The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is witnessing many new things that happen for the first time in the history of the tournament, including the presence of a reserve referee for the two assistant referees for the first time in the history of the World Cup.

The reserve referee does not appear to viewers of matches on television except rarely, because he sits in front of the entrance to the stadium behind the fourth referee, who stands permanently throughout the course of the match.

Al-Jazeera Net asked one of the escorts of the Qatar World Cup referees (who is a former referee) about the function of this fifth referee on the field, and he said that he is a reserve for the two assistant referees in the match, such as the fourth referee, whose duties are that he is a reserve for the arena referee to compensate him if he is injured or unable to complete the match for any reason. .

He added that it is a precedent in the history of the World Cup that has not happened before in any official or friendly tournament.

Through my follow-up of the matches, I found that the assistant referee assists the fourth referee in some tasks, including substitutions and controlling the technical areas of the two technical staff of the competitors in the match.

The fourth wisdom of the Belgium-Canada match and a souvenir photo with the reserve wisdom of the two assistant referees (Getty Images)

Thus, the number of referees appointed by the Referees Committee of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) on the field is 5 referees: the arena referee and his assistants, the fourth referee and the reserve assistants, in addition to 4 referees in the video technology room “VAR”, which is A record number of referees in the history of any tournament.

For the first time in the history of the World Cup, 129 referees are selected for the tournament, including women, which is another record, and is about twice the number that was chosen in previous versions.

Last May, FIFA announced a list of 36 arena referees, 69 assistant referees, and 24 video technology referees to lead the World Cup matches in Qatar.