August 31, 2014

Offside Explained and The 3rd Team start Co-operation

Given the feedback we have received over the last three years of our voluntary work on this blog, it seems as if also digital referee education has the opportunity and power to improve refereeing. Therefore, we have decided to focus on giving UEFA officials a direct and independent feedback after their performances in form of our reports on the one hand, but also to strengthen the Referee Education part in the blog which deserves intensified attention on the other hand. 

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August 25, 2014

Champions League - Referee Appointments - Play-Offs Second Legs (II)

UEFA has chosen the following referees to take charge of Wednesday's second legs of Champions League's Play-Off Round. Cüneyt Çakır will handle the clash between Athletic Bilbao and SSC Napoli. 

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August 24, 2014

Champions League 2014/15 - Referee Appointments - Play-Offs Second Legs (I)

UEFA's Referee Committee have appointed the following five referee sextets to take control over Tuesday's second legs of Champions League's Play-Off Round. 

26/08/2014, 18:00 CET
Stadion Petrovski, St Petersburg (RUS)
Zenit St Petersburg - Standard Liège
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA) 
Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Carmine Russo (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)
UEFA Delegate: Tugomir Frajman (SVN)
Blog Referee Observer: Thomas (NOR)

26/08/2014, 20:45 CET
Borisov-Arena, Borisov (BLR)
BATE Borisov - Slovan Bratislava
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Pickel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Robert Hartmann (GER) 
Fourth Official: Robert Kempter (GER)
UEFA Referee Observer: Donald McVicar (SCO)
UEFA Delegate: Ainar Leppänen (EST)
Blog Referee Observer: Chefren (ITA)

26/08/2014, 20:45 CET
Estádio do Dragão, Porto (POR)
FC Porto - Lille OSC
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Thomas Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andås (NOR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jean Lemmer (LUX)
UEFA Delegate: Christian Kofoed (DEN)
Blog Referee Observer: Mike L. (AUT) 

26/08/2014, 20:45 CET
Celtic Park, Glasgow (SCO)
Celtic FC - NK Maribor
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: György Ring (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Tamás Bognar (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Mihaly Fabian (HUN)
Fourth Official: Robert Kispal (HUN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Nuno Castro (POR)
UEFA Delegate: Charles Schaack (LUX)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)

26/08/2014, 20:45 CET
GSP Stadium, Nicosia (CYP)
APOEL Nicosia - Aalborg BK
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: William Conquer (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Gavin Harris (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: John Beaton (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Brian Colvin (SCO)
Fourth Official: Francis Connor (SCO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)
UEFA Delegate: Andrey Medintsev (BUL)
Blog Referee Observer: Edward (GRE)
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August 22, 2014

Europa League 2014/15 - Referee Appointments - Play-Off Round (II)

UEFA has appointed the following officials to handle the second legs of Europa League's Play-off Round that will be held next week. Missing appointments will be added in due course.
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Weekly News: Fitness Tests, Age Limit and a Missed Penalty in the World Cup Final

These headlines have busied us, have been shared with us during the last couple of days. UEFA's Fitness Tests, Age Limit and a missed penalty in the World Cup final.

Stéphane Lannoy could be a referee profiting from the age limit's abolishment
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August 18, 2014

Champions League 2014/15 - Referee Appointments - Play-Offs First Legs (II)

UEFA's Referee Committee have appointed the following five referee sextets to take control over Wednesday's enclosing first legs of Champions League's Play-Off Round.

20/08/2014, 20:45 CET
Grand Stade Lille Métropole, Lille (FRA)
Lille OSC - FC Porto
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ed Janssen (NED)
Fourth Official: Mario Diks (NED)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kaj Østergaard (DEN)
UEFA Delegate: Luis Cuervas Del Real (ESP)
Blog Referee Observer: Howard M. (GER)

* Pol van Boekel has not passed the fitness tests in Nyon as he is injured.

20/08/2014, 20:45 CET
Stade Maurice Dufrasne, Liège (BEL)
Standard Liège - Zenit St Petersburg
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graham Chambers (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Robert Madden (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Fourth Official: David McGeachie (SCO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: Christian Mutschler (SUI)
Blog Referee Observer: Thomas H. (NED)

* Derek Rose (formerly AR2) has obviously made one crucial mistake too much and is not in Thomson's team anymore.

20/08/2014, 20:45 CET
Aalborg Stadion, Aalborg (DEN)
Aalborg BK - APOEL Nicosia
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Child (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Fourth Official: Simon Bennett (ENG)
UEFA Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)
UEFA Delegate: Sándor Berzi (HUN)
Blog Referee Observer: Edward (GRE)

* Due to Simon Long's elimination from the FIFA list and considering Mark Clattenburg's new team consisting of Simon Beck and Stuart Burt as well as Howard Webb's retirement, it seems as if Mike Mullarkey and Stephen Child have been allocated to Martin Atkinson to form a new trio.

20/08/2014, 20:45 CET
Stadion Ljudski vrt, Maribor (SVN)
NK Maribor - Celtic FC
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Roman Slyško (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Wilczek (CZE)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Radek Příhoda (CZE)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Michal Paták (CZE)
Fourth Official: Radek Kotik (CZE)
UEFA Referee Observer: Horst Brummeier (AUT)
UEFA Delegate: Sune Hellströmer (SWE)
Blog Referee Observer: Emil (CAN)

* It is the second time in a row that Královec handles a first leg of a Champions League Play-Off involving Celtic FC. Last year, they lost with 0:2 against Shakhter Karagandy under his supervision.

20/08/2014, 20:45 CET
Štadión Pasiensky, Bratislava (SVK)
Slovan Bratislava - BATE Borisov
Referee: Olegário Benquerença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Soares (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Artur Soares Dias (POR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Taborda Xistra (POR)
Fourth Official: Nuno Tomás Pereira (POR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)
UEFA Delegate: Barry Bright (ENG)
Blog Referee Observer: Chefren (ITA)
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August 17, 2014

Champions League - Referee Appointments - Play-Offs First Legs (I)

UEFA has chosen five World Cup referees to take charge of Tuesday's first legs of Champions League's Play-Off Round. Jonas Eriksson and Milorad Mažić will handle the most sonorous of the five games in Naples and Istanbul.

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August 14, 2014

Europa League 2014/15 - Referee Appointments - Play-Off Round (I)

UEFA has appointed the following officials to handle the first legs of Europa League's Play-off Round that will be held next week.

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August 13, 2014

Weekly News: UEFA Seminar, AARs in EURO Qualifiers, Play-Offs, R.A.P. and Rafati's Return

Last week there have been plenty of matches on international turf but the first real top match of the season took only place yesterday evening when Real Madrid beat Sevilla CF under the new English no.1's control. Clattenburg and his team undoubtfully performed quite well. Some other important and interesting news are collected in this post.

Rafati (in the middle) gave his return image by
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August 7, 2014

Thank you, Howard Webb!

I have been thinking about how to write the actually mandatory post of reacting to Howard Webb's expected, but nonetheless - for us - painful, retirement he announced yesterday via for quite a long time. Even though it might sound pathetic, it is impossible to live up with what Webb has achieved in his 25-year long refereeing career with the right words.

Instead of reflecting the path of glory the 43-year old MBE went throughout the last couple of years, which would include listing all his achievements and nominations, the most suitable words the entire European and worldwide football community can say are not more than THANK YOU!

Thank you for your exemplary way to manage matches and to interact with players with much coolness, charisma and empathy, improving the game and allowing us to have plenty of pleasurable nights under the stars of the Champions League.
Thank you for, along with Michael Mullarkey and Darren Cann, showing what being a referee team really means.
Thank you for bringing something inspiring into the community of refereeing, being a motivating idol not only for younger referees. 
Thank you for your (worldwide visible) mistakes reminding us on the truth that nobody is perfect. 
And of course thank you for your bald pate, which definitely provided the matches you handled with the necessary aerodynamics and shine (and which often made me wonder whether you have to be baldy to become the world's best referee considering the Italian baldy, too).

Yesterday has been a rather sad day for refereeing and at such days you recognize how big this referee really was. Fortunately, he stays faithful to refereeing in his function as the new Technical Director in the English refereeing department. And who knows, I should be pretty surprised if this stayed his last step as refereeing officer.

Some video impressions on Howard Webb:

The 3rd Team wishes you all the best, Howard!
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August 6, 2014

Howard Webb has finished his career and becomes Technical Director of PGMOL

"As expected, Howard Webb MBE has finished his career as a referee and has been appointed Technical Director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

As Technical Director, Webb will be responsible for overseeing the technical direction and standards that govern the on-field performance of PGMOL’s match officials. He will manage the PGMOL training programme and coaching system and will work extensively on the successful development programme that provides a pathway for referees from Level 3 through to the Select Group.

Additionally Webb will take a public-facing role, informing and educating on refereeing matters. Webb will report to PGMOL General Manager Mike Riley and joins his management team.
"I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career after a wonderfully rewarding 25 years on the pitch," Webb said. "I have spent over a decade with the best seat in the house for Barclays Premier League matches, been lucky enough to be involved in nine UEFA and FIFA tournaments, and taken charge of the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup finals.
"Refereeing has given me so much and it’s important that match officials who have had the rewards remain in the game to pass on their knowledge. I also have much more to learn about the business of refereeing and the best place for me to do that is with PGMOL. It’s an incredibly positive working environment and we all have a common goal of improving refereeing.
"Over the last five years in particular we have made huge strides in terms of our accuracy, fitness and professionalism. The current Select Group are the best referees this country has ever produced and I am thrilled that I not only get the chance to continue working with them but also the opportunity to help develop the next generation of Select Group officials.”

Riley is pleased that PGMOL will be retaining the knowledge and skills of Webb “the foremost referee of his generation and an inspiration for match officials in this country and around the world” and these will be shared with other officials.
"While we will no longer see Howard’s commanding presence on the domestic and international stage, we have an excellent mix of experienced officials and some very talented younger referees in our 17-strong Select Group," Riley said. "We are very excited that Howard’s knowledge and skills are being retained and shared for them and the rest of PGMOL’s officials.
"The role of PGMOL Technical Director will strengthen refereeing in this country. The game in England does not stand still: clubs are always innovating and looking to improve, and that’s what we are about at PGMOL, too. Last season we trebled the funding for referee coaching and training and we will continue to invest in match officials from the Premier League down to the contributory leagues.
"We want to accelerate the development of referees from the semi-professional game so that we have an even stronger talent pool to pick from at Select Group level. There is no one better to lead on that than Howard Webb.”

Webb began refereeing in 1989 and progressed through the Northern Counties and Football League to become a Select Group referee in 2003. He has refereed more than 500 Barclays Premier League and Football League matches and officiated in every major domestic final.
A FIFA Elite referee Howard has officiated in eight international tournaments, including two FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championships.
In 2010 Webb became the first referee to take charge of the UEFA Champions League Final and the FIFA World Cup Final in the same year.
In 2011 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to football."

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No UEFA Referee Category Changes for Summer 2014

Upon request, UEFA's media department and further sources have confirmed that there will not be any changes in the UEFA referee categories this summer except the removal of Russian officials Maksim Layushkin and Vladimir Kazmenko, who were suspended by the Russian FA's referee department some months ago. 

4 of them have become mentors for UEFA & 1 even made it to Brazil - unfortunately
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August 5, 2014

Weekly News: Hugh Dallas, Spray, Super Cup and the death of an Iconic Referee

Today we start our new section "Weekly News" which is supposed to cover and strengthen the news section in the blog. We will provide you with the most important headlines of the last week, what you should notice and what you maybe have not noticed so far.

Iconic referee Ahlenfelder has passed away

"The Highlander of Refereeing"

That's how UEFA Vice Refereeing Officer Hugh Dallas is called in Greek newspapers. The former World Cup referee from Scotland has been appointed to coordinate the refereeing department in the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF). If Dallas had not agreed to take the post, sources confirm that José García-Aranda would have been the second on the recruitment list.

Equipped with a £250,000-per-year-salary, Dallas cannot wait until his new duty begins: "I love this profession and money comes second to me. I know about some of the issues in Greece and my biggest worry in football is players who cheat by diving. They are getting increasingly sophisticated at doing this and some clubs even practice it in training. It's extremely difficult to control. I've refereed Greek teams 12 times in my career and, although I don't remember all the results, I remember the weather in all of them. I know this job will be a lot of work, but I am looking forward to it immensely."

For sure, Dallas' nomination also boosts the chances of Greek Tasos Sidiropoulos, who is currently monitored by UEFA as part of their Talent Program in the First Group of referees with Peter Fröjdfeldt as his mentor, to move up to Elite Group in future. Some days earlier, it became public that Kyros Vassaras has become the new head of Romania's referee department.

"Vanishing spray implemented in Premier League"

Last week the FA has decided to implement the vanishing spray in the Premier League, whose boss R. Scudamore affirmed that "they were open for developments that improve the game". In Germany, DFL and DFB are currently thinking about establishing it as well, even though the majority of referees have resisted it last season. The impressions Felix Brych collected during the World Cup will be integrated into the decision whether to or not to implement it.

"British Super Cup Officials"

The all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup between Real Madrid and Sevilla CF, kicked off next Tuesday evening in Cardiff, Wales, will be under completely British supervision. The match will be refereed by English Mark Clattenburg, assisted by Simon Beck and Stuart Burt on the sidelines, Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor on the goallines and Darren England at the benches. They will be observed by Scottish Donald McVicar, whose countryman Campbell Ogilvie will delegate the match. Raymond Ellingham and Rodger Gifford will welcome the officials as the UEFA liaison officers.

"Legendary Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder has died"

The German football community is mourning the death of Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder, who has passed away at the age of 70. In 1975, he became quite famous when he drunkenly handled a Bundesliga match between Bremen and Hannover, finished the first half after 32 minutes, re-started play after the advice of the linesman and ultimately finished the first half 90 seconds too early in the 44th minute. His dialogue with Bayern legend Paul Breitner also went into German football history books: "Breitner: Ahlenfelder, you whistle like an ass! - Ahlenfelder: Breitner, you also play like an ass!"
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August 3, 2014

Europa League 2014/15 - Referee Appointments - 3rd Qualification Round (II)

These are the officials who will oversee the second legs of Europa League's 3rd Qualification Round. 

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