FIFA recently published the 2023 Refereeing International Lists. Alireza Faghani, who represented Iran at the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups, is now listed as a FIFA referee for Australia. Jarred Gillett, used to be a FIFA referee in Australia, is now representing England on the international list. Matthew Conger represented New Zealand at the last two World Cups and is still listed as a FIFA referee in that country, but last year he refereed MLS matches in his native USA and started 2023 listed on the PRO roster.
Alireza Faghani was born in 1978 and followed in the footsteps of his father, who was also a referee in Iran. His younger brother referees in Sweden. Faghani became a FIFA referee in 2008, and moved up in the ranks very fast. After only one year of international experience Faghani took charge of the 2009 AFC President's Cup final, followed a year later by a more important final, the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup, where the winner qualified for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. In 2014, Faghani was selected as support referee for the World Cup in Brazil, where he was fourth official in the opening match between Brazil and Croatia. In the same year, he also refereed the first leg of the 2014 AFC Champions League Final between Al-Hilal and Sydney Wanderers. Only one year later, Faghani was appointed to both the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final (Korea – Australia) and the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup final between River Plate and FC Barcelona. His ascension continued in 2016 when FIFA assigned him the Olympic football final match between host Brazil and Germany. After the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, Faghani was appointed to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where he refereed 5 matches, including the Match for Third Place between Belgium and England. During the same year, he refereed the 2018 AFF Championship final between Vietnam – Malaysia. In 2019, Faghani attended his second AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates and then moved, along with his family, from Iran to Australia, where he joined the A-League as a full-time referee. Despite his move, Iran continued to nominate him to their FIFA List in 2020-2022, which allowed him to be selected by FIFA for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. After refereeing in the A-League for two full years, FIFA approved his transfer from Iran to Australia as of 1 January 2023.
Jarred Gillett, born in 1986, made his A-League debut during the 2010-11 season, officiating in 15 matches. He has been named the A-League Referee of the Year on five occasions and rewarded with five A-League Grand Finals (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), making him the most successful referee in A-League history. In April 2017, he was appointed as one of the inaugural video assistant referees (VARs) in the A-League. The 2018 A-League Grand Final between Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory was his fifth (and fourth consecutive) appearance in the Grand Final. In October 2018, Gillett also refereed the 2018 FFA Cup Final between Adelaide United and Sydney FC. As part of various exchange programs, he has refereed in the J-League, the Indian Super League, the Chinese Super League, and the Saudi Professional League, as well as the 2015 International Champions Cup. Gillett left Australia in 2019 to take up a post-doctoral research position at Liverpool John Moores University and joined Select Group 2 in England. He was assigned his first match in the EFL League Two in 2019 and after two years was promoted to the Select Group 1. On 25 September 2021, Gillett became the first person born outside of the British Isles to referee in the Premier League, taking charge of the match between Watford and Newcastle United. On 1 January 2023, Gillett entered the English FIFA List, after having been previously an international referee in Australia from 2013 to 2019.
Matthew Conger was born in 1978 in the USA, where he began refereeing as a teenager and continued after moving to New Zealand in his early 20s. Conger has refereed at the 2015 U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2017 U-20 World Cup in South Korea, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, as well as the OFC Champions League. He has also officiated in numerous A-League and New Zealand Football Championship games and was named the New Zealand Referee of the Year in 2017. Last year, due to New Zealand’s travel restrictions related to Covid-19, Conger returned temporarily to his native USA to be able to prepare and attend all FIFA seminars, being selected for the 2022 World Cup. At the beginning of 2023, he was added to the PRO roster of MLS referees.