Who is the referee for the Morocco vs Portugal quarter-final game in the World Cup 2022?
Argentine match official Facundo Tello made the headlines for sending off 10 players in one match. He will oversee his third match at Qatar 2022 on Saturday.
Morocco and Portugal will play out the penultimate quarter final of Qatar 2022 on Saturday with both keen to book their place in the semi-finals. For Morocco, this is the first time they have made it this far at the World Cup finals - with confidence high after beating Spain in the last round, they will prove a tough test for Fernando Santos’ side.
The furthest Portugal has gone at the World Cup was the semi-finals in 1966 and 2006. They made it as far as the Round of 16 in 2010 and 2018 so they too will be eager to reach a new milestone. Santos’ men thumped Switzerland 6-1 in the last round with new kid on the block Gonçalo Ramos celebrating his World Cup debut with a hat trick.
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Overseeing Saturday’s quarter final at Al Thumama Stadium will be 40-year-old Argentine match official Facundo Tello. He will be accompanied by line officials Ezequiel Brailovsky and Gabriel Chade with Salvadoran Iván Arcides Barton Cisneros as the fourth official.
Compared to many of the referees appointed by FIFA for Qatar 2022 back in May, Tello is a relative newcomer. He gained his FIFA badge in 2019 and this is his first World Cup. So far, he has officiated in two games - the group stage clashes between Switzerland and Cameroon, and South Korea’s meeting with Portugal - so he will be familiar with one of the teams vying for a place in the semi-finals.
Tello’s early days in refereeing
Tello’s professional career began almost a decade ago in Argentina’s Primera Nacional - the equivalent of the second tier of the domestic league. He was selected to oversee three top flight games at the tail end of the following season, 2013/14, and remained a regular ref in both divisions for the next three seasons.
In 2017, he was in charge of two Copa Argentina ties - including the quarter final between Atlético Tucumán and Vélez Sarsfield. He whistled his first cup final in December 2019 as River Plate beat Central Córdoba 0-3.
He was involved in six Copa Libertadores matches from the Second Round to the group stage in 2020 and whistled his first international games that year - two CONMEBOL pre-Olympic qualifiers at Under-23 level.
More international engagements followed in 2021/22 as he was selected for four 2022 World Cup qualifiers in the South American section.
On the whole, Tello is not known as an authoritarian - on average, he reaches for his top pocket around four times per game at the top level (he has issued just five bookings in two games during the current tournament). However, he will get tough when games get out of hand - he sent 10 players off plus coach Hugo Ibarra in this year’s Trofeo de Campeones de la Liga Profesional between Boca Juniors and Racing.
His figures are 1122 bookings in 2016 games (over half of them in the domestic league), 41 straight red cards and 51 penalties awarded.