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Qatar World Cup 2022 Referee Watch

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With the 2022 Qatar World Cup fast approaching, all the pieces are falling into place with regards to who will be attending at every level of the game. The stadiums are set, thirty two nations have qualified, and squads are soon to be announced.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects in the running of the World Cup is the appointment of officials to each and every game. FIFA officially announced their list of 129 match officials that will be attending Qatar in May. Amongst the 129 are 36 referees, from a total of 29 countries, who have been selected for on field duties. They’ll take charge of the World Cup’s 64 matches, and will be joined by a further 69 assistant referees, and 24 video match referees, whose job it will be to oversee the operation of VAR at the tournament.

Qatar World Cup 2022 Referees:

Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar): 5.00 cards per game domestically, 2.78 cards per game internationally

Ivan Barton (El Salvador): 4.29 cards per game domestically, 4.00 cards per game internationally

Chris Beath (Australia): 5.33 cards per game domestically, 2.00 cards per game internationally

Raphael Claus (Brazil): 5.00 cards per game domestically, 4.00 cards per game internationally

Matthew Conger (New Zealand): 5.25 cards per game domestically, 4.33 cards per game domestically

Ismail Elfath (United States): 5.11 cards per game domestically, 4.75 cards per game internationally

Mario Escobar (Guatemala): 6.17 cards per game domestically, 7.00 cards per game internationally

Alireza Faghani (Iran): 4.93 cards per game domestically, 4.00 cards per game internationally

Stephanie Frappart (France): 4.80 cards per game domestically, 4.40 cards per game internationally

Bakary Gassama (Gambia): 3.33 cards per game domestically, 4.00 cards per game internationally

Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria): 3.13 cards per game domestically, 4.00 cards per game internationally

Victor Gomes (South Africa): 3.75 cards per game domestically, 4.00 cards per game internationally

Istvan Kovacs (Romania): 6.67 cards per game domestically, 4.14 cards per game internationally

Ning Ma (China): 4.13 cards per game domestically, 3.00 cards per game internationally

Danny Makkelie (Netherlands): 3.01 cards per game domestically, 3.70 cards per game internationally

Szymon Marciniak (Poland): 5.00 cards per game domestically, 6.14 cards per game internationally

Said Martinez (Honduras): 4.00 cards per game domestically, 3.50 cards per game domestically

Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain): 3.66 cards per game domestically, 3.22 cards per game internationally

Andres Matias Matonte Cabrera (Uruguay): 7.22 cards per game domestically, 4.40 cards per game internationally

Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed (UAE): 3.87 cards per game domestically, 3.00 cards per game internationally

Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda): 6.00 cards per game internationally,

Maguette N’Diaye (Senegal): 4.00 card per game domestically, 3.00 cards per game internationally

Michael Oliver (England): 3.20 cards per game domestically, 4.56 cards per game internationally

Daniele Orsato (Italy): 3.66 cards per game domestically, 5.50 cards per game internationally

Kevin Ortega (Peru): 6.50 cards per game domestically, 2.75 cards per game internationally

Cesar Ramos (Mexico): 5.47 cards per game domestically, 4.00 cards per game internationally

Fernando Rapallini (Argentina): 5.88 cards per game domestically, 4.00 cards per game internationally

Wilton Sampaio (Brazil): 5.25 cards per game domestically, 3.75 cards per game internationally

Daniel Siebert (Germany): 4.50 cards per game domestically, 3.44 cards per game internationally

Janny Sikazwe (Zambia): 2.67 cards per game domestically, 4.67 cards per game internationally

Anthony Taylor (England): 3.50 cards per game domestically, 3.67 cards  per game internationally

Facundo Tello (Argentina): 5.50 cards per game domestically, 4.14 cards per game internationally

Clement Turpin (France): 3.34 cards per game domestically, 2.78 cards per game internationally

Jesus Valenzuela (Venezuela): 6.88 cards per game domestically, 5.50 cards per game internationally

Slavko Vincic (Slovenia): 4.17 cards per game domestically, 3.29 cards per game internationally

Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan): 2.43 cards per game domestically.

Referees to Watch:

History will be made in the refereeing department at what is already a tournament of firsts. Stephanie Frappart of France, Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda, and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan will be the first women to officiate at a FIFA men’s World Cup. Mukansanga became the first woman to officiate a game at the African Cup of Nations earlier this year, whilst Frappart at Yamashita have both consistently been refereeing in Ligue 1 and the J-League respectively this season.

Elsewhere, household names will be joined by first timers, as Fifa have appointed perhaps their most diverse list of officials to date. From Europe, Antonio Mateu Lahoz is perhaps best known for his fantastically measured performance in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final in which Chelsea overcame Man City. Polish referee Szymon Marciniak is well known for his no-nonsense approach around Europe, whilst Istvan Kovacs is another card happy ref, brandishing over 6 per game domestically. For fans of the Premier League, Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver are the two english representatives.

A strong African contingent will be heading to Qatar this month. Amongst them is Victor Gomes, a South African who refereed the African Cup of Nations final. That game was given to him off the back of several strong performances in the earlier stages, and Gomes is known for a tough, yet respectful approach, hence the lack of cards in his domestic outings. Bakary Gassama will be a name known to some after his controversial penalty decision that saw Ghana beat South Africa to a World Cup playoff spot. His games tend to be tame affairs, with no more than 4 cards being brandished on average, and the nations taking part in the tournament will be hoping it stays that way.

The South American referees will certainly be worth keeping an eye on throughout the tournament. Of the 5 CONMEBOL representatives that are attending, not a single one averages less than 5 cards a game. In fact, the region boasts the two most card-happy refs set to take the pitch at the tournament, with Andres Matias Matonte Cabrera of Uruguay averaging over 7 cards per game domestically, and Jesus Valenzuela of Venezuela averaging 6.88. The referees of South America see a sharp drop in their card output when officiating international fixtures, but expect the cards to fly when tensions rise later into the group stages.

There are also a total of 12 referees from the CONCACAF and AFC federations combined with Qatari referee Abdulrahman AL-Jassim being presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to officiate in his home country at his first ever World Cup. Guatemalan official Mario Escobar has the highest average for cards per game when combining both domestic and international fixtures, and will be one to watch early on in the tournament.

All of this highlights as to how this is shaping up to be one of the most diverse World Cups yet, and we’re getting ever closer to that November 20th date, where the first whistle will be blown.

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