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2022 World Cup: Moroccan American referee Ismail Elfath takes charge of Portugal vs Ghana

Referee Ismail Elfath will direct the Black Stars of Ghana when they take the field for their first match at the Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup against Portugal on Thursday.

The 40-year-old is a native of Morocco but represents the United States of America (USA).

Elfath relocated to the U.S. from Casablanca when he was just 18 years old after winning the popular American Green Card lottery.

And now some 21 years on, he is at the Mundial as one of 36 centre referees and the lone ranger for the United States at this global showpiece.

He handled the 2019 U-20 Fifa World Cup final in Poland and was also at the Tokyo Olympics.

Elfath was named Referee of the Year for the second time in three years for the recently-ended 2022 Major League Soccer (MLS) season. He has been a Fifa-listed referee since 2016.

At Stadium 974 in Doha, he will take centre stage with assistance from fellow Americans Kyle Atkins and Corey Parker.

Frenchwoman Stéphanie Frappart will be the Fourth Official.

Full appointment: PORTUGAL vs GHANA
Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kyle Atkins (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Parker (USA)
Fourth Official: Stéphanie Frappart (FRA)
Video Assistant Referee: Armando Villarreal (USA)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Drew Fischer (CAN)
Offside Video Assistant Referee: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
Support Video Assistant Referee: Shaun Evans (AUS)

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