Proposed changes to the Hungarian FIFA referee list from January 2019.

According to an article on Focibiro there will be changes to the FIFA men’s list of referees from January 2019.

Viktor Kassai 1975
Tamás Bognár 1978
István Vad 1979
Ádám Farkas 1982
Ferenc Karakó 1983
Balázs Berke (NEW) 1984
(Sándor Andó-Szabó OUT Cat III)

Assistant referees:
György Ring 1981
Vencel Tóth 1978
István Albert 1980
Péter Berettyán 1984
Balázs Buzás 1986
Balázs Szert 1993
Theodoros Georgiou 1992
Péter Kóbor 1988
Oszkár Lémon 1978
Balázs Szalai (NEW) 1993
(Zsolt Varga OUT)

It should be noted that at this stage these are just the nominations submitted by the MLSz referee committee to the UEFA referee committee. The UEFA referee committee do not meet until mid-late November to make the decision as to whether to ratify the nominations or not, so at this stage they remain as proposed changes and not confirmed changes. Our source on the UEFA referee committee has however confirmed that the proposed changes have been submitted to them.

Zsolt Varga was expected to leave the Assistant Referee list this December in any event as he is 45. It makes sense to not give him a +1 year and instead bring in one of our upcoming youngsters and 28 year old Balázs Szalai is a good choice, in my opinion. This will give us 4 Assistant referees aged 30 or under: Péter Kóbor, Balázs Szert, Theodoros Georgiou and Balázs Szalai, all of whom are very talented young officials. This is a good sign for the future elite team, that will be needed to replace Viktor Kassai’s team in December 2020 (if he retires at 45) or December 2021 (if he does a +1 year).

More of a surprise, albeit a very welcome one, is the proposal to remove Sándor Andó-Szabó from the list and replace him with Balázs Berke. This is an excellent proposal, technically speaking Berke is a very talented young referee. No reflection on Sándor Andó-Szabó but since his demotion from Category 2 to Category 3 a couple of seasons ago, his FIFA career has effectively stalled. There was no chance of him being promoted again and with just 2 or 3 years until Kassai will retire, a fresh new face was urgently needed. Neither of our current Category 1 referees, Tamás Bognár and István Vad, will replace Viktor Kassai as our elite referee, they will both be over 40 themselves when he retires and UEFA simply do not promote those over 40 to the elite list.  It is now up to Ádám Farkas, Ferenc Karakó and Balázs Berke to work really hard, learn as much as they can at the UEFA training camps and continue to improve themselves and develop as referees in order to convince both the MLSz referee Committee and the UEFA referee committee that they are the one who should be the heir-apparent to Viktor Kassai.

Well done to the MLSz JB for recognising the changes that needed to be made and proposing that they are made.