Former World Cup referee Vital Loraux has died

Former World Cup referee Vital Loraux died Wednesday at the age of 87, announced Belgian Football Union. Loraux has officiated at two FIFA World Cups, in 1970 and 1974. He also refereed the 1974 European Champions Cup final.
Loraux, born on 22 September 1925, in Charleroi, became referee after a short playing career at the Olympic Charleroi and Daring Bruxelles. He officiated in the first division from 1958 and quickly became among the best referees, as evidenced by his five Cup finals in Belgium (1966, 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1975). In 1964, Vital Loraux became an international referee. At the FIFA World Cup 1970, in Mexico, he was assigned two matches, England-Romania and Brazil-Peru. Four years later, in Germany, he refereed Brazil-Peru, in the second round. In the same year, 1974, he was appointed to referee the European Champions Cup final between Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid (1-1). Two days later, the replay won 4-0 by Bayern was refereed by another Belgian, Alfred Delcourt, who died in December 2012. Reaching the age limit of that time, 50, Vital Loraux retired from refereeing in 1975. He was a member of the Belgian Referees Committee from 1975 to 1999, when he was nominated as an Honour Member of the Belgian Football Union.

Source: Le Soir

Updated List of Prospective Referees for FIFA World Cup 2014

FIFA recently updated the list of prospective match officials for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The most important changes took place in CONMEBOL, where two referees initially pre-selected, Wilson Seneme (BRA) and Roberto Silvera (URU), failed the fitness tests and have been replaced by Sandro Ricci (BRA, photo) and Martin Vazquez (URU), who brought along Nicolas Taran as AR. In UEFA, assistant referee Roman Slysko (SVK) replaced Antonin Kordula (CZE) in Pavel Kralovec’s trio, while Milorad Mazic (SRB) will also have a new AR, Dalibor Djurdjevic, who replaced Vladimir Jovanovic. In CAF, assistant referee El Hadji Samba joins referee Badara Diatta (SEN), replacing AR Felicien Kabanda (RWA), who moved to Bakary Gassama’s trio. Anouar Hmila (TUN) replaced Sherif Hassan (EGY) as an AR working along with referee Slim Jedidi (TUN). Finally, in AFC, referee Albadwawi (UAE) will be working with a new assistant, Mohamed Al Mehairi, who replaced Omar Alhumoudi. There were no changes in CONCACAF and OFC.
Referee: Ali Albadwawi (UAE, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Saleh Al-Marzouqi (UAE, 1970)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohamed Al-Mehairi (UAE, 1974)

Referee: Khalil Al Ghamdi (KSA, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Badr Al Shumrani (KSA, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Hamed Al Mayahi (OMA, 1975)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Hassan Kamranifar (IRN, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Reza Sokhandan (IRN, 1974)

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ, 1970)

Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (JPN, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN, 1971)

Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (BAH, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Abdulla (BAH, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BAH, 1974)

Referee: Benjamin Williams (AUS, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Hakan Anaz (AUS, 1969)

Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR, 1982)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Edibe (NGA, 1970)

Referee: Daniel Bennett (RSA, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Marwa Range (KEN, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele Siwela (RSA, 1982)

Referee: Badara Diatta (SEN, 1969)
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN, 1979)

Referee: Noumandiez Doue (CIV, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Songuifolo Yeo (CIV, 1970)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI, 1972)

Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI, 1971)
Assistant Referee 2: Felicien Kabanda (RWA, 1971)

Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Redouane Achik (MAR, 1972)

Referee: Slim Jedidi (TUN, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Bechir Hassani (TUN, 1969)
Assistant Referee 2: Anouar Hmila (TUN, 1974)

Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: William Torres (SLV, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zumba (SLV, 1982)

Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Camargo (MEX, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morin (MEX, 1980)

Referee: Mark Geiger (USA, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Hurd (USA, 1971)
Assistant Referee 2: Joe Fletcher (CAN, 1976)

Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Gerson Lopez (GUA, 1983)

Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Eric Boria (USA, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Morgan (JAM, 1972)

Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Keytzel Corrales (NCA, 1980)

Referee: Marco Rodriguez (MEX, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX, 1971)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcos Quintero (MEX, 1973)

Referee: Diego Abal (ARG, 1971)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG, 1979)

Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR, 1984)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Caceres (PAR, 1983)

Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Cesar Escano (PER, 1970)

Referee: Raul Orosco (BOL, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Efrain Castro (BOL, 1969)
Assistant Referee 2: Arol Valda (BOL, 1970)

Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Mondria (CHI, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Astroza (CHI, 1976)

Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Emerson De Carvalho (BRA, 1972)

Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL, 1980)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL, 1973)

Referee: Juan Soto (VEN, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Lopez (VEN, 1982)

Referee: Martin Vazquez (URU, 1971)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU, 1980)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Nievas (URU, 1974)

Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU, 1980)

Referee: Norbert Hauata (TAH, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Rule (NZL, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Tevita Makasini (TGA, 1976)

Referee: Peter O’Leary (NZL, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Hintz (NZL, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Ravinesh Kumar (FIJ, 1982)

Referee: Felix Brych (GER, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Borsch (GER, 1977)

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR, 1973)

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Beck (ENG, 1972)

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE, 1974)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Warnmark (SWE, 1974)

Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN, 1975)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabor Eros (HUN, 1971)
Assistant Referee 2: Gyorgy Ring (HUN, 1981)

Referee: Pavel Kralovec (CZE, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Wilczek (CZE, 1970)
Assistant Referee 2: Roman Slysko (SVK, 1973)

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED, 1977)

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (FRA, 1969)
Assistant Referee 1: Frederic Cano (FRA, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Annonier (FRA, 1972)

Referee: Milorad Mazic (SRB, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristic (SRB, 1974)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjevic (SRB, 1973)

Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR, 1979)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR, 1977)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andas (NOR, 1975)

Referee: Pedro Proenca Oliveira (POR, 1970)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Cunha Miranda (POR, 1972)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Garcias Trigo (POR, 1972)

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA, 1971)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato Faverani (ITA, 1969)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Stefani (ITA, 1969)

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA, 1972)

Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Zunic (SVN, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Bojan Ul (SVN, 1970)

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER, 1969)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER, 1969)
Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (GER, 1975)

Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO, 1972)
Assistant Referee 1: Alasdair Ross (SCO, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Derek Rose (SCO, 1974)

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP, 1973)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Cabanero Martinez (ESP, 1981)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Diaz Del Palomar (ESP, 1976)

Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP, 1971)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP, 1975)

Referee: Howard Webb (ENG, 1971)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG, 1970)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Cann (ENG, 1969)

All prospective referees and assistant referees are required to attend FIFA seminars within their own confederations: CONCACAF – Fort Lauderdale, USA (4-7 April), CONMEBOL – Asuncion, Paraguay (9-12 April), UEFA – Zurich, Switzerland (16-19 April), AFC & OFC – Dubai, UAE (22-25 April), CAF – Casablanca, Morocco (27-30 April).

Ex-World Cup referee Lu Jun banned from football for life

Match-fixing bans on 58 Chinese soccer officials and players will be extended worldwide, said FIFA, the sport's governing body FIFA. The 58 were banned by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) on 18 February, following a three-year push to clean up rampant corruption in the sport in China. "The sanctions by the Chinese Football Association's disciplinary committee involve players and officials, with 25 receiving a five-year ban from all football activities while the remaining 33 individuals were banned from all football activities for life," a FIFA statement said. "The Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has extended the sanctions to have worldwide effect. In taking those sanctions and notifying FIFA of them, the CFA has emphasised its on-going commitment to stamping out all forms of match-fixing and corruption in the game".
China's Xinhua news agency reported last week that the 58 included two former football chiefs who were jailed in June for accepting bribes in a scandal. Nan Yong, the former head of Chinese football, was sentenced to 10 and a half years for taking bribes worth more than 1.48 million yuan ($237,500) while his predecessor Xie Yalong received an identical sentence and was also fined 200,000 yuan. Former CFA deputy head Yang Yimin and World Cup (2002) referee Lu Jun, once hailed as China's "Golden Whistle", were also among the 33 banned from football for life. Others included four former Chinese national team players Shen Si, Qi Hong, Jiang Jin and Li Ming, all jailed for up to six years in June for match-fixing.
The sentences "followed investigations and trials conducted by Chinese judicial authorities between 2010 and 2012 in which the Chinese Football Association (CFA) cooperated fully," FIFA added. The cases involved relate to incidents of match-fixing that took place in the 1990s and early 2000s." Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, who recently lost big name strikers Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka to Galatasaray and Juventus, were fined one million yuan and deducted six points for next season for fixing a game in their 2003 league-winning campaign.
FIFA has been especially keen to be seen to be cracking down on corruption after European anti-crime agency Europol caused consternation in the game when it announced on 4 February that around 680 matches were suspected to have been fixed in a global betting scam run from Singapore.

Source: Reuters

FIFA AR Manganelli in serious condition after car accident

Sunday, 24 February 2013, ended in tragedy for one of the best Italian assistant referees of the new generation, Lorenzo Manganelli, 38, who is now in serious condition in hospital Di Ponte at Niccheri. Around 19:30, he was returning home along with his colleague Filippo Bercigli and their girlfriends, after a weekend of relaxtion. His car was involved in a terrible accident on the A1 stretch between Florence and Incisa. A terrifying encounter where four cars, for reasons yet to be determined, clashed in the chain. One of the occupants died instantly, while there were two seriously injured and five mild injured people. Among those in critical condition is Manganelli, who started an international refereeing career that took him to some of the most important matches of European football.
Manganelli (photo), who resides in Bucine, started his refereeing career in 2000. After four seasons in Serie D, he moved to Serie C as an assistant referee, followed by Serie A and B in 2007 and his debut in Serie A in 2008 during the match Torino-Livorno. He became an international assistant referee in January 2012. Manganelli started this year with a prestigious international friendly match, France – Germany. Recently, he worked with referee Paolo Tagliavento in two European matches: Valencia – Paris St. Germain, in the UEFA Champions League, and Steaua – Ajax in the UEFA Europa League.  In the Italian championship, Manganelli has always been appointed for the most important matches, with 68 appearances in Serie A, including some classics like Milan-Rome, Inter-Milan, Juventus-Turin, Inter-Napoli, Roma-Inter, Lazio-Napoli and Roma-Juventus. Now, a bad car accident threatens to erase everything.

Source: La Nazione

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 3)

26 February 2013
Tijuana – San Jose
Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Miguel Flores (MEX)
Referee Observer: Jorge Gasso (MEX)

Deportes Tolima – Real Garcilaso
Referee: Omar Ponce (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Alvarado (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Herrera (ECU)
Fourth Official: Wilson Lamoureux (COL)
Referee Observer: Otalvaro Polanco (COL)

Penarol – Velez
Referee: Heber Lopes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Altemir Hausmann (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Fernando Falce (URU)
Referee Observer: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

Arsenal Sarandi – Atletico Mineiro
Referee: Martin Vazquez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Changala (URU)
Fourth Official: Diego Ceballos (ARG)
Referee Observer: Juan Loustau (ARG)

27 February 2013
Barcelona – Boca Juniors
Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Fourth Official: Diego Lara (ECU)
Referee Observer: Rogger Zambrano (ECU)

Deportes Iquique – Emelec
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Lopez Cruz (PER)
Fourth Official: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Observer: Pablo Pozo (CHI)

Huachipato – Fluminense
Referee: Saul Laverni (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivan Nunez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jorge Osorio (CHI)
Referee Observer: Ivan Guerrero (CHI)

Corinthians – Millonarios
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Fourth Official: Pericles Cortez (BRA)
Referee Observer: Salvio Fagundes (BRA)

28 February 2013
Sporting Cristal – Atletico Tigre
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Sergio Romam (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Maturana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Manuel Garay (PER)
Referee Observer: Gilberto Hidalgo (PER)

Libertad – Palmeiras
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Ulises Mereles (PAR)
Referee Observer: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Sao Paulo – The Strongest
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Paulo Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Observer: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

CAF Super Cup 2013

23 February 2013

Al Ahly – AC Leopards
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI)
Assistant Referee 2: Felicien Kabanda (RWA)
Fourth Official: Maudo Jallow (GAM)

Referee Toshimitsu reveals he was offered money to fix Thai Cup final

The Thai Football Association has begun an investigation into claims that match-fixers attempted to rig the result of November's Thai FA Cup final. The Japanese official Yoshida Toshimitsu (photo) was in charge for Buriram United's 2-1 win over Army United and reported to the Asian Football Confederation that he was offered money to favour one of the two teams, the Thai newspapers Nation and Bangkok Post reported. The allegation follows the fallout from the news earlier this month that a global football betting scam involving a Singapore-based syndicate had been responsible for match-fixing at least 380 games in Europe alone. The Thai FA president and FIFA executive committee member, Worawi Makudi, said that he would inform FIFA and Interpol, the international police organisation, of the allegations. "We have already received the report the Japanese referee sent. I will discuss the incident with FIFA and AFC officials, as well as with Interpol when I travel to Malaysia on Thursday for a seminar about the problem of match-fixing", Worawi said. "We have already sent them all the relevant evidence we have about the game in question. However, we will also be discussing the issue at the association's board meeting. We already have a committee to take care of the matter". Interpol and AFC will co-host a two-day conference against match-fixing and corruption in football in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Army United's manager Col Worawut Withisiri said his side had nothing to do with the allegation. "Military officers have discipline and we will never resort to ungentlemanly conduct", he said. "Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, as Army United chairman, has a clear policy that we must play entertaining football in a straightforward manner".
Match-fixing in football has been rife throughout Asia with South Korea, Malaysia and China handing out bans in recent years. Last year, FIFA's vice-president Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein told Reuters more investment was required to help tackle the huge problem of match-fixing, especially in Asia.

Source: Reuters

GLT confirmed for Confederations Cup 2013 and World Cup 2014

After a successful implementation of Goal-Line Technology (GLT) at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December 2012, FIFA has decided to use GLT at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The aim is to use GLT in order to support the match officials and to install a system in all stadia, pending the successful installation, and pre-match referee tests. With different technologies on the market, FIFA has launched a tender today, setting out the technical requirements for the two forthcoming competitions in Brazil. The two GLT providers already licensed under FIFA’s Quality Programme for GLT, and other GLT providers currently in the licensing process (that must have passed all relevant tests as of today) are invited to submit tenders. Interested GLT companies will be invited to join a visit to the Confederations Cup venues, currently scheduled for mid-March, with a final decision due to be confirmed in early April.
"We all saw the game between England and Germany during the World Cup in 2010 [When a shot clearly crossed the line, but wasn’t given as a goal]. With that, we restarted the discussion about a system we could use to support the referee. The IFAB (International Football Association Board) met, nine companies applied and two went through the first part of the test and, yesterday, succeeded in the final tests. There will be additional companies coming on the market in the future. The cost will go down. It’s expensive at the moment, but it won’t be forever. Think of the cost of a plasma screen TV some years ago, and look how the price of those has come down. It needs to be the most accurate system we can have at the moment. There can be no mistakes with this and that is why the IFAB took two years to make sure the system was perfect. This is a kind of revolution. It will be restricted to the goal-line specifically. The IFAB is there to ensure the 17 laws of the game are protected. It was their decision, and they were clear, to say that the technology is limited to the goal-line. We must ensure that when the ball goes into the goal, the referee must get the information that the ball has gone in. The referee has the final decision. The technology won’t change the speed, value or spirit of the game. There is no reason to be against this technology. We will make sure that the referees know how to use the technology. 90 minutes before each game, the referee will test the system. Based on his test, he will decide whether or not it will be used. This is the way it will be forever. The referee makes the final decision. If he has a doubt, for any reason, he has the right to not use it. The referee is the most important person in this process", said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.

Source: FIFA

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (Second Leg)

21 February 2013

Rubin Kazan – Atletico Madrid
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Nica (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Sebastian Coltescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Referee Observer: Wilfried Heitmann (GER)

KRC Genk – VfB Stuttgart
Referee: Alon Yefet (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Amihay Mozes (ISR)
Additional AR1: Eli Hacmon (ISR)
Additional AR2: Liran Wachsberger (ISR)
Fourth Official: Danny Krasikow (ISR)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Antonov (MDA)

Metalist Kharkiv – Newcastle United
Referee: Serge Gumienny (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Walter Vromans (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Bleyen (BEL)
Additional AR1: Luc Wouters (BEL)
Additional AR2: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Fourth Official: Kristof Meers (BEL)
Referee Observer: Yury Dupanau (BLR)

Olympique Lyon – Tottenham

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Mike Pickel (GER)
Additional AR1: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Additional AR2: Tobias Welz (GER)
Fourth Official: Christoph Bornhorst (GER)
Referee Observer: Alan Snoddy (IRL)

Lazio Roma – Borussia Monchengladbach

Referee: Huseyin Gocek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Emre Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Orkun Aktas (TUR)
Additional AR1: Baris Simsek (TUR)
Additional AR2: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Fourth Official: Cem Satman (TUR)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

CFR Cluj – Inter Milano
Referee: Pawel Gil (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Piotr Sadczuk (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Maciej Wierzbowski (POL)
Additional AR1: Robert Malek (POL)
Additional AR2: Hubert Siejewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Konrad Sapela (POL)
Referee Observer: Paul Allaerts (BEL)

Dnipro – FC Basel

Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Additional AR1: Robert Hartmann (GER)
Additional AR2: Guido Winkmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Detlef Scheppe (GER)
Referee Observer: Costas Kapitanis (CYP)

Liverpool – Zenit St. Petersburg
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Sander van Roekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR2: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Fourth Official: Charles Schaap (NED)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez (ESP)

SL Benfica – Bayer Leverkusen

Referee: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Roman Slysko (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Wilczek (CZE)
Additional AR1: Radek Prihoda (CZE)
Additional AR2: Michal Patak (CZE)
Fourth Official: Antonin Kordula (CZE)
Referee Observer: Athanassios Briakos (GRE)

Olympiacos – Levante

Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Primoz Arhar (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrej Kokolj (SVN)
Additional AR1: Dragoslav Peric (SVN)
Additional AR2: Dejan Balazic (SVN)
Fourth Official: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Referee Observer: Bo Karlsson (SWE)

Chelsea – Sparta Praha
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Kirovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD)
Additional AR1: Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD)
Additional AR2: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Dusko Miloseski (MKD)
Referee Observer: Peter Frojdfeldt (SWE)

Fenerbahce – Bate

Referee: Antony Gautier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fredji Harchay (FRA)
Additional AR1: Laurent Duhamel (FRA)
Additional AR2: Olivier Thual (FRA)
Fourth Official: Philippe Jeanne (FRA)
Referee Observer: Stefano Farina (ITA)

Girondins Bordeaux – Dynamo Kyiv

Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrovic (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgic (CRO)
Additional AR1: Domagoj Vuckov (CRO)
Additional AR2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Dalibor Conjar (CRO)
Referee Observer: Terje Hauge (NOR)

Hannover – Anji

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Warnmark (SWE)
Additional AR1: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Additional AR2: Markus Strombergsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Stefan Wittberg (SWE)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Viktoria Plzen – SSC Napoli

Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabor Eros (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Gyorgy Ring (HUN)
Additional AR1: Tamas Bognar (HUN)
Additional AR2; Mihaly Fabian (HUN)
Fourth Official: Robert Kispal (HUN)
Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

Steaua Bucuresti – Ajax Amsterdam

Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2 : Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Additional AR1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional AR2: Mauro Bergonzi (ITA)
Fourth Official: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Referee Observer: George Smith (SCO)

Young referee attacked by a player policeman in Spain

Hector Giner Tarazon, a 17-years-old referee, has lost the spleen after being attacked by a player during a soccer match held last Sunday in the Valencian town of Burjassot (Spain). The National Police arrested on the same day a 27-years-old police officer, whose initials are Alberto M., for an alleged assault. The victim was admitted to a hospital in Valencia. "It's a little better and was able to sit down," said the boy's father, Jose Giner, "although it has lost all enthusiasm to referee, not talking about anything that happened". The hashtag #TotsambHector has been created on Twitter, where people can send him messages of support.
The brutal attack happened during a match of the Regional Second Division between Los Silos and Mislata UF. During the match, referee Hector Giner (photo) whistled a foul against Mislata and the aggressor showed his displeasure and insulted him. Upon receiving a red card and being sent-off, Alberto M. attacked Giner. The assailant punched him and, when he was on the ground, kicked him several times, according to confirmed police sources. His spleen burst. "Our players were there to protect him" says the president of Los Silos, Vicente Contreras, "but he was all bruised on the right side". The child was rushed to hospital Arnau de Vilanova, 10 minutes away from the football field, where he had to undergo surgery to remove his spleen. Right now, he is stable in the hospital, according to the Ministry of Health.
The assailant was detained in the camp itself, which closed its doors after the attack to prevent escape. The player has no history and is accused of an alleged assault. The National Police has confirmed that he actually is a police agent with the protection and safety unit! "It is justice and if necessary we will open a disciplinary inquiry", police sources said, who want to preserve the identity of the perpetrator "not because he is a cop, but because we proceed in the same way if it is a firefighter or journalist". Sources from the Valencian Superior Court of Justice in Paterna reported that the magistrate on duty ordered the release of the policeman from custody. The agent is charged in an ongoing case for serious injuries. The court has notified the Police "to adopt appropriate internal measures". Meanwhile, Mislata has dismissed the offender from the football club. The Referees Committee of Valencia regretted the incident and now expects to receive the match report, which could not be completed by the referee right after the game. Within two weeks, estimated time when it is complete, will decide whether to suspend the aggressor for life or just for a season, because he has nohistory. The Committee has made available to the child for legal services if he wants to raise a complaint and to ensure that the police filed an ex-officio report.

Source: El Pais

CONCACAF U-20 Championship 2013

Mexico, 18 February - 2 March 2013

1. Raul Castro (HON, 1982)
2. Hugo Cruz (CRC, 1982)
3. David Gantar (CAN, 1975)
4. Edvin Jurisevic (USA, 1975)
5. Jose Penaloza (MEX, 1974, photo)
6. Jafeth Perea (PAN, 1981)
7. Javier Santos (PUR, 1978)
8. Oscar Reyna (GUA, 1983)
9. Sherwin Johnson (GUY, 1979)
10. Enrico Wijngaarde (SUR, 1974)

Assistant Referees
1. Frank Anderson (USA, 1975)
2. Alejandro Ayala (MEX, 1976)
3. Philippe Briere (CAN, 1979)
4. Graeme Browne (SKN, 1977)
5. Warner Castro (CRC, 1980)
6. Melvyn Cruz (HON, 1978)
7. Dion Inniss (GUY, 1976)
8. Jairo Morales (PUR, 1979)
9. Dion Neil (TRI, 1973)
10. Gabriel Victoria (PAN, 1973)

UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 (First Leg)

19 February 2013
Arsenal London – Bayern Munchen
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andas (NOR)
Additional AR 1: Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR)
Additional AR 2: Dag Vidar Hafsas (NOR)
Fourth Official: Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)
Referee Observer: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR)

FC Porto – Malaga
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Lee Probert (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Michael Dean (ENG)
Fourth Official: Simon Long (ENG)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

20 February 2013
Galatasaray – Schalke

Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Martin Cryans (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: William Conquer (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Robert Madden (SCO)
Additional AR 2: John Beaton (SCO)
Fourth Official: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Referee Observer: Pierluigi Collina (ITA)

AC Milan – FC Barcelona

Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Derek Rose (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Alasdair Ross (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Steven McLean (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Fourth Official: Graham Chambers (SCO)
Referee Observer: Laszlo Vagner (HUN)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 2)

19 February 2013
Olimpia – Universidad de Chile
Referee: Martin Vazquez (URU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Fourth Official: Julio Quintana (URU)
Referee Observer: Carlos Alarcon (PAR)

Millonarios – Tijuana
Referee: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Sanchez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Fourth Official: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)
Referee Observer: Otalvaro Polanco (COL)

Toluca – Nacional
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Fourth Official: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
Referee Observer: Jose Ramirez (MEX)

Penarol – Emelec
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Emerson Carvalho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Referee Observer: Ernesto Filippi (URU)

20 February 2013
Huachipato – Caracas
Referee: Raul Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Efrain Castro (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Arol Valda (BOL)
Fourth Official: Patricio Polic (CHI)
Referee Observer: Pablo Pozo (CHI)

Velez Sarsfield – Deportes Iquique
Referee: Carlos Amarilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Referee Observer: Miguel Scime (ARG)

San Jose – Corinthians
Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: Gery Vargas (BOL)
Referee Observer: Marcelo Ortube (BOL)

Fluminense – Gremio
Referee: Paulo Oliveira (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcio Santiago (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Pericles Cortez (BRA)
Referee Observer: Armando Marques (BRA)

21 February 2013
Deportivo Lara – Newell Old Boys
Referee: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Altemir Hausmann (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Referee Observer: Adrian Gomes (VEN)

Cerro Porteno – Real Garcilaso
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivan Nunez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz (PAR)
Referee Observer: Ubaldo Aquino (PAR)

Tigre – Libertad
Referee: Roberto Silvera (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Costa (URU)
Fourth Official: Pablo Diaz (ARG)
Referee Observer: Carlos Coradina (ARG)

Santa Fe – Deportes Tolima
Referee: Adrian Velez (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Cristian de La Cruz (COL)
Fourth Official: Luis Sanchez (COL)
Referee Observer: Pablo Montova (COL)

Chaibou investigated for match fixing

It was in the final minutes of a June 2011 soccer game between Nigeria and Argentina when the little green flags on computer screens in London started to change color. Nigeria was leading 4-0 in the exhibition match of little significance, and more and more money was being laid down around the world on the possibility that one of the teams would score another goal before the game was over. Monitors hired by the soccer governing body FIFA to detect deviations from expected betting patterns — helped by computer algorithms — spotted something fishy. The game's 90 minutes of regular time ended without another goal. Referee Ibrahim Chaibou (photo) ordered additional time added to the clock — normal in most soccer games to make up for stoppages in play throughout the contest for injuries or other minor delays. He added six minutes — a substantial amount for such a minor game. When that time ran out, the game continued, with the score still at 4-0. The clock reached 98 minutes. That's when Chaibou called Nigerian defender Efe Ambrose for touching the ball with his hand — an infraction that brought a penalty kick for Argentina. Ambrose couldn't believe it. Video replays showed the ball touching him halfway up his thigh, with his arm behind his back and his hand nowhere near the ball. The replay also suggested that Chaibou had a clear view of the play. But the referee pointed straight to the spot and patted his elbow twice as if to confirm his call beyond any doubt. Nigerian players crowded around him, one even laughing in bemusement. Argentina scored the penalty, and the game ended 4-1. Within days, both FIFA and the Nigerian Football Association announced they would look into the possibility that the match had been fixed.
Chaibou, a slim, bald 46-year-old from the West African country of Niger, is one of football's most-investigated international referees. Matches in which he officiated have been investigated by FIFA, the Nigerian Football Association and the South African Football Association. At least five of his matches have been flagged as suspicious by betting monitoring companies, an action that usually prompts FIFA and national football organizations to look into the possibility that it was fixed. None of those have resulted in formal charges or sanctions, and Chaibou denies any connection to match-fixing. He says he has retired from soccer and now works in Niger's military. In a telephone interview from his home in Niger's capital of Niamey, Chaibou acknowledged that soccer authorities have been questioning him about matches he officiated, including the Argentina-Nigeria game. "The people from FIFA have already asked me. They asked me all the questions about this goal. They asked around everywhere, a bit to everyone," he said. "I judged it to be a penalty, so I gave a penalty... to make everyone happy. That's it." It wasn't the first time Chaibou had officiated a suspicious match. In 2010 and 2011, he was the referee at five exhibition matches between national teams in Africa, the Middle East and South America that were flagged by a leading betting monitoring company as potentially fixed, according to confidential company reports seen by the AP. Before the FIFA-South African investigation was completed, Chaibou turned 45 and was forced to retire from FIFA's approved international referee list in December 2011 due to age limits. That also automatically canceled the investigation, since FIFA investigates only active referees, and no sanctions were issued. "Ibrahim Chaibou left football before FIFA could launch any potential disciplinary action against him," the FIFA media department said in an email, adding that Chaibou "could of course be investigated again, should he return to soccer". Chris Eaton, a former security chief for FIFA, said the governing body's investigators tried and failed to question Chaibou in the six months before his retirement, a development he called disappointing. "People who have serious allegations of corruption against them ought to be properly investigated, if only to clear them of the allegations or confirm them", he said.
In 2010, Chaibou was hired for matches in South Africa, Bahrain, Bolivia and Ecuador and small tournaments played in Egypt. Many of them were organized by Wilson Raj Perumal, who has been convicted of match-fixing in Finland for Asian crime syndicates, and wrote about the fixes in a series of jailhouse letters to a Singaporean journalist in which he linked Chaibou to suspicious matches in South America. After serving his sentence and being released, Perumal has been helping law enforcement authorities in Hungary and Italy uncover rigged games. He has given testimony that is considered a major breakthrough in uncovering match-fixing in Europe. Perumal's company hired Chaibou to officiate at two games in 2010 — South Africa-Guatemala and Bahrain-Togo. The first was investigated by FIFA and the South African soccer federation; the second involved a team of impostors. Eaton said that when Perumal was arrested in Finland in February 2011, he had Chaibou's number on his phone. Chaibou also officiated two other games in South America — Bolivia-Venezuela and Ecuador-Venezuela — in October and November 2010, respectively, according to documents provided by FIFA. Both of those matches raised flags with betting monitors, according to confidential betting reports. In a letter written from jail, Perumal claimed the Bolivia match was "sold to an investor in China" — a euphemism for Asian crime gangs. In Ecuador, the home team won 4-1, helped by penalties scored by both teams that were "similarly questionable," according to a confidential betting monitoring report. When asked by the AP whether he knew Perumal, Chaibou became combative. "You already asked me this question last time. I told you I don't know him. I don't know him!" he said, his voice rising. "I told you I don't know these people." In two previous calls to Chaibou, AP had not mentioned the name.
In 2010, Bahrain's soccer federation hired Perumal to arrange an exhibition match between its national team and that of Togo. But when the match was played in the Bahraini capital of Manama in September of that year, the rag-tag team from Togo contained none of the players from its national squad. Its coach was not that of the Togolese team, but rather Tchanile Bana, who was serving a two-year ban by Togo for a previous soccer scam. Bahrain won 3-0, but its coach still complained angrily after the game; the score would have been even more lopsided if officials had not nullified several Bahraini goals on offside calls. The referee was Chaibou. From his prison cell in Finland, Perumal wrote to a Singaporean journalist that "Ibrahim Chaibo (sic) was put in charge of this match to keep the score as low as possible." Perumal said he wagered "against the current" of other Singapore bettors who knew about his ties to the Togo game and who put down money on the Africans losing by a lot. Chaibou denied that anyone influenced the match: "These are refereeing decisions. That's all." Asked whether Perumal had dictated the outcome, Chaibou hung up. He did not answer further calls from the AP. FIFA did not investigate because there was no formal complaint by either national federation about the match, which has become notorious in the soccer world for hurting the image of international exhibitions.
Two weeks before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Chaibou refereed another game that caught the eye of journalists as well as betting monitors, who watch information from 300 betting agencies. The South African Football Association had hired the Football4U agency, later linked to Perumal, to arrange a string of exhibitions, including a May 31 match against Guatemala. Chaibou was the referee. The monitoring systems noted suspiciously strong pre-match backing for a South African victory, despite the fact the team was resting several regulars, and for at least three goals to be scored in the game, according to a confidential monitoring report. South Africa won 5-0, with two of the goals coming from the three handball penalties awarded by Chaibou. The first was called on defender Gustavo Cabrera, who replays showed was clearly standing outside the penalty area. Guatemala was awarded a penalty in the 50th minute when South Africa defender Lucas Thwala blocked a shot with his chest; the South African goalkeeper made the save on the ensuing penalty kick. Chaibou gave South Africa another penalty kick four minutes later, and the team scored. The South African Football Association immediately became suspicious and dropped all of Perumal's referees, canceling Chaibou's plans to officiate its next game against Denmark. Chaibou denied that anyone had pressured him to influence the outcome of the match. According to Sunday World, South African referee Robert Sithole, who was an official at the South Africa-Guatemala match, told FIFA investigators that he escorted Chaibou to the Bidvest Bank in Polokwane, where "he saw him deposit an estimated $100,000 in $100 notes, which he then transferred to his wife in Niger". On 15 December 2012, the South African Football Association announced that a FIFA report found "compelling evidence" that one or more of its games was fixed in 2010. It said referees hired by Perumal were thought to have manipulated its exhibition games before the World Cup for betting purposes, adding that no players were thought to have been involved. It did not name the referees. It has not imposed sanctions but the investigation continues.
Eaton, who has since joined the Qatari-funded International Centre for Sport Security, said he will continue to investigate Chaibou. It is his responsibility, he said, "to protect all sport from the influence of criminals infiltrating sport and corrupting individuals within sport. The allegations against referee Chaibou mean he is a person of interest to the ICSS Integrity Unit and its investigators," Eaton said. Chaibou insists he has never fixed a match. "It's got nothing to do with me," he said. "I refereed my matches and went home peacefully. End of story."

Source: AP/IBN/SW

Proenca: "I am privileged to be in the refereeing world"

Pedro Proenca was featured in a promotional video posted on the UEFA web site, where he left a message for younger referees. "Enjoy every moment you have to become better referees. Do not try to cut corners because the success will come naturally", said the Portuguese referee. "If a person has the capacity to be humble, works hard, loves football and believes that refereeing suits their personality, it is possible to get there. One should embrace refereeing, as I did, and be sure that one day the success will come their way", added Proenca.
"Part of being a referee is something that is born with us, but the rest is gained through hard work. Intellectual abilities and mental strength that are acquired through experience, accumulated through refereeing matches", he said. "I am a privileged, but I also put in a lot of effort", says Pedro Proenca, who last year refereed both the Champions League final and the Euro final. He felt that "a good motivation to be a referee is the opportunity to participate in a fantastic spectacle that is football", admitted to being a "privileged", but highlighted his hard work and dedication. "I recognize that today I am privileged within the world of referees, but it was hard work, effort and dedication; having left much behind, I got to where I am", he explained. Proenca said that his inspiration was the old Portuguese referee Victor Correia: "A man I knew, I learned to admire and who taught me what I am now as a referee".

Source: UEFA

UEFA Europa League – Round of 32 (First Leg)

14 February 2013

Zenit St. Petersburg – Liverpool

Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernandez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jimenez (ESP)
Additional AR1: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Additional AR2: Javier Estrada Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Jose Fernandez Miranda (ESP)
Referee Observer: Ryszard Wojcik (POL)

Anji – Hannover

Referee: Marijo Strahonja (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Sinisa Premuzaj (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Additional AR1: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)
Additional AR2: Ante Vucemilovic-Simunovic (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ivica Modric (CRO)
Referee Observer: Vaclav Krondl (CZE)

Sparta Praha – Chelsea
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Massimiliano Grilli (ITA)
Additional AR1: Andrea Gervasoni (ITA)
Additional AR2: Domenico Celi (ITA)
Fourth Official: Nicola Nicoletti (ITA)
Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER) 

Levante – Olympiacos
Referee: Manuel Grafe (GER) 
Assistant Referee 1: Markus Hacker (GER) 
Assistant Referee 2: Holger Henschel (GER) 
Additional AR1: Christian Dingert (GER) 
Additional AR2: Guido Winkmann (GER) 
Fourth Official: Guido Kleve (GER) 
Referee Observer: Roberto Rosetti (ITA) 

SSC Napoli – Viktoria Plzen 
Referee: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Berry Simons (NED) 
Assistant Referee 2: Patrick Langkamp (NED) 
Additional AR1: Danny Makkelie (NED) 
Additional AR2: Ed Janssen (NED) 
Fourth Official: Davie Goossens (NED) 
Referee Observer: Nikolai Levnikov (RUS) 

Dynamo Kyiv – Bordeaux
Referee: Alexandru Tudor (ROU) 
Assistant Referee 1: Cristian Nica (ROU) 
Assistant Referee 2: Aurel Onita (ROU) 
Additional AR1: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU) 
Additional AR2: Cristian Balaj (ROU) 
Fourth Official: Octavian Sovre (ROU) 
Referee Observer: Jorn-West Larsen (DEN) 

Leverkusen –Benfica
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP) 
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP) 
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Aguilar Rodriguez (ESP) 
Additional AR1: Carlos Clos Gomez (ESP) 
Additional AR2: Jose Gonzalez Gonzalez (ESP) 
Fourth Official: Teodoro Sobrino Magan (ESP) 
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR) 

Bate – Fenerbahce
Referee: Alan Kelly (IRL) 
Assistant Referee 1: Damien MacGraith (IRL) 
Assistant Referee 2: Allen Lynch (IRL) 
Additional AR1: Neil Doyle (IRL) 
Additional AR2: Padraigh Sutton (IRL) 
Fourth Official: Kenneth Hennessy (IRL)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO) 

Ajax Amsterdam – Steaua Bucuresti 
Referee: Stanislav Todorov (BUL) 
Assistant Referee 1: Nikolai Angelov (BUL) 
Assistant Referee 2: Ivo Kolev (BUL) 
Additional AR1: Nikolai Yordanov (BUL) 
Additional AR2: Aleksandar Kostadinov (BUL) 
Fourth Official: Ivan Valchev (BUL) 
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA) 

Basel – Dnipro
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR) 
Assistant Referee 1: Kim Haglund (NOR) 
Assistant Referee 2: Frank Andas (NOR) 
Additional AR1: Ken Henry Johnsen (NOR) 
Additional AR2: Dag Vidar Hafsas (NOR)
Fourth Official: Svein Inge Wiken (NOR) 
Referee Observer: Oguz Sarvan (TUR) 

Inter Milano – CFR Cluj
Referee: Michael Koukoulakis (GRE) 
Assistant Referee 1: Dimitrios Saraidaris (GRE) 
Assistant Referee 2: Damianos Efthimiadis (GRE) 
Additional AR1: Stavros Tritsonis (GRE) 
Additional AR2: Anastassios Kakos (GRE) 
Fourth Official: Christos Baltas (GRE) 
Referee Observer: Johannes Reijgwaart (NED) 

Newcastle – Metalist
Referee: Tom Harald Hagen (NOR) 
Assistant Referee 1: Dag-Roger Nebben (NOR) 
Assistant Referee 2: Magnus Lundberg (NOR) 
Additional AR1: Svein-Erik Edvartsen (NOR) 
Additional AR2: Anders Johansen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR) 
Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (SCO) 

VfB Stuttgart – KRC Genk 
Referee: Manuel De Sousa (POR) 
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Santos (POR) 
Assistant Referee 2: Rui Tavares (POR) 
Additional AR1: Artur Soares Dias (POR) 
Additional AR2: Hugo Miguel (POR) 
Fourth Official: Nuno Pereira (POR) 
Referee Observer: Christakis Skapoullis (CYP) 

Atletico Madrid – Rubin Kazan 
Referee: Istvan Vad (HUN) 
Assistant Referee 1: Vencel Toth (HUN) 
Assistant Referee 2: Istvan Albert (HUN) 
Additional AR1: Tamas Bognar (HUN) 
Additional AR2: Mihaly Fabian (HUN)
Fourth Official: Zsolt Attila Szpisjak (HUN) 
Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED) 

Borussia Monchengladbach – Lazio Roma 
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS) 
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averianov (RUS) 
Assistant Referee 2: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS) 
Additional AR1: Maksim Layushkin (RUS) 
Additional AR2: Aleksei Nikolaev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS) 
Referee Observer: Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP) 

Tottenham – Olympique Lyon 
Referee: Pedro Proenca (POR) 
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR) 
Assistant Referee 2: Venancio Tome (POR) 
Additional AR1: Duarte Gomes (POR) 
Additional AR2: Joao Capela (POR) 
Fourth Official: Antonio Godinho (POR) 
Referee Observer: Patrick Kelly (IRL)

UEFA Referees Committee updated

At the last Executive Committee meeting, UEFA updated the composition of its committees for the second part of their mandate (2011-2015). There was one change in the Referees Committee, where Youri Baskakov (RUS) was replaced with his countryman Nikolai Levnikov (photo), who refereed at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France and Euro 1996 in England, as well as the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia. Apparently, the change was caused by Baskakov’s departure from the RFU. Levnikov is now the chairman of the Russian Referees Committee, while Rosetti is the Head of the Refereeing Department.

   UEFA Referees Committee

Angel Maria Villar Llona (ESP)
Senes Erzik (TUR)
Chief Refereeing Officer
Pierluigi Collina (ITA)
Refereeing Officers
Marc Batta (FRA), Hugh Dallas (SCO)
Dagmar Damkova (CZE), David Elleray (ENG), Herbert Fandel (GER), Bo Karlsson (SWE), Nikolai Levnikov (RUS), Jozef Marko (SVK), Vladimir Sajn (SVN), Jaap Uilenberg (NED), Kyros Vassaras (GRE), Kurt Zuppinger (SUI).

UEFA Referee Convention Panel

Francesco Bianchi (SUI), Athanasios Briakos (GRE), Katrina Elovirta (FIN), James Finnegan (IRL), Keith Hackett (ENG), Peter Hegyi (HUN), Wilfried Heitmann (GER), Werner Helsen (BEL), Jorn-West Larsen (DEN), Donald McVicar (SCO), Kaj Ostergaard (DEN), Rune Pedersen (NOR), Michel Sablon (BEL), Oguz Sarvan (TUR), Charles Schaack (LUX), Alan Snoddy (NIR).

UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 (First Leg)

12 February 2013
Celtic – Juventus
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Diaz Del Palomar (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Calvo Guadamuro (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Cesar Muniz Fernandez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Raul Cabanero Martinez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Uno Tutk (EST)

Valencia – Paris St. Germain
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Andrea De Marco (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
Referee Observer: Donald McVicar (SCO)

13 February 2013
Real Madrid – Manchester United

Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Marco Fritz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Tobias Welz (GER)
Fourth Official: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Shakhtar Donetsk – Borussia Dortmund

Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Cann (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Fourth Official: Stephen Child (ENG)
Referee Observer: Jean Lemmer (LUX)

EPL: Three referees over 50

The English Premier League is the only professional league in the world with referees over 50 still active. "This weekend gave officials outside of the top rated list the opportunity to referee televised games and it was two of the oldest who took charge on Saturday, with Phil Dowd at Tottenham and Mark Halsey at Old Trafford on Sunday. Dowd (photo), celebrated his 50th birthday two weeks ago to join 51-year-old Chris Foy and Halsey, 51, in the over-fifties gang who are defying the years to continue refereeing at the very top level. There used to be a sensible retirement age of 48, but European law was cited to end the enforced retirement under the national retirement age. Now, as long as they pass the fitness test and achieve high enough marks from the assessors each game, they can continue", said former World Cup referee Graham Poll. According to the FIFA rules and regulations, the mandatory retirement age for international referees is 45.

Source: Daily Mail

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 1)

12 February 2013
Emelec – Velez Sarsfield
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Huberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Vera (ECU)
Referee Observer: Rogger Zambrano (ECU)

Nacional – Barcelona
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Mondria (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Referee Observer: Jorge Larrionda (URU)

Universidad de Chile – Deportivo Lara
Referee: Omar Ponce (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Alvarado (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Herrera (ECU)
Fourth Official: Jorge Osorio (CHI)
Referee Observer: Pablo Pozo (CHI)

13 February 2013
Deportes Iquique – Penarol
Referee: Enrique Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: Carlos Ulloa (CHI)
Referee Observer: Gaston Castro (CHI)

Caracas – Fluminense
Referee: Jose Buitrago (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Berrio (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Rivas (COL)
Fourth Official: Mayker Gomez (VEN)
Referee Observer: Bernado Corujo (VEN)

Boca Juniors – Toluca
Referee: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jonny Bossio (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Cesar Escano (PER)
Fourth Official: German Delfino (ARG)
Referee Observer: Abel Gnecco (ARG)

Real Garcilaso – Santa Fe
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Sergio Roman (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Maturana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivanez (PER)
Referee Observer: Gilberto Hidalgo (PER)

Atletico Mineiro – Sao Paulo
Referee: Marcelo Henrique (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Altemir Hausmann (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Marques (BRA)

14 February 2013
Gremio – Huachipato
Referee: Diego Abal (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Hernan Maidana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Belatti (ARG)
Fourth Official: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Referee Observer: Salvio Fagundes (BRA)

Newell Old Boys – Olimpia
Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcio Santiago (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Silvio Trucco (ARG)
Referee Observer: Juan Loustau (ARG)

The Strongest – Arsenal
Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Hugo Martinez (PAR)
Fourth Official: Johnny Cuellar (BOL)
Referee Observer: Marcelo Ortube (BOL)

Palmeiras – Sporting Cristal
Referee: Martin Vazquez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Fourth Official: Paulo Oliveira (BRA)
Referee Observer: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

Deportes Tolima – Cerro Porteno
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Fourth Official: Imer Machado (COL)
Referee Observer: Oscar Ruiz (COL)

Buckley has retired

Peruvian referee Georges Buckley De Meritens, 39, informed CONMEBOL about his resignation from refereeing, so he will be no longer appointed by the Referees Committee for international matches. 
Buckley has been a FIFA Referee since 2006 and refereed matches in Copa Libertadores, South American U-20 and U-17 Championships, as well as World Cup qualifiers. A few years ago, he was not allowed to enter Chile to referee a Copa Libertadores match because of his problems from the past. It is alleged that he was deported from Chile when he was a student with an interdiction to enter that country for several years. In 2010, Buckley was selected by FIFA for the Club World Cup, but, at the last minute, he was replaced by Victor Carrillo. According to, Buckley was not able to attend the fitness tests, claiming that he had been kidnapped and all his belongings were stolen. He was asked to prove the incident by providing police reports. After that episode, he was never selected again for any FIFA tournament.

Source: Arbitro Internacional

CAF Africa Cup of Nations Final 2013: Haimoudi (ALG)

10 February 2013
Nigeria – Burkina Faso

Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (BDI)
Fourth Official: Rajindraparsad Seechurn (MRI)

Match for Third Place
9 February 2013
Ghana – Mali

Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Marwa Range (KEN)
Fourth Official: Janny Sikazwe (ZAM)

CAF not happy with Jedidi

Tunisian referee Slim Jedidi will be suspended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after his controversial performance in Wednesday’s African Nations Cup semi-final between Burkina Faso and Ghana.
"CAF was not happy with the standard of refereeing in the match", general secretary Hicham El Amrani told a media briefing on Thursday. "We know they can make mistakes but we expected a better level of refereeing. They are graded on each performance and based on his marks the referee from Tunisia is now suspended for a period of time still to be determined". Among the contentious issues during Wednesday’s match in Nelspruit was the red card given to Burkina Faso forward Jonathan Pitroipa that could mean he will miss Sunday’s final against Nigeria. Pitroipa received his second booking of the game, for simulation, in extra time after going down in the penalty area. The organising committee will decide on Friday whether the player can take part in the final. Burkina Faso launched an appeal, but El Amrani said the only way Pitroipa could avoid an automatic one-match ban will be if Jedidi acknowledges he made a mistake in his referee’s report. "The organising committee does not have the power to change a referee’s decision", El Amrani explained. "If the referee has admitted a mistake in his report the committee will consider it and make any decision if necessary. But that report … is final". Jedidi also awarded a soft penalty kick to Ghana in a display which threatened to overshadow an exciting encounter that Burkina Faso eventually won 3-2 on kicks from the penalty mark.

Source: All Sports

World’s Best Futsal Referee 2012: Gutierrez (ESP)

Spanish referee Fernando Gutierrez Lumbreras has been named by AGLA/Futsal Planet the world’s best futsal referee of 2012 with 206 points, ahead of the Brazilian Renata Leite (120) and English Marc Birkett (88) and is the second Spanish referee getting this award, after Pedro Galan in 2004. Gutierrez Lumbreras, 42, started his refereeing career in 1986, at the young age of 16. In the season 1995/1996 he had his debut in the top flight of the National Futsal in Spain. Ten years later, in January 2006, he received his FIFA badge. He has achieved almost everything possible: in Spain has refereed the finals of major competitions: League, Cup of Spain, Copa SM El Rey and Supercopa, while internationally has participated in the UEFA Futsal Cup, Euro 2012 in Croatia and the 2012 FIFA World Cup in Thailand. In Spain, he has been chosen five times as the best referee of the National Futsal League.
Since 1996, when FIFA introduced the list of FIFA Futsal Referees, Spain is the only country in Europe that has had at least one representative at all World Cup editions. Before Fernando Gutierrez in Thailand 2012, Pedro Galan (the current chairman of the Futsal Referees Committee) refereed at three FIFA World Cups, in Spain 1996, Guatemala 2000 and Taipei 2004, while Roberto Gracia did the same in Brazil 2008. (Source: Valladolid Deporte)

AGLA World’s Best Futsal Referees

1. Fernando Gutierrez (ESP, photo) 206
2. Renata Leite (BRA) 120
3. Marc Birkett (ENG) 88
4. Gabor Kovacs (HUN) 83
5. Danijel Janosevic (CRO) 81
6. Eduardo Fernandes (POR) 73
7. Ivan Shabanov (RUS) 73
8. Hector Rojas (PER) 72
9. Nurdin Bukuev (KGZ) 33
10. Scott Kidson (AUS) 17

AFC Asian Cup 2015 Qualifiers

6 February 2013

Iran – Lebanon
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (JPN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ming Chung (HKG)
Fourth Official: Pratap Patwal (IND)

Saudi Arabia – China
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Dmitriy Mashentsev (KGZ)

Qatar – Malaysia
Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hassan Kamranifar (IRN)
Assistant Referee 2: Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
Fourth Official: Ashkan Khorshidi (IRN)

Oman – Syria
Referee: Tan Hai (CHN)
Assistant Referee 1: Huo Weiming (CHN)
Assistant Referee 2: Han Wei (CHN)
Fourth Official: Ma Ning (CHN)

Thailand – Kuwait
Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Toshiyuki Nagi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Satoshi Karakami (JPN)
Fourth Official: Tayeb Shamsuzzaman (BAN)

Jordan – Singapore
Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Ilyasov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Mamur Saidkassimov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Vladislav Tseytlin (UZB)

Iraq – Indonesia
Referee: Minoru Tojo (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Akane Yagi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Shinji Ochi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Jumpei Iida (JPN)

Yemen – Bahrain
Referee: Khalil Al-Ghamdi (KSA)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdullah Al-Shalwai (KSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hamad Al-Mayahi (OMA)
Fourth Official: Fahd Al-Mirdasi (KSA)

Uzbekistan – Hong Kong
Referee: Ali Abdulnabi (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdulla Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Jameel Abdulhusin (BHR)

Vietnam – UAE
Referee: Strebre Delovski (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Adam (AUS)
Fourth Official: Christopher Beath (AUS)