Who is Wilton Sampaio and what games has the World Cup VAR official officiated before?

WILTON SAMPAIO is a referee who has gone from the VAR dressing room to the green turf of the pitch for this World Cup

The Brazilian will referee the game between Saudi Arabia and Poland.

Wilton Sampaio has been a FIFA referee since 2013

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Wilton Sampaio has been a FIFA referee since 2013Photo credit: Aizar Raldes

Four years ago in Russia, he was one of the officials tasked with getting the then-new technology to work and making informed decisions.

The technology was hailed as working well in Russia and now, four years later, the Brazilian has gotten his whistle and book back.

Who is Wilton Sampaio?

Sampaio was born in 1981 in Teresina de Goias, Brazil.

The 36-year-old will be the video assistant referee at the World Cup this summer.

He was voted one of the best referees of the 2012 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A Champions.

Sampaio is known in Brazil for handing out yellow cards at every possible opportunity.

The Brazilian impressed Fifa officials during his VAR training session

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The Brazilian impressed Fifa officials during his VAR training sessionPhoto credit: Reuters

After refereeing three Copa Libertadores games last season, the Brazilian showed 14 yellow cards and one red card.

And he dished out 12 yellow cards after two Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A games.

Has he officiated at a World Cup competition?

The competition in Russia will be the Brazilian’s first job at a World Cup.

He has refereed international matches at U17 and U15 level.

Has he used VAR before?

Video assistant referees are not used in the Brazilian leagues, but he was chosen by Fifa after excelling in the VAR seminars.

Speaking to Globo, he said: “The feeling is very joyful.

“It’s a dream come true to be able to work at a World Championship, my first in the professional category.

“I did my best to prepare myself to be among the chosen ones, both in the theoretical and in the practical parts.

“The goal now is to continue to improve before the trip to Russia.”

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