Ismail Elfath

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ismail Elfath
Born (1982-03-03) March 3, 1982 (age 42)
Casablanca, Morocco
Other occupation Corporate Business Consultant
Years League Role
2012– Major League Soccer Referee
Years League Role
2016– FIFA Listed Referee

Ismail Elfath (Arabic: اسماعيل الفتح; born March 3, 1982) is a Moroccan-born American soccer referee for the Professional Referee Organization. He has been a referee in Major League Soccer since 2012 and a FIFA listed referee since 2016.

Early life[edit]

Elfath immigrated to the United States in 2001 at the age of 18 after winning a diversity visa lottery.[1][2] Elfath graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2006. As of 2022, Elfath resides in Austin, Texas.[2]


Elfath was first a Fourth official in MLS in 2011 and made his MLS refereeing debut in 2012.[3] Elfath became a FIFA listed official in 2016.[4]

Elfath was the referee during an August 2016 match between New York Red Bulls II and Orlando City B where the worldwide first on-field Video Assistant Referee review took place as the system was being tested in USL.[5]

On March 26, 2019, Elfath was selected to referee the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.[6] Elfath, along with American assistant referees Corey Parker and Kyle Atkins, was selected by FIFA to officiate the final of the tournament, which Ukraine won 3-1 over South Korea.[7]

On May 17, 2019, Elfath was appointed to officiate in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States following his participation in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[8]

Later that year Elfath took charge of the semi-final match at the FIFA Qatar 2019 Club World Cup.[9]

Elfath was named the MLS Referee of the Year for the first time in his career on November 18, 2020.[10] He received the honor for a second time two years later on October 14, 2022.[11]

In July 2021, Elfath took charge of three matches at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including a quarter -final match between host nation Japan and New Zealand.[12]

Elfath was chosen as one of the two referees from CONCACAF for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations held in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022.[13][14]

In the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Elfath refereed two group stage games, the Round of 16 match between Japan and Croatia, and was the fourth official for the Final between Argentina and France.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ismail Elfath: From Casablanca to FIFA Referee- Dreams Become Realities". Muslim American Leadership Alliance. July 18, 2016. Archived from the original on November 20, 2022. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Bohls: Whether it's World Cup or world peace, Austin's Ismail Elfath in the middle of it". Austin American-Statesman. November 20, 2022. Archived from the original on November 20, 2022. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  3. ^ "Ismail Elfath – Professional Referee Organization". Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  4. ^ "Education & Technical - Referees by Association". Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  5. ^, NICHOLAS MURRAY- (August 18, 2016). "PRO's Elfath Part of 'Ever-Evolving' History". USL Championship. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  6. ^ "Three U.S. Soccer Referees Selected to Officiate at 2019 U-20 World Cup". Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  7. ^ "Concacaf referees earn another distinction with FIFA Under-20 World Cup Final assignment". Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  8. ^ "Match Officials Appointed for 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup". Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "Ismail Elfath – Professional Referee Organization".
  10. ^ "Ismail Elfath named MLS Referee of the Year". November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  11. ^ "Ismail Elfath named MLS Referee of the Year, Corey Rockwell named MLS Assistant Referee of the Year," Major League Soccer (MLS), Friday, October 14, 2022. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  12. ^ "Ismail Elfath – Professional Referee Organization".
  13. ^ "La liste des arbitres retenurs par la caf le Benin absent". December 14, 2021.
  14. ^ Bohls, Kirk. "Bohls: Whether it's World Cup or world peace, Austin's Ismail Elfath in the middle of it". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  15. ^ Gates, Billy (December 17, 2022). "Austin's Ismail Elfath to be fourth official in 2022 FIFA World Cup final Sunday". KXAN-TV. Retrieved December 22, 2022.

External links[edit]