As expected Britain will have no representatives at the World Cup this summer for the first time since 1938.

Fifa has chosen 36 officials for the tournament in Russia and said they chose their referees “based on each one’s skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams.”

There are also no British officials among the 63 assistant referees selected.

External Link | FIFA list of match officials for World Cup 18

Mark Clattenburg was the only Briton on Fifa’s long list of officials, collated in summer 2016, from which they would choose the final selection for Russia. But at the end of last season he left his job with PGMOL and moved on to work as International Academy Director with YATR as well as heading overseas to be the Head of Referees in Saudi Arabia.

Neil Swarbrick
Could Swarbrick be in line for a VAR call-up after gaining experience in England?

The selected FIFA World Cup match officials will attend a two week camp in April where officials will be divided into two groups, which will also include video assistant referee (VAR) candidates.

Following this seminar, the FIFA Referees Committee will announce the names of the referees selected to act as VARs the World Cup. The selection process will take into account the candidate’s VAR experience in domestic leagues, FIFA competitions and FIFA refereeing seminars since the beginning of the VAR project in 2016.

Read more | Video assistant referees (VAR) will be used at 2018 World Cup in Russia

You Are The Ref would like to congratulate all match officials selected and wish them a successful tournament.


  1. Hardly surprising. As Keith Hackett says, at the moment we have very few referees who can be trusted to put a consistent performance in during a big game. Of the referees listed above, there have been two debacles recently that would not have gone unnoticed and would have resulted in them being sent home from a major tournament immediately. One changed their mind after issuing a yellow card following player pressure and the other, for reasons unbeknownst to logic, who incorrectly overruled his linesman on an offside decision. Not to mention, some of the leniency shown by English officials towards some vicious challenges recently would not have gone down well on the continent.

  2. You probably have to look deeper into WC referee appointments. FIFA and UEFA have their own politics and referee appointments are part of that no doubt. It’s easy today British referees arrnitgood enough but don’t believe it. You will see mistakes and inconsistencies at the WC irrespective of the nationality of the ref. Sorry but Keith Hackett comments are easy as well and refereed on his ego and reputation rather than ability for years.


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