CONCACAF Champions League – Semi-finals (First Leg)

1 April 2014

LD Alajuelense – Deportivo Toluca
Referee: Mark Geiger (USA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Charles Morgante (USA)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar (USA)
Referee Observer: Livingston Bailey (CAY)

Tijuana Xolos – Cruz Azul
Referee: Francisco Chacon (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Alejandro Ayala (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Mario Lopez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Alfredo Penaloza (MEX)
Referee Observer: Ronald Gutierrez (CRC)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 7)

1 April 2014
Real Garcilaso – Defensor Sporting
Referee: Julio Quintana (PAR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Hugo Martinez (PAR)
Fourth Official: Luis Seminario (PER)
Referee Observer: Manuel Yupanqui (PER)

2 April 2014
Botafogo – Unión Española
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Fourth Official: Pericles Cortez (BRA)
Referee Observer: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)

Emelec – Flamengo
Referee: Julio Bascuñan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Mondria (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Raúl Orellana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Carlos Orbe (ECU)
Referee Observer Juan Corozo (ECU)

Atlético Nacional – Gremio
Referee: Enrique Cáceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Cáceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)
Referee Observer: Luis Agudelo (COL)

4 April 2014
Universidad de Chile – Cruzeiro
Referee: Germán Delfino (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Iván Núñez (ARG)
Fourth Official: Roberto Tobar (CHI)
Referee Observer: Iván Guerrero (CHI)

Sante Fe – Atlético Mineiro
Referee: Saul Laverni (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Fourth Official: Imer Machado (COL)
Referee Observer: Pablo Montoya (COL)

UEFA Champions League – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

1 April 2014
Manchester United – Bayern München
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Fourth Official: Pau Cebri
án Devis (ESP)
Referee Observer: Paul Allaerts (BEL)

FC Barcelona – Atlético Madrid
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Tobias Welz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Fourth Official: Markus Häcker (GER)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

2 April 2014
Real Madrid – Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Lee Probert (ENG)
Fourth Official: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Referee Observer: Oguz Sarvan (TUR)

Paris SG – Chelsea FC
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Djurdjević (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Dejan Filipović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Dejan Petrović (SRB)
Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

UEFA Women’s Champions League – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

29 March 2014
Neulengbach – Tyresö FF
Referee: Efthalia Mitsi (GRE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Chrysoula Kourompylia (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Androniki Nioti (GRE)
Fourth Official: Barbara Bollenberg (AUT)

30 March 2014
FC Barcelona – VfL Wolfsburg
Referee: Teodora Albon (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihaela Gomoescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Judit Romano (ESP)

Turbine Potsdam – Torres CF
Referee: Gyöngyi Gaál (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Brigitta Petz (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Katalin Török (HUN)
Fourth Official: Inka Müller (GER)

Arsenal Ladies – Birmingham LFC
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Fourth Official: Helen Conley (ENG)

Referees prepare for World Cup 2014

Referees and assistant referees from Asia, Oceania and Europe met for a week-long seminar at the Home of FIFA in Zurich in preparation for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014.
Between 24 and 28 March, the 17 referees and 31 assistant referees have undergone several medical, physical, psychological and technical checks, in order to give them an impression of their current status. There has also been a new approach to the technical side, where video analysis of match situations have been used with the aim of offering uniformity, consistency and changing mentalities towards tactics, with the referees expressing themselves, sharing their opinions for reading the game and understanding different mentalities. The match officials also practiced a number of real game type scenarios, using U-21 and U-18 players from FC Zurich, as they sought to find uniformity in their decision-making process and positioning. “We had a group of referees and assistant referees here in the Home of FIFA this week, who were really motivated," FIFA's Head of Refereeing, Massimo Busacca said. "I’m very happy about their dedication and work this week". 
The next seminar, starting on Monday 7 April, will see the remaining referees and assistant referees from Africa, North, Central America and the Caribbean and South America in Zurich.

Source: FIFA

World Cup referees told to focus on protecting players

Protecting players from heavy tackles will be the priority for referees at this year's World Cup in Brazil rather than other contentious issues such as diving, handball and the triple punishment. Football is generally considered to have become much less violent on the pitch in the last few years and the game's governing body FIFA said during a training week for World Cup referees on Thursday that it wanted to keep it that way. "There are always things we are asked to be vigilant on, pretty much always trying to protect the players, from heavy play, from foul play and violent play and also protecting the image of the game", 2010 World Cup final referee Howard Webb told reporters.
FIFA's head of refereeing Massimo Busacca (photo) said referees attending the World Cup, which starts on June 12, would be instructed to nip any signs of rough play in the bud. "The safety of the players is very important so the referees have to read the situation carefully at the beginning of the game," he said. "If players start committing this type of (violent) foul, we have to take action to avoid it. We have to say: 'We do not want to see this kind of football in this competition'. "This is the role of the referee, to try to understand and anticipate. Sometimes, the players forget because of the adrenalin. The role of the referee is to say: 'Do you want to play today or do you want to take a shower?' We must try to avoid these situations which can destroy football".
Although diving is considered by many observers to be the scourge of the sport, Englishman Webb said it was a relatively small headache for match officials. "It's one of the things we are always asked to be vigilant about because when it's not accurately identified it can have quite a damaging effect on the game," he said. "The message is being sent, loud and clear, to the competing teams about their responsibilities as well. If you look at the number of decisions made around simulation, they are quite low compared to the vast number of decisions we have to make," he added. "Although it's a small problem, it has a big impact when it does happen, so of course it becomes quite serious." Webb said the pace of the modern game made it almost unrecognisable from when he started 20 years ago and said the relationship between match officials and players was good. "It's almost a different sport form many years ago, so we have to adapt to that and be as quick as the players are in terms of the speed of their thought and speed of their play," he said. "In most cases, the experience I have with the players is positive, and that includes the famous players and the young players. "You are certainly aware of the increased scrutiny to when I started 20 years ago. The attention on football increases all the time. It's so important to so many people in so many ways and we feel that. We are aware of our responsibility and aware that if we do make a mistake, there will be a big reaction. We care about what we do for sure; it's not so easy for us either when we make a mistake. The flip side is when we do a good job, and many games do go fantastically well for all of us, then it's a fantastic high and a great thing to be involved in". 

Source: Reuters

Siric sentenced for match-rigging

Former vice-president of Croatia's football association (HNS) and ex-international referee Zeljko Siric (photo) was sentenced on Tuesday to four years in prison for match-rigging, state news agency Hina reported, which said that Siric was also banned from working for the HNS for eight years.
"In the world of real soccer he acted as a sovereign ruler of a virtual soccer game", said Zagreb county court judge Gordana Mihaela Grahovac. Siric was arrested in December 2011 and charged with taking bribes to influence refereeing in at least one match in the domestic championship. He was once regarded as one of the best Croatian referees and often took charge of games between bitter local rivals Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split.
Croatia stepped up efforts to crack down on widespread corruption as part of its efforts to join the European Union, which the former Yugoslav republic did in July. In 2010 around 20 players, coaches and managers were arrested for match-rigging in a betting scam. Most of them pleaded guilty and received fines or jail terms. 

Source: Reuters

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

25 March 2014
Zamora – Nacional
Referee: Diego Abal (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ezequiel Brailovsky (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ariel Scime (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jesus Valenzuela (VEN)
Referee Observer : Alirio Mendez (VEN)

Santos Laguna – Penarol
Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcio Santiago (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Fourth Official: Jorge Rojas (MEX)
Referee Observer: Carlos Gonzalez (MEX)

26 March 2014
Nacional – Newell's Old Boys
Referee: Patricio Polic (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Maturana (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Orellana (CHI)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Referee Observer: Carlos Velazquez (URU)

Deportivo Anzoategui – Arsenal
Referee: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabricio Vilarinho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabio Pereira (BRA)
Fourth Official: Mayker Gomez (VEN)
Referee Observer: Candelario Andarcia (VEN)

Atletico Paranaense – Velez Sarsfield
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Díaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Fourth Official: Marcelo Henrique (BRA)
Referee Observer: Ednilson Corona (BRA)

Deportivo Cali – O'Higgins
Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Jose Camargo (MEX)
Fourth Official: Adrian Velez (COL)
Referee Observer: Otalvaro Polanco (COL)

Leon – Bolívar
Referee: Marlon Escalante (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Luis Murillo (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Elbis Gomez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Erim Ramirez (MEX)
Referee Observer: Oscar Trejo (MEX)

27 March 2014
Lanus – Cerro Porteno
Referee: Roberto Silvera (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Nievas (URU)
Assistant Referee 2 Carlos Changala (URU)
Fourth Official: Nestor Pitana (ARG)
Referee Observer Abel Gnecco (ARG)

Independiente Del Valle – San Lorenzo
Referee: Carlos Amarilla P(PAR)
Assistant Referee 1 Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2 Juan Zorrilla (PAR)
Fourth Official: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Referee Observer Bomer Fierro (ECU)

Universitario – The Strongest
Referee: José Buitrago (COL)
Assistant Referee 1 Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2 Wilson Berrio (COL)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivanez (PER)
Referee Observer Cesar Mongrut (PER)

Marriner devastated by his red card blunder

Andre Marriner, the referee who sent off the wrong Arsenal player on Saturday, is devastated by his mistake. Marriner made the biggest refereeing blunder of recent times when he sent off Kieran Gibbs after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled the ball in the Arsenal area. Marriner’s closest friends say he has been deeply affected by the incident during the 6-0 away loss to Chelsea and is still struggling to come to terms with how he could have made such a mistake. Marriner was handling the Stamford Bridge clash alongside assistant referees Scott Ledger and Marc Perry, with Anthony Taylor as fourth official, and he appeared to consult one of his assistants before awarding the penalty.
Referee Andre Marriner has apologised for sending off Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs by mistake during the Gunners' 6-0 defeat by league leaders Chelsea. A penalty was awarded after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tipped Eden Hazard's shot around a post with his hand but Gibbs was shown the red card. Oxlade-Chamberlain seemed to tell Marriner that he was the culprit but the original decision stood. A statement read that Marriner was "disappointed" to have made the error. Referees' body the Professional Game Match Officials Limited said in the statement: "Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors. Whilst this was a difficult decision, Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player. He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue." Left-back Gibbs seemed confused at receiving the red card, protesting his innocence, along with his team-mates, before leaving the field. Hazard's shot was heading inches wide of goal before Oxlade-Chamberlain dived to his left to divert the ball with his fingertips.
Former top-level British and World Cup referee Clive Thomas, who said in 2012 he had lost faith in modern officials, believes the four in charge of Saturday's game should be banned for the rest of the season. "It's the most disgusting, shocking decision I've seen. In my opinion these four wouldn't officiate another Premier League game this season," the 77-year-old Welshman told BBC Radio 5 live. Thomas officiated at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany and the tournament in Argentina four years later, where he is remembered for disallowing a Zico headed goal for Brazil in a group game against Sweden by blowing for full-time while a corner ball was still in mid-air. 
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher defended Marriner: "Andre made a genuine mistake and that's all it was," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. "Unless one of his officials can call him over and say you got the wrong player, which did not happen, he has to go on what he thought was correct. You cannot rely on players then trying to say 'I did this'. He made the decision in good faith and should not be stood down - he is one of the leading referees in Europe and his confidence would be shattered. Whenever he goes back the focus will inevitably be on him".
Speaking publicly for the first-time since he dismissed Gibbs instead of Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a case of mistaken identity, Marriner confirmed he had thought about little else in the days that followed. He said: “It knocks you for six to be honest. There’s a lot of talk out there that referees make decisions, go home and don’t care about it but that’s so far from the truth. You’re continuously playing the incident over in your mind. You think about how you could’ve arrived at the right decision and ‘what could I have done differently? You draw from all these other different sorts of aspects to try and find the reason why you’ve made a mistake but equally the best thing you can do is try to park it and move on because this incident happened in the 15th minute of the game. Afterwards I analysed it to death.” I made a high profile mistake last weekend but it’s like a player who misses a penalty or goalkeeper who fails to make an easy save, you want to get back out there the week after to put those demons right. I’m delighted by the PGMOL decision, it shows what my bosses think of me as a referee and hopefully I won’t let them down and I’ll be able go out on Saturday and perform at my usual high standard. I’ve met all my colleagues this week so I’ve received a little bit of banter from them which has been good natured. I’ve been down in the dumps and it’s made me smile and hopefully I’ve got my mojo back. You’ve got to draw on your experience and look at the good things you’ve achieved over a number of years. I took charge of the FA Cup final last year and you’ve got to take strength of character from that as it’s the biggest game in English club football. I achieved that by doing things right so you draw from those experiences and it’s about getting back out there and putting things right. The players experience the same things we do when they go home and think can they do better and as a referee I’m no different”.

Source: BBC / Daily Mail / Telegraph

UEFA Women’s Champions League – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

23 March 2014
Torres CF – Turbine Potsdam
Referee: Cristina Dorcioman (ROU, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihaela Gomoescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Veronica Vettorel (ITA)

Tyresö FF – Neulengbach
Referee: Riem Hussein (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Christina Jaworek (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Angelika Söder (GER)
Fourth Official: Anna Nyström (SWE)

VfL Wolfsburg – FC Barcelona
Referee: Morag Pirie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Kylie McMullen (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Hayley Irvine (SCO)
Fourth Official: Verena Schultz (GER)

24 March 2014
Birmingham LFC – Arsenal Ladies
Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Belinda Brem (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Susann Küng (SUI) 

Fourth Official: Jane Simms (ENG)

UEFA Europa League – Round of 16 (Second Leg)

20 March 2014

RB Salzburg – FC Basel
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mike Pickel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Guido Kleve (GER)
Additional AR 1: Marco Fritz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Robert Hartmann (GER)
Fourth Official: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

Viktoria Plzen – Olympique Lyon
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Additional AR 1: Pawel Raczkowski (POL)
Additional AR 2: Tomasz Musiał (POL)
Fourth Official: Radosław Siejka (POL)
Referee Observer: Jozef Marko (SVK)

Anji – Alkmaar
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Damien Macgraith (IRL)
Additional AR 1: Steven McLean (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Fourth Official: David McGeachie (SCO)
Referee Observer: Siegfried Kirschen (GER)

Valencia – Ludogorets
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Christos Akrivos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Damianos Efthimiadis (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Ilias Spathas (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Stavros Tritsonis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Dimitrios Gagas (GRE)
Referee Observer: Vlado Šajn (SVN)

Benfica – Tottenham
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Bojan Ul (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Slavko Vinčić (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Roberto Ponis (SVN)
Fourth Official: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Referee Observer: Juan Fernández Marín (ESP)

Fiorentina – Juventus
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Cann (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Lee Mason (ENG)
Fourth Official: Jake Collin (ENG)
Referee Observer: Oguz Sarvan (TUR)

Real Betis – Sevilla
Referee: Pedro Proença (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bertino Miranda (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tiago Trigo (POR)
Additional AR 1: Duarte Gomes (POR)
Additional AR 2: João Capela (POR)
Fourth Official: Paulo Alexandre Santos (POR)
Referee Observer: Nikolay Levnikov (RUS)

SSC Napoli – FC Porto
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren England (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Fourth Official: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Referee Observer: Jean Lemmer (LUX)

CONCACAF Champions League – Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

18 March 2014
Tijuana Xolos – Los Angeles Galaxy
Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Fourth Official: John Pitti (PAN)
Referee Observer: Amato DeLuca (CAN)

19 March 2014
Deportivo Toluca – San Jose Earthquakes
Referee: Hector Rodriguez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Oscar Velasquez (HON)
Fourth Official: Armando Castro (HON)
Referee Observer: Donald Campos (NCA)

Cruz Azul – Sporting Kansas City
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Rolando De la Cruz (GUA)
Fourth Official: Juan Guerra (GUA)
Referee Observer: Brian Hall (USA)

20 March 2014
CD Arabe Unido – LD Alajuelense
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: William Torres (SLV)
Fourth Official: Rolando Sanders (NCA)
Referee Observer: Jozsef Michna (USA)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

18 March 2014
Universidad de Chile – Real Garcilaso
Referee: Antonio Arias (PAR, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Milciades Saldivar (PAR)
Fourth Official: Jorge Osorio (CHI)
Referee Observer: Guido Aros (CHI)

Nacional – Atletico Nacional
Referee: Raúl Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Efrain Castro (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Montaño (BOL)
Fourth Official: Fernando Falce (URU)
Referee Observer: Jorge Nieves (URU)

Botafogo – Independiente Del Valle

Referee: Dario Ubriaco (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Popovits (URU)
Fourth Official: Marcelo Henrique (BRA)
Referee Observer: Sergio Correa (BRA)

Vélez Sarsfield – The Strongest
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jorge Urrego (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Sanchez (VEN)
Fourth Official: Diego Abal (ARG)
Referee Observer: Carlos Coradina (ARG)

Santa Fé – Zamora
Referee: Oscar Maldonado (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Arellano (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Bustillos (BOL)
Fourth Official: Luis Sanchez (COL)
Referee Observer: Oscar Ruiz (COL)

Santos Laguna – Deportivo Anzoategui
Referee: Wilson Lamouroux (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Berrio (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian de La Cruz (COL)
Fourth Official: Alfredo Peñaloza (MEX)
Referee Observer: Raymundo Sanchez (MEX)

19 March 2014
Atlético Mineiro – Nacional
Referee: Omar Ponce (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Herrera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Vera (ECU)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Marques (BRA)
Referee Observer: Alicio Pena (BRA)

Peñarol – Arsenal
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Alessandro Rocha (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)

Fourth Official: Andres Cunha (URU)
Referee Observer: Carlos Velazquez (URU)

Bolívar – Flamengo
Referee: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Cardozo (PAR)
Fourth Official: Johnny Cuellar (BOL)
Referee Observer: Marcelo Ortube (BOL)

Newell's Old Boys – Gremio
Referee: Carlos Vera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Lescano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron Romero (ECU)
Fourth Official: German Delfino (ARG)
Referee Observer: Abel Gnecco (ARG)

León – Emelec
Referee: Diego Ceballos (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivan Nunez (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Fourth Official: Jorge Perez (MEX)
Referee Observer: Oscar Trejo (MEX)

20 March 2014
Atletico Paranaense – Universitário
Referee: Patricio Polic (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Mondria (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Barraza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Pericles Cortez (BRA)
Referee Observer: Roberto Braatz (BRA)

Lanus – Deportivo Cali
Referee: Daniel Fedorczuk (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Fourth Official: Fernando Rapallini (ARG)
Referee Observer: Ruben Padilla (ARG)

Cerro Porteño – O'Higgins
Referee: Víctor Carrillo (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Cesar Escano (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Yupanqui (PER)
Fourth Official: Julio Quintana (PAR)
Referee Observer: Juan Bernabé (PAR)

Union Española – San Lorenzo
Referee: José Buitrago (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Fourth Official: Carlos Ulloa (CHI)
Referee Observer: Patricio Basualto (CHI)

Cruzeiro – Defensor Sporting
Referee: Mauro Vigliano (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Fourth Official: Francisco Nascimento (BRA)
Referee Observer: Jose Eugenio (BRA)

UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 (Second Leg, II)

18 March 2014
Chelsea FC – Galatasaray Istanbul
Referee: Felix Brych (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Additional AR 1: Tobias Welz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Fourth Official: Christoph Bornhorst (GER)
Referee Observer: Roberto Rosetti (ITA)

Real Madrid – Schalke
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikolay Golubev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Averianov (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Maksim Layushkin (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Vitaly Meshkov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
Referee Observer: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR)

19 March 2014
Manchester United – Olympiakos
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Angelo Boonman (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR 2: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Fourth Official: Charles Schaap (NED)
Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)

Borussia Dortmund – Zenit St. Petersburg
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes (ESP)
Fourth Official: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Stephen Bennett (ENG)

UEFA Youth League – Quarter-finals

11 March 2014
Paris St. Germain – Real Madrid
Referee: Petr Ardeleanu (CZE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomáš Mokrusch (CZE)

Assistant Referee 2: Radek Kotik (CZE)
Fourth Official: Alexandre Perreau (FRA)
Referee Observer: Vladimir Medved (SVK)

16 March 2014
Chelsea – Schalke
Referee: Arnold Hunter (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Storey (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: James Eakin (NIR)
Fourth Official: Charles Breakspear (ENG)
Referee Observer: Robert Sedlacek (AUT)

18 March 2014
Barcelona – Arsenal
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ciochirca (AUT)
Fourth Official: David Medie Jimenez (ESP)
Referee Observer: Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP)

Manchester City – Benfica
Referee: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Esat Sancaktar (TUR)
Fourth Official: David Coote (ENG)
Referee Observer: Jon Skjervold (NOR)

UEFA Europa League – Round of 16 (First Leg)

13 March 2014

Ludogorets – Valencia
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Tony Chapron (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Fourth Official: Cyril Lompre (FRA)
Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

FC Porto – SSC Napoli
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Roman Slyško (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Martin Wilczek (CZE)
Additional AR 1: Radek Příhoda (CZE)
Additional AR 2: Michal Paták (CZE)
Fourth Official: Antonin Kordula (CZE)
Referee Observer: Zoran Petrović (SRB)

FC Basel – FC Salzburg
Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Sovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Alexandru Tudor (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Sebastian Coltescu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Juventus Turin – AC Fiorentina
Referee: Björn Kuipers (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Angelo Boonman (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Erwin Zeinstra (NED)
Additional AR 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR 2: Richard Liesveld (NED)
Fourth Official: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Referee Observer: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

AZ Alkmaar – Anji
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Renato Faverani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Referee Observer: Charles Agius (MLT)

Olympique Lyon – Viktoria Plzen
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrian Devis (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Rodriguez Aguilar (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Clos Gómez (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: Roberto Díaz Pérez del Palomar (ESP)
Referee Observer: Jørn West Larsen (DEN)

Sevilla CF – Real Betis
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Barış Şimşek (TUR)
Fourth Official: Orkun Aktaş (TUR)
Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

Tottenham – Benfica
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (SWE)
Additional AR 1: Stefan Johannesson (SWE)
Additional AR 2: Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)
Fourth Official: Magnus Sjöblom (SWE)
Referee Observer: Pierluigi Collina (ITA)

Copa Libertadores – Group Stage (Matchday 4)

11 March 2014
Defensor Sporting – Cruzeiro
Referee: Diego Abal (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Gustavo Rossi (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Fourth Official: Christian Ferreyra (URU)
Referee Observer: Gustavo Lopez (URU)

The Strongest – Velez Sarsfield
Referee: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Francisco Mondria (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo Barraza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Johnny Cuellar (BOL)
Referee Observer: Marcelo Ortube (BOL)

Deportivo Anzoategui – Santos Laguna
Referee: Raul Orosco (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Efrain Castro (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Javier Bustillos (BOL)
Fourth Official: Adrian Cabello (VEN)
Referee Observer: Alirio Mendez (VEN)

Atletico Nacional – Nacional
Referee: Marco Rodriguez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Hector Delgadillo (MEX)
Fourth Official: Adrian Velez (COL)
Referee Observer: Carlos Betancourt (COL)

Real Garcilaso – Universidad de Chile
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Eduardo Diaz (COL)
Fourth Official: Miguel Santivanez (PER)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Velarde (PER)

Emelec – Leon
Referee: Jose Argote (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Lopez (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jairo Romero (VEN)
Fourth Official: Carlos Vera (ECU)
Referee Observer: Rogger Zambrano (ECU)

12 March 2014
Independiente Del Valle – Botafogo
Referee: Manuel Garay (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul Lopez (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Hurtado (PER)
Fourth Official: Diego Lara (ECU)
Referee Observer: Bomer Fierro (ECU)

San Lorenzo – Union Espanola
Referee: Dario Ubriaco (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Taran (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Changala (URU)
Fourth Official: German Delfino (ARG)
Referee Observer: Luis Pasturenzi (ARG)

Flamengo – Bolivar
Referee: Enrique Osses (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Astroza (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergio Roman (CHI)
Fourth Official: Pericles Cortez (BRA)
Referee Observer: Sergio Cristiano (BRA)

Nacional – Atletico Mineiro
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivan Nunez (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ariel Scime (ARG)
Fourth Official: Mario Diaz (PAR)
Referee Observer: Cecilio Bejarano (PAR)

Zamora – Santa Fe
Referee: Roddy Zambrano (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Herrera (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Luis Vera (ECU)
Fourth Official: Jose Hoyo (VEN)
Referee Observer: Adrian Gomez (VEN)

13 March 2014
Arsenal – Penarol
Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emerson de Carvalho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcelo van Gasse (BRA)
Fourth Official: Diego Ceballos (ARG)
Referee Observer: Abel Gnecco (ARG)

Gremio – Newell's Old Boys
Referee: Carlos Amarilla (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Caceres (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Dario Gaona (PAR)
Fourth Official: Heber Lopes (BRA)
Referee Observer: Jose Mocelin (BRA)

O'Higgins – Cerro Porteno
Referee: Martin Vazquez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauricio Espinosa (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Fourth Official: Eduardo Gamboa (CHI)
Referee Observer: Pablo Pozo (CHI)

Universitario – Atletico Paranaense
Referee: Imer Machado (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Wilmar Navarro (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Alexander Guzman (COL)
Fourth Official: Henry Gambetta (PER)
Referee Observer: Gilberto Hidalgo (PER)

Deportivo Cali – Lanus
Referee: Leandro Vuaden (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcio Santiago (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kleber Gil (BRA)
Fourth Official: Luis Sanchez (COL)
Referee Observer: Ramon Giron (COL)

UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 (Second Leg, I)

11 March 2014
Bayern München – Arsenal FC
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: Svein Erik Edvartsen (NOR)
Fourth Official: Leif Erik Opland (NOR)
Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

Atlético Madrid – AC Milan
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Lee Probert (ENG)
Fourth Official: Jake Collin (ENG)
Referee Observer: Sergey Zuev (RUS)

12 March 2014
FC Barcelona – Manchester City
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Cano (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Annonier (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Fourth Official: Laurent Stien (FRA)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

Paris St. Germain – Bayer Leverkusen
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Additional AR 1: Domagoj Vučkov (CRO)
Additional AR 2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Fourth Official: Dalibor Conjar (CRO)
Referee Observer: Donald McVicar (SCO)

CONCACAF Champions League – Quarter-finals (First Leg)

10 March 2014
LD Alajuelense – CD Arabe Unido
Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Camargo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Fourth Official: Paul Delgadillo (MEX)
Referee Observer: Neftali Recinos (SLV)

11 March 2014
San Jose Earthquakes – Deportivo Toluca
Referee: Walter Quesada (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Fourth Official: Jeffrey Solis (CRC)
Referee Observer: Luis Yero (CUB)

12 March 2014
Los Angeles Galaxy – Tijuana Xolos
Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde (SUR) 

Assistant Referee 1: Ramon Louisville (SUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Morgan (JAM)
Fourth Official: Javier Santos (PUR)
Referee Observer: John Nielsen (CAN)

Sporting Kansas City – Cruz Azul
Referee: Elmer Bonilla (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Douglas Bermudez (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Hector Recinos (SLV)
Fourth Official: Marlon Mejia (SLV)
Referee Observer: Dave Miekle (JAM)

Former FIFA referees Kelly and Stavridis reactivated by MLS

Major League Soccer’s referees were locked out Friday, a day before the season openers. The Professional Referee Organization, which manages game officials for the U.S. Soccer Federation and MLS, notified the Professional Soccer Referee Association of the lockout and said replacement officials will be used. PRO said the union, which was formed last year, rejected a no strike-no lockout agreement that management had proposed. The sides have bargained since July without reaching a deal on a labor contract. “Our proposal represents a significant increase above current compensation for referees and places them above the average for officials around the world,” said PRO general manager Peter Walton, an English Premier League referee from 2003-12. PRO said in the 1½ years since its formation, it had increased full-time officials from two to nine and added 11 part-time officials. The PSRA has filed unfair labor practice charges accusing the PRO of bad-faith bargaining and making threats against its members. “We have requested a plethora of information, including financials, that PRO and MLS have refused to provide, instead demanding we take their pleas of poverty at face value”, said Lukas Middlebrook, a lawyer for the union.
Replacements this weekend include former Irish FIFA referee Alan Kelly (Seattle-Kansas City), former Greek FIFA referee Ioannis Stavridis (Portland-Philadelphia), current Puerto Rico FIFA referees Javier Santos (Los Angeles-Salt Lake) and William Anderson (Chivas-Chicago), former MLS referees Abbey Okulaja (Vancouver-New York) and Ramon Hernandez (Houston-New England), former MLS fourth official Jorge Luna (Dallas-Montreal) and current NASL referee Andres Pfefferkorn (DC United-Columbus). 

Source: AP

International Friendly Matches

5 March 2014 

France – Netherlands
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren England (ENG)
Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor (ENG) 

Austria – Uruguay
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Guido Kleve (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Hacker (GER)
Fourth Official: Bastian Dankert (GER)

Spain – Italy
Referee: Yevhen Aranovsky (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Oleksandr Voytyuk (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oleksandr Korniyko (UKR)
Fourth Official: Carlos del Cerro Grande (ESP)

Romania – Argentina
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Marco Guida (ITA)

Germany – Chile
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Jake Collin (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Graham Chambers (SCO)
Fourth Official: Marco Fritz (GER)

Ireland – Serbia
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Róbert Kispál (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Gábor Erős (HUN)
Fourth Official: Paul McLaughlin (IRL)

Bosnia – Egypt
Referee: Markus Hameter (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Roland Riedel (AUT)
Fourth Official: Robert Schorgenhofer (AUT)

Bulgaria – Belarus
Referee: Milenko Vukadinović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milan Minić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Uroš Stojković (SRB)

Hungary – Finland
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Hubler (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Roland Braunschmidt (AUT)
Fourth Official: Rene Eisner (AUT)

Portugal – Cameroon
Referee: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Child (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Long (ENG)
Fourth Official: Carlos Taborda (POR)

South Africa – Brazil
Referee: António Caxala (ANG)
Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
Assistant Referee 2: Júlio Da Silva (ANG)
Fourth Official: Romualdo Baltazar (ANG)

Turkey – Sweden
Referee: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: DaliborDjurdjević (SRB),
Fourth Official: Bülent Yildirim (TUR)

Ukraine – USA
Referee: Leontios Trattou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Soteriou (CYP)
Assistant Referee 2: Athinodoros Ioannou (CYP)
Fourth Official: Ioannis Anastasiou (CYP)

Czech Republic – Norway
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)

England – Denmark
Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Rob van de Ven (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Charles Schaap (NED)
Fourth Official: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)

Poland – Scotland
Referee: Alain Bieri (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Johannes Vogel (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Alain Heiniger (SUI)
Fourth Official: Bartosz Frankowski (POL)

Russia – Armenia
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Diaz Perez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Raul Cabanero Martinez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Vladimir Kazmenko (RUS)

Greece – Korea DPR
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihai Artene (ROU)
Fourth Official: Athanasios Giahos (GRE)

Gibraltar – Estonia
Referee: Arnold Hunter (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: James Eakin (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: Andy Neeson (NIR)
Fourth Official: Raymond Crangle (NIR)

Belgium  Cote d'Ivoire
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jure Praprotnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Robert Vukan (SVN)
Fourth Official: Bojan Mertik (SVN)

Switzerland – Croatia
Referee: Hugo Ferreira (POR)

Wales  Iceland
Referee: Eiko Saar (EST)

Lithuania  Kazakhstan
Referee: Mikhail Vilkov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Nikolai Golubev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitri Mosyakin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Maksim Layushkin (RUS)

Andorra – Moldova
Referee: Mario Sant (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Camilleri (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Christopher Francalanza (MLT)
Fourth Official: Marco Borg (MLT)

Luxembourg – Cape Verde
Referee: Bart Vertenten (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Karel De Rocker (BEL)

Australia – Ecuador
Referee: Lee Probert (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Fourth Official: Robert Madden (SCO)

Colombia – Tunisia
Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Fourth Official: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)

Georgia – Liechtenstein
Referee: Andris Treimanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 1: Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksejs Spasjonņikovs (LVA)

Gibraltar – Faroe Islands
Referee: Raymnd Crangle (NIR)
Assistant Referee 1: Andy Neeson (NIR)
Assistant Referee 2: James Eakin (NIR)
Fourth Official: Arnold Hunter (NIR)

Israel – Slovakia
Referee: Christian Dingert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Holger Henschel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Fourth Official: Eitan Shmuelevitch (ISR)

Macedonia – Latvia
Referee: Lorenc Jemini (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ermal Barushi (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Ilir Tartaraj (ALB)
Fourth Official: Edvin Hoxha (ALB)

Montenegro – Ghana
Referee: Vlado Glodović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Vladimir Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Petrović (SRB)

Albania – Malta
Referee: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Isa Emurli (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Goce Petreski (MKD)

Cyprus – N. Ireland
Referee: Liran Liany (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: David Bitton (ISR)
Fourth Official: Marios Panayi (CYP)

Algeria – Slovenia
Referee: Neant Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Edibi (NGA)

Referee: Antony Gautier (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Frederic Ano (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Fourth Official: Alexandre Castro (FRA)

Burkina Faso  Comoros
Referee: Said Ennjimi (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Cyril Gringoire (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Guillaume Debart (FRA)
Fourth Official: Frederic Haquette (FRA)

Costa Rica – Paraguay
Referee: Armando Castro (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Osvaldo Luna (CRC)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Cerdas (CRC)

Japan – New Zealand
Referee: Alan Milliner (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Cheeseman (AUS)

Kosovo – Haiti
Referee: Stephan Klossner (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Vital Jobin (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephane Almeida (SUI)
Fourth Official: Fedayi San (SUI)

Azerbaijan – Philippines
Referee: Fahad Banihammad (UAE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ahmed Al-Rashidi (UAE)
Assistant Referee 2: Jassim Al Ali (UAE)
Fourth Official: Hamad Hashmi (UAE)

Seneme retires early to join CONMEBOL Referees Committee

Former World Cup referee candidate Wilson Seneme (BRA, 44) decided to retire early in order to accept the proposal to replace his countryman Salvio Fagundes as a member of the CONMEBOL Referees Committee.
On the FIFA List since 2006, Seneme (photo) refereed 31 international matches, including a Copa Sudamericana final, 4 games at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup. As a pre-selected referee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Wilson Seneme refereed 3 qualifiers, but then he was removed from the list (and replaced by Ricci) due to failing the fitness test. “At 44, I feel that I am ready for new challenges. When I was presented with the opportunity to join the CONMEBOL Referees Committee, I accepted because I want to use my practical experience in developing South American refereeing”, said Seneme for ESPN Brazil. “I believe that I did my best as a referee. I made mistakes, like any other referee, but I was honest and I did more positive things. Now it is the time to use my experience in developing younger referees”. 
The CONMEBOL Referees Committee is currently composed by chairman Carlos Alarcon (PAR) and members Ernesto Filippi (URU), Abel Gnecco (ARG), Wilson Seneme (BRA), Alberto Tejada (PER). 

Source: Arbitro Internacional

Referee car bombing in Cyprus

The football association in Cyprus has postponed all first division matches this weekend after a bombing damaged the car of a top referee. An explosive device was placed on the hood of referee Leontios Trattou’s car in a parking lot outside his apartment in a Nicosia suburb, police said. No one was injured in the pre-dawn blast, but his car and another vehicle were damaged. It wasn’t immediately clear why Trattou may have been targeted, but the Cypriot league is tightly contested this season and passions are running high among supporters. Football in Cyprus is dogged by hooliganism and referees, including Trattou, are often the target of abuse by overzealous fans. Unruly fans allegedly attacked Trattou after a local friendly match last summer.
Trattou (photo) is the president of Cyprus’ referees’ association and he has overseen World Cup qualifiers, and Champions League and Europa League matches. Instantly recognisable with his shaved head, the 41-year-old Trattou is considered to be among Cyprus’ best referees and is often called upon to handle some of the toughest domestic league matches. The Cyprus Referees’ Association said in a statement that previous appeals for authorities to protect their members from “cowardly masked bandits” have gone unheeded. Both the football association and the country’s top sports body condemned the bombing as a “terrorist attack.” The players’ association said it stands in full solidarity with Trattou and all other referees.

Source: ProReferee

IFAB vote on changes to “The Players’ Equipment”

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) convened at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Saturday for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), chaired by FIFA President Blatter. This meeting was the 128th AGM since The IFAB was formed in 1886 and the first since the historic foundation meeting on 13 January 2014, which marked a new era for football’s rule-making body in becoming an independent association under the Swiss Civil Code. FIFA President Blatter opened the meeting by highlighting the importance of the new structure, which includes two new advisory panels – a Technical Panel and a Football Panel – ensuring a more proactive approach and broader consultation by including different stakeholders from across the world of football to support The IFAB before decisions are passed. The composition of the advisory panels was discussed at today’s AGM. A draft list will be finalised by The IFAB in the coming weeks and the two panels confirmed in due course once the invitations have been sent out and all members have accepted.
In relation to the Laws of the Game, The IFAB approved the modification to the interpretation of ‘Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment’ specifying the provisions by which male and female players can now wear head covers. After a two-year pilot, The IFAB agreed that there was no indication as to why the wearing of head covers should be prohibited, as long as their design restrictions are respected in line with the new wording of Law 4, agreed on at today’s AGM. Law 4 was also modified today to clarify that both compulsory equipment and undergarments must not have any kind of slogans, statements or images. Previously, what a player could reveal on any item of basic compulsory equipment was different to what he or she could wear on an undergarment. The IFAB therefore approved the clarification in order to have a consistent approach that is also easier to regulate.
On the agenda point relating to rolling subs for amateur/recreational football, which was submitted by The Football Association (FA) and The Scottish Football Association (SFA), The IFAB decided that the pilots initiated by The FA and the SFA shall continue and that the results will be submitted to the two new advisory panels for further discussion.
The matter of electronic performance and tracking systems, which relates to players wearing chips or other small devices that can monitor player performance, will be referred to the advisory panels. The first report that the panels will receive will be from next week’s Algarve Cup in Portugal, where The IFAB has initiated and permitted a trial of some of these systems for the senior women’s teams involved. 
For the submission from UEFA relating to the use of ‘Sin Bins’ in recreational youth football, The IFAB agreed that the experiments may continue, under the control of The IFAB, and that the advisory panels should further deliberate on the matter. 
UEFA also submitted a proposal to remove the red card given for any offence denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity inside the penalty area. The IFAB acknowledged that the so-called ‘triple punishment’ has been heavily debated including concerns that, if red cards were to be removed, it would lead to cynical fouls – as was the case under the previous wording of ‘Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct’ in relation to sending off offences. It was decided that the advisory panels should consider the matter to analyse how Law 12 might be further clarified. 
The IFAB will also instruct the two advisory panels to discuss Law 12 with respect to handling the ball, after an initial proposal from the Football Association of Wales (FAW), to advise if any modification should be made. 
After a discussion on the potential use of video replays for match officials, The IFAB remains of the view that technology should be allowed only for goal-line incidents, since it is a clear yes or no decision. Concerns were raised about video replays slowing the game down or increasing the number of stoppages. 
A proposal from the Technical Sub-Committee was approved whereby The IFAB will appoint a group to revise the structure and format of the Laws of the Game including changes such as the addition of a glossary. This glossary will help to clarify wording in the Laws. For instance, since 'Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play: Dropped Ball' was changed at the 126th IFAB AGM in March 2012, there has still been some discussion on the interpretation of the word ‘direct.’ At today’s AGM, The IFAB noted that a new glossary will help to better define the wording in this case and others. 
The modifications to the Laws of the Game made at today’s AGM will come into effect on 1 June 2014, taking into account the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 
The 129th Annual General Meeting will take place in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 27 February - 1 March 2015.

Source: FIFA