The Qatar 2022 World Cup will have 36 referees from 31 nations represented at the tournament, with two English referees selected to take charge of the matches.
Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor are both making their World Cup debuts in Qatar and will hope to do better than handing out three yellow cards for a player, ala Graham Poll in 2006.
This follows 2018, when England did not have a single referee at the tournament.
Who is Michael Olivier?
Michael Oliver is a trailblazer: The youngest Premier League debut referee, aged 25 in 2010, then turned mild-mannered Gianluigi Buffon into a berserk by sending him off in an infamous Champions League game between Juventus and Real Madrid. .
He is a regular at Premier League games and since 2018 has been one of UEFA’s elite referees. Indeed, Oliver has refereed three games at Euro 2020 and has also been the middle man for 26 Champions League appearances in his career so far.
The Geordie is also experienced when it comes to endgames. He refereed the 2018 and 2021 FA Cup finals, and earlier this year took charge of the UEFA Super Cup between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt. At just 37, Oliver hopes to follow in the footsteps of Howard Webb and referee the World Cup final on December 18: Webb officiated the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands.
Who is Anthony Taylor?
Meanwhile, Anthony Taylor is a former prison guard who follows an elite group of fearless, hairless officials, in the tradition of former World Cup Final referees Pierluigi Colina and Howard Webb. Taylor’s decision won him particular praise after Christian Eriksen collapsed at Euro 2020, and he still managed to referee two more games of the tournament.
While Oliver refereed his second FA Cup final in 2021, Taylor actually became the first man to take charge of two FA Cup finals in 119 years, having refereed the 2017 and 2020 finals.
He also oversaw the 2020 UEFA Super Cup and 2021 Nations League final, a continental experience that should serve the 44-year-old well for the World Cup.
In addition to the two English referees, there will be four fellow assistant referees: Simon Bennett, Gary Beswick, Stuart Burt and Adam Nunn.