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Who is the referee for Japan vs. Costa Rica Group E match?

Here’s a look at the referee and crew for Japan vs. Costa Rica.

Referee Michael Oliver gestures during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Shakhtar Donetsk and RB Leipzig at The Marshall Jozef Pilsudski’s Municipal Stadium of Legia Warsaw on November 2, 2022 in Warsaw, Poland. Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Japan and Costa Rica face off on Sunday in World Cup group play, with kickoff set for 5 a.m. ET on FS1 at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Ar-Rayyan. Japan is a -225 favorite to win at DraftKings Sportsbook while Costa Rica is a +700 underdog. A draw is installed at +340.

The match will be officiated by an all-English crew with Michael Oliver serving as the referee. The two assistants will be Stuart Burt and Simon Peter Bennett. Oliver is refereeing his first World Cup match, but has extensive experience at the highest levels of soccer. He has refereed 12 Premier League matches this year, handing out 39 yellow cards, a red card, and five penalty shots in that time. Over the past three months, he has refereed four UEFA Champions League matches, handing out 20 yellow cards and three penalty kicks.

Japan stunned Germany in the opener while Costa Rica suffered an ugly 7-0 thumping at the hands of Spain. Japan can’t clinch a berth in the knockout stage with a win, but they will be in strong position heading into their final match against Spain on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the full officiating crew ahead of Saturday morning’s action (h/t Law 5 - The Referee):

  • Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
  • Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
  • Assistant Referee 2: Simon Peter Bennett (ENG)
  • Fourth Official: Maguette N’Diaye (SEN)
  • Reserve Assistant Referee: Malick El Hadj Samba (SEN)
  • Video Assistant Referee: Jerome Brisard (FRA)
  • Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Benoit Millot (FRA)
  • Offside Video Assistant Referee: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
  • Support Video Assistant Referee: Adil Zourak (MOR)
  • Standby Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Nicolas Danos (FRA)