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.

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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:


  • Ref observer in Brazil

    Swedish paper Expressen is now referencing South American reporters who confirm it’s Eriksson.
    If this turns out to be true, chances are the Argentines will eat him alive 😦


    • Those same South American reporters confirmed that Geiger was the referee for the second semifinal, even though he was the 4O in Belo Horizonte the day before, eight hours away. 🙂

      I’ve said it before and will say it again: Until FIFA confirms it, EVERYONE is just speculating.

      That said, I wouldn’t mind Eriksson. I think he’s lovely.


  • I don’t understand why people don’t think Sandro Ricci will referee the final?! He has had a fantastic tournament. Will FIFA feel too embarrassed to give it to a brasilian. I believe the last brasilian to referee a final was in 1986…. West Germany vs Argentina!!!


    • Ricci, in my opinion, has been one of the top referees in the tournament.

      Unfortunately, FIFA have had a tradition of not appointing a referee to a match that his team in is, or that a team who’s beaten his team is in. With the 7-1 German victory, I think people would question whether he could be fair to Germany…


      • That would be a funny debate to watch.

        German fan: I can’t believe they assigned a Brazilian ref. He’s going to be biased against us. He needs to revenge the national embarrassment of 7-1.

        Argentinian fan: No way! He’s going to be biased against us! He needs to stop Argentina from winning the World Cup in Brazil. They couldn’t take that!


  • Missed much of game, but from what I am seeing now the referee missed a lot of calls and wrong calls. The only consistency he seems to be screwing up for both sides but with the dutch being stronger they suffer a bit more from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “He was … not so awesome…”
    A bit of an understatement Jenna. There are other choice words that would better describe Mr. Haimoudi’s performance or lack there of today. When you fail to take action on a crystal clear red card early in your match. Everything that incident will simply head downhill.
    I am sorry to say it, but your fellow countryman(Busacca) must go. They praise and gloat about the number of cards being down. But it’s not because the games were played in a cleaner manner. It comes down to the fact that plays were not punished as they should have been.
    Fortunately for all the ref’s, they will all head back to their respective nations. Thus they will all get their “nuts” back and forget about Busacca’s instructions.


    • Oh, oh…I get it.

      Blame Switzerland!!



      • If the head of instruction was from any other nation, it wouldn’t change how I feel. So, no, it is not a “blame the Swiss” thing.
        But this is what I don’t understand about Busacca. Why does he insist on instructing in a way that goes completely against the way he was as a referee.
        I actually liked the way he handled matches when he was a referee. He was good.


        • You know, the truth is, we really don’t know what Busacca instructed and what he didn’t. There’s been a lot of speculation, and I’m as guilty of it as anyone, but the truth is, we really don’t know FIFA’s directives…and we probably never will.


          • Oh I know that we’ll never know Jenna.
            But it’s too much of a coincidence that a new instructor steps in and referee’s who we watch every weekend seem to all of sudden change their ways. I know that I noticed a change in M.A. Rodriguez from Mexico.
            On a side note, I strongly believe that Joel Aguilar was black listed after his 1st half ejection of a Greek player. He refused to conform and thus he was removed. If it was because of that, then my admiration for him as a referee has grown.


            • I, too, have noticed a change in referees I’ve watched for ages, including Rizzoli. But again, we just don’t know. Throwing all the blame for bad calls or bad days like Haimoudi’s at MB’s feet seems a little harsh.


              • Unfortunately M.B. is the head of the dragon.
                But M.B. goes and makes it worse for himself and FIFA by publicly praising and backing Nishimura and Carballo.
                You can’t brag and gloat about card numbers when you have incidents like Onazi’s ankle, Dempsey’s nose, and Neymar’s back that weren’t properly dealt with by the referee’s.


                • I actually think Nishimura got a bad rap. His first half was good. We saw way worse performances in this Cup do way less damage to the referees, including some of the ones you mentioned…


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