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Alireza Faghani (Persian: عليرضا فغانى‎, born 21 March 1978) is an Iranian international football referee who has been officiating in the Persian Gulf Pro League for several seasons and has been on the FIFA list since 2008. Faghani has refereed important matches such as the 2014 AFC Champions League Final, the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final, the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup Final , the 2016 Olympic football final match. He has refereed matches in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Alireza Faghani
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Faghani refereeing at Luzhniki Stadium in 2018
Born (1978-03-21) 21 March 1978 (age 40)
Kashmar, Iran
Other occupation Municipality employee
Years League Role
2000–2008 Azadegan League Referee
2007–present Persian Gulf Pro League Referee
2017–present Liga 1 Referee
Years League Role
2008–present FIFA listed Referee


Early lifeEdit

He was born on 21 March 1978 in Kashmar, a city near Mashhad, Iran. His nickname is Behrooz (بهروز). His father, Mohammad Faghani (محمد فغانی) was also a football referee.

Faghani was part of the youth team of Bank Melli, and also played for Shahab Khodro, Etka, and Niroye Zamini. He also played in Iran's League 2 which is the third tier in the Iranian football pyramid. However, in the end he decided to be a football referee.

Refereeing careerEdit

Faghani became a FIFA referee in 2008, only a year after officiating in the top flight league in Iran. After becoming a FIFA referee Faghani has moved up the ladder really fast especially in Asia. After only one year of international experience Faghani took charge of the 2009 AFC President's Cup Final which was played between Regar-TadAZ Tursunzoda and Dordoi-Dynamo Naryn which was won 2–0 by the hosts.[1] A year later he was again in charge of a final but this time it was a much more important final in the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup where the winner qualified for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. He gave a red card to the North Korean defender in the 32nd minute but North Korea went on to defeat Turkmenistan in penalties.[2]

He was named as the fourth referee for the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Croatia.[3] He also refereed the 2014 AFC Champions League Final first leg match between Al-Hilal and Western Sydney Wanderers. He is also one of the officials of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, refereeing his first match in Group B between Saudi Arabia and China that ended 0–1. Faghani awarded Saudi Arabia a penalty kick but Naif Hazazi missed it.

He was appointed to referee the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final, which was contested by South Korea and Australia. Faghani was the referee in the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup Final between Club Atlético River Plate and FC Barcelona.[4] Perhaps the most important match in which he was the main referee was the 2016 Olympic football final match between host Brazil and Germany.

In spite of great performances as referee of international competitions, he is usually criticized for looking down on the players of Iranian domestic league.[5] Changing the champions of 2014–15 Persian Gulf Pro League as a result of a series of wrong decision in two important games between championship rivals (Sepahan S.C. 2-1 Tractor Sazi F.C.[6] and Tractor Sazi F.C. 3-3 Naft Tehran F.C.[7]), blowing the final whistle in a knock-out match between Padideh F.C. and Naft Tehran F.C. in 2015–16 Hazfi Cup after 4th shoot of the first team in penalty shootouts before the winner is determined[8], unnecessarily touching players which can make the games out of his control[9], and making teams ten men for the least or no fouls in several games, are some of his mistakes.

Faghani was referee in six matches of the 2017 Liga 1 in Indonesia and two matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

FIFA World CupEdit

2018 FIFA World Cup – Russia
Date Match Venue Round
17 June 2018   Germany  Mexico Moscow Group stage
27 June 2018   Serbia  Brazil Moscow Group stage
30 June 2018   France  Argentina Kazan Round of 16
14 July 2018   Belgium  England Saint Petersburg Third Place



  1. ^ "2009 AFC President's Cup Final". AFC. Retrieved 2010-03-31.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "2010 AFC Challenge Cup Final". AFC. Retrieved 2010-03-31.[permanent dead link]
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External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
  Walter López
FIFA Club World Cup final match referees
Succeeded by
  Janny Sikazwe
Preceded by
  Ravshan Irmatov
AFC Asian Cup Final referee
Succeeded by
Most recent
Preceded by
  Mark Clattenburg
FIFA Men's Olympic Football Tournament Final referee
Succeeded by
Most recent