UEFA Women’s U-19 Euro Final 2017: Tsiareshka (BLR)

Volha Tsiareshka says she is surprised and delighted at her appointment to take charge of Sunday's WU19 final in Belfast - and the referee from Belarus intends to enjoy the big occasion. “I just want to wave my arms in the air, I am so happy. I can’t express the emotion I feel to have been chosen. It’s a dream come true.” Volha Tsiareshka says that putting into words the significance of her appointment as referee for Sunday’s UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship final is not easy. Yet the smile of the 28-year-old teacher from Belarus says it all. Tsiareshka is surprised and delighted to have been named in charge of the encounter between France and Spain. “I couldn’t sleep at all,” she recalls of the hours after she was told of her appointment. “I think it must have been two o’clock in the morning before I finally went to sleep. And I was wide awake three hours later, unable to think of anything else apart from this point, which I have been working towards for years.” Tsiareshka has been in refereeing for more than half of her life, and while her job as a high school physical education teacher takes up much of her time, she devotes any available moment she can to developing as an official. “I love being with my friends,” she says, “but refereeing is my real passion, so I have always been dedicated to it.” She is proud of the positive reactions she has received about her assignment from many quarters. “I’ve been overwhelmed by how many colleagues in refereeing have called me…the phone has been ringing non-stop.” Tsiareshka immediately told one special person about her appointment. “My mother always inspires me and supports me,” she emphasises. “I told her first, and we both got very emotional.”
Accompanying Tsiareshka in the showpiece occasion at Belfast’s National Stadium will be assistant referees Iuliia Petrova (Russia), Elena Soklevska-Ilievski (FYR Macedonia) and fourth official Silvia Domingos (Portugal). The quartet have knitted together perfectly within an excellent team of match officials in Northern Ireland. “There is a very close bond between us” Tsiareshka confirms. “I am very lucky to have such an excellent team working with me for the final.”  At the WU19 finals, Tsiareshka has taken charge of two group stage matches - Germany’s 3-0 success over Scotland, and France's 6-1 defeat of Italy. She has closely followed the tournament’s other games, and singles out the dramatic semi-final between Germany and France in Belfast as a highlight. “It was a fantastic game played at a high tempo,” she reflects. Sunday’s big game is a crucial step on Tsiareshka's career path – and she intends to savour the occasion, particularly in terms of gathering experience. “There’s always lot of learning involved,” she explains, “and I think that’s what I enjoy the most. I am very proud of the appointment, and want to give it everything I can - that’s what’s really important to me”. (Source: UEFA)


20 August 2017
France – Spain
Referee: Volha Tsiareshka (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Iuliia Petrova (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Elena Soklevska-Ilievski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Silvia Domingos (POR)

UEFA Europa League – Play-offs (First Leg)

16-17 August 2017

FC Utrecht – FC Zenit
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SVN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Roberto Ponis (SVN)
Referee Observer: László Vagner (HUN)

GNK Dinamo – KF Skënderbeu

Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs (LVA)
Fourth Official: Aleksandrs Golubevs (LVA)
Referee Observer: Jan Wegereef (NED)

Bate Borisov – FC Olexandriya

Referee: Tamás Bognár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balázs Buzás (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Fourth Official: Ádam Farkas (HUN)
Referee Observer: Robert Malek (POL)

Apollon Limassol – FC Midtjylland
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Fourth Official: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

FC Krasnodar – Crvena Zvezda

Referee: Gediminas Mažeika (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytautas Simkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Fourth Official: Jurij Paskovskij (LTU)
Referee Observer: Marián Ružbarský (SVK)

FH Hafnarfjördur – SC Braga
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Charles Schaap (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan de Vries (NED)
Fourth Official: Edwin van de Graaf (NED)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

PAOK – Östersunds
Referee: Bas Nijhuis (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Rob van de Ven (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Davie Goossens (NED)
Fourth Official: Allard Lindhout (NED)
Referee Observer: Nikolai Ivanov (RUS)

Vardar – Fenerbahçe
Referee: Luca Banti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Marco Guida (ITA)
Referee Observer: Drago Kos (SVN)

Viktoria Plzeň – AEK Larnaca
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
Fourth Official: Nejc Kajtazović (SVN)
Referee Observer: Paulius Malzinskas (LTU)

Ludogorets – Sūduva
Referee: Sébastien Delferiere (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Yves De Neve (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Rien Vanyzere (BEL)
Fourth Official: Lawrence Visser (BEL)
Referee Observer: Peter Sippel (GER)

SCR Altach – Maccabi Tel Aviv

Referee: Alexei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dmitry Zhuk (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleh Maslianka (BLR)
Fourth Official: Dzianis Shcharbakou (BLR)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

Panathinaikos – Athletic Club
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Alvaro Mesquita (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: Carlos Xistra (POR)
Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

Legia Warszawa – FC Sheriff
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Kirovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD)
Fourth Official: Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Jouni Hyytiä (FIN)

NK Domžale – Olympique Marseille
Referee: Robert Madden (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Douglas Gordon Ross (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alastair Mather (SCO)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Walsh (SCO)
Referee Observer: Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)

AFC Ajax – Rosenborg BK
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Fourth Official: Steven McLean (SCO)
Referee Observer: Elmir Pilav (BIH)

FC Viitorul – FC Salzburg
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG)
Fourth Official: Robert Madley (ENG)
Referee Observer: Juan Fernandez Marín (ESP)

Club Brugge – AEK Athens
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: György Ring (HUN)
Fourth Official: Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN)
Referee Observer: Sergey Zuev (RUS)

NK Osijek – Austria Wien
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Cortus (GER)
Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)

AC Milan – KF Shkëndija
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilan Kolbitsch (AUT)
Fourth Official: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Referee Observer: Sokol Jareci (ALB)

Partizan – Videoton
Referee: John Beaton (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Stevenson (SCO)
Fourth Official: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Referee Observer: Igor Ischenko (UKR)

Everton – Hajduk Split
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Balko (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Fourth Official: Boris Marhefka (SVK)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

CS Marítimo – Dynamo Kyiv

Referee: Jakob Kehlet (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Henrik Larsen (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Heine Sorensen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jens Maae (DEN)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Ronaldo suspended five games for pushing the referee

Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended five games for his preposterous red card and subsequent push of a referee in Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup first leg. Ronaldo was sent off two minutes after scoring a screamer to put Real Madrid 2-1 up on Barcelona. He was shown a first yellow for taking off his shirt in celebration, then shown a second minutes later for diving. After a disbelieving Ronaldo saw the red card come out of the referee’s pocket, he threw his hands up in exasperation, then chased after the referee and he pushed him in the back.
The Spanish Football Federation hit Ronaldo with a typical one-match ban for the red card, but added an additional four games for the shove. Ronaldo, who has received 10 red cards in his career, was also fined $4,483. “The authority and the safety of the referee deserves the utmost respect and cannot be challenged”, the Spanish federation said in the judgment, “even in the hypothetical situation of having made a wrong decision”. Ronaldo has 10 days to appeal the suspension. Real Madrid has already said it will appeal the second yellow card, and thus the red, but a successful appeal would merely slash the length of the ban from five games to four. And Ronaldo has little grounds for a rescinding of the penalty for the shove. The Spanish federation’s disciplinary rules call for a ban of between four and 12 matches for anything that can be characterized as at least “slightly violent” behavior toward a referee, so Ronaldo’s suspension is as short as the by-laws allow for. Here is the portion article 96 from the Spanish federation’s disciplinary code, translated to English, which concerns “slight violence toward referees” by players: “Pulling, pushing or shaking, or a general attitude toward the officials, even if only slightly violent, without confirming an aggressive attitude on [the official’s] part, will be punished with a suspension of four to 12 games”.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Referees achieved World Record status

Two Scottish female FIFA referees have achieved Guinness World Record status after officiating at the highest-ever football match at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Morag Pirie and Vicki Allan were part of a team of match officials who refereed a 90-minute women’s match between Volcano FC and Glacier FC, as part of an Equal Playing Fields initiative. A total of 37 players representing 20 nationalities completed an 11-a-side match at 5729 metres – an altitude never attempted before. After a rigorous training regime, the group scaled the Tanzanian mountain with a team of medics over a seven-day period. They used flour to mark the pitch and trekking poles as corner flags with the fixture taking place on a volcanic ash pitch. The match may have ended in a 0-0 draw, but the group achieved their goal of highlighting the inequality women face in sport.
Referee Morag Pirie said: “I’m hugely proud to have been a part of the climb – it was an absolutely amazing experience. I only had three weeks’ notice that I was going whereas some of the other participants had known for over a year. I missed the vast majority of the 12-week training programme but I think my referee training helped and I climbed a number of hills close to where I live to help prepare. It was hugely challenging – even things like tying my shoelaces was difficult at that altitude. We warmed up for the match by simply walking around the pitch because it was so hard to breath. It’s something few people have achieved and everyone is proud to have played their part – there was a real sense of achievement and relief at the end of the match. As a female referee in a male-dominated sport, I can understand where Equal Playing Fields are coming from and what they are trying to achieve. I was more than willing to help their cause and I hope it can help make a difference to women and girls around the world.” They were joined by former FIFA referee Jacqui Hurford from Australia. “The playing field isn’t equal, so we wanted to highlight the issues and get people thinking about women’s sport,” she said. “Women in sport just want to be treated the same as men do. Many people think of women in sport, as butch lesbians, but that’s absolutely not the case.” Hurford has refereed some of the biggest games in the sport, including the 2011 Women’s World Cup quarter-final between the USA and Brazil. She retired as a FIFA referee in 2013 and since then she has be an instructor, assessor and recruiter for the Asian Football Confederation and the Football Federation Australia. The 38-year-old’s role with the Equal Playing Field project was to source FIFA officials and to ensure the game meets the Guinness World Record criteria.

Sources: SFA, Quest

UEFA Champions League – Play-offs (First Leg)

15 August 2017
Hoffenheim – Liverpool
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR2: Dennis Higler (NED)
Fourth Official: Mario Diks (NED)
Referee Observer: Georgios Bikas (GRE)

Qarabağ Ağdam – FC Kobenhavn
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Additional AR1: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Additional AR2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Filippo Meli (ITA)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Sporting – Steaua
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR1: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Additional AR2: Marco Fritz (GER)
Fourth Official: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Referee Observer: Alain Hamer (LUX)

Apoel – Slavia Praha
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez (ESP)
Additional AR1: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Additional AR2: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

Young Boys – CSKA Moskva

Referee: David Fernández Borbalan (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Additional AR1: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Additional AR2: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Fourth Official: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Gylfi Orrason (ISL)

16 August 2017
Napoli – Nice
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Additional AR1: Paweł Raczkowski (POL)
Additional AR2: Tomasz Musiał (POL)
Fourth Official: Radosław Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)

İstanbul Başakşehir – Sevilla FC

Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Additional AR1: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Additional AR2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Hapoel Beer Sheva – NK Maribor
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Additional AR1: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Additional AR2: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Fourth Official: Joakim Nilsson (SWE)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Celtic – Astana
Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Șovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Additional AR1: István Kovács (ROU)
Additional AR2: Sebastian Colţescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)

Olympiacos – Rijeka

Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Seidel (GER)
Additional AR1: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Additional AR2: Patrick Ittrich (GER)
Fourth Official: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez (ESP)

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017

With only two months to go before the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 kicks off, the FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 21 trios of match officials, representing all six confederations. For FIFA, it is essential to ensure that the best match officials from all around the world are selected for FIFA competitions. For some of the selected match officials, India 2017 will be another important step in their preparations for FIFA’s flagship competition, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. At the same time, this competition in India will give other ambitious FIFA referees the opportunity to show their quality while taking another step forward in their career. FIFA has also selected seven support referees, but with a twist: for the first-ever time, FIFA has selected female referees for a men’s tournament. The results and improvements seen in the joint preparations have shown that the time has come for elite female referees to officiate in men’s competitions together with their male colleagues. “We think it’s time for elite female referees to be involved in a FIFA men’s competition. They worked together with male match officials last year and now we want to see them working together in a competition”, said FIFA Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca. The referees have completed a host of activities together in several seminars, including theoretical sessions in the classroom and practical sessions on the field of play. The match officials have also discussed and practiced various game situations to achieve consistency and uniformity. The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 will take place in India between 6 and 28 October 2017. (Source: FIFA)


AFC
Referee: Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Tzu Liang Lee (SIN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Min Kiat Koh (SIN, 1979)

Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN, 1983, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN, 1979)

Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR, 1974)

Support Referee
Ri Hyang Ok (PRK, 1977)

CAF 
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN, 1974)

Referee: Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD, 1984)
Assistant Referee 1: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ, 1986)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG, 1983)

Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Olivier Safari (COD, 1980
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Ssonko (UGA, 1978)

Support Referee
Gladys Lengwe (ZAM, 1978)

CONCACAF
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA, 1974)

Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC, 1986)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavio Jara (CRC, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Mora (CRC, 1989)

Referee: John Pitti (PAN, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON, 1988)

Support Referee
Carol Anne Chenard (CAN, 1977)

CONMEBOL

Referee: Jose Argote (VEN, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Lopez (VEN, 1982)

Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR, 1975)

Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA, 1974
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA, 1976)

Referee: Gery Vargas (BOL, 1981)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Montano (BOL, 1988)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Antelo (BOL, 1984)

Support Referee
Claudia Umpierrez URU, 1983)

OFC
Referee: Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH, 1981)
Assistant Referee 1: Folio Moeaki (TGA, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Bernard Mutukera (SOL, 1991)

Support Referee
Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL, 1982)

UEFA
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU, 1976)

Referee: Robert Madden (SCO, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO, 1986)
Assistant Referee 2: Alastair Mather (SCO, 1977)

Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Polichronis Kostaras (GRE, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Lazaros Dimitriadis (GRE, 1982)

Referee: Artur Soares Dias (POR, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Rui Barbosa (POR, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Paulo Santos (POR, 1976)

Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Nunn (ENG, 1985)

Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA, 1972)

Referee: Slavko Vincic (SVN, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaz Klancnik (SVN, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraz Kovacic (SVN, 1985)

Support Referees
Kateryna Monzul (UKR, 1981)
Esther Staubli (SUI, 1979)

CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship 2017

Honduras, 21-26 August 2017

Referees
1. Victor Prendas (CRC, 1989)
2. Yeraldin Araya (CRC, 1988)
3. Dunia Aguilera (CUB, 1990)
4. Roberto Sanchez (CUB, 1979)
5. Reinier Fiss (CUB, 1987)
6. Carlos Berroa (DOM, 1990)
7. Jorge Flores (SLV, 1981)
8. Jose Barrera (SLV, 1989)
9. Carlos Gonzalez (GUA, 1982, photo)
10. Oscar Urias (GUA, 1980)
11. Francisco Rivera (MEX, 1977)
12. Francisco Lopez (NCA, 1980)
13. Luis Aguilar (PAN, 1980)
14. Roberto Lopez (PAN, 1989)
15. Shane Butler (USA, 1975)
16. Lance VanHaitsma (USA, 1982)

Rocchi: "I hope to be thought of as a good person, not just as a good referee"

"Referees wait for this moment", says Italian official Gianluca Rocchi of his appointment to take charge of Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Manchester United in Skopje. Top referees relish the big occasion as much as players, especially if a packed stadium provides an exciting atmosphere for a showpiece match such as the UEFA Super Cup game that heralds the start of each new club competition season.
Italy’s Gianluca Rocchi is delighted at his selection to take charge of Tuesday’s encounter between Real Madrid and Manchester United in Skopje. The full house awaiting last season’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europe League winners will hold no fears for the 43-year-old match official. “I find it easier to referee a match in front of a big crowd than in an empty stadium,” says Florence-born Rocchi, a married father of two young boys. “If no one is in the stadium, you hear everything that everyone says...” Rocchi will be accompanied in Skopje by five compatriots: assistant referees Elenito Di Liberatore and Mauro Tonolini, additional assistant referees Davide Massa and Massimiliano Irrati, and reserve official Riccardo Di Fiore. France's Clément Turpin will act as the fourth official. “If you receive an assignment for a final, it is a surprise, and a pleasant one,” says Rocchi, who has been on the international list since 2008. “Referees wait for this moment, and certainly I feel proud that UEFA appointed me for this big game.” One major final is already behind Rocchi, who acted as fourth official at May’s UEFA Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax in Stockholm. He follows in the footsteps of another Italian referee, the late Stefano Farina, who took charge of the 2006 Super Cup match between Barcelona and Sevilla. 
Rocchi started refereeing at 15 and progressed through the ranks in Italy to join the Serie A and B list in 2003. “I wasn’t a very good footballer to be honest, but I enjoyed playing,” he reflects. “The decision to change wasn’t that easy, but I wanted to do something else within football.” Finding the right balance between focus and relaxation is key to Rocchi’s preparations for any assignment. He is a keen fan of the British band Coldplay, and attended a recent concert in Milan. “Music is never far away in my life,” he says, “and I like music in the dressing room and to relax when I have a free moment.” Rocchi describes the time when the referees and teams line up before a big game as “the best moment of a match in some ways. You realise the importance of what is to come, and you have a short time to appreciate the occasion – but it is only a short time, because you then return to being fully concentrated on the match.” Good positioning in the early minutes – helped by diligent pre-match preparation about teams, their tactics and their players – gives Rocchi confidence for the match ahead. “If I’m positioned well, it means that I’m understanding how the teams and players are playing,” he explains. “I also like my colleagues in the referee team to tell me if I need to improve anything – you can’t referee well without teamwork, and I feel that it’s good to be honest with each other.” Rocchi finds it easy to get away from the pressures of refereeing. “My wife Paola actually doesn’t like football that much! So I’m able to spend quality time outside football with her, my family and friends – we find lots of other things to talk about, rather than football!” With the Super Cup match the latest key moment in a distinguished career, Rocchi’s ambitions for the future are simple. “I just think about refereeing the next match. I try not to think too much about the future, because you can’t predict what is around the corner. But I do have one hope for the future – that I will be thought of as a good person and not just as a good referee". 

Source: UEFA

UEFA Women’s U-19 Euro 2017

Northern Ireland, 8-20 August 2017

Referees
1. Petra Chuda (SVK, photo)

2. Silvia Domingos (POR)
3. Justina Lavrenovaite (LTU)
4. Barbara Poxhofer (AUT)
5. Marte Soro (NOR)
6. Olga Tereshko (BLR)

Assistant Referees
1. Nina Hammarberg (FIN)
2. Gabriela Hanáková (CZE)
3. Ivana Lesková (SVK)
4. Iulia Petrova (RUS)
5. Bérengère Pierart (BEL)
6. Vikki Robertson (SCO)
7. Elena Soklevska (MKD)
8. Staša Špur (SVN)

Fourth Officials
1. Cheryl Foster (WAL)
2. Rebecca Welch (ENG)

Copa Libertadores – Round of 16 (Second Leg)

8 August 2017
Lanus – The Strongest
Referee: Andres Cunha (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Fourth Official: Jonathan Fuentes (URU)
Referee Assessor: Roberto Perassi (BRA)

River Plate – Guaraní
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Byron Romero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Vera (ECU)
Fourth Official: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Referee Assessor: Martín Vazquez (URU)

9 August 2017
Gremio – Godoy Cruz
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Edurado Cardozo (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: Eber Aquino (PAR)
Referee Assessor: Jose Buitrago (COL)

Palmeiras – Barcelona

Referee: Néstor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Diego Abal (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Alberto Tejada (PER)

Atletico Mineiro – Jorge Wilstermann
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Fourth Official: Juan Soto (VEN)
Referee Assessor: Saul Laverni (ARG)

10 August 2017
Botafogo – Nacional
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Leon (COL)
Fourth Official: Harold Perilla (COL)
Referee Assessor: Francisco Mondría (CHI)

Santos – Atletico Paranaense
Referee: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Chade (ARG)
Fourth Official: German Delfino (ARG)
Referee Assessor: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

San Lorenzo – Emelec

Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Fourth Official: Wagner Magalhaes (BRA)
Referee Assessor: Ana Perez (PER)