Liaoning feferee Ma Ning debuts at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Feb 15,2023

In the early hours of Nov. 22, 2022 (Beijing Time), Liaoning referee Ma Ning enters into the field during a Group B match between the United States and Wales as the fourth official. It is twenty years after debuting in the tournament in 2002 that Chinese soccer referees appeared at the FIFA World Cup field.

Ma Ning, born in 1979 in Fuxin City, Liaoning Province, serves as China's FIFA listed referee. Graduated from the Physical Education major at Shenyang Sport University in 2003, Ma Ning is now a full international referee and has taken reign at games like Chinese Super League. During his studies at university, Ma Ning excelled in both character and academic performance, and returned to visit his teachers and schoolmates in August this year.

As the “Golden Whistle” in CSL, Ma Ning represents the top level of Chinese referees’professional abilities. FIFA hired 36 referees and 69 linemen for the Qatar tournament and Ma is China’s only representative in the referee group. China’s Cao Yi and Shi Xiang joined the linemen group, making the country’s historic referee appearance at the tournament.

Ma Ning is the second Chinese referee in history selected for the final-round match of the World Cup. In an official interview with the AFC, Ma Ning said, “It is my dream to take charge in the World Cup, and I will do my best.”

Ma will act as the fourth official during the Group E game between Spain and Costa Rica, FIFA announced on Monday.

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