Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has appointed this year’s best referee in the American top-flight league, Ismail Elfath to officiate the clash between Ghana and Portugal on Thursday.
The 40-year-old Moroccan-born American referee is one of the 28 debutant referees in the world championship being played in the Asian state of Qatar.
He will be assisted by compatriots Kyle Atkins and Corey Parker, while French official Stephanie Frappart will perform the duties of fourth official.
American official Armando Villarreal will be the video referee.
Elfath has no previous offociating record with the two senior national teams playing in football’s showpiece event.
However at the junior level he has a connection with the Portuguese colours which concerns a game of the country U20 side at the 2019 World Cup in Poland.
The American referee directed the group stage match with Argentina, which Portugal lost 2-0.
That U20 Portugal national team had Diogo Costa, Diogo Dalot and Rafael Leao, who are now playing in the senior national team at the 2022 World Cup.
International referee since 2016, Elfath, who was elected best referee in the last edition of Major League Soccer (MLS).
This means he is a top official with the necessary experience to provide fairness in the match between the Black Stars and Portugal.
Referee: Ismael ELFATH – USA
AR 1: Kyle ATKINS – USA
AR 2: Corey PARKER – USA
4th: Stéphanie FRAPPART – FRANCE
VAR: Armando VILLARREAL – USA
AVAR: Drew FISCHER – CANADA
Offside VAR: Alessandro GIALLATINI – ITALY
Support VAR: Shaun EVANS – AUSTRALIA
The game will be played on Thursday at 1600GMT at Stadium 974, in Doha, in a Group H match for the 2022 Mundial.
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