February 15, 2017

Mažić for Bayern-Arsenal; Skomina to referee Real Madrid vs Napoli

UEFA has appointed Damir Skomina to officiate the clash between Real Madrid CF and SSC Napoli. Meanwhile, Serbian Milorad Mažić has been assigned to handle Bayern München vs Arsenal FC.



The Slovenian will be observed by UEFA Referees Committee's member Jaap Uilenberg.

15 February 2017, 20:45 CET (Santiago Bernabéu)
Real Madrid CF - SSC Napoli
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Matej Jug (SVN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
4th Official: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)
UEFA Delegate: Adonis Procopiou (CYP)

15 February 2017, 20:45 CET (Allianz Arena)
Bayern München - Arsenal FC
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Nenad Djokić (SRB)
4th Official: Nemanja Petrović (SRB)
UEFA Referee Observer: Roberto Rosetti (ITA)
UEFA Delegate: Steen Dahrup (DEN)

108 Comments:

  1. A committee member for Skomina means that he is surely considered for something important. A clear candidate for CL final.

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    1. Marciniak will get the final.

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    2. It is too soon to think about the final.

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    3. Surely, Marciniak and Skomina both are candidates for CL final. Marciniak had much better year so far IMO, but he is younger, so I believe there is a plenty of time for him. Probably he will get everything in years to come, if he maintain to keep this level.
      Mazic is there, too. From EURO he is having maybe the best form in his career, and I believe he is close to get EL final (of course, it is way too early to think about the finals - let's see how all of them would perform in next matches). Big match for him, and what is very interesting: he is having Bayern Munchen for the first time in his whole career, so I expected to see his name today, or in London.
      What surprised me a bit is that UEFA named it's top refs for this level of CL for first legs in those 4 matches. For next 4 for games i believe there is room for Hategan, Collum, Karasev, Turpin (there are some "lower profile" matches)...

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    4. About Marciniak:
      I just hope that he will avoid Kassai's fortune. Hungarian had his CL final too soon after being Elite in my opinion, which probably caused his the lack of motivation in next few years. Luckily, he came back with big performances last year (CL and especialy EURO ) and we enjoyed in old Kassai's performances.

      Every referee's dream is to get CL final. If this dream comes too soon, it's not easy to motivate yourself to move on and find a new dream.
      So, Marciniak is 'just' EL final candidate for me.

      Skomina is definitely one of the strongest candidats for CL final, and personaly, my favourite.

      And about Mazic: I agree with every word you said but we need to have on mind that Serbian already got one final this season (SuperCup) but I hope that Supercup final won't exclude him from EL/CL final race.

      But first, lets see their performances in upcoming matches, I wish good luck to all referee teams!

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  2. Interesting that Danilo Grujić, removed from FIFA list, has been confirmed as AAR1.
    A FIFA referee, Nenad Đokić, will be "only" AAR2.

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    1. Because brain dead people from our FFS removed him coz of some problem. He is one of the best in Serbia and one of the best Mazics AAR1. They're working for around 5-6 years and Mazic trust him so he will choice him every time.

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  3. Skomina has Real in the knockout stage in the fourth consecutive year now.

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    1. But we have to consider that Real Madrid is simply always there and needs to-elite referee. That means that Skomina will be considered quite often.

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  4. When will be the destination for the Europa League

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  6. After these appointments I have a feeling that the rest of the big names like Brych, Clattenburg, Kuipers, Çakir will feature in the return legs of Round of 16!!

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  7. To me, Skomina comes first in the priority list for CL final. He's been Elite group's top performer for the last year and a half and is at the peak of his career, so this is really the right time for him to keep up momentum and, given his experience, hopefully the Committee will reward him with the biggest game of the season. Maintaining a high level until May is crucial, of course.

    EL final goes to either Marciniak or Mazic, I believe.

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    1. I agree with you - anyway I could imagine Felix Brych for the CL final too (as long as a German team isn't there).

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  8. I am a bit concerned for both Skomina and Mazic as the spring season of championships in their respective countries have not started yet. I do not know how do they prepare themselves, where do they referee during the break, but one had to keep that in mind when the appointments were made. Anyway, I wish both of them the best of luck.

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  9. Many Elite officials in Europa League. Moen with Levnikov. Gil Manzano has Gladbach-Fiorentina - great game. More in a few minutes.

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  10. Rather wrong penalty given by Mazic - in my opinion, there was a stretched foot prior to the foul.

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    1. My first view was that it was correct. Same goes for the handball penalty appeals, clearly undeliberate. Generally correct cautions so far, even though the one against Hummels was a bit soft. Small communication problems with AR1. But on a decision level, I think Mazic has done well so far. The only thing he has to be careful of is not losing his authority and control level in the next couple of minutes.

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    2. Mmmmm I'm more for penalty kick.

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    3. I agree with you: Penalty. But definitely a controversial one. No doubt, the handball situation was correctly solved (no penalty).

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    4. We can expect higher criteria for dissent in the second half.

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    5. Rewatched the incident: I think there are arguments for and against a penalty. Indeed the decision is supportable.

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    6. I just rewatched penalty kick situation, now I'm sure it was correct decision.
      What was wrong with attacker's leg?
      Not high enough, and close enough to ball. Both players challenged the ball, which was between them. Arsenal player played it first,Lewandowski with late tackle.

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  11. Heloo niclas and chefren ! Question of positioning for Skomina. What do you think about jus position just after je awarded FK for Madrid at 30´00. Weird, doesn't it?

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    1. Sorry I had missed this post and your remark is excellent. Very likely Skomina demanded the control of penalty area to AAR1 Jug. The ball then was passed to a player close to Skomina and not in penalty area, this was the result of an accurate study of teams tactics. We should praise Collina.

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  12. Jus = his. Sorry, my french iPhone corrected wrongly. ^^

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  13. I can confirm that Skomina had a very decent 1st half at Madrid!! Not too challenging but very good display by Skomina thus far!! 🙂

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    1. That's nice to hear. It seems that he tries to let the game flow - quite lenient approach.

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    2. He has cautioned players when required... Good approach by him tonight I must say... The game is flowing well and is turning out to be a real treat for a football fan... And Skomina is surely playing his part very well in that!! 🙂

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  14. Regarding handball, I have a different opinion. The defender expects the ball being played, he even sticks the left hand to his body but the right arm is out from the body. This is pro penalty.

    Anti-penalty argument is the short distance the ball was played from and the fact the defender attempts to move his right arm away.

    But in my eyes, the pro-penalty arguments outweigh the anti-penalty ones.

    However, saying that all, I doubt UEFA will assign a clear and important mistake.

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    1. Not very often I disagree with you, but now I have to. Hand is totally in natural position, short distance, fast ball - for me no penalty. Ball hits the arm, player didn't play the ball, nor there were any intention. Look his body position - it is normal to stick left arm to the body in that case, but not the right one because he didn't manage to position himself in front of attacker. Of course, handball is always debatable, but player cannot cut his arm, nor is obliged to keep in on the back.
      About 15-20 days ago Clattenburg in I think one of the English cups match (I think Derby-Leicester) didn't give penalty against Huth, and here arguments were written that his decision is correct. It is rather incorrect for me, and that situation was much more penalty than this one (bigger distance, not so fast ball, expected as well).

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    2. Right arm is out from the body?
      Where should it be when player is running. For me, arm position can't be more natural, we are speaking about running player, he's not standing figure :)

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    3. I am most likely influenced by instructions given by Polish FA's referees committee. They are mostly focused on whether the ball is expected or not. If the ball hits your arm that is out from the body while the ball is expected, the answer is one here: penalty.

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  15. Now, BAY player tries to score and the ball hits the ARS player's palm. Basing on UEFA RAP, it's never a deliberate handball, but the decision to wave the penalty shouts away was very brave, we must agree.

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    1. Yeah. UEFA RAP EURO 2016 and similar scene F4.

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    2. https://scontent-frt3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t34.0-12/16779946_10208548200928096_1866860016_n.jpg?oh=27a4bf70e3988bfab7a912f4bf0ae1f7&oe=58A77532

      Do you mean this handball?

      If yes, for me the screenshot is clear. Tensed arm, intentionally strengthened to have another tool to block the approaching ball, enlarged the body surface.

      P.S. It indeed depends on your background, inside DFB this is a penalty I think. Do we have a video maybe?

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    3. Btw., in Poland, both situations are clear penalties. And the situation where Mustafi makes a slide tackle in the box (75', replay 78 or 79') is also a penalty - foul by trailing leg.

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    4. We can conclude that Polish people like penalties :) ;)

      I'm more concerned about Mustafi's tackle on Lewandowski.

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    5. No, we also have a discussion about those instructions, but one thing is sure - there is no chaos. Every scenario (especially regarding handball) is described and the referees have in mind what to do if something happens.

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    6. Indeed very demanding and challenging match for Mazic and his crew. Lots of debatable situations, several handballs and possible fouls in PK area. I think Mustafi played the ball first, cleared it, and after that "fouled" Leva. About handball - my first impression is penalty, but AAR1 Grujic was right there and he was convinced it should be corner kick (minute after the goal was scored). It is very intersting what will Rosetti say. At the end of the day, Bayern crashed Arsenal, so there was no influence on the match result.

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    7. RayHD Obviously, your instructions in Poland are totally different than in Premier League regarding handball. In England, handball is almost never penalty kick, and in Poland very often, I think. Handball will always be a grey zone, and you can't predict all possible situation, nor the ref can see everything in real time and make expected decision in a second. In many occasions it is only up to main ref and his "reading" of the situation.

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    8. Really, I can't find any scenario that would not be included in those instructions. It's the link. Maybe I will translate it in the future.

      https://www.pzpn.pl/public/system/files/site_content/941/1774-KONKLUZJE%20KS%20PZPN.%20Zagranie%20pi%C5%82ki%20re%CC%A8ka%CC%A8%20-%20ver.2.docx

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    9. @RayHD: Could you also have a look on 2:1 for BAY (Lewandowski vs. Mustafi)? Would be nice.
      77' should be a penalty in my opinion, not an easy match for Mazic and AAR1 considering the few incidents in the penalty area. Also some minor issues with cooperation within the team (too fast signals by Mazic that had to be corrected twice).

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    10. A few thoughts from my side:
      I think that all decisions could be accepted. In first half he had some difficulties being accepted by the players. Here I think that a calmer body language and approach would help a lot. Sometimes I have the feeling that his gestures makes the players more nervous than calm them down. Look at referees like Rizzoli, Marciniak or Eriksson, they use a much calmer body language and have success with it. Here Mazic should work, because apart from that he is a very good referee.

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    11. Does it not show the chaos that a VAR will face when assessing handball?...

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    12. I fully agree, David.

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    13. & Mikael :)

      @ Ref1707: My feeling also is "penalty". The ball was played, but not in a really fair manner. We have to rewatch videos. Mazic did not have this opportunity, of course.

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    14. @Mikael: I am also curios how that should work...
      I don't think that everything will get better than it is now. Everybody assesses handballs differently, everybody has other instructions,
      But we'll see how it will be.

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    15. I re-watched now "palm" situation on TV and it seems that the ball hit first the left knee of the defender, and then his left hand. If that is the case - no penalty, but better angle would be suitable to give the correct answer. About Mazic's gestures - that is his style and he is too old (43) to change it. He is simply different than Clatts, Rizzoli, Marciniak, Kassai and others. Maybe that style cost him some bigger appointment in the past. If he was calmer, maybe he could get at least CL semifinal so far.

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    16. I fully agree regarding Mazic' gestures. Cakir's, Clattenburg's, Marciniak's or Rizzoli's body language makes players calm and respecting the referee. In case of Mazic, they seem to be invited to a discussion with him. Too 'energetic' style that is not so good for the biggest games. A pity, because I like Mazic very, very much!

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    17. Agree with both, Jelena and RayHD.

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  16. Now another critical penalty decision for Mazic and AAR1 (74').

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    1. I'm sorry, it was 77'. Seemed like a missed penalty.

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  17. Potentially three missed penalties by Mazic. Looking forward to videos and discussion :)

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  18. A small impression from Skomina: Correctly disallowed goal for offside (AR1), overall good control level, 1 yellow card looked rather incorrect (no foul, 38'), another one could have been given for reckless tackle if you deem it as such (60'). Chefren can probably say more.

    As for Mazic, on what we can agree is that this was the most difficult game of the so far played R16 games. Quite challenging game in both halves with many critical decisions. None of these situations was 100% clear, but some were rather right, 2 rather wrong for me (handball in 2nd half + Mustafa vs Lewandowski). Overall, probably the observer will back him on both. Points for improvement in the area of (A)AR communication and small lacks of alertness (too easily missed corner once). Good control level even after difficult decisions.

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    1. Yes, about Skomina, apart fom the situations you mentioned, on which we can discuss, he had no problems in controlling the game. It was never really demanding for the referee, but the impression he made was positive. Some very good advantages and a positive reading of the game in the crucial moments.

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  19. I must say a very convincing performance by Skomina. I liked his style this evening.
    A goal was correctly disallowed in the last minutes by AR1.

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  20. I think a referee like Ovidiu Hategan/ Sergei Karasev would be perfect for Napoli v Real Madrid and similarly Clement Turpin/ Anastasios Sidiropoulos will fit in excellently for Arsenal v Bayern Munich... Likewise William Collum/ Gianluca Rocchi would be fitting for Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain!! 🙂

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  21. FC BAYERN MÜNCHEN - ARSENAL FC

    26' - Bayern's penalty-appeal (handball) and a counter-attack
    https://streamable.com/651rq

    29' - Arsenal's penalty
    https://streamable.com/rjxaa

    35' - Bayern's penalty-appeal (handball)
    https://streamable.com/abakg

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    1. First situation correct decision - the ball was played with the chest, and not with arm, and after that correct YC for pulling from behind for Sanchez's left shoulder. Other two situations were discussed above. We are waiting for second half :-) Thanks for videos :-)

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    2. Penalty to Arsenal is a very tricky situation, there is this raised leg by Arsenal's player, close to dangerous play, The opponent can't have any perception of that, before hitting him. I think that, honestly speaking, it is very difficult to accept a penalty call there, because it is a penalty caused by attacker, however there could be arguments in favor of Mazic.
      But, despite of the clear contact, I would have liked play on for the mentioned reasons.

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    4. PK gor Arsenal:
      No dangerous play for me. At least, awarding IFK or play on (as Chefren said) would be even more controversial decision.

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    5. 35': it would be a quite harsh penalty call, I think Mazic will be supported. Arm is in a natural position, but yes, one could say, player should have avoided the touch. Not a crucial mistake in any case, grey area.

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    6. 26': Very difficult to make an assessment without further replay, my feeling is that the handball could have been punishable, but without evidence Mazic should be backed, then correct decisions after the counterattack.

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    7. For me, play on is not an option. Either indirect kick for Bayern or penalty. I don't see dangerous play here. Lewa asked for foul only after PK was given. When we have dangerous play, players rise their hands immediately, signaling it to the referee. Neither one Bayern player did that (this is only one argument, there are more above). At least, the decision is supportable.

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    8. Exactly, either IFK or PK. Play on is only decision excluded.

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    9. Second half:

      53' - second Bayern's goal
      https://streamable.com/lvqwd

      61' - Bayern's penalty-appeal (handball)
      https://streamable.com/jnye0

      75' - Bayern's penalty-appeal (tackle)
      https://streamable.com/n6i9l

      79' - Bayern's penalty-appeal (impeding the progress of an opponent)
      https://streamable.com/anygi

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    10. In 26' I really can't see handball at all. Lewa raised his arms instinctively (see, he didn't do that in 29', as i said, which is very interesting, and he had plenty of time - he only made a gesture "I didn't hit him" and not "dangerous play").
      Interesting thing is that Mazic's matches are commented on this blog the most, but there are almost always some very difficult situations. Rosetti will have lot of job to do and re-watch many things.

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    11. 79' - Bayern's penalty-appeal (impeding the progress of an opponent)

      I just realize that momment of possible foul was outside the box.
      You can check it here:
      http://imgur.com/a/B8NgY

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    12. I was right - in 61' the ball hits the left knee first, and hit the left palm after that. So, no penalty.
      In 55' and 79' - nothing to me.
      In 75' I want to here more experienced commentators here. It is clear that Mustafi played the ball first, and neither one Bayern player asked for a penalty (which is common in this kind of situation). But, maybe I am wrong about this.

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    13. Such contacts with trailing leg are very dangerous (remember Luke Shaw's horrible injury...) and the fact the ball was played doesn't matter. In fact, the tackle was reckless in its nature and apart from the penalty kick, Mustafi should have been sent off for a second yellow card.

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    14. Markus Merk and Thorsten Kinhöfer postet a few minutes ago, that this couldn't be a penalty! So the same opinion like chefren

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    15. @Pat rick
      Which situation we are talking about?

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    16. The given penalty for Arsenal

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    18. @RayHD Yes, but this is goal scoring opportunity. What could possibly Mustafi do different to clear the ball and prevent goal? Nothing. Mustafi reached the ball first, he has no intention to make a foul. So, this case has nothing to do with situations that victor posted - this is much higher level and intensity of the game (sorry, Victor, but for me in 3:55 you shouldn't give second YC).

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    20. Tackle by Mustafi of course hit the ball but technically should be a penalty considering the UEFA RAP2016:1, with Kuipers at ROM-BAR and Rizzoli PSV-MNU. Generally I think a whistle of that would have had the same effect as Çakir RC to Nani maybe in the English media, in the sense of controversy and showing these challenges are illegal (or rather SFP with Nani). Would be surprised if Rosetti didn't back Mažić in fairness.

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    21. Just watch carefully Lewa's right leg (from revers angle) - Mustafi reached the ball first, played it and then Lewa put his right leg to be fouled. Don't you think he caused this contact and foul? His right leg had nothing to do there, because he didn't try to reach the ball but to initiate contact.

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  22. 29'-penalty-------------------excellent decision!
    35'- no penalty---------------correct decision!
    (69')(77') no handball-------- correct decision!
    Great performance! Well done!

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  23. I must say, after having watched all the incidents, a very difficult and more than challenging game for the Serbian crew. Surely in almost all the situations there is a reason for which one can back the decisions taken by officials.
    I don't think that Rosetti will penalize too much Mazic, but surely one can have many different views and ideas regarding the same cases.
    For example, calling a foul to Lewandowski before 2-1 by Bayern, wouldn't have been a mistake, in my opinion.
    It would be really nice to know how a real UEFA observer (like Rosetti) reports and analyzes all these incidents in his report... and of course, the final mark. ;)

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    1. You took the words right out of my mouth :)
      So many 50-50 decisions.

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    2. Just to add, mark isn't that important, really.
      Controversies after can be more important in this very challenging match.

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    3. All situations could be analyzed in next UEFA referee meetings. It would be interesting to know the opinions of other elite refs, and Collina's (and Rosetti's) of course. The mark might be not important, but it can go from 7.4 (in case of two mistakes) up to 8.7 if observer supports all (very difficult) decisions by the whole team. Probably we wont find out the outcome, but next Mazic's appointment maybe will give us an answer (he suffered last year after PSG-City match - two 50/50 PKs and allowed debatable goal because of Ibrahimovic's offside, so we didn't see him afterwards in Euro cups). So, he was excellent if he gets e.g. semifinal match, or he was bad if gets only Euro league 1/4 match, for example.

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    4. Honestly I think that considering the situations by themselves maybe 8.7, but in the match as a whole Mažić was okay. He looked too hectic tonight to me, protests weren't solved in the best way, dissent especially after the (deliberate?) handball by ARL#3 players surrounding especially AAR1 Grujić, and a slightly weak personality at times. Overall of course he was good of course especially considering the situations, and keeping control but I think maybe we have seen better performances by Mažić. Interesting you talk about style, I think it works perfectly in some circumstances (UEL Semifinal Second Matches?), but maybe not in this kind of atmosphere. Anyway he's got good chances for a final this year but I think he would need others to fall this time imo

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    5. Interesting is that you mention UEL semifinals. Mazic had 3 if I am not wrong, and he was excellent in all of them. I remember Dinamo Kyev-Napoli second match (semifinal few years ago): heavy rain, lot of job, 9 or 10 YCs, debatable goal - and he was perfect. His the best match in Euro competitions. Those kind of matches really suit perfectly to him. Maybe because of the he didn't get Bayern so far. Of course, we have to say that in this match were so many debatable situations, most of them in Arsenal's PK area - probably more than in all other 1/8 matches (played and that will be played). It was normal for home side to make pressure and ask for penalties. If no, I don't think he would have any problems and protests from Bayern players. Surely, he should control his gestures with his arms and his head, and take a more talk with players and explain them his decisions.

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    6. Very well put! I do completely agree on everything apart from one thing- Mažić's best match! I do agree he was fantastic in DYK-NAP, but maybe he was even better in 2013 in Fenerbahce - Benfica, UEL SF First Match. Apart from wrongly assigning a corner for the 1-0 he was completely great. And this even before he was Elite :-). Maybe you can say this and the other about Mažić's style but for me it's quite refreshing thinking about different referee styles, no more Stark or Benquerença and the like - for better or for worse depending on taste.

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  24. 26' handball appeal: German TV checked it and said it was the chest.

    29' for me the studs-tackle has to be punished. Stretched foot, studs shown, 1m high. Contrary to Lewandowski, the Arsenal attacker had his opponent in his angle of vision. Video refereeing this situation, it has to be a direct free kick for Bayern (due to the contact).

    35' for me no deliberate handball. No real reaction time, small distance, arm in a player-typical and absolutely natural position, rather ball to hand. Plus, most important for me here: the arm neither was very significantly outstretched nor was it sensed. After the contact it moved away indicating no deliberate act.

    53' video refereeing it maybe should be whistled, but I think it is OK to waive play on. Lewandowski also jumps higher than the ARS defender. Nobody wanted a free-kick there as it seems (no criteria, I know... but nonetheless Mazic should be supported here).

    61' Contrary to 35' the ball was expected and the defender deliberately tensed his body and hand/palm to block the shot on goal. I don't know whether it is really relevant that the ball came from his knee. On the other hand the enlargement was maybe not significant. But I would say rather penalty - no clear situation either.

    75' the only situation where I would have to "blame" the officials also in the marking scale. Specially based on UEFA's latest guidelines with trailing legs causing severe injuries this one is a reckless tackle. The ball was played. But it was not FAIRLY played.

    79' for me rather a foul, but outside.


    Apart from these situations, Mikael has a very important point. We can check many decisions. But how was the overall game management level? The overall control level? The overall authority? And the communication and body language quality? And what about cooperation in the team? I think in all 5 areas - maybe except control, as he actually never lost the game out of his hands - there is some room for improvement.

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    1. Looking at the situation on 35 and 61 minutes during the consistency of the line I think the referee's decision was correct.
      The worst situation for match officials in my opinion has been happen on 75 min and here was reckless challenge even if the defender first play with ball.

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    2. Different people and different (big) refs have different opinions. Howar Webb praised Mazic for last night's performance, saying that he was faultless and that he saw the best Mazic so far. He also said that team work was phenomenal and that the crew is ready to get some of the big finals.
      About 61': the ball hit the knee and was not going in the goal, but beside the left post. After the knee it touched left palm of the defender, which was 5cm from the knee and the defender has no time to react (yes, the hand was a bit outstretched and enlarged the body, and it would be a penalty if the ball hit the hand first - my opinion, of course).

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  25. 28/3: France-Spain: Felix Zwayer, Thorsten Schiffner, Marco Achmüller, Daniel Siebert, VAR: Tobias Stieler, VAR advisor: Hellmut Krug

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  26. It seems that Mark Clattenburg had quit from PL refereeing and is heading to the USA.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/2874770/mark-clattenburg-quit-premier-league-exclusive/

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    1. Also see here, where they list China as another alternative...
      http://www.thesportbible.com/football/news-mark-clattenburg-set-to-call-it-a-day-as-a-premier-league-referee-20170216

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    2. To be honest, I can't believe that.

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    3. Many rumours in the last weeks, they seem to have been confirmed although I wouldn't be sure just yet. To me it is no massive surprise. PGMOL (English Top Level Refereeing) have always had a strained relationship with Clattenburg after they sacked him after his dealings as an electrician; Clattenburg won the case in court and was reinstated. Tension rose after it was clear that the FA and PGMOL were lobbying for Atkinson for UEFA EURO 2016, David Ellery especially is no big fan of Clattenburg, he waited until the last possible moment to appoint him to an FA Cup Final. He wasn't being backed on big decisions either, an acceptable (IMO) RC:SFP was overturned in WHM-CPL. For these reasons Clattenburg is always discussed in the media, he hates his high profile I think. Also it confirmed my impression that elite referee coaching in England is well behind UEFA or FIFA.
      Some questions, will Clatts get on the FIFA list of either China or United States, will he be preselected for Russia, will he go with a local trio? Mark Geiger might not be happy...
      And for England, every major championship has had an English referee surely in history. The options of Atkinson (not prelisted, no FIFA championships) or Oliver for whom it is surely too early.
      I think it is more likely Clattenburg chooses United States over China, you may think Webb being VAR director helps this, but actually my information is those two don't get on very well thanks to Webb's comments in the media.
      Mess for everyone involved honestly.

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    4. http://s8.zetaboards.com/ratetheref/topic/10008800/1/

      Very good discussion here^

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    5. https://twitter.com/BBCSport/status/832221256619528193

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    6. https://www.periscope.tv/saudiFF/1MYxNLadgvpGw

      The presentation of Mark Clattenburg in Saudi Arabia.

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    7. Wow! Just as Webb leaves as Head of Refereeing...

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    8. Well, I've been watching Clattenburg for years in Premier Leaugue and English cups, almost every match he officiated. I have to say that his refereeing is much, much better in Euro competitions than at home. In last two years he almost made no big mistake, but that's not the case in national competitions. Maybe he is under bigger pressure home because of the situation with FA and PGMOL, but he had several important mistakes in last year or two that only increased the suspicious in him at home. Best of luck to him wherever he decide to go, Europe will miss one of the best refs in last decade or so.

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  27. This would explain why he didn't attend the UEFA Winter Course in Malaga, officiating a game in Premier League, instead of being in Spain with the other Elite officials. Very likely he had already talked to Collina about his plans.
    At the same time, the fact that Oliver has been now appointed with his assistant referees...

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  28. Sad day for English officiating, perhaps the most talented referee we've ever had. It's time for the likes of Taylor and Oliver to step-up, and fill the void.

    I wish him good luck in his future endeavours.

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    1. The first thing in my mind is now: no English referee at WC, need to develop for both Oliver and Taylor. Not good times for English refereeing, definitely. Clattenburg was the excellence.

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    2. Be sure that they will push Oliver to Russia... politics are stronger than the development status of a referee.

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