AFC U-23 Championship 2018

China, 9-27 January 2018

1. Chris Beath (AUS, photo)
2. Peter Green (AUS)
3. Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)
4. Fu Ming (CHN)
5. Ma Ning (CHN)
6. Liu Kwok Man (HKG)
7. Alireza Faghani (IRN)
8. Ali Sabah (IRQ)
9. Mohanad Sarray (IRQ)
10. Ryuji Sato (JPN)
11. Jumpei Iida (JPN)
12. Adham Makhadmeh (JOR)
13. Kim Dong-Jin (KOR)
14. Ko Hyung-Jin (KOR)
15. Ahmed Al-Kaf (OMA)
16. Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (QAT)
17. Khamis Al-Marri (QAT)
18. Fahad Al-Mirdasi (KSA)
19. Turki Al-Khudhayr (KSA)
20. Muhammad Taqi (SIN)
21. Hettikamkanamge Perera (SRI)
22. Mohammed Abdulla (UAE)
23. Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
24. Valentin Kovalenko (UZB)

Assistant Referees
1. Matthew Cream (AUS)
2. Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
3. Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
4. Cao Yi (CHI)
5. Huo Weiming (CHI)
6. Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
7. Reza Sokhandan (IRN)
8. Yagi Akane (JPN)
9. Toru Sagara (JPN)
10. Ahmad Al-Roalle (JOR)
11. Yoon Kwang-yeol (KOR)
12. Sergei Grishchenko (KGZ)
13. Mohd Yusri Mohamad (MAS)
14. Abu Bakar Al-Amri (OMA)
15. Saud Al-Maqaleh (QAT)
16. Taleb Al-Marri (QAT)
17. Mohammed Al-Abakry (KSA)
18. Abdullah Al-Shalawi (KSA)
19. Koh Min Kiat (SIN)
20. Palitha Hemathunga (SRI)
21. Mohamed Al-Hammadi (UAE)
22. Hasan Al-Mahri (UAE)
23. Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
24. Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)

Support Referees
1. Minoru Tojo (JPN)
2. Ilgiz Tantashev (UZB)

Support Assistant Referees
1. Ahmad Ali (SYR)
2. Nguyen Trung Hau (VIE)

The oldest FIFA match official in 2018: Kochkarov (KGZ)

At 48, Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ) is currently the oldest match official on the FIFA List. Former assistant referee in Ravshan Irmatov’s team at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, Kochkarov (photo) was born in 1970 and, although still active, will not participate in his third World Cup. Martin Atkinson (ENG) and Ali Alsamaheeji (BHR), both born in 1971, are the oldest FIFA referees still active. On the Assistant Referees List there are five FIFA ARs born in 1971: Hugush Mohammed (ERI), Angesom Ogbamariam (ERI), Belachew Yetayew (ETH), Marvin Torrentera (MEX) and Konrad Sapela (POL). Interesting is that Torrentera, 47, has been selected for the 2018 World Cup. Finally, there is only one Futsal referee older than 45, Elchin Samadli (AZE) and also only one, Libor Kastanek (CZE), on the Beach Soccer List, both of them born in 1971.

I got it wrong: referee admits error in Northern Ireland's World Cup play-off

The referee who awarded Switzerland their all-important penalty against Northern Ireland in the World Cup play-off has admitted that he made a mistake. Ovidiu Hategan adjudged Corry Evans to have handled Xherdan Shaqiri's shot inside the area during the second half of the first leg at Windsor Park. Ricardo Rodríguez tucked away the spot-kick to score the only goal of the tie and end Northern Ireland's hopes of a place in Russia.
It was a decision that also ended Hategan's hopes of making it onto the pitch in Russia, as he was subsequently left off FIFA's 36-strong panel of officials."It's not a secret and I'm not hiding," he said. "It was a sad, unpleasant moment for me, sad because I made the mistake. It's painful because for three and a half years I had some results and very good benefits with my team". Hategan didn't rule out going to Russia as a Video Assistant Referee, with the new technology possibly set to be used and 10 more officials expected to be named.

AFC Referees Special Award 2017: Namazov (UZB)

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) presented the AFC Referees Special Award to Uzbekistan’s Bakhtiyor Namazov at the AFC Futsal Referees and Instructors Seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The 43-year-old capped off another remarkable year for Asian refereeing in 2017 when he became the first AFC referee to officiate in the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Bahamas between eventual champions Brazil and Tahiti. AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “Our ambition with the AFC’s Vision and Mission is to see our players and officials succeed on the world’s biggest stages. Bakhtiyor Namazov’s performance reinforces once again the enormous strides our match officials continue to undertake and solidifies Asia’s position as global leaders in world refereeing. I am confident that this achievement will inspire not just match officials, but our teams and players in the Continent to aspire and reach the pinnacle of world football. One Asia, One Goal!”
In the Bahamas, Namazov also oversaw the group-stage match between Poland and Brazil, as well as the Brazil and Portugal quarter-final encounter. He was also a second referee, timekeeper and reserve assistant referee throughout the tournament.Namazov, who became a FIFA referee in 2009, also officiated the 2015 AFC Beach Soccer Championship - including the final between Oman and Japan - as well as the semi-finals of the competition's most recent edition in Malaysia in March 2017.

Source: AFC

CONMEBOL U-20 Copa Libertadores 2018

Uruguay, 10-24 February 2018

Referee: Fernando Echenique (ARG, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Julio Fernandez (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximiliano Yesso (ARG)

Referee: Ivo Mendez (BOL)
Assistant Referee 1: Reuly Vallejos (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2: Ariel Guizada (BOL)

Referee: Rodolpho Toski (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fabricio Villarinho (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Danilo Manis (BRA)

Referee: Cesar Deischler (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Edson Cisternas (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Alejandro Molina (CHI)

Referee: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Díaz (COL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dionisio Ruiz (COL)

Referee: Guillermo Guerrero (ECU)
Assistant Referee 1: Flavio Nall (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Edwin Bravo (ECU)

Referee: Jose Mendez (PAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodney Aquino (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Darío Gaona (PAR)

Referee: Luis Garay (PER)
Assistant Referee 1: Stephen Atoche (PER)
Assistant Referee 2: Jesus Sanchez (PER)

Referee: Gustavo Tejera (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Pastorino (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Barreiro (URU)

Referee: Alexis Herrera (VEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Franchescoly Chacon (VEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lubin Torrealba (VEN)

Reserve Referee
Roberto Sanchez (ECU)

IFAB to recommend VAR for 2018 World Cup and all club competitions

Video replays to correct refereeing mistakes are set to be recommended for use at this summer's World Cup - and everywhere else next season - at a key meeting in Zurich on Jan. 22. The five members of football's law-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), are gathering at FIFA's headquarters in Switzerland for their annual business meeting. This meeting will set the agenda for IFAB's annual general meeting, which is where changes to football's laws are approved.
Football is arguably the last of the major global sports to fully embrace video technology but, having finally decided to trial video assistant referees (VARs) in 2016, the decision at IFAB's annual general meeting in Zurich on March 2 is now widely believed to be a formality. Those trials have taken place in 15 national leagues, including the Bundesliga, Major League Soccer and Serie A, as well as several FIFA competitions, and their results have been analysed by Belgium's top university KU Leuven. IFAB will publish the most recent data from the pilots in the week before the Jan. 22 meeting, and they are expected to show that decisions have been corrected once every three games and the average time taken on each review has been greatly reduced as officials have become more used to the system. A spokesperson for IFAB told Press Association Sport these results will be discussed at the meeting and a vote will be held to provide an "indicative recommendation" to the AGM. As a reflection of British football's role in the game's development, IFAB is comprised of the football associations of the four home nations, each with a single vote, and FIFA, which has four votes and the deciding vote in the result of a tie. The Jan. 22 meeting will be chaired by FIFA's general secretary Fatma Samoura and attended by the chief executives of the English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh FAs, as well as technical experts. FIFA has made no secret of its desire to use VARs at Russia 2018 and has already, in its view, successfully trialled them at several age-group tournaments, two Club World Cups and last summer's World Cup dress rehearsal, the Confederations Cup. The Irish Football Association (IFA) has already said it will be voting for VARs after Northern Ireland's World Cup hopes were ended when Corry Evans was wrongly adjudged to have handled the ball in November's play-off against Switzerland. IFAB's plan for video reviews is that they are only used in four circumstances: to decide if goals should be awarded, penalty decisions, red-card incidents and rare cases of mistaken identity.

Source: ESPN

CAF African Nations Championship 2018

Morocco, 12 January – 4 February 2018


1. Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG, 1985)
2. Helder Martins (ANG, 1977, photo)
3. Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (BDI, 1985)
4. Abou Coulibaly (CIV, 1985)
5. Ibrahim Aly Elsaid (EGY, 1979)
6. Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980)
7. Daniel Laryea (GHA, 1987)
8. Hamada Nampiandraza (MAD, 1984)
9. Mahamadou Keita (MLI, 1983)
10. Noureddine El Jaafari (MAR, 1978)
11. Jackson Pavaza (NAM, 1984)
12. Jean Ndala (COD, 1987)
13. Louis Hakizimana (RWA, 1979)
14. Maguette Ndiaye (SEN, 1986)
15. Victor Gomes (RSA, 1982)
16. Sadok Selmi (TUN, 1984)

Assistant Referees
1. Mokrane Gourari (ALG, 1982)
2. Seydou Tiama (BFA, 1980)
3. Elvis Noupue (CMR, 1983)
4. Soulaimane Amaldine (COM, 1985)
5. Steven Moyo (CGO, 1986)
6. Mahmoud Ahmed (EGY, 1984)
7. Berhe Tesfagiorghis (ERI, 1975)
8. Sidiki Sidibe (GUI, 1982)
9. Gilbert Cheruiyot (KEN, 1985)
10. Souru Pathsouane (LES, 1988)
11. Attia Amsaaed (LBY, 1980)
12. Moriba Diakite (MLI, 1980)
13. Lahcen Azgadu (MAR, 1986)
14. Arsenio Marengula (MOZ, 1986)
15. Abdallah Ibrahim (SDN, 1986)
16. Yamen Melloulchi (TUN, 1979)

Video Assistant Referees (VARs)
1. Mehdi Abid Charef (ALG, 1980)
2. Ghead Grisha (EGY, 1976)
3. Bakary Gassama (GAM, 1979)
4. Malang Diedhiou (SEN, 1973)
5. Janny Sikazwe (ZAM, 1979)

Assistant Video Assistant Referees (AVARs)
1. Jerson Dos Santos (ANG, 1983)
2. Marwa Range (KEN, 1977)

CAF scrapped Referee of the Year Award

CAF president Ahmed Ahmed has come out to explain the body’s decision to scrap off the African-based Footballer of the Year and the Referee of the Year from its 2017 edition. Despite releasing a shortlist of 10 footballers and referees, the continent’s football governing body decided to drop the categories which prompted several stake holders to demand for explanations.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on the eve of the awards, CAF president Ahmed Ahmed finally explained the scraping of the African Footballer of the Year based in Africa saying: “It’s very simple; we want to promote African football. There are no two levels of football in Africa. Best is best, not best for the bad or best for the best. That’s the reason. We don’t have two bests, the players based in Africa are also capable of winning the African Player of the year Award, so there is no need to categorize them”, he added. “We felt that a double standard could not be promoted by awarding distinctions for second choice. When you aim for excellence, you must rise to the highest standards. The goal is to work for the best players to stay on the continent. One can evolve in Africa and be the best player in Africa. We must create the conditions to keep the best on the continent and have one day the best African player who plays in Africa. On the scrapping of the category “Referee of the Year”, Ahmed noted that the “referees already have their rewards and marks of recognition. They are evaluated at each match by the Referees Committee and the best are designated for big games such as the CAF Champions League final. In addition, there is a risk of violation of ethical rules because this distinction can be a factor of corruption in the near future”.
Uganda’s goalkeeper Denis Onyango who scoped the honor last year will officially be the last player to receive the African-based Player of the Year award, while Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will be the last to receive the Referee of the Year Award.

Source: CAF

Collina reveals VAR plans ahead of FIFA World Cup 2018

Pierluigi Collina has revealed that FIFA are already instructing potential World Cup referees on how to use VAR (video assistant referees) ahead of next year’s tournament. No decision has been made on the use of video assistant technology in Russia, with the final decision set to be made in March. But football’s top brass offered their strongest hints that they are confident it will be introduced for the 2018 World Cup at the Dubai International Sports Conference.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that its implementation – across seven domestic leagues around the world so far – has been ‘very encouraging and very positive’ with only ‘fine-tuning’ needed. And former official Collina, now the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, says that VAR tutorials are one of the governing body’s top priorities ahead of the World Cup. “We are doing a good job as FIFA to get our referees ready,” said Collina. “There will absolutely be (special training in VAR). Between the beginning of the January and the start of the World Cup, there will be five seminars – once in January, two in March and two in April in different locations. Certainly we will be meeting more times and at more stages than the national sides. The referees will be in Russia 10 days before the kick-off. The next step in the IFAB (International Football Association Board) general business meeting is the changes of the rules in the game to be approved and then implemented, so there will be an assessment between mid-January and beginning of March.” Felix Brych, the German who refereed last season’s Champions League final, is in support of the system, though admitted there are ‘communication’ problems that need to be ironed out. But Collina believes the system will evolve into a tool that empowers referees rather than diminishes them. “The referee is still the final decision maker – he has to be,” said Collina. “The referee cannot be seen as someone who executes a decision taken by someone else outside the field of play. He knows there is a monitor by the side of play, and he goes to review the incident by himself. When it is a factual decision, like an offside, then it can be taken outside the field of play. But when it is a matter of interpretation, and most of the time for a referee it is, the referee must review the incident because he is taking the final decision. He cannot listen to someone from the outside saying ‘you must do this’ because there would be two kinds of problems. The referee would lose credibility and the player would not think he is the final decision maker. Second is a matter of self-confidence, because the referee feels monitored and not supported if someone is correcting him”.

Source: Sport 360

KNVB and Makkelie are in line again

The KNVB and Danny Makkelie discussed the recent commotion around the 34-year-old referee's loan from former referee Jaap Uilenberg and expressed the difference of opinion. In an interview between director Eric Gudde and Danny Makkelie, the referee let the KNVB know his position and accepted the association's actions. The KNVB has indicated that it will continue to respect the coaching relationship between Makkelie and Uilenberg, because it has not been shown that there has been any conflict of interest in any way. 
The KNVB considers integrity to be of paramount importance and wants to avoid any appearance of conflicts of interest. In order to prevent misunderstandings in the future, the rules of conduct in this area will therefore be tightened up. During the last round of the KNVB Cup and the last round of Eredivisie before the winter break, Makkelie was kept away due to the commotion and not appointed for any competitions. After the winter break, the referee will be appointed again.

Source: KNVB