Referee Facunda Tello, who notoriously brandished as many as 10 red cards in the final round of the Trophy of Champions, is scheduled to be in charge of the forthcoming match between South Korea and Portugal for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
FIFA announced on Thursday that Tello would be the head referee of South Korea’s third Group-H match against Portugal scheduled at midnight this Saturday.
Tello earned global attention after presenting red cards to seven and three players from Boca Juniors and Racing Club, respectively, in the final match of the Trophy of Champions in Argentina on Nov. 7. He even gave out as many as 10 yellow cards in the corresponding game.
Joining Argentina’s main soccer league Primera División in 2013, Tello has since this season issued 105 yellow cards (an average of 5.3 per game) and six red cards (an average of 0.3 per game) in a total of 20 games where he was in charge. He has issued the cards more often than the league’s average of yellow cards (4.9) and red cards (0.2).
As South Korea may advance to the round of 16 according to fair play rules that count the number of card issuances, it needs to keep the head referee’s style in mind. If South Korea wins Portugal by two to zero while Uruguay beats up Ghana by four to one, the one with fewer cards issued will move up to the round of 16. Currently, South Korea and Uruguay have got three yellow cards issued each.
Since 2019, Tello has engaged in FIFA games. He made a debut as a World Cup head referee in the first match of Group G between Switzerland and Cameroon on Nov. 24. He gave out three yellow cards but no red ones back then.