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Who is the referee for the Croatia vs Brazil quarter-final game in the World Cup 2022?

We take a look at the ref who will be in charge of the first of two quarter finals on Friday - his stats and career.

English referee Michael Oliver blows the whistle during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Saudi Arabia and Mexico at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on November 30, 2022. (Photo by Alfredo ESTRELLA / AFP)

The World Cup action continues with Croatia and Brazil heading into battle in the first of two quarter finals programmed for Friday. The 2018 runners-up qualified for the Last 8 after beating Japan on penalties while Brazil sauntered through with a comfortable 4-1 win over South Korea.

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In charge of proceedings at Doha’s Education City Stadium will be English match official Michael Oliver, overseeing his third match at 2022 Qatar. He will be joined by compatriots Stuart Burt and Gary Beswick as his linesmen as assistant referee Simon Bennett is ruled out through injury. The fourth official will be Algerian Mustapha Ghorbal.

Born in Ashington, Northumberland, Oliver took up refereeing as a teenager after being encouraged to do so by his father Clive, a former Football League referee. The 37-year-old turned pro in 2006 and officiated his first game in February 2007 - a League Two game between Hereford United and Grimsby Town. A couple of months later he was selected to oversee the Conference National play-off final between Exeter City and Morecombe, becoming the youngest referee to officiate at Wembley, aged 22.

The following season he was back at Wembley to take charge of the League One play-offs. It was also the year of his first international game - he whistled a friendly between England and Austria, at Under-19 level in Hartlepool.

By 2009, Oliver was getting regular games in the Championship, Leagues One and Two plus his first taste of action in the domestic cups. He oversaw the FA Cup Third Round tie between Bolton and Lincoln City as well as three EFL Carabao Cup games, including Manchester City’s 5-1 win over Scunthorpe in the Round of 16.

Youngest ref in England’s top flight

During the 2010/11 season, he was appointed to oversee his first Premier League games - becoming the youngest referee to oversee a game in the English top flight in the Week 2 meeting between Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers. He combined his EPL duties with games in both cup competitions, the Championship and League One.

By 2013, he was pretty much established on the European circuit - there were more career milestones, including his first international games at senior level which included two World Cup qualifiers. The following year he led Arsenal and Manchester City out for the Community Shield at Wembley.

Martinelli makes his way back to the changing room after a double booking.
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Martinelli makes his way back to the changing room after a double booking.ADRIAN DENNISAFP

Oliver has been at the centre of a few controversies in recent seasons - one notable incident was the Champions League quarter final return leg between Real Madrid and Juventus in which he awarded the hosts a stoppage-time penalty and sent Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon off. Earlier this year. he received criticism for handing Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli two yellow cards in straight succession with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta saying he had “never seen anything like it”.

Overall though Oliver is not considered a particularly hardline ref. In 638 matches at all levels, he has issued 1996 bookings, 54 straight red cards and blown for 211 penalties.


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