Thursday 13 May 2010

Some Observations of the 2010 Europa League Final

The following incidents occurred during the Atletico Madrid and Fulham Europa League Final on Wednesday 12 May 2010. The match ended 2—1 AET.

In the first half, Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan gained an advantage from Sergio Aguero’s mishit shot. Although Forlan is marginally offside, it is extremely difficult for the assistant referee (AR) to catch this type of offside incident. Blink, and the moment is gone!

[Sergio Aguero (red) mishits his shot on the 18-yard line, but Diego Forlan gains an advantage by scoring the first goal of the final]

In the second half, Fulham forward Zoltan Gera is caught offside by the AR, who is perfectly positioned with the second-last defender along the 18-yard line.

[The AR is well positioned to spot Zoltan Gera (blue) in an offside position]

Did anyone notice that the extra assistant referees (EARs) in the Europa League Final were holding magic wands? Well, not “magic” but most probably beeper AR flagsticks with the flag material removed. Previously, EARs did not have these wands.

[EAR holding a "magic" wand]

Now that the Europa League has concluded, UEFA’s experiment with using extra assistant referees (EARs) will soon be analyzed and the results reported to the International Football Association Board (IFAB). HKRef would like the full report to be made publicly available too, but understands that this is unlikely.

The Europa League has demonstrated that the preferred colour for match officials is blue. Likewise, HKRef expects the Champions League Final will see match officials wearing the preferred colour of gold.
Note: In the Europa League final, the teams wore red/white (Atletico Madrid) and navy blue (Fulham), and the goalkeepers wore orange and green, respectively. The match officials had a choice between wearing blue or yellow (omitting black and red). Blue was chosen because it is the preferred colour in the Europa League.
In the forthcoming Champions League final (Saturday 22 May 2010), the teams will probably wear their usual colours; red (Bayern Munich) and blue/black (Inter Milan). The match officials will therefore have a choice of wearing gold or white (omitting black) and can tell the goalkeepers to wear colours that will not clash with the match officials. Throughout the season, gold has been the preferred colour in the Champions League.

Related Posts

Offside and Consistency

Europa League Optimum Officiating

Europa League Penalty Kicks and Encroachment

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