The International Referee

Having reflected on the difference between a National and International referee, there’s plenty in distinction.

Something not obvious to the everyday viewer is that both National and International referees can work in a country’s National league such as MLS and the EPL. A big difference is that only international referees are eligible for FIFA appointments such as the Olympics, National qualifiers and World Cups.

One of the challenges, I realised, was knowing multiple languages. If they were working a game with two nations who speak in two different languages (not English), how do we send our message across?

Body language is a great way given that it transcends language barriers however is it enough? Unfortunately not. To truly become an international referee, learning multiple languages is an expectation.

I hope to build a list of common phrases in multiple languages useful to referees below.

Common Phrases



If you would like to contribute, please find attached my template. Feel free to contact me to get it posted here.

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