Globe Soccer Awards 2014: Rizzoli (ITA)

The candidates refereed the main finals around the globe in 2014. The competitions considered: FIFA World Cup 2014 and the six Champions League finals of the six Confederations. Europe has just one Champions League final, but also had the referee chosen for the World Cup final. All six Confederations had two referees as candidates for the Globe Soccer Awards 2014:
FIFA World Cup 2014: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
UEFA CL 2014: Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
AFC CL 2014: Alireza Faghani (Iran) and Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
CAF CL 2014: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) and Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
CONMEBOL CL 2014: Wilmar Roldan (Colombia) and Sandro Ricci (Brasil)
CONCACAF CL 2014: Roberto García (Mexico) and Marco Rodríguez (Mexico)
OFC CL 2014: Abdelkader Zitouni (Tahiti) and Norbert Hauata (Tahiti)

Winner: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)

- At the top at 43 years. Do you feel satisfied?
- Physically, I'm fine. Indeed, I have lost eight kilograms. And the desire is still there.
- Would you continue after 45 years?
- FIFA intends to raise the age limit. I will know the day when I will not have incentives anymore. Now I still have plenty.
- It is more difficult to train the mind than the body?
- Certainly. I do not mind working hard three hours a day. It's harder to stay focused, determined, and to study constantly.
- In what sense?
- I watch a lot of matches and I have a personal library where I keep the most significant episodes. I analyze the tactics of the teams, the set pieces: the wall included. It is an essential advantage when you go onto the field.
- What is your relationship with psychology?
- Continuously. In these years I realized how important is my attitudes in relation to others. Just as it is important to get to know the personality of the players. Sometimes you can communicate by a look or a gesture. Once in Madrid an UEFA psychologist followed me for three days and it was a very interesting experience.
- After all, it's about respect.
- One aspect is the role of the referee; another one is the dialogue on the field. Due to my character, I am open to discussion; the goal is to make fewer mistakes as possible.
- But the relationship with the players is improving?
- Let's say, yes. But we must all commit ourselves to fill a gap that is cultural. Perhaps a meeting per year is not enough. We may need more, even if it's not for me to decide the forms.
- But do you ever get off?
- Yes, on Monday, when I go swimming. Between the strokes I relax. This is my favorite slow-motion.
- What music do you prefer?
- I am a fan of U2, but I also like the songs of the moment.
- How is your work as an architect?
- My pride is the project of the pediatric oncologic clinic Sant'Orsola in Bologna. Unfortunately, it is a work from 2001, because in recent years the refereeing commitments forced me to loosen this activity. Too bad, because for me it is the best job in the world.
- But wins the other passion...
- I think that I chose to be an architect when I was 13, while the referee option only came up when I was 16. I was a promising wing, and then an injury and a classmate who brought me to refereeing changed my life.
- Is the best referee of the world allowed to make mistakes?
- The danger is when a referee believes to be infallible. In that case, he cannot handle the error, and if he commits mistakes, it is likely to remain. I missed so many times and my strength has always been to learn from mistakes.
- Was there one mistake more instructive than others?
- Seven years ago, in Udine, with Totti, we all know how it went. Then we have clarified and we both grew up.
- For Capello, Serie A is not very competitive for teams. Does that also apply to the referees?
- It's the exact opposite. Here, the selection becomes natural in the lower leagues. And even in Serie A the obstacles are more difficult than in other countries. Italian referees are very well trained.
- Our players behave better in international competitions?
- All are more focused; they know that they risk more, because they have fewer games to play and a red has more weight.
- Do you see a future a la Collina?
- I do not know; for now I still love being on the field. I can only say that one day I'd like to instruct young people. Why not, even children.
- How are your relations with other referees?
- There's the obvious ambition of all, but I do not see jealousies. The dressing room is very united.
- Do you feel as a leader of this generation?
- I cannot decide or say that. Did you see a group of penguins? They always stay close to the cold, then one comes off and the others follow. Leadership is always for others to recognize it.
- Meanwhile, Messina gives room to other referees.
- It seems fair. All must grow.
- What is your opinion on the additional assistant referees?
- High; it increases the quality of refereeing. Divide areas of the field and the pairs of players, which increase the control. Having held this role also helped me to understand how to improve the two functions. The goal-line technology can help, but should not be considered an alternative.
- The Italian school of refereeing always makes a trend.
- We started almost from scratch 8 years ago; it was a change of generations. The results show that we are back at the highest levels.

Source: La Gazzetta Dello Sport

AFC Referee of the Year 2014: Irmatov (UZB)

Asian refereeing icon Ravshan Irmatov claimed his fifth AFC Referee of the Year accolade at the AFC Annual Awards 2014 gala. Irmatov won the award ahead of fellow nominees Alireza Faghani from Iran and Bahrain’s Nawaf Shukralla. An international referee since 2003, Irmatov was previously honoured in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. This year has proved to be another excellent one for the 37-year-old, who set a FIFA World Cup record after officiating the quarter-final match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. That game saw the experienced Uzbek become the first referee to officiate at nine World Cup matches, beating the previous record of eight he shared with Joël Quiniou of France, Benito Archundia of Mexico and Uruguay's Jorge Larrionda. Irmatov also officiated at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar and was selected to referee the final between Australia and Japan. "This award does not only belong to me, but it belongs to my teachers, my instructors and my colleagues, my assistants and everybody who has supported me," said Irmatov. "Being a referee in football is one of the important parts because the quality of refereeing can affect the game. Refereeing correct decisions makes football more beautiful and attractive and that is why I think the role of the referee today is very crucial. AFC is doing a lot for referee development in Asia and today Asian referees are the same quality as any other referees in the world". (Source: AFC)

AFC Referee of the Year 2014 
1. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB) 
2. Alireza Faghani (IRN) 
3. Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)

AFC Assistant Referee of the Year 2014
Matthew Cream (AUS)


AFC Women Referee of the Year 2014 
1. Rita Ghani (MAS) 
2. Sachiko Yamagishi (JPN) 
3. Pannipar Kamnueng (THA)

AFC Women Assistant Referee of the Year 2014
Kim Kyoung Min (KOR)

Italian referees sensual calendar 2015

Following in the footsteps of Brazilian referee and model Ana Paula Oliveira, a group of Italian referees had the courage to pose half-naked for a 2015 calendar. Five referees from San Giovanni Valdarno, a city located in the Tuscany region, were models for a photo exhibition showing the other side of their work.

With balls, whistles, flags and cards, they posed in a fun way for the lenses of the Italian photographer Paul Melani, responsible for the exhibition opened last month. The proceeds from the sale of photos and calendars will serve as financial support for the activities of the local referees.

Source: Extra Globo

CONCACAF Referee of the Year 2014: Geiger (USA)

The CONCACAF Awards are designed to honor the year’s outstanding performers and achievements in confederation-sanctioned competitions involving national teams at all levels and age categories, including FIFA World Cup matches and qualifying for both genders. Performances also eligible for recognition included those achieved in professional club football leagues within the CONCACAF Member Associations, as well as the CONCACAF Champions League. The votes of three important stake-holding segments within the Confederation were counted in compiling the results. Member Associations’ national team coaches and captains (women’s and men’s), accredited media and fans each accounted for one third of the final vote. A semifinal list of 10 nominees in each category was determined by a vote of Technical Directors from each of CONCACAF’s 41 Member Associations and the CONCACAF Technical Study Group, which analyzes tactics and rates performances at all official CONCACAF tournaments.


Referee of the Year 2014
1. Mark Geiger (USA)
2. Marco Rodriguez (MEX)
3. Walter Quesada (CRC)

Mark Geiger refereed three matches at the 2014 World Cup, including the Round of 16 match between France and Nigeria. He was also selected as the man in the middle for the 2014 MLS Cup earlier this month in Los Angeles. Geiger was additionally named 2014 Major League Soccer Referee of the Year.


Hauge named Norway refs boss

The Norwegian referee who received death threats after sending off a Chelsea player in a Champions League game in 2006 was appointed Head of Refereeing by the Norway Football Federation (NFF), replacing Rune Pedersen, who has held the position for the last 10 years.
Terje Hauge, 49, hit the headlines when he dismissed defender Asier del Horno for a reckless challenge on Lionel Messi when Chelsea met Barcelona in the first leg of a Champions League last 16 tie at Stamford Bridge in February 2006. Despite taking the lead with 10 men, the English side lost the first leg 2-1 and went out 3-2 on aggregate with Hauge subjected to death threats posted on message boards used by Chelsea fans in the days after the match. Hauge went on to referee the 2006 Champions League final between Arsenal and Barcelona, where he made the London side's goalkeeper Jens Lehmann the first player ever to be sent off in the final of the sport's blue riband competition. "It is with great respect and humility that I take this job as chief for referees," Hauge said in a statement on the Norwegian FA (NFF) website. NFF competition manager Nils Fisketioenn added: "In Terje Hauge, we are getting a dedicated, experienced and highly-skilled employee who will be crucial in our efforts to recruit and develop our referees".

Source: Reuters

FIFA is abolishing age limits for international referees

FIFA says it is relaxing the rule which forced match officials to leave its international list at the end of the year they turned 45. Currently, international referees have to be 45-years-old or younger, but FIFA have announced that they are set to abolish these age limits. Referees will now be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. They shall be carefully evaluated annually after reaching that age. The Executive Committee approved the proposal from the Referees Committee that every FIFA referee over the age of 45 shall be “carefully evaluated every year, according to technical assessments, medical examinations and fitness tests". The annually updated list comprises referees and assistant referees proposed by national federations and approved by FIFA for international matches.
The decision comes after FIFA President Sepp Blatter was affected by an IOC ruling on age limits last week. The Olympic movement upheld a rule forcing IOC members to step down in the year they reach 80. Blatter, a member since 1999, will leave in 2016.

Source: AP / Daily Mail

Stark: 300 matches in Bundesliga

He was Germany’s “Referee of the Year” and has taken charge of the DFB Cup final as well as games at the Olympics, European Championships and World Cups. Wolfgang Stark has seen a lot during his career and last weekend was a big occasion for him. He took charge of his 300th Bundesliga game: Freiburg – Hamburg. The 45-year-old is only the second German referee to surpass the 300 mark, after Markus Merk, who took charge of 339 top-flight clashes. Stark has been a referee for the DFB since 1994, took charge of his first Bundesliga game in 1997 and was a FIFA listed referee between 1999 and 2014.

German referees with most Bundesliga matches:
1. Markus Merk 339 (1988-2008)
2. Wolfgang Stark 300 (1996 - still active)
3. Florian Meyer 264 (1999 - still active)
4. Herbert Fandel 247 (1995-2009)
5. Hellmut Krug 240 (1986-2003)
6. Michael Weiner 224 (1999 - still active)
7. Knut Kircher 220 (2001 - still active)
8. Thorsten Kinhöfer 206 (2002 - still active)
8. Peter Gagelmann 206 (2000 - still active)
10. Edgar Steinborn 201 (1988-2004)
11. Lutz-Michael Fröhlich 200 (1989-2005)

Source: DFB

Webb: “What am I now? I have lost my identity”

Only three times since his last game at the summer’s World Cup finals has Howard Webb wrapped the cord of his whistle around his wrist and walked into the centre circle to referee a football match. Once for an exhibition match in Bangkok, once for the Christmas truce game in Ypres this month, and once when the referee did not turn up for his son Jack’s Under-15s game. Anyone walking across the playing fields of Oakwood High School in Rotherham that day will have seen a familiar figure in charge of Whiston Wildcats against Swinton Athletic Spartans in the Sheffield and District League. “I was shamed into doing it by the other parents,” Webbs says. “My son hates me refereeing. ‘Dad, don’t talk to me,’ he says. And, no, I didn’t have to send anyone off. I used my game-management techniques!”
Four months on from his surprise decision to quit as the country’s leading referee at the age of just 43, it should be said that Webb is enjoying his life as technical director of Professional Game Match Officials, the referees’ body. At this time of year he would usually be contemplating a run of Christmas and New Year fixtures and all the scrutiny that brings. Life has changed. After our meeting at the PGMOL offices he is due to see a software developer about a project to help analyse the select group referees in even greater detail. Not that they are not already under the microscope. Webb can tell you from the statistics on his phone that match evaluators in the Premier League have assessed every game in minute detail and say that up to the round of 15 matches so far this season there have been, collectively, 38,718 decision moments for referees. Of those, they say, 98.4 per cent have been made correctly. This is just a part of the new life Webb has, supporting referees, coaching – he is now a FIFA instructor – or appearing on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports to go head to head with Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher. Quitting the only two jobs he has known, refereeing and the South Yorkshire police force, within the space of six days has made this a “momentous” year, Webb says, but he has no regrets. “You’d be crazy to say you don’t miss those big games or that great feeling of satisfaction when a game has gone well and you can relax a bit,” he says. “That pressure got higher and higher all the time. I had been around it a long time. I never expected to get the World Cup final [in 2010] but it came along. It is only one game but it changes the way people perceive you. Not long after I went to a Champions League game, Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma, and didn’t perform very well and the guy with us said: ‘Howard, it must be difficult for you, having done the World Cup final’. You carry a bit of a tag that you are the World Cup ref. They are looking for you to be the benchmark. Maybe people expect something different of you. I thought the way to show I was a worthy World Cup final referee was to get to the next tournament. Maintain that performance within the context of some strong competition and then that would be the time to move on. I could have carried on for 10 more years. I could have coasted but that was never the way.”
He faced the usual existential crisis that many footballers go through when they retire at a relatively young age from the profession that has defined them. “It was a bigger adjustment than I thought it would be,” he says. “When the announcement was made I drove home from St George’s Park on 6 August thinking, ‘My goodness, what am I now? I have lost my identity’. I have spoken to quite a few ex-professionals about the way they felt when they finished. It has been really interesting to hear those thoughts. I am not someone who gets down, I am not a pessimist. But it was just such a change.” As a police sergeant in his native Yorkshire, before he became a select group referee in 2003, he would occasionally finish a shift at 4am and be at a game later the same day. That ruled out a career in CID. “The worry was you get the call across the office, ‘They’ve found a body’, and you think, ‘Damn, I’m at Everton tomorrow and now I have to tell the detective inspector I can’t get involved in this murder investigation’. He would have to have said ‘I’m sorry but Everton can wait’.” Grateful for the support he was given from the police, Webb says he might have made inspector had he stayed, the rank at which it becomes more about management than work on the ground. Instead he has that role with the referees now, finding ways to improve and support them. On Saturdays he is usually at the BBC’s Salford base watching live feeds of games and calling referees after games to discuss performances on what can sometimes be, he knows himself, “a lonely drive home”.
He is passionate about the high standards of the 17 select group referees although he knows there will always be some issues that stand out. Of that overall decision count of 38,718 – which is the number of decisions that the assessors deem should have been made, whether the referees did so or not – only 0.023 per cent relate to acts of simulation. Yet that remains a topic which always stays near the top of the agenda. Simulation will always remain at the top of the agenda. “In terms of the impact simulation has in comparison to, say, giving an incorrect throw-in, it is more significant because it is more emotive and has an impact on the outcome of game,” Webb says. “Ultimately it involves someone trying to cheat. It’s not getting worse from what we see. There seems to be a bigger negative reaction to it. Less acceptance. Managers stepping up their reaction and saying they fine their players for diving in training sessions. We take Garry [Monk] at his word. Let’s hope that continues. “The standard of Premier League refereeing, irrespective of what you might get from post-match [manager] interviews is very high. I sit watching the feeds coming in every single week. The number of times I have driven home thinking, ‘That was another good day’. A Premier League team has 38 games to negotiate with a squad of 25. We have a squad of 17 to do 380 games. In that context we have a lot to deal with, inevitably you can point to things – of course it is a challenge.” In the new year, Webb and PGMOL will present a DVD to clubs detailing the rules around holding in the penalty area, an issue set alight by Michael Oliver’s decision to penalise Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross against Swansea in October. There has been consultation on what kind of acts are likely to attract punishment but, as Webb points out, the hardest thing is spotting holding incidents when there is such a concentration of players in one area. He has also been to the Netherlands to look at the proposals for video assistants who would, potentially, work from an outside broadcast truck reviewing footage and communicating over the headset with the referee and his assistants. The Dutch football association, the KNVB, are pressing for a live trial and the Premier League will keep an open mind, although progress in that area is a very long way off. What of Mark Clattenburg, one of two FIFA-list contenders for Webb’s former role as England’s referee at major tournaments, and his decision to leave a ground in a non-official car to get to an Ed Sheeran concert? “In terms of what happened the referees are clear in terms of protocol,” Webb says. “It is there for the benefit and safety of the officials. Everyone signs up to them. It wasn’t a big issue. It was something that had to be dealt with by the management at the time. Everyone is moving on.” Brazil’s Danny Alves remonstrates with the referee Howard Webb during Saturday’s match Webb during this summer's World Cup
Webb was in Barcelona last week to surprise his old friend and long-term assistant Darren Cann, the country’s leading linesman who was on the touchline for his last Champions League game having hit the Uefa age-limit of 45. Webb, Cann and Mike Mullarkey were together for the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010. It was as the latter turned into a Dutch foul-marathon that Cann told Webb over the headset to believe in himself and keep going. “At the end, I could see Darren walking off looking around the stadium. I could see what he was doing, thinking ‘This is my last chance to take it all in’,” Webb says. For those who have been there and done it, nothing, of course, will ever come close to the pressure and pride of the football world analysing their every decision. The trick, as Webb has found out, is finding something else to fill the void.

Source: The Independent

FIFA Club World Cup Final 2014: Lopez (GUA)

20 December 2014

Real Madrid – San Lorenzo
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Fourth Official: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Reserve AR: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Referee Observer: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)

Match for Third Place
Cruz Azul – Auckland City
Referee: Pedro Proenca (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Trigo (POR)
Fourth Official: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Reserve AR: Sergio Roman (CHI)
Referee Observer: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)

FCWC Final: Proenca replaced by Lopez

Real Madrid and San Lorenzo fought with FIFA for the appointment of the referee for the Club World Cup final. The Referees Committee chose the Portuguese Pedro Proenca (photo) to referee the final, but the pressure of the president of San Lorenzo, Matías Lamens, has made backtrack to FIFA and all indications are that there will be a change of the referee. The Guatemalan Walter Lopez is now the favorite for Saturday's game. Matías Lamens complained yesterday against Proenca’s election for the final and it seems that his words have persuaded FIFA. "We all know the lobbying capacity of Real Madrid, but it would be a mistake for FIFA to only listen to Madrid. Normally, the referee should be from a neutral continent, not from Portugal”, said the Argentine president. Following these statements, the FIFA Executive Committee, at a meeting held yesterday, has put on the table the possibility of changing the appointment made by the Referees Committee and decided to send Proenca to the third place match and put the Guatemalan Walter Lopez, with little experience, in the final. 

Source: Marca

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2015

Equatorial Guinea, 17 January – 8 February 2015

1. Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, 1980)
2. Neant Alioum (CMR, 1982)
3. Noumandiez Doue (CIV, 1970)
4. Ghead Grisha (EGY, 1976)
5. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)
6. Eric Otogo Castane (GAB, 1976)
7. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979, photo)
8. Joseph Lamptey (GHA, 1974)
9. Mario Bangoura (GUI, 1977)
10. Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD, 1984)
11. Koman Coulibaly (MLI, 1970)
12. Ali Lemghaifry (MRT, 1975)
13. Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI, 1970)
14. Bouchaib El Ahrach (MAR, 1972)
15. Malang Diedhiou (SEN, 1973)
16. Bernard Camille (SEY, 1975)
17. Victor Gomes (RSA, 1982)
18. Mohamed Kordi (TUN, 1975)
19. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, 1979)
20. Mohamed Hussein (SDN, 1976)

Assistant Referees
1. Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG, 1981)
2. Jerson Dos Santos (ANG, 1983)
3. Oamogetse Godisamang (BOT, 1977)
4. Jean-Claude Birumushasu (BDI, 1972)
5. Evarist Menkouande (CMR, 1974)
6. Songuifolo Yeo (CIV, 1970)
7. Hassan Egueh (DJI, 1974)
8. Abo El Sadat (EGY, 1976)
9. Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI, 1971)
10. Malick Salifu (GHA, 1973)
11. Aboubacar Doumbouya (GUI, 1975)
12. Marwa Range (KEN, 1977)
13. Balkrisna Bootun (MRI, 1973)
14. Redouane Achik (MAR, 1972)
15. Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG, 1983)
16. Peter Edibi (NGA, 1970)
17. Djibril Camara (SEN, 1983)
18. El Hadji Samba (SEN, 1979)
19. Zakhele Siwela (RSA, 1982)
20. Waleed Ahmed (SDN, 1974)
21. Anouar Hmila (TUN, 1974)
22. Theogene Ndagijimana (RWA, 1978)

Fourth Officials
1. Joaquin Esono Eyang (EQG, 1985)
2. Maguette N’Diaye (SEN, 1986)
3. Juste Ephrem Zio (BFA, 1977)

FIFA Club World Cup 2014 – Match for Fifth Place

17 December 2014

ES Setif – Sydney Wanderers
Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Tevita Makasini (TGA)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Ahupu (TAH)
Fourth Official: Pedro Proenca (POR)
Reserve AR: Jose Trigo (POR)
Referee Observer: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)

FIFA Club World Cup 2014 – Semi-finals

16 December 2014
Cruz Azul – Real Madrid
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergio Roman (CHI)
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Reserve AR: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Referee Observer: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)

17 December 2014
San Lorenzo – Auckland City
Referee: Benjamin Williams (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo (AUS)
Fourth Official: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Reserve AR: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Referee Observer: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)

UEFA Referee Categories 2015


Martin Atkinson (ENG), Deniz Aytekin (GER), Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Çakır (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), David Fernández Borbalán (ESP), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Pavel Královec (CZE), Björn Kuipers (NED), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Milorad Mažić (SRB), Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR), Pedro Proença (POR), Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Damir Skomina (SVN), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA), Craig Thomson (SCO), Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP).

First Category
Ievgenii Aranovskiy (UKR), Pavel Balaj (ROU), Luca Banti (ITA), Ivan Bebek (CRO), Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS), Kevin Blom (NED), Tamás Bognar (HUN), Serhiy Boiko (UKR), Marcin Borski (POL), Ruddy Buquet (FRA), Tony Chapron (FRA), Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP), Sébastien Delferiere (BEL), Christian Dingert (GER), Oliver Drachta (AUT), Aleksei Eskov (RUS), Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP), Simon Evans (WAL), Mattias Gestranius (FIN), Pawel Gil (POL), Hüseyin Göçek (TUR), Duarte Gomes (POR), Manuel Gräfe (GER), Serge Gumienny (BEL), Tom Harald Hagen (NOR), Kenn Hansen (DEN), Ovidiu Hategan (ROU), Arnold Hunter (NIR), Stefan Johannesson (SWE), Matej Jug (SVN), Sergei Karasev (RUS), Michael Koukoulakis (GRE), Libor Kovarik (CZE), Ivan Kruzliak (SVK), Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR), Harald Lechner (AUT), Liran Liany (ISR), Robert Madden (SCO), Danny Makkelie (NED), Szymon Marciniak (POL), Andre Marriner (ENG), Gediminas Mazeika (LTU), Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA), Steven McLean (SCO), Bas Nijhuis (NED), Michael Oliver (ENG), Daniele Orsato (ITA), Halis Özkahya (TUR), Clayton Pisani (MLT), Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT), Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE), Artur Soares Dias (POR), Manuel Sousa (POR), Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD), Marijo Strahonja (CRO), Martin Strömbergsson (SWE), Stephan Studer (SUI), Anthony Taylor (ENG), Leontios Trattou (CYP), Alexandru Tudor (ROU), Clément Turpin (FRA), István Vad (HUN), Pol van Boekel (NED), Slavko Vinčič (SVN), Tobias Welz (GER), Alon Yefet (ISR), Miroslav Zelinka (CZE), Felix Zwayer (GER).

Second Category
Anatoliy Abdula (UKR), Aliyar Aghayev (AZE), Marius Avram (ROU), Benoît Bastien (FRA), John Beaton (SCO), Alain Bieri (SUI), Alexandre Boucaut (BEL), Kevin Clancy (SCO), Sebastian Coltescu (ROU), Antonio Damato (ITA), Bastian Dankert (GER), Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP), Amaury Delerue (FRA), Neil Doyle (IRL), Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU), Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR), Andreas Ekberg (SWE), Said Ennjimi (FRA), Fredy Fautrel (FRA), Marco Fritz (GER), Antony Gautier (FRA), Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP), Vlado Glodjovic (SRB), Serdar Gözübüyük (NED), Orel Grinfeeld (ISR), Marco Guida (ITA), Alexander Harkam (AUT), Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP), Sergei Ivanov (RUS), Adrien Jaccottet (SUI), Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR), Georgi Kabakov (BUL), Mete Kalkavan (TUR), Jakob Kehlet (DEN), Stephan Klossner (SUI), István Kovacs (ROU), Artyom Kuchin (KAZ), Sergei Lapochkin (RUS), Jonathan Lardot (BEL), Michael Lerjeus (SWE), Richard Liesveld (NED), Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP), Davide Massa (ITA), Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD), Vitaly Meshkov (RUS), Hugo Miguel (POR), Benoît Millot (FRA), Antti Munukka (FIN), Christos Nicolaides (CYP), Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS), Craig Pawson (ENG), Radu Petrescu (ROU), Lee Probert (ENG), Pawel Raczkowski (POL), Pavle Radovanović (MNE), Nicolas Rainville (FRA), Alan Sant (MLT), Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR), Daniel Siebert (GER), Ilias Spathas (GRE), Daniel Stefanski (POL), Tobias Stieler (GER), Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL), Padraigh Sutton (IRL), Carlos Taborda Xistra (POR), Stanislav Todorov (BUL), Kristo Tohver (EST), Andris Treimanis (LVA), Stavros Tritsonis (GRE), Richard Trutz (SVK), Siarhei Tsynkevich (BLR), Michael Tykgaard (DEN), Jan Valasek (SVK), Paolo Valeri (ITA), Ognjen Valjić (BIH), Ante Vucemilović-Simunović (CRO).

Third Category
Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE), Alexandr Aliyev (KAZ), Sascha Amhof (SUI), Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN), Dennis Antamo (FIN), Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA), Petr Ardeleanu (CZE), Thorvaldur Arnason (ISL), Adrian Azzopardi (MLT), Suren Baliyan (ARM), Sven Bindels (LUX), Marco Borg (MLT), Johnny Casanova (SMR), Raymond Crangle (NIR), Nikola Dabanović (MNE), Andrew Dallas (SCO), Oleksandr Derdo (UKR), Sergiu Derenov (MDA), Vasilis Dimitriou (CYP), Vadims Direktorenko (LVA), Alain Durieux (LUX), Mihaly Fabián (HUN), Adam Farkas (HUN), Bartosz Frankowski (POL), Aleksander Gauzer (KAZ), Athanassios Giachos (GRE), Danilo Grujić (SRB), Dag Vidar Hafsas (NOR), Markus Hameter (AUT), Nikolaj Hänni (SUI), Tore Hansen (NOR), Richard Harrington (WAL), Rahim Hasanov (AZE), Thoroddur Hjaltalin (ISL), Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM), Milan Ilić (SRB,), Denis Izmailov (KAZ), Dejan Jakimovski (MKD), Edin Jakupović (BIH), Jari Järvinen (FIN), Lorenc Jemini (ALB), Michael Johansen (DEN), Gunnar Jónsson (ISL), Enea Jorgji (ALB), Srdjan Jovanović (SRB), Fran Jović (CRO), Charalambos Kalogeropoulos (GRE), Jovan Kaludjerovic (MNE), Laurent Kopriwa (LUX), Yaroslav Kozyk (UKR), Peter Kralovic (SVK), Tvetan Krastev (BUL), Mads Kristoffersen (DEN), Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO), Nicolas Laforge (BEL), Erik Lambrechts (BEL), Tiago Lopes Martins (POR), Jens Maae (DEN), Orkhan Mammadov (AZE), David Markham-Jones (WAL), Tim Marshall (NIR), Dimitrios Massias (CYP), Paul McLaughlin (IRL), Yuriy Mozharovskyy (UKR), Dumitru Muntean (MDA), Tomasz Musial (POL), Ville Nevalainen (FIN), Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR), Dominik Ouschan (AUT), Tolga Özkalfa (TUR), Ali Palabiyik (TUR), Bojan Pandzić (SWE), Erez Papir (ISR), Andreas Pappas (GRE), Bardhyl Pashaj (ALB), Tihomir Pejin (CRO), Irfan Peljto (BIH), Nikola Popov (BUL), Anders Poulsen (DEN), Radek Prihoda (CZE), Zbynek Proske (CZE), Petur Reinert (FAR), Roi Reinshreiber (ISR), Robert Rogers (IRL), Eiko Saar (EST), Joao Santos Capela (POR), Marco Santos Ferreira (POR), Sandro Schärer (SUI), Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT), Dzianis Shcharbakou (BLR), Lasha Silagava (GEO), Bariş Şimşek (TUR), Sergejus Slyva (LTU), Mervyn Smyth (NIR), Roomer Tarajev (EST), Alexandru Tean (MDA), Vilhjalmur Thorarinnsson (ISL), George Vadachkoria (GEO), Bart Vertenten (BEL), Mikhail Vilkov (RUS), Ignasi Villamayor (AND), Vladimir Vnuk (SVK), Domagoj Vuckov (CRO), Nikolay Yordanov (BUL), Mitja Zganec (SVN), Anatolii Zhabchenko (UKR).

Jana Adamkova (CZE), Teodora Albon (ROU), Sandra Braz Bastos (POR), Cristina Dorcioman (ROU), Stéphanie Frappart (FRA), Gyöngyi Gaál (HUN), Riem Hussein (GER), Katalin Kulcsar (HUN), Pernilla Larsson (SWE), Efthalia Mitsi (GRE), Kateryna Monzul (UKR), Monika Mularczyk (POL), Sara Persson (SWE), Morag Pirie (SCO), Silvia Spinelli (ITA), Esther Staubli (SUI), Bibiana Steinhaus (GER), Carina Vitulano (ITA).

First Category
Linn Anderson (SWE), Esther Azzopardi (MLT), Cristina Babadac (ROU), Petra Chuda (SVK), Rhona Daly (IRL), Amy Fearn (ENG), Florence Guillemin (FRA), Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN), Sofia Karagiorgi (CYP), Zuzana Kovacova (SVK), Marija Kurtes (GER, prom.), Eleni Lampadariou (GRE), Lina Lehtovaara (FIN), Elia Martínez Martínez (ESP), Anastasia Pustovoytova (RUS), Karolina Radzik-Johan (POL), Sharon Sluyts (BEL), Marte Sørø (NOR), Eszter Urban (HUN), Olga Zadinova (CZE).

Second Category
Lilach Asulin (ISR), Sabine Bonnin (FRA), Paula Brady (IRL), Vesna Budimir (CRO), Lorraine Clark (SCO), Tania Fernandes Morais (LUX), Simona Ghisletta (SUI), Dilan Gökçek (TUR), Kseniya Goryachev (RUS), Knarik Grigoryan (ARM), Gordana Kuzmanovic (SRB), Yuliya Medvedeva (KAZ), Ana Minic (SRB), Zuzana Valentova (SVK), Kateryna Zora (UKR).

Third Category
Eleni Antoniou (GRE), Ewa Augustyn (POL), Julia-Stefanie Baier (AUT), Barbara Bollenberger (AUT), Cristina Bujor (ROU), Charlotte Carpenter (WAL), Svetlana Ceban (MDA), Aleksandra Cesen (SVN), Virginie Derouaux (BEL), Galiya Echeva (BUL), Cathrine Eide (NOR), Marta Frías Acedo (ESP), Valentina Garoffolo (ITA), Sarah Garratt (ENG), Beatriz Gil Gozalo (ESP), Désirée Grundbacher (SUI), Sabayel Gurbanova (AZE), Mihaela Gurdon-Basimamovic (CRO), Liliya Hasanova (KAZ), Kristina Husballe (DEN), Frida Klarlund Nielsen (DEN), Dliek Kocbay (TUR), Eliška Královec-Kramlová (CZE), Ifeoma Kulmala (FIN), Yuliya Larionova (AZE), Justina Lavrenovaite (LTU), Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sęk (POL), Jurgita Mačikunytė (LTU), Ivana Martincic (CRO), Dimitrina Milkova (BUL), Neslihan Muratdağı (TUR), Henrikke Holm Nervik (NOR), Elvira Nurmustafina (KAZ), Vera Onica (MDA), Hannelore Onsea (BEL), Vera Opeikina (RUS), Lois Otte (BEL), Meliz Özçiğdem (TUR), Vivian Peeters (NED), Tess Petersson (SWE), Ruzanna Petrosyan (ARM), Graziella Pirriatore (ITA), Ivana Projkovska (MKD), Viola Raudzina (LVA), Anastasiya Romanyuk (UKR), Silvia Rosa Domingos (POR), Ana Soares Aguiar (POR), Angelika Soeder (GER), Nelli Stepanyan (ARM), Sandra Strub (SUI), Tanja Subotic (SVN), Marianne Svendsen (DEN), Liudmyla Telbukh (UKR), Bojana Tosic (BIH), Biljana Trifunovic (SRB), Volha Tsiareshka (BLR), Irina Turovskaya (BLR), Irena Velevackoska (MKD), Ivana Vlaic (BIH).
Gerald Bauernfeind (AUT), Marc Birkett (ENG), Ondrej Cerni (CZE), Eduardo Fernandes Coelho (POR), Fernando Gutiérrez Lumbreras (ESP), Oleg Ivanov (UKR), Gabor Kovacs (HUN), Pascal Lemal (BEL), Alessandro Malfer (ITA), Timo Marko Onatsu (FIN), Ivan Shabanov (RUS), Bogdan Sorescu (ROU), Sebastian Stawicki (POL), Sasa Tomic (CRO), Admir Zahovic (SVN).

First Category
Gerd Bylois (BEL), Franco Cachia (MLT), Kamil Cetin (TUR), Nuno Costa Bogalho (POR), Vyacheslav Daharan (UKR), Swen Eichler (GER), Balasz Farkas (HUN), Tomasz Frank (POL), Angelo Galante (ITA), Gabriel Gherman (ROU), Karel Henych (CZE), Danijel Janosevic (CRO), Borislav Kolev (BUL), Antonis Konstantinides (GRE), Dejan Nikolic (SVN), Cédric Pelissier (FRA), Francisco Peña Díaz (ESP), Lukas Pesko (SVK), Borut Sivic (SVN).

Second Category
Ilya Akimtsev (RUS), Josip Barton (MKD), Moshe Bohbot (ISR), Veljko Boskovic (MNE), Vasileios Christodoulis (GRE), Juan Cordero Gallardo (ESP), Trayan Enchev (BUL), Marian Gal (SVK), Fabio Gelonese (ITA), Hennadii Hora (UKR), Nikola Jelic (CRO), Vladimir Kadykov (RUS), Kalin Kinov (BUL), Gregor Kovacic (SVN), Toni Lehtinen (FIN), Robert Lenting (NED), Petar Mantev (MKD), Nicola Maria Manzione (ITA), Alejandro Martínez Flores (ESP), Costas Nicolaou (CYP), Fredric Nilholt (SWE), Arsen Nonikashvili (GEO), Miguel Duarte Oliveira Castilho (POR), Zdenek Petr (CZE), Ruben Sotero Pinto Guerreiro (POR), Damir Radovic (SRB), Vitali Rakutski (BLR), Elchin Samadli (AZE), Gavin Sartain (ENG), Aleksandras Sliva (LTU), Ozan Soykan (TUR), Andrej Topic (CRO), Sreten Vasic (SRB), Cédric Waroux (BEL), Barry Weijers (NED), Grigoriy Zelentsov (RUS).  

Third Category
Igor Babovic (SWE), Abdallah Benazzi (NED), Victor Berg (FRA), Guy Berger (ISR), David Berry (IRL), Mario Bohun (SVK), Viktor Bugenko (MDA), Septimiu Burtescu (ROU), Michalis Christofidis (CYP), Christos Christou (CYP), Vasilica Ciuplea (WAL), Ovidiu Curta (ROU), Danijel Darandik (GER), Maksim Dzeikala (BLR), Torbjorn Eidhammer (NOR), Ibrahim El Jilali (NED), Kreshnik Hakram (ALB), Khalil Huseyinli (AZE), Damian Jaruchiewicz (POL), Tarik Keco (BIH), Shota Khukhilava (GEO), Kaloyan Kirilov (BUL), Kaspars Kivliss (LVA), Talgat Kosmukhambetov (KAZ), Konstantinos Koutsogiannos (GRE), Ainar Kuusk (EST), Karel Linhart (CZE), Marjan Vladenovski (MKD), Ramil Namazov (AZE), Olli Niemela (FIN), Peter Nurse (ENG), Yusif Nurullayev (AZE), Christophe Paitreault (FRA), Patrik Porkert (AUT), Inguns Purins (LVA), Vladan Radulovic (SRB), Simon Rogers (IRL), Gerard Ramirez (AND), David Schaerli (SUI), Dragan Skakic (BIH), Zoran Sofrenic (BIH), Epaminondas Stamoulis (GRE), Simon Todorovic (SVN), Adrian Tschopp (SUI), Robertas Valikonis (LVA), Andri Vigfusson (ISL), Yaroslav Vovchok (UKR), Stefan Vrijens (BEL), Andrzej Witkowski (POL).

UEFA Referees – Promotions and Demotions 2014/2015


Promoted from First Category to Elite: Deniz Aytekin (GER, photo), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP).

Retired from Elite: Olegario Benquerenca (POR), Stephane Lannoy (FRA), Wolfgang Stark (GER), Howard Webb (ENG).

Promoted from Second Category to First Category: Tamas Bognar (HUN), Christian Dingert (GER), Oliver Drachta (AUT), Javier Estrada Fernandez (ESP), Clayton Pisani (MLT), Artur Soares Dias (POR), Anthony Taylor (ENG), Tobias Welz (GER).

Demoted from First Category to Second Category: Antony Gautier (FRA).

Removed from FIFA List (First Category): Firat Aydinus (TUR), Bulent Yildirim (TUR).

Promoted from Third Category to Second Category: Anatoliy Abdula (UKR), Alexandre Boucaut (BEL), Sebastian Coltescu (ROU), Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR), Andreas Ekberg (SWE), Orel Grinfeeld (ISR), Sergey Ivanov (RUS), Mete Kalkavan (TUR), Jonathan Lardot (BEL), Christos Nicolaides (CYP), Alan Sant (MLT), Andris Treimanis (LVA).

Demoted from Second Category to Third Category: Oleksandr Derdo (UKR), Mihaly Fabian (HUN).

New FIFA Referees promoted directly to Second Category: Amaury Delerue (FRA), Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP), Craig Pawson (ENG), Daniel Siebert (GER).

New FIFA Referees entered in Third Category: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE), Adrian Azzopardi (MLT), Andrew Dallas (SCO), Alain Durieux (LUX), Adam Farkas (HUN), Richard Harrington (WAL), Milan Ilic (SRB), Denis Izmailov (KAZ), Srdjan Jovanovic (SRB), Charalambos Kalogeropoulos (GRE), Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO), Nicolas Laforge (BEL), Tiago Lopes Martins (POR), Orkhan Mammadov (AZE), Tim Marshall (NIR), Dimitrios Massias (CYP), Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR), Dominik Ouschan (AUT), Tolga Özkalfa (TUR), Ali Palabiyik (TUR), Erez Papir (ISR), Irfan Peljto (BIH), Sandro Schärer (SUI), Roomer Tarajev (EST), Vilhjalmur Thorarinnsson (ISL).


Promoted from First Category to Elite: Sandra Braz Bastos (POR), Stéphanie Frappart (FRA), Monika Mularczyk (POL).

Retired from Elite: Christine Baitinger (GER), Jenny Palmqvist (SWE).

Demoted from Elite to First Category: Kirsi Heikkinen (FIN).

Promoted from Second Category to First Category: Florence Guillemin (FRA), Marija Kurtes (GER), Lina Lehtovaara (FIN), Marte Soro (NOR), Eszter Urban (HUN).

Promoted from Third Category to Second Category: Lorraine Clark (SCO), Tania Fernandes Morais (LUX), Kseniya Goryachev (RUS).

New FIFA Referees entered in Third Category: Ewa Augustyn (POL), Charlotte Carpenter (WAL), Cathrine Eide (NOR), Liliya Hasanova (KAZ), Frida Klarlund Nielsen (DEN), Yuliya Larionova (AZE), Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sęk (POL), Jurgita Mačikunytė (LTU), Neslihan Muratdağı (TUR), Vera Onica (MDA), Hannelore Onsea (BEL), Vera Opeikina (RUS), Tess Petersson (SWE), Anastasiya Romanyuk (UKR), Ana Soares Aguiar (POR), Angelika Soeder (GER), Sandra Strub (SUI), Bojana Tosic (BIH), Volha Tsiareshka (BLR).


Promoted from First Category to Elite: Gabor Kovacs (HUN), Admir Zahovic (SVN).

Demoted from Elite to First Category: Balasz Farkas (HUN), Borut Sivic (SVN).

Promoted from Second Category to First Category: Vyacheslav Daharan (UKR), Tomasz Frank (POL).

Promoted from Third Category to Second Category: Vasileios Christodoulis (GRE), Juan José Cordero Gallardo (ESP), Nicola Maria Manzione (ITA), Miguel Oliveira Castilho (POR), Ruben Pinto Guerreiro (POR), Barry Weijers (NED).

Demoted from Second Category to Third Category: Abdallah Benazzi (NED), Epaminondas Stamoulis (GRE).

New FIFA Referees promoted directly to Second Category: Gregor Kovacic (SVN), Alejandro Martínez Flores (ESP), Petr Zdenek (CZE).

New FIFA Referees entered in Third Category: Igor Babovic (SWE), Victor Berg (FRA), David Berry (IRL), Kaloyan Kirilov (BUL), Inguns Purins (LVA), David Schaerli (SUI), Zoran Sofrenic (BIH), Adrian Tschopp (SUI), Yaroslav Vovchok (UKR), Stefan Vrijens (BEL), Andrzej Witkowski (POL).

FIFA Club World Cup 2014 – Quarter-finals

13 December 2014

ES Setif – Auckland City
Referee: Pedro Proenca (POR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Trigo (POR)
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Reserve AR: Gerson Lopez (CRC)
Referee Observer: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)

Cruz Azul – Sydney Wanderers
Referee: Noumandiez Doue (CIV)
Assistant Referee 1: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Fourth Official: Norbert Hauata (TAH)
Reserve AR: Paul Ahupu (TAH)
Referee Observer: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)

Referee Bennaceur blamed assistant Dotchev for Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal

The referee at the centre of Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal at the 1986 World Cup has broken his silence about his decision to award one of the football’s most controversial goals to Argentina — and has claimed it was not his fault. Ali Bennaceur, the Tunisian referee, has blamed his Bulgarian assistant Bogdan Dotchev for failing to alert him to the moment when Maradona punched the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to give Argentina the lead in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico’s Azteca Stadium.
“Look at the video: Why do you think I am running backwards? In fact, I was looking at my Bulgarian assistant until I got to the halfway line, seeing if he would perhaps point out something to me, because I had some doubt,” said Bennaceur 28 years after the event. “I had not seen the hand. If I was [refereeing] in Africa, I would have disallowed the goal. But before the game, FIFA gave us clear guidelines: ‘If your colleague is better placed than you are, his decision should take precedence.’ That’s what I did: my assistant did not raise his flag. Moreover, for three years, at the end of every year, he would write me a little note that always said the same thing: ‘My brother, my colleague, there was only the hand of Shilton.’ After that he stopped writing. He had to revise his view of the goal.” Bennaceur also claimed FIFA were happy with his performance in the game, giving him a score of 9.4 out of 10 — the third best of any official at that World Cup. The Tunisian was particularly pleased with his role in Maradona’s second goal. “I took part in the goal of the century,” he said in an interview with French magazine So Foot. “Maradona did not score that all by himself, that goal. I was his assistant: I played three advantages. I did not have to. For the first foul, he stumbled. The second came just on the edge of the area. I shouted, ‘Advantage, advantage’. And when he entered the area, I was expecting Butcher to slice him down. I put my whistle to my lips, I was ready to intervene but I didn’t blow. “Maradona was hard to referee, you had to be on your guard. He was capable of anything: cheating, dribbling, provoking the opponent. When I followed him, I did not have three eyes, I had four. I was like his shadow.” Ultimately, Bennaceur remains convinced he was blameless for the events of June 22, 1986. “The referees’ representative told me what was said [by the referees’ committee],” he added. “The African applied the letter of the law according to FIFA. But the linesman should be slaughtered”. As you might expect, Dotchev’s view is slightly different. “Although I felt immediately there was something irregular, back in that time FIFA didn’t allow the assistants to discuss the decisions with the referee. If FIFA had put a referee from Europe in charge of such an important game, the first goal of Maradona would have been disallowed. Bennaceur was just not prepared well enough to referee such an important game,” he said. “And how could he be? After all, he used to be in charge of some games between camels in the desert”, Dotchev told the Bulgarian media. And so the war of words began.
Of course, the world and England had already been there before. During extra time in the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany at Wembley the referee from Switzerland, Gottfried Dienst, was not entirely sure if the ball had crossed the line from Geoff Hurst’s now iconic shot. Therefore Dienst passed the responsibility for the decision to his linesman Tofiq Bahramov. Despite not being able to see the situation clearly the assistant gave a goal, which happened to be the vital third in England’s 4-2 win. Dienst confessed later that he and Bahramov didn’t speak a common language leaving them no choice but to communicate non-verbally. That was exactly the case 20 years later with Bennaceur and Dotchev. The Tunisian was fluent in French and English whereas his colleague from Bulgaria spoke German and Spanish. After the game between England and Argentina they spoke in the dressing room only through a translator, who had been provided by FIFA.
Off the field, the lives of Dotchev and Bennaceur couldn’t have been more different. While the Bulgarian had a degree in finance, the Tunisian worked as an engineer. Dotchev also had the added experience of a playing career. In the 60s he was a striker who played in the Bulgarian first division. After the end of his playing days he dedicated himself to refereeing. In 1977 he got on to the list of FIFA’s international officials and was present at the 1982 World Cup as well as at the one four years later. For Bennaceur, who was nine years younger than Dotchev, the 1986 tournament in Mexico was his sole World Cup experience. Soon after the game in Mexico City the Tunisian found a peculiar excuse for missing the notorious handball by citing a haemorrhoid treatment that, apparently, affected his sight. For a decade after that, he and Dotchev refused to comment on the moment which ruined their international refereeing careers, as if they were comrades from the battlefield who had made a pact of silence. Neither of them was involved in another World Cup match, although Dotchev soon reached the age limit for an international referee and had to retire. Bennaceur was the first to speak about the incident again. In 2001, on the 15th anniversary of the game he gave an interview to the Argentinian newspaper Olé. “After Maradona scored I hesitated for a moment, but then I saw Dotchev running towards the centre of the pitch. And because he was better placed than me I decided to trust his judgment. No matter what happened I still think I had a good game,” Bennaceur said. Yet the sense of calmness which shines through that interview might be a little misleading. According to the other assistant in this game, Berny Ulloa from Costa Rica, Bennaceur was “really sad” after seeing the TV replays at the hotel. And what does Maradona think of the two officials who helped him score one of his most famous goals? In some interviews Maradona calls them “my amigos”. Still there was no warm reception for Dotchev in his native Bulgaria. Instead of staying involved in football he preferred to avoid the city and start a new life in a small village. “Never mind the reaction of the foreign media, the biggest insults I received back then were from Bulgarians. Some even called me a national traitor,” Dotchev said with bitterness. Unlike his Bulgarian colleague, Bennaceur continued working in football. In 2010 he even became part of a special technical committee which had to reform Tunisian football. Furthermore one of his sons, Kacem, followed his father’s footsteps into refereeing.

Source: The Telegraph / Irish Examiner

UEFA Europa League – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

11 December 2014

Borussia Mönchengladbach – FC Zürich

Referee: Luca Banti (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Additional AR1: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Additional AR2: Andrea Gervasoni (ITA)
Fourth Official: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Referee Observer: Gudmunder Jónsson (ISL)

PAOK – Guingamp
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Patrick Langkamp (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Bas Van Dongen (NED)
Additional AR1: Ed Janssen (NED)
Additional AR2: Dennis Highler (NED)
Fourth Official: Mario Diks (NED)
Referee Observer: Aleh Chykun (BLR)

Qarabağ – Internazionale
Referee: Miroslav Zelinka (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ondrej Pelikan (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jiri Molacek (CZE)
Additional AR1: Petr Ardeleanu (CZE)
Additional AR2: Jan Jilek (CZE)
Fourth Official: Antonin Kordula (CZE)
Referee Observer: Raymond Ellingham (WAL)

Dnipro – Saint Étienne
Referee: Marijo Strahonja (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sinisa Premuzaj (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Igor Krmar (CRO)
Additional AR1: Ante Vucemilovic-Simunovic (CRO)
Additional AR2: Fran Jovic (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ivica Modric (CRO)
Referee Observer: Rusmir Mrkovic (BIH)

Apollon Limassol – Villarreal
Referee: Serge Gumienny (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Bleyen (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Jimmy Cremers (BEL)
Additional AR1: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Additional AR2: Luc Wouters (BEL)
Fourth Official: Thibaud Nijssen (BEL)
Referee Observer: Gerard Perry (IRL)

Club Brugge – HJK Helsinki
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averyanov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)
Additional AR1: Alexei Nikolaev (RUS)
Additional AR2: Sergei Lapochkin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Dmitrii Mosiakin (RUS)
Referee Observer: Siegfried Kirschen (GER)

FC København – Torino
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikolai Golubev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Additional AR1: Aleksei Eskov (RUS)
Additional AR2: Sergei Ivanov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Referee Observer: Michael Argyrou (CYP)

Partizan – Asteras Tripolis
Referee: Pawel Gil (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Piotr Sadczuk (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
Additional AR1: Bartosz Frankowsk (POL)
Additional AR2: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)
Fourth Official: Konrad Sapela (POL)
Referee Observer: Tony Asumaa (FIN)

Beşiktaş – Totttenham
Referee: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Fredrik Nilsson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Gustavsson (SWE)
Additional AR1: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Additional AR2: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Fourth Official: Magnus Sjöblom (SWE)
Referee Observer: Sokol Jareci (ALB)

Salzburg – Astra Giurgiu
Referee: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcin Boniek (POL)
Additional AR1: Tomasz Musial (POL)
Additional AR2: Tomasz Kwiatkowski (POL)
Fourth Official: Radoslaw Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Lutz Michael Fröhlich (GER)

Dinamo Zagreb – Celtic
Referee: Gediminas Mazeika (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytautas Simkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Additional AR1: Nerijus Dunauskas (LTU)
Additional AR2: Sergejus Slyva (LTU)
Fourth Official: Dovydas Suziedelis (LTU)
Referee Observer: Shmuel Shteif (ISR)

PSV – Dinamo Moskva
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Istvan Albert (HUN)
Additional AR1: Sandor Ando-Szabo (HUN)
Additional AR2: Zsolt Szabo (HUN)
Fourth Official: László Viszokai (HUN)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Tulinger (CZE)

Panathinaikos – Estoril Praia
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Additional AR1: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Additional AR2: Gerhard Grobelnik (AUT)
Fourth Official Richard Huebler (AUT)
Referee Observer: Alan Snoddy (NIR)

Standard Liège – Feyenoord
Referee: Alon Yefet (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Shabtai Nahmias (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Amihay Mozes (ISR)
Additional AR1: Liran Liany (SR)
Additional AR2: Natan Bar (ISR)
Fourth Official: David Biton (ISR)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

Sevilla FC – HNK Rijeka
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Holger Henschel (GER)
Additional AR1: Marco Fritz (GER)
Additional AR2: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Fourth Official: Tobias Christ (GER)
Referee Observer: Zdravko Jokic (SRB)

LOSC Lille – VfL Wolfsburg
Referee: Halis Özkahya (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Cem Satman (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kemal Yilmaz (TUR)
Additional AR1: Tolga Özkalfa (TUR)
Additional AR2: Ali Palabiyik (TUR)
Fourth Official: Ekrem Kan (TUR)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

Everton – Krasnodar
Referee: István Kovács (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miklos Nagy (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Aurel Onita (ROU)
Additional AR1: Marius Avram (ROU)
Additional AR2: Adrian Comanescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Vitor Melo Pereira (POR)

Young Boys – Sparta Praha
Referee: Hüseyin Göcek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Orkun Aktas (TUR)
Additional AR1: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Additional AR2: Hakan Ceylan (TUR)
Fourth Official: Serkan Ok (TUR)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

SSC Napoli – Slovan Bratislava
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Kirovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD)
Additional AR1: Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD)
Additional AR2: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Nikola Karakolev (MKD)
Referee Observer: Nicolae Grigorescu (ROU)

Steaua București – Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren England (ENG)
Additional AR1: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Additional AR2: Jonathan Moss (ENG)
Fourth Official: John Brooks (ENG)
Referee Observer: Michel Piraux (BEL)

Rio Ave – Aalborg
Referee: Sébastien Delferiere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Yves De Neve (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Additional AR1: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Additional AR2: Erik Lambrechts (BEL)
Fourth Official: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Referee Observer: Leif Lindberg (SWE) 

AC Fiorentina – Dinamo Minsk
Referee: Cristian Balaj (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Artene (ROU)
Additional AR1: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Additional AR2: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
Fourth Official: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Referee Observer: Ferenc Székely (HUN)

Legia – Trabzonspor
Referee: Kenn Hansen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Rix (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: David Andersen (DEN)
Additional AR1: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Additional AR2: Jens Maae (DEN)
Fourth Official: Daniel Nørgaard (DEN)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

Metalist Kharkiv – Lokeren
Referee: Leontios Trattou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Soteriou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Sotiris Viktoros (CYP)
Additional AR1: Christos Nicolaides (CYP)
Additional AR2: Demetris Masias (CYP)
Fourth Official: Marios Demetriades (CYP)
Referee Observer: Jens Larsen (DEN)

FIFA Club World Cup 2014 – Play-off

10 December 2014

Moghreb Tetouan – Auckland City 

Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA, photo) 
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC) 
Assistant Referee 2: Gerson Lopez (GUA) 
Fourth Official: Pedro Proenca (POR) 
Reserve AR: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Referee Observer: Celestin Ntagungira (RWA)

Copa Sudamericana Final 2014 (Second Leg)

10 December 2014 

River Plate – Atletico Nacional 
Referee: Dario Ubriaco (URU, photo) 
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU) 
Assistant Referee 2: Mauricio Espinosa (URU) 
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU) 
Referee Observer: Carlos Alarcon (PAR)

UEFA Champions League – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

9 December 2014
Olympiakos – Malmö FF
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Annonier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Laurent Stien (FRA)
Additional AR1: Antony Gautier (FRA)
Additional AR2: Olivier Thual (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Referee Observer: Stefan Ormandjiev (BUL)

Juventus Turin – Atlético Madrid
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Damien MacGraith (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Graham Chambers (SCO)
Additional AR1: Robert Madden (SCO)
Additional AR2: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Fourth Official: Alastair Mather (SCO)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS)

Liverpool – Basel
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR2: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Fourth Official: Angelo Boonman (NED)
Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

Real Madrid – Ludogorets
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Additional AR1: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Additional AR2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Fourth Official: Philippe Jeanne (FRA)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

AS Monaco – Zenit St. Petersburg
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Additional AR1: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Additional AR2: Roberto Ponis (SVN)
Fourth Official: Andraž Kovacic (SVN)
Referee Observer: Guy Goethals (BEL)

SL Benfica – Bayer Leverkusen
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrei Hetsikau (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleh Maslianka (BLR)
Additional AR1: Siarhei Tsynkevich (BLR)
Additional AR2: Dzianis Shcharbakou (BLR)
Fourth Official: Dmitry Zhuk (BLR)
Referee Observer: Jan Fasung (SVK)

Galatasaray – Arsenal
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: José Fernández Miranda (ESP)
Additional AR1: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (ESP)
Additional AR2: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Borussia Dortmund – RSC Anderlecht
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Díaz Pérez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Pau Cebrián Devis (ESP)
Additional AR1: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Additional AR2: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: Victoriano Díaz Casado (ESP)
Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

10 December 2014
AS Roma – Manchester City
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Additional AR1: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Additional AR2: Dejan Filipović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Dejan Petrović (SRB)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Bayern München – CSKA Moskva
Referee: Olegário Benquerença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Rui Tavares (POR)
Additional AR1: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Additional AR2: Carlos Xistra (POR)
Fourth Official: Nuno Pereira (POR)
Referee Observer: Markus Nobs (SUI)

FC Barcelona – Paris SG
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Cann (ENG)
Additional AR1: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Additional AR2: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Fourth Official: Stephen Child (ENG)
Referee Observer: Leif Sundell (SWE)

Ajax Amsterdam - Apoel Nicosia
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional AR1: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Additional AR2: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Fourth Official: Angel Nevado Rodríguez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Chelsea – Sporting
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andås (NOR)
Additional AR1: Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR)
Additional AR2: Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)
Referee Observer: Charles Agius (MLT)

Maribor – Schalke
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Pawel Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafal Rostkowski (POL)
Additional AR1: Marcin Borski (POL)
Additional AR2: Tomasz Wajda (POL)
Fourth Official: Michal Obukowicz (POL)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

FC Porto – Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Guillaume Débart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Additional AR1: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
Additional AR2: Amaury Delerue (FRA)
Fourth Official: Cyril Lompre (FRA)
Referee Observer: Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP)

Athletic Club – Bate Borisov
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato Faverani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Additional AR1: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Additional AR2: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Fourth Official: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Donald McVicar (SCO)

Bundesliga to introduce goal-line technology

At today's member meeting, there were 15 votes in favour of and three votes against the proposal, thus resulting in a two-thirds majority in support of implementation of the system. FIFA-licensed vendor Hawk-Eye has been awarded a contract to install and operate the system over the coming three years.
FC Bayern Munich had submitted the request for the implementation of goal-line technology in Bundesliga matches. The use of the system in the 2nd league was not voted on. Hawk-Eye, which was awarded the contract in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory tender procedure, employs a camera-based system to monitor the goal line. Already being used by the English Premier League since the beginning of the current season, this technology entails 14 cameras fitted beneath the stadium roof. If the ball crosses the goal line, the system sends a signal within one second to a special receiver worn by the referee on his wrist.

Source: Bundesliga

CAF Confederation Cup Final 2014 (Second Leg)

6 December 2014

Al Ahly – Sewe Sport 

Referee: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI, photo)  
Assistant Referee 1: Balkrishna Bootun (MRI) 
Assistant Referee 2: Vivian Vally (MRI) 
Fourth Official: Parmendra Nunkoo (MRI)

Copa Sudamericana Final 2014 (First Leg)

3 December 2014

Atletico Nacional – River Plate 
Referee: Ricardo Marques (BRA, photo) 
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA) 
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA) 
Fourth Official: Wilton Sampaio (BRA) 
Referee Observer: Ernesto Filippi (URU)

FIFA Seminar for Prospective World Cup Referees: UEFA

With more than three years time to the 2018 World Cup, FIFA has organised a series of seminars for elite referees who are prospects to take charge at future FIFA competitions. Following the successful events in Chile and Qatar, a third seminar was held at the end of November in Zurich at the Home of FIFA. The aim and objective of the series is to improve the preparation and training of referees, while streamlining the selection process for future FIFA competitions. FIFA President Blatter attended the opening of the seminar and welcomed the referees to the Home of FIFA, praising them for a job well done at the 2014 World Cup. He also gave his full support and recognized the role they play in upholding the laws of the game, protecting its integrity and ensuring safety of the players. The referees participated in theoretical sessions in the classroom and had an opportunity to put what was discussed into practice on the field of play. The theory focused on a wide variety of topics, such as reading of the game, positioning to adjudge offside and teamwork. Further emphasis was given by FIFA’s Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca regarding the importance of making the right decisions to protect the safety of the players and emphasizing how to obtain the best position or angle of view to judge the critical incidents in the penalty area. Videos of incidents from 2014 World Cup matches were discussed by the participants and advice was given on correct interpretation to achieve consistency and uniformity. They also took part in a series of fitness tests, including 40-metre sprints, a high intensity interval test and the dynamic yo-yo test. Pitch-based practical sessions gave the referees a chance to deal with situations on the field of play with players from Swiss Super League clubs FC Zurich and Grasshoppers. The players conducted a series of drills that was designed to simulate patterns of play during a match, with immediate feedback given to referees regarding their reading of the game, their movement, position, angle of view and decisions in the hope to improve performance. (Source: FIFA)

1. Ivan Bebek (CRO, 1977)
2. Miroslav Zelinka (CZE, 1981)
3. Kenn Hansen (DEN, 1980)
4. Michael Oliver (ENG, 1985)
5. Ruddy Buquet (FRA, 1977)
6. Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)
7. Deniz Aytekin (GER, 1978)
8. Felix Zwayer (GER, 1981)
9. Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE, 1979)
10. Istvan Vad (HUN, 1979)
11. Daniele Orsato (ITA, 1975)
12. Liran Liany (ISR, 1977)
13. Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR, 1978)
14. Danny Makkelie (NED, 1983)
15. Szymon Marciniak (POL, 1981)
16. Artur Soares Dias (POR, 1979)
17. Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, 1980)
18. Sergei Karasev (RUS, 1979)
19. Matej Jug (SVN, 1980)
20. Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP, 1977)
21. Ivan Kruzliak (SVK, 1984)
22. Martin Strombergsson (SWE, 1977)
23. Stephan Klossner (SUI, 1981)
24. Ievgenii Aranovskiy (UKR, 1976)

Central American and Caribbean Games 2014

1. Henry Bejarano (CRC) 
2. Yadel Martinez (CUB) 
3. Oscar Moncada (HON) 
4. Valdin Legister (JAM) 
5. Cesar Ramos (MEX) 
6. John Pitti (PAN) 
7. Javier Santos (PUR) 
8. Marlon Mejia (SLV)

Assistant Referees 
1. Warner Castro (CRC) 
2. Juan Lemus (GUA) 
3. Christian Ramirez (HON) 
4. Richard Washington (JAM) 
5. Alejandro Ayala (MEX) 
6. Miguel Paredes (MEX) 
7. Keytzel Corrales (NCA) 
8. Jose Mangandi (SLV) 
9. Graeme Browne (SKN)