Kari Seitz wants to make real impact on behalf of women

Kari Seitz gets an inmportant job as  senior manager in FIFA’s referees department. “One of my key goals was always to be a role model and make a real impact on behalf of women”, she says on the website of FIFA. The US referee officiated at four different World Cups  (1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011), as well as three Olympic soccer tournaments (2004, 2008, and 2012). No other referee ever achieved that. Men’s record holder is Canadian assistant referee Hector Vergara with 14 matches in three different World Cups.

Kari Seitz

Seitz’ first task is helping with the development of the prospective list of referees for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. She got a dream job as she wants to make an impact in women’s lifes. Now she will help world’s best lead referees improve their game. “I didn’t know if [my career] would be in sport, never mind in football. I just wanted to make some kind of difference, and in refereeing I did feel that I made some progress. But this job, I feel, offers me an even bigger platform to help more women and be a positive influence and example.”

In 2013 Seitz has retired after 14 years at the highest level as active referee, while in the meantime she ran a big advertising company. At the moment of her retirement U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati showed the importance of role models like Seitz. “Kari has played a key role in the growth of women’s soccer in the United States over the past 15 years, and her dedication to her craft has always been admirable”.

When the US Soccer Organisation held there 100th anniversary they published an interesting interview series. One of the people that has been interviewed was Kari Seitz, right after the end of her career.

American referees at the London Olympics

After the 2012 Olympics match officials Kari Seitz, Veronica Perez and Marlene Duffy were interviewed. The refereeing trio als posted their stories during the Olympics. It’s in their Journal of the soccer referees representing the USA at the London Olympic Games 2012. For Kari Seitz it was her third consecutive appointment for an Olympic tournament.

The trio got the opening match and a quarter final, but was send home afterwards – the US team reached the final. The team was disappointed, but had many good experiences. “We’ve loved every minute of the games and we owe a large part of that to your support”, they say on their blog.

Part three of this video series with Olympic referees contains questions from the Californian referees.

Floodlights fail during penalty shoot-out in football game

Floodlights fail during a penalty shoot-out in a football game. It’s 11 pm and at that moment the football players were taking penalty kicks. The score is 7 vs 7 and the lights stop automatically due to a programmed timer for the lighting. “Everything that can happen during a game, has happened”, the winning coach says on the KNVB website.

Both teams compete for the title after they ended with the same number of points in their league. The game that has to decide who wins the league was exciting for 90 minutes. Because of the 2-2 score the game went in extra time. One of the teams scores, but right before the final whistle of the referee a last-minute equaliser is scored. The result: 3-3, so penalty kicks need to be taken. When the score is 7 vs 7 a player wants to take the next penalty, but before he can shoot, the floodlights fail.


The timer that controls the lighting was not prepared for extra time and penalty kicks. According to the Laws of the Game the referee “stops, suspends or abandons the match for any infringements of the Laws or because of outside interference e.g. if: the floodlights are inadequate.”

After thirty minutes their was someone able to put the floodlights back on and the game could continue. After 22 penalty kicks the game ended.

Want to watch the scenes check out a clip on DVS TV, the channel from one of the clubs. What is the weirdest thing that happend during your games as referee?

How LFA Referees keeps and trains young referees

Nice short video on Youtube from the LFA Referees where they tell something about their courses and how they try to get young referees ready for the game.

What can you do to keep your officials and prevent them to walking away? That’s a good question for LFA Referees while the number of referees is decreasing across the country.

Logo LFA Referees

“You need to have the resources. Don’t just think about practical refereeing support, but also about pastoral support – a shoulder to cry on”. Plus you need a good course where young referees learn how to deal with difficult situations. Think about misbehaving players, coaches, and so on.

The result for the LFA Referees Department: “good quality, committed, well-supported and well-mentored referees on the pitch in the weekend”.

What’s the role of the referee? During the course the attendees will get some theory on that. “Translating the answer to the practice on the football pitch is critical for the success of the course.”

Want t know more about LFA Referees? Check their twitter handle @LFArefs

New referee task: removing ducks off the pitch

Referee removing ducks from the pitch

Fifa needs to update the Laws of the Game. Law 5 “The Referee”  is insufficient. Based on Zenit St. Petersburgs friendly we can add a new task: removing ducks off the pitch. But is it something that a referee should do?


As a referee you always want the game to be played, but do you really need to do such things? I’d ask someone from the club and let them catch the ducks or remove them from the pitch.

Even the official Zenit Twitter account is into the duck-stories. Here’s one of their tweets.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>And we pause for a bit of a duck delay. Don&#39;t worry, the ducks were successfully and humanely ushered off the pitch. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ZenitLudogorets?src=hash”>#ZenitLudogorets</a></p>&mdash; FC Zenit in English (@fczenit_en) <a href=”https://twitter.com/fczenit_en/status/618815402391552000″>July 8, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Check out the video below from the game between Zenit St. Petersburg and Ludogorets.

What is the strangest thing you ever did during one of your games?


Day in the life of top referee Xavier Estrada Fernandez

Day in life of Xavier Estrada Fernandez
Uefa filmed a day in the life of top referee Xavier Estrada Fernandez. He is one of the referees at the u21 European Championships being held in the Czech Republic. “We are priviliged men that we can do such a fantastic job.”

A great way to show how a referee experiences a match day. Xavier Estrada Fernandez wakes up at 7 in the morning for breakfast. He also fills out a daily questionnaire about their fitness and does a mental check on the iPad.

He and his team went to the train station and took the train to Olomouc. There he is in a private cabin where he can talk with team members about team tactics. “It’s so important to talk about that because it puts the focus on the field of play”, Xavier Estrada Fernandez says.

Xavier Estrada Fernandez arriving at the stadium

When arriving at the stadium the first thin the team does is going to the dressing room. They check the tools for the match there, like the flags and communication systems. Warming-up before the game is about half an hour. “It’s not only important for players, also for referees”

You can see the team active during the game. Xavier Estrada Fernandez: “You need good teamwork to make the match a success.”

Check out the video:


How are your match days? How long before a game do you leave your house and when are you back?

How to do a proper coin toss as referee

Svein Oddvar Moen, a Norwegian referee, didn’t do a proper coin toss earlier this month. It was quite a funny moment. He flipped the coin in the air, but it didn’t land in his hand or on the ground. It landed on the head of one of captain Espen Bugge Petterson

Watch the clip from the toin coss in the game between Strømsgodset and  Lillestrom.

Has this ever happened to you as a referee?


Procedure for proper coin toss

  1. Gather the captains in the middle circle before the kick-off for the coin toss.
  2. Introduce yourself and shake hands.
  3. It’s polite to ask the visitors to choose for heads or tails – although it’s not a written law.
  4. Flip the coin in the air. If you can catch it, do so. A tip I got from a referee mentor: If you let it fall on the ground, pick it up later when the captains are back to their teams. You shouldn’t bow down to “the captains”. The blog l’Arbitre shows a good example of that from Swedish match offical Jonas Eriksson.
  5. The captain that wins the coin toss decides which end his team will be defending in the first half. The winner always kicks off at the start of the scond half.
  6. Always write down who will kick off on your game card. I also write down the time the half starts in case my watch stops working. You can then always check with someone on the sideline how long you have to play based on the clock and don’t have to deal with timers coaches have set. Some other referees will use two watches, but that’s not what I prefer because wearing two doesn’t feel comfortable with me.
  7. Do another handshake. Wish the captains and then your teams a good game. Let your AR’s check the goal nets and count the players on both halfs. Then everything’s ready for a nice game of football.

Referee Mustafa Kamil Abitoglu retires with red card

Referee Mustafa Kamil Abitoglu retires as referee in Turkish football. His career ended with vanishing spray on his head and he got a red card from player Sabri.

Retirement of Mustafa Kamil Albitoglu

Referees in The Netherlands who retire get a firm handshake and maybe some flowers, but the retirement of Mustafa Kamil Abitoglu was quite different. The Turkish referee got vanishing spray on his and was lifted in the air after that by players from Caykur rizespor and Galatasaray. That were the teams he officiated during his last game on the Turkish top league.

Mustafa Kamil Abitoglu has to retire because of the retirement age of 45, which he will reach on June 15th 2015. In his last professional season he officiated also the Turkis Super Cup between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray.

Video of Mustafa Kamil Abitoglu retirement

Check out the festivities with the ref’s retirement:

How would you like to retire as a referee?