) - 159p
5. Howard Webb (ENG) - 156p
6. Björn Kuipers (NED) - 152p
7. Peter Mikkelsen (DEN) - 142p
8. Cuneyt Cakir (TUR) - 140p
9. Oscar Ruiz (COL) - 132p
10. Nicola Rizzoli (ITA) - 121p
11. Sandor Puhl (HUN) - 119p
12. Jorge Larrionda (URU) - 108p
13. Urs Meier (SUI) - 102p
14. Anders Frisk (SWE) - 100p
15. Frank De Bleeckere (BEL) - 98p
16. Pierluigi Pairetto (ITA) - 97p
17. Massimo Busacca (SUI) - 96p
17. Helmut Krug (GER) - 96p
17. Lubos Michel (SVK) - 96p
20. Juan-Carlos Loustau (ARG) - 93p
21. Roberto Rosetti (ITA) - 91p
22. Nestor Pitana (ARG) - 88p
23. Graham Poll (ENG) - 82p
24. Joel Quiniou (FRA) - 82p
25. Viktor Kassai (HUN) - 81p
26. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB) - 81p
27. Martin Atkinson (ENG) - 80p
28. Hugh Dallas (SCO) - 78p
29. Damir Skomina (SVN) - 76p
30. Mario Van der Ende (NED) - 76p
31. Michel Vautrot (FRA) - 76p

Concacaf Champions League 2023 – Round of 16 (Second Leg)

14-16 March 2023

Austin FC – Violette AC
Referee: Oshane Nation (JAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Caleb Wales (TRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee-Sing (JAM)
Fourth Official: Reon Radix (GRN)
VAR: Daneon Parchment (JAM)
AVAR: Odette Hamilton (JAM)

Philadelphia Union – Alianza FC
Referee: Bryan Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emmanuel Aguirre (NCA)
Assistant Referee 2: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Fourth Official: Sergio Reyna (GUA)
VAR: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
AVAR: Guillermo Pacheco (MEX)

Atlas FC – CD Olimpia
Referee: Juan Calderon (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: William Arrieta (CRC)
Fourth Official: David Gomez (CRC)
VAR: Drew Fischer (CAN)
AVAR: Keylor Herrera (CRC)

RCD Espana – Vancouver Whitecaps
Referee: Marco Ortiz (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Espinosa (MEX)
Fourth Official: Diego Montano (MEX)
VAR: Jorge Perez (MEX)
AVAR: Diana Perez (MEX)

Orlando City – Tigres UANL
Referee: Said Martinez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Lopez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Henri Pupiro (NCA)
Fourth Official: Selvin Brown (HON)
VAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
AVAR: Shirley Perello (HON)

Los Angeles FC – LD Alajuelense
Referee: Adonai Escobedo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Sanchez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Enrique Bustos (MEX)
Fourth Official: Victor Caceres (MEX)
VAR: Erick Miranda (MEX)
AVAR: Eduardo Galvan (MEX)

Club Leon – Tauro FC
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Tipaz (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Raymundo Feliz (DOM)
Fourth Official: Ismael Cornejo (SLV)
VAR: Melissa Borjas (SLV)
AVAR: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)

CF Pachuca – Motagua FC
Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: David Moran (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Fourth Official: Filiberto Martinez (SLV)
VAR: Benjamin Pineda (CRC)
AVAR: Benjamin Whitty (CAY)

UEFA Youth League 2022/2023 – Quarter-finals

14-15 March 2023

Sporting CP – Liverpool FC
Referee: Gergő Bogar (HUN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kobor (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Baixinho (POR)
Referee Observer: Milorad Mažić (SRB)

AC Milan – Atletico de Madrid
Referee: Sebastian Gishamer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roland Riedel (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Reichholf (AUT)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Prontera (ITA)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

AZ Alkmaar – Real Madrid
Referee: Adam Ladebäck (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Yng (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Sjöberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Erwin Blank (NED)
Referee Observer: Dejan Filipović (SRB)

Borussia Dortmund – Hajduk Split
Referee: Robert Jenkins (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonathan Bryant (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Harry Hendricks (WAL)
Fourth Official: Robin Braun (GER)
Referee Observer: Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez (ESP)

FC Barcelona and Negreira charged with “continued corruption”

FC Barcelona was charged on Friday by the Barcelona provincial prosecutor’s office with “continued corruption between individuals in the sports field” in addition to other charges in relation to an alleged payment scandal which has rocked Spanish football. Former FCB presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, former club CEO Oscar Grau, former club director of professional sports Albert Soler and Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira – a former leading refereeing official in Spain – have also been charged.
In a written complaint from the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office sent to CNN, Barça and the other accused have also been charged with “the crime of continued false administration and the crime of continued falsification of commercial documents.” The charges were presented to the No. 1 magistrate’s court in Barcelona. An FCB source told CNN that the club did not have an official statement, though its first reaction was that the charges were to be expected after recent events, but that the report was an “absolutely preliminary investigative hypothesis” and that the club would assist the investigation in any way possible. The source also strongly denied that the club had at any time bribed a referee or tried to influence refereeing decisions.
Spanish lawyer Jose Maria Fuster Fabra confirmed to CNN that he’s representing Bartomeu in this case. “We are preparing the defense and we don’t think this case will go to trial,” he said, declining to make further statements. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the accused held positions of power in the club and were aware of payments which were invoiced annually from January 2011 until June 2018 to two companies that Enríquez Negreira – who was serving as a CTA vice president from 1993 to 2018 – founded, which “acted on behalf and in direct benefit to Barcelona.” The CTA is the governing body responsible for deciding which referees and assistants officiate league and national competitive matches in Spain. The club is accused of – through both Rosell and Bartomeu – coming to a “strictly confidential verbal agreement” with Enríquez Negreira with the aim to “produce actions which tended to favor Barcelona in the form of refereeing decisions. Subsequently, the companies of the accused, [Nisdal SCP] and [Dasnil 95 SL], produced invoices which were presented for payment to FCB without having to produce any services of real technical reports,” the report said. The report from the Barcelona’s Prosecutor’s Office outlines that the two companies connected to Enríquez Negreira were founded by him and he held 100% and 95% of the shares in Dasnil 95 and Nisdal respectively. According to the report, an audit was started by the tax authorities in 2019 into Enríquez Negreira’s companies in which they asked Barcelona to provide copies of invoices and method of payment. Because Barcelona was not able to satisfy the authorities’ questions, the club incurred a tax penalty, and an investigation was later opened into Enríquez Negreira and his companies for the time period of 2016 to 2019. The investigation discovered that the club paid his two companies a total of $3,175,589.21 (€2,971,673.01) between those years, mostly under the pretense of “assessment of technical videos.” After Enríquez Negreira was relieved of his vice-presidency at the CTA in 2018, the payments from Barcelona stopped. In February 2019, Enríquez Negreira sent a fax directed towards Bartomeu “recriminating him for ending the long-lasting relationship, insisting that a solution be found for both parties and warning him of the consequences of not doing so,” according to the report. “I don’t have the will to give attention to all of the irregularities I’ve known and lived first-hand with anyone at the Club, but you are forcing me to do so if you don’t reconsider your decision and complete the agreement we had to continue using my services until the end of my mandate,” Enríquez Negreira wrote. According to the report, the total amount Barça paid Enríquez Negreira’s companies from 2001 to 2018 during his vice-presidency in the CTA surpassed $7.8 million (€7.3 million). “This resulted in a substantial remuneration, unforeseen by the statutes of the Club nor which was approved by the General Assembly, which should have been given its nature. Definitively, said payments neither had legal or statutory support at all.” In February, Barcelona said that a “thorough and independent investigation” was underway. European football governing body UEFA declined to comment on whether it is investigating the club. However, in a press conference earlier in March, Spanish football federation (RFEF) secretary general Andreu Camps said the organization had sent all its information relating to the case to UEFA’s integrity unit.

Source: CNN

CONMEBOL Libertadores 2023 – Third Round (Second Leg)

15-16 March 2023

Independiente Medellin – Magallanes
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Pires (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodrigo Correa (BRA)
Fourth Official: Braulio Machado (BRA)
VAR: Wagner Reway (BRA)
AVAR: Pablo Goncalves (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
VAR Supervisor: Marcio Santiago (BRA)

Atletico Mineiro – Millonarios
Referee: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Fourth Official: Pablo Echavarria (ARG)
VAR: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
AVAR: Jorge Balino (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Paulo Conceicao (BRA)
VAR Supervisor: Henry Gambetta (PER)

Sporting Cristal – Huracan
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Simon (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Alves (BRA)
Fourth Official: Savio Sampaio (BRA)
VAR: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
AVAR: Daniel Nobre (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Victor Carrillo (PER)
VAR Supervisor: Wilson Avila (ECU)

Cerro Porteno – Fortaleza
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tulio Moreno (VEN)
Fourth Official: Jose Argote (VEN)
VAR: Juan Soto (VEN)
AVAR: John Perdomo (COL)
Referee Assessor: Hector Baldassi (ARG)
VAR Supervisor: Patricio Polic (CHI)

Makkelie quit Police to become Head of Amateur Referees

Danny Makkelie will start working at the KNVB as Head of Referees for national competitions in the amateur football department. The 40-year-old top referee will be responsible, among other things, for the appointment and further development of approximately 250 match officials at national amateur level. Makkelie combines his new job with his career as a professional football referee.
Until recently, Makkelie worked for the National Police. In his new position at the KNVB, Makkelie will share his knowledge and experience with referees, assistant referees, observers, and instructors in the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions. The aim is to strengthen refereeing in national amateur football in the short and long term and to make and keep more people interested in refereeing. “We are proud that Danny will contribute to the development of refereeing in amateur football,” said Jan Dirk van der Zee, director of amateur football at KNVB. “As Head of Referee National Amateur Football Leagues, we could have nothing better than the experience and skills of one of the best referees in Europe. Danny has a heart for this profession and is a fantastic figurehead for the refereeing. We are convinced that his appointment will contribute to the goal of developing more referees for the KNVB.”

Source: KNVB

CAF Champions League 2022/2023 – Group Stage (Matchday 4)

7-11 March 2023

Al Hilal – Coton Sport
Referee: Redoune Jiyed (MAR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Lahcen Azgaou (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mustapha Akerkad (MAR)
Fourth Official: Noureddine El-Jaafari (MAR)

Simba – Vipers
Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Temesgin Samuel (ETH)
Assistant Referee 2: Tigle Gizaw (ETH)
Fourth Official: Belay Tadesse (ETH)

Horoya – Raja CA
Referee: Ibrahim Traore (MLI)
Assistant Referee 1: Adou N’Goh (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Nouho Ouattara (CIV)
Fourth Official: Tuonifere Soro (CIV)

CR Belouizdad – Al Merrikh
Referee: Jean Ndala-Ngambo (COD)
Assistant Referee 1: Olivier Safari (CGO)
Assistant Referee 2: Blaise Nabina (CGO)
Fourth Official: Justin Kalamba (CGO)

Zamalek – ES Tunis
Referee: Blaise Ngwa (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Elvis Noupue (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rodrigue Mpele (CMR)
Fourth Official: Antoine Essouma (CMR)

Petro de Luanda – Wydad AC
Referee: Pierre Atcho (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Boris Ditsoga (GAB)
Assistant Referee 2: Abelmiro Dos Reis (STP)
Fourth Official: Tanguy Mebiame (GAB)

JS Kabylie – AS Vita Club
Referee: Abdel Bouh (MTN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamedine Diba (MTN)
Assistant Referee 2: Brahim H’Made (MTN)
Fourth Official: Moussa Diou (MTN)

Mamelodi Sundowns – Al Ahly
Referee: Issa Sy (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Nouha Bangoura (SEN)
Fourth Official: Adalbert Diouf (SEN)

Syria's former captain banned for life for assaulting and spitting on referee

Syria's former national captain Ahmed Al-Saleh has been banned from the sport for life after assaulting and spitting on a referee while being sent off during a top-flight domestic league match, the Syrian Football Association has said.
The 33-year-old Al-Jaish defender was given a red card for a clumsy foul on an Al-Wathba player in a Syrian Pro League clash last month, before lashing out at the official with kicks and being restrained by players from both sides. Television pictures show the player kicking a pitch-side chair over as he angrily left the game. After reviewing the referee's report of the February 3 match, the Syrian FA's Disciplinary Committee found that "Al-Saleh kicked, insulted and directly spat on the referee," the SFA said in a statement. Al-Saleh continued insulting the referee in the dressing room after the match, the statement said. The Disciplinary Committee banned Al-Saleh for life and has proposed his dismissal from Syria's Sports Federation Organisation, meaning he would be able to play no part in any sports activities in the future, including coaching.

Source: Reuters

Pereira hired as referee boss in Egypt

The Egyptian Football Association has signed Vitor Pereira as President of Referees Committee and responsible of development until the end of season 2023/2024, replacing Clattenburg, who quit last month.
The 65-year-old Pereira was an international referee for 10 years, between 1992 and 2002, and refereed at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, as well as the Euro in 2000. He was appointed as head of the Greek refereeing in August 2017 and took on the refereeing department in Russia in September 2021. However, he resigned from his latest position in March 2022. The EFA has taken a new approach this season by appointing foreign ex-referees of high reputation to oversee the Referees Committee with the aim of improving and developing Egyptian officials. Clattenburg was appointed to the position in August 2022, but resigned just five months later due to differences with EFA officials. Pereira is expected to begin his mission immediately as the domestic season is already past its halfway mark.

Source: Ahram

Nicaragua’s refereeing pioneer

Female refereeing has made great strides in recent years, with more and more women being appointed to officiate in major tournaments around the world and to take charge of men’s matches. Female officials from countries both big and small are starting to make an impact on the game, among them Nicaraguan referee Tatiana Guzman. Her achievements are noteworthy to say the least. The first woman to referee a men’s first division match in Nicaragua, she is also the first Nicaraguan woman to take charge of the final at the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament and has now become the first referee from her country to be appointed to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as a video match official (VMO).
A keen sportswoman, Guzman has tried her hand at various things, from baseball, which she used to play in the streets as a girl, to judo and volleyball which she played at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, where she studied Environmental Quality. In the end, however, it was her talent for football that shone through, though she never thought she would end up pursuing a career as a referee. That all changed in 2010, when she saw an international referee officiating in Nicaragua. With it also being a World Cup year, her interest was further piqued. “I started to research the World Cup on the Internet and I said to myself that I want to travel around the world and I want to be a referee,” said Guzman, who was talking from Montevideo, where she was attending the third FIFA referees’ preparation seminar for Australia & New Zealand 2023. “I could never have been in a senior team in soccer. I love football. I just fell in love with refereeing for the first time when I saw that referee from another country in a game. That was the reason. It was spontaneous.”
Guzman started out as an assistant referee and then became a referee before obtaining her FIFA qualification in 2014, at the age of 25. Since then, she has broken down one barrier after another until the greatest achievement of her career to date: a place on the list of appointed match officials for Australia and New Zealand 2023, where she will be one of six VMOs. Guzman is understandably elated to be the first woman from her country to officiate at the biggest tournament in the women’s game. “It’s just an amazing feeling. I worked hard for this. It’s a great improvement for Nicaragua because we don’t even have a high level of football. I think, even in refereeing, this will be exciting for other girls and even for football teams, to know that they can be a part of this.” Her excitement was clear to see when she recalled seeing her name on the list of match officials for the Women’s World Cup. “I still can’t believe it,” she said. Although VAR is not yet in use in Nicaragua, Guzman has taken every training opportunity provided by Concacaf and FIFA since first sitting at a monitor, just after Russia 2018, including online sessions during the pandemic and practice sessions at home.
Giving her views on the preparation FIFA is providing for the match officials who will be on duty at the Women’s World Cup later this year, she said: “This kind of seminar helped a lot because now we know the lines and criteria that FIFA wants, and this is good for training and to be prepared because, at the end of the day, we want to be excellent, and we want the game to be excellent. In the end, what we want is one team. The referees are one team, and we need to be ready for that. This kind of seminar helps a lot to be prepared for the World Cup.” Refereeing has changed Guzman’s life and she wants to see more and more women making their way in the game, especially men’s football. After Australia & New Zealand 2023 her goal is to keep on improving, earn selection as a match official on the pitch at a men’s World Cup, and continue showing that hard work and a love for your career always bring rewards.

Source: FIFA

UEFA Europa League 2022/2023 – Round of 16 (First Leg)

9 March 2023

Bayer Leverkusen – Ferencvarosi TC
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefano Alassio (ITA)
Fourth Official: Daniele Chiffi (ITA)
VAR: Marco Di Bello (ITA)
AVAR: Fabio Maresca (ITA)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

Union Berlin – Union St. Gilloise
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Roy Hassan (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Idan Yarkoni (ISR)
Fourth Official: Gal Leibovitz (ISR)
VAR: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR)
AVAR: David Fuxman (ISR)
Referee Observer: Pascal Garibian (FRA)

Sporting CP – Arsenal FC
Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Borsch (GER)
Fourth Official: Robert Schröder (GER)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
AVAR: Sören Storks (GER)
Referee Observer: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)

AS Roma – Real Sociedad
Referee: Sandro Schärer (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephane De Almeida (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Bekim Zogaj (SUI)
Fourth Official: Lukas Fähndrich (SUI)
VAR: Fedayi San (SUI)
AVAR: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

Sevilla FC – Fenerbahçe
Referee: François Letexier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Mugnier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mehdi Rahmouni (FRA)
Fourth Official: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
VAR: Eric Wattellier (FRA)
AVAR: Pierre Gaillouste (FRA)
Referee Observer: Peter Sippel (GER)

FC Juventus – SC Freiburg
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Vassilis Fotias (GRE)
VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
AVAR: Angelos Evangelou (GRE)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

Manchester United – Real Betis
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Fourth Official: Daniel Schlager (GER)
VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
AVAR: Benjamin Brand (GER)
Referee Observer: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

Shakhtar Donetsk – Feyenoord
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Pozor (SVK)
Fourth Official: Peter Kralović (SVK)
VAR: Christian Dingert (GER)
AVAR: Harm Osmers (GER)
Referee Observer: Sokol Jareci (ALB)

Match officials continue to prepare for Australia & New Zealand 2023

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 promises to be a tournament of highs. The recent Play-Off Tournament in New Zealand once again underscored the growing depth and quality of women’s football in all corners of the world. While the players are readying themselves to be at their best for July’s quadrennial showpiece, the match officials have been working equally judiciously to achieve a similar goal. To that end, Kari Seitz, FIFA’s Head of Women Refereeing, has worked tirelessly to ensure the match officials at Australia & New Zealand 2023 have the best possible preparation. This week in Montevideo, Uruguay, came another key milestone with the hosting of a preparatory seminar for the 2023 Women’s World Cup match officials from the Concacaf and CONMEBOL regions. It follows recent similar events for European and AFC, CAF and OFC match officials.
With a CV second-to-none - four FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments (1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011), and four Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016) - Seitz knows better than anyone the importance of preparation. “Each of these match officials has a huge commitment to be one of the best referees in the world, and at FIFA, we’re always trying to find a way to support them,” Seitz says. “So, what we did was that we hired coaches, specific technical coaches, and each referee received a coach, and they watched their matches at home. “It’s really continuing that project to watch their domestic matches and give them the insight they need to be ready for the Women’s World Cup, not just at the seminar, for example, not just at an U-20 World Cup, but every week, to give them the information they need because, tomorrow, the World Cup will be here, and we can’t lose a moment to be ready.” The variety and depth of content featured during the four-day event in Montevideo is extraordinary in its nature. Fitness, theory, VAR and recovery are just some of the top-line on and off-field areas covered. Many of the match officials took part in the recent Play-Off Tournament in New Zealand, and are set to return Down Under in just four months. This year’s tournament will see greatly increased travel times, and therefore recovery times, add an added layer of complexity in comparison to France 2019. “What we have is a slightly more complicated event than we had in France,” Seitz said. “We have two countries, two continents, large time zone changes, but these are all things that we are prepared to deal with, [that] the referees are prepared to deal with. The overall concept is the same, we still train the referees in the same way, but we have to make time and allowances for, really, the travel and time changes. Other than that, we believe, 100 per cent, that this will be the best World Cup ever.”
The past couple of years have seen landmark moments for female referees, none more striking than the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 where six women match officials took part, including as part of the team for the Final. It is, Seitz believes, proof of FIFA’s hard work paying dividends and, at the same time, providing role models for the next generation. “This is FIFA being a role model for what’s possible, and the same will be true this year in Australia and New Zealand, because now they’re going to see even more women on the field, and they’re going to be able to demonstrate their qualities and, hopefully, motivate girls and boys to get involved in refereeing, but also to see their qualities, the quality of these match officials and the work they’ve put into it. Whether it’s the women’s game or men’s game, referees are women in football, and they’re very valuable. The game is growing. We just need more people of quality. Just look at their qualities. That’s all we ask. We’re really confident that we will demonstrate that in Australia and New Zealand.”

Source: FIFA

Concacaf Champions League 2023 – Round of 16 (First Leg)

7-9 March 2023

Alianza FC – Philadelphia Union
Referee: Cesar Ramos (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Bisguerra (MEX)
Fourth Official: Daniel Quintero (MEX)
VAR: Adonai Escobedo (MEX)
AVAR: Katia Garcia (MEX)

Tigres UANL – Orlando City SC
Referee: Mario Escobar (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Ventura (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Humberto Panjoj (GUA)
Fourth Official: Julio Luna (GUA)
VAR: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
AVAR: Benjamin Pineda (CRC)

Violette AC – Austin FC
Referee: Selvin Brown (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Roney Salinas (HON)
Fourth Official: Melvin Matamoros (HON)
VAR: Said Martinez (HON)
AVAR: Ismael Cornejo (SLV)

Tauro FC – Club Leon
Referee: Armando Villarreal (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Fourth Official: Victor Rivas (USA)
VAR: Chris Penso (USA)
AVAR: Allen Chapman (USA)

CD Olimpia – Atlas FC
Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Corey Parker (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kyle Atkins (USA)
Fourth Official: Rubiel Vazquez (USA)
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic (USA)
AVAR: Joseph Dickerson (USA)

Vancouver Whitecaps – RCD Espana
Referee: Fernando Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Sandra Ramirez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Michel Morales (MEX)
Fourth Official: Luis Santander (MEX)
VAR: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
AVAR: Guillermo Pacheco (MEX)

Motagua FC – CF Pachuca
Referee: Drew Fischer (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Barwegen (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lyes Arfa (CAN)
Fourth Official: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
VAR: Pierre-Luc Lauziere (CAN)
AVAR: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)

LD Alajuelense – Los Angeles FC
Referee: Daneon Parchment (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jassett Kerr-Wilson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Ojay Duhaney (JAM)
Fourth Official: Steffon Dewar (JAM)
VAR: Oshane Nation (JAM)
AVAR: Tristley Bassue (SKN)