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Ľuboš Micheľ

Ľuboš Micheľ
Born (1968-05-16) May 16, 1968
Stropkov, Czechoslovakia
Other occupation Factory Manager
Years League
–2008 Slovak Superliga
Years League

Ľuboš Micheľ (Slovak pronunciation: ; born May 16, 1968 in Stropkov, Czechoslovakia, now Slovakia) is a former top-level Slovak football referee who currently works as head of the international competitions department of FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

Micheľ became a FIFA referee at the age of 25. One big milestone in his career was refereeing the 2003 UEFA Cup Final between Porto and Celtic. He also appeared at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2004, refereeing the quarter-final between Sweden and the Netherlands.

Micheľ was ranked the world's third best referee in 2005 by the IFFHS, second best in 2006 and third best again in 2007.[1] He was selected as a referee for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also refereed the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Micheľ was a manager of a car tyre factory outside of refereeing,[2] and previously a teacher. He speaks English, Russian, German and Polish in addition to his native Slovak. He founded the society Talent to support young Slovak football players. Micheľ has been a Member of National Council of the Slovak Republic since 2006.

On October 23, 2008 he retired from active referee activity due to problems with Achilles tendon, that should be operated on as soon as possible. Though recovering may take only up to 4 months, Ľuboš Micheľ informed the Slovak Football Association and UEFA, that he will not continue to referee anymore.[3] His last match was the game Metalurh Zaporizhya against Metalist Kharkiv in the Ukrainian Premier League. On October 27, Micheľ signed a contract with Shakhtar Donetsk as the head of the international competitions department.[4]

For a brief period of time between 2006 and 2010, Ľuboš Micheľ was serving as a lawmaker in the Slovak parliament, where he was elected in the 2006 elections. [5]


  • History maker 1
  • 2003 UEFA Cup Final 2
  • UEFA Euro 2004 3
  • 2005 UEFA Champions League 4
  • 2006 FIFA World Cup 5
  • 2008 UEFA Champions League Final 6
  • Euro 2008 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

History maker

When Micheľ took charge of the Paraguay v South Africa game at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he became the first Slovak to referee a FIFA World Cup Finals match. (Three Slovak referees, Martin Macka (1958), Karol Galba (1962, 1966) and Vojtech Christov (1982, 1986) count to Czechoslovakia).

2003 UEFA Cup Final

Micheľ was selected to referee the 2003 UEFA Cup Final in Seville, Spain, between Porto and Celtic, one of the biggest appointments for a UEFA referee.

Controversy arose after a hard fought match in which Porto won 3-2 in extra time, where then Celtic manager Martin O'Neill criticised Micheľ's decision to send off Celtic defender Bobo Baldé for a second bookable offence. O'Neill, who faced a UEFA inquiry because of his complaints about Micheľ's performance,[6] also felt that the match official tolerated an inordinate amount of time wasting.[7]

UEFA Euro 2004

Micheľ officiated at Euro 2004, taking charge of 3 games, during which time he issued 16 yellow cards and 0 reds. At an average of 5.33 cards per game, he was placed sixth on the cards per game table, behind Lucílio Batista (10), Urs Meier (7), and Manuel Gonzalez, Valentin Ivanov and Mike Riley (5.5).

2005 UEFA Champions League

After their semi-final second leg match against Liverpool at Anfield in which the visiting team lost by one goal to nil, Chelsea manager José Mourinho complained that Micheľ and his assistant referee, Roman Slysko, had been wrong to award Liverpool their victory, with what amounted to be a "ghost goal".[8] The next morning, a Sky Sports computerised 're-enactment' suggested the ball had not crossed the line, and that Micheľ would have been unable to see it from his angle.[9]

After studying a series of still images of the incident, motion expert Mike Spann disagreed, and concluded that Micheľ had made the correct decision.[10]

The positioning and body movements of Chelsea's William Gallas, who tried to clear Luis Garcia's shot with his right foot, as well as the movement of the ball relative to Gallas, led Dr Spann to conclude: "It was a goal."[10]

Micheľ himself stated that his decision was based on the reaction of the assistant referee, and had he not awarded Liverpool the goal, he would have had no other alternative but to award them a penalty kick and send off Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech for a foul on Milan Baroš. "I believe Chelsea would have preferred the goal to count rather than face a penalty with just ten men for the rest of the game. If my assistant referee had not signaled a goal, I would have given a penalty and sent off goalkeeper Petr Čech."[11]

2006 FIFA World Cup

Micheľ was selected as one of 21 referees for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. After his performance in the first two rounds, FIFA chose him as one of twelve referees to officiate the final eight games of the tournament. Micheľ has handed out the second highest number of cards per match (8) of any referee in the tournament. The only person with a higher tally is Valentin Ivanov, who has handed out an average of ten.

Micheľ matches have been considered tempestuous. In the group stage he took charge of the game between Portugal and Mexico; the game ending 2–1 to Portugal. He issued 8 yellow cards, sent a player off for diving, gave two penalties, and rejected a claim for one in the second half.

In the Round of 16 he took charge of the Brazil-Ghana match, won by Brazil 3-0. Controversy arose when his assistant failed to call an offside on a play that led to the second Brazilian goal. He sent off one Ghanaian player for diving and ordered the Ghana coach, Ratomir Dujković, to leave the field after the coach argued with him about the offside goal. Dujković accused Micheľ of bias, but those remarks were reproached by Brazil national team coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who said that the protesting of the sort that Dujković did is what "losers" do.[12]

Micheľ refereed the quarterfinals loss of Argentina to the hosts Germany, which was tied 1-1 and went into extra time and ended on penalty kicks. He handed out seven yellows during the match. Micheľ gave a red card to Argentina's unused substitute Leandro Damián Cufré for kicking Per Mertesacker during the post-game melee involving the two teams and some members of their coaching staffs.[13]

2008 UEFA Champions League Final

Micheľ was selected to be the referee of the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, the match between Manchester United and Chelsea. The match went to a penalty shootout which, after much excitement, was eventually won by Manchester United. Micheľ became only the second referee to give a red card in a UEFA Champions League Final (the first being Terje Hauge in 2006) when he sent Didier Drogba off in extra time for a slap at Nemanja Vidić's chin.[14]

Euro 2008

Michel was selected to be a referee at the UEFA Euro 2008:


  1. ^ International Federation of Football History & Statistics (
  2. ^ - referee - Lubos Michel - bio
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ UEFA may discipline O'Neill over comments RTÉ News 22 May 2003
  7. ^ Dark side of the moon for Chelsea as "ghost goal' ref Michel returns to haunt them in Champions League Final Daily Mail 19 May 2008
  8. ^ The world according to Mourinho BBC News Online 31 October 2005
  9. ^ They think the García debate is all over - it is now The Times 5 May 2005
  10. ^ a b Motion expert says Garcia's shot did cross the line The Independent 5 May 2005
  11. ^ Barnes, David. "Anfield ref: I reckon I did Chelsea a favour", The People 8 May 2005
  12. ^ Ghana coach says ref was biased BBC News Online 27 June 2006
  13. ^ Ugly scenes mar Germany triumph BBC News Online 30 June 2006
  14. ^ Match report

External links

  • Micheľ interview (in Slovak)
  • FIFA Profile
  • [2]
Preceded by
Vítor Melo Pereira
UEFA Cup Final referees
Ľuboš Micheľ
Succeeded by
Pierluigi Collina
Preceded by
Valentin Ivanov
FIFA Confederations Cup Final referees
Ľuboš Micheľ
Succeeded by
Martin Hansson
Preceded by
Herbert Fandel
UEFA Champions League Final referees
Ľuboš Micheľ
Succeeded by
Massimo Busacca
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