July 31, 2011

U20 World Cup Matchday 2 Referee Appointments

William COLLUM (SCO) (c) Imago
Match 13, Group E: Egypt vs Panama.........................MP
Match 14, Group E: Brazil vs Austria.....................MP....MR....WR
Match 15, Group F: Mexico vs Korea DVR....................MP....MR...WR
Match 16, Group F: Argentina vs England....................MP
Match 17, Group B: Uruguay vs New Zealand................MP
Match 18, Group B: Portugal vs Cameroon...................MP
Match 19, Group A: France vs Korea Rep.....................MR.....WR
Match 20, Group A: Colombia vs Mali........................ MR.....WR
Match 21, Group D: Saudi Arabia vs Guatemala.............MP
Match 22, Group D: Croatia vs Nigeria........................MP
Match 23, Group C: Ecuador vs Spain.........................MR.....WR
Match 24, Group C: Australia vs Costa Rica..................MR.....WR
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July 30, 2011

Stuart Attwell to referee U19 Euro Final

The English Stuart Attwell has been selected to referee Monday's final between Czech Republic and Spain. He will be assisted by the Russian Dmitry Mosyakin and Denmark's Lars Hummelgaard, Artyom Kuchin from Kazakhstan will function as Fourth Official.

FINAL, Chianja, 01 August 2011, 19:00
Czech Republic vs Spain
Referee Stuart Attwell (ENG, r.)
Assistant Referee 1 Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2 Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
4th Official Artyom Kuchin (KAZ)
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July 28, 2011

U19 Euro 2011: 1/2 finals referee appointments

The referees for Romania's Under 19 Euro 2011 are appointed:

29 July, 17:45 lt, Mogosoaia
Czech Republic 4-2 Serbia
Referee Artyom Kuchin (KAZ, r.)
Assistant Referee 1 Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2 Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
4th Official Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Yellow Cards: 2-2

29 July, 19:45 lt, Chainja
Spain 5-0 Ireland
Referee Clément Turpin (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1 Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2 Roland Brandner (AUT)
4th Official Tom Hagen (NOR)
Yellow Cards: 1-3

The following referees are remaining for the final:
Stuart Attwell (ENG), Tom Hagen (NOR), Pawel Gil (POL) and Tamás Bognar (HUN).
As Pawel Gil and Tamás Bognar have been appointed to referee matches in the 3rd qualifying round of Europa League which will be held on 4th August, it is very probable that they were sent home after the group stage.
Tom Hagen could not convince in his matches, therefore my predicitions is: Stuart Attwell.
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U20 World Cup Matchday 1 Referee Appointments

Peter O'Leary (NZL)
The referee appointments for the very first matchday of FIFA U20 World Cup 2011 in Colombia are ready. 
The unofficial opener match between England and Korea PRK will be overseen by the Brazilian Wilson Seneme whilst Peter O'Leary will referee the hosts' first match against France.

Underneath, you may find all the matches 1-12, behind the match, there is "MP" (Match Preview) and "MR" (=Match Report). The Match Preview will be available a few days preceding the matches and the report will be published after the respective blog-referee-observer has judged the referee with a detailed mark. Perhaps it will be maximum 24 hours after the final whistle. You must click on  "MP" or "MR" to get it. You can moreover find our written match reports which we published at worldreferee.com following the "WR"!

Match 1, Group E: Brazil vs Egypt.............................MP......MR.....WR
Match 2, Group E: Austria vs Panama........................MP......MR.....WR
Match 3, Group F: England vs Korea PRK....................MP......MR.....WR
Match 4, Group F: Argentina vs Mexico.....................MP......MR.....WR
Match 5, Group B: Cameroon vs New Zealand.............MP......MR.....WR
Match 6, Group B: Portugal vs Uruguay......................MP......MR.....WR
Match 7, Group A: Mali vs Korea Rep........................MP......MR.....WR
Match 8, Group A: Colombia vs France......................MP......MR.....WR
Match 9, Group D: Nigeria vs Guatemala....................MP......MR.....WR
Match 10, Group D: Croatia vs Saudi Arabia..............MP......MR.....WR
Match 11, Group C: Costa Rica vs Spain....................MP......MR.....WR
Match 12, Group C: Australia vs Ecuador...................MP......MR.....WR

The respective match reports of our reporters Cagatay I., Carlos S., Maicon H., Rubén L. and me will be published here and at worldreferee.com.
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July 27, 2011

DFB Cup 1st Round Appointments

Schalke celebrating their 2011 victory after having defeated Duisburg with 5-0

DFB has appointed the referees for the first round of the new DFB Cup season. Felix Zwayer has been selected to referee the traditional encounter between Eintracht Braunschweig and Bayern Munich.
The defenders Schalke will be overseen by Tobias Stieler when they will face the amateur club TC Teningen.
A full list of all the appointments can be found HERE.
UPDATE: Martin Petersen is replaced by Manuel Gräfe and Christian Leicher by Christian Dingert.
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Robert Schörgenhofer

Talked with us: Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT)
I am pleased to publish an exclusive interview with an active Top Referee: Robert Schörgenhofer from Austria. It was teamwork as I did it along with Jan (Dutch Referee, it will appear there as well) and we are glad to present the Austrian’s answers to you.
Just as short introduction: Schörgenhofer was put onto the FIFA List in 2007.  He can be described as a high flyer as he got his first Europa League appointments in 2009/2010. Until now, there is an amount of eight appointments in only two seasons. He is a member of UEFA’s Elite Development Group and the nominations to the last UEFA U21 Euro in Denmark, where he got three matches including a semifinal, and to the coming FIFA U17 World Cup in Colombia were no real surprises as he could convince with strong perfomances in his matches. 
One of the highlights of his career was surely his first Champions-League match which he refereed last season (Chelsea vs Zilina).

Robert Schörgenhofer talked with us about his career, goals, his next tournament and a pretty interesting reason why he started being referee:

Why did you start refereeing?
I was a football player and received a wrong red card. The referee had a very bad day and I thought, it can´t be so difficult and I can do it better. That is the reason why I started refereeing.

How do you prepare for the matches in Colombia at u20 World Cup? Did you do some SPECIAL preparation as many officials failed in Mexico due to the high altitude? On which date are the tests?
There is no special preparation for Colombia. We arrive 8 days before the tournament starts and it should be enough time to acclimate. The test for the UEFA referees was on 8. of July in Nyon without any problems. So there is no more test in Colombia. 

You are working with Mario Strudl and Alain Hoxha for some time now, in Champions League, Euro League and now in Colombia, too. How important are they for you?
Very important! We have a very good friendship and this is prerequisite to work together. So I can trust them without any doubt. And they are excellent assistants and support me any time.

The WC trio (from left): Hoxha, Schörgenhofer, Strudl

What do you expect from the tournament?
It´s a great opportunity to do the next step in my career. There are many different teams and also different style of football. It is also interesting to be together with referees from other continents and make new friends.

How do you enjoy a foreign country when you are abroad for a match? (museum, hot spots, etc)
There is not plenty of time for sightseeing. Maybe one or two hours on a matchday, to see some interesting spots in the centre. Only to get a feeling of the country. But I hope to get a lot of good impressions from Colombia during this tournament.

Did you expect to get promoted to the Elite group? Are you sorry you didn't move up?
I expect nothing. It´s a goal to reach the Elite group, but on the top the air is getting thinner. I was promoted this year, and very happy about that. I´m happy to be in the Elite development group.

Imagine you could be in a match taking part in a football stadium of your choice. In which football stadium would you like to referee one time? And why?
There are a lot of beautiful stadiums but I prefer not a special one. If a stadium is full with a great atmosphere, it´s always nice. Not only for players, but also for the referees.

Thanks a lot to Robert Schörgenhofer for having taken the time to answer our questions.
We wish all the best for Colombia 2011 and his further career path !

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July 26, 2011

FLASHBACK U17 World Cup 2011 published

Finally, the Flashback for the last U17 World Cup which was held in Mexico is ready to be published.
It summarized our impressions concerning each referee and lists up the officials' matches including cards, penalties and average marks based on Carlos', Maicon's and my impressions.
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LAW12 - Handling the ball

Typical situation: "Referee! That was handball!!"
Who does not remember Maradona`s “Hand of God” ? This misconduct which did not merely lead to England’s elimination in the quarterfinals of FIFA World Cup 1986 but also to the retirement of the referee who was in charge of this match and could not believe his eyes when he later saw this action: Ali Ben Naceur from Tunisia.
Well, one of the best positive examples for the detection of a handball is certainly the situation in a World Cup 2010 match when Hector Baldassi decided upon consultation with his assistant referee Ricardo Casas that Kuzmanovic (Serbia) brushed the ball in the box. The consequent penalty kick was converted into the victory of Ghana.

It would be great if handballs and a possible purpose of the respective player were always thus clear. You can experience it several times in Bundesliga when the whole stadium among 60.000 visitors believe to have detected a clear handball; this belief normally expresses itself in the collective and wrathful cry “HAAAAND!!!”. What many people forget is the fact that the referee has to pay attention to several aspects when weighing up a handball and its consequences. You know, all this has to happen in perhaps a second (normally, much less).

According to Law 12 of FIFA’s Laws of the game 2011/2012, the following explanatory annotations must be taken into account:

 Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration (the last two aspects are not of bigger importance here):

- the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
- the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
- the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement
- […]

This sounds logical and clear. It goes without saying that the referees must pay attention to ALL these aspects.
What if a player took his hands in the air before a free-kick is played and he touched the ball with his hand? If the referee only followed the first aspect, he could not detect purpose in this action (according to the rule). Therefore, all the aspects are necessary.

Nevertheless, it is always difficult for the referee if the first aspect supports that it was the player’s purpose and if the second aspect, the distance between player and ball, contradicts this? A 50-50 decision, mostly, it is more likely a gut decision.

This case could be observed in the last Champions-League season when Felix Brych (GER) did not award a penalty for Real Madrid in the following situation (I think most of you have seen it (0:47): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuQRBkb7wtk&feature=related).

Let us go through the two main aspects of Law12:
- is there a movement of the hand towards the ball? : Yes, it certainly is. This movement can be described as “protective handball”.
- the distance between the player and the ball: perhaps 1 or 2 metres, no real time to react.

Of course, a difficult situation. Probably, Brych brings forward the argument that the distance was simply too small to put the hands away and to react in an adequate way. In this specific case, I have to admit that I am still not 100 % sure; even after having seen this situation several times, one simply cannot say 100 % pro, 100 % against purpose. But what Law 12 does, is exactly this: the referee has to decide with a hundred percent certainty.
These aspects are finally not enough for a referee. Especially after situations like in Paris in 2010, when Hansson oversaw the handball which was seen by the whole world, so-called “experts” argue the case for a distincter rule. If that happened, it would not help the disappointed Irish.
To my mind, we absolutely need a more defined rule, honestly speaking, I have no real suggestion for that. But I am sure that one may not withdraw the phrase “deliberate act”.

Some situations (a game)
Underneath, you may find six photos with situations when the ball was obviously handled. Just as a small game, I ask you to send me your decisions per mail. What would you have done if you had been the referee ? The prize is nothing material. The winner gets the opportunity to write a text (about whatever you want) which will be then published on my blog. I will talk about that with Carlos, I am quite sure that will agree with this suggestion and that the winner’s text can appear on his blog (in Spanish translation) as well. The entry deadline is Sunday, July 31, 13:00 UTC (mail to footballrefereeing.blogspot@gmx.de).
The winner will be chosen with regard to the accuracy of the decision and the way of giving reasons for it. The winner will be published on Saturday.

These are the situations (photo of situation 3 was taken a few seconds after a free-kick was played):

1)                                                                 2)


3)                                                                                         4)



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July 22, 2011

INTERVIEW: Pawel Gil (UEFA.com)

A quite interesting interview with one of the six match officials who referee matches at the current U19 Euro in Romania. The Pole Pawel Gil talked to UEFA.com about the competition and himself:

Gil pays tribute to officials' teamwork

While much of the attention at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship is understandably taken up with the eight sides competing to lift the trophy, quietly and unobtrusively a "ninth team" are going about their work – the match officials.
The squad consists of two fourth officials from hosts Romania, eight assistants and six referees – one of whom, Poland's Pawel Gil, told UEFA.com about the "challenge and honour" being selected for such a tournament represents. "We've enjoyed every day; we're always trying to learn something new to improve," he said. "Every game is a lesson, we can learn from the observers and the referees committee so everyone can find something for themselves. We're the ninth team at this tournament and we really support each other."
The 35-year-old knows first hand how important such mutual encouragement can be having worked at the U17 tournament two years ago, when he was fourth official for the final. "That was a great event, I have only good memories of it," he added. "This is a different experience of course but what is the same is the teamwork; I was very happy to have the opportunity to be the fourth official at the U17 final, I enjoyed it."
In addition to his plentiful experience as a fourth official – including in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying – Gil has also worked as an additional assistant and a referee liaison officer, adding to his belief in the importance of working together. "You have to realise that in every game you're one part of the team; one game I'm fourth official, the next additional assistant, but you're always part of the team and that's what I always have in my mind. Whatever your role, there's something to learn from every game.
"That's what I enjoyed most about the U17s; we lived together and that was the most important thing for me," he continued. "We can support each other, say 'Good luck and see you after the game' and that's really important. During a game and the meetings, it really helps us work together. In refereeing, you're not an individual but a unit; teamwork is one of the most important things and it's important to have good pre-match discussions about cooperation, so knowing each other well really helps with that."
Gil has enjoyed a fine season already, taking charge of the Polish Cup final between Legia Warszawa and KKS Lech Poznań in May, a match he describes as "very interesting". "They're two of the biggest clubs in Poland and it was a very exciting game, 1-1 after 90 minutes, then extra time and penalties. It was a very big match and an honour to be chosen to referee it."
Not just content to hone his skills close to home, Gil has taken charge of domestic fixtures as far afield as Japan and Saudi Arabia, experiences he looks back on fondly. "Every game is a challenge for me, I never think 'This is Poland, this is Europe' or whatever – I focus on each one in exactly the same way. Japan was a big event for me because I had the opportunity to referee the A team international between Japan and Argentina – a full stadium, a big game and a great opportunity.
"What is beautiful in football is that the rules of the game are the same all over the world; if you referee according to the rules, all players understand you. Football is a language and everyone speaks it."

source: UEFA.com
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Salvio Fagundes in charge of Copa América Final

CONMEBOL has chosen the referees for the last two matches of this Copa América 2011 in Argentina.
Salvio Fagundes from Brazil will have the honour of refereeing his first big final, well, you can discuss underneath whether it is the best joke of July 2011 or not, to my mind, it certainly is.

There is again Brazil involvement in the final: Salvio Fagundes.

3rd place, 23 July, 16:00 lt., La Plata
Peru vs Venezuela
Referee Wilmar Roldán (COL)
Assistant Referee 1 Humberto Clavijo (COL)
Assistant Referee 2 Luis Alvarado (ECU)
4th Official Carlos Vera (ECU)

Final, 24 July, 16:00 lt., Buenos Aires
Uruguay vs Paraguay
Referee Salvio Fagundes (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1 Marcio Eustáquio Santiago (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2 Francisco Mondria (CHI)
4th Official Enrique Osses (CHI)
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July 21, 2011

CL QUALIFIERS 3rd Round Appointments

UEFA has published the referee appointments for the 3rd Qualifying Round of UEFA Champions League 2011/2012:

1st Legs

2nd Legs


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Knut Kircher with DFL Supercup Final 2011

Kircher has been selected to referee the annual DFL Supercup Final which is played between the German Bundesliga champion and the German DFB Cup winner.
This time, Schalke will face their rival Dortmund next Saturday in Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen.
61.673 visitors in the arena and spectators from 175 countries may watch this traditional Ruhr Area Derby.

Kircher will be assisted by Wolfgang Walz and Stefan Lupp. Tobias Welz will function as Fourth Official. Kircher has experience with that duel, he refereed this match in Gelsenkirchen in 2007/2008 when Schalke defeated Dortmund with 4-1.

Saturday, 23 July 2011, 20:30, Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen
Schalke 04 4-3 p.s.o (0-0) Borussia Dortmund

Referee Knut Kircher (Rottenburg)
Assistant Referee 1 Wolfgang Walz (Öhringen)
Assistant Referee 2 Stefan Lupp (Zossen)
4th Official Tobias Welz (Wiesbaden)
Yellow: Baumjohann - Grosskreutz
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POLL: Top10 list of referees for 2010/2011

You may find a poll above which is supposed to lead to a final top10 list of the best referees of the past season. I chose an amount of 20 referees who convinced me in the last season (2010/2011), please select maximum 10 names! Only 10 names should be remaining on July 30.
The poll ends on July 30. I discussed with Carlos about names one could take for this poll, therefore I included CONMEBOL referees as well who did - according to Carlos - pretty well last season.
Make your vote count!
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July 20, 2011

2./3.Liga Ansetzungen 2./1.Spieltag

Der DFB hat fast die kompletten Ansetzungen für den 2.Spieltag der 2.Liga und für den Saisonauftakt in der 3.Liga veröffentlicht. Das Eröffnungsspiel der 3.Liga zwischen Heidenheim und Offenbach wird die Nr.2 Deutschlands, Dr. Felix Brych, leiten.

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July 19, 2011

Copa América Referee Appointments Semifinals

CONMEBOL has published the referee appointments for the semifinals of Copa América 2011:

Raúl Orosco to referee a semifinal at his first Copa América
SF1, La Plata, 19 July 2011, 21:45 lt.
Peru vs. Uruguay
Referee Raúl Orosco (BOL, r.)
Assistant Referee 1 Efraín Castro (BOL)
Assistant Referee 2 Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
4th Official Wilmar Roldán (COL)

SF2, Mendoza, 20 July 2011, 21:45 lt.
Paraguay vs. Venezuela
Referee Francisco Chacón (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1 Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2 Humberto Clavijo (COL)
4th Official Walter Quesada (CRC)

To my mind, these appointments are odd surprises...
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July 18, 2011

UEFA U19 Euro Referee Appointments Matches 1-6

UEFA has published the first six referee appointments of the coming UEFA U19 Euro 2011 im Romania.
A small surprise: Anar Salmanov seems to be replaced by the Hungarian Tamás Bognar.
The full appointments are usually published by UEFA.com about one hour before kick-off.

Clément Turpin with the host's first match.
M1, Group A, 20 July, 20:00
Romania vs Czech Republic
Referee Clément Turpin (FRA, r.)
Assistant Referee 1 Roland Brandner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2 Devis Dettamanti (SUI)
4th Official Tom Hagen (NOR)

M2, Group A, 20 July, 20:00
Greece vs Republic of Ireland
Referee Pawel Gil (POL)
Assistant Referee 1 Dalibor Draskovic (BIH)
Assistant Referee 2 Sergii Bekker (UKR)
4th Official Tamás Bognar (HUN)

M3, Group B, 20 July, 18:00
Serbia vs Turkey
Referee Artyom Kuchin (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1 Gregor Rojko (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2 Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
4th Official István Kovács (ROU)

M4, Group B, 20 July, 18:00/replayed on 21 July (result: 4-1)
Spain vs Belgium * abandoned in minute 15' due to adverse weather conditions. Spain led with 1-0.
Referee Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1 Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2 Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
4th Official Ionut Marius Avram (ROU)

M5, Group A, 23 July, 18:00
Czech Republic vs Republic of Ireland
Referee Tamás Bognar (HUN)

M6, Group B, 23 July, 18:00
Turkey vs Belgium
Referee Tom Hagen (NOR)

M7, Group A, 23 July, 20:00
Romania vs Czech Republic
Referee Stuart Attwell (ENG)

M8, Group B, 23 July, 20:00
Serbia vs Spain
Referee Pawel Gil (POL)
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July 17, 2011

A closer look: THE FINAL

Match preview

The time we wait for the last match of FIFA WWC 2011 Germany is almost over. The final between Japan and the favoured American team will be held in Frankfurt this evening (20:45).
Japan has never made it this far in a World Cup and the United States are looking to become the first nation to win three World Cup titles after their achievements in 1991 and 1999.
Japan will be led by captain Homare Sawa. Playing in her fifth and likely last World Cup, Sawa has put her team on her back in this competition with a fabulous amount of four goals she scored.
She made the decisive assist on the goal that knocked out the host-nation Germany in the quarterfinals as well.
For the USA, Abby Wambach's reemergence could not have come at a better time. After a long lean period she lead her team into the finals including two important goals, e.g. in the quarterfinals when she rescued her team into the penalty shoot out.
Japan and the USA have met three times in 2011. The United States has taken all three games by scores of 2-0 (twice) and 2-1. The USA has an all-time record of 22-0-3 against Japan. However, although these statistics indicate that the United States could easily win, statistics may lie. Japan will certainly have a chance if they manage to confirm their perfomances in the quarterfinals and especially semifinals.

The referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (Germany)

The German Bibiana Steinhaus has been selected to referee this final, that is certainly the climax of her career. She will be accompanied by her country(wo)men Katrin Rafalski and Marina Wozniak, Jenny Palmqvist from Sweden will be the Fourth Official and Maria Villa from Spain is standby as Reserve Assistant Referee.

Impressive career path
Born in Bad Lauterbach in the beautiful Harz Mountains in 1979, she followed her father's path and became referee in 1995. Since that point, her career did not stop rising. At first, she had only to absolve two years in women's Bundesliga, before she moved up into male football in 2001. In 2003 she whistled the female DFB Cup final and only two years later, she got the FIFA badge in women's football.
Then - in 2007 - she moved up into 2nd Bundesliga. This promotion led to some turmoil à la "How can a woman, who in general does not understand anything of football, move up into male professional football?!" How often had one to bear such stupid comments. However, she confirmed this promotion and the ones who had doubts remained silently...
A few weeks ago, some trouble came up about Steinhaus as e.g. Steffi Jones, LOC member, argued the case for a promotion of Bibiana into German Bundesliga. Many others supported Jones. One has to take her last season's appointments into consideration. Many important matches in 2nd Bundesliga, matches that were important for teams moving up and down (e.g. Augsburg vs. Bochum). A very funny thing about her insets in 2nd Bundesliga is the fact that - without any doubt - the players behave in another way to the referee. That's why this suggestion of Jones did not seem to be that wrong but it was pretty reasonable. Herbert Fandel however, head of DFB's referee comitee, was not influenced by all this. He said that no referee in 2nd Bundesliga deserved a promotion, Steinhaus either. How can one publish that 4 days ahead her first match? But as one knows her, she will not be influenced, she is a pro and that with only 32 years.

After her final nomination Herbert Fandel said that it was "a huge joy for him and the whole DFB and that it made them proud".

She confirmed this impression in her two group stage matches:
Dresden, Group C, MD1: United States vs Korea PRK 2-0, rated with 7,1
Frankfurt, Group D, MD3: Equatorialguinea vs Brazil 0-3, rated with 8,4


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July 16, 2011

Feedback, please!

For approximately three weeks, I am blogging now about my passion, i.e. football (refereeing).
I have written some texts, e.g. evaluations or match (p)reviews and provided the latest appointments and announcements.
What do you think I can improve? Would you like me to focus more on a specific field? And if yes, which?

Thanks so far for the interesting discussions and that we have reached nearly 3.500 views !
Special thanks to Carlos Salcedo who supports me every now and then and who is a nice discussion and chat partner since a few days.

Kind regards
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FIFA U17 World Cup 2011 Flashback: CAF


Born in 1982, the Cameroon Neant Alioum is an international referee since 2008. Personally, I have never heard of him ahead the tournament, but he showed that he may be regarded as a talent with future.
He got his first match immediately on the first day of the tournament when he was selected to referee Japan’s first match against Jamaica. In matchday 2, he appeared in Group A when the Netherlands met Korea PRK. After two solid perfomances, he was selected to referee again a Japanese match in Group B against Argentina where he sent an Argentinean off with a straight red card due to a similar foul which was red-carded by Shukrallah as well.
Then, his last match followed with a Quarterfinal match between Uruguay and Uzbekistan, Alioum had no bigger problems with it. In all the four matches he refereed he showed good perfomances, especially his assistant referee Djibril Camara from Senegal who caught one’s eyes with very good offside decisions. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement concerning his positioning and style although that goes without saying with regard to his age.

Matches refereed by Neant Alioum:
Group Stage, 18/06/2011, 18:00 lt, Monterrey: Japan vs. Jamaica (1-0)
Group Stage, 21/06/2011, 15:00 lt, Morelia: Korea PRK vs. Netherlands (1-1)
Group Stage, 24/06/2011, 15:00 lt, Morelia: Japan vs. Argentina (3-1)
Quarterfinal, 03/07/2011, 15:00 lt, Monterrey: Uruguay vs. Uzbekistan (2-0)

Assistant Referee 1: Djibril CAMARA (Senegal)
Assistant Referee 2: Felicien KABANDA (Rwanda)

Marks by Carlos, Maicon and me: M1: 7,3; M2: 7,2; M3: 7,8; M4: 7,2 = 7,4
Card policy: 13 yellows in 4 matches = 3,25/match; 1 red card in 4 matches = 0,25/match

One-time referee at an African Cup of Nations, Helder Martins de Carvalho gained his first experiences in his mother country Angola last year when he officiated one match (Nigeria-Benin) and was appointed as Fourth Official in the disgraceful semi-final match between Algeria and Egypt.
The 34 years old referee, who is international since 2008, was invited along with the Kenyan Aden Marwa and the South African Zakhele Siwela. This trio was one of the youngest trios of the whole competition.
They were first appointed to referee Uzbekistan vs. New Zealand in Group D, he could not really convince because he was not requested, no bigger situations he could have solved. In Jamaica against France, his next and last match in Mexico, he awarded a harsh penalty to France which they could not turn into a goal. Moreover, he cautioned a Jamaican player with a straight red card after a rude foul. This decision was good, nevertheless, some weaknesses in the evaluation of midfield duels could be observed.
In the K.O. Round, Martins only appeared one time as Fourth Official at Alioum’s side in the Uruguay-Uzbekistan match.

Matches refereed by Helder Martins de Carvalho:
Group Stage, 19/06/2011, 15:00 lt, Torreón: Uzbekistan vs. New Zealand (1-4)
Group Stage, 24/06/2011, 15:00 lt, Monterrey: Jamaica vs. France (1-1)

Assistant Referee 1: Aden MARWA (Kenya)
Assistant Referee 2: Zakhele SIWELA (South Africa)

Marks by Carlos, Maicon and me: M1: 7,0; M2: 7,2= 7,1
Card policy: 7 yellows in 2 matches = 3,5/match; 1 red card in 2 matches = 0,5/match

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July 15, 2011

FIFA U17 World Cup 2011 Flashback: AFC

Upon consultation with Carlos, I will publish a flashback of the recently held FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Mexico. Carlos did the same with the last World Cup in South Africa where I was invited by him to write Kassai's text (and to improve my Spanish), therefore, I was inspired by this method. 
The flashbacks will be in the Confederation's order, a full pdf document containing all the flashbacks we made, make and will make (u20 WC), will certainly follow.


Well, although he has already joined two Asian Cups (in each case 3 matches) and got 5 matches in the WC 2010 qualifiers and at least 20 matches in AFC Champions League, he had never had any experience of an international FIFA tournament before.
Ahead this U17 WC, I kept him in mind for the final appointment. He started with a pretty calm match as he refereed Brazil's first match against Denmark. He solved this match with a clear line including five yellow cards. After a quite convincing perfomance in his second match between Uruguay and England where he confirmed his style of less talking but clear decisions again. Consequently, after these two strong perfomances, he got his third and last match in the quarterfinals when France met the host nation Mexico. In that match, Al Badwawi was not that convincing as in the matches before, but he showed still a decent perfomance with a couple of minor mistakes and a poor card policy.
During the whole tournament, he had to share his assistant referees Hamad Marhoon Al Mayahi from Oman and Reza Sokhandan from Iran with Nawaf Shukrallah (see below), that might be one reason for the unexpected low number of insets.

Matches refereed by Ali Hamad Al Badwawi:
Group Stage, 20/06/2011, 15:00 lt, Guadalajara: Brazil vs. Denmark (3-0)
Group Stage, 25/06/2011, 15:00 lt, Torreón: Uruguay vs. England (0-2)
Quarterfinal, 04/07/2011, 18:00 lt, Pachuca: France vs. Mexico (1-2)

Assistant Referee 1: Hamad Marhoon AL MAYAHI (Oman)
Assistant Referee 2: Reza SOKHANDAN (Iran)

Marks by Carlos, Maicon and me: M1: 7,9; M2: 7,3; M3: 6,2 = 7,1
Card policy: 14 yellows in 3 matches = 4,7/match; 0 red card in 3 matches = 0,0/match

Having recognized him in Qatar at the AFC Asian Cup 2011 for the first time, the young Bahraini showed a quite reasonable perfomance at this, his first FIFA tournament.
The 35 years old researcher from the small emirat Bahrain had to wait for his first appointment in Mexico until he was selected to referee the group stage match between Panama and Ecuador in Queretaro. It has to be mentioned that he sent a Panamanian off due to some kind of foul which occurred often in Mexico and which was consistently cautioned with a straight red card by all the referees.
After that, he was appointed for a round of 16 match when England defeated Argentina after penalty shoot out, again he showed a convincing perfomance although he had to give an amount of five yellow cards and again one send-off after a second yellow card for a repeated foul. Well, this decision was not really wrong, but perhaps slightly harsh.
After his original assistant referees and countrymen Khaled Al Allan and Yaser Abdullah Tulefat failed the fitness tests, he shared Al Mayahi and Sokhandan with Al Badwawi (see above).

Matches refereed by Nawaf Shukrallah:
Group Stage, 23/06/2011, 18:00 lt, Queretaro: Panama vs. Ecuador (1-2)
Round of 16, 30/06/2011, 15:00 lt, Pachuca: England vs. Argentina (1-1, 4-2 PSO)

Assistant Referee 1: Hamad Marhoon AL MAYAHI (Oman)
Assistant Referee 2: Reza SOKHANDAN (Iran)

Marks by Carlos, Maicon and me: M1: 7,6; M2: 7,8 = 7,7
Card policy: 7 yellows in 2 matches = 3,5/match; 2 red cards in 2 matches = 1,0/match

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Bibiana Steinhaus to referee Frankfurt's final

The final referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
The German referee Bibiana Steinhaus has been selected to referee Sunday's final between the United States and Japan.
A full match preview follows on Saturday.

M32, Final, Frankfurt/Main, 17/07/2011, 20:45
Japan vs. United States
Referee Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee 1 Marina Wozniak (GER)
Assistant Referee 2 Katrin Rafalski (GER)
4th Official Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)
Reserve Assistant Referee Maria Villa (ESP)
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Copa América Referee Appointments Quarterfinals

CONMEBOL has published the referee designations for matches 19-22 (Quarterfinals).
The `clásico del Rio de la Plata` between Uruguay and Argentina will be officiated by Carlos Amarilla, this appointment is no real surprise as the experienced Paraguayan often got the biggest matches although only one person seems to be convinced by his doubtful perfomance in his first match, and that is Carlos Alarcón.

QF1, M19, 16/07/2011, 16:00 lt, Córdoba 
La tarjeta amarilla en persona.....Carlos AMARILLA (PAR)
Colombia vs. Peru
Referee Francisco Chacón (MEX, mark 7,5)
Assistant Referee 1 Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2 Francisco Mondria (CHI)

4th Official Walter Quesada (CRC)

QF2, M20, 16/07/2011, 19:15 lt, Sante Fe 
Argentina vs. Uruguay
Referee Carlos Amarilla (PAR, mark 5,5)
Assistant Referee 1 Nicolás Yegros (PAR)
Assistant Referee 2 Luis Sánchez (VEN)

4th Official Juan Soto (VEN)

QF3, M21, 17/07/2011, 16:00 lt, La Plata 
Brazil vs. Paraguay
Referee Sergio Pezzotta (ARG, mark 7,0)
Assistant Referee 1 Ricardo Casas (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2 Efraín Castro (BOL)
4th Official Raúl Orosco (BOL)

QF4, M22, 17/07/2011, 19:15 lt, San Juan 
Chile vs. Venezuela
Referee Carlos Vera (ECU, mark 6,8)
Assistant Referee 1 Luis Alvarado (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2 Luis Abadie (PER)
4th Official Victor Rivera (PER)

As the semi-finals will contain the matches between Winner of QF1 vs Winner of QF2 and Winner QF3 vs. Winner of QF4, I would leave Silvera, Roldan, Fagundes and Osses in the pool for the last insets.
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July 14, 2011

Kari Seitz with 3rd place match

Kari SEITZ (USA) with 3rd place match
According to her blog, Kari Seitz has been appointed to referee Saturday's 3rd place match between Sweden and France in Sinsheim.
She said on her blog:
"My dream since I set my sights on becoming a FIFA referee back in 1994 and I couldn't be happier to share the experience with my amazing USA referee crew Veronica & Marlene."

M31, Sinsheim, 16/07/2011, 17:30
Sweden vs France
Referee Kari Seitz (USA)
Assistant Referee 1 Marlene Duffy (USA)
Assistant Referee 2 Veronica Perez (USA)
4th Official Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Reserve Assistant Referee Mariana Corbo (URU)

A match report can be found here.
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July 13, 2011

Massimo Busacca to retire

A few minutes ago, the message arrived us that Busacca will retire from refereeing. He is now becoming the new head of FIFA Referee Department. That is the official FIFA Announcement:

"FIFA is pleased to announce the appointment of Massimo Busacca as the Head of the FIFA Refereeing Department. Having recently called time on his refereeing career, the former Swiss international referee will join the ranks of world football’s governing body on 1 August 2011.
“As I have said on many occasions, I have made refereeing one of my main priorities. Massimo Busacca’s experience will prove to be particularly useful to our mission and to our efforts to continue the groundwork we have put in place with the confederations and member associations in this particularly important area. I am very happy that he has joined us,” said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
During a refereeing career spanning more than 20 years, including 12 as an international referee, Massimo Busacca officiated at two FIFA World Cups™ (2006 and 2010) as well as at EURO 2008. He also took charge of the UEFA Champions League final in 2009, the UEFA Cup final in 2007 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2010. In addition, he also refereed more than 250 matches in the Swiss top flight, the AXPO Super League.
Busacca, who is 42, married and multilingual (Italian, English, French, German and Spanish), is also a member of the new FIFA Task Force Football 2014 chaired by Franz Beckenbauer.
“I have learned an enormous amount during the years I have dedicated to refereeing. I now intend to pass that knowledge on to my refereeing colleagues to ensure that refereeing continues to improve and to help it to prepare better for the future. This is something that I am very passionate about, and it is a role that I have accepted with great pride and pleasure. I would like to thank FIFA for the faith they have placed in me,” said the new Head of FIFA’s Refereeing Department." FIFA.com (13 July 2011)
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2.Liga, Ansetzungen 1.Spieltag

Heute wurden die Schiedsrichteransetzungen für den ersten Spieltag der neuen 2.Liga-Saison veröffentlicht. Es kommen ausschließlich Bundesligareferees zum Einsatz, u.a. das WM Gespann um Wolfgang Stark, Jan-Hendrik Salver und Mike Pickel, die mit der Leitung des schwierigen Ostderbys zwischen Cottbus und Dynamo Dresden betraut wurden.

v.l.: Pickel, Stark, Salver mit Ostderby

Freitag, 15.07.2011, 18:00
Energie Cottbus 2-1 Dynamo Dresden
Schiedsrichter Wolfgang Stark (Landshut)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Mike Pickel
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Jan-Hendrik Salver
4.Offizieller Bastian Dankert

Freitag, 15.07.2011, 18:00
FSV Frankfurt 1-1 Union Berlin
Schiedsrichter Peter Sippel (München)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Walter Hofmann
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Markus Pflaum
4.Offizieller Sascha Stegemann

Freitag, 15.07.2011, 20:30
Greuther Fürth 2-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
Schiedsrichter Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Markus Häcker
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Jan Seidel
4.Offizieller Wolfgang Walz

Samstag, 16.07.2011, 13:00
Erzgebirge Aue 1-0 Alemannia Aachen
Schiedsrichter Peter Gagelmann (Bremen)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Sascha Thielert
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Sven Jablonski
4.Offizieller Dr. Manuel Kunzmann

Samstag, 16.07.2011, 13:00
FC St.Pauli 2-0 FC Ingolstadt
Schiedsrichter Michael Weiner (Giesen)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Malte Dittrich
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Tim-Julian Skorczyk
4.Offizieller Tobias Helwig

Sonntag, 17.07.2011, 13:30
Karlsruher SC - MSV Duisburg
Schiedsrichter Tobias Welz (Wiesbaden)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Marcel Bartsch
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Rafael Foltyn
4.Offizieller Christian Dietz

Sonntag, 17.07.2011, 13:30
Hansa Rostock - SC Paderborn
Schiedsrichter Deniz Aytekin (Oberasbach)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Thorsten Schiffner
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Georg Schalk
4.Offizieller Tim Sönder
Felix Brych, Deutschlands Nr.2, mit dem 1.Montagsspiel

Sonntag, 16.07.2011, 13:00
Eintracht Braunschweig - 1860 München
Schiedsrichter Knut Kircher (Rottenburg)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Mark Borsch
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Stefan Lupp
4.Offizieller Marcel Unger

Montag, 18.07.2011, 20:15
Fortuna Düsseldorf - VfL Bochum
Schiedsrichter Dr. Felix Brych (München)
Schiedsrichterassistent 1 Marco Achmüller
Schiedsrichterassistent 2 Benjamin Brand
4.Offizieller Robert Kampka

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A closer look: The semi-finals

Today, the semi-finals of Germany's FIFA WWC 2011 will be held while Germany and Brazil, the last tournaments' finalists, are already out. Therefore we can surely say that we will see a completely new final, but which?

Will the United States manage to go through against France? France surprised at this World Cup not only with good results but by a spectular way of playing whereas the United States could mark the most impressive victory as they knocked out Brazil after penalty shoot out although they seemed to be knocked out themselves...until the 122nd minute.
Carol Anne CHENARD (CAN)
The other semi-final is not of less interest. Japan will face the best team so far, Sweden, as they could win all their matches. Japan mared Germany their title defense in Wolfsburg last week after extra time.

The Match Officials have already been selected as well: Kirsi Heikkinen will referee her third match in Germany, she has been appointed to referee the American semi-final against France in Gladbach. France have their experience with Heikkinen in Gladbach because she refereed France against the host Germany when she sent off the French goalkeeper. She will be accompanied by her country(wo)men Tonja Paavola and Anu Jokela, Christina Pedersen from Norway will function as Fourth Official. The Spaniard Yolanda Parga Rodriguez is the Reserve Assistant Referee.
The later match will be refereed by Carol Anne Chenard from Canada. The symphatic Canadian will be assisted by Rita Muñoz and Mayte Chavez from Mexico, Therese Neguel from Cameroon has been selected as Fourth Official and the other Spaniard Maria Luisa Villa is the Reserve Assistant Referee.

OVERVIEW (some graphics by FIFA.com)

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July 12, 2011

TALENT POOL: Michael Kempter

Michael Kempter, the greatest hope of German refereeing
This is the first article of the recently established section "My Talent Pool" which will be monthly updated. The goal of this section is to focus on match officials who are young and talented and of whom I expect that we will see them soon in bigger tournaments or competitions.

As German, I will start with a German as well whose rapidly rising career has been interrupted last year by an "off-pitch-affair": Michael Kempter. Born in 1983, he lives in Sauldorf, close to Bodensee, works as bank clerk and enjoys his leisure time as he once said along with his younger brother Robert (1988) who functions as 2nd Bundesliga referee and Assistant Referee in Bundesliga, too.
When he was 11 years old he sent a letter to the former DFB Referee teacher Eugen Strigel in which he asked him how to become a referee. Normally, you may only make the referee exam in Germany when you have already passed the borderline of 14 years. Well, his letter seems to have allowed him to do the test with 12 years. On his 12th birthday, Kempter was invited by DFB to make the exam and he did - without mistake. Eleven years later, Kempter made history again: born in 1983 he was promoted in 2006 to become the youngest Bundesliga referee ever, even Markus Merk was older when he was selected for Bundesliga. He merely needed a total amount of 38 matches in Bundesliga before being set on the FIFA list in 2010, with 26 years. Until his career has been interrupted, he whistled 48 Bundesliga matches. What sort? Well. Stuttgart-Bayern, Hamburg-Dortmund, Leverkusen-Bremen, Bayern-Dortmund....these matches were refereed in the previous years by names like Fandel, Stark or Merk. Kempter got them, DFB had good reasons for it and you cannot find any match in which Kempter made a really big, essential mistake. No damn match. In addition, he managed to convince not only by correct decisions and good perfomances in difficult and important matches, no, he furthermore refereed the matches with a neutral authority which was authentic and one aspect was very impressive: the players accepted him. He was at one level with the players and at one age. He made jokes with him and was talking to them, the distance between player and Kempter was very small.

Michael Kempter and Manfred Amerell a few weeks before
What happened then? Well, most of the people were probably surprised when recognizing that Kempter disappeared from FIFA list only one year later. He refereed his (so far) last match in Bundesliga in January 2010 (Schalke-Nuremberg 1-0). A few weeks before, he reported to the former DFB Referee Chief Volker Roth that he was sexually harassed by his mentor Amerell. From this point, this case was in focus of German media every day, the result of it was that Amerell denied this accusation. In return, he published an e-mail which was written by Michael Kempter to Amerell two years earlier which was written ahead a semifinal between Bayern Munich and Internazionale Milano. The mail written by the young referee said: "Hi my honey. I am expecting the Bayern match, hopefully, they will be knocked out. Then, we will clink glasses.". Well, in the course of events Kempter said that this mail had been written by him but that he regreted the content. The phrase "my honey" was only to impress Amerell. If he had not followed his mentor's wishes, he would not have had any chance to get neither promotions nor appointments.
Then, Amerell requested recovery of damages by Kempter, several thousands. As a tribunal had to decide about this issue, DFB decided to take Kempter out of Bundesliga and put him into 3rd division. "As soon as the tribunal confirmed Kempter, he can get matches in this league again", said Herbert Fandel, who took the place of Volker Roth who retired as consequence to this affair.
As the tribunal decided in May that Kempter is right, he will probably get his first matches after all this in the season which will start in the next week.
One certainly has to weigh up his amazing talent and this incident including the possible partisanship. By the way: he refereed five matches of Bayern, Bayern won 4, one draw, no mistakes for or against Bayern. As Kempter has been regarded being the coming world referee I think that DFB cannot give up him.

What do you think? Has Kempter a chance to return? I am sure that he will be in Bundesliga in 2 or 3 years, but what about FIFA?
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July 11, 2011

Carolanne Chenard to referee Japan vs. Sweden

According to her own blog, Carolanne Chenard from Canada will referee the semifinal between Japan and Sweden at WWC 2011 which takes place in Germany.
The symphatic Canadian Chenard with the first SF

13/07/2011, 20:45, Frankfurt, SF1
Japan vs. Sweden
Referee Carolanne CHENARD (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1 Rita MUNOZ (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2 Mayte CHAVEZ (MEX)
4th Official Therese NEGUEL (CMR)
Reserve Assistant Referee Maria Luisa VILLA (ESP)

13/07/2011, 18:00, M'gladbach, SF2
France vs. United States
Referee Kirsi HEIKKINEN (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1 Tonja PAAVOLA (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2 Anu JOKELA (FIN)
4th Official Christina PEDERSEN (NOR)
Reserve Assistant Referee Yolanda PARGA RODRIGUEZ (ESP)

A match preview follows tomorrow.
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July 10, 2011

Our very first prospective list of referees for WC 2014

Carlos Salcedo (Arbitro Internacional) and I created a very first prospective list of referees which we expect to have chances for the next FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
This list includes our impression we have received during the u17 World Cup 2011. In general, this list contains possible names with regard to their positions in their confederations (e.g. the UEFA categories).


There are several names which were difficult to put in - or out. Our decision for Clattenburg and against Atkinson is based on - not more but not less either - politics. In our opinion, FIFA prefers Clattenburg. The same counts for other duels. We will update the list after the u20 World Cup when we will have got new impressions of referees like William Collum, Dong Jin Kim or Noumandiez Doue (just to name some of them).
What do you think of the names? Is someone missing who must appear?
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Some useful download links I created can be found below. Moreover, some links of official documents are shown as well:

- WARM-UP FOR U20 WC: Review of WC 2009 Egypt

- SUMMARY U17 WC 2011 Group Stage


- FIFA Laws of the Game 2011/2012 

- UEFA Referee List 2011/2012

Schalke 04   3-1   Hapoel Tel Aviv (Veltins Arena, 2010)
Referee William COLLUM (SCO) - AR1 George DRUMMOND - AR2 Keith SORBIE - 4th OF Crawford ALLAN - AAR1 Euan NORRIS - AAR2 Mike TUMILTY (yellows: 1-1)

self-made video of BUNDESLIGA ENTRANCE
Schalke 04   0-1   Leverkusen
Referee Felix BRYCH (Munich) - AR1 Robert HARTMANN - AR2 Marco ACHMULLER - 4th OF Patrick ITTRICH (yellows: 1-0)

CL Intro with Wembley Anthem:

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