June 7, 2016

Referees at EURO 2016: Predictions for Matchday 1

Tomorrow, we can expect the first EURO 2016 Referee Appointments. Probably, UEFA will define and release the referees' names for the entire Matchday 1 in one package. At least, it is pretty much sure that tomorrow in the evening we should know who will blow the starting whistle of the final tournament in Stade de France. This means for us: Time for Predictions!

Pierluigi Collina and his colleagues will have to ask themselves: Whom do we trust to take charge of the opener game? As usual, opener matches are special and not comparable to other matches. On paper, France vs Romania is neither the most irrelevant nor the most important match. But it still is the opener game of the largest European Championships ever. From psychological research we know how important first impressions are. This also counts here. Collina and co. have a massive interest in conveying a good first image of their referees into the world of football. The main goal should be: No talk about the referees. Something which clearly went wrong back at EURO 2012 (Carlos Velasco in Poland vs Greece...).

So: UEFA will want one of their absolute top men to take control over that match. But an opener game is not only important against the background of leaving a good first impression. It is also an opportunity to send clear signals with regard to where the journey will take the 24 national teams, to make clear what refereeing style and line can be expected and to thus create predictability.

Predictability is only possible if you do not send too extreme signals. Velasco Carballo for example was extremely pedantic (in his disciplinary control) in the EURO 2016 opener, which however did not really count for the rest of the tournament.

For this reason, I think that UEFA will select a referee who embodies kind of an average refereeing style. With 18 referees attending the tournament, there are naturally fundamental differences in their approach and attitude. I have tried to classify referees using a 2x2 typology coordinate system to identify referees that would fulfill this "average style"-criterion. Based on scientific research on officiating, I have chosen the following 2 axes:

1) Focus on the Laws of the Game vs Focus on Game-Management

2) Empathic Proximity vs Authoritative Distance
(player-orientated, co-operative refereeing style vs distanced, authoritative and "official" style)

These 4 aspects should neither be positive nor negatively connoted. They all have their justification and are suitable for different types of games.

That's the result:

1 = Atkinson (ENG), 2 = Brych (GER), 3 = Çakır (TUR), 4 = Clattenburg (ENG), 5 = Collum (SCO), 6 = Eriksson (SWE), 7 = Hațegan (ROU), 8 = Karasev (RUS), 9 = Kassai (HUN), 10 = Královec (CZE), 11 = Kuipers (NED), 12 = Marciniak (POL),   13 = Mažić (SRB), 14 = Moen (NOR), 15 = Rizzoli (ITA), 16 = Skomina (SVN), 17 = Turpin (FRA), 18 = Velasco (ESP)

Please keep in mind that the mathematical allocation to the different styles is - although based on our many reports of the past seasons - highly subjective. You might disagree with one or the other - or even most of them.

Just based on that, the officials who are closest to the average (calculated by simple means), are: Szymon Marciniak, Martin Atkinson, Felix Brych, Mark Clattenburg, Damir Skomina and Viktor Kassai.

As I think that UEFA will really choose one of their Top 5 officials based on current form, Marciniak, Brych and Clattenburg are more probable than the others in my view. Marciniak is however quite inexperienced despite his good performances in the past and it would be very risky and unclever to appoint him for the opener (I guess he will get another match for the start to see how he does). Brych and Clattenburg both have the necessary experience. While Brych's style and shape would definitely suit the game, Clattenburg has the advantage of an excellent Champions League final form. He would be accepted and probably ensure a calm evening from the refereeing perspective.

A third option that should not be forgotten is Cüneyt Çakır - maybe he is not representing the average style to be expected at the tournament that much. But he has definitely an excellent run apart from the penalty in Munich. And he has the X factor that is needed in such games, mostly finding a balance between not forgetting the Laws of the Game but at the same time managing the game and refereeing for the benefit of the big picture. Also Jonas Eriksson is - as always - a name for such a game, but I think that after his controversial Europa League final he should get a match which is not in the spotlights that much. And he is definitely having an extreme approach and style which would threaten the purpose of creating predictability. I think UEFA will either choose Clattenburg or Çakır - if I had to choose, I would say Mark Clattenburg by 51:49.

We asked you: Click for the results based on 507 voters (not representative).

The other matches:

Albania - Switzerland. This match could become combatted, specially from the Albanian side. It might be that we'll see a lot of cards in this game. A referee UEFA has often appointed for such constellations in the past is Viktor Kassai from Hungary. I think also Skomina would suit, but as these are predictions and no personal preferences, I expect Kassai.

Wales - Slovakia. England and Russia are both clear favourites. Wales and Slovakia will probably fight for the third place in the group, so that the match has some importance. Actually, it would be a good opportunity to test Clément Turpin. Alternatives would be Svein Oddvar Moen or Ovidiu Alin Hațegan. I guess UEFA will try to test the Frenchman as fast as possible to figure out what to do with him.

England - Russia. In my opinion this game cries out for Carlos Velasco Carballo.

Turkey - Croatia. Felix Brych once handled this match quite well in the EURO 2012 Play-Offs. He is possible for this game and would suit. I however expect someone else: Nicola Rizzoli from Italy.

Poland - Northern Ireland. An interesting game and difficult to predict. I would either choose Ovidiu Alin Hațegan or Milorad Mažić. I think we'll see the youngster from Romania: Ovidiu Hațegan.

Germany - Ukraine. As said, Jonas Eriksson needs rather moderate or big matches, but should get the chance to manage a smooth debut in this tournament. I could imagine that Germany - Ukraine is neither too low-profile, nor a real top game. Therefore it could suit.

Spain - Czech Republic. A difficult game with the potential of a surprising (?) Czech win. I expect Felix Brych here.

Ireland - Sweden. This match perfectly suits to Damir Skomina, who already officiated it in the World Cup Play-Offs back in 2013. For the purpose of variery: Björn Kuipers.

Belgium - Italy. This match is maybe the top clash of the first matchday. The one who does not get the opener game could get this tie. So: either Çakır or Clattenburg. Rather Cüneyt Çakır.

Austria - Hungary. Difficult - this match is not really that important. Austria are the clear favourites and I could imagine that Scotland's William Collum gets it.

Portugal - Iceland. Iceland should not be underestimated - a solid, medium-profile referee is needed. Pavel Královec for example.

Summary of my Predictions:

FRA-ROU: Clattenburg (or Çakır), 4OF: Atkinson
ALB-SUI: Kassai, 4OF: Collum
WAL-SVK: Turpin, 4OF: Kulbakov
ENG-RUS: Velasco, 4OF: Sidiropoulos
TUR-CRO: Rizzoli, 4OF: Moen
POL-NIR: Hațegan, 4OF: Skomina
GER-UKR: Eriksson, 4OF: Mažić
ESP-CZE: Brych, 4OF: Kulbakov
IRL-SWE: Kuipers, 4OF: Sidiropoulos
BEL-ITA: Çakır (or Clattenburg), 4OF: Karasev
AUT-HUN: Collum, 4OF: Clattenburg
POR-ISL: Královec, 4OF: Turpin

Let me know your predictions!


  1. Comments in other Posts:

    Ref_17076/6/16 21:44

    Predictions for MD1:

    FRA-ROU: Velasco Carballo (ESP); FO: Kralovec (CZE)
    ALB-SUI: Karasev (RUS); FO: Kulbakov (BLR)
    WAL-SVK: Moen (NOR); FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
    ENG-RUS: Cakir (TUR); FO: Kassai (HUN)
    TUR-CRO: Brych (GER); FO: Kuipers (NED)
    POL-NIR: Turpin (FRA); FO: Hategan (ROU)
    GER-UKR: Skomina (SVN); FO: Mazic (SRB)
    ESP-CZE: Eriksson (SWE); FO: Rizzoli (ITA)
    IRL-SWE: Marciniak (POL); FO: Kulbakov (BLR)
    BEL-ITA: Clattenburg (ENG); FO: Atkinson (ENG)
    AUT-HUN: Collum (SCO); FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
    POR-ISL: Kralovec (CZE); FO: Karasev (RUS)

    Philipp S6/6/16 22:53

    I don't think, Velasco will get the opening match again after 2012, but otherwise your predictions seem quite good. Nothing, what I would consider unlikely.

    My predictions are:
    FRA-ROU: Clattenburg (ENG); FO: Kralovec (CZE)
    ALB-SUI: Kassai (HUN); FO: Kulbakov (BLR)
    WAL-SVK: Marciniak (POL); FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
    ENG-RUS: Velasco (ESP); FO: Turpin (FRA)
    TUR-CRO: Rizzoli (ITA); FO: Karasev (RUS)
    POL-NIR: Hategan (ROU); FO: Skomina (SVN)
    GER-UKR: Collum (SCO); FO: Eriksson (SWE)
    ESP-CZE: Moen (NOR); FO: Sidiropolous (GRE)
    IRL-SWE: Mazic (SRB); FO: Kuipers (NED)
    BEL-ITA: Brych (GER); FO: Cakir (TUR)
    AUT-HUN: Atkinson (ENG); FO: Velasco (ESP)
    POR-ISL: Kralovec (CZE); FO: Kulbakov (BLR)

    Márk Szántó7/6/16 15:39

    FRA-ROM Velasco Carballo (ESP) FO: Rizzoli (ITA)
    ALB-SUI Královec (CZE) FO:Moen (NOR)
    WAL-SVK Hategan (ROU) FO:Marciniak (POL)
    ENG-RUS Brych (GER) FO:Collum (SCO)
    TUR-CRO Kuipers (NED) FO: Skomina (SVN)
    POL-NIR Karasev (RUS) FO: Rizzoli (ITA)
    GER-UKR Cakir (TUR) FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)
    ESP-CZE Kassai (HUN) FO: MAzic (SRB)
    IRL-SWE Turpin (FRA) FO: Kulbakov (BLR)
    BEL-ITA Atkinson (ENG) FO: Clattenburg (ENG)
    AUT-HUN Eriksson (SWE) FO: Velasco Carballo (ESP)
    POR-ISL Moen (NOR) FO: Sidiropoulos (GRE)

    zoran 797/6/16 07:35

    FRA-ROM Cakir
    ALB-SUI Marciniak
    WAL-SVK Turpin
    ENG-RUS Brih
    TUR-CRO Rizzoli
    POL-NIR Velasco
    GER-UKR Eriksson
    ESP-CZE Atkinson
    IRL-SWE Kralovec
    BEL-ITA Clattenburg
    AUT-HUN Hategan
    POR-ISL Collum

  2. Viktor Kassai has the opening match. Kuipers as FO.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Maaaah...now I once integrated UEFA's appointment laziness in the EURO preparation schedule, and then they are 1 day earlier than expected.... thanks :)

    3. They published 2 hours ago, very interesting.

    4. Nicola Rizzoli has the match England - Russia , Sidiropoulos as FO.
      Wales - Slovakia - Svein Oddvar Moen , Kulbakov as FO.
      Albania - Switzerland - Carlos Velasco Carballo , Van Boekel as FO.

  3. Hello!
    My predictions (for all matches of group stage):
    FRA-ROM Marciniak
    ALB-SUI Collum
    WAL-SVK Turpin
    ENG-RUS Brych
    TUR-CRO Eriksson
    POL-NIR Moen
    GER-UKR Kassai
    ESP-CZE Kuipers
    IRL-SWE Carballo
    BEL-ITA Cakir
    AUT-HUN Atkinson
    POR-ISL Karasev
    RUS-SVK Mazic
    ROM-SUI Skomina
    FRA-ALB Kralovec
    ENG-WAL Marciniak
    UKR-NIR Hategan
    GER-POL Clattenburg
    ITA-SWE Brych
    CZE-CRO Rizzoli
    ESP-TUR Kassai
    BEL-IRL Moen
    ISL-HUN Collum
    POR-AUT Turpin
    ROM-ALB Kuipers
    SUI-FRA Mazic
    RUS-WAL Errikson
    SVK-ENG Carballo
    UKR-POL Cakir
    NIR-GER Kralovec
    CRO-ESP Clattenburg
    CZE-TUR Atkinson
    HUN-POR Rizzoli
    ISL-AUT Hategan
    ITA-IRL Karasev
    SWE-BEL Skomina


  4. FRA-ROU: Kassai, 4OF: Kuipers, I guess :)
    ALB-SUI: Kralovec, 4OF: Sidiropoulos
    WAL-SVK: Marciniak, 4OF: Kulbakov
    ENG-RUS: Velasco, 4OF: Rizzoli
    TUR-CRO: Clattenburg, 4OF: Hategan
    POL-NIR: Moen, 4OF: Turpin
    GER-UKR: Cakir, 4OF: Mazic
    ESP-CZE: Eriksson, 4OF: Brych
    IRL-SWE: Kuipers, 4OF: Karasev
    BEL-ITA: Atkinson, 4OF: Hategan
    AUT-HUN: Turpin, 4OF: Sidiropoulos
    POR-ISL: Skomina, 4OF: Kulbakov

    ROM-SUI: Collum
    FRA-ALB: Rizzoli
    RUS-SVK: Hategan
    ENG-WAL: Brych
    UKR-NIR: Karasev
    GER-POL: Mazic
    CZE-CRO: Moen
    ESP-TUR: Kuipers
    ITA-SWE: Velasco
    BEL-IRL: Kassai
    ISL-HUN: Marciniak
    POR-AUT: Kralovec

    ROM-ALB: Karasev
    SUI-FRA: Clattenburg
    RUS-WAL: Eriksson
    SVK-ENG: Cakir
    UKR-POL: Atkinson
    NIR-GER: Turpin
    CRO-ESP: Kuipers
    CZE-TUR: Rizzoli
    ITA-IRL: Skomina
    SWE-BEL: Brych
    HUN-POR: Hategan
    ISL-AUT: Collum

    1/8 finals: Atkinson, Cakir, Eriksson, Kassai, Kuipers, Mazic, Skomina and ??? (Kralovec/Moen/Marciniak depending on their performances)

    1/4 finals: Brych, Clattenburg, Rizzoli, Velasco Carballo

    1/2 finals: Eriksson (4OF Kassai) / Kuipers (4OF Skomina)

    final: Cakir (4OF Mazic)

    1. Sidiropoulos FO on the Albanian National Team?

      I don't think so...........

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. According to UEFA-website:

    Wales-Slovakia > Svein Oddvar Moen
    England-Russia > Nicola Rizzoli


Copyright © . The 3rd Team
Theme Template by BTDesigner · Powered by Blogger