Who is the referee for Wales vs England in the World Cup 2022 group B final game?
Slovenian Slavko Vincic has shown during his career that he is a strict referee that won’t stand for any funny business.
Wales go into the third and final Group B game with their chances of making the Last 16 hanging by a thread. Still without a win and having scored just one goal at Qatar 2022, Rob Page’s side have just one point and bring up the rear in Group B. This evening they will face fellow Brits England at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Ar-Rayyan in what could be their farewell game.
Hopefully making sure the game flows without too much incident will be Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic and his team, comprising assistants Tomaz Klancnik and Andraz Kovacic alongside Japanese Fourth official Yoshimi Yamashita.
Like all of the match officials selected by FIFA to officiate at the World Cup, Vincic has built up plenty of match experience at elite level. The Maribor-born ref made his debut in May 2007, taking charge of the Prva Liga Week 36 meeting between Koper and Nafta - a baptism of fire for the young ref who dished out nine bookings, an early indication that he’s not afraid to reach for his top pocket when matches turn ugly. He was placed in charge of three games the following season and 10 in 2008/9 including games in the second tier, the Druga Liga and Pokal Slovenije.
Vincic’s international career took off in 2009 when he oversaw his first international - a friendly between Slovenia and Bosnia at Under-21 level. The following year he was granted his full international license by FIFA and given his first senior international match, funnily enough involving Wales - a friendly against Croatia in Osijek in May 2010.
In July 2010, he was chosen for the Europa League First Round tie between Fylkir and Torpedo Zhodino.
His first World Cup game came in October 2012 when FIFA designated him to take charge of Liechtenstein’s group game against Lithuania in the European qualifiers. Once again he showed he is a ref who likes players to know who is boss - eight bookings in that game, from a total of 114 in the 23 games he officiated in that season.
His first experience of refereeing a final came in May 2015 when he was put in charge of the Pokal Slovenije clash between Koper and NK Celje. He was kept busy and ended with a full notebook - he issued a total of 13 bookings during the course of the game, sending off Matej Palcic for a second offence.
That was the first of three Pokal Slovenije finals - he oversaw the 2016/17 and 2021/22 finals but his biggest match to date was the Europa League final between Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers in Seville in May this year. He has been a regular in the Champions League group stage since 2016 - his first game was the 1-1 draw between Manchester City and Celtic on Matchday 6. This season he has officiated in four group games.
Unforgettable World Cup debut
The 43-year-old has been in charge of six World Cup qualifiers but this is his first time at the finals. His debut was one to remember - he was the man in black in Saudi Arabia’s historic 1-2 victory over Argentina. A no-nonsense ref who has no qualms about stamping his authority on games - as demonstrated by his figures: in 392 appearances, 1650 yellow cards shown, 43 players ordered off for an early bath and 93 penalties awarded.