FIFA have appointed Moroccan-born American referee Ismail Elfath as the center referee for Ghana‘s Group H opening game against Portugal on Thursday at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Elfath was born in Casablanca, Morocco, however, he moved to the United States when he was eighteen and later acquired American citizenship.
These are some interesting facts you have to know about the 40-year-old referee.
- Elfath was first a Fourth official in MLS in 2011 and made his MLS refereeing debut in 2012.
- Elfath became a FIFA-listed official in 2016.
- Elfath was the referee during an August 2016 match between New York Red Bulls II and Orlando City B where the worldwide first on-field Video Assistant Referee review took place as the system was being tested in USL.
- On March 26, 2019, Elfath was selected to referee the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
- On May 17, 2019, Elfath was appointed to officiate in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States following his participation in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
- Elfath was named the MLS Referee of the Year for the first time in his career on November 18, 2020.
- He received the honor for a second time two years later on October 14, 2022.
- In July 2021, Elfath took charge of three matches at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including a quarter-final match between host nation Japan and New Zealand.
- Elfath was chosen as one of the two referees from CONCACAF for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations held in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022.
- He has officiated 19 games in 2022.
- He has shown 4 red cards in 2022.
- He has awarded 9 penalties in 2022.
- He has shown 97 cards in 2022.
- He shows an average of 4.84 cards per game in 19 games in 2022.
- He was the center referee for the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final game between Flamengo and Saudi side Al-Hilal.
- Portugal suffered a defeat 2-0 defeat to Argentina in the only game Elfath handled in the history of Portugal.
- He has also handled a game once involving an African side at the world level. He was the man in charge when West African side Mali’s U20 suffered a 4-2 loss to Italy.
The post 2022 FIFA World Cup: Ismail Elfath – These are the interesting 17 facts you ought to know about the American referee who will officiate Ghana’s game against Portugal on Thursday appeared first on Ghana Sports Online.