Referee Clément Turpin: advice from a French top official

Referee Clément Turpin officiates the Europa League final in 2021 and will go to the next European Championships. In this blog post you’ll get a look into his career, plus some great insights in his fitness routines and match preparation. 

The quotes in this story come from the wonderful Uefa documentary Man in the Middle. You can also watch the tips below in the video.

Smallest details are crucial to reach the top

Turpin finds the balance in the countryside and the hectic life as football referee with games all over Europe. He became a referee at the age of 16, but he never saw himself 20+ years later as an international referee. And 2021 will be the pinnacle of his career so far, with an appointment for the Europa League final between Manchester United and Villarea. He also goes to the Euro 2020 tournament.

Reaching the top comes to the smallest details, he says. “And these details, if you don’t have persons to help you to show what are these details, then it’s very difficult.”

Roberto Rosetti was his mentor 4 years ago and he helped him with finalising these last details that made him the referee that could become an Uefa Elite referee. “It’s so important to have a person with a lot of experience and a fantastic spirit to push you to reach this target.” 

Match preparation by referee Clément Turpin

Clément Turpin organises the match preparation around 4 topics. 

  • Tactical organisation
  • Set pieces – “in modern football set pieces are so important”
  • Offside situations
  • Behaviour of the players

“Thanks to these 4 topics I try to have a perfect view of both teams.” And during the game mutual respect helps you manage the game. “I give always respect to players and coaches, so I expect respect from them as well.”

As you can see, he does a very thorough preparation. It reminds me how the Dutch referees prepare for their games. In this story with video analyst John Balvers you can read more how they analyse all the clips and teams.

Still from Uefa’s documentary Man in the Middle

Find motivation to train

Because referees and the assistants in their team don’t always live nearby, they can’t train always as a team. “The differences between players and referees is for sure the motivation to go to the training”, Turpin says. “Because when you’re alone, it is difficult to find the motivation. But when you have the target of the Champions League matches, believe me, the motivation is so easy to have.”

An advice for all of us. Although you might not officiate at international level, you also have targets as a referee and keep these in mind and you’ll be more motivated to train. 

Don’t underestimate the physical aspect

“The physical aspect is one of the most important ones for referees. The intensity of play increases season after season and the referee has to follow. That’s why we have to do training sessions every day. That is normal.” The French top referee is convinced the training intensity of players and referees is more or less the same. “We have to sprint at high intensity, we repeat this high intensity. That’s why I have to focus on the physical aspect.” 

Also amateur levels improve, so should you as a referee. During the season you get tips every #FitnessFriday on my Instagram or YouTube

Referee Riem Hussein to officiate WUCL final 2021

Referee Riem Hussein officiates the Women’s Champions League final in 2021. In this story you’ll read some tips from this German top referee, based on an interview she gave to Uefa before the final. 

A dream comes true for her and she’s happy with the support of her team. “You can’t be successful as a referee on your own. Refereeing is a team sport for me. We all need to be on the same level, to work together, speak together and help each other. There’ll be 100% concentration, especially because of the importance of the match.”

Below the image you’ll see the names of the full refereeing team, including VAR. Plus some great advice for you as a referee.

Referee Riem Hussein
Referee Riem Hussein at the Women’s World Cup in 2019

Riem Hussein’s UCL final team

Referee: Riem Hussein (Germany)
Assistants: Katrin Rafalski (Germany), Sara Telek (Austria)
Fourth Official: Katalin Kulcsár (Hungary)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (Germany)
Assistant VAR: Christian Dingert (Germany)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Julia Magnusson (Sweden)

Experience as player helps you as ref

Riem Hussein played football too, but after arguing a lot with the referee, she started to study the Laws of the Game for herself. Because she liked it, she started to officiate games on the days she was not active as a player. That helped her a lot in her career. “Referees need a feeling for football,” she says in the Uefa article. “It’s a big advantage if they’ve been players. Then you also need a good physical condition, endurance, stamina and anticipation.”

Use your personality to manage a game

According to Riem Hussein, management skills are extremely important  for referees. “It’s about using your personality at the right moment”, she says. That’s how you can show respect to players and get it back from the players as well. 

She used her management skills as referee this year during her work as pharmacist. “Every day, we have to deal with a lot of pressure as we endeavour to meet the needs and emergencies of our customers”. That’s what she said to FIFA. “There are supply bottlenecks at the moment when it comes to mouth and nose masks, disinfectant and a lot of other pharmaceutical products and that pushes us to our limits.” 

Something that helps you too: experience in a working environment and as referee is beneficial for both roles. You can only become better at your job. 

Find someone who believes in you

Riem Hussein talks very positive about former German female referee Antje Witteweg, who is a former FIFA match official.  “She was the one who told me I had talent. She accompanied me in my first year in the second division as a referee, and she helped to push me forward. I’ve so much to thank her for.” 

That’s the kind of person you need too. Someone who helps you, who can challenge you. Want to know more about mentoring? Read about the 4 types of referee mentors you need.

Work on your fitness 

Although men’s fitness is better, Riem Hussein doesn’t prepare differently for a women’s game.  “In men’s football, the speed and intensity are both higher, so it’s more demanding in physical terms.” But she notices that also the women’s game get more demanding. Teams are better organised, have more resources to help the players. That gives these teams better means to improve, which helps their development. 

“Women’s football is only going one way.” And that is up, which is what Riem Hussein also strives for. Good luck in the Women’s UCL final between Barcelona and Chelsea! 

Fitness tip by Riem Hussein’s AR Katrin Rafalski

On Fitness Friday I share fitness-related tips on both YouTube and IGTV. Make sure to follow me on Instagram too.

Below you’ll see the tip from Katrin Rafalski, a big shout-out to all women involved in refereeing. Go for it, ladies!

2021 Uefa Europa League final referee: Clément Turpin

The 2021 UEFA Europa League final referee is Clément Turpin. His French team is assisted by Slavko Vinčić as 4th official and Pol van Boekel as one of the AVARs.

Below the image the names of the full team. If quotes available, they’ll follow.

Referee: Clément Turpin (France)

Assistants: Nicolas Danos, Cyril Gringore (both France)

4th official: Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)

VAR: François Letexier (France)

VAR Assistants: Jérôme Brisard, Benjamin Pages (both France), Pol van Boekel (Netherlands)

2021 Champions League final referee: Mateu Lahoz

The 2021 UEFA Champions League final referee is Antonio Mateu Lahoz. He’ll lead a the refereeing team that officiates Manchester City – Chelsea.

Below you’ll find the full details of the refereeing team. If quotes become available, I’ll add them too.

Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain)

Assistants: Pau Cebrián Devis, Roberto Díaz Pérez del Palomar (both Spain)

4th official: Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spain)

VAR: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández (Spain)

VAR Assistants: Juan Martínez Munuera, Íñigo Prieto López de Cerain (both Spain), Pawel Gil (Poland)

Improve acceleration as referee

How to improve acceleration as referee? Being in the right position is crucial for referees. If you want to get there, acceleration is a key physical factor. In this blog post FIFA Fitness Instructor Stephen Oduor and Polish referee and fitness expert Michal Bobrek share some great insights on how you can improve your acceleration. 

Firstly, I’ll show you the Fitness Friday video. In this you’ll learn how to improve the acceleration part of your fitness. Below the video we’ll get more in-depth and you can see some exercises as well. 

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Michele Scarpino shares his lessons for referees

Michele Scarpino is expert in sport business management and also officiates in San Marino and Italy at national level. The Calabria-born Scarpino lives in Bologna, where he started refereeing during his studies in 2007. It’s also the area where Italian top referees Pierluigi Collina and Nicola Rizzoli come from. In this interview you’ll learn how it is to train with top refs, which opportunities you should look for and he shares his tips on game management.

Michele Scarpino at Uefa
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