Anticipation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup continues to build as the biggest tournament in international football kicks off in Qatar.
A first winter competition in the northern hemisphere is one of many historic firsts for the 2022 World Cup as 32 teams make the journey to the Middle East.
While the players are always the main attraction, match officials inevitably find their way into the spotlight during the four-yearly tournament.
VAR decisions are likely to be a major bone of contention in Qatar and referees with the power to make those decisions will come under scrutiny.
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The Sporting News looks at the people who will make these decisions:
List of World Cup referees 2022
All of FIFA’s six continental federations will be represented at the World Cup, including 36 referees from 29 countries to officiate the 64 matches of the tournament.
OFC won’t have a national team at the 2022 World Cup, but they do have New Zealand official Matthew Conger flying the continental flag.
Here is the full list of referees for the 2022 World Cup:
- Ivan Barton (Slovenia
- Chris Beat (Australia)
- Raphael Claus (Brazil)
- Matthew Conger (New Zealand)
- Ismail Elfath (USA)
- Mario Escobar (Guatemala)
- Alireza Faghani (Iran)
- Stephanie Frappart (France)
- Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
- Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)
- Victor Gomes (South Africa)
- Istvan Kovacs (Romania)
- Ningma (China)
- Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
- Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
- Antonio Mateu (Spain)
- Andrés 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)
- Clemens Turpin (France)
- Jesus Valenzuela (Venezuela)
Best Referee World Cup 2022
As part of the long list of referees who will referee matches at the World Cup, there are a number of names that will be familiar to European football fans.
Danny Makkelie, Antonio Mateu, Michael Oliver, Anthony Taylor and Clement Turpin are the eye-catching officials in Qatar, all with years of Premier League, La Liga and Champions League experience.
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World Cup final referee
FIFA is expected to confirm their plans on who will referee the knockout stages in the early stages of the competition, with fans already speculating as to who will get the final job in Lusail on December 18.
Turpin and Lahoz could be the two main names to watch out for after taking charge of the 2022 and 2021 Champions League finals respectively.
How much salary do World Cup referees get?
2022 World Cup referee salaries are not widely available.
However, according to several reports, referees at the 2018 World Cup were paid a total of $70,000 – a significant increase from the $50,000 they earned at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – plus $3,000 per game.
Languages World Cup referees speak: How do referees communicate at the World Cup?
Communication is crucial for referees at big games as they aim to stay in control of what is happening on the pitch, speaking to players and coaches and collaborating with other officials and VARs.
With 32 teams on the pitch, around 20 different languages could be spoken on the pitch and FIFA lists the official languages spoken by their referees as English, Spanish, French and German.