January 29, 2015

AFCON 2015 - Quarterfinals Appointments

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These are the appointed officials for the quarterfinals matches of CAF African Cup of Nations 2015 held in Equatorial Guinea.

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January 28, 2015

Alireza Faghani appointed for 2015 Asian Cup Final

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The Iranian Alireza Faghani (photo) has been selected to officiate the 2015 Asian Cup Final between Korea Republic and Australia in Sydney, Australia.


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January 25, 2015

Ryuji Sato and Ravshan Irmatov appointed for 2015 Asian Cup Semifinals

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Thank to our source Árbitro Internacional, these are the officials appointed by AFC for 2015 Asian Cup's  Semifinals.  Japanese Ryuji Sato will handle the clash between Korea Republic and Iraq, while Ravshan Irmatov from Uzbekistan has been assigned to Australia - UA Emirates.


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January 24, 2015

AFCON 2015 - Matchday 3 - Referee Appointments

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As soon as informations will be available, we will publish all the appointed officials for the third group stage matchday of CAF African Cup of Nations 2015 held in Equatorial Guinea.


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January 23, 2015

Pedro Proença has announced his immediate retirement

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Portuguese referee Pedro Proença Oliveira Alves Garcia has announced his immediate retirement from refereeing both at national and international level. On a press conference, he confirmed previous rumours and reports and stressed that this decision had been "reflected and considered for months". Drawing a prompt line under his long and successful career, Proença emulates other top referees' deeds, such as Howard Webb, Massimo Busacca or Lubos Michel, who all finished their careers before the age limit of 45 years.

Renato Faverani (left) and Andrea Stefani (right) prior to Schalke-Basel

Having become an international referee in 2003, the financial director residing in Lisbon was kind of late high flyer. Although it took him some years to establish in the higher categories of UEFA officiating, among others attending the Under-21 European Championship in 2009, he took charge of both the UEFA Champions League final between Bayern München and Chelsea FC and European Championship final between Spain and Italy in 2012. For sure, his ability to control games with natural authority, charisma and good management skills have been the key factors that brought him to these achievements.

After this extra-ordinary year 2012, his career slowed down a little. Despite further big games and tournaments such as World Cup 2014, Proença's motivation apparently suffered from the huge achievements gathered within only a few weeks or months. In 2014, his former strength of keeping matches under control by a calm, composed and charismatic leadership style was not that visible anymore, at least in my personal opinion. In fact some of the recent matches got out of control. That's why Proença probably took a wise decision just in-time. However, this should not tarnish his success of previous years, but just belong to an entire picture of this referee, who definitely "was somebody" on the field of play.

"While acknowledging that some decisions might have been wrong [...], I am confident that I did everything in order to improve my skills and my performance, trying to counter inevitable human errors.", he stated.

Although Proença plans to focus on his occupation as manager for now, he expressed that he was open for new tasks in the area of refereeing: "I will always give my contribution to refereeing whenever requested." In the previous week, it was speculated whether Pierluigi Collina might support Proença's membership in the UEFA Referee Committee, which will be re-staffed next March.

However, Pedro Proença is not the only great of refereeing that has finished his career:

Olegario Benquerença, Stéphane Lannoy and Wolfgang Stark had to retire due to the age limit of 45. All three will stay in our mind, probably as referees who had their ups and downs, but who were personalities and partly extra-ordinary figures on the field of play. There is probably no other official whose style is as unique as Benquerença's has been and there is, to my best knowledge, no other referee in UEFA's circles who handled matches with such a consistent and authoritative zero tolerance strategy like Wolfgang Stark did. UEFA definitely lost a lot of experience last December.
Looking into other considerations, Marco Rodríguez refrained from using the chance to break a record of World Cup participations and finished his career, too. What some people might have missed is that World Cup 2014 opener referee Yuichi Nishimura decided to retire from officiating as well.

There were also some assistant referees who should be mentioned. Italian World Cup final assistant referees Renato Faverani and Andrea Stefani for example. Or English Darren Cann. Without any doubt, there are some referees whose success would have been inconceivable without their teammates - Nicola Rizzoli and Howard Webb belong to them. Whenever their names appeared, Faverani's, Stefani's and Cann's were not far away. Thus, Webb visited and surprised Darren Cann at his very last international match in Barcelona last December. The duo Webb & Cann is one that shows one of the great facets of refereeing: it has the potential to build friendships.

Same counts for many many other FIFA referees who have finished their careers last year. They all deserve respect and thanks for serving the game at the expense of plenty of sacrifices. 

Huge respect for their careers!
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January 21, 2015

AFCON 2015 - Matchday 2 - Referee Appointments

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These are the referee appointments for the second group stage matchday of CAF African Cup of Nations 2015 held in Equatorial Guinea.

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Asian Cup 2015 - Quarterfinals appointments

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Thank to our source Árbitro Internacional, these are the officials appointed by AFC for 2015 Asian Cup's Quartefinals matches. Remarkable achievement for the young Saudi Fahad Al-Mirdasi in charge of Korea Republic - Uzbekistan,  while Iranian Alireza Faghani will officiate his fourth match in the competition, between Japan and UA Emirates. Benjamin Williams will handle a very interesting clash between Iran and Iraq.  To complete the assignments, Korean Kim Jong Hyeok will oversee China - Australia. 


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January 17, 2015

Asian Cup 2015 - Referee Appointments - Matches 19-24

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Thank to our source Árbitro Internacional, these are the officials appointed by AFC for matches 19-24 of 2015 Asian Cup. 


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January 16, 2015

Video Training - Assessing the Level of Punishment 7 - Solutions!

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The following match situation is taken from the UEFA Champions League's Matchday 5 tie between Sporting Lisbon and NK Maribor and belongs to the category Assessing the Level of Punishment.
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January 15, 2015

UEFA Winter Course 2015 Athens with a guest from Chile

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Chilean World Cup 2014 referee Enrique Osses has been invited by UEFA to join their refereeing winter course in Athens from 1 to 5 February. As usual, UEFA's top referees and new FIFA match officials will use this opportunity to gather and prepare for their coming challenges and the knockout-stages of UEFA's club competitions.

Will guide UEFA's top officials through the course: Pierluigi Collina ©ZIMBIO
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AFCON 2015 - Matchday 1 - Referee Appointments

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Thanks to Árbitro Internacional, we can provide you with the referee appointments for the first matchday of CAF African Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea. CAF's Best Referee of 2014, Gambian Bakary Papa Gassama, has been assigned to take charge of the opener game.



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CAF African Cup of Nations 2015 Equatorial Guinea - Match Officials

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The following referee teams have been chosen by Africa's football governing body CAF to officiate at African Cup of Nations 2015 held in Equatorial Guinea from 14 January to 8 February. The blog will keep you informed about the referee appointments and will try to deliver some referee observers' reports. Nonetheless, you are - as usual - invited to share your impressions on the referees in form of comments.

Gambian Bakary Papa Gassama will head the squad of 44 match officials

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January 14, 2015

Asian Cup 2015 - Referee Appointments - Matches 13-18

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Thank to our source Árbitro Internacional, these are the officials appointed by AFC for matches 13-18 of 2015 Asian Cup. Among others, Christopher Beath (Australia) will make his bow in the tournament.



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January 12, 2015

Asian Cup 2015 - Referee Appointments - Matches 9-12

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Thank to our source Árbitro Internacional, these are the officials appointed by AFC for matches 9-12 of 2015 Asian Cup. Among others, Iranian Alireza Faghani (Iran) will take charge of his second game at the tournament.

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January 11, 2015

Asian Cup 2015 - Referee Appointments - Matches 1-8

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AFC Asian Cup 2015, held in Australia, has already started. You will find an overview on the referee appointments for each package of matchdays here (1-8, 9-16 and 17-24). We ask you to place your comments in the respective threads. The complete referee assignments are kindly provided by Árbitro Internacional, whose sources apparently fill the lack of information we are - unfortunately - not receiving by the Asian football confederation's media department.

World Cup record holder Irmatov took charge of the opener


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January 5, 2015

AFC Asian Cup 2015 Australia - Match Officials & Schedule

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The following referee teams have been chosen by Asia's football governing body AFC to officiate at Asian Cup 2015 held in Australia from 9 to 31 January. The blog will keep you informed about the referee appointments, but will offer no reports about the referees' performances this time. Nonetheless, you are - as usual - invited to share your impressions on the referees in form of comments.

Nishimura's descendant? Ryuji Sato from Japan

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