Well, the refereeing at the 2022 World Cup has been nothing if not controversial.
There have been gargantuan quantities of drama to enjoy – well, neutrals and beneficiaries will have enjoyed it – throughout the tournament so far and, with the semi-finals in sight, don’t expect the tension to subside just yet.
And don’t be surprised to see the officiating contribute to that – but who are the officials in the middle for those World Cup semi-finals?
We’ll have a mostly Italian officiating team for the first semi-final of this World Cup, with main man Daniele Orsato being backed up by compatriots Ciro Carbone and Alessandro Giallatini – and Massimiliano Irrati as the VAR – with the UAE’s Mohamed Mohammed as the fourth official.
Orsato has overseen two fixtures at the 2022 World Cup so far, handing out 11 yellow cards in the process.
There has, however, been little controversy in the games he has officiated thus far; Argentina’s 2-0 win over Mexico contained little drama and, despite an early disallowed goal raising a few eyebrows, neither did Ecuador’s curtain-raising 2-0 victory over hosts Qatar.
Alongside Venezuelan fourth official Jesus Valenzuela, France and Morocco will be overlooked by a largely Mexican officiating team, headed by Cesar Ramos in the middle, with Alberto Morin and Miguel Hernandez as assistants.
Ramos has officiated three fuss-less matches in Qatar so far, handing out just seven bookings in that time. The Mexican has already overseen a Moroccan win in the competition, refereeing their incredible 2-0 group-stage victory over Belgium as well as Denmark’s 0-0 draw with Tunisia and Portugal’s 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland in the final 16.
Canadian VAR Drew Fischer, however, might dispel any pre-match rumours of partiality towards Morocco.