THERE is expected to be plenty of passion on show at this year’s World Cup, and Kevin Ortega has been brought in to keep things cool.
The Peruvian is one of eight referees travelling from South America, making up a vast proportion of the 39 officials at Qatar.
Here is all you need to know about the tournament’s youngest referee.
Who is Kevin Ortega?
Kevin Ortega was born in Peru in 1992.
He has been officiating in the Primera Division since 2015 and was enlisted as a FIFA referee in 2019.
Ortega made his debut in Peru’s highest tier at the age of just 23. The game between Union Comercio and Alianza Atletico finished 5-2 with Ortega reaching for his pocket twice during the 90 minutes.
He was later summoned to his first senior match, officiating a friendly between Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago.
Ortega was at the centre of attention after awarding Boca Juniors a controversial penalty against Bolivian side, Club Always Ready. This led to a police search of the referee’s booth, where Boca Juniors shirts were discovered.
Whilst CAR accused Ortega of biased refereeing, Boca Juniors assured the gifts were usual practice.
Ortega could become the second-youngest referee to officiate a World Cup final after Ivan Eklind, who was given the role in 1934, just a year younger than Ortega.
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