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Referees also find their golden retirement in Saudi Arabia

Referees also find their golden retirement in Saudi Arabia

ERefereeing is one of the eccentricities of football. Arabia Saud. The vast majority of the members are international (generally from Europe and America). All of them are assigned the highest level or prestige matches, such as those of Al Nassr, Al Hilal, Al Ittihad, Al Shababamong other teams.

Players are not the only targets

The simple reason (as well as logical) for this reality is that The Saudi Federation does not trust the level of its national arbitration. In addition, it is feared that on social networks their members could be conditioned with threats or intimidation. It is the clubs themselves that pay for these designations.

Another way to explain this is that Saudi Arabia wants to bet on having the best referees in the world already the best referee presidents, and those are in Europe and America. In addition to great players who fell into temptation and left the most popular European leagues, they have also seduced many referees, thanks to their important economic resources. Some of these professionals have whistled in the best competitions in the world, such as the Qatar World Cup in 2022, the Copa Libertadores or the Champions League.

Mateu Lahoz said ‘no’ and his assistant Daz Prez is the boss

When he retired from Spanish football, Saudi Arabia wanted to sign Antonio Mateu Lahoz. He said ‘no’. In his plans there was also no possibility of stopping refereeing so soon. Nevertheless, Luis Media Cantalejopresident of the RFEF referees, decided not to renew him in the summer of 2023. Not only did they propose to extend his career as a referee in the Saudi Pro Leaguebut they also wanted to sign him to direct the League’s referee entity.


However, the Vitorian Roberto Diaz PrezMateu’s assistant until he also retired in June 2023, is the responsible for Saudi Pro League assistants. Mark Clattenburgformer Premier League referee, is the director of Saudi Arabia referees.

The most important names

The Colombian Wilmar Roldnmember in charge of the final of the 2023 Copa Libertadores last November, has refereed several matches in Arabia. Debut in a meeting of Al Nassr Cristiano Ronaldo, in September of last year (1-3 against Al Raed). The Saudi referees are occasionally ‘signed’ workers.

Other foreign referees in Arab football are: Wilton Pereira Sampaio (Brazil)who will referee the 2022 World Cup. Polychronis Kostaras (Greece)who participates in UEFA competitions. Jochem Kamphius (Netherlands)Ederivise referee and UEFA club and national team competitions. Jess Valenzuela Sez (Venezuela)who among other tournaments worked on the 2022 World Cup. Cesar Arturo Ramos (Mexico)assigned to CONCACAF and FIFA, another referee in the Qatar World Cup. Istvn Kovcs (Romania), he directed in the last World Cup and in different UEFA competitions. There are also Asian international referees, such as Ma Ning (China)who also refereed several World Cup matches.