Michael Oliver (referee)

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Michael Oliver
Oliver in 2014
Full name Michael Oliver
Born (1985-02-20) 20 February 1985
Ashington, Northumberland, England
Years League Role
2003–2005 England Northern League Referee
2005–2007 England Football Conference Referee
2007– England English Football League Referee
2010– England Premier League Referee
Years League Role
2012– FIFA listed Referee
2018– UEFA Elite Referee

Michael Oliver (born 20 February 1985) is an English professional football referee from Ashington, Northumberland. His county FA is the Northumberland Football Association. He belongs to the Select Group of Referees in England and officiates primarily in the Premier League. He received his FIFA badge in 2012, allowing him to officiate in major international matches. Oliver was appointed to take charge of the final of the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Oliver was promoted to the UEFA Elite Group of Referees in 2018.

Refereeing career

Born in Ashington, Northumberland, Oliver was introduced to refereeing by his father, Clive, at the age of 14. He quickly progressed through the ranks and was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2007; he refereed the 2007 Conference National play-off final, becoming the youngest football referee to officiate at Wembley Stadium. In addition he had already become the youngest Football League assistant referee, youngest Football League referee, and would also become the youngest fourth official in the Premier League.

The Oliver family enjoyed a unique refereeing double when father Clive took charge of the 2009 League Two play-off final and Michael officiated the next day at the 2009 League One play-off final. Oliver was set to become the youngest referee in the Premier League when he was appointed to a match between Fulham and Portsmouth in January 2010. However, adverse weather resulted in him having to postpone the match, and an ankle operation later sidelined him until April. He was promoted to the Select Group in August 2010, his first appointment being Birmingham City versus Blackburn Rovers. Oliver was 25 years and 182 days old, breaking Stuart Attwell's record as the youngest-ever Premier League referee.

Oliver was appointed fourth official for the 2013 League Cup final at Wembley Stadium. He refereed the FA Cup semi-final between Wigan Athletic and Millwall in April 2013 and in doing so became the youngest referee to take charge of an FA Cup semi-final. Wigan went on to win the FA Cup and played Manchester United in the subsequent FA Community Shield match in which Oliver was assigned as fourth official.

He was the referee for the 2014 FA Community Shield between Arsenal and Manchester City. The FA Cup holders Arsenal won the match 3–0.

Oliver refereed three group stage matches in the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, his first being Sporting CP against Legia Warsaw in September 2016.

On 11 April 2018, Oliver refereed the second leg of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League quarter-final between Real Madrid and Juventus. Real Madrid won the first leg 3–0 in Turin, which meant Juventus would have to win 3–0 in Madrid to take the match to extra time. Juventus led 3–0 until the 93rd minute, when Oliver awarded an injury time penalty to Real Madrid after Medhi Benatia challenged Lucas Vázquez in the box. Juventus players swarmed Oliver, with veteran goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon at the centre of the confrontation, receiving a red card for verbal abuse. Oliver also issued nine yellow cards during the match. Second goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny was forced to be substituted in, with the resulting penalty kick converted by Cristiano Ronaldo in the 98th minute, for a final 4–3 aggregate win for Real Madrid to advance to the semi-final.

Real Madrid Spain v Italy Juventus
11 April 2018 Quarter-final
second leg
Real Madrid Spain 1–3
(4–3 agg.)
Italy Juventus Madrid, Spain
20:45 Report Stadium: Santiago Bernabéu
Attendance: 75,796

Several days later the police investigated threatening text messages sent to Oliver's wife, Lucy, who had her mobile number posted on social media after the game, which led to the abusive texts. They also looked into reports of banging on the front door of their home and shouting abuse through their letterbox. On 11 May, Buffon was charged by UEFA over post-match comments made about Oliver, with the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body giving Buffon a three-match ban for UEFA competition matches "for which he would be otherwise eligible", on 5 June.

On 26 March 2019, Oliver was appointed to referee in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, with Simon Bennett and Stuart Burt serving as his assistant referees. Oliver officiated 3 matches at the tournament, including a group A clash between Senegal and Colombia, a round of 16 clash between Uruguay and Ecuador, and a semi-final between Ecuador and South Korea.

Oliver officiated the 2021 FA Cup Final on 15 May 2021, between Chelsea and Leicester City.

In a May 2022 FIFA pronouncement, Oliver was listed as one of six English officials to oversee matches at that November and December's World Cup. The list also included referee Anthony Taylor and four compatriot assistant referees—Simon Bennett, Gary Beswick, Stuart Burt, and Adam Nunn.

On 10 August 2022, he was the referee for the 2022 UEFA Super Cup between Eintracht Frankfurt and Real Madrid. On 18 April 2023, he refereed a match between Al Hilal and Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League.

List of refereed domestic finals

2014 FA Community Shield
Date Match Venue
10 August 2014 ArsenalManchester City Wembley Stadium
2016 Football League Cup Final
Date Match Venue
28 February 2016 LiverpoolManchester City Wembley Stadium
2018 FA Cup Final
Date Match Venue
19 May 2018 ChelseaManchester United Wembley Stadium
2021 FA Cup Final
Date Match Venue
15 May 2021 ChelseaLeicester City Wembley Stadium

See also


  1. ^ "Michael Oliver Referee Profile | Premier League". Premier League. Archived from the original on 16 March 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  2. ^ Refworld profile Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Michael Oliver set to become youngest referee Archived 8 July 2022 at the Wayback Machine Evening Chronicle
  4. ^ Michael Oliver set to make history Archived 8 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian
  5. ^ "Michael Oliver to referee FA Community Shield". The Football Association. 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  6. ^ "CL: Juve heartbreak at the Bernabeu". Football Italia. 11 April 2018. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  7. ^ Burton, Chris (12 April 2018). "Benatia 'disgusted by the world of football' after controversial penalty call crushes Juventus' dreams". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 13 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Buffon: Referee 'has a trashcan in place of a heart'". thescore.com. 11 April 2018. Archived from the original on 22 April 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  9. ^ "MATCH SUMMARY". UEFA. 11 April 2018. Archived from the original on 14 April 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Michael Oliver: Police investigate text threats against referee's wife". BBC. 14 April 2018. Archived from the original on 14 April 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Gianluigi Buffon: Juventus keeper charged over Michael Oliver comments". BBC. 11 May 2018. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  12. ^ "BREAKING: Gianluigi Buffon given three-game ban by UEFA for Michael Oliver outburst following Real Madrid red card". mirror. 5 June 2018. Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  13. ^ FIFA.com. "FIFA U-20 World Cup 2019 - News - Match officials for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 appointed - FIFA". FIFA. Archived from the original on 26 March 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Match report – Group A – Senegal v Colombia" (PDF). FIFA. 26 May 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Match report – Round of 16 – Uruguay v Ecuador" (PDF). FIFA. 3 June 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Match report – Semi-finals – Ecuador v Korea Republic" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 April 2022. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Michael Oliver to referee 2021 Emirates FA Cup Final". The Football Association. 20 April 2021. Archived from the original on 20 April 2021. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  18. ^ "FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Real Madrid lift Super Cup after Alaba and Benzema sink Eintracht Frankfurt". Guardian. 10 August 2022. Archived from the original on 11 August 2022. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Explained: Why Cristiano Ronaldo's latest Al-Nassr loss was refereed by Michael Oliver - who earned DOUBLE his Premier League salary with £3k fee". Goal.com. 20 April 2023.

External links