Referee for World Cup Third Place Playoff: Djamel Haimoudi
Djamel Haimoudi of Algeria has been appointed as the referee for the third place playoff between Brazil and Netherlands, to take place on Saturday.
He will be assisted by Redouane Achik and Abdelhak Etchiali. Fourth official will be Yuichi Nishimura of Japan.
I feel like this is a little bit of a surprise, though he did fairly well in the games I saw him in. He’s a good man manager and very fit, both qualities which will be sorely needed in this match.
I thought he did really well in the USA v Belgium match, despite some pre-match mind games from US manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
Unfortunately, his second was one of only two games I didn’t cover in this tournament, but I’ve heard he did well in that, as well.
Here are his matches:
With this appointment, that means we’ll have seen a referee from CONCACAF, Europe, Asia (Nishimura) and Africa.
As I’ve said before, it’s hard to tell what is going on behind the scenes with FIFA and who will get the final. But at this point, I would be surprised if it’s anyone but Nicola Rizzoli of Italy. He’s the most experienced (Champions League final, Europa League final, Serie A) and has had a good tournament.
I know there’s some talk of Jonas Eriksson, but I think Rizzoli would make more sense and we’ve already seen Eriksson as fourth official in the final four games (quite adorably, too, when he dropped the Hublot referee board).
So that’s my best guess: Nicola Rizzoli for the final, and either Howard Webb of England (as a last salute) or Sandro Ricci of Brazil (as a nod to the hosts) as the fourth official.
But I probably wouldn’t have put money on Haimoudi either, so what do I know?
Announcement is expected tomorrow (July 11) around 3pm in Brazil.
Featured photo: mirror.co.uk