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2022 FIFA World Cup: Ismail Elfath – These are the interesting 17 facts you ought to know about the American referee who will officiate Ghana’s game against Portugal on Thursday

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FIFA have appointed Moroccan-born American referee Ismail Elfath as the center referee for Ghana‘s Group H opening game against Portugal on Thursday at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Elfath was born in Casablanca, Morocco, however, he moved to the United States when he was eighteen and later acquired American citizenship.

Portugal lost the only game he has handled in his officiating career while West African side Mali also suffered a defeat against European side Italy during the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.

These are some interesting facts you have to know about the 40-year-old referee.

  • Elfath was first a Fourth official in MLS in 2011 and made his MLS refereeing debut in 2012.
  • Elfath became a FIFA-listed official in 2016.
  • Elfath was the referee during an August 2016 match between New York Red Bulls II and Orlando City B where the worldwide first on-field Video Assistant Referee review took place as the system was being tested in USL.
  • On March 26, 2019, Elfath was selected to referee the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
  • On May 17, 2019, Elfath was appointed to officiate in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States following his participation in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
  • Elfath was named the MLS Referee of the Year for the first time in his career on November 18, 2020.
  • He received the honor for a second time two years later on October 14, 2022.
  • In July 2021, Elfath took charge of three matches at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including a quarter-final match between host nation Japan and New Zealand.
  • Elfath was chosen as one of the two referees from CONCACAF for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations held in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022.
  • He has officiated 19 games in 2022.
  • He has shown 4 red cards in 2022.
  • He has awarded 9 penalties in 2022.
  • He has shown 97 cards in 2022.
  • He shows an average of 4.84 cards per game in 19 games in 2022.
  • He was the center referee for the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final game between Flamengo and Saudi side Al-Hilal.
  • Portugal suffered a defeat 2-0 defeat to Argentina in the only game Elfath handled in the history of Portugal.
  • He has also handled a game once involving an African side at the world level. He was the man in charge when West African side Mali’s U20 suffered a 4-2 loss to Italy.

The post 2022 FIFA World Cup: Ismail Elfath – These are the interesting 17 facts you ought to know about the American referee who will officiate Ghana’s game against Portugal on Thursday appeared first on Ghana Sports Online.

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Harry Maguire accepts Isaac Adongo’s apologies

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Mr Adongo, however, apologised to Maguire in Parliament on Tuesday, saying the Manchester United defender now performed better for his club than Dr Bawumia, whom he said had repeatedly supervised the country's economic incompetence and had subsequently gone to the (IMF) for a bailout.

Harry Maguire, a Manchester United defender, has accepted Hon. Isaac Adongo’s apologies for dragging him through the dirt.

The Ghanaian politician previously rated the former Leicester City captain as the worst player recruited by the Red Devils.

Adongo was discussing the budget when he likened Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s economic management to Maguire’s on-field performances.

Mr Adongo, however, apologised to Maguire in Parliament on Tuesday, saying the Manchester United defender now performed better for his club than Dr Bawumia, whom he said had repeatedly supervised the country’s economic incompetence and had subsequently gone to the (IMF) for a bailout.

“I was very quick to compare my big brother Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to Harry Maguire. Mr. Speaker, I now apologize to Harry Maguire…Today Maguire has turned the corner; he is a transformational footballer. Maguire is now scoring goals for Manchester United.”

“Mr Speaker, Harry Maguire is now a key player for Manchester United. As for our Maguire, he is now roaming at the IMF with a cup in hand,” he stated.

Following the apology, Maguire stated on social media, “MP Issac Adongo apology accepted.” “Hope to see you at Old Trafford soon.”

Meanwhile, Everton will play Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday at Goodison Park.

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Argentina’s World Cup-winning coach, Lionel Scaloni, has hinted that he may resign

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Messi on fan-police clashes: "There could have been a tragedy." After a brief stint in command of Argentina's under-20 team, Scaloni took over as manager in August 2018. Argentina's 2021 Copa America victory was their first major championship in 28 years, and it qualified them for the Finalissima against European champions Italy in June 2022, which they won 3-0 at Wembley. Later that year, they won their third World Cup in Qatar, and first since 1986.

Argentina’s World Cup-winning coach, Lionel Scaloni, has indicated that he is considering stepping down after five years in charge.

Scaloni made the stunning statement following Argentina’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Brazil on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.

Before winning the World Cup in Qatar last year, the 45-year-old guided Argentina to the Copa America in 2021.

“Argentina needs a coach who has all the energy possible and who is well,” said Scaloni.

“I need to stop the ball and start thinking, I have a lot of things to think about during this time.

“It’s not goodbye or anything, but I need to think because the bar is very high and it’s complicated to keep going and it’s complicated to keep winning.

“These guys are making it difficult, so I need to think about it for a while. I will talk to the FA president and the players afterwards.”

Messi on fan-police clashes: “There could have been a tragedy.”

After a brief stint in command of Argentina’s under-20 team, Scaloni took over as manager in August 2018.

Argentina’s 2021 Copa America victory was their first major championship in 28 years, and it qualified them for the Finalissima against European champions Italy in June 2022, which they won 3-0 at Wembley.

Later that year, they won their third World Cup in Qatar, and first since 1986.

“We are sure and hope that Scaloni will continue,” said Argentina and Tottenham defender Cristian Romero.

“Let’s see now he will have time to think, he didn’t say anything in the dressing room about it. We will try to convince him.”

Argentina’s victory against Brazil on Tuesday was their first-ever away win over their rivals in World Cup qualification, and it took them two points clear at the top of the table.

The game at Rio’s Maracana stadium was delayed for 30 minutes due to a scuffle during the national anthems.

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2026WCQ: Chris Hughton under pressure after Black Stars defeat in Comoros

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Ghana could have grabbed an early lead in Tuesday's encounter when Inaki Williams set up Antoine Semenyo for a goal, but the Bournemouth striker hit the crossbar.

Chris Hughton’s Black Stars suffered their first competitive loss as head coach, falling 1-0 to Comoros in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers.

Myziane Maolida’s first-half goal was enough to give the hosts their second straight victory over the Black Stars.

Ghana is now in fourth position, three points behind early group leaders Comoros, who have won both of their initial qualification games.

Following a tense, late win against Madagascar at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last Friday, there was some hope that the Black Stars may capitalise on Mali’s slip-up against the Central African Republic to grab the group lead.

Ghana could have grabbed an early lead in Tuesday’s encounter when Inaki Williams set up Antoine Semenyo for a goal, but the Bournemouth striker hit the crossbar.

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