Update: We just came across this video involving the referee of today’s Belgium-Canada match. He twice tried to end a match before the 90th minute was reached. It’d be a surprise this kind of mix-up in the World Cup, but it opens the door for some questionable decision-making in the match.
The referee who tried to end a match before the 90th minute *twice* is in charge of Belgium vs. Canada so uhhh ... let's get weird https://t.co/jJz1ho9BuT— Ryan Rosenblatt (@RyanRosenblatt) November 23, 2022
Group F play starts Wednesday and that includes Belgium vs. Canada. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET, and the game will air on Fox live from Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Ar-Rayyan.
Belgium, one of the 2022 World Cup contenders, is a pretty heavy favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook with -185 odds. A draw is +330 while Canada is +500 to win. Canada tend to get out and play fast, so a little help from the referees could put them in scoring position off free kicks or even a penalty shot as they try to pull off the upset.
The referee for Wednesday’s match is Janny Sikazwe. The Zambian referee has been listed by FIFA since 2010 and this year marks his second World Cup. In the 2018 World Cup, he refereed Belgium’s match against Panama and issued a whopping eight yellow cards in a 3-0 Belgium win. In his only other World Cup match, Japan vs. Poland in 2018, he issued just one yellow card. This season, Sikazwe refereed two CAF Champions League matches, handing out six more yellow cards, two in Royal Leopards vs. Colton Sport FC, and four more in El Ahly vs. US Monastir. In 113 total matches officiated, Sikazwe has issued eight red cards.
Total cards for Wednesday’s match is set at 3.5 with the under priced at -125 and the over priced at -110. Sikazwe’s officiating crew for the match will include the following, with roles and nationalities included.
- Assistant Referee 1: Jerson Dos Santos (ANG)
- Assistant Referee 2: Arsenio Marengula (MOZ)
- Fourth Official: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN)
- Reserve AR: Neuza Back (BRA)
- VAR: Juan Soto (VEN)
- AVAR: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
- OVAR: Mokrane Gourari (ALG)
- SVAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
- SAVAR: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)