England v Germany Friendly International


Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-11-10 23:16:52


A draw was probably a fair result in that one with the chances evenly distributed at each end.

From the Officials perspective, we still need to wait for the first use of VAR in England in an official capacity. There were definitely no incidents which required the new technology to be consulted. On the subject of technology though, I have never seen a referee rely on it so much in respect to AR’s offside signals. It was clear that he was relying totally on the buzzer, with the Comms kit as back-up, as he did not look across to the AR when the ball was played forwards and a player may have committed an offside offence. I will admit, that he has the VAR as well to communicate with him in this game, but if you get water into those headsets, you can’t hear anyone! The lesson to take away here is not to stop looking across for the AR’s signal. With the use of buzzer flags coming right down the Levels of football these days and available to anyone (who can afford them), it is important not to copy this referee’s style and always look across as well.

I was impressed with the fitness of Referee Pawel Raczkowski, but not always convinced he got into the best positions. His efforts to get so wide were not always successful as he found himself either in the way out on the wing, or in the way when the players moved back in. He would have been better to just hold a little further back and follow the players forward.

I also felt he was a little shy about moving into the penalty area when he would have benefited from a closer view of events. Considering this referee’s ability to recover his position, I was surprised that he was not squeezing the play a little deeper when required.

All-in-all though, a very satisfactory performance from the Polish Officials, and one they will be happy to reflect upon when they enjoy their meal out in London tonight!

More RefCam to come this weekend

GB at 2017-11-10 22:57:34


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage this evening. Next up is we have a full weekend of EPL Coverage with

18.11.17 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur KO 12.30

18.11.17 Manchester United v Newcastle United KO 17.30 PM

19.11.17 Watford v West Ham United KO 16.00 PM

20.11.17 Brighton & Hove Albion v Stoke City KO 20.00 PM

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:  http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2017-11-10 22:55:57

Full Time

England 0 v 0 Germany


GB at 2017-11-10 22:54:51

I am afraid that must go down a a “miss”!


GB at 2017-11-10 22:54:00

Clear careless challenge leads to a free kick which must be England’s last chance


GB at 2017-11-10 22:52:49

The referee was well placed to judge no foul on the English defender then and there was no appeal from those near to the incident


GB at 2017-11-10 22:51:11

minimum of 3 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-11-10 22:49:55

There was another passage of play where the referee endeavoured to get right out wide, then found himself getting sucked into the players space as the ball moved back in. He would be better to drop inside a little more in those situations.


GB at 2017-11-10 22:47:30

AR2 Radoslaw Siejka moved right back away from the touchline then as the players came towards him. The corner decision was correct, but I still think moving “down” the line and looking back gives the official a better view of whether the back crosses the touchline. You cannot make that call accurately if you step back from the line.


GB at 2017-11-10 22:41:08

There was another example of the referee not bothering to look for the offside flag until he got a buzz.


GB at 2017-11-10 22:39:40

Experienced refereeing then as the ball went out of play for a throw-in right in front of the technical areas, just in the referee’s half. He took his time and did not signal immediately as it was a very tight call. He looked first to his AR, and then still waited to see who picked the ball up. That is often a very good tactic to let the players tell you whose throw it is if you are not sure – rather than go wrong right in front of the benches!


GB at 2017-11-10 22:31:20

Having mentioned the buzzers and the Comms kit just now, the referee also has goal-line technology to help him tonight even before we get to the VAR!


GB at 2017-11-10 22:29:04

Joshua Kimmich (G 18) receives a long verbal warning from the referee following that deliberate act of impeding an opponent. I do not expect that player to get away with another one of those.

GB at 2017-11-10 22:26:53


ENGLANDS Jake Livermore obviously picked up the last yellow card in the 58th minute


GB at 2017-11-10 22:25:13

Another nailed on yellow card Yellow Card for Julian Draxler (G 7) this time for that reckless challenge. Referee Raczkowski was keen to play the advantage then but was quick to bring the play back when it did not come off. The yellow card would have still been issued of course, regardless how long it took for the ball to next go out of play


GB at 2017-11-10 22:21:42

As the ball pings around inside the German penalty area, I have to say that despite his supreme fitness, this referee seems reluctant to break across the line into this area to get a closer view. the


GB at 2017-11-10 22:17:48

This is definitely a “European thing” as the AR1 enters the field of play to supervise the 9.15 metres following that hand ball decision. The laws have allowed for that for a number of years, but we do not see it happening in England, where ARs are advised to manage these situations from the touchline.


GB at 2017-11-10 22:15:03

The Referee was clearly relying entirely on his technology to pick up that last offside signal from AR2, as he did not look across at him at all. I know he has both the buzzer and the comms kit, but it is still not best practice to rely on this entirely and an “old fashioned” look across towards the AR is still best practice.


GB at 2017-11-10 22:12:12

After the excitement of that Vardy chance, the tempo has dropped off again but the officials still need to remain focused.


GB at 2017-11-10 22:08:22

That’s more like it from AR1 Michal Obukowicz as the player got blocked off right in front of him – I wonder if his boss gave him a “nudge” at half time?


GB at 2017-11-10 22:05:52

England get the second half underway

GB at 2017-11-10 22:02:26

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Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-11-10 22:00:49


Nothing too taxing for the officials so far in this game and certainly nothing for the VAR to be called in for.

Pawel Raczkowski has impressed me with his fitness and his efforts to get wide as much as possible. He has also proved that he has the speed to recover when the play breaks down.

There were just a few incidents for him to raise his profile on, including a borderline reckless challenge by Germany’s Antonio Rudiger who risked even more than a yellow card had he made contact with more than the ball. I thought the referee managed this well, and was also correct with his yellow card for Gomez in the final minute, you can’t manage some things if you want to keep your respect intact!

The second half could warm up a little judging by the commitment shown from both sides in the closing stages of the first half, so I expect the referee to be saying to his colleagues that they cannot afford to treat this any differently than any other game!

GB at 2017-11-10 21:53:14


Read the former Head of Professional Referee’s opinion on last night’s referees performance in the Northern Ireland v Switzerland game here: Hackett’s Verdict: Northern Ireland you have been wronged twice

You can get the latest opinion pieces from, Mark Halsey, Rob Harris, myself and others on our Verdict section of the Academy. https://academy.you-are-the-ref.com/

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GB at 2017-11-10 21:52:34

Half Time


GB at 2017-11-10 21:51:40

Joe Gomez (E 15) quite rightly receives a yellow card Yellow Card for that challenge which broke up a promising attacking move for the German team. That was a great time for the referee to show his temperament and authority and not be tempted to over look the disciplinary sanction, just because it is a “friendly”.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:48:29

Julian Draxler (G 7) was making the most of the slightest touch from the defender again then but the referee was well placed to spot no offence. Once again, had he been too far away or un sighted and awarded a penalty for that, I would expect the VAR to intervene.

GB at 2017-11-10 21:44:59

Further to my last post, it is important to explain that if a free kick has been given for something which “was not a foul”, the VAR cannot get involved if a goal is scored from the resulting free kick under the present protocol.

My previous comment was directed to cases where if the referee had given a penalty to Vardy, when in fact he ran into his opponent, then the VAR would have pointed out that a foul had not been committed.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:40:46

I think the referee “bought” that one as Vardy made the movement into the German player to make it look like a foul against him. That sort of thing in the build up to a goal tonight, which went unseen by the officials, would be something which the VAR would bring to their attention.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:38:15


Along comes another opportunity for referee Raczkowski to assert his authority and be seen to warn the German defenders that they must show respect and not speak to him in that manner following the award of a corner.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:35:53

Very good safe refereeing then as Antonio Rudiger (G 16) leaves the floor for a split second before touching the ball. Good to see the referee take no chances and give a strong whistle to send out the message that friendly or not – he is not going to allow challenges like that


GB at 2017-11-10 21:31:18

Referee Raczkowski positioning really is taking him wide on his diagonal, almost too much sometimes as he is just wasting energy when the play moves back out to the wing again.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:28:57

Going back to the free kick awarded by the referee from a distance in the 19th minute, at the end of the day it does not matter who gives the decision, as long as somebody gets it right. Tonight of course, that somebody might not be out there on the green bit!


GB at 2017-11-10 21:27:08

Goal mouth action was always going to be on the cards in this game, but the Home crowd was hoping it would be at the other end. Great pace shown again by the referee, although he did not quite get himself an angle as the German attacker raced into the penalty area.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:23:59

Not the best teamwork seen then when the actions of the German player in making contact with the boots of the English player occurred right under the nose of AR1 who did not signal for a foul. Good refereeing by Raczkowski though who gave the foul from much further away. Referees do not like giving fouls when they are so much further away than the AR, but sometimes the AR’s attention may be on the upper body when the foul is on the ground, so the Referee has to be strong and make the call for them.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:19:55

Good alertness demonstrated then by the referee as he kept his eyes on the play as he switched direction before starting to sprint away. The use of the trailing eye is one of the things which makes the best referees stand out from the rest.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:17:39


Incidentally, for those of you who have been following the development of VAR in the MSL this year, there is a major difference in use in tonight’s game. One of the criteria laid out in IFABs original Protocol was for the use of 2 VAR personnel, so one can continue to monitor the game, whilst the other reviews a potential intervention incident. This is why we have an Assistant Video Assistant Referee for tonight’s game.

Going purely by the MLS appointments published on the PRO website, it appears that only one VAR has been operating. If you know different, please feel free to correct me via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com


GB at 2017-11-10 21:14:28

Excellent turn of pace displayed by AR1 Michal Obukowicz  – fitness is the one thing which will not be questioned of the officials in next years World Cup finals. Any team carrying anyone who cannot make the pace will soon be on their way home.


GB at 2017-11-10 21:11:04

Referee Pawe? Raczkowski is already showing that he is keen to get wide when ever he can to keep the best angle with the play between himself and his AR as much as possible


GB at 2017-11-10 21:09:02

Good delayed offside signal by AR2: Rados?aw Siejka then as he waited to see if the German player was going to continue his run and get involved in the active play


GB at 2017-11-10 21:05:27

Chances at both ends in the opening 2 minutes!

Have to say I was surprised the Referee was not as close to the mix up in the England defence as he was to the chance on Germany’s goal.

Kick Off

GB at 2017-11-10 21:03:14

Germany won the toss so it will be England to kick off.

Good luck to all! And may the ball run kindly for you.

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com


GB at 2017-11-10 20:52:38


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GB at 2017-11-10 20:50:07


A detailed synopsis of the current IFAB VAR Protocol is available now for you to read at Video Referee used England-v-Germany


GB at 2017-11-10 20:46:59


Today’s officials are all from Poland:

Referee: Pawe? Raczkowski

AR1: Micha? Obukowicz (Technical Area)

AR2: Rados?aw Siejka

4th Official: Daniel Stefa?ski

Video Assistant Referee: Pawe? Gil
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Marcin Borkowski

Tonight’s 34 years old Referee was awarded his FIFA Badge in 2013. He has operated in the top Polish League since 2010 and participated in the European Championships Finals in 2016, where he took charge of 3 games in the Group stages including England’s 1 – 0 win over Ireland.

Pawe? Raczkowski and his team get the opportunity tonight to “experiment” with the VAR technology for the first time “officially” in England. At least the selection of a team who are familiar with its operation, having used it in top League in Poland this season, is encouraging, but whether this will prove to be a fair test in a non-competitive game remains to be seen at the moment.

Here is the full list of reviewable Incidents

  1. Goals
  2. Penalty Kicks
  3. Red Cards
  4. Mistaken Identity

One this is for sure though, last night’s fixture between Northern Ireland and Switzerland would have been a perfect stage to see VAR in action …….. or would it?

Anyone who has seen one of the most outrageous “hand ball” decisions for many a year (which led to the penalty award to Switzerland), may be mistaken if they think that VAR would have sorted that one out. Penalty decisions certainly fall into the category of events which the VAR can alert the referee to if they feel genuine mistake has been made, but would he have changed his decision I wonder?

You do not need a dictionary definition to understand what the word “deliberate” means, so the fundamental question following that pivotal decision in last night’s game has to be “How on earth can the actions of the Irish player have been interpreted as “a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with the hand or arm” in the first place?
Was there:

  • “… a movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)”?

Did the Referee take into consideration:

  • “the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)? – go figure!

Everyone who is eagerly awaiting the full implementation of VAR will understandably have expected this type of clear error to be corrected, as the referee did not have the optimum angle to make such a critical decision with certainty. In this case, the correct restart after the intervention of the VAR would have been a drop ball (as play had been stopped), and let’s not even start the debate about whether it would be contested or not. But as we saw in the Confederations Cup Final earlier this year, there is no guarantee that the man in the middle will change his mind, even having seen the replay! And that’s where the enigma lays with me, as it has already shown all over the world that it will never be perfect.

Personally I nailed my colours to the mast years ago and said that I did not think VAR would “work”, because of the human element still required, and the confusion and complications caused when either a correct decision is overturned by the VAR, or a contrived restart is required when the VAR corrects a wrong decision.

Following the extensive preparations made in the USA prior to the trials in the second half of the MLS season this year, I was fully prepared to change my opinion and say “This could work”, provided the IFAB Protocol was adhered to, and the personnel working the VAR were experienced enough officials in their own right and adequately trained.

At the current time, I now find myself sitting firmly “on the fence”! The reason for is because what we have seen so far is that the Protocol has not been stuck to at times, and probably more importantly, the current Protocol has been found to be flawed in some respects. There will be much more to say about this across the pages of YATR in the coming weeks and months, before VAR is used in the FA Cup in the New Year.

To be fair though, that is what the trials being conducted all over the world are about, and it has to be said that it is being fully tested in competitive environments. As a result, I sincerely hope that IFAB revisit the Protocol in the light the experienced gained so far, before making the final decision as to whether it will used at the World Cup Finals.


GB at 2017-11-10 20:45:21


Anyone who has ever walked out with the whistle soon realises that there is no such thing as a “Friendly”! And this one will be no exception as England and Germany continue their historical rivalry in the very arena where it all started in earnest 51 years ago!

This 2018 FIFA World Cup “warm-up” match comes soon after both teams comfortably completed their qualifications for the Tournament in Russia. England were well happy with their 10 games undefeated record (W8 D2), Germany, however, did even better with 10 straight wins!

Gareth Southgate’s options are somewhat restricted for this one following a raft of withdrawals: Tottenham trio Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks will all miss out, as will Manchester City pair Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph, as well as Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. Nevertheless, an experimental England might actually provide some much needed entertainment value for the Home crowd which has endured a few damp squids in the past few years.

The last time the sides met was this March, Germany coming out 1-0 winners at Borussia Dortmund’s Ground, inflicting Southgate’s first defeat as England’s Manager.

England haven’t beaten Germany on home turf since 1975, losing 1-0 in 2000, in the final fixture played at the old Wembley Stadium, a game in which Southgate appeared in the starting line-up.

Germany currently top the FIFA World Rankings, whilst England are in 12th place.


GB at 2017-11-10 20:43:21


Welcome to this evenings RefCam coverage of the International Friendly game between England and Germany. Minute by minute commentary from the referee’s perspective is about to follow.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com