Wolfgang Stark Lays Down the Law with Porto

It’s not often that we get to hear what the referees say to the players before a match. So, I was pretty fascinated to hear Wolfgang Stark’s speech to the Porto and Sevilla captains while watching Fox’s live stream.

First of all, Wolfgang Stark has been there, done that, has the t-shirt. He is not there to babysit.

Here’s exactly what he said:

“Okay, before we start… You know, respect?
(Points to the RESPECT emblem on his sleeve.)
I do my job. You have to do your job.
One of your team comes to me, there’s no respect?
Clear yellow.

Apparently, Porto Captain Eliaquim Mangala forgot to pass that along to his teammates.

Late in the game, Fernando picked up a yellow card, and reacted angrily right in the German’s face. Stark apparently decided there was no respect, and he did say:

No respect = Clear yellow

Fernando was sent off with a second yellow, somewhat flabbergasted. The Porto players claimed that Stark made a mistake and Fernando hadn’t been booked. But on the replay it’s clear he books him and then Fernando goes one step too far. Stark doesn’t hesitate to show the second yellow.

This is one of those times where – if you hadn’t heard what Stark said beforehand – you might be confused or think Stark was power-mad or something.

But Stark could not have been more clear. He told them exactly how he was going to run things, and it was up to the captains to make sure their teams listened.

Fernando didn’t.


  • Good story, will the link via my blog’s twitter account. And even if Stark didn’t say the words you mentioned above, a coach should do his homework properly and tell his players that you should NOT complain to German referees. I think they’re much faster showing a yellow card for talking/complaining.


    • I think, in general, players have to be mindful in Europe that the referees come from all over and all have different styles. They may not referee exactly like you’re used to in your league. That said, Stark was quite clear in his instructions. Porto’s fault for not following them.


  • Agree, instructions were very clear. Good talk to the teams. I also tell the captains that assistants will wait until a player in offside position is actually “active” in play. (On most levels in The Netherlands there are club assistants (so non-neutral).) I want the players to know that they’re not flagging late to help their team, but because they agreed on that with the referee.


    • That’s interesting…ARs in the Netherlands are provided by clubs?


    • Now that you brought it up, I noticed in one of the European matches this week (can’t remember which one now) that a guy was in a clear offside position, and the linesman knew it, but waited until he was in play to flag. So, that “flagging late” thing is likely to be UEFA’s position, too. Now I’m curious…Anyone else know?


  • Can’t change back to my @DutchRefere account, so’ll post it with my personal account and not the blog’s one:

    All AR’s should “wait and see” (Law 6 of Fifa) if someone’s active in play when he was in offside position at the moment of the pass.

    Assistant referees on most youth levels and senior levels are provided by the clubs. Only on the two highest amateur levels and two pro levels the assistants are neutral. How’s that in your country?


    • Well, I’m actually not a referee myself. I’m just a fangirl. 😉

      And I’m not quite as familiar with the lower level clubs in England, but I’m pretty sure that what you’re describing sounds about right…

      I have a friend who assistant referees youth games here in America and he tends to get called a weekend at a time, though. So he’ll take 5-6 games a weekend and never his son’s club. So, who knows?


  • Pingback: The Doctor Is In: Felix Brych | PLAY THE ADVANTAGE

  • Pingback: Referees for Champions League Playoff Second Leg | PLAY THE ADVANTAGE

Tell us what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s