10 Highest Paid Football Referees In The World

Referees are essential characters in the world of football. A league or competition looks for the best referees around the world to have them deployed in their league for the fairest conduct of the competition. A recent report revealed how much referees are paid in each country and the world’s top 10 highest paid football referees in 2022/22.

Thus, some of the biggest governing bodies such as UEFA have created an elite Panel of referees. Where they pick the best referees from all over the world and deploy them to the biggest league in the world ‘The champions league’.

The bigger the stage, the better the referees and the bigger their salaries. Do you know which referee gets paid the most for spending 90 minutes in the ground, let’s find out the highest earning referees.

UEFA has categorised the game’s salary for match officials, assistant referees, and even the 4th Referee. They further classify their wage system by allocating referees into divisions

Divisions Match RefereeAssistant Referee
Elite Referees$10,000$3,000
Elite Development
$6,500
$2,000
First$3000$750
Second$2,000$550
Third
$1,000
$350

The officials falling under the elite category of referees are the most experienced ones and they require a minimum of 5-6 years experience of officiating in their domestic leagues.

Not all the referees who are included in the elite panel earn $10,000. The match officials who officiate in knockout stages earn $10,000 but those who only officiate in group stages earn $8,000.

Highest Paid Football Referees in the World

The following football referees are the world’s highest earners:

RefereeCategoryBasic Salary per matchCountry
Damir SkominaElite panel$10,000Solvenia
Cüneyt ÇakırElite panel$10,000Turkey
Björn KuipersElite panel$10,000Netherlands
Dr. Felix BrychElite panel$10,000Germany
Clément TurpinElite panel$10,000France
Danny MakkelieElite panel$8,000Netherlands
Antonio Mateu LahozElite panel$8,000Spain
Daniele OrsatoElite panel$8,000Italy
Gianluca RocchiElite panel$8,000Italy
William CollumElite panel$8,000Scotland

Damir Skomina and Cüneyt Çakır are the highest-paid football referees in the Champions League as they officiate more matches than fellow referees. However, they must not be mistaken to be the highest-paid referee in the world.

The former Premier League referee, Mark Clattenburg reportedly signed a contract with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation for a whopping $650K a season. If reports to be believed, Clattenburg is the highest-paid referee in the world right now.

The second-highest-paid referee is Antonio Mateu Lahoz from Spain. You must be wondering how is Antonio Mateu Lahoz the highest-paid referee despite earning just $8,000?

Well, the reason is that Spain offers the highest basic salary to their referees in the world. Thus that’s why Antonio Mateu Lahoz is the highest-paid referee in the world.

Do you know which are the top five domestic football leagues pay the highest basic salary to their referees?

Football Referees’ Base Salary In The World’s Top 5 Domestic Football Leagues

CountryBasic match salary
La Liga£5,800
Chinese Super league£3,500
Bundesliga
£3,650
Serie A£3,000
Premier League£1,500

As you can see there is a vast difference in the basic match salary of football referees between La Liga and any other league. Thus any referee getting included in UEFA elite panel would definitely be the highest earner football referees in the world.

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