UEFA Competitions 2023-2024 Referee Discussions [Rs]

Discussion in 'Referee' started by MassachusettsRef, Jun 23, 2023.

  1. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    #876 Orangebarista, May 10, 2024
    Last edited: May 10, 2024
    I wonder if there is a world in which both Vincic and Makkelie are rewarded with a UEFA final this year. For example, one in the Champions League and the other in the Conference League. Fiorentina vs Olympiacos needs an experienced head as well.

    It seems difficult to ignore Makkelie now, after he was used in a sensitive Newcastle vs Milan and challenging Leverkusen vs Roma, among others. If a referee manages to maintain himself in sacrificial games, to everyone's satisfaction, a short-term reward is justified. Otherwise it will ultimately be at the expense of referee motivations. Vincic in the CL-final ahead of Makkelie can be justified if the Slovenian retires after this season. But I don't think that's the case. *Fun fact, Makkelie was already involved in the 2019 Champions League final as VAR when Vincic’ compatriot Skomina officiated the final.

    Makkelie normally doesn't have high odds to reach the EURO-final after Kuipers had it in 2021, therefore assign him to one of the other UEFA finals as consolidation after a good season is fair, from that point of view. Let’s see. :)
     
  2. StarTime

    StarTime Member+

    United States
    Oct 18, 2020
    Yes, reputation and body language / confidence surely play some role. But I think we too often discount the effect of luck here. So much of the public perception of “controversy” is up to the whims of TV directors, television replay operators, and pundits. If they had noticed the penalty foul was indeed on the penalty area line, and if they’d decided to spend an hour talking about it and showing replays of it, would Orsato have avoided controversy then?

    When Marciniak and Kwiatkowski were “walking on water”, I got the feeling that the two had some expert sixth sense for knowing how the broadcasters will perceive decisions. (Of course, cracks in their expertise have shown up in Paris and now in Madrid). I noted in an MLS Refereeing thread earlier this year that it seems that VARs have recently incorporating the live broadcast feed into their decision making process. This all feels related. My opinion is that it shows the power (for better, or, if you ask my opinion, for worse) of public perception and of the referees clever enough to wield it.

    Well, there’s a lot of nuance here, and I find it all very interesting. No two games are the same. Leverkusen (even with Granit Xhaka in the squad) is not a close refereeing comparison to Barcelona. I do think Orsato would have projected more confidence and power in that game than Kovacs did. But would that have saved him from the controversy that followed? And would Kovacs, had he been sent to the Parc des Princes or to the BayArena, have gotten through PSG-DOR or LEV-ROM as “unscathed” as Orsato and Makkelie did? It is impossible to see into those alternate realities. We can judge a referee only by his actions in the game at hand, and given only what he knew at the time.
     
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  3. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This isn't really my point, though. More in a second.

    To the extent this is true or people believe this, they are wrong. Or at least playing with fire. The result obviously can be easier in some situations. But think about what would have happened here if Leverkusen had scored at the other end. Suddenly not so easy! And even if the acute management challenge is made easier, the need to use VAR on a rather easy call undermines credibility for other--nonreviewable--calls. It's not only about the single KMI that is in front of you.

    But the larger point is that VAR is not conceived as a management tool. Using it as that crutch is the fast track to almost eliminating refereeing as a profession. And every referee authoriity I have heard about still classifies required VAR usages into two broad categories--MLS uses the terms "expected" and "difficult"--decisions. If you need VAR on a difficult decision, okay. You still lose points, by the way, because perfection is always the goal, but essentially your miss is understandable. However, if you need VAR on an expected decision--even if, as you suggest, that usage helps manage players--it's basically still a missed KMI for the referee. And that's what I'm getting at here. We can praise Makkelie's overall performance but he did miss a rather easy KMI that was staring him in the face. And his assessment core would normally reflect that in a negative way.

    To circle back to the top of the post, that's why I said he'd be disappointed. I quibble a bit with your framing as I think a lot of referees are relieved to be at the monitor when it's something they could not possibly see and it would destroy their performance or the match otherwise. But when they go to the monitor and it's very quite clearly something that they should have had in real-time, that's where the disappointment comes in. When the angle to prove the error you made is basically the same angle you had from the field, you know it's not going to be looked at favorably by your superiors.
     
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  4. balu

    balu Member+

    Oct 18, 2013
    For this, do you know that that's how UEFA actually views it? Or are you inferring from MLS or other leagues?

    Somewhat relatedly, I'm curious what you (or anyone) think/know how UEFA viewed Kovacs' performance in Barcelona - PSG. A masterclass because he seemingly got every big decision right, despite the ensuing controversies?
     
  5. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    #880 Orangebarista, May 11, 2024
    Last edited: May 11, 2024
    It was a masterclass based on key match incidents and that should be praised, but in general I think Kovacs lacks a bit authority, personality and acceptance, compared to some of his (senior) colleagues.

    At the World Cup in Qatar he wasn’t assigned to a single game and acted as 4th, which was a bit unfair to most of us, especially when Frappart gets a match.
    I also thought it was unfair, however I did notice that he’s not a charismatic leader and remarkably enough, this became clear to me during the toss before the game when Kovacs was standing next to charismatic leaders; IIRC Orsato, Turpin, Makkelie among them. They are surrounded by an aura that can’t be explained in words. Kovacs looked a modest and shy guy standing next to them.

    Also worth mentioning is that PSG-Barcelona was his first return game in the Champions League since 2021. That’s incredible isn’t it. For some reason Kovacs was always assigned to first legs, which are less intense. Players don’t go all the way. The focus on referees is much bigger in a return. If this is Kovacs’ path to the Europa League final… Congratulations. But I don’t like that tooo protective management.

    For same reason I won’t cheer on Vincic in the Champions League final this season, as the most “shielded” candidate. Add the fact he’s Slovenian, coming from a very small football competition and would be the second Slovenian ref in the final in 5 years (after Skomina in 2019). Marciniak had to work his ass off to get a final. And so has Makkelie when he finally gets it… The fact that they actually CAN handle difficult and heated games isn’t always an advantage, it seems.
     
  6. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    #881 Orangebarista, May 11, 2024
    Last edited: May 11, 2024
    Yes, that is the other side of the coin. Good point!

    Still, handballs are not always easy to detect with crowded corners, when a lot stuff is happening. Even in a good position. This wasn’t the most blatant handball I’ve seen this season. It only touched the top of the fingers. Makkelie needed replies from two different corners to take a decision.

    Remember Turpin in Ferencvaros-Olympiacos? Player almost slammed the ball, Turpin needed VAR. Brisard just showed him one reply and he already saw enough. After pointing to the spot, his facial expressions were like: how did I miss that. This is a side path, but I’m interested in VAR from a psychology perspective and how OFR’s can affect their leadership, focus and confidence in remaining part of the game. That is why I find it interesting to read facial expressions.
     
  7. StarTime

    StarTime Member+

    United States
    Oct 18, 2020
    I'm surprised to read you had this perspective, because my thought was pretty much the opposite. Frappart is a whole different story, but I didn't think Kovacs' role as just a 4th official was unfair. He had just broken onto the scene big-time and wouldn't even have gone to the World Cup (or get his two CL knockout games that year) if his countryman Hategan had been healthy. He was clearly at least one clear rung below all the other UEFA refs at the time (Frappart excluded), and very unproven. It would have been very surprising if any other UEFA referee (Frappart excluded) who went to the tournament had been the support official instead.
     
  8. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    Yes, agree that Kovacs had at least all men in front of him.
    I feel sorry for Hategan.
     
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  9. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Confirmed appointments:

    UCL - VINCIC (SVN)
    UEL - KOVACS (ROU)
    UECL - SOARES DIAS (POR)

    Letexier, Kruzliak and Nyberg are the 4ths, respectively.

    Welch gets the women's UCL Final but Attwell is her VAR so it's a double-edged sword.

    Edit to say the main VAR for Vincic is Kajtazović of Slovenia, which is some kind of appointment. Irrati will be there as "Support VAR," though. I'm sure that will be an interesting dynamic in the VOR.
     
  10. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    Well. That will probably save me from watching at least 180 minutes of television. :)

    Especially Vincic and Dias are not the most inspiring and charismatisch leaders on the pitch. I can’t see myself watching these games.

    Ouch, and this is another disappointment to swallow for Makkelie - although I presume he has known it for longer time, with Kuipers in the Refcom. It probably explains why Makkelie started his 2024 season quite poor and looked demotivated.
     
  11. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would suggest that if you only watch major elite or professional football--particularly cup finals--based off the appointed referee, you might have gone a bit astray in your love for the sport at some point.

    Also, even if you feel that way, isn't a potential trainwreck appealing?

    I'd also say that even if this was somehow true (both the decision and the knowledge of the decision), wouldn't it reflect incredibly negatively on Makkelie? You can't be motivated unless you will get the UCL Final? There are words in my mind now and none of them are nice.

    That said, I have my doubts over whether this is true or not. My gut tells me these decisions are made when the semifinals are decided (quite obviously this season, as the three finals referees were deliberately omitted). There may be strong speculation and even internal preferences ahead of that time, but that's not much different than the online scuttlebutt, is it? I mean Vincic and Makkelie were the names on everyone's tongue until Taylor had an opening appear.
     
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  12. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    #887 Orangebarista, May 13, 2024
    Last edited: May 13, 2024
    You really think decisions are made short before the semi-finals? I doubt it. How do you explain that Soares Dias had a very important observer (MD5), followed by poor and hidden appointments in the knock-out stages? That suggests he was already planned in advance, before the knock-outs. I have no other explanation. And so was Vincic probably. I don’t think his appointments were very risky.

    And yes, I don’t have much time to watch many football games due to personal circumstances, so I tend to choose games of referees that I like the most and inspire me. 3-4 Elite names in general. But I honestly don’t enjoy watching football or analyzing referees as much as in the past.
     
  13. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Two things that I think are worth noting, which we have not acknowledged here:

    This is Vincic's first time refereeing Real Madrid. Ever. The fact that he's 44 and has never even seen Real Madrid is something. The lack of familiarity with the players could be a factor and if things go wrong for Real, I guarantee his lack of experience with the team will be noted.

    The Conference League Final is in Athens. Pretty close to a home match for Olympiacos. The atmosphere might be crazy. I think this one is the one to watch, particularly given the referee.
     
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  14. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    Indeed, this is surprising me as well. And that can be an issue, Real can be difficult to manage. Players don’t know Vincic, nor his management style and therefore he has to earn their respect during the game, while other referees had the chance to already earn that respect in the past.

    When I look at Vincic’ appointments of last seasons, there is more I noticed. How many times has he officiated a ‘high profile team’* when they play versus another high profile team?

    *This is subjective of course, but let’s define this as Top-10 teams in Europe based on name, history, results, supporters and media profile.

    I just count a few games in his track record with an increased media profile, and mostly in groupstage. Even his Europa League final was between two lower ranked teams -> Rangers vs Frankfurt. On the other hand, Vincic has a very good track record with (temperamental) teams that can be difficult or rough to manage. But for some reason he has always avoided the brightest spotlights, so to say. This pays off now, because there is not too much that journalists can write about Vincic and obviously no final teams that can potentially reject him.

    I don’t think it’s a fair management towards other referees though. I mean, you certainly can’t say that Marciniak, Makkelie, Siebert or Gil Manzano were managed the same way, in their road to a UEFA final. Moreover, you don’t see this management with referees from other small domestic competitions. It is curious, isn’t it?
     
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  15. Dunno if teams not only prepare on their opponent, but do it on the referee too. Like how far can we push him etc.
     
  16. code1390

    code1390 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  17. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  18. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    Player X asks the referee for an explanation in a respectful way in a MD3 game, yet he isn’t the captain and gets booked. 5 minutes later, the same player is booked for SPA offense. Team is eliminated and blames the referee.

    Or even more dicey, a player gets booked for dissenting behavior and it’s his 2YC…

    On the contrary, a player of Team Y is talking a lot to the referee and doesn’t get booked. The commentator is complaining and says that this ref is ignoring the guidelines. It happened to be a player allocated by the team as their GK is captain. How we should know that, as a viewer? :)
     
  19. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    Another note: The 2025 Champions League final is hosted in München (Germany). Is there a possibility that Felix Zwayer will be appointed there if no German teams are in the finals? At that time he will be 43 years old. On paper, and based on skills, I would say ‘no’ given his experience in UEFA competitions. However, as a referee from a Top-5 competition aged 43, and the focus UEFA currently has on him (observers etc) - Why not?

    Another detail is that Budapest (Puskas Arena) and Milan (San Siro) are the bidders to host the Champions League finals in 2026 and 2027. István Kovács is ethnic Hungarian and this would potentially be his only possibility to referee a game in Hungary. I assumed UEFA (and Vassaras) will plan him for that exact match. 2027 seems the best option for Budapest to host it. Kovács is still very young - younger than for example Makkelie, Oliver and Gil Manzano.

    The host associations of all UEFA finals in 2026-2027 will be appointed in May 2024 (very soon!). To be continued… ;)
     
  20. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    This isn't 1973 (Ajax vs. Juventus was in Belgrade and they gave the game to a referee from Yugoslavia) anymore where UEFA just typically gave the final to the host nation referee cause it was easy from a logistics stand point.

    I mean if Taylor couldn't get the final in Wembley this year, Zwayer and Kovacs will suddenly have better odds?

    Also, UEFA doesn't really plan assignments much anymore on your official UEFA nationality to begin with but they will go a level deeper and assign based on your ethnicity for "sentimental reasons."

    Like Kovacs can't afford to go visit Hungary on his own dime?

    What's next they are gonna have every UEFA elite referee take a 23 and Me DNA test and start planning on giving them games to where their ancestors are from?
     
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  21. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, I mean for all the talk of the host preference issue, I believe only once has the UCL Final (in the CL era) been refereed by a host referee--Turpin.

    Exactly. Not giving Taylor the final when there were no English teams and the match was at Wembley and he's close to aging out would suggest that long-term planning is simply not a thing. Or that performance absolutely does matter. Or, perhaps, both.
     
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  22. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    I must admit that I fully agree with both of you. I don’t like these sentiments at all. I just considered the possibility after the French lobby in 2022. Björn Kuipers also officiated the UEL final 2013 in Amsterdam…

    Quality and merit must always prevail, right? But suppose there are two candidates who both perform well, then there always will be other decisive factors (age, sentiments, the host nation). That’s all.

    In addition, the 2025-2026 UCL finals can be seen as a prep for the 2026 World Cup. Referees with a UCL final under their belt are more likely to officiate a game in the knock-outs. So, perhaps the question is: who should enter next WC with a higher profile? I think, returnees and referees from Top-5 countries will have an advantage.
     
  23. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    I think, performance level (too much OFR) and the fact that Taylor already officiated two international finals last season is what keeps him out. UEL + CWC.

    Three finals in 1,5 year would be pretty amazing if his form was nowhere near Marciniak or Orsato
     
  24. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    You have to discard and throw out the Turpin final in 2022. I don't think you can read too much into it.

    The final was gonna be in Russia (St. Petersburg), but had to be moved three months before the Final because of the sporting and economic sanctions on Russia as a result of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

    It might have always been Turpin's Final that year and it was pure coincidence/luck that the final ended up being in his host country.
     
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  25. Orangebarista

    Orangebarista Member

    Feb 22, 2024
    Netherlands
    #900 Orangebarista, May 16, 2024 at 7:20 AM
    Last edited: May 16, 2024 at 7:31 AM
    You are funny. :D
    I’ve read the Kovács/Budapest argument on some other Ref forum, but 100% agree with you. It should never be an argument, neither a decisive factor. Indeed, if someone feels really attached to a country, they are free to move and settle themselves in that country. Referees can also move to other countries and have a career.

    Sentiments and other emotions are not rational and thus, can never be an argument when final referees are selected. If a Dutch referee would raise ethnicity as an argument to be assigned to a final, while his ancestors have left that country for (economic) reasons (to benefit elsewhere)… I would raise my eyebrows for sure. But let’s not get too political.

    As for Zwayer: It would be a better argument if the final happened to be in Berlin instead of München (he is ein Berliner).

    A My heritage DNA test :ROFLMAO:

    As for Romanians and Hungarians, the Dutch DNA is also extremely close to English and German DNA. I doubt we would ever raise that as an argument.

    Fun fact: Makkelie's ancestor was probably Scottish. All Dutch surnames starting with 'Mac/Mack' are adopted Scottish names, in 19th century. Think of Roy Makaay (=MacKay), etc.

    Sorry, I digress. Back on-topic. :)
     

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