World Cup 2022 referees: Who will officiate the matches in Qatar?

Anthony Taylor refereeing Aston Villa vs Manchester United - Reuters
Anthony Taylor refereeing Aston Villa vs Manchester United – Reuters

Hopefully, we won’t be talking too much about the spiritual heirs to the Russian linesman, Frank Lampard’s goal that was over the line, or Charles Corver failing to send off Toni Schumacher for cleaning out Patrick Battiston… but we probably will, won’t we?

Here, we get to know the referees and assistant refs that we will all be shouting at on the telly over the next month.

How many referees will be working at Qatar 2002?

36 referees will take charge of the 64 matches in the World Cup tournament. They come from 29 different countries.

Which country has the most referees at the World Cup?

19 different nations are represented; four countries have two. That’s serial World Cup winners France, Brazil, Argentina and, what do you know, little old England.

So how many English referees are going to the World Cup?

England will have two referees. They are Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor.

Does Wales have a referee at the World Cup?

Unfortunately, no.

Who is the most famous referee at the World Cup?

The most familiar names to England eyes might be the Premier League pair of Oliver and Taylor, but Champions League viewers will recognise Slavko Vinčić of Slovenia, Antonio Mateu Lahoz of Spain and Clement Turpin of France.

Any local men in black (or other Fifa-mandated shirt colour?)

All hail Abdulrahman Al Jassim, will become the first Qatari referee in World Cup history.

Who will be the referees at Qatar World Cup 2022?

Ivan Barton (Slovenia)

Chris Beath (Australia)

Raphael Claus (Brazil)

Matthew Conger (New Zealand)

Ismail Elfath (United States)

Mario Escobar (Guatemala)

Alireza Faghani (Iran)

Stephanie Frappart (France)

Bakary Gassama (Gambia)

Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)

Victor Gomes (South Africa)

Istvan Kovacs (Romania)

Ning Ma (China)

Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)

Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

Antonio Mateu (Spain)

Andres Matias Matonte Cabrera (Uruguay)

Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE)

Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda)

Maguette N’Diaye (Senegal)

Michael Oliver (England)

Daniele Orsato (Italy)

Kevin Ortega (Peru)

Cesar Ramos (Mexico)

Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)

Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)

Daniel Siebert (Germany)

Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)

Anthony Taylor (England)

Facundo Tello (Argentina)

Clement Turpin (France)

Jesus Valenzuela (Venezuela)

How many assistant referees and video referees will there be at the World Cup?

There will be 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials. Var will be in use at the World Cup.

Are there any female referees at the Qatar World Cup?

Yes! It will be a historic World Cup for officiating because Stephanie Frappart of France, Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan will be running games.

And are there any female assistant referees?

Yes, bad news for Qatar’s favourite migrant workers Richard Keys and Andy Gray. Neuza Back of Brazil, Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico and Kathyrn Nesbitt of the United States are assistant referees.

What referees at Qatar have got history with England?

Dutchman Danny Makkelie was in charge of England’s 2020 Euro semi-final with Denmark and was criticised for giving the foul on Raheem Sterling in extra time.

Slavko Vinčić of Slovenia has a wealth of continental competition experience; Arsenal fans might remember him from their 2021 Europa League semi with Villareal. He was also the referee for the 2022 UEFA Europa League Final between Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers.

Antonio Mateu Lahoz, the Spaniard, was in charge of the 2021 Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea.

Do they mix and match the refs and assistant refs?

No, they come as a power trio.

How do they pick the referees at the Fifa World Cup?

All the refs are Fifa Grade 1, they have to be nominated by their national association. They also have to pass fitness tests – presumably in conditions that are something like Doha in November, not Doncaster – over 40 metre sprints, and an interval test featuring 75-metre sprints and two 12.5 metre recovery walks.

Who are the strictest refs at the World Cup?

Keep an eye out for Italian Daniele Orsato; he has dished out 33 cards (one of which was a red) as well as giving two penalties all in just five European qualifiers to Qatar.

Frenchwoman Stephanie Frappart only did two qualifying games but produced 10 cards.

Further afield, Raphael Claus of Brazil saw fit to put 30 people on his naughty list in just five qualifying matches.

Young Master Michael Oliver, who famously became the youngest Premier League referee at the age of just 25, also has a high yellow card rate: he booked 26 in his five qualifiers.

And finally…

We cannot wait to see Argentina’s Facundo Tello doing his thing. During Argentina’s Champions Trophy final this November, he managed to dish out fully ten red cards after Racing Club midfielder Carlos Alcaraz prompted a massive barney in front of Boca Juniors fans with his match-winning goal celebration.

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