December 04, 2016

Referee Advent Calendar - Door 4: Removing jersey for message of solidarity

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The worldwide football community corporately are still mourning the victims of last week's plane crash in Colombia involving huge parts of the Brazilian football team AF Chapecoense. Two football players active in European clubs have shown their solidarity on the field - in a way which is not in accordance with the Laws of the Game. Our rather sad Door no.4.



During the French Ligue 1 match between PSG and Angers, Paris striker Edinson Cavani scored from a penalty kick and removed his jersey unveiling a message in memory of the Brazilian team (video). Referee Frank Schneider cautioned him with a yellow card - which is prescribed by the Laws of the Game if a player removes his jersey or pulls it over his head. In the post match interview, Cavani said the following:



Something similar happened in the Dutch division match between Vitesse and Zwolle: Vitesse attacker Nathan who removed his shirt while celebrating a goal, giving a tribute to Chapecoense and two of his friends who died in the plane crash. Referee Jochem Kamphuis - in contrary to his French colleague - did not caution Nathan for that.

The Dutch football association KNVB has now officially praised Kamphuis for that. Gijs de Jong, operating director of the KNVB, said that "of course there are rules, but for us this is an exception to the rule". Furthermore, he highlighted that referees are "humans of flesh and blood" and added that Kamphuis' reaction to the incident "felt perfect".

Since July 2016, Law 5 supports the KNVB's point of view:

"Decisions will be made to the best of the referee`s ability according to the Laws of the Game and the ‘spirit of the game’ and will be based on the opinion of the referee who has the discretion to take appropriate action within the framework of the Laws of the Game."

But the laws also say:

"Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans,  statements or images. Players must not reveal undergarments that show  political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other  than the manufacturer`s logo. For any infringement the player and/or the team  will be sanctioned by the competition organiser, national football association or to be justified by FIFA."

So - apart from removing the jersey while celebrating a goal - it is doubtful whether such messages can be tolerated or even praised in general. I personally believe that common sense and humanity both support refraining from issuing a card here. The question is: Where to draw the line? What is still in line with "humanity" and what is not? In a conversation with our user Hagi the latter asked me what decision should be taken if someone e.g. mourns the death of the Pope. Or Nelson Mandela. Or Fidel Castro. Where to draw the line?

However of course, match officials are used to both consider each match incident separately but equally put them into a wider context. So it is not ultimately necessary to draw a line, you might argue.

You could also say that as long as the match official shows the card with modesty and empathic explanations - what Schneider seems to have done - then a yellow card is fully accepted by everyone. Media reports from Germany proof that this is not the case though where Schneider was partly criticized for a lack of game feeling.

But you might also argue that as soon as comparable actions happen within the same league - imagine: even on the same matchday and in the additional time of two matches with the same kick-off-time - two different reactions to such incidents, i.e. one referee issuing yellow and the other referee not giving any card, will become a problem.

Although I highly appreciate and like the KNVB's and Kamphuis' behavior during and after the game, I consider it as rather problematic for the reasons mentioned above. Anyway, such events luckily do not happen that often so that the KNVB well used Kamphuis' decision to send a signal of humanity and maybe also to enhance the image of referees in the football community.

What do you think? Discuss and vote!

How to react to players removing their shirt to show a message of solidarity / humanity / sorrow?

Yellow Card.
No Yellow Card.
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Champions League 2016/17 - Referee Appointments for Matchday 6 (Tuesday)

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UEFA has chosen the following officials to take charge of next Tuesday's Champions League matches. Among others, Antonio Mateu Lahoz of Spain has been appointed to control the decisive Group B tie between Benfica and Napoli, while Clément Turpin of France has been assigned to Bayern vs Atlético. Slovenian Slavko Vinčić will make his Champions League debut in Manchester - congrats for that.

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December 03, 2016

Referee Advent Calendar - Door 3: Penalty Kicks - What is and what is not permitted

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Door 3 concentrates on penalty kicks. It is relatively robust trend that there is 1 penalty in every 4th match on UEFA level (~ 24-27% at EURO 2016 and the last three UCL seasons). As the IFAB modified Law 14, it might be worth to focus on what is and on what is not permitted since then.



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Guess The Referee - Predict & Win the Referees for UCL Matchday 6

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Your chance to guess the referees who will take charge of the last group stage matchday of UEFA Champions League - and to win a small prize sponsored by our partners Refsworld UK.


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December 02, 2016

Referee Advent Calendar - Door 2: Information on UEFA Refereeing on Matchday 6

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Door 2 is opened - below you find all relevant information on next week's UEFA club competitions including referee observers and delegates for Champions and Europa League as well as the match officials for Youth League.


> Observers and Delegates for UCL & UEL

> Youth League Appointments

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UEFA Youth League 2016/17 - Referee Appointments for Matchday 6

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These officials will be in charge of next week's Youth League Matchday 6. 



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December 01, 2016

Referee Advent Calendar - Door 1: Physio with Goalkeeper Qualities

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The first door of The3rdTeam Referee Advent Calendar is open. And there is a video clip in it!



The situation as written text:

An attacking player is having an obvious goal-scoring opportunity: Having already left all other defenders behind him, he is only facing the goalkeeper and decides to shoot. The goalkeeper is unable to save the shot, so that the ball is about to go into the goal.

A physio - listed on the match report as belonging to the defending team - is following the attack from the goalline already for a while. When he recognizes that the goalkeeper is beaten, the physio enters the field of play and clears the ball that would otherwise certainly result in a goal. Several frustrated players chase the fleeing physio - one of them, "Attacker A", even attempts to kick him to ground with a kungfu tackle.

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November 30, 2016

The3rdTeam Referee Advent Calendar

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When the weather gets colder, the days get dark earlier and gloves as well as floodlights appear on the agenda in your games as a referee, you know that Christmas cannot be far anymore. Time to take out your Advent Calendar. We also have one - a Referee Advent Calendar.


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November 24, 2016

Holding and Offside Offence at the same time - Discussion of a situation from Champions League (Voting)

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++ You will have noticed that the article's headline has changed. While we deemed this situation as a clear violation of the Laws of the Game, we have noticed that apparently this seems to be more up to interpretation than we thought. ++

++ We base(d) the solution "penalty kick" on a solution the IFAB submitted to the DFB at the end of July 2016, i.e. after the revision of the laws, for exactly this kind of scenario. As UEFA's and FIFA's guidelines for comparable situations seem to be in conflict with that, we have contacted the IFAB and hope for clarification from their side. ++

++ It all depends on one aspect: When does the offside offence start? ++

++ When we have evidence for either decision - penalty kick or offside - we inform you as soon as possible. ++



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November 21, 2016

Europa League 2016/17 - Referee Appointments - Matchday 5

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The following officials will be in charge of 2016-17 UEFA Europa League Group Stage Matchday 5 games. 



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Champions League 2016/17 - Referee Appointments for Matchday 5 (Wednesday)

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UEFA has chosen the following officials to take charge of next Tuesday's Champions League matches. Among others, Antonio Mateu Lahoz of Spain has been appointed to control the decisive Group B tie between Benfica and Napoli.

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November 20, 2016

Champions League 2016/17 - Referee Appointments for Matchday 5 (Tuesday)

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UEFA has chosen the following eight referee teams to take charge of next Tuesday's Champions League ties in Groups E - H. 




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November 18, 2016

Guess The Referee - Predict and Win the Referees for Matchday 5

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Your chance to guess the referees who will take charge of the fifth matchday of UEFA Champions League - and to win a small prize sponsored by our partners Refsworld UK.

Please stay patient until Saturday to find the updated lists and rankings (for matchday 4 check the last post).



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UEFA Youth League 2016/17 - Referee Appointments for Matchday 5

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UEFA has appointed the following match officials to referee next week's Youth League Matchday 5. 



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UEFA Youth League 2016/17 - Referee Appointments for Domestic Champions Path Second Round (II)

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UEFA has appointed the following match officials to referee the second legs of Youth League Domestic champions path's second  round.


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November 15, 2016

FIFA Club World Cup 2016 Japan - Referees (updated)

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FIFA has officially announced the selected officials for 2016 FIFA Club World Cup, to be played in Japan. Five officiating trios have been selected from each confederation, the crew from OFC has only one assistant referee assigned. A Mexican trio replaced Ricardo Montero from Costa Rica, originally appointed for the tournament. However, this time the most important innovation will be represented by VAR's officials. 


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November 12, 2016

UEFA U21 EURO 2017 Qualifiers Appointments - Play Off (II)

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These are the officials appointed by UEFA for the play-off matches of U-21 EURO 2017 qualifiers. Second legs to be played on 15 November 2016. 
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November 10, 2016

World Cup 2018 Qualifiers - Complete Referee Appointments for Matchday 4

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These officials have been appointed for the fourth matchday of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (UEFA Zone). Among others, Turkish Cüneyt Çakır has been chosen to officiate England vs Scotland in Wembley Stadium.


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November 08, 2016

Refereeing on Champions League Matchday 4 - The Crowd's Wisdom and Our Recommendations

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This week's Champions League matches have offered tons of video material - almost every match offered crucial decisions to take for the respective match officials and to assess for you. Check the following videos our users Chefren, DutchRef and RayHD have collected (thanks for that!) and have your say!


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UEFA U21 EURO 2017 Qualifiers Appointments - Play Off (I)

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These are the officials appointed by UEFA for the play-off matches of U-21 EURO 2017 qualifiers. First legs to be played on 11 November 2016. 



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