Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson has been appointed to handle tonight’s Group G clash between Ghana’s Black Stars and USA at Estadio das Dunas in Natal.
Eriksson, who has been a FIFA referee since 2002, will be assisted on the lines by compatriots Mathias Klasenius and Daniel Warnmark, with Tahiti’s Norbert Hauata as the fourth official.
Eriksson, 40, who sold his stake in media rights business IEC in 2007 for just over $10 million to concentrate on full-time refereeing, is not new to controversy. He became the enemy of Glasgow Rangers fans in 2009 during their Champions League clash with Sevilla when he waved away penalty claims from the Scottish side early in the first half.
The decision not to award the penalty prompted former Southampton and Celtic manager Gordon Strachan to launch a scathing attack on the Swede, insisting he “shouldn’t get another game in the Champions League… he is not good enough.”
In 2012, Eriksson sparked further controversy after sending off Marseille’s Ghana international, Jordan Ayew, and later awarded the French side a penalty in their 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the group stages of the Champions League.
In February this year, Eriksson drew some ire in England after he sent off Manchester City’s Martin Demichelis for a foul on Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in the first leg of the teams’ Round of 16 match, which the Spanish club won 2-0 in Manchester.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini said Eriksson “decided the game” with his call against Demichelis and the subsequent penalty kick that was awarded on a call that came on the edge of the penalty box.