Fans spot bizarre detail on referee’s shirt during England’s World Cup opener – did you?

WORLD CUP fans spotted a bizarre detail on the referee’s shirt during England’s clash with Iran.

Brazilian Raphael Claus was the man in the middle as the Three Lions opened their Qatar 2022 campaign.

GettyRaphael Claus was the referee in charge of England’s thrashing of Iran[/caption]

The officials have their names at the top on the back of their shirtsGetty

And Fifa have made sure their officials – including three female refs – get a bit of extra exposure.

The referee’s kits for the World Cup feature their surnames on the back of the shirt – just like the other 22 stars on the pitch.

Unlike the players, though, the letters are much smaller and could easily be missed.

But some eagle-eyed viewers – who may have overcome the BBC iPlayer issues – spotted ‘Claus’ at the back of the neck on the ref’s jersey.

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One said: “One for the Adjudication Panel: is there any precedent for referees donning their names on the back of their shirts and, regardless, how high on the #gamesgone scale does this rank?”

Another wrote: “The last thing football needs is referees with their names on the back if shirts.

“Whatever happened to a good ref being one you don’t notice? Nobody watches football to see the officials have a good game.”

Talk about not wanting to make a name for yourself…


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Claus was immediately at the centre of attention at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

He failed to award a “stonewall” penalty when England defender Harry Maguire was wrestled to the ground from a corner.

But there was nothing Claus or the Iran defence could do to stop England’s potent attack as they swept their Group B opponents away to win 6-2.

Jude Bellingham grabbed his first Three Lions goal before Bukayo Saka’s double with Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish also getting on the scoresheet.

But just as it looked as though England would match their record 6-1 win from the last World Cup, Claus and his VAR colleagues ensured he was the centre of attention in the 102nd minute when he awarded Iran a penalty for a slight tug by John Stones.

GettyClaus ignored the Three Lions’ protests for a penalty[/caption]

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