Academy Coach: Leif Lindberg

Today we start presenting this year’s TA Referee Academy coaches.

In the history of refereeing, there is only one official who can claim to have been involved in both a World Cup final and a Euro Championship final, an Assistant Referee.

That AR is Leif Lindberg, from Sweden, who had the duty and honour of assisting the two best referees in modern history – Pierluigi Collina in the 2002 World Cup Final, and Anders Frisk in the 2000 Euro Championship Final.

We are honoured to announce that Leif had accepted our invitation to attend, as a coach, the next edition of the “TA Referee Academy” which will take place during the Paris World Games, July 7th-13th in France.

Following his retirement from active refereeing, Leif Lindberg has carried on to become one of UEFA’s most respected Assistant Referee coaches, working alongside Pierluigi Collina in mentoring the new generation of officials during numerous CORE courses.

Collina himself once described Lindberg as “one of the most experienced assistant referee coaches I know, somebody who has the knowledge and can bring additional value to my work”.

“Leif Lindberg is one of the best assistant referees in the history of refereeing. What a privilege to have him as part of our Academy set-up. He brings additional value to our project and I look forward to working with him in Paris very soon”, said Tournaments Abroad President Daniele Curcio.

Referees from Latvia at the Paris World Games

Tournaments Abroad is happy to announce today the partnership with yet another new national FA, the Latvian Football Federation.

The Latvian referee department, led by FIFA referee Aleksandrs Anufrijevs, has in fact decided to send 3 of its young up-and-coming national referees, alongside one observer, to this year’s Paris World Games, which take place July 7th-13th in Paris, France.

The referee selected are:

Jevgenijs Keziks (referee)

Arturs Sakurovs (assistant referee)

Nikita Ivlevs (assistant referee)

The observer will instead be Jurijs Popovicenko.

“We are very happy to welcome representative of the Latvian FA to our tournament”, said Tournaments Abroad’s President Daniele Curcio, “it will be a great opportunity both for our tournament and for the development of these young referees in an international environment”.

All three referees are in fact part of the Latvian Referee Academy, an educational program set-up by the national FA to select the top-class referees of the future.

This year’s Paris World Games will be the most international ever, with around 150 referees from 30 different nations.

Welcome Latvia to Tournaments Abroad, and the Paris World Games!

IberCup Cascais Final Refs

IberCup Cascais gather 50 referees from 15 nations

The most well-known youth tournament, the IberCup, kicked off 2018 with the Cascais edition, taking place over Easter week just a few stops from Lisbon in Portugal.

A professional tournament – including the likes of Gremio, Werder Bremen, FC Barcelona, Atletico de Madrid and numerous others – was officiated by Tournaments Abroad’s officials: 50 from 15 different countries, including Afghanistan, Lebanon and Nepal.

The group was well-aligned and gelled immediately, creating an excellent, constructive atmosphere and undoubtedly helping them in professionally officiating hundreds of games across the week.

The two major finals in the U13 and U15 categories saw Gremio (Brasil) v Benfica (Portugal) and Blackburn Rovers (England) v CS Ashdod (Israel) respectively. Congratulations to the referees involved in the games: Jacob Ratcliffe (England – Staffordshire), ARs Harley Golder (England – Norfolk) and Moe Bazzi (Lebanon), 4th official Michal Haring (Slovakia) for the U13 Final, and Henrique Sousa (Portugal), ARs Carlos Hurtado (USA) and Bruno Costa (Portugal), 4th official Sönke Schlemmer (Germany) for the U15 Final.

It was also a pleasure to work alongside famous referee blogger Jan “DutchReferee” who came to see and observe at our tournament. You can read about his experiences here.

What the referees said

Europe was such an incredible experience. Hands down the best time of my life! I met so many cool new friends in Portugal and was blessed to receive a Final!- Carlos Hurtado, USA.

Wonderful tournament has come to an end with unforgettable moments with my newly-made friends. All of them were professional and it was my pleasure to work with them. I want to especially thanks to Tournaments Abroad for giving me this huge opportunity – Sanjay Karki, Nepal

Ibercup Cascais 2018: What a week! Thank you Tournaments Abroad for the opportunity to referee on such a high level – Dries Saenen, Belgium

A fantastic week in Cascais came to an end for me with the U15 Final! I refereed 14 games across the week with teams from 10 countries. Besides the great experience, I also met many great people and had a great week. Thank you Tournaments Abroad and all for the organisation! See you at Ibercup 2019! - Sönke Schlemmer, Germany


Academy Meeting in Vienna

The leadership of the TA Referee Academy, led by Academy director Niclas Erdmann and Tournaments Abroad President Daniele Curcio, will meet in Vienna, Austria on March 7th to discuss future development for the the well known referee development project launched last year.

“After a successful 1st edition of our Academy, we’re looking forward to strenghtening the concept and make it even more successful in the future”, said Curcio.

The Academy meeting will be mainly focused on the educational content of this year’s edition for which 20 referees from all around the world have been selected.

“We aim at announcing all names of coaches and observers who will support this year’s edition after our meeting”, Curcio added.

UEFA Referee observers and FIFA instructors the likes of Jozef Marko, Uno Tutk and Adrian Casha have participated in the past.

If you are a young referee and you’re interested in reading more about the Referee Academy, please visit the dedicated page.

If you’re interested in attending as staff, one place is offered to young people interested in football and refereeing who want to see the “behind the scenes” of Europe’s most innovative referee development project. To attend as staff, please fill out the form available at this link and you’ll hear from us soon.

First Nepalese Referee!

One of the goals of Tournaments Abroad is to allow young referees from all around the globe to experience international refereeing. Over the years, officials from more than 40 different countries and all six continents have become part of the Tournaments Abroad family.

In 2018 we will, for the first time, welcome a referee from the beautiful himalayan country of Nepal. Sanjay Karki is 23 years old and is a qualified referee for the All Nepal Football Association. He will be attending the Ibercup Cascais in Lisbon, Portugal and the Paris World Games in Paris, France.

Hello Sanjay, nice to meet you. You are the 1st ever Nepalese referee to take part to one of the events organized by Tournaments Abroad. How does it feel?

First of all, I’d really like to thank everybody at Tournaments Abroad for giving me this huge opportunity. I’d like to thank Mr Daniele Curcio for believing and encouraging me to be part of these fantastic events. Being able to represent our Motherland is for me an unbelievable opportunity, and a very proud moment. I can’t deny there is also a lot of pressure on me, being the first ever Nepalese referee. It’s really a unique opportunity for me.

Tell us a bit about your refereeing career. When did you become a referee? and how does refereeing work in Nepal?

I started refereeing in August 2012 after completing my referee course. Since that I’ve never looked back and taken refereeing as my profession. Refereeing in Nepal is not easy, you have to deal with a lot of pressure and problems, especially the players who don’t know the laws of the game.  In Nepal there are two levels of refereeing: National and FIFA. In order to attain National status you need to prove to have good experience and good knowledge of the laws of the game, and also passion for refereeing. If you succeed in all this, you may get FIFA status after a recommendation from the All Nepal Football Association.

You’re attending two different tournaments this year – The Ibercup Cascais in Lisbon, Portugal and the Paris World Games in France. What are your expectations about these events? What do you think you will learn from them?

Becoming a referee for Tournaments Abroad is for me a huge opportunity and a life changing moment. I believe it’s the same for every referee. I’m really looking forward to the Ibercup Cascais and the Paris World Games. I hope I will learn new things after meeting so many referees from so many different countries, and I hope I will also make new friends with whom I can share thoughts and ideas. I’m sure that thanks to these tournaments I’ll be able to broaden my knowledge of refereeing, and take my refereeing to the next level.

Are you looking forward to working with referees and observers from 15 other countries? How are you preparing ahead of the event?

I am, very much. I love the idea of working with observers and referees from Europe, America and a lot of different nations. They will help me a lot. I’m trying to be prepared both physically and mentally for the upcoming events. For example, I’m watching a lot of refereeing videos, refreshing the laws of the game and increasing my fitness levels too.

“Counting on the first ever Nepalese referee is a great honour for us, we hope this is just the start and we will be able to get more and more Asian referees involved in our project in the future”, said Tournaments Abroad President Daniele Curcio. Nepal is the 53rd country to be represented by one of his own referees in a Tournaments Abroad event.

Thank you Sanjay, we look forward to working with you very soon!

We’re going to South America!

Tournaments Abroad is going to South America!

We’re happy to announce that, following successful negotiations with our partners at the Ibercup, Tournaments Abroad has been named responsible for organizing and managing the referee department of yet another great international youth football tournament: the Ibercup Brasil.

Taking place in the charming city of Porto Alegre, the home of internationally renowed clubs Gremio and Internacional in southern Brasil, the tournament will be the first Ibercup edition to take place in the Conmebol area.

Co-hosted by Gremio Football Club, which will lend some of its top class facilities, the tournament will see top clubs from all around the region compete in what promises to be a great tournament, and a unique opportunity for our referees.

All Tournaments Abroad referees are welcome to apply for this event which will take place in January 2019. For those who literally “can’t wait”, we can also offer the possibility of attending the Ibercup Brasil qualification tournaments which will be organized in Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre ahead of the main tournament. The dates are as follows:

- Ibercup Brasil (15th-20th January 2019)

- Ibercup qualifier in Sao Paulo (19th-22nd July 2018)

- Ibercup qualifier in Sao Paulo (12th-14th October 2018)

If you wish to apply for the Ibercup Brasil, please visit the dedicated page. If instead you’d like to apply for one of the qualifiers send us an email to

For all referees interested in the Ibercup Brasil, we have also secured a deal with a tournament in Argentina for a limited number of referees who would like to make this a tour and stay longer in South America. More information will be available soon.

Two World Cups for TA Referees.

A gret new opportunity for all Tournaments Abroad referees who, for the first time in our history, will be involved in two different World Cups.

2018 will in fact be the year of the CONIFA (Confederation Of Indipendent Football Associations) World Cup, which will be held in London, England, UK from June 1st to June 10th 2018 but also the year of the FIFCO (Federation International Football COrporate) World Cup which will instead take place in Montreal, Canada from June 28th to July 2nd 2018.

For the CONIFA World Cup, Tournaments Abroad will be involved in the selection of 4 officials who will work together throughout the tournament and referee national teams the likes of North Cyprus, Abkhazia, Padania and Tibet.

For the FIFCO World Cup instead, Tournaments Abroad will be involved in the selection of 3 referees from North America, 3 from Europe, 1 from South America, 1 from Asia/Oceania and 1 from Africa, who will be the officials taking care of the games there.

All referees selected for the CONIFA World Cup in London will receive free accommodation, meals and local transport throughout the event, as well as CONIFA referee uniforms. All referees selected for the FIFCO World Cup in Montreal will also receive free accommodation, meals, local transport, FIFCO referee uniforms as well as some moderate game fees.

In order to be considered for both event, you must be over the age of 21, and have been a referee in one or more Tournaments Abroad events previously.

Interested, then send your candidacy with a short motivational statement to either our Facebook page or specifying which World Cup you’d like to apply for. Selection will be finalized by the end of February 2018.

More information on the CONIFA World Cup is available here:

More information on the FIFCO World Cup is available here:

We’re looking for Assessors/Observers

Are you an observer/assessor?

We’re currently looking for qualified observers to join us for our summer international tournaments in Portugal, Spain, France, USA and China.

One of the main objectives for Tournaments Abroad is to help young up-and-coming referees to develop and improve their refereeing skills. This would not be possible without the support of the many observers, from England, Germany and other countries, who come to our events every year.

For 2018 we’re looking for qualified observers for the following tournaments:

Ibercup Cascais in Lisbon, Portugal (27th-31st March 2018)

- Ibercup Estoril in Lisbon, Portugal (

- Ibercup Barcelona in Lloret, Spain (

- Paris World Games in Paris, France (7th – 13th July 2018)

- Gothia Cup China (13th-19th August 2018)

For more information, please read the dedicated page or take a look at the letter below by our observers coordinator, John D’Arcy.

You can also APPLY here.


To; Observers / Developers

From; John D’Arcy – Observers Co-ordinator

Following on from the announcement that I have joined Tournaments Abroad team to support the strategy that the all the selected tournaments will adopt for 2017-2018 and beyond with regards to Observers and Developers of Match Officials. I have been fortunate to have witnessed the good work many have put into events in Estoril and Paris and know from feedback that this is mirrored across all the competitions. My task is to try and put in place a standardised approach to the events where observers will be invited and the product we supply supports the development of the referees. In a tournament setting it is important that the match officials receive a dynamic post match debrief where any strengths are highlighted and any development opportunities discussed, balanced against the need to reduce the time observers spend after the matches to then returning to their hotels to write match reports late into the evening. I believe that it is the verbal interaction with the match officials which will be the most important aspect to this and then a small report handed to the official at the time or emailed to them shortly after the game. Assistant Referees’ will only receive a verbal debrief. I am currently working on a template which I hope will limit the time you as developers spend with administration and my aim is it will allow you to either print off and hand write /deliver or email to the official(s) later in the day. Having completed this you would then email the form to the designated lead Observer for the tournament and add in the body of the email (not the form) a mark which at present will remain under the UEFA Marking System. The mark will be for the Match Referee and Assistant Referee. No mark will be required for a 4th Official where appointed. I am currently looking at the interest of those willing to support the work already being undertaken across the five nominated tournaments which are – • Ibercup Cascais (27-31 march) • Ibercup Estoril (2-7 July) • Paris World Games (7-13 July) • Ibercup Barcelona (10-14 July) • Gothia Cup China (13-19 August) Once the overall packages are known I will circulate the details but to enable the Leadership team to assess the interest please register on-line at Alternatively if you have any initial enquiries / questions please email me at

For your information the selected tournaments for 2017-2018 will be – • Barcelona (10) • Paris (20) • Estoril (10) • Cascais (10) • China (TBC) • Surf Cup (TBC) The exact numbers required are as yet unknown but the largest contingent will be in Paris. I will be looking to ensure we have the right balance at all the tournaments in terms of experience etc across the Observers / Developers team and further information will be circulated as soon they are known. Have a look on the TA Website where some of the dates etc have been released. I offered to support Daniele in this venture as I have enjoyed the tournaments I have been present at and the people I have met and worked alongside. I can assure you I have also developed as a Match Observer back in the UK with the support and guidance from those from the Professional Game as well as our colleagues from UEFA and FIFA.


Staff at the 2018 Summer Tournaments

Tournaments Abroad is once again looking for some staff members for the 2018 tournament season.

If you’re interested in an experience with referees from all over the world, in a supporting role such as member of the referee office or referee staff (basically, helping running referee operations), this is the perfect experience for you.

Every year we recruit around 10 staff members to help us manage referees during the Ibercup Cascais, Ibercup Estoril, Ibercup Barcelona and Paris World Games.

Staff members need to fund their own travel to/from the tournament location however are entitled to:

- Free accommodation in 3/4 stars hotel

- Free meals throughout the week

- Free local transport

- A final certificate to state you’ve helped in organizing and running an international tournament.

You can find out more about the different roles on the “Work for Us” page.

If you are interested, send your candidacy to or by filling out our “Staff Questionnaire”.

The questionnaire is available in English (HERE) or Italian (HERE).

You can also contact us on Facebook!

Referee in California in 2018

Tournaments Abroad is happy to announce that, after a successful 1st edition during the summer of 2017, our “refereeing tour” of California will be back for a 2nd edition in 2018.

Have you ever thought about visiting America’s most famous state while refereeing? now it’s possible.

We will visit California during the month of July 2018, and referee during two of the state’s most famous youth football events: the Davis Legacy Showcase and the Surf Cup.

Our group, led by our President and Academy Director Daniele Curcio, will first visit Northern California and the area around San Francisco and Sacramento where they’ll be invited to referee at a tournament in the college town of Davis (20th-23rd of July 2018). After refereeing the finals of Northern California’s most famous tournament, we will embark on a trip south, to reach San Diego and referee in the Surf Cup, one of America’s most reputable tournaments.

During the days between the tournaments it’ll be possible to do some sightseeing and visit cities or parks in the vicinity such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon. The tour will then finish either at the end of the Surf Cup Olders weekend (30th July) or, for those who want to stay extra, at the end of the Surf Cup Youngers weekend (6th August).

Interested or want to know more?

You can visit each of the tournament pages at the links below.

Davis Legacy Showcase

Surf Cup

If you’re then interested in applying, simply click here.

You can also contact us at for more info.