American assistant referee Kathryn Nesbitt has been selected for the last-16 clash between England and Senegal at Al-Bayt Stadium and will become the first female official to run the line at a World Cup match with England.
Nesbitt, who was a chemistry professor at Towson University before refereeing full-time, is part of the group for women referees and assistants picked for Fifa’s biggest tournament for the first time in Qatar.
Ivan Barton has been named referee for England’s last-16 fixture against Senegal on Sunday evening, with fellow El Salvador official David Moran his other assistant along with Nesbitt.
Gareth Southgate’s team have had Japanese referee Yoshimi Yamashita as fourth official for their last two matches but Nesbitt will be the first female official away from the technical area for a World Cup match.
Nesbitt has spoken about the competition among referees and adjusting to the heat of Doha earlier in the tournament. “I think that we have all been invited here as similar referees. We have all earned the position to be here and that is how we feel, one team,” she said.
“It is the same as the player, everyone here has made it to the top competition and now wants the No 1 match. Of course there is utmost respect and want to support each other on and off the field as a team of referees. I come from very much a colder climate but am enjoying the sun, it’s been manageable.”
She became the first woman to officiate in a cup final in men's football when she was an assistant in the MLS Cup between Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders in 2020. She was a professor and specialised in analytical chemistry before going full-time with refereeing before the Women’s World Cup in 2019.
“I spent ten years doing my own research and starting my own lab at the university,” she said. “My background in research is on figuring out better ways to analyse brain chemicals, and our lab focused on developing, improving and optimising the techniques for sampling brain chemicals and then analysing them."
How many referees are working at Qatar 2002?
36 referees will take charge of the 64 matches in the World Cup tournament. Those referees come from 29 different countries.
Which country has the most referees at the World Cup?
Of the different nations 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 at the World Cup?
England have two referees – Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor.
Does Wales have a referee at the World Cup?
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, who becomes the first Qatari referee in World Cup history.
Who are 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 are there?
There are 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials. Var is in use at the World Cup.
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.
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.