World Cup referee facts and statistics

Referees in this World Cup are mild to the players according to the card stats. They’ve given 101 yellows and 9 reds after 29 matches. Remarkable is the low average of yellow cards (3.5 per match), especcially when you compare it with the average of 4.8 cards per match at the World Cup in Germany in 2006.

I’ve tried to find some interesting referee facts (with the help of Fifa statistics). First the World Cup 2010 referee facts:

Tallest referee
Wolfgang Stark (Germany) with 191 cm

Shortest referee
Joel Aguilar (El Salvador) and Benito Archundia (Mexico), both 170 cm

Average height
181,3 cm

Longest international career
Benito Archundia since 1993

Shortest international career
Michael Hester since 2007

International since (youngest)
Five referees started refereeing international matches when they were 26 years old: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan), Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Marco Rodriguez (Mexico), Pablo Pozo (Chile) and Oscar Ruiz (Colombia).

International since (oldest)
Stephane Lannoy at the age of 37

Birthdays during World Cup 2010
Frank de Bleeckere will become 44 on the 1st of July.
Joel Aguilar will become 35 on the 2nd of July.
Koman Coulibaly will become 40 on the 4th of July.

Countries who make theire refereeing debut
El Salvador: Joel Aguilar
Malaysia: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh
New Zealand: Michael Hester and Peter O’Leary
Seychelles: Eddy Maillet
Uzbekistan: Ravshan Irmatov

World Cup 2010 match with the most cards (including 20th June)
Germany – Serbia with referee Albert Undiano (Spain): 5 yellow cards for Germany (including two yellows for Miroslav Klose) and 4 yellow cards for Serbia.

Facts about the World Cup referees in general.

Most World Cup matches
Joel Quiniou from France officiated eight matches at three different World Cups: 1 match in 1986 (Mexico), 3 matches in 1990 (Italy) and 4 matches in 1994 (USA).

Archundia in action in Leipzig at the 2006 World Cup. Photo Matthias Book Creative Commons

Most matches at one World Cup
Benito Archundia (Mexico) and Horacio Elizondo (Argentina) refereed five matches in only one tournament, both at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Archundia was the first with five matches in one tournament; Elizondo officiated in the final.

Most red cards by one referee at World Cup tournaments
Mexican referee, Arturo Brizio Carter, holds the record for sending off seven players in the six matches that he officiated in 1994 and 1998.

First referee who officiated the opening match as well as the final of the same World Cup
Horacio Elizondo was appointed for the opening match and the final at the World Cup 2006 in Germany. In the final he send off Zinedine Zidane after headbutting Marco Materazzi.

Fifa adds a note to the last fact: “In 1950 the Englishman George Reader directed the inaugural match Brazil-Mexico and also the last match of the final group Uruguay-Brazil but this one not technically considered as a final.”

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