July 4, 2017

Nicola Rizzoli has retired

Big news not only for Italian football refereeing: World Cup 2014 final referee Nicola Rizzoli has retired from active officiating to take a leading role of the Serie A referee panel.

Time to go: Nicola Rizzoli has retired


The 45-year old architect from Mirandola has refereed three major finals in total: The Europa League final between Atlético Madrid and Fulham FC in 2010, the Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern München in 2013 and the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina in 2014. Since 2008, he has refereed 41 UEFA Champions League games, completed by more than 200 Serie A games in his career.

Some impressions...


His achievements, elegance and soft skills as a referee have inspired many match officials, both at the highest and at the grassroots levels. And even if not everybody was content with some decisions he took in some important games and moments, one thing should be sure: A grand referee is leaving the stage.

We therefore would like to say: Grazie, Nicola.

76 Comments:

  1. The last great referee before VAR, congratulations for an amazing career Nicola!

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  2. New serie A committee: Nicola Rizzoli (head), Gabriele Gava, Andrea Stefani.

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  3. An amazing career has come to an end. He could look back on many big matches, refereed without problems.
    I wish him all the best in the upcoming challenges in his new job and in private life!

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  4. Awesome, awesome official.

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  5. Great guy,great decisions, he will be remember by many. I wish him all the best in his new challenges,time for FIFA to promote m.Oliver, the man very similar to Rizzoli.

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  6. One nice thing is that Rizzoli, as new Serie A referees head, will have to decide, in the next months, about the new FIFA referee replacing... himself from 01/01/2018. The hot name for now is Marco Di Bello, let's see if he will be confirmed.

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  7. A very interesting situation in the 90th minute of the Czech Republic - Portugal game refereed by Ali Palabıyık. The score was 1-2. Portuguese player was flagged for offside by AR1, close to the half-way line. Then, there is a substitution. Czech players go inside the opponents' penalty area and a long pass from IDFK is made. Palabıyık forgets to signal an IDFK by raised hand and the ball goes directly into the goal. Initially, he allows the goal, but after upon the advice of one of team-member, he disallows the goal, explaining the frustrated Czech players that there was an IDFK and the goal cannot stand!

    Of course, a correct decision has been reached, what is the most important thing, but one has to say it was a significant blackout from Palabıyık.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most likely there was a goal-kick awarded (not clear in TV coverage, but we can deduce it). However, in case of forgotten hand signal for IDFK and goal scored, the IDFK should be retaken.

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    2. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5sm0k0_czech-republic-u19-1-2-portugal-u19-all-goals-and-full-highlights-05-07-2017-euro-u19_sport

      Starts from 03:08
      Very poor management, I'm sorry.

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    3. This will hamper Palabıyık's promotion chances a little bit I think :(

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    4. If you look at the referee and AR2, both look confident in the GOAL decision. Most likely AR1 (or the 4th official) gave the decisive input.

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    5. I just made a video ;)
      https://streamable.com/rv63t

      + missed reckless tackle with trailing leg
      https://streamable.com/kfo9u

      Palabıyık's gestures are really 'underdeveloped'. No advantage gestures at all even if there is a clear advantage played.

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    6. To be honest I never understood why UEFA pushed Palabiyik over Kalkavan, I am not massive follower of Super Lig and maybe someone can correct me but he looked a lot more talented.
      I do remember Kalkavan was to attend U17 EURO but failed a fitness test...

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    7. What if the goal had been allowed? Should the match have been repeated?

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    8. But is it even the correct decision? Unless I'm very much mistaken, a IDF scored directly into the goal should be repeated, when it was the referee's mistake and he forgot to raise his arm. Goal kick only when it was solely the player's fault.

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    9. It's a silly mistake (how many times has a pro ref forgotten an IFK signal?), and he got unlucky. Unfortunately, it's a mistake a referee cannot afford to commit. So yes, he might be in trouble, although he caught it, which will redeem him somewhat (even though he seems to have applied the wrong correction - GK - which is another problem).

      @Marco Neri
      That portion of the match could be, if there is an official protest. A few years ago, at the women's EURO U19 qualifiers, England and Norway replayed 18 seconds of the end of the game as the referee blundered on a penalty retake (she gave an IFK instead of retaking the penalty). The game restarted at the retaken penalty.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E3g_JKBYj0
      https://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/apr/09/england-women-u19-replay-norway-referee-penalty-howler

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    10. @ Gitzlo: You are right. The free-kick must be repeated. Technical mistake / violations of the laws of the game.

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    11. I watch the Turkish Super Liga every week. And Ali Palabiyik is the best referee there. Even better than Cakir. Ali Palabiyik also receives a lot of big games so he was considered as the next Cakir but I'm afraid that won't happen after this incident. About Kalkavan, he makes too many mistakes in Turkey so he is not liked very much. I think that the future for turkish referees does not look bright. Now, there is a new, young referee (Halil Umut Meler) who can be the next big thing but it is too early to tell.

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  8. After Rizzoli's retirement I see only four candidates for Super Cup:

    1) Gianluca Rocchi
    2) Szymon Marciniak
    3) Cüneyt Çakır
    4) Viktor Kassai

    I have removed from the list all the officials who can't handle the game due to the teams involved and the ones who have not still the right experience for this game. There isn't surely a big choice. I think we can however exclude also Cüneyt Çakır from this game due to his famous red card to Nani in 2013...
    And it is very unlikely to see Kassai there after his last CL game.
    I'm sure the appointment will be either Polish or Italian.
    If you can find other alternatives...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rocchi will be 44 this year so I'll go for Rocchi... Rocchi won't get many chances after this to do a Super Cup game whereas Marciniak has his entire career left in front of him... Logically the appointment should go to Rocchi this year and based on his performance in the past season it would be an absolutely deserved appointment :) :)

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    2. ARe Clement Turpin or Daniel Orsato an option for the super cup?

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    3. Daniel Orsato I'm sure will be behind Gianluca Rocchi at the moment in this case... As for Clement Turpin I think he has no chance at all yet!!

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    4. ManU - Real has a background, so I guess they won't send Turpin or Orsato to it. Rocchi would be a good choice in my view. Alternatively Marciniak but I would keep him for the UEL final next year for example.

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    5. @Gitzlo I would rule out Hategan, as he handled the UEL semifinal ManU-Celta with the riot towards the end

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  9. Big mistake Palabiyik, very sad. Turkey have big problems after Cakir, I see no big Talents. Rizolii now finished and Italia have big refs after him but Turkey???

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    Replies
    1. Cakir has 4 years in front of him.
      2020 Euro will be his last big tournament.
      My favorite ref to replace him Halil Umut Meler. Ali Palabiyik can also be a candidate.

      Delete
  10. #U19EURO

    I managed to watch Jovanović, Kristoffersen, Lapochkin and Palabıyık so far.

    Jovanović: uncommunicative, no visible management at the beginning, sometimes too fussy (hot moments, conflicts, etc.), sometimes too relaxed body language, no reaction on dangerous play, good positioning and quick but nervous reactions on potential conflicts

    Kristoffersen: quite communicative, athletic type of referee (a little bit like Marciniak), visible lacks in prevention, anticipation (too passive attitude towards challenges directed at opponent)

    Lapochkin: very fit, good positioning (he reminds me Gil Manzano), able to communicate with players in quite official way (visible distance but it seems there is no language barrier between him and players, so different than Jovanović), I think he's one for the future

    Palabıyık: communicative, quite friendly approach, fitness and positioning were at good level, however, the blackout in CZE-POR highlighted above is quite significant

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    Replies
    1. Massa in GEO-POR in front of a full stadium showed a determined and positive impression; he was the right choice for this atmosphere. Good communication but a typical Italian still distance from the players, penalty was acceptable (?) if not correct. Slightly missing a prevention, for instance a mass confrontation at about 82'. Good appreciation of SPA fouls, leading to 2YC=RC. Overall convincing performance :-)

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    2. Thanks for your short reports!

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    3. Oh, I forgot to mention that Jovanović didn't compensate the lost time due to time wasting of Georgian players. Three minutes of added time were surely not enough (4-5 would have sufficed). Then, there was clear time-wasting by laying on the ground, nothing was added at the end. The goalkeeper had the ball in his hands for about 15 seconds, I think the IDFK would have been a really brave but fully correct decision. But you know, Georgian fans at stands, host nation, etc...

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    4. Two situations from GER-NED game refereed by Kristoffersen

      Handball penalty appeal
      https://streamable.com/mx2ft

      Goal from offside?
      https://streamable.com/erweo

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    5. 1) Not a deliberate handball.

      2) Punishable offside, difficult to detect for AR, but the influence on goalkeeper is more than clear...

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    6. See the moment when R looked to his assistant, he was waiting the flag.

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    7. @RayHD

      If you write short report about every referee, including Jovanovic, then you should write some positive stuff, he wasn't lacking soft skills and comunication that much as you mentioned.
      Second goal was scored after two consecutive good advantages.

      I don't say his communication was good but it wasn't bad as you wrote.

      All the best.

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  11. #U19EURO

    Lapochkin with really bad 1st half in BUlgaria-Germany match,some bad calls,2 missed penalties,1 questionable red card.

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    Replies
    1. Penalty and RC are in my opinion supportable if not absolutely correct decision, it was not a genuine attempt to play the ball, of course. I think you have a different idea because you see the action by defender too soft for such decision, but once whistled...
      More interesting is the simulation decided against Bulgaria. In this case, very likely a wrong call, but I think the behavior of Bulgarian player was not 100% fair, he could have easily avoided the contact with keeper. I can't say it was a simulation, however something very close to that. In any case, I think it was a very difficult first half. In addition to that, other penalty area situations...

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  12. #U19Euro
    Does someone know appointments for semi finals?

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  13. What do you think Aytekin's 2017-18 season could look like? I think he got way more criticism than he deserved, and despite some debatable decisions he has the temper needed for big clashes. But considering Brych is only 3 years older and Zwayer has been promoted to Elite, I fear that he might be neglected in the future.

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    1. He should get 3 CL group stage matches and if they go well als a R16 match and maybe EL QF. That would be normal appointments for his status. More would be a success, less might be disappointing.
      I agree that Zwayer could overtake him soon, but probably not yet this season. And with Stieler there is another German nearly ready for the top level. But there are other countries with 4 Elite referees, so it doesn#t have to mean the end for Aytekin.

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    2. By the way who will replace Clattenburg and Rizzoli in the Elite Group of referees??? Surely Taylor and/or Oliver needs to be promoted now!!!

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    3. To be honest I thought Aytekin was really great last year, seriously he was amazing in Barcelona - Paris until additional time and was pushed a lot by UEFA and the whole showed it was deserved; his different style to Brych does make him another option for big games, Probably though he's missed his chance, anyway I think it is imperative this coming season is good for him otherwise Zwayer and Stieler will over take him.

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    4. Oliver and Taylor should manage the step. Who will become Elite? Maybe both have this chance, we will know that soon.
      About Italy and Rizzoli: at moment with three Elite referee there isn't the need of another promotion, at least we can wait for another retirement, the next should be Tagliavento and then after him, Rocchi.
      Most important thing is the situation we have in Category 1 with Banti (1974) and Mazzoleni (1974) already quite old. However, Banti is clearly ahead, while Mazzoleni is about to be replaced by Massa, I think.
      Banti in Elite Category? It would be possible, even only for one year, in case of need, because at moment we have only Massa with some chances to get promoted in Category 1, and then, before making a further step, he would need a quite long time.
      Situation is difficult for the future, after Rocchi, Orsato and Tagliavento we have to grow up a new generation, but for now this is still missing.

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  14. OT:

    Where can I find referee appoitments for Gold Cup?

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    Replies
    1. CONCACAF is terrible at publishing information. Good luck.

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    2. I also wish you luck.

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  15. First match of Concacaf Gold cup.
    Canada - French Guinea
    Referee: John Pitti (PANAMA)
    Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PANAMA)
    Assistant Referee 2: Ronald Bruna (PANAMA)
    Fourth Official: Jose Kellys (PANAMA)

    Second match
    Honduras - Costa Rica
    Referee: Walter Lopez (Guatemala)
    Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (Guatemala)
    Assistant Referee 2: Hermenerito Leal (Guatemala)
    Fourth Official: Joel Aguillar (San Salvador)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the amazing work of finding CONCACAF appointments ;-)

      It was reported that Geiger has been appointed for Panama - Nicaragua, and Joel Aguilar has been appointed for the Final.

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    2. Nowhere ;-)
      At any rate I am sure Geiger won't referee Panana and Aguilar really shouldn't get a fourth final, even if he is world class he doesn't deserve that, but he's never been so convincing for me apart from his first Final.

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    3. Got it! I missed the joke at first.

      I imagine Geiger's first round match would be in Group C: Jamaica-El Salvador makes a lot of sense.

      And I agree on Aguilar. I hope he doesn't get the Final again and, with the US and Mexico not sending their top teams, I could see Pitti or Montero getting it if it's USA-Mexico. If the USA misses out, hopefully Geiger gets there. And if Mexico misses out, I'd expect Garcia.

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    4. Walter Lopez is another candidate for the Final. Of course the tournament is just starting and there is a lot of football to be played. But we'll see how the things progress. After the disappointment at the Confederations Cup. I am just happy that Busacca is far far away from this tournament.

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  16. OT : Something not directly related to refereeing but related to the English football word... Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery has breathed his last... Immensely sad news for all football fans and particularly follows PL and English football... I hope the little soul will rest in peace and wishing his family and near and dear ones strength to overcome this grief!! We will miss you little man!! 😞😞😞

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-39883344?ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=facebook

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  17. Less than a minute played in the France v Belgium women's friendly and there has already been a brutal high studs into the knee type of challenge. Gyongi Gaal whistles the foul but completely fails to correctly book the French player for such a dangerous horror challenge.
    The trend continues and is know poisoning women's football. It shouldn't matter that it's a simple friendly or that it's the first challenge of the match. If the incident requires that a caution be shown. Show it! Trust me when I say that it will make controlling the rest of the match that much easier.

    10 minutes in and Gaal is allowing the match to become overly physical.

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    Replies
    1. You say "brutal" "horror" but you only want the referee to caution the player?

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    2. Victor, if I was the one with the cards and the whistle on this match. I'm sending off that French player. I wouldn't care of it was the first foul of the match or that it was less than a minute played. The player's are responsible for their conduct from the time I step foot on the field.

      However the reason I say "caution" is because it goes on line with this modern trend of Referee's being soft, tolerant, and permissive. But the fact that Gaal didn't show a card at all is inexcusable.

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  18. Maybe a little bit off topic, but I have found a website with all the referees who are selected for the Gold Cup. At the other side there will be a project at this Gold Cup to guide talented referees at a big tournament. Give them experience of being at a big tournament. It's called the TARP project.

    Gold Cup Referees: Joel Aguilar (SLV); Henry Bejarano (CRC); Drew Fischer (CAN); Roberto Garcia (MEX); Mark Geiger (USA); Fernando Guerrero (MEX); Walter Lopez (GUA); Jair Marrufo (USA); Yadel Martinez (CUB); Melvin Matamoros (HON); Oscar Moncada (HON); Ricardo Montero (CRC); John Pitti (PAN); Cesar Ramos (MEX); Hector Rodriguez (HON); Armando Villarreal (USA); Kimbell Ward (SKN).

    TARP referees: Juan Gabriel Calderon (CRC); Ismael Cornejo (SLV); Ismail Elfath (USA); Rodphin Harris (TRI); Gladwyn Johnson (GUY); Jose Kellys (PAN); Bryan Lopez (GUA); Hector Said Martinez (HON); Daneon Parchment (JAM); Michel Rodriguez Rogue (CUB); Ariel Ameth Sanchez (PAN)

    http://proreferees.com/2017/06/27/eight-pro-officials-assigned-to-2017-concacaf-gold-cup/

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately these men have to wear sub standard uniforms at the tournament. They're wearing the unappealing and cheap referee uniforms from the American company Official Sports.

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  19. Well, it's Palabıyık for England - Germany at U19 EURO...

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    Replies
    1. Yes, however no many other options there. In case of second appointment, he had to get a game in this group. Perhaps Netherlands - Bulgaria would have been a more appropriate choice, however his tournament will surely end after group stage...

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  20. Any news about new Referee Observers names?

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    Replies
    1. Found this information on site of Gold Cup about referee observers
      ASSESSORS
      Carlos Gonzalez (MEX); Ronald Gutierrez (CRC); Dave Meikle (JAM); Roberto Moreno (PAN); John Nielsen (CAN); Victor Stewart (JAM)

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    2. UEFA New Referee Observers 2017-19 i mean

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  21. OT:

    UEFA Champions League appointment:

    Linfield - Celtic (14/07/2017)
    Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández (ESP)
    AR1: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
    AR2: José Enrique Naranjo Pérez (ESP, non-FIFA)
    4th Official: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP, non-FIFA)
    Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz

    ------------------------------------

    UEFA Europa League appointments:
    Östersunds FotbollsKlubb - Galatasaray Spor Kulübü (13/07/2017, 19:00)
    Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
    AR1: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
    AR2: César Manuel Noval Font (ESP, non-FIFA)
    4th Official: Mario Melero López (ESP, non-FIFA)

    Trenčín - Bnei Yehuda (13/07/2017, 20:30)
    Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez (ESP)
    AR1: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
    AR2: José Gallego García (ESP, non-FIFA)
    4th official: Santiago Jaime Latre (ESP, non-FIFA)

    SOURCE: RFEF-CTA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is quite a dicey appointment for Hernández². Northern Irland against Scotland, furthermore a duel between protestants and catholics. For this reason, they play on friday and Celtic relinquish to send away fans to the game.

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    2. UEFA Champions League
      Žalgiris Vilnius Lithuania - Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad

      SCHÜTTENGRUBER Manuel (AUT)
      BRANDNER Roland (AUT)
      KÜHR Stefan (AUT)
      GISHAMMER Sebastian (AUT)

      Source: http://www.ofv.at/Portal/Schiedsrichter/Akt-Besetzung/

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    3. IMO, it is like a test for him. A tough game with an important observer (according to the blog post). Let's see. He finished first in Spain this season and I expect him to be the next spanish referee in the first group, although in a while yet, as there are already 3 other spanish referees there.

      Delete
    4. It is indeed a very good appointment with an important observer.
      Despite of having been very good in Spain in recent seasons (best referee for 2016-17) he has not still managed the step to Category 1 at UEFA level. He had the big chance, in my opinion, one year ago with U19 Championship. Nothing followed. Now Del Cerro Grande, already 40 years old, has been promoted. However, I think that Hernández Hernández has still some chances. We can expect Fernández Borbalán retireing in a year (correct me if I'm wrong, June 2018) and then Gil Manzano could replace him in this Category, favouring the promotion of the Canarian.
      We can also underline Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea as fourth official, quite sure that he will be the next Spanish FIFA referee.

      Delete
    5. Yes, there are many things to read from these appointments, such as he has been given a CL qualifier match while the other two referees have both been given an EL one. Also that fact about De Burgos: appointed for the CL match instead of EL as Melero or Jaime, who won't become FIFA. Hernández Hernández is only 34 yet, so he still has a lot of time ahead (which is, IMO, why Del Cerro Grande was promoted: he has much less time and deserved it too). It was not demerit of Hernández Hernández, just having to choose between two good referees.

      Delete
  22. 12.07.2017
    Žalgiris Vilnius - PFC Ludogorets
    Ref: Manuel Schüttengruber (AUT)
    AR1: Roland Brandner (AUT)
    AR2: Stefan Kühr (AUT)
    4O: Sebastian Gishamer (AUT, no FIFA)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Concacaf Gold Cup
    USA - PANAMA
    Referee: Fernando Guerrero (Mexico)
    Assistant Referee 1: Marcos Quintero (Mexico)
    Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (Mexico)
    4th Official: Roberto Garcia (Mexico)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Concacaf Gold Cup
      Martinique - Nicaraqua
      REFEREE: KIMBELLWARD (ST. KITTS & NEVIS)
      ASSISTANT REFEREE 1: GRAEME BROWNE (ST. KITTS & NEVIS)
      ASSISTANT REFEREE 2: JOSEPH BERTRAND (TRINIDAD & TOBAGO)
      4TH OFFICIAL: GLADWYNJOHNSON (GUYANA)

      Delete
  24. Hey guys. here are two penalties in China's second tier. Both caused huge amounts of controversies.
    Can I get some fresh opinions???
    http://sports.sina.com.cn/china/b/2017-07-08/doc-ifyhwehx5382804.shtml
    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  25. encroachment by the goalkeeper?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PN6kYTyaJc&t=1m31s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes of course enroachment. But do referees ever call those at fifa level? No... Tradition is to pretend it never happened. And since 2016 we have to give a yellow card which has lead to even more referees ignoring goal keeper enroachment.

      Delete
  26. Yes, i agree 100%. Call was obviously not understood among fans as they are simply not used to see referees punishing encroachments like these. It was a brave call and correct one.

    ReplyDelete

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