July 1, 2017

Milorad Mažić appointed for 2017 Confederations Cup Final, Al-Mirdasi in charge of Third Place game

Serbian Milorad Mažić has been appointed by FIFA to officiate the final of 2017 Confederations Cup, to be played on Sunday 2 July between Chile and Germany. At the same time, Saudi Fahad Al-Mirdasi has been assigned to the third place game, involving Portugal and Mexico. 


For the Serbian this will be the second international final  in his career, after UEFA Super Cup in 2016. Damir Skomina will  work as  fourth official, while Clément Turpin, Jure Praprotnik and Artur Dias will be in charge of VAR duties.

2 July 2017, 14:00 CET
Spartak Stadium, Moscow (Russia)
Portugal - Mexico
Referee:  Fahad Al Mirdasi (Saudi Arabia) 
Assistant Referee 1: Abdulah Alshalwai (Saudi Arabia)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammed Al Abakry (Saudi Arabia)
Fourth Official:  Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
Video Assistant Referee 1: Sandro Ricci (Brazil)
Video Assistant Referee 2: Jean-Claude Birumushahu (Burundi)
Additional Video Assistant Referee: Enrique Cáceres (Paraguay)

2 July 2017, 20:00 CET
Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg (Russia)
Chile - Germany 
Referee: Milorad Mažić (Serbia)
Assistant Referee 1: Milovan Ristić (Serbia)
Assistant Referee 2: Dalibor Đurđević (Serbia)
Fourth Official: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
Video Assistant Referee 1: Clément Turpin (France)
Video Assistant Referee 2: Jure Praprotnik (Slovenia)
Additional Video Assistant Referee: Artur Dias (Portugal)

201 Comments:

  1. Congratulations. Fully deserved.

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    1. Absolutely deserved, and also a nice sign that Mazic is rewarded by another major final apart from the UEFA Super Cup.

      Still, the inflation of UEFA referees in FIFA competition finals since Busacca is in office is really remarkable. Not to mention that the selection of the VAR1 is also quite interesting..

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    2. Indeed... Looks like Orsato and Turpin are sure bets to travel to Russia in 2018 as VARs!!

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    3. I also guess Turpin/Orsato/Soares/Hategan/Zwayer/Makkelie might represent UEFA at the World Cup as VAR.

      The question is whether the same counts for Michael Oliver, who did not train the VAR system so far. I still cannot imagine FIFA would appoint him as a main referee.

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    4. Merit for Turpin? I'm not sure of it.

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    5. @Niclas Is Michael Oliver in the list of pre-selected referees for World Cup 2018???

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    6. Indeed I don't know why Niclas mentioned Oliver, to be honest :)
      Perhaps because an English referee should be at WC?

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    7. Exactly because of that: Can you imagine a World Cup without English referees?

      Of course, they could still invite Clattenburg... but that seems to be close to impossible. Atkinson would be a solution, but the only chance for a FIFA tournament would be U17 WC, and he is probably too old. So: Oliver had a FIFA final, so maybe he would be a solution.

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    8. The real question would be: Is Oliver ready for a WC?

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  2. This is the link to the closing press conference of the Confederations Cup, where Gianni Infantino and Pierluigi Collina came to talk about the VAR. Infantino's and Collina's contribution at 11.55 min, and Collina answering a question of a Chilean reporter about the penalty incident at 33.20 min.

    https://youtu.be/XoVvjns-QC4

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  3. OT Rizzoli has been confirmed in serie A, he will officiate until December 2017 as FIFA referee and until June 2018 in serie A.
    I think we can expect him for Super Cup...

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    1. Hopefully he will get appointed, to have another big final in his great career.

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    2. It's possible, but would be unusual. Normally the Supercup referees have not had a major final before (actually most of them also not afterwards...). The only exception is Busacca 2010.
      My favourite remains Marciniak and I see Rocchi's chances higher than Rizzoli's. Collina still needs to collect arguments to send him to the WC ;)

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    3. To add more.
      New serie A referees: Rosario Abisso (1985, he already attended CORE), Gianluca Manganiello (1981), Fabrizio Pasqua (1982).
      Carmine Russo (1976) and Domenico Celi (1973) have now spent all their ten seasons in serie A and they have left the panel.
      Damato should have retired as well, having left the FIFA list and being in serie A by more than 10 years, but he has got a derogation to officiate for a further season until June 2018.
      In June 2018 we will have Damato, Rizzoli and Tagliavento out.

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  4. U19 EURO, MD1:
    SWE-CZE: Lapochkin (RUS), Stewart (SCO), Koiv (EST), Vadachkoria (GEO), Obs: Ceferin (SVN)
    GEO-POR: Massa (ITA), Rexha (ALB), Nijssen (BEL), Palabiyik (TUR), Obs: Kapitanis (CYP)
    BUL-ENG: Nilsen (NOR), Alokhin (UKR), Buzas (HUN), Kruashvili (GEO), Obs: Uilenberg (NED)
    GER-NED: Kristoffersen (DEN), Khomchenko (BLR), da Costa (LUX), Jovanovic (SRB), Obs: Paniashvili (GEO)

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  5. I wish all best to team Mazic

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  6. In the German and Chilean press it is mentioned that Ricci/Birumushahu/Cacéres were originally planned for the final but replaced by Turpin/Praprotnik/Soares on the wish of the DFB... Chile's media now fear Mazic would be biased towards Germany given 7 European officials in the final.

    That happens if you poorly manage referee appointments.

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    1. We also had that information. It appeared on the media channel before FIFA released the appointments in the web for all public. Chile FA is protesting the appointments after the error and Conmebol is doing a high pressure over FIFA for the "mistake"

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    2. Does that mean Gassama was planned for the final 4th Official role???

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    3. No, the "problem" only involves the VAR officials

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    4. I must say that all that thing that teams "must" approve appointments is, pardon the expression, idiotism. Referees committee and consecvently, referees appointments must be independent of anyones influence. God, I hope Collina will do something and change things in FIFA refereeing.

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    5. If Gassama wasn't planned as the FO for Final then why Birmushahu was placed there??? Logically we would expect Gassama and Birmushahu together and Skomina and Praprotnik should be together as is the case now!!! I think these stuffs might just be rumours!!

      Also if changes are made on DFB's request then that's absolutely appalling... Referee appointments cannot and shouldn't ever be influenced by any of the participating teams' home boards!!! Such rubbish politics really need to stop... Hopefully Collina can reduce these rubbish practices at least to some extent!!

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    6. It's not the first time something like his happens. On the 2010 WC Webb was replaced on a QF by Benquerenca due to Uruguay's pressure to the president of referee's committee.

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    7. Uruguay v Ghana???

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    8. What was the reason for asking a change?? 🤔 Webb anyway a far better referee than Benquerenca and also no confederation neutrality issues with Uruguay or Ghana!!! Or were Uruguay not big fans of Webb?? 🤔

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    9. Remember the mistake by Larrionda and his AR on ENG-GER? That was the reason......

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    10. Oh I see the reason now... Uruguayan referee messing up the England game... In the end worked pretty fine for Webb though, ended up getting the much coveted final appointment!!! :)

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  7. Decision changed after rewatching the incident - correct penalty decision + YC (very good that he also issued the YC).

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    1. Didn't it seem like Al-Mirdasi himself initiated the review??? His gestures seemed to suggest from the very onset that he was unsure and wanted a review!! 🤔

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  8. VAR intervention in POR v MEX... Possibly Al-Mirdasi himself wanted the review... He was very far behind with a poor visual angle and was in no place to make a call... Al-Mirdasi rewatched the incident and awarded the penalty... Correct decision, absolutely no attempt to play the ball, clear foul in the penalty box!!

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    1. Soham. You say "absolutely no attempt to play the ball" and that it was the correct decision.
      He gave a yellow card. Your comment is like you wanted a red card.
      Yellow card was correct. He clearly attempted to play the ball but missed.

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    2. No I'm very content with the YC... Indeed there was no attempt whatsoever to play the ball... But I'm not convinced that it's a DOGSO and I think YC is the correct decision!!!

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  9. Good VAR intervention this time. One cabpraise Al Mirdasi because he immediately felt it could have been penalty. Despite of having missed it live, the procedure was positive this time. Correct YC for DOGSO as well.

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    1. Yes such usage of VAR is really a positive sign for football :)

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    2. *one can praise

      @Soham I agree

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    3. This is so obvious penalty that should be whistled immediately. Al Mirdasi was bad positioned (and he is often late), staying far away and he was obstructed from one of the defenders because of that. Good thing is that he himself wanted to consult the VAR.

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    4. Yes this is exactly what I said in my previous post... 100% agree that it's a point of improvement for Al-Mirdasi!!!

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    5. 2 remarks on the penalty:

      - Al-Mirdasi MUST see that by himself.
      - No need for review area. VARs also have a responsibility. In order to ensure the spirit of football stays the same, in such situations the VARs should take direct decisions.

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    6. I wasn't too sure if it was a PK initially, but well, I'm no international referee...

      I can't understand taking a look himself though, maybe the VARs weren't 100% sure either.

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    7. @Niclas Looks like Al-Mirdasi himself called for a review... He was actually signalling "Wait, I'm checking" rather than making a call of no penalty!!! What's the exact protocol in such a case???

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  10. I agree that Al Mirdasi should have detected the penalty by himself, and that is a potentially negative point. However, Niclas, I think that rewatching the incident, even though it is a clear penalty, it is something good. Instead of having a direct decision by VAR. At any rate, the poor management was the one in Portugal - Chile. Not today...

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    1. There are surely arguments by both sides. Those who want to stress the responsibility of the main referee will of course favour a frequent use of the review area. This also allows that you take decisions in line with your own previous line and approach. Those who emphasize the need to keep a fluent, quick play without many longer interruptions due to referees running to the TV screen will probably favour a careful use of the review area.

      For me, in this particular case, the offence was absolutely clear. Maybe the reason for the review area was to assess whether it was attempt to play the ball or not. Actually, I believe it was a clear case of DOGSO/Yellow, but well, this would explain it.

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  11. Interview with Busacca in German TV:
    - communication is still a big problem, especially concerning languages (not everybody is able to speak English under pressure)
    - Busacca has doubts whether VAR sytem is really ready to be used at WC 2018.

    It was clearly visible that Infantino wants to have it at WC - by all means.

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  12. al-Mirdasi still struggling with being accepted by the players. He seems not so sure of himself.

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    1. Indeed - similar to his first game, I think CONFIDENCE is his biggest point for improvement. Easier said than done, of course.

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    2. Confidence can be gained when you officiate top matches on your league or on Champions league. And definitely the AFC CL is different than the UEFA one.

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  13. Less than convincing handling of that scene in minute 101. At least one YC was mandatory IMHO.

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  14. Clear and obvious PK for handball now. YC?

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  15. Yes, agreed.

    Now correct penalty kick, absolutely punishable handball. However, even in such a clear and stonewall situation Al Mirdasi does not manage to create immediate acceptance of this decision. Incredible weak body language, without wanting to criticize him personally, I think most 2nd division officials in some European leagues possess more sophisticated body language skills.

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    1. 100% agreeed... The best referee in AFC and CAF won't get past UEL in Europe... Yet another reason why UEFA referees end up getting most of the big international finals!!!

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  16. 2YC for Nélson for hitting Lozano's head with his knee. Difficult: head too far down or foot too high?

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  17. And mandatory 2YC for Jiménez after hitting Eliseu with the studs on the shoulder.

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  18. Both 2nd YCs absolutely compulsory and correctly seen in my view.

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  19. Complete anarchy now on the benches.

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    1. Really shameful scenes I must say... Huge problems for Al-Mirdasi as far as acceptance is concerned... Absolutely 0 acceptance by players from both sides throughout the match!!!

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  20. It cannot be that this man is one of the 7 best Asian referees coming into question for a World Cup. 0 body language, 0 acceptance, 0 authority. I am really wondering what Busacca did when coaching and observing Al-Mirdasi in the past years. But he is completely lost and helpless.

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    1. I saw all of al-Mirdasi's matches at the Asian Cup and I can't recall similar problems (it's been some time though). But these two performances were shocking in many departments. I fear Asian refereeing has to improve a lot, especially as more top class referees will be needed for the expanded Asian Cup.

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    2. The most trusted AFC referees as per my knowledge are Alireza Faghani, Ravshan Irmatov, Nawaf Shukralla, Ryuji Sato, Fahad Al-Mirdasi, Kim Jong-hyeok!!! Abdulrahman Al-Jassim, Abdulla Hassan Mohammed, Ahmed Al-Kaf are also good talents... Unfortunately that's the best Asia has to offer at this moment!!! I think FIFA should look more closely into Ryuji Sato as a possible candidate for Russia 2018 considering the fact that Faghani and Al-Mirdasi are terribly out of form and Irmatov has also not been at his best for the past couple of seasons!!!

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    3. Personally I rate Faghani as the Asian no.2. He has had a very good Olympic tournament - I would not overvalue the 2 rather weak appearances at Confed Cup. My feeling is that FIFA will appoint Shukralla, Faghani and Irmatov as main refs for Russia.

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    4. In 2010 AFC reached the excellence regarding refereeing with Irmatov at WC. Now it seems as times have changed. Irmatov after WC 2010 was very often disappointing, in Confederations Cup he did that blatant technical mistake, at WC 2014 he was so-so but very far away from the performances at previous World Cup. Now at this Confederations Cup he missed that blatant penalty as VAR. But I still think Busacca and committee trust him. Then, we have to focus on names like Shukralla and Faghani. The latter had been very good before this tournament in all his FIFA appearances, Confederations Cup was negative. But I still think the Irani has some good credit and he will be at WC. Shkuralla: at moment maybe the referee with the chance to gain a ticket for 2018 WC without any controversy. But at the same time I would like to see him more often. Ryuji Sato: I don't know him so much, I would say I never watched a game, but surely for political reasons (a Japanese is always expected at WC) he could be in Russia. The preselected referee from South Korea has not great chances, I think. So, Al Mirdasi at moment is not among the first options for Russia, despite of having already officiate U20 WC final in 2015 and having attended this Confederations Cup. He can be a name for the future.

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    5. What are your thoughts on Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar) and Abdulla Hassan Mohammed (UAE) in context to chances for Russia 2018???

      Coming to Ryuji Sato, I've seen some of his games in AFC Champions League and AFC Cup etc and I was really impressed with his showings but again what he has to offer in crunch matches of high profile tournaments remains to be seen!!! I'm expecting Sato in India for U-17 WC in October!!!

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    6. I really can't say anything regarding Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar) and Abdulla Hassan Mohammed (UAE)! About the latter, I only watched his first game at U20 WC.

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    7. From AFC they usually take 4 referees as head referees and in that case I'll go for Ravshan Irmatov, Alireza Faghani, Nawaf Shukralla and one of either Abdulla Hassan Mohammed or Ryuji Sato depending on form etc!!!

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    8. I watched both Al-Jassim and Hassan Mohammed's games in U-20 World Cup... Al-Jassim is for 2022, clearly not ready for big games yet... Hassan Mohammed is decent so I believe the 4th AFC referee spot will be contested by him and Sato!!!

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  21. Terrible behaviour of the Mexican coach. Absolutely correct to send him to the stands. However, the management of this situation was not the best. Looked not that clear and quite confused. Both 2nd YC correct IMO.

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  22. What's everyone's views on that penalty appeal by Mexico that triggered that huge melee in the end??? Mexico were adamant for a VAR review!!!

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    1. Shove yes, but not enough for a pk for me.

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    2. Maybe a foul, no way the referee could've been 100% sure. It would've taken a very brave VAR to say it was.

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    3. I think it was worthy of a VAR review... Maybe Al-Mirdasi could've been invited by Ricci to have another look at the incident... Very strong case for a penalty I must say!!!

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    4. VARs only intervene in CLEAR situations. Was this one clear?

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    5. Possibly one of those 50-50 ones... So Ricci was correct not to intervene maybe!!

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  23. 118' missed penalty, no VAR?

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  24. Decisions wise, I think Al-Mirsasi had a good game.
    It is a shame that the players attitude didn't help him whatsoever. Having said that, his body language was so bad, he seemed weak and not confident at all which of course allowed the players/staff to overreact and complain on decisions as they felt they could affect him.
    Apart from not spotting the 1st penalty immediately, I thought he was good. Just needs a stronger personality and improved body language.

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    1. With this kind of showing I can't imagine him in a World Cup... I mean obviously he will be selected and he will get games but it will end up being disasters like this... He isn't ready for a WC yet!!!

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  25. Very good start for Mažić and Co. 15min

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  26. Now offsides are always whistled without waiting, I really don't understand.
    However, so far, faultless performance, including both assistant referees.

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    1. Maybe I'm telling complete nonsense, but would it be possible that the assistants should keep the flag down if they are unsure about the offside, and raise it when they are 100% sure....
      This VAR-system isn't that easy to understand for me...

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  27. Mazic used his whistle in the 1st half more often than other referees in their whole career :) A little bit annoying tbh, but well, if this is the biggest problem...

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  28. Probably missed one foul in favor of Germany in 45', and this small mistake was the only one in 1st half. Very good performance and good acceptance (of course, from Latino Americans one can always expect protests on every decision in favor of an opponent). ARs faultless, several very good decisions. I expect more complicated 2nd half, especially if Chile doesn't score in first 15-20 minutes.

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  29. 63' : We have a VAR review... Turpin has invited Mazic to rewatch an incident!!

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    1. Yellow card shown to Jara after VAR review followed by a sarcastic applause by the player against which Mazic quickly gave another warning!!!

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    2. Orange card. But, Chilean player didn't look at German attacker, nor in his face, therefore Mazic decided to give only YC. Jara was very lucky.

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    3. Yes really lucky... If I was the referee and I looked at the replays, I would have definitely sent Jara off with a straight RC!!

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    4. A few thoughts on this:
      - this is an area where VAR is useful, as it is a blind spot for the referee (he would have to be excentred to the extreme, on the line himself, to see that clearly).
      - It took about 3 minutes from the foul to the restart. Again, why is it taking so long to tell the referee he needs to watch the replay? What is Turpin doing while Mazic is assessing the injury?
      - This reads to me very much like a final's decision...I have my doubts about whether this is not VC. If so, if FIFA wants accuracy but wants to keep all players on the pitch at all costs, have we solved anything?

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    5. As always Emil you have summed it up excellently :) 100% agreed... Nothing more to add!! :)

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    6. @Emil: Your last point remembers me on Rizzoli's final three years ago...
      With this development, I think it is very unlikely that Brych gets a big match in a FIFA tournament, he gives too much 2nd yellows...

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    7. Germany national football team doesn't allow Brych to progress too far in international tournaments anyway :D

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  30. Sorry, but that is a straight RC. He should have seen that himself, but only giving a YC after reviewing it....

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    1. Yes I too have some doubts that it merited a straight RC... Jara is lucky!!

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    2. Sorry, why do we have the VAR? Why did Mazic review the incident and came to the conclusion YC?
      Mazic must be aware of this hot atmosphere. I hope he'll keep control.

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  31. I disagree with Mazic. Clear RC, clear intention. however, I'm not 100% surprised by YC. I think there are (even though very very few) arguments in favor of the reckless challenge. However, we can say that VAR is allowed to produce YC as well, not only RC. About this point I think we need more explanations... one could say RC or nothing in such situations.
    To add: Mazic was very close to the incident when it occurred, it is strange that he totally missed it.

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    1. First real mistake by Mazic tonight... I think this is a crucial error... This had to be a RC!!!

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    2. Mazic usually has a more ex-centric positioning than most referees - in other words, he runs further to the sides than most. Still, he'd have to be almost on the touch line to see that clearly.

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    3. As Niko said:

      "I have a feeling that Mazic would have gone with a RC in UEFA, but at FIFA competition with Busacca in charge, YC was his choice. Probably Mazic still remembers how he was criticized after an "easy" RC during WC2014."

      IMO even Mazic thought it is RC, if we speak about Laws of the game, but we know what is Busacca's guideline for the referees.

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  32. I think nobody expected a yellow card for the elbow. 100% red card.

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  33. Crucial mistake in my view. Violent conduct by the Chilean, it was an elbow used as a weapon (also excessive force!).

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  34. Red also for me, I think that we all are agreeing on that.

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  35. To be honest, I disagree with you - for me it isn't a 'clear RC', more orange and in the whole context of the situation I think a YC is the best solution (not at least because Chile was angry with the appointment of the VARs). But was this really a situation for the VARs? Are they allowed to issue YCs?

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    1. Turpin must have felt it's a missed RC and that's why he must have invited Mazic to rewatch the incident... Also if keeping Chile happy is the logic behind giving only a YC here after review, then I'm sorry it's unacceptable!!!

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    2. I'm 100% with you on whether the YC should be an alternative at all. Politically, of course, it has to be. In principle, however, I don't think the guidelines allow it. And the line between 'VAR thought it was RC and referee disagreed' and 'VAR just intervenes on missed YC' is tenuous and will be erased very quickly in practice, in my view. Will we start seeing code talk between VAR and referee to refer YCs?

      I disagree with you, as I think there is plenty there to justify a RC and a referral by Turpin. But you're right that the standard of proof required for the VAR to refer would be much higher if it were RC or nada.

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  36. Fully agreed it's a RC with everyone
    VAR team did well to cover their arses and ask Mažić to watch the incident himself, I was (sadly) expecting YC and probably Busacca will find these small arguments again in a press conference. Surely this match was going too well before, for this tournament ;-)

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    1. And yeah of course the polemics with the appointments of VARs, maybe YC was the sensible solution...

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    2. If that's true about the polemics and all that then it's really sad days for FIFA refereeing I must say!!! :(

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  37. I have a feeling that Mazic would have gone with a RC in UEFA, but at FIFA competition with Busacca in charge, YC was his choice. Probably Mazic still remembers how he was criticized after an "easy" RC during WC2014.

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    1. I agree Niko... Those criticisms were so unfair!!!

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    2. Important point. In UEFA I think Mazic would be backed with a RC. In FIFA, everything is different and highly unclear.

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    3. You have the point! Agree 100%. Indeed, what in UEFA is RC, in FIFA is YC. What In UEFA is YC, in FIFA is only a warning. It's not easy for UEFA refs to handle every situation. Mazic simply didn't want to "spoil" this final.

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    4. And I'm sure we won't blame Mazic :)

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  38. Correct decision - no penalty.
    Vargas booked for having made the gesture of VAR asking for it :)

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    1. But then we also see the 'political' pressure to look at the VAR even when the referee is certain. Mazic, after dismissing the coach, runs over to the monitor even if he knows full well there's nothing. When the tool is available, the need to use it appears...

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  39. Very good decision - no penalty.
    He needed like 5 seconds to review..

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    1. I am sure the VAR told Mazic that there was nothing. He wanted to solve the 'coach issue' and as the monitior is quite near he went to the monitor. Honestly speaking he did not even look at the monitor - no need for that of course.

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  40. Does the VAR only apply, in theory, in the case of red karts, player substitutions, penalties and goals? So Mazic could have changed the decision against Jara only, if he had decides for a red card against Jara and not with his bad decision yc, or?

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    1. It wasnt bad decsion for YC, for me its more YC than RC..

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    2. I'd beg to differ here... That's a clear RC!!!

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  41. Well don't be surprised if we see red card in the last 15 min.
    Chile players are starting to show their south american mentality.

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  42. We all know it's no longer the refereeing in FIFA biggest tournaments. It's only politics and nothing more. To be honest, we even shouldn't discuss the referee performances at FIFA tournaments on this blog as this blog is about refereeing, not the parody of it (= politics). :)

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    1. What do you think, what can Collina do to change this? He is so strong authority, would he have capacity to do something? Can he do that from his new position in FIFA?
      BTW, I think Mazic's (and whole team) performance was very good, with that one "suspicious" situation (but, we don't know what were instructions for the refs).

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    2. I agree that Mazic' performance was very, very good apart from that incident. Strong personality, good management, trying to calm things down. And in the VAR situation, I'm more than sure he would have issued a red card in Champions League.

      I don't know whether Collina can fire Busacca or whether he will want to do it. But remember that everything is OK for Gianni Infantino, so...

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    3. Thanks God, the Confed Cup is over now.
      The WC2018 could be a huge festival of football, but I fear that this politics destroys nearly everything. It's so annoying, really. I'm very disappointed from FIFA.

      And you are right, RayHD, we shouldn't blame the referees, we should blame the responsible people behind them in whole FIFA.

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  43. Poor behaviour from Chile!!!

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    1. Why Chile? Emre Can was the one doing bad things..

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    2. 3 players got on top of one German player... Typical South American aggression on display in the last 10-15 minutes!!!

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  44. 90': moments of tension now, but yes, with a RC in the previous situation, perhaps players would have acted differently, this leniency is leading to trouble in every game. I'm really worried for WC, I don't know whether this are guidelines from Busacca because in UEFA almost all Elite referees, rewatching the incident with VAR in this case, would have sent off the player.

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    1. Really Chefren lots of things for us the "referee fans" to feel really, really worried about refereeing in World Cup 2018 :(

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  45. How was Joachim Löw not dismissed on this melee???

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    1. Why? He was clearly intending to solve the problem by telling Can to give the ball back.

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    2. I had the same impression... He rather helped to diffuse the situation quickly it seemed to me!!

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    3. A coach that enters the field, no matter the reason, must be dismissed. He has no business there. Especially after you dismiss the Chilean coach.
      In MLS, coaches are automatically suspended for 1 game for any infringement of the field of play - even one foot.

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    4. "A coach that enters the field, no matter the reason, must be dismissed."

      In FIFA tournaments, no.

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    5. Clear rules are missing at FIFA tournaments...
      It would be much easier if there are such guidelines introduced for all matches, very transparent.
      What surprises me even more is that no one of the substitutes on the field had been booked. Would have been very easy

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    6. I think common sense took presidency there, I can live with that.

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    7. "A coach that enters the field, no matter the reason, must be dismissed."

      In FIFA tournaments, no.

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    8. Chilean coach was not dismissed. It was only a last warning.

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    9. I see a huge problem there. Of course, normally you should dismiss a coach that enters the field. But would that be the right signal? We always want to see 'fair play', then a coach enters the field exactly for that (as he wanted to calm his player and solve the little riot) and what does the referee? He sends this fair coach off? Would be a very bad signal, absolutely not accepted. We shouldn't make our life harder as it already is.

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    10. Fully agreed with Gitzlo. Black-and-white guidelines only help as long as 'Law 18' does not suffer from them too much. Sending Löw off would have clearly been against 'Law 18' and sent a poor image - a role model (calming own players down) would have been sent off..

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  46. If this is modern Style of refereeing, i like the style of Felix Brych ;)

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    1. I must say, even though I am not the biggest fan of Brych's mimics, it is quite pleasant to watch him as he has a style that is different to everyone else. Whatever you think of Stark, Benquerença... at least they were refreshingly different.
      But I feel for Mažić as actually like Brych he has a generally unimpressed style, but this directing of FIFA refereeing... my opinion is irrelevant and everything has already been said.

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    2. Well, you are right :) Brych doesn't make too many evaluations before taking a decision, today it seems very rare! If YC, YC. If RC, RC.
      It would be easy...

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  47. Very good performance by Serbian team.
    Rc:yc= 50:50. All other situations 100% acceptable.
    He guide the match.
    This is mini WC final,this is spectacle.

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  48. After Gassama management in Mexico - New Zealand and today's decision by Mazic, everybody is allowed to think that FIFA and Busacca instruct referees to avoid red cards for violent conducts! It is indeed difficult to find other arguments to explain these decisions.

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  49. I'm really torn concerning the performance: On the one hand we saw a strong, accepted Milorad Mazic, on the other hand we saw a not accepted Mazic, especially after VAR intervention. His authority was clearly suffering after the rewatch - no doubts, it was a violent conduct by the Chilean player. One must praise Turpin in this case for inviting the referee to rewatch the incident - this time it was justified. He can't be blamed for Mazic' mistake to award a YC.
    My final mark would be: 7.9 (8.3/8.4) in a quite challenging game.

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    Replies
    1. In a quite challenging final of mini WC, with only 1 doubtful decision with no influence on the score there is no observer in the world to give mark 7.9

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    2. That's why I said 'MY mark would be...' And there are clear rules: missed RC -> best possible mark is 7.9. I have no doubts that this was a violent conduct, so not doubtful for me. However, I agree, it's possible that FIFA has a different view on this incident.

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    3. 7.9 in challenging match is equal to 8.1, 8.2 in normal match.
      Referee mark isn't important in this match, in a terms of numbers, I prefer words for analysing.

      Strong body language, good control, very good managment for confrontation situations, high level of acceptance (excluding post-VAR situations).

      In the end, elbow situation is perfect picture of FIFA- you have everything but you use it totally wrong. Poor guidelines, poor prepation, no clear line which criteria referees use to follow.

      I'm 100% sure that Mazic we use to know would give straight RC in UEFA. Biggest problem is that he totally missed this incident live.

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    4. @DrMr I agree, it's only a number and a detailed analysis would be preferable. That's why German Association abolished marks, the referees will only receive an analysis of their performance.

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    5. I like that. Only question, how DFB rank the referees then?

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    6. As far as marks are concerned, if there is a crucial mistake, it does not go above 7.9, regardless of the difficulty of the match. That's why there are two marks - one to reflect the mistake, one to reflect the rest of the match. So, 7.9 (X.X) would be correct, and personally I would agree with a 7.9 (8.5).

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    7. @DrMr Very likely there is no ranking in first division (honestly speaking there is also no need for a ranking as - in Germany - it is really, really rare to be demoted from first (and also second) division. In second division marks will still exist as there is no VAR system.

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    8. @DrMr I could imagine there is no official ranking anymore, which of course makes it quite subjective. You actually do not need marks or a ranking to see that e.g. Benjamin Brand is a talented referee or Manuel Gräfe is a referee you can actually send into every single game no matter how difficult it is. If you are a good referee coach close to your officials, you know it without marks - which can even sometimes dominate referee coachings or reports.

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    9. Great, thanks for the reply!

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  50. It's never late to issue a card. Every tournament has a specific instructions. It is not domestic league. This refs are not rookies ( unfortunately some on this tour are) to have book and only book of LotG in front their eyes

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  51. In my opinion, apart from the VAR incident, Mazic was very good in this game.
    At least full expected level, it is a pity that after having rewatched that scene, he decided for YC.
    I'm torn between 8.4 and 8.5, the latter is possible because he assessed some potentially difficult situations by himself and he also solved some crucial moments of the game by showing authority and acceptance. But the YC decision led to some problems in the last part of the game, so this must be also taken into account.
    So for me final mark is 7.9 (8.4).
    Very good work by both assistant referees.

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  52. You are not being fair. For Mazic the excuse is "in UEFA he is different", but since you don't see other competitions around the world you blame the other non-UEFA referees.
    How can you be so sure Al-Mirdasi or Faghani aren't different in AFC? How could you tell Roldán is the same "disaster" in Conmebol?
    You killed Gassama for not reacting after a really clear red card offense, but since it's Mazic this time is it ok...

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    1. Gassama, Al Mirdasi and maybe Roldan's biggest problem is very poor body language, that's the point.

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    2. Body language and confidence*

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    3. I agree Frank. And I have not seen a Fifa referee with such a stressed body language as Mazic. And his whistle control... 3 whistles for a foul.

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    4. Where do you see anyone praising Mazic for not issuing a red card?

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    5. I did not say that, I just say that Mazic missed an RC: "Oh yes, But in UEFA he would not do that."
      Al-Mirdasi missed an RC: "Yeah, he's a bad referee, he should not go to the World Cup next year"
      Just that. Reflect and see if you notice any difference in judgment

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    6. Al-Mirdasi, Gassama and Roldan displayed 0 confidence and 0 body language in this tournament which is seen as the main problem... Mazic doesn't have any such problem and moreover none of us are praising Mazic for a missed red card... We are all identifying it as a clear, crucial error!!!

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    7. @Victor
      Obviously you follow Mazic for one year.

      Tonight, he used his whistle more than on his last 10 matches. I didn't like that, too.
      But tonight, usage of the whistle is only the isolated incident, that's not something he used to do last 4 years.

      If you want to compare body language of mentioned referees, think about the consequences of body language.
      Mazic is almost always accepted, authoritative and have full control.
      On the other side, think about Gassama and Al Mirdasi..

      There's big difference between BAD and UGLY gestures and body language.

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    8. Frank: That's the difference between an inexperienced referee (32 years old) who displayed many technical shortcomings and an experienced referee (43 years old) with a UEFA Super Cup final and appearances at the EURO 2016 and the WC 2014, who has shown repeatedly that he is capable of better, and who did not show any major technical shortcomings.
      The nature of flaws matters too.

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    9. @Frank Nobody here ever said that Al-Mirdasi should not go to WC because he missed a RC... We never talked about any missed RC by Al-Mirdasi here at all today... You must be reading something else and not this blog!!! Moreover Mazic has no issues with confidence and body language whereas Al-Mirdasi displayed absolutely 0 body language and 0 confidence in both his Confed Cup games!!!

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    10. Body language is obviously a question of taste, and very up to cultural affinity. Clearly Mazic's body language is perceived as quite odd and hectical in Western Europe - at least in Germany this is the case. Which does not mean that it is necessarily a bad thing.

      The big difference to Roldán, Al Mirdasi and Gassama is that Mazic at least has ANY body language. The three mentioned referees were all very hesitant and reluctant in making gestures at all, Al Mirdasi partly even looked a bit frightened after decisions. It is not only about gestures, it is about mimic, body tension, arm strength... something Mazic plays with and uses efficiently most of the time.

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  53. Maybe I have seen a different second half, and although I am German, I actually tried not to be too emotional or biased in terms of the exciting last stages of the game.

    In my view, the first half was excellently refereed. Actually even until the moment of the VAR review, I think Mazic savoured full respect and acceptance, had everything under control, was very clear in his decisions, had a good feeling for when presence was needed and was convincing in his decision-taking.

    The first smaller turning point was the confrontation between Kimmich, the goalkeeper and Vidal. He solved that quite well, nonetheless I don't think he managed to really calm down the scenery. He managed to do so for a moment, but only one minute was needed and Kimmich was again in the centre of attention. So maybe more fruitful words than just raising cards would have been helpful.

    The real turning point was the VAR review. I don't see any room for discussion or interpretation. Clear violent use of the elbow as a weapon into the facial area. This is clarified by the LotG 2016/17, but was actually even clear before it. Never a yellow card. Force was very high, safety was endangered - deeming it as reckless is at least very astonishing.

    After that, I don't want to judge whether it was Mazic's fault or not, therefore my focus is on the visible results. Control, authority and acceptance look different. As said, the difficulty of the game might have been the main cause. Maybe it was Mazic's fault. Maybe a mix of both, I am not sure. Three basic questions on that:

    1) Was the game and were the players under the referee's control?
    2) Were the referee's actions accepted and effective?
    3) Did the referee keep an overview on the scenery?

    Everybody can answer these questions for himself, my answer on all 3 questions is NO. At least not in the last third of the game. And therefore I would never arrive in an area like 8.4-8.5.

    In conclusion: A very good final performance for 50-60 minutes - for me very little acceptance, authority, overview and control in the last 30 minutes.

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    Replies
    1. How does this performance compare with Kuipers in Brazil v Spain final in 2013??

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    2. I don't remember it in detail, but a rough comparison would be: Kuipers' decisions were not accepted that much back then either, but they a) were correct / supportable and b) he managed to maintain a helicopter view and stand above the things. Which does not mean Mazic did not manage that today. As Chefren, I also think that in many decisions and situations he DID manage it. In some others, my opinion differs a bit.

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    3. Both Kuipers and Mazic are actually good in selling their decisions... South American teams like Brazil or Chile are going to refute calls that favour the opposition almost all the times... I too don't remember all the situations of that game but the observer report in this site was full of praise for him and he was awarded a 8.7 by Chefren so I'd assume it was a polished performance overall with no big issues!!!

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    4. Excellent post Niclas. I totaly agree - the RC was clear and obvious.

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    5. Niclas, so can you give your idea about the final mark?
      8.2? 8.3? with crucial mistake 7.8?
      I think that for most of the game it was an expected level by Mazic and it was really difficult.

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    6. Niclas, just one question, which referee would be accepted by Chilean players, especially on 0-1?

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    7. 7.9(8.3) maximum for me, due to the high difficulty of the game in the second half. With a tendency to 7.8(8.2). But these are only mathematical parameters and very subjective. I also respect those who think he kept it under control (then you actually automatically arrive at 8.4-8.5).

      @DrMr: That is equally a good and bad question. Of course you have a point, on the other hand you are probably aware that this question cannot be answered... we never know what would have happened if ;)

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    8. I totally disagree with you, Niclas! Mazic absolutely had full control of the match, and full acceptance during whole match. You have to bear in mind that this was final match and that on the pitch there were Chileans, players with very hot temperament. And they were losing the match. I wrote in halftime that the temperature will go high if Chile doesn't score and equalize result. Therefore they started to make problems (elbow, GK punch in Kimmich and a mass after that, no penalty decision in German PK area, incident with Can...). Mazic never lost control or calmness, ever, for a second. Of course, Chileans tried to make pressure on him, they are not cold as Germans, it's in their blood to protest and ask everything from the ref. Was Mazic influenced? No at all, he did his job calmly to the end of the match. What would happen if Mazic gave that RC? I think there would be much more problems for him, and he won't be accepted at all by the Chileans (we had the news here that they protested because of whole European refereeing team in the final). Speaking about that scenario, his decision was justified. So, I think Mazic made very good balance all 95 minutes.
      About RC - we shall ask Bussaca whether this was a mistake!

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    9. Four remarks on that:

      1) Thank you for your opinion, as said, assessing control or acceptance levels is something subjective and apparently up to interpretation. I am not surprised that for you everything was of course 120% under control.. how should it be different?
      2) Going down on the emotional national level is not helpful I think - let's stay on a contents level (btw, you should come to Germany, rewatch WC2006 or reflect certain political decisions of 2015, we are not cold at all :)).
      3) Your argument is not really valid - saying that not issuing an unpopular but correct red card is justifiable as long as the consequences of it are more comfortable of a referee means you are promoting referees who lack in courage. That cannot be a solution.
      4) Asking Busacca is of course very helpful. Let's do that. I am sure we get a profound view and wiser.

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    10. Well, at least in my opinion VC is a RC, no matter what the Chileans or generally anybody would have said. If you do not award a RC simply for convenience then you're not suitable for this kind of job.

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    11. IMO, the RC is a matter of personality.

      If you have it, you will show it.

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    12. Then, after RC to Pepe on World Cup, which personality do Mazic have?

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    13. Fully agree with Jelena.
      If Mažić issue RC. Chilean frustration will be hugh, 0:1 vs Germany(specialist for finals) , 1 men less... Till the end he will gave at least 2 RC. No way you can stop their temperament. You must balancing on the edge. What was final result? Germany won, Chile has a 0 argument for protest.

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    14. Unfortunately, one (should) referees according to what the laws and facts say, not according to whether the players will be happy about the decision. Or are you suggesting that anything goes in the final because the referee has to maintain absolute neutrality?

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  54. In german TV you could see the pictures shown to Mazic in the review area. I think, I have an explanation, why this (in my opinion) clear Red Card was not given: The scene was not shown to Mazic as a loop starting from the beginnig, running to the end and then starting from the beginning again. It was shown to him as a loop playing forwards and backwards. In this loop the arm's character as a weapon wasn't clearly to see. So I can understand, why Mazic showed only a YC. However, this crazy forwards and backwards loop should not be used genererally. You lose the overall impression of the scene.

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    Replies
    1. Very interesting, thanks.

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    2. Really strange as to why the other angle weren't shown to Mazic... Every possible angle should be available to the referee and then he can select his money shot to reach the right decision... Another area for FIFA to ponder on!!!

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  55. Good point DrMr about Pepes RC.
    Bussaca gave RC in WC2010.
    S.AFrica-Uruguay. It was his 1st match and unfortunately last. Instead to be in final he was at his home.

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  56. Find the most interesting situations of the Confed Cup-final between Chile and Germany (Milorad Mazic, SRB) below.

    https://vimeo.com/album/4663463

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Are you planning a similar album for POR-MEX?

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    2. I didn't really have plans to, but if you would be interested, I could do so.

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    3. I would be interested too! :)

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    4. Would be very interesting, as I didn't see much of the match!

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    5. Okay, okay, will be arranged then during the course of the day :)

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    6. And here it is, Portugal-Mexico (Fahad Al Mirdasi, KSA):

      https://vimeo.com/album/4664565

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    7. You are a star! Thank you!

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    8. Thank you very much for your great work!

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  57. OT big news, here in Italy surprise after surprise, Rizzoli will retire.
    Despite of having been confirmed on Saturday in serie A panel, he has now accepted the role of serie A referees head, he will replace Domenico Messina.
    Emidio Morganti will be responsible for serie B referees, replacing Stefano Farina.

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  58. Right. I hesitate to comment on al-Midarsi, as I've only seen DutchRef's videos and, as good as they are, they are not the full match. But I must say that what I've seen does not really fit with what everyone is saying above. What I see above all is a young referee - 32 years old, with a good eye, and decent potential. Is he the real deal now? No, but with a few years learning under Clattenburg, he could become an excellent referee.

    To me, the VAR review at 14' is a model of how it should be. Reasonably quick, efficient, correct, well accepted. I still wish the VAR had given the decision to avoid wasting time (was there really any doubt?) but still, well done.
    Most decisions after that are ok. There's the obvious mess at 96', where you wonder why the VAR did not recommend review, but apart from that things are ok. He needs to learn to manage players, but most referees struggle with that (after the 103' penalty, he walks towards a disappointed player, inviting discussion, and tells him to stop it, for instance - mass confrontation another - he somewhat inflames things, although sensing the confrontation is good).

    The decision not to go to the VAR on the last penalty appeal is good in my sense as it is too ambiguous, although it is terrible for FIFA: of course, everyone will interpret the images their way and feel vindicated by the VAR ("if the incompetent ref had used it, we'd have a penalty" would be the Mexican line...).

    Some reported al-Midarsi seemed afraid; I don't see that from the excerpts, although I of course missed much of the match. I think the VAR use at 14' was good (and I don't think he could see it, as counterattacks are always a blind spot for referees); less good at 96', and tragically correct at 118' (as in, he did it right but will get lambasted anyway). Is he ready for 2018? Probably not, but give the kid some time. He's the same age as Andreas Ekberg and Michael Oliver, and he doesn't compare too badly to either of them (weaker body language than Oliver, but he's not miles behind either overall). By 2022 he'll be ready if Clattenburg does his job well.

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  59. The 3 most condemning instances for VAR at the Confederations Cup were:
    1) Faghani's and his VAR crew refusal to takes a second look at the clear PK in favor of Chile against Portugal.
    2) Gassama's mismanagement and failure to properly punish guilty players on the mass confrontation/fight between New Zealand. Even after reviewing the incident, he still got it wrong. The same can be said about Roldan, but unlike Gassama, he eventually got it right.
    3) In my eyes the most damning and damaging incident against VAR was Mazic's failure to correctly send off Jara from Chile for a clear as day Violent Conduct. Even after reviewing the play, he still chose a mere yellow. Don't know if it was arrogance on his behalf or simply his refusal to accept his mistake because he had initially missed the Violent Conduct.

    Overall more bad than good came from VAR at this tournament. It doesn't help either when the man in charge (Busacca) continually acts as if everything is fine and working great. No room for improvement if you're arrogant and unable to admit that mistakes have been made.

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  60. Who will the FIFA World Cup final referee?

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