FIFA World Cup 2018 Referees

FIFA has selected 36 match officials (referees and support referees) for the 2018 World Cup in Brazil. They will attend a preparatory seminar on 25-29 November 2017. The final list with specific roles will be announced once IFAB officially approves the use of video assistant referees (VARs) at the World Cup.

1. Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA, 1985)
2. Alireza Faghani (IRN, 1978, photo) 
3. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, 1977)
4. Abdulla Mohamed (EAU, 1978)
5. Ryuji Sato (JPN, 1977)
6. Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, 1976)

1. Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, 1980)
2. Malang Diedhiou (SEN, 1973)
3. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
4. Ghead Grisha (EGY, 1976)
5. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, 1979)
6. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)

1. Joel Aguilar (SLV, 1975)
2. Mark Geiger (USA, 1974)
3. Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)
4. Ricardo Montero (CRC, 1986)
5. John Pitti (PAN, 1978)
6. Cesar Ramos (MEX, 1983)

1. Julio Bascunan (CHI, 1978)
2. Enrique Caceres (PAR, 1974)
3. Andres Cunha (URU, 1976)
4. Nestor Pitana (ARG, 1975)
5. Sandro Ricci (BRA, 1974)
6. Wilmar Roldan (COL, 1980)

1. Matthew Conger (NZL, 1978)
2. Norbert Hauata (TAH, 1979)

1. Felix Brych (GER, 1975)
2. Cuneyt Cakir (TUR, 1976)
3. Sergei Karasev (RUS, 1979)
4. Bjorn Kuipers (NED, 1973)
5. Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP, 1977)
6. Szymon Marciniak (POL, 1981)
7. Milorad Mazic (SRB, 1973)
8. Gianluca Rocchi (ITA, 1973)
9. Damir Skomina (SVN, 1976)
10. Clement Turpin (FRA, 1982)

CAF Confederation Cup Final 2017

First Leg, 19 November 2017

TP Mazembe – Super Sport United
Referee: Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Aboubacar Doumbouya (GUI)
Fourth Official: Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG)

Second Leg, 25 November 2017

Super Sport United – TP Mazembe
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Fourth Official: Maguette Ndiaye (SEN)

FIFA World Cup 2018: 37 referees to be announced in February 2018

Qatar, hosts of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, has been named to stage four key referee workshops early next year, it has emerged. Hany Ballan Safar, the Deputy Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, said the four courses will be attended by dozens of officials from around the world in late January and for most part of February. Ballan, who is also the Chairman of the Qatar Football Federation’s (QFA) Referees Committee, was talking to media along with Naji Al Juwaini, Executive Director of the Referees Department. Ballan (photo) said: “FIFA’s choice of Qatar for such a number of sessions clearly reflects FIFA’s confidence in Qatar and the strong relationship between them, especially with respect to the development of referees worldwide.”
The first workshop will be held from January 30 to February 2 with attendance of more than 100 officials.
The second workshop will be held with 37 referees featuring in it from February 5 to 9. The second session will see FIFA announcing the final list of referees and video officials who will take charge of 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia.
The third round of courses - February 12 to 16 - will see the attendance of female referees (80 in total) who will managed matches at the 2019 Women’s World Cup to be held in France.
Ballan said the fourth workshop will be held from February 19 to 22 that will bring together more than 100 instructors.
“World governing body FIFA will bear all financial costs in all respects of the said courses,” Ballan informed. “The role of the QFA is to provide logistical support,” he said. Al Juwaini said that it is the first time in the history of FIFA that a single host country has been accorded four workshops within such a short span of time. “This is a moment of pride for QFA as we continue to develop referees in the country and around the region as well as the Asian continent,” Al Juwaini said. “However, I would like to add that it won’t be the first time that Qatar will be hosting FIFA referees refresher courses or workshops. QFA’s relationship with FIFA on how to develop the field of refereeing started long back. Qatar hosted training courses for the referees of the 2014 FIFA World Cup that was held in Brazil,” he said. “We are honoured that FIFA has entrusted QFA with such important meetings. QFA will ensure that everything runs smoothly,” Al Juwaini said. “From our side, QFA have completed all preparations as we look forward to hosting four key meetings set to be attended by dozens of participants,” he said. He pointed out that the Qatari referees will benefit from the training sessions as attending such meetings give insight to the fast-developing world of refereeing,” he said. Al Juwaini thanked QFA President HE Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani for his ‘great support to the referees committee which was one of the reasons why Qatar is set to host these courses. I would also like to thank the Qatar Sports Club, which will host the training of participants in the courses, as well as the ASPETAR and the Aspire Academy,” Al Juwaini said.

Source: The Peninsula

Spain: "Should we look for referees in another galaxy?"

The Chairman of the Technical Committee of Spanish referees, Victoriano Sanchez Arminio (photo), spoke to "El Partidazo" of the COPE Network and analyzed the future implementation of the VAR, the referee controversies and defended the innocence of former president Villar.

Angel María Villar
"I find him perfectly, he is very well and very strong, and the judges will be the ones who have to decide, what I do not understand is that people judge in advance, without knowing what is there. The treatment that he has received has not been fair, there are other people who have done much more, if he has done something, and yet the treatment they have received has been better, I believe that he has not done anything, nothing at all, to put him in jail."

Respect for referees
"The only thing we ask for is respect, and yet, on some occasions, we do not receive the respect we need, especially when it surpasses the sport."

Relationship with Real Madrid
"The same relationship as with any other club, exactly the same, we have no relationship with the clubs, our relationship is summarized to do the best we can on the field of play. Do we have things to improve? Of course, as in any facet of life, and that is why we are working, and that is why tomorrow we will talk about the things that have been done right or wrong since we met in Santander until now, it is very nice to say that we need to improve, but tell us what. Do I have to go looking for referees from another galaxy? We cannot do more than what we are doing. We have some great referees in Spain, and it is not that I say it because I am the President. Everyone who knows and likes football has seen the evolution that has occurred in the refereeing of our country."

Mateu Lahoz
"It seems that yes, he will go to the World Cup, since they are giving him important matches; but not only him, but all the international referees we have are going out a lot and that is good for the Spanish refereeing. Mateu did not have an easy match; there were some things that I liked and some that I did not, but I will tell him, not publicly. When we meet I'll talk to him and tell him what I liked and what I did not."

The arrival of the VAR
"It will arrive in Spain as it has arrived in other countries and we will start working with VAR. It seems that the idea is to start in the next season, we have to do some tests from here to the start of the new season; I guess it will not take long. We have enough time to correct the mistakes we're seeing in other countries, that's going to be good, and then we'll see what happens in the World Cup, it will be a good showcase to copy what works. The VAR is not going to fix the problems; it will solve the question of whether a goal has been scored or not, if the ball has been out of play or if an offence has been inside the penalty area or outside, but there are decisions of the referee himself and he will have to decide.”

Alleged persecution of Madrid
"The problem here is not that the dog bites the man, but that the man bites the dog. I have nothing against Real Madrid or any club, nothing. I do not have a box with the points that some say that are missing".

Source: Marca

UEFA Women’s Champions League – Round of 16 (Second Leg)

15-16 November 2017

Wolfsburg – Fiorentina
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Maryna Striletska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oleksandra Ardasheva (UKR)
Fourth Official: Anastasia Romanyuk (UKR)

Linkoping – Sparta
Referee: Angelika Soeder (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Sina Diekmann (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Fourth Official: Karoline Wacker (GER)

Rosengard – Chelsea
Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Belinda Brem (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Susann Küng (SUI)
Fourth Official: Sandra Strub (SUI)

Barcelona – Gintra
Referee: Eszter Urban (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anita Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Csilla Révész (HUN)
Fourth Official: Katalin Sipos (HUN)

Lyon – BIIK Kazygurt
Referee: Silvia Domingos (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ana Teixeira (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexandra Dias (POR)
Fourth Official: Sophia Oliveira Rosa (POR)

Montpellier – Brescia
Referee: Katalin Kulcsár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Katalin Török (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Noémi Baráth (HUN)
Fourth Official: Gyöngyi Gaál (HUN)

Slavia – Stjarnan
Referee: Ivana Martinčić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sanja Rodjak Karšić (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Barbara Vidović (CRO)
Fourth Official: Sabina Bolić (CRO)

Manchester City – Lillestrom SK
Referee: Olga Zadinová (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Lucie Ratajová (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Nikol Šafránková (CZE)
Fourth Official: Veronika Kovarova (CZE)

Futsal referees prepare for Euro 2018

Europe’s futsal referees have taken their latest step on the road to UEFA Futsal Euro 2018 with a preparation workshop in the host country Slovenia. Some thirty referees came to Ljubljana for three days of fitness assessments, practical and theoretical training. UEFA will now select 18 of them – 16 referees and two reserves – as the team of match officials for the tournament at the Arena Stožice in the Slovenian capital from 30 January to 10 February next year.
“We have brought the referees together to give them instructions on uniform consistency in decision-making, and to test their fitness,” said UEFA futsal refereeing instructor Pedro Galán Nieto. “They have taken the FIFA test, and must pass it to be eligible for the Euro.” The training sessions in Slovenia concentrated on the various strengths need by futsal referees to take charge of matches at the highest level. “We looked at speed and agility,” Galán Nieto explained, “because the way that futsal is played requires these two attributes from a referee. You need speed to keep up with play, and agility because you have to change direction a lot of times. The fitness aspect is crucial. Futsal teams at elite level train regularly – so the referees have to be able to match this fitness. We are encouraging UEFA’s national associations to create fitness programmes for their futsal referees.” Referees’ preparation for the Euro will also include studying team tactics and player characteristics – an element that UEFA considers crucial in helping referees get ready for their assignments. “It’s essential – if you can anticipate and understand, this will help you run the game and take decisions,” said Galán Nieto. A key instruction given to the referees who will go to the Euro is to safeguard futsal’s image. “We are asking the referees to protect the players,” said Galán Nieto, “because in doing so, we are protecting the game.” Futsal uses the two-referee system, and teamwork between the match officials is seen as vitally important. “To achieve consistency, futsal referees need to be able to communicate, to be able to align themselves when taking decisions,” Galán Nieto reflected.
UEFA has recently taken a series of strategy decisions to enhance futsal’s profile – these include the Futsal Euro moving to 16 teams and taking place every four years from 2022, a new Women’s Futsal Euro from 2019, the renaming of the main European club competition as the UEFA Futsal Champions League from 2018/19, and the introduction of a European Under-19 championship in 2019. “These are exciting times for everyone in futsal,” said Galán Nieto. “The UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin is a futsal man, he supports our sport, and the new strategy will hopefully help us to recruit more referees to futsal – especially women. The new competitions in particular will provide an incentive for people to become futsal referees”.

Source: UEFA

CAF reacts to referee Otogo-Castane penalty decision against Nigeria

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has criticised referee Eric Otogo-Castane of Gabon for awarding a late controversial penalty to Algeria in the 1-1 draw against Nigeria in the last game 2018 World. The visitors were forced to a draw when Yacine Brahaimi converted a late penalty which cancelled out John Ogu’s 62nd minute goal for Nigeria.
CAF has criticised the incident that led to the penalty in their match report of the game, posted on,‎ ‎describing the referee’s decision as harsh. CAF noted that “Algeria Convert Soft Penalty To Hold Nigeria.” CAF insisted that Shehu Abdullahi who was adjudged to have fouled Brahaimi in the box didn’t foul the forward. “Yacine Brahimi won and converted a harshly-awarded late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw for Algeria against already-qualified Nigeria Friday in a World Cup Africa zone Group B dead-rubber.“The Gabonese referee ruled that Abdullahi Shehu fouled Brahimi as he moved into the box in Constantine, but big-screen replays suggested otherwise”, reads the piece on‎

UEFA: 2021 aim for female referees

The road to possible participation at UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 has begun for a group of young European female referees, who have been in Nyon for a course designed to give them crucial help as they move along their career path. Twenty-one first and second-category match officials from 19 European national associations were present at the course. The referees, from all four corners of the continent, took part in instruction sessions focussing on issues such as positioning, reading the game, handball, match management and penalty-area incidents, and were given briefings on the qualities needed if they are to succeed at the highest levels.
“Following this year’s Women’s EURO in the Netherlands, we have now begun focussing on the four-year cycle until the next Women’s EURO,” said UEFA refereeing officer Dagmar Damková. “We think that the referees that we brought to Nyon have potential, and we want to show them the way forward, because we believe that they can achieve something. So the idea is to prepare them for a time when they may become elite referees.” The young referees also tested their fitness levels – a crucial attribute as women’s football increases rapidly in technical, tactical and fitness terms. “One day, if they join the elite group,” Damková explained, “the referees will go on UEFA’s summer and winter courses, and will have to pass fitness tests – so we have been guiding and advising them in what to expect in this regard.” The referees have taking charge of domestic and UEFA matches, including games in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, and some have also already taken part in the UEFA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) programme that trains up-and-coming match officials for future assignments. The Nyon course reflected UEFA’s commitment to nurturing female referees in all categories as part of a comprehensive overall development strategy. “It’s a positive factor that we are constantly enhancing development work with women officials,” said Damková, “to include not only the elite levels, but also promising referees in other categories. We’re want the young referees to grab this chance. We have four years before the EURO in 2021 to monitor them and train them to be part of the next top-level generation”.

Source: UEFA

Referee Maric saved the life of a player

Dramatic scenes were seen in a Round of 16 game of the Croatian Football Cup in Vinkovci. Referee Bruno Maric had to help 20-year-old home-born Zvonimir Filipovic, who almost passed away after a challenge.
For a while, the player was still on the ground until Marić approached him and pulled his tongue out of his mouth, so that he would not suffocate. The player has even bitten him, but soon he came to consciousness, got up and left the field.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers – CAF (Round 3, Matchday 6)

10-14 November 2017

South Africa – Senegal
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Berhe Tesfagiorghis (ERI)
Fourth Official: Wisdom Chewe (ZAM)

Cote d’Ivoire – Morocco
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)
Fourth Official: Bakary Camara (GAM)

Ghana – Egypt
Referee: Malang Diedhiou (SEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)
Fourth Official: Daouda Gueye (SEN)

Algeria – Nigeria
Referee: Eric Otogo Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Aboubacar Doumbouya (GUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Seydou Tiama (BFA)
Fourth Official: Juste Ephrem Zio (BFA)

Burkina Faso – Cape Verde Islands
Referee: Youssef Essrayri (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohsen Ben Salem (TUN)
Fourth Official: Sadok Selmi (TUN)

Zambia – Cameroon
Referee: Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yahya Nouali (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Youssef Mabrouk (MAR)
Fourth Official: Nouredine El Jaafari (MAR)

Tunisia – Libya

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

Fourth Official: Hubert Andriamiharisoa (MAD)

Congo DR – Guinea
Referee: Alioum Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Noupue (CMR)
Fourth Official: Blaise Ngwa (CMR)

Gabon – Mali
Referee: Ghead Grisha (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mahmoud Ahmed (EGY)
Fourth Official: Bernard Camille (SEY)

Congo – Uganda
Referee: El Fadil Mohamed (SDN)
Assistant Referee 1: Mohammed Ibrahim (SDN)
Assistant Referee 2: Hassan Egueh (DJI)
Fourth official: Mahmood Ismail (SDN)
Referee Assessor: Bernard Mfubusa (BDI)

Senegal – South Africa
Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Olivier Safari (COD)
Assistant Referee 2: Issa Yaya (CHA)
Fourth Official: Joshua Bondo (BOT)