The Ref Book
They may not get a lot of love from fans, but without the men in the middle, there would be no World Cup. In Coral’s Referee Book, we put the spotlight on those who will officiate this summer in Russia, looking at which of the 35 referees are the most experienced, the most card happy and most likely to give a penalty, all displayed in the first sticker-style referee card resource.*
Check out latest odds on the upcoming World Cup matches for red cards, penalties and more.
Meet the World cup referees
Much like players, referees from all over the world have been looking to perform at the highest level to be selected for this summer’s tournament in Russia. FIFA have managed to whittle down the list to 35 lucky officials who will take to the field in football’s biggest tournament.
Our Coral Ref Book statistics found:
A huge gulf in experience:
- Felix Brych, Germany = Most Experienced – Refereed the most games (468)
- John Pitti, Panama = Most inexperienced (part-time teacher) – Officiated at the least number of games (35)
Number of cards issued:
- Wilmar Roldan, Colombia = Most card happy – Most Yellow Cards per game (5.4) and the most likely to give a red card (once every 3 games)
- Bakary Gassama, Gambia = Least likely to give a red card (one red card in 76 games)
England’s Penalty ‘Curse’:
- Mehdi Abid Charef, Algeria – Most likely to give a penalty (one every 2 games)
- Ricardo Montero, Costa Rica – Least likely to give a penalty (one every 10 games)
Who will crack under the pressure? Or can they handle the intense scrutiny that only a World Cup brings? Use Coral’s Referee Book below to get to know each of the World Cup Referee squad. Filter by red cards, yellow cards and penalties, and check out the refs officiating England’s matches, indicated with an England flag.
Click on the referee faces below and select the filters to reveal the key statistics
Video Assistant Referee (VAR) allows referees to make more accurate decisions by checking four sorts of incidents:
- Direct red cards
- Goals, inclusive of offences that occur in the build up
- Mistaken identity (if the wrong player is shown a yellow or red card)
- Penalties given, inclusive of offences that occur in the build up
This year will be the first time VAR is used in a World Cup. A video assistant referee team will be located in a central video operation room in Moscow during all 64 matches to support the referees in their decision making. Check out our video to find out more about how it all works.
Dissent in football is rife. Whether it is in the stands, on the sidelines or on the pitch, everyone always finds innovative and often abusive ways to criticise the referee. The world’s governing body have been looking to clamp down on this and that’s why the first ever green cards were shown in the CONFIFA tournament on 2nd June.
It was brandished by Raymond Mashamba in the Pandavia and Tuvalu match in a tournament created for small countries that aren’t FIFA accredited. It’s perhaps too early to say whether it will catch on and act as a serious deterrent for players and coaching staff to abuse a referee. However, should it prove effective, then referees officiating in the World Cup could be brandishing it alongside their yellow and red cards. With goal-line technology and now VAR proving to be a popular inclusion in top flight football, it might not be long until the green card is the next addition to ways of helping a referee gain control of a football match.
Here’s the full list of 35 referees and Coral’s top facts and trivia you should know:
*Data sourced from http://transfermarkt.co.uk/