The jaywalking referee saves lifes in NYC

The jaywalking referee.
The jaywalking referee showed up in New York to prevent people from illegal or reckless pedestrian crossing of a roadway – also known as jaywalking. In his US Referee outfit he joins the streets of the Big Apple.

With this playful event the jaywalking referee wants to pay attention to the annual 286 death because people cross the NYC streets illegally.

Love his use of the referee vanishing spray too, see video below.

Follow the jaywalking referee on Twitter.

Ben Williams: exclusive World Cup referee interview

Ben Williams and his World Cup refereeing team.

Ben Williams (middle) and assistant referees Hakan Anaz and Matthew Cream. Photo provided by referee.

The Dutch Referee blog got an exclusive interview with World Cup referee Ben Williams from Australia. He answered three important questions about his selection, preparation and expectations of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Good luck with your tournament.

1. You are going to the World Cup as referee. How does that feel?

Ben Williams: “Being selected to referee at the FIFA World Cup is the most highest honour that can be bestowed upon a referee. It has been a dream of mine since I first became a referee 22 years ago. When I received the email from FIFA about my selection, there was an overwhelming feeling of excitement. At the same time, there is a feeling of humility, as this is a responsibility that only very few referees are blessed enough to experience. Seeing the excitement in so many others’ faces about my selection, shows that football truly unites people and brings so much joy. My family, friends, work colleagues, students, local referees etc, have been so excited about me coming to Brasil, as everyone knows that the FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet. To see joy in other people’s faces, gives me great pride.”

2. What did you do to prepare for that big tournament?

Ben Williams: “To prepare for the FIFA World Cup has been a process that began many years ago, but more recently over the past 2.5 years, since FIFA announced the Open Prospective List of Referees for the FIFA World Cup in Brasil. During this project, 52 referees from around the globe were selected on the Open list. We participated in seminars at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, as well as being selected to show our performances at the FIFA tournaments. I was selected to referee at the London Olympic Games in 2012, then my chance was at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey in 2013. There were also FIFA seminars at the Confederation level, where we were tested physically, medically, Video tests, offside tests, Laws Of The Game tests, as well as tactically (with hired players in the pitch, as we dealt with various scenarios that may arise in the FIFA World Cup).”

“Personally, I have taken the last 6 months off work with leave without pay, to ensure that I can focus on my training, proper recovery (from travel, matches and training), matches etc. I have spent money to ensure that I have professionals working with me off the pitch, to make me the best I can be (fitness, mentally, medically, nutritionally, etc). My two Assistant Referees (Matthew Cream & Halan Anaz) and I have worked together in Hyundai A-League matches in Australia, AFC matches at the Confederation level, as well as FIFA matches. We have paid our own money to travel to various parts of Australia for training camps, to ensure we are fully prepared for the FIFA World Cup. I know how important the World Cup is to everyone involved – from players, coaches, team officials, to the spectators in the stadiums, and the viewing audience watching on TV around the world. We didn’t want to else anything to chance, so being fully prepared is a must for us.”

Ben Williams.

Ben Williams refereeing in Australia. Photo provided by referee.

3. What do you expect from 2014′s World Cup?

Ben Williams: “It is difficult to know exactly what to expect from the World Cup, as matches can have many different situations occur in them. We have prepared at home, and will do so in the final 2-week preparation camp in Rio de Janeiro, to ensure we are ready. One of the catchphrases is to “expect the unexpected”, so that is why we put so much emphasis on our preparation.”

“I am looking forward to the World Cup being held in Brasil. We had a Referees’ Seminar in May 2013, and I could feel the excitement even then. It’s truly going to be something special – from the crowds and the excitement, to watch the very best players in the world, do what they do best – entertain the billions of fans.”

Check out more profiles via the special World Cup 2014 page on my website.

World Cup 2014 referee appointments for first matches

Fifa made the World Cup 2014 referee appointments for first football matches Brazil.

Opening match: Brazil – Croatia
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
Assistant referees: Toru Sagara and Toshiyuki Nagi.

Read the profile “Yuichi Nishimura can bring Asian refereeing to new heights”

Match: Mexico – Cameroon
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (Colombia)
Assistant referees: Humberto Clavijo and Eduardo Diaz

Match: Spain – Netherlands
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
Assistant referees: Renato Faverani and Andrea Stefani

Match: Chile – Australia
Referee: Noumandiez Doue (Ivory Coast)
Assistant referees: Songuifolo Yeo and Jean Claude Birumushahu (Burundi)

Download pdf with full appointments including 4th official and reserve assistant.


Further appointments will most of the time be published first on The 3rd Team.

Sander van Roekel happy in shadow of Kuipers

In 1980 Sander van Roekel was a promising striker in the u8 team of SKV, but he got into refereeing very early in his career. When he entered professional football as referee, a member of Van Roekel’s football club wrote on the club’s website: “If Sander Van Roekel will reach the top of professional football, and if people maybe even will be talking about him in Europe, remains to be seen.”

Start as professional referee

Sander van Roekel when he was a young referee.

Sander van Roekel when he was a young referee. Photo courtesy SKV.

Sander van Roekel was also with Björn Kuipers, Bas Nijhuis and Pol van Boekel on the C-list of Dutch referees, talented refs who just joined professional football. “But I soon realised they were better”, Van Roekel told newspaper De Gelderlander. “Then I switched to a role as assistant referee.” Van Roekel became an international referee in 2007 and teams up with Kuipers almost immediately; both will be joined by Erwin Zeinstra in 2011. “The referee makes the choice who he wants in his refereeing team.”

Van Roekel trains three times a week at Veenendaal Atletiek Vereniging, a sports club for runners. He also works three days a week as teacher in economy at a secondary school. “I’ve made good arrangements with my colleagues”, the assistant ref says. “Because if the KNVB (Dutch FA) calls me, I need to be there.” And his students, what do they think of his other job? “They know I’m an assistant referee and address me about the Champions League and the World Cup”, he told Helden Online, “but I’m not really in the spotlight. And that’s what I like.”

In the shadows of Björn Kuipers

Van Roekel accepts his role in the shadows of Björn Kuipers. Although the Dutch FA talks about “team Kuipers”, it’s Kuipers who does the media talks and the assistants are more at the background. “Well, as assistant referee you need to know your place”, he told Spits. “If Björn goes to the theatre everybody whispers his name and they wonder if it’s him or not. When I go to the theater, no one recognizes me.”

The Dutch assistant referee told that he can easily walk in Amsterdam the day after the Ajax – PSV clash in the Dutch league. “Nobody knows who I am, not even when I had to make a questionable decision on the field.”

The author on the website of Van Roekel’s football club was not completely right about the future of his career. Yes, he’s active on Europe and world’s highest level, but we don’t hear a lot about him. He’s a quiet man in the shadows of Björn Kuipers – and is happy with that.

Read the profile of Björn Kuipers.

Referee Milorad Mazic and the Belgrade derby’s

Milorad Mazic

Milorad Mazic

Milorad Mazic played football like most of the referees before he started officiating. “I had a bad injury”, he told Fifa. “And after that I started and became a referee.” The passion for football is the main thing that drives him, also as a referee. “I love football so much.” Mazic is very happy he could still have a career in football.

First and most important thing in Brazil is to do ‘my very best’, says Mazic. His career went fast after becoming an international referee in only 2009. On 2012 Mazic was on the prospective list of World Cup referees, but he was not an Elite Uefa referee yet. Right before the World Cup Mazic has officiated 8 Champions League and 13 Europa League matches matches. He also got appointed for the u21 European Championships in 2011, the 2013 u20 World Cup and the World Cup play-off between Romania and Greece.

The derby’s of Belgrade

The Serbian competition is not a “big” competition in Europe, but it’s definately one where you have to stand strong as a referee with for example the derby’s in Belgrade. Check out the video of the match between Red Star and Partizan:

Mazic creates Serbian histora

Mazic makes history being the first Serbian referee who’s chosen for a World Cup in almost 25 years. He’ll be assisted by Dalibor Đurđević and Milovan Ristic. The last referee from Serbia who officiated a match on the FIFA World Cup was Zoran Petrovic in in 1986 in Mexico and in Italy in 1990.

Banner Mazic World Cup final

Check out an interview from Fifa with Milarad Mazic

Windsor Barra Referee Hotel in Rio

Windsor Barra Referee Hotel view.

The referees will stay at the Windsor Barra Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. The hotel is located beach-front with some very nice views over the water.

Most important details of the hotel at a quick glance:

  • It has 5 stars
  • It is located in front of the exuberant beach of Barra da Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro.
  • It has a terrace with two swimming pools
  • From the Windsor Barra Referee Hotel it is just an 30 minute drive to the Centro de Futebol Zico training ground where the referees will have their training sessions during the tournament.
  • You can even make a virtual 360 degrees tour throught the Windsor Barra (Referee) Hotel.

    Image on top is the view from the Windsor Barra Referee Hotel (via Google Streetview)

Referee vanishing spray on players’ boots

Referee vanishing spray.

Referee vanishing spray.

During the 2014 World Cup we’ll get to know the referee vanishing spray a little better. Even the referees who officiate the friendlies before the biggest tournament in the world need to work on their vanishing spray skills.

Even Howard Webb is not used to the spray: “I’m still getting used to having a spray hanging from my waist the whole time,” he said to Fifa. “It’s a vital tool for ensuring that the rule is observed and that the wall is 9.15 metres away from the spot where the free-kick is being taken.” For your information: The spray is biodegradable and disappears in just 45 seconds, so there will be no permanent lines on the field.

Check out the video below from the match Mexico versus Portugal:

Check out this hilarious situation of an assistant using the referee vanishing spray.