Katalin Kulcsár world's number 1 female Referee

What a fantastic year for Hungary’s top woman referee, Katalin Kulcsár! The 32 year old was named as the IFFHS 2016 World’s Best Woman Referee. Kulcsár won huge support from football experts in 56 countries around the World in the 5th Annual IFFHS Women’s Awards. It was a very close ranking, Kulcsár had only 5 points more than Katarina Monzul (winner 2015) and Bibiana Steinhaus (winner 2013 and 2014),  6 points more than the canadian Carol Anne Chenard ! 

Kulcsár began her international career in 2005 and made quickly such progress that she was given control of FIFA U17 World Cup final 2009, of all great international tournaments and finally the UEFA Champions League final 2016 between Lyon and Wolfsburg. She is the youngest referee to win this award and she leads a ranking where all continents are represented. That shows the fantastic development of the Women Football in the World.

Bibiana Steinhaus , winner 2013 and 2014, took second place like 2012 and 2015. So she has been in the World’s Top 2 for 5 years.

Congratulations Katalin, what a fantastic achievement, we are very proud of you.

Now we just need the dinosaurs at the the MLSz to start appointing Katalin to games in the Hungarian domestic leagues based on her refereeing ability and not her sex! I hope this will prompt a promotion to the NB1, as a referee, where she belongs.

Ranking 2016

1 – Katalin Kulcsar (Hungary)             58 points

2 – Katarina Monzul (Ukraine)           53 points

2 –  Bibiana Steinhaus (Germany)      53 points

4 – Carol Anne Chenard (Canada)      52 points

5 – Pernilla Larsson (Sweden)             26 points

6 – Teodora Albon (Romania)             24 points

7 – Riem Hussein (Germany)              23 points

8 – Esther Stäubli (Switzerland)         21 points

9 – Stephanie Frappart (France)        20 points

10-Olga Miranda (Paraguay)               11 points

11-Gladys Lengwe (Zambia)                10 points

11  Lucila Venegas (Mexico)                10 points

11  Claudia Umpierrez (Uruguay)       10 points

11  Ok Ri Hyang (Korea DPR)              10 points

11  Carolina Vitulano (Italy)                 10 points

16-Olga Zadinova (Czech Republic)    9 points

17-Kate Jacewicz (Australia)                 8 points

18-Efthalia Mitsi (Greece)                     4 points

19-Rita Gani (Malaysia)                         3 points

20-Anna Maria Keighley (New Zealand) 1 point

Viktor Kassai world's 3rd best referee

What a year for Hungary's top male referee, Viktor Kassai. A successful Euro's, 3 very high profile 4th official appointments (Champions League Final, Euro's final and Club World cup final) and now officially named as the 3rd best referee in the world.

Mark Clattenburg, who was the referee of the two most important matches of the year in Europe, the Euro final and the Champions League Final, has been named as the world number 1. The 41 year old began his referee career in the english first division on 1999 and became an international referee on 2006. He was the referee of the Olympic Games Football final in London 2012 before his great year 2016 with the two european finals and also the English Cup final. He was for the first time in the Top 10 last year (6th) and made this great jump in 2016. He is the second english referee to win this Award after Howard Webb, winner in 2010 and 2013.

The italian referee Nicola Rizzoli, winner 2014 and 2015, is second of this ranking like 2013, with Viktor Kassai coming 3rd.

Selected editorial offices and experts from 56 countries around the world took part in the 2016 annual election of the top referee, the 30th time it has been carried out by the IFFHS.

Clattenburg won this ranking with a large margin before Rizzoli and Viktor Kassai ,the hungarian winner of 2011. Behind the top 3, Jonas Eriksson, Cuneyt Cakir, Björn Kuipers, Felix Brych and Martin Atkinson confirm their usual performances since many years.

Europe dominate this ranking this year but South America (Pitana and Ricci), Central America (Ramos), Africa (Gheas and Diedhiou) and Asia (Sato) are also present with great referees.

Congratulations Viktor. What a fantastic year for our top referees.

Ranking 2016

1 – Mark Clattenburg (England)            141 points
2 – Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)                            65 points
3 – Viktor Kassaï (Hungary)                     55 points
4 – Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)                   43 points
5 – Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)                         28 points
5 – Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)             28 points
7 – Felix Brych (Germany)                        26 points
8 – Martin Atkinson (England)                20 points
9 – Damir Skomina (Slovenia)                 19 points
10 – Nestor Pitana (Argentina)                14 points

11 – Sandro Ricci (Brasil)                          12 points
12 – Carlos Vellasco Carballo (Spain)       8 points
13 – Grisha Gheas (Egypt)                          7 points
14 – Malang Diedhiou (Senegal)                5 points
14  – Cesar Ramos (Mexico)                       5 points
16 – Ovidiu Hategan (Romania)                 3 points
17 – Sergei Karasev (Russia)                       2 points
17     Clement Turpin (France)                    2 points
17     Simon Marciniak (Poland)                 2 points
17     William Collum (Scotland)                 2 points
21 –  Ryuji Sato (Japan)                               1 point
21      Milorad Mazic (Serbia)                       1 point

Viktor Kassai to referee Cairo derby between Zamalek and Ahly

Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai has been appointed to officiate at Thursday's Cairo derby between Zamalek and Ahly in the Egyptian Premiere League, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced on Tuesday.

This will not be the first time that the 41-year-old Kassai has been to Egypt, having previously refereed last season's Cairo derby in February, when Ahly defeated Zamalek 2-0.


Zamalek sits third in the Egyptian league table with 34 points, eight points behind leaders Ahly, who have played two matches more.

Kassai makes history in Japan!

Viktor Kassai has become the first referee to make use of the VAR system in an official FIFA tournament. A trip just inside the box was missed by the referee and AR Vencel Tóth in open play before Mr Kassai went over to the sidelines to review the decision. Having re-watched the incident he then made the decision to give a penalty to Kashima, who went on to win the game 3-0.

Interesting to watch the process. What is noticeable is that none of the players approach the referee or Assistant referee whilst the review takes place, it is a mandatory yellow card for them to do so but as soon as he has made the decision, the Atlético Nacional defenders start to protest. Perhaps the authorities need to extend the time frame for the mandatory yellow to include the period immediately after the decision has been made.

Whilst it is interesting footage and, with use of the VAR, a correct decision was reached, the footage does not clarify at what stage in the play, that Viktor Kassai called for assistance from the VAR, thus raising the questions:

1. Did he have to wait until the ball was no longer in play ie after he had made decision to award a FK, GK, Throw in etc.or does the VAR communicate with the referee to request that he should view the incident?

2. If he had stopped the game with the ball still in play, and viewed the footage, would he have restarted with a 'drop ball' if he had decided that a PK was not the appropriate/correct decision?

I'm sure that now a major decision has been made with the use of VAR's FIFA will release a training video soon, explaining the process and offering an answer to the above questions raised.

Video courtesy of  The Third Team - Channel 1.

The incident comes just a day after FIFA published an interview where the referees at the FIFA Club World Cup shared their first impressions from the VAR trial trial. In the interview Viktor Kassai is quoted as saying “We have to do what we’ve always done, all decisions are to be made by the referee and assistant referees and then, only if it’s necessary, the VAR can support with a blatant mistake. It’s a good feeling to know there is someone to help, but at the same time we are not thinking about the new system when we are officiating a match.”

Kassai gets FIFA CWC Semi Final

kassaiviktor_eb_elsomeccs14 December 2016, 10.30 am - Osaka (Suita City Football Stadium)
Club Atlético Nacional - Kashima Antlers
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
Assistant Referee 1: György Ring (Hungary)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (Hungary)
Fourth Official: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)


Following a successful quarter final performance Viktor Kassai gets one of the semi-final matches.

Good Luck Viktor, György and Vencel.

Kassai gets FIFA CWC Quarter Final

kassaiviktor_eb_elsomeccs11 December 2016, 7 am - Osaka (Suita City Football Stadium)
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC - Club de Fútbol América
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
Assistant Referee 1: György Ring (Hungary)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (Hungary)
Fourth Official: Nicholas Waldron (New Zealand)
Video Assistant Referees: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands), Damir Skomina (Slovenia), Bakary Papa Gassama (Gambia)

Hungary's top official is set to make his first appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in the Quarter Final match between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC v Club de Fútbol América.

The tournament is historic as it is the first competitive tournament that is using VAR's (Video Assisted Referees).  VAR's were trialled in various leagues last season but this is the first official FIFA tournament to use them. The VAR's will remain in a secure room within the stadium watching the game live on screen and are able to communicate with the match officials team via their communication systems, in the same way that the team of match officials communicate with each other, during the match. At present the system will mainly be used in decisions regarding penalties and red cards and the VAR's will be able to communicate any controversies across the comms to the referee. The referee will then be able to watch the incident back himself at a different monitor located at the sidelines before making his final decision. VARs will not make decisions themselves, they can only advise the referee that they feel he should re-look at the incident. The final decision, quite rightly, rests with the referee himself.

Good Luck, Viktor, György & Vencel.