FIFA has announced the referees and officials for the last two games of the 2018 World Cup.
Alireza Faghani of Iran will referee the match for Third Place between Belgium and England.
Nestor Pitana of Argentina will referee the Final between France and Croatia. Nestor has refereed both teams during the Knockout Phase of the tournament (Croatia v Denmark, France v Uruguay).
I have been collecting referee data from the official FIFA website. My record of Alireza and Nestor’s performances in the games they have officiated is:
Ball in Play Percentage
Ball in Play and Fouls Awarded
Fouls Awarded and Yellow Card Cautions
There are just two games to go in the 2018 World Cup.
I have been following Refereeing World during the tournament but have not yet discovered the final two referee appointments for Third/Fourth place game and the Final.
My record of officiating in the Knockout Phase (14 games played) defined by percentage of ball in play time is:
Games completed in normal time (n=9) (colour code of dots is for fouls awarded):
Games completed after extra time (n=5) (colour code of dots is for fouls awarded):
Based on the data from this tournament, if the choice of referee was independent of the politics of appointment, my choice for World Cup Final referee is Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands). Three of the four games he has refereed exceeded 63% ball in play . The Sweden v England Game was 59%.
Some ggplots of referee data from the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Games 51 and 52 required extra time and penalty shoot outs.
60 Minute + Games By Referee in the Context of Fouls Awarded
By Referee’s Country of Affiliation
Ball in Play % >60%