After a controversial and emotionally charged quarterfinal round (who could've predicted that?), the 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinal referees have been announced before Tuesday and Wednesday's matches of Argentina vs. Croatia and France vs. Morocco, respectively.
World Cup semifinal referees
On Tuesday, the Argentina vs Croatia ref is Italian Daniele Orsato. You know he's legit because he took charge of Qatar's opener and Ecuador won it 2-0. He was also in charge of Argentina's victory over Mexico.
He famously took charge of the 2020 Champions League Final when Bayern Munich beat PSG.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) December 11, 2022
On Wednesday, the France vs Morocco ref is Mexican César Ramos. This is the 38-year-old's fourth match in Qatar. He took charge of a scoreless draw between Denmark and Tunisia, Morocco's upset of Belgium and Portugal's 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland in the last-16.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) December 12, 2022
Who will referee the World Cup final?
On Monday, FIFA made some decisions with regards to who will referee the World Cup final.
The most-talked about game of the quarters was undoubtedly the "Battle of Lusail" between Argentina and the Netherlands. Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz whistled 48 fouls, dished out 14 yellow cards and a red in one of the greatest World Cup matches ever. It was so feisty that Lahoz wasn't handed any further games so he's going home.
But Brazilian Wilton Sampaio, who took charge of France vs. England, could potentially play a role in the final after FIFA told him to stick around. The English were heavily critical of Sampaio after the match with both Harry Maguire and Jude Bellingham calling him out, but maybe Sampaio will offer a sympathetic eye to Les Bleus tactic of fouling-on-sight in their own area in the final.
Argentine referee Facundo Tello, at the center of Morocco's upset of Portugal, is also going home. Tello was accused of knocking Portugal out of the tournament by both Bruno Fernandes and Pepe, who said FIFA's handing Argentina the Cup because Tello was obviously weakening the other side of the bracket by disrupting Portugal's second-half rhythm. That's one way to accept defeat.
English referee Michael Oliver is also out after his performance during Croatia's upset of Brazil. The Canarinho didn't complain much because they knew it wasn't Oliver's responsibility to track runners in the 117th minute.
His compatriot Anthony Taylor, who took charge of two group stage matches, is still in contention for the final.