Euro 2016

The Portugal-Wales Euro 2016 semi-final referee: Jonas Eriksson

Jonas Eriksson will referee Portugal-Wales in the semi-finals of Euro 2016, the Swede taking charge of his first game in the knockout rounds.

The Portugal-Wales Euro 2016 semi-final referee: Jonas Eriksson
Lee Smith Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Ima

Jonas Eriksson will be the whistle-blower for Portugal vs Wales in Lyon, with a place in the Euro 2016 final up for grabs. The 42 year-old 'millionaire ref' who does it "for the love of the game" will take charge of his first knockout-stage game in the tournament.

Eriksson has already had a close encounter with the Welsh side, however, having officiated their 3-0 win over Russia in the group stages.

This isn't you average referee, around ten years ago a young Eriksson sold his 15 percent stake in Swedish media rights business IEC, making him a multimillionaire.

“All the money hasn't changed anything, the best thing I do in my life is still refereeing football,” he said at the time.

The Swede was the man in the middle for the Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla, and was criticised by Jurgen Klopp for failing to award three penalties claims to the team in red.

It wasn't his first controversy involving British football either, Manuel Pellegrini was sanctioned by UEFA for his comments after Manchester City's 2-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League back in February 2014,

“I think there is more important football in Europe than Sweden", said a quietly furious Pellegrini, "this is a big game with two important teams and maybe in this type of game you need a referee with more experience.”

The ex-Manchester City manager later retracted his words saying: “When you lose a game the way we lost against Barcelona, you are frustrated, you are angry, maybe I say some things I didn’t mean in that way so I apologise for what I said".

Portugal-Wales will be another big evening for the Swedish ref, a semi-final gig that shows he continues to carry the support of UEFA.