What language does a referee has to use to communicate with players in those different situations:

  1. FIFA matches
  2. UEFA matches
  3. National league matches

In all this case it is possible to have players coming from different nationality.

Does it exist a rule?


FIFA's official languages are English and French and it is an obligation for all FIFA referees to speak English and at least one other language.

English is used as the default, but during domestic games, it is quite common for the referee to speak in the local language e.g. Spanish in La Liga especially when most of the players understand it. They also use gestures to communicate where a player's English is poor.

It is up to the referee to make the best judgement on how to communicate with the players.

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  • 2
    a source citation would be amazing here – wax eagle Jul 3 '14 at 18:08

Basically the referee should speak in English, but when there are players who are the same nationality as the ref, he can speak in his native language to them.

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