CONCACAF Referee of the Year 2015: Aguilar (SLV)

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced the 2015 CONCACAF Male and Female Referees of the Year, as winners in the annual CONCACAF Awards. In an equally-weighted vote among Member Association women’s and men’s national team coaches/captains, media and fans, both referees won for the first time in the three-year history of the honours:

CONCACAF Male Referee of the Year
1. Joel Aguilar (SLV, photo)
2. Roberto Garcia (MEX)
3. Fernando Guerrero (MEX)

CONCACAF Female Referee of the Year

1. Kimberly Moreira (CRC)
2. Lucila Venegas (MEX)
3. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)

The CONCACAF Awards are designed to honour the year’s outstanding performers and achievements in confederation-sanctioned competitions involving national teams at all levels and age categories, including FIFA World Cup matches and qualifying for both genders. Performances also eligible for recognition included those achieved in professional club football leagues within the CONCACAF Member Associations, as well as the CONCACAF Champions League. The votes of three important stake-holding segments within the Confederation were counted in compiling the results. Member Associations’ national team coaches and captains (women’s and men’s), accredited media and fans each accounted for one third of the final vote. A semi-final list of maximum 10 nominees in each category was determined by a vote of Technical Directors from each of CONCACAF’s 41 Member Associations and the CONCACAF Technical Study Group, which analyzes tactics and rates performances at all official CONCACAF tournaments.


IFFHS World’s Best Woman Referee 2015: Monzul (UKR)

Monzul won huge support from football experts in 50 countries around the world in the 4th Annual IFFHS Women’s Awards after being placed among the top five referees in voting over the last three years. She scored a total of 114 points to win by 79 points in relegating Bibiana Steinhaus, winner of the two past years, who could only poll 35, just one ahead of Swiss Esther Staubli in third place.
Monzul, sho is 34, began her international career in 2005 and made such progress that she was given control of the final of the World Cup 2015 in Canada between USA and Japan, one year after the final of the UEFA Champions League. Esther Staubli has been regularly elected in the Top 5 since 4 years. The surprise in the voting was the selection of New Zealand’s Anna Marie Keighley, who began her international career only in 2010 and is already in the World’s Top 4. 

IFFHS World’s Best Women Referees 2015
1. Kateryna Monzul (UKR, photo) - 114 p
2. Bibiana Steinhaus (GER) - 35 p
3. Esther Staubli (SUI) - 34 p
4. Anna Marie Keighley (NZL) - 25 p
5. Carina Vitulano (ITA) - 22 p
6. Pernilla Larsson (SWE) - 20 p
7. Teodora Albon (ROU) - 15 p
8. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN) - 15 p
9. Jana Adamkova (CZE) - 13 p
10. Claudia Umpierrez (URU) - 12 p

Collina: AARs and GLT at Euro 2016

UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina explains the background as the Executive Committee prepares to discuss introducing goal-line technology in UEFA competitions.
- Why is UEFA looking at implementing goal-line technology?
- UEFA is constantly monitoring ways in which it can improve the matches taking place in its competitions. I can tell you there has been a long internal consultation process regarding goal-line technology (GLT). For years, we have been analysing hundreds of matches, gathering data on a variety of situations during games. As you know, at our request, in 2012 the International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved the introduction of additional assistant referees (AARs) to increase the officials' visibility and control of the penalty area. This system has worked very well and provided clear benefits. At the same time, we have followed the evolution of GLT, which is complementary with the AAR's job. As a matter of fact, we have already seen that in Italy's Serie A, where AARs and GLT are used in perfect harmony.
- Why are you making a decision on this now?
- This did not happen overnight. It was well over a year ago that UEFA President Michel Platini proposed that we investigate the possibility of having goal-line technology working side-by-side with additional assistant referees to further improve results on the field. Mr. Platini told us at the time that the opinion of the Referees Committee would be decisive for the introduction of GLT at UEFA competitions, and he is on the record saying he was always open to the idea of GLT if the referees felt it was a good solution. Regarding the specific timing, we are comfortable for the Executive Committee to make the decision now, because our review of the process has just concluded, and we also feel that with UEFA Euro 2016 around the corner, it is a good opportunity for UEFA to introduce GLT at a big tournament.
- Does implementing GLT mean that AARs are now not relevant anymore?
- The additional assistants' main task is not to control the goal line and decide whether a ball has crossed it. Rather, they are responsible for monitoring everything that is happening in the penalty area overall, aiding the main referee in making important decisions in the box. Of course, the AARs try to do their best relating to goal-line decisions as well, and what we have noticed is that in order to be prepared to judge goal-line incidents, they need to focus on the goal line before the ball arrives… therefore, they can miss something occurring at the same time in another place in the area. This may reduce the effectiveness of the assistance they are expected to offer the referee. With goal-line technology, the additional assistants are released from this demanding task and can focus exclusively on the control of other incidents on the field.
- How do you evaluate the impact of additional assistant referees (AARs) to date?
- The penalty area is the most crucial zone of the field. Actions there have a decisive influence on matches. The density of players, especially in situations like free kicks and corner kicks, makes it impossible for a single pair of eyes to take control of all that happens on the numerous set-piece plays every match. The aim of implementing the AARs has simply been to give the referees support in controlling the most important incidents on the field of play. Many people in the media and general public may not appreciate all that AARs do during the game, because these officials do not have a flag or a whistle, but it is a fact that they have been crucial in helping make the right decisions at the right time during our matches.

Source: UEFA

AFC U-23 Championship 2016

Qatar, 12-30 January 2016

1. Christopher Beath (AUS, photo)
2. Ma Ning (CHN)

3. Alireza Faghani (IRN)
4. Ali Al-Qaysi (IRQ)
5. Ryuji Sato (JPN)
6. Adham Makhadmeh (JOR)
7. Kim Jong Hyeok (KOR)
8. Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS)
9. Ahmed Al Kaf (OMA)
10. Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
11. Fahad Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
12. Dmitrii Mashentsev (KGZ)
13. Hettikankanamge Perera (SRI)
14. Abdulla Mohamed (UAE)
15. Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)

Standby referee
Fahad Al-Marri (QAT)

Assistant Referees

1. Nawaf Moosa (BHR)
2. Wang De Xin (CHN)
3. Hsu Min-Yu (TPE)
4. Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
5. Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
6. Otsuka Haruhiro (JPN)
7. Ahmad Al-Roalle (JOR)
8. Yoon Kwangyeol (KOR)
9. Ismailzhan Talipzhanov (KGZ)
10. Mohd Bin Muhamad (MAS)
11. Abu Al Amri (OMA)
12. Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
13. Saoud Almaqaleh (QAT)
14. Mohammed Al-Abakry (KSA)
15. Abdulah Al-Shalwai (KSA)
16. Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)
17. Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
18. Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)

Referee strikes in CONCACAF

The Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Football Association (CONCACAF) announced that it has finalized the review of its Referee Department, conducted as a result of concerns raised following the 2015 Gold Cup quarter-final and semi-final matches, held in the United States last July. The review assessed the state of CONCACAF’s Referee Department, with particular attention paid to the controversial decisions during Gold Cup 2015, the referee strikes at the Gold Cup 2015 and Pan American Games 2015, and the overall operations of CONCACAF’s Referee Department. Following the review, CONCACAF confirmed that it has parted ways with Sonia Denoncourt, who was heading the referee department for less than one year, and a search for her replacement is currently under way.
Key conclusions and recommendations based on the review include:
• CONCACAF found no clear or convincing evidence of match fixing or an intentional effort to affect the results of the Gold Cup 2015 matches. Each of the decisions during the quarterfinals and semifinals of the Gold Cup 2015 could be attributed to simple mistakes, errors in positioning, and/or lack of concentration. Based on interviews and statements from referees, it is possible that a number of external circumstances, most notably recent labor disputes by the referee group and internal disputes, were an unnecessary distraction for the referees at a critical time. In interviews, the referees admitted personal errors and apologized for them.
• CONCACAF determined that the referee and match official appointment process requires reform. The Confederation’s current procedure differs from the guidelines provided by FIFA, and has led to mistakes, valid criticism from many stakeholders, and information leaks.
• CONCACAF identified areas for administrative improvement in the planning and structure of the Referee Department. These improvements will address referee payment and reimbursement issues, as well as various other procedural and management functions within the referee group
• CONCACAF had not increased remuneration for referees in recent years with the exception of Gold Cup 2013, which was done across the board for all match officials and referees, but only for that tournament. CONCACAF has reviewed the current compensation policy and is in the process of implementing new financial terms for referees and other match officials.
• CONCACAF is restructuring the Referee Department and is currently searching for a new Director of Refereeing. The Confederation will undertake a rigorous and public search to find someone with the experience and effective management skills to establish a successful regional structure. This person will play a key role in developing a professional refereeing workforce that enables CONCACAF to achieve and maintain a consistent high-quality performance on the field.
• CONCACAF will improve the Match Official appointment process and adopt best practices similar to those from FIFA and other world-class member associations. This new process and enhanced procedures are expected to serve as the foundation for a strong and effective Refereeing function within the CONCACAF region.
The Referee Department review was conducted by Acting General Secretary Ted Howard at the request of CONCACAF’s Executive Committee. The review process included interviews with referees, officials, technical staff, and members of the CONCACAF Referee Advisory group. It also included a review of match monitoring reports from Gold Cup 2015 and an assessment of the referee appointment process for all CONCACAF competitions. “CONCACAF’s referees are critical to our organization’s mission, and we are proud to have dedicated officials working to ensure that the Confederation’s tournaments are officiated with integrity”, said CONCACAF Acting General Secretary Ted Howard. “We are committed to making the necessary improvements to our Referee Department to ensure that it operates effectively. These changes will provide our referees, officials, and assessors with the proper structure, training, and support to carry out their responsibilities on the field, while acting in the best interests of the game”. In addition, Acting General Secretary Ted Howard personally monitored the process to appoint referees for the competitions that took place, or are scheduled to take place, after the conclusion of Gold Cup 2015.


FIFA World Cup Final 2010: “It's not a red card, it's an arrestable offence!”

English referee Howard Webb has opened up once more about Nigel de Jong's outrageous tackle on Xabi Alonso during the 2010 World Cup final. The majority of the crowd that packed into Soccer City in Johannesburg were mystified when Webb only showed a yellow card following the Dutch midfielder's kung-fu kick on Alonso in the 28th minute.
Webb has revealed that, at half-time, he received a text from a friend, who works as a police officer and informed him that De Jong's challenge could have landed him in court. “I still thought I got it right on the pitch”, Webb told BT Sport. “So I get back into the dressing room and my assistant referee has gone to his pocket and got his phone out, and his face dropped. I said "what's wrong?" and he said "De Jong should have been red carded; the guy from the referee headquarters saying he should have been red carded". I went "you're joking?" I got my phone out, a mate of mine in the police said "Howard, it's not a red card, it's an arrestable offence!" Webb went on to issue 14 yellow cards during the ill-tempered affair with Netherlands defender Heitinga sent-off during extra time. Andres Iniesta's strike deep into extra time secured the trophy for an all-star Spanish outfit. 

Source: Daily Mail

CAF Referee of the Year 2015: Gassama (GAM)

Bakary Gassama was named 2015 African Referee of the Year, his second in a row, equalling the record held by Algerian Djamel Haimoudi, who won in 2012 and 2013. The Gambian FIFA referee, 36, soared to the prestigious award at the expense of Egyptian Ghead Grisha, Janny Sikazwe of Zambia and Gabonese Eric Otogo Castane. He was presented with his prize by CAF Executive Committee member Magd Shams El Dine at the 2015 Glo-CAF Awards Gala in Abuja, Nigeria. The Referee of the Year award was decided by the votes of the CAF Referees Committee members.
Gassama's (photo) next target would be to become the first man to win three straight African Referee of the Year Awards and because of his current standing in the game, both at continental and global level, the Gambian could establish a monopoly that may prove very difficult to surmount. During the year under review, Gassama who won the 2014 edition, handled and discharged his duties professionally in some high profile games including the final of the AFCON 2015 in Equatorial Guinea and the CAF Champions League final. Having become a FIFA referee in 2007, Bakary Gassama has over the last eight years proved to be one of the foremost referees in world football. After refereeing in the 2012 Olympics in London, where he was the fourth official in the Gold Cup Match between eventual winners Mexico and Brazil, the Gambian officiated the Netherlands - Chile clash in the group phase of the 2014 World Cup. He was rated one of the seven best referees in that competition by FIFA and for someone who would turn 37 in February, Gassama is again in line to participate at the 2018 edition in Russia.

Source: All Africa

Maidin joins AFC as Director of Referees

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced the appointment of former FIFA World Cup referee, FIFA Referee Instructor and AFC Elite Referee Assessor Shamsul Maidin as the new AFC Director of Referees. The Singaporean started in his role on 4 January 2016.
Shamsul’s wealth of experience, not only in Asia but also globally, places him as a leading expert to maintain and enhance the high standards of refereeing in Asia. Having risen through the ranks of the continent, Shamsul’s glittering career - both as a professional referee and an instructor - makes him a great addition and a valuable asset to the AFC and the Member Associations. Shamsul Maidin said: “I am humbled by this exciting opportunity and I am relishing the chance to deliver on the strong foundation and standards established by my predecessor. I am very passionate about the education and development of referees in Asia and together with the AFC Member Associations and stakeholders I am confident we can continue to raise the standard of Asian referees”.
Maidin (photo), 49, who retired as a referee in 2007, enjoyed an illustrious career which saw him officiate the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2006 FIFA World Cup. Other highlights include the 1996, 2000 and 2004 AFC Asian Cups, as well as the 2001 and 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. He was the only non-African referee to officiate at the 2006 African Cup of Nations. The two-time AFC Best Referee of the Year takes over from Yoshimi Ogawa who steps down after almost ten years, moving back to Japan. The AFC would like to thank Ogawa-san for his leadership and unwavering commitment towards strengthening the level of our officials in Asian football these past ten years. 

Source: AFC

El-Ghandour named Egypt’s new Head of Refereeing

The Egyptian Football Association has announced their new referee committee, appointing international referee Gamal El-Ghandour as head. The association also named Yasser Abdel-Raouf and Tamer Dorry as technical committee members, as well as Hossam Taha, Azzab Hagag and Mohamed Hassan as administrative executives. The former committee had come under pressure from Zamalek club chairman Mortada Mansour, leading executive head Wagih Ahmed to resign. 
El-Ghandour (photo), 58, has refereed many important international competitions, including two FIFA World Cups - France in 1998 and Korea/Japan in 2002. He is the first African referee appointed for a match in the UEFA European Championship and has refereed five African Cup of Nations (1994 to 2002) alongside a FIFA Confederation Cup (2001), AFC Asian Cup and many other events. 

Source: Ahram

Milton Nielsen, new referee manager in Denmark

DBU has a new man at the head of the refereeing: former World Cup referee Kim Milton Nielsen. He took over a new position, being responsible for, among other things, the development and training of referees. "I am looking forward to the new challenge. It's always exciting to work with people and I look forward to working with elite referees where I can help by giving back my experience from years as a referee", said Kim Milton.
The DBU has long searched for a new referee consultant, but the desire to fill the position with an experienced ex-international referee has put its natural limits on candidate field. Therefore, the elite boss Kim Hallberg is very pleased that has finally been reached an agreement in place with a heavy profile Kim Milton. "We are very pleased that we finally managed to get our referee consultant in place - one of the most experienced Danish referee in recent times. The position is changed from purely administrative to more responsibility for dialogue with our elite referees, as well as implementation and evaluation of our new referee projects. Therefore, the appointment of Kim is a further strengthening of our efforts to raise the refereeing level even higher in Danish football".
Kim Milton Nielsen is 55 years old and refereed from 1991 to 2006 in the Super League: 16 seasons and more than 250 Superliga matches plus several international competitions, among others, the UEFA Champions League final in 2004 and the match between England and Argentina at the FIFA World Cup in 1998, when Beckham was sent off. After finishing his referee career, Kim Milton had been with FC Roskilde and Fryland APS as vice-president. Additionally, Kim Milton is sitting in DBU's Ethics Council. 

Source: DBU

IFAB: The Laws of the Game will be more user-friendly

Sending players off for pre-match fights. Permitting the ball to go in any direction at kickoff. Allowing more players to be treated on the field. Stopping teams benefiting from players being punished. These are just a few of the innovations contained in re-written laws of the game, overhauled by soccer's rule-makers in an attempt to remove inconsistencies and make them more user-friendly. A 22,000-word document has been cut to 12,000 words over the last 18 months. The new laws were approved by the International Football Association Board in London this week, will be ratified at the body's March meeting, and will be in force for the European Championship in June.
David Elleray (photo), who formulated the comprehensive revision of the laws, hopes rules will no longer be open to as much interpretation. "We are trying to help situations which tend to occur very often and are a bit crazy", said Elleray, a former English Premier League referee. "We have tried to use much clearer language. We tried to avoid a lot of unnecessary repetition and we tried to make it up-to-date. Because the laws have evolved piecemeal and no one has done a comprehensive review there have been inconsistencies".
The Associated Press looks at the biggest revamp of the rules of soccer in 135 years by the IFAB, largely through Elleray's explanations:

The current law says the ball must go forward at kick-off and players have to be in their own half. The rule is being changed to allow the ball to go in any direction at kick-off, as long as it moves. 

Pre-match red cards
Citing a row in the tunnel between Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane before an Arsenal - Manchester United match in 2005, Elleray highlighted how they could not have been sent-off in the event of a full-scale fight. The laws were written at a time before it was custom for teams to line up next to each other in the tunnel before kick-off. In future, referees will be able to punish red-card offences any time after the pre-match inspection. Elleray: "(Fighting players) would be banned from playing the match, but both teams would still start with 11 because they would be able to use one of the named substitutes. They would lose a substitute". 

Leaving field for treatment
Elleray: "If a player is injured from a challenge which is punished by a red or yellow card, he can have quick treatment on the field of play and does not have to leave. It always seemed unfair that the victim team was down to 10 men and the guilty team has 11 against 10." 

Quick return
Elleray: "If a player goes off to change his boots, at the moment he has to wait until the game is stopped and the referee has to go and check his boots before he can play again. Now we are saying his boots or whatever can be checked by the fourth official, the assistant referee even, and (the player can) come back during play".

Grabbing opponents 
Elleray: "Two players go off the field of play. One tries to get back on to play the ball, and the other one grabs him off the field of play to stop him going back on. At the moment the referee gives a red or yellow card and restarts with a drop ball, which is clearly wrong. So we will be giving a free kick on the touchline or the goal-line. If it's inside the penalty area, it can be a penalty kick". 

Preventing goals 
Elleray: "If a (non-playing) substitute at the moment comes on and dives and stops the goal, it's an indirect free kick." And then there is the unlikely but not unforeseen situation in which a team physician comes onto the field during play. "If the doctor does it, it's a drop ball, which again is wrong for football. Their team benefits from breaking the law. So they will become direct free kicks or penalty kicks". 

Kicks from the penalty mark
Elleray: "If a player gets sent-off during kicks from the penalty mark, the other team doesn't also go down to 10. So, if it goes all the way through, the guilty team's best player takes a second kick against the innocent team's worst player." In future, both teams will be reduced to the same number of kickers. Elleray: "We are trying to make sure the laws are fair and support the team that has been offended against and don't reward people for breaking the laws of the game".

Elleray: "Part of the law book says when players commit an offside offence, you give a free kick where the offence occurred. The other part of the law book says you give a free kick where the player was when he was in the offside position. So, a player can actually move 20 yards from being in an offside position... and it's only the moment he plays the ball that he is penalized. The law tells you to give the free kick in two different places. In future, the free kick will always be given where he commits the offside offence, even if he's in his own half, because you cannot be in an offside position in your own half, but you can go back into your own half to commit an offside offence". 

Logos on corner flags 
Club logos will be allowed on corner flags. Elleray: "It happens in the Premier League, but is actually against the laws of the game". 

Common sense
Elleray: "We are encouraging referees to referee according to the spirit of the game and to use common sense. If you can play the game and there's a minor breach of the law, report it to the authorities and sort it out afterwards. Don't be too black and white in minor areas". That means, for example, in the grass-roots game, not abandoning a match if one of the four corner flags is broken. 

Source: AP

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 – Prospective Referees

1. Rita Gani (MAS, b.1977, F.2005)
2. Kate Jacewicz (AUS, b.1985, F.2011, photo)
3. Abirami Naidu (SIN, b.1983, F.2009)
4. Hyeon-Jeong Ok (KOR, b.1988, F.2015)
5. Ji-Yeong Park (KOR, b.1981, F.2011)
6. Liang Qin (CHN, b.1979, F.2010)
7. Casey Reibelt (AUS, b.1988, F.2014)
8. Hyang Ok Ri (PRK, b.1977, F.2005)
9. Aye Thein (MYA, b.1982, F.2008)
10. Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN, b.1986, F.2015)

1. Lilia Abdeljaoued (TUN, b.1979, F.2009)
2. Aya Ahoua (CIV, b.1974, F.2006)
3. Aissata Amegee (TGO, b.1975, F.2001)
4. Marximina Bernardo (ANG, b.1979, F.2002)
5. Incaf El Harkaoui (MAR, b.1978, F2005)
6. Gladys Lengwe (ZAM, b.1978, F.2002)
7. Neama Mohamed (EGY, b.1977, F.2004)
8. Therese Neguel (CMR, b.1981, F.2006)
9. Ledya Tafesse (ETH, b.1980, F.2005)
10. Fatou Thioune (SEN, b.1985, F.2013)

1. Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX, b.1975, F.2004)
2. Marianela Araya (CRC, b.1988, F.2014)
3. Melissa Borjas (HON, b.1986, F.2013)
4. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN, b.1977, F.2006)
5. Margaret Domka (USA, b.1979, F.2007)
6. Mirian Leon (SLV, b.1986, F.2013)
7. Michelle Pye (CAN, b.1978, F.2007)
8. Cardella Samuels (JAM, b.1983, F.2009)
9. Lucila Venegas (MEX, b.1981, F.2008)

1. Maria Carvajal (CHI, b.1983, F.2007)
2. Yercinia Correa (VEN, b.1979, F.2007)
3. Maria Fortunato (ARG, b.1985, F.2010)
4. Regildenia Moura (BRA, b.1974, F.2012)
5. Olga Miranda (PAR, b.1982, F.2012)
6. Viviana Munoz (COL, b.1985, F.2011)
7. Silvia Reyes (PER, b.1981, F.2007)
8. Claudia Umpierrez (URU, b.1983, F.2010)

1. Anna-Marie Keighley (NZL, b.1982, F.2010)
2. Tupou Patia (COK, b.1984, F.2011)
3. Finau Vulivuli (FIJ, b.1982, F.2007)

All pre-selected referees for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 will be attending the FIFA Elite courses along with the prospective referees for the FIFA World Cup 2018: CONCACAF and CONMEBOL in Miami, USA (25-29 April 2016), AFC, CAF and OFC in Doha, Qatar (11-15 April 2016). The UEFA course and participants will be announced shortly.

Source: Arbitro Internacional

FIFA World Cup 2018 – Prospective Referees


1. Abdulrahman Al Jassim (QAT, b.1987, F.2013)
2. Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA, b.1985, F.2011)
3. Alireza Faghani (IRN, b.1978, F.2008)
4. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, b.1977, F.2002, photo)
5. Abdulla Mohamed (EAU, b.1978, F.2010)
6. Ryuji Sato (JPN, b.1977, F.2009)
7. Nawaf Shukralla (BHR, b.1976, F.2007)

Reserve Referees
1. Muhammad Bin Jahari (SIN, b.1986, F.2012)
2. Mohd Bin Yaacob (MAS, b.1986, F.2012)
3. Jong Hyeok Kim (KOR, b.1983, F.2009)


1. Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, b.1980, F.2011)
2. Alioum Alioum (CMR, b.1982, F.2008)
3. Bernard Camille (SEY, b. 1975, F.2011)
4. Malang Diedhiou (SEN, b.1973, F.2008)
5. Bakary Gassama (GAM, b.1979, F.2008)
6. Ghead Grisha (EGY, b.1976, F.2008)
7. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, b.1979, F.2007)

Reserve Referees
1. Joseph Lamptey (GHA, b.1974, F.2005)
2. Eric Otogo Castane (GAB, b.1976, F.2011)
3. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, b.1980, F.2009)


1. Joel Aguilar (SLV, b.1975, F.2002)
2. Roberto Garcia (MEX, b.1974, F.2007)
3. Mark Geiger (USA, b.1974, F.2008)
4. Walter Lopez (GUA, b.1980, F.2006)
5. Ricardo Montero (CRC, b.1986, F.2011)
6. John Pitti (PAN, b.1978, F.2012)
7. Cesar Ramos (MEX, b.1983, F.2014)

Reserve Referees
1. Armando Castro (HON, b.1983, F.2011)
2. Valdin Legister (JAM, b.1979, F.2010)
3. Yadel Martinez (CUB, b.1985, F.2013)


1. Jose Argote (VEN, b.1980, F.2008)
2. Enrique Caceres (PAR, b.1974, F.2010)
3. Andres Cunha (URU, b.1976, F.2013)
4. Diego Haro (PER, b. 1982, F.2013)
5. Enrique Osses (CHI, b.1974, F.2005)
6. Nestor Pitana (ARG, b.1975, F.2010)
7. Sandro Ricci (BRA, b.1974, F2011)
8. Wilmar Roldan (COL, b.1980, F.2008)
9. Gery Vargas (BOL, b.1981, F.2012)
10. Roddy Zambrano (ECU, b.1978, F.2012)

Reserve Referees
1. Julio Bascunan (CHI, b.1978, F.2011)
2. Daniel Fedorczuk (URU, b.1976, F.2011)
3. Wilson Lamouroux (COL, b.1979, F.2013)
4. Wilton Sampaio (BRA, b.1981, F.2013)
5. Mauro Vigliano (ARG, b.1975, F.2013)


1. Matthew Conger (NZL, b.1978, F.2013)
2. Norbert Hauata (TAH, b.1979, F. 2008)

Reserve Referees
1. Ravitesh Behari (FIJ, b.1981, F.2013)
2. Nicholas Waldron (NZL, b.1982, F.2013)
3. Abdelkader Zitouni (TAH, b.1981, F.2012)

All prospective referees will be attending FIFA Elite courses: CONCACAF and CONMEBOL in Miami, USA (25-29 April 2016), AFC, CAF and OFC in Doha, Qatar (11-15 April 2016). The UEFA course and participants will be announced shortly.

Source: Arbitro Internacional

Only three FIFA referees over 45 in 2016

Although FIFA decided last year to remove the age limits for international referees and assistant referees, only three referees older than 45 were accepted for 2016: Baldomero Toledo (USA, 1970, photo), Walter Quesada (CRC, 1970) and Tayeb Shamsuzzaman (BAN, 1970). There is also an interesting return to the FIFA List of a 45-year-old referee: Diego Abal (ARG, 1971). 
On the assistant referees lists, there are six FIFA officials over 45: Martin Wilczek (CZE, 1970), Ayman Degaish (EGY, 1970), Michael Mullarkey (ENG, 1970), Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ, 1970), Nikolai Golubev (RUS, 1970) and Bojan Ul (SVN, 1970).
There are no women referees, women assistant referees, futsal referees or beach soccer referees older than 45 on the 2016 FIFA Lists.

Globe Soccer Awards 2015: Irmatov (UZB)

Asian refereeing icon Ravshan Irmatov from Uzbekistan was named Best Referee of the Year at the recent Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai, the UAE. An international referee since 2003, the 38-year-old old Irmatov is a five-time AFC Referee of the Year and took charge of four matches including a semi-final at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia apart from refereeing the deciding leg of the 2015 AFC Champions League final between eventual champions Guangzhou Evergrande from China and the UAE’s Al Ahli. The year 2014 also proved to be another excellent one for the Tashkent-born referee, who during the summer set a FIFA World Cup record after officiating the quarter-final match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. That game saw the experienced Uzbek become the first referee to officiate at nine World Cup matches, beating the previous record of eight he shared with Joël Quiniou of France, Benito Archundia of Mexico and Uruguay's Jorge Larrionda.

Nominees for the 2015 Globe Soccer Awards
AFC: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan, photo)
CAF: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
CONCACAF: Joel Aguilar (Salvador)
CONMEBOL: Wilmar Roldan (Colombia)
OFC: Norbert Hauata (Tahiti)
UEFA: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)

Source: AFC

IFFHS World’s Best Referee 2015: Rizzoli (ITA)

For three years, Nicola Rizzoli, who is today 44 years old, dominate the rankings of the World’s Best Referee. Second in 2013, behind the double winner of the award, Howard Webb (2010 and 2013), the Italian referee won in 2014 and again in 2015. Selected editorial offices and experts from 50 countries around the world took part in the 2015 annual election of the top referee, the 29th time it has been carried out by the IFFHS.
Rizzoli began his senior career in 2002, became an international at 2007 and made a great Jump in the Top World Referees in 2013 to be the number 1. Last year, he had 53 points more than the second, but this year, his margin was very small with two strong concurrents, the English referee Martin Atkinson and the Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir. Rizzoli (80 points) had only 8 points more than Atkinson and nine more than Cakir! With the German Felix Briych , at the 4th place, they have dominated the year 2015 with clear-sighted performances. Bjorn Kuipers confirms his place in the Top 5, Marc Clattenburg made his entry in the ranking for the first time. South America had also a new great referee with Wilmar Roldan from Colombia and Australia’s Ben Williams entered the Top 10.

IFFHS World’s Best Referees 2015 
1. Nicola Rizzoli (ITA, photo) 80 p
2. Martin Atkinson (ENG) 72 p
3. Cuneyt Cakir (TUR) 71 p
4. Felix Brych (GER) 59 p
5. Bjorn Kuipers (NED) 35 p
6. Mark Clattenburg (ENG) 24 p
7. Wilmar Roldan (COL) 21 p
8. Jonas Eriksson (SWE) 14 p
9. Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP) 11 p
10. Benjamin Williams (AUS) 6 p